TaraCrooksUSAA's avatarTaraCrooksUSAAMoney Matters Blog | ‎10-17-2013 01:55 PM

Stretching Your Small Business Budget

shutterstock_11969872.jpgI, like many other military spouses, am a small business owner. If you’re a small business owner you know how it is to spend much of your time balancing the “wants” vs. the “needs”. The economy is struggling and luxuries are something that you can no longer afford.

 

Recently I attended an event and noticed a group of small businesses had gotten together and pooled their resources to become sponsors thus sharing their “booth space” with each other. They were complimentary (non-competing) businesses, but they all had the same audience in mind.

 

Their co-op piqued my interest and so I sat back and watched. Each business owner had their own customer base. As the customers came to the booth the small business owner who knew them introduced them to the other two small business owners and their products. Genius! Each of their small networks just became a giant one. These girls knew how to make the most of their money, their networks and so much more. It paid off, they each did very well in reaching their target market and expanding their business.

 

That got me thinking about what other opportunities are out there for small businesses to save money? Try some of these on for size…

 

  • Develop strategic alliances/partnerships – maybe it’s not at an event like the story above, but rather online sharing content, customer databases (with permission), or other cooperative ventures. 
  • Establish yourself as an expert – teach a class, offer your speaking services, or write an article for a local paper/online venue. Be sure to mention your business in your speaking or bio line if it’s online – free exposure for your small business. 
  • Get on board with social media – if you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest – get there!
  • Self-promote – I was told by a mentor once that if my mouth was open my business was open. Don’t assume everyone knows what you do/sell. Put it on your letterhead, your business cards, your social media sites, your email signature, etc. 
  • Utilize volunteers and/or interns – There are many people out there willing to gain experience and work for a worthy cause or something about which they feel passionate. 
  • Don’t be afraid of a little elbow grease – Rather than paying someone to do certain jobs like search engine optimization or press releases why not learn to do it yourself? There are many free online resources to help you. 
  • Hire only what you need – If you cannot find a volunteer or learn to do it yourself try sites like Guru or Elance to hire based specifically on a project you need completed.

 

INTERACT

 

Are you a small/home based business owner?


Have you tried and/or had any success with these suggestions?


What idea have you employed to save money?

Comments

barefootandboots's avatarbarefootandbootsNew Member

by barefootandboots ‎10-18-2013 10:17 AM

I have been working from home for years in order to keep up my resume while i have been a stay-at-home mom. Ice been writing for Homefront United Network, worked with my husbands units FRO, and i have my own blog. None of this generated any income though, and i wasnt fully utilizing my degree in elementary education.. After a thoughtfil discussion with my husband, I started my own preschool here in my home for other stay-at-home parents. It is a service that provides other parents like myself to give their children interaction with their peers in an educational setting rather than the base CDC. I still continue to write and volunteer, but now I generate an income while providing my own child with preschool activities with kids her age without having to pay for it. my blog has also grown as a result, and I now generate an income from ad space as well! Its been azing and I love owning my own small business!

I have been working from home for years in order to keep up my resume while i have been a stay-at-home mom. Ice been writing for Homefront United Network, worked with my husbands units FRO, and i have my own blog. None of this generated any income though, and i wasnt fully utilizing my degree in elementary education.. After a thoughtfil discussion with my husband, I started my own preschool here in my home for other stay-at-home parents. It is a service that provides other parents like myself to give their children interaction with their peers in an educational setting rather than the base CDC. I still continue to write and volunteer, but now I generate an income while providing my own child with preschool activities with kids her age without having to pay for it. my blog has also grown as a result, and I now generate an income from ad space as well! Its been azing and I love owning my own small business!

TaraCrooksUSAA's avatarTaraCrooksUSAACommunity Manager

by Community Manager ‎10-20-2013 12:25 PM

Barefoot,

Welcome to the USAA Community!

What a great way to think outside the box and utilize your talents! Very proud!


Tara

Barefoot,

Welcome to the USAA Community!

What a great way to think outside the box and utilize your talents! Very proud!


Tara

by Wallace Capital Fund ‎10-20-2013 06:55 PM

The use of referrals to grow your business. 

 

Referrals are the best way to grow your business.  It is easier to get someone to recommend you versus, selling yourself.  As part of a business networking group, we have formed power teams.  Power teams are a team of related sales people or business owners who target the same customers or have contacts to help you get business.  

 

  1. The first step is developing that list.  Identify those individuals who is your target market.  Who are your customers?  What is their profession?  Where are they located?
  2. The second step is developing your team.  Who are the individuals that target the same market?
  3. The third step is to meet with your team regularly.  I would suggest once per week.  These are the individuals where you will find that most of your business comes from. 

 

Personally I am part of a Financial and Business to Business Power Team.

 

Below is an example of a Real Estate power team.  

 

Realtors

Mortgage Broker

Insurance Agent

Title Agent

Home Inspector

Handy Man

 

Here is my list.  Make your own!

 

 

 

The use of referrals to grow your business. 

 

Referrals are the best way to grow your business.  It is easier to get someone to recommend you versus, selling yourself.  As part of a business networking group, we have formed power teams.  Power teams are a team of related sales people or business owners who target the same customers or have contacts to help you get business.  

 

  1. The first step is developing that list.  Identify those individuals who is your target market.  Who are your customers?  What is their profession?  Where are they located?
  2. The second step is developing your team.  Who are the individuals that target the same market?
  3. The third step is to meet with your team regularly.  I would suggest once per week.  These are the individuals where you will find that most of your business comes from. 

 

Personally I am part of a Financial and Business to Business Power Team.

 

Below is an example of a Real Estate power team.  

 

Realtors

Mortgage Broker

Insurance Agent

Title Agent

Home Inspector

Handy Man

 

Here is my list.  Make your own!

 

 

 

INMotion's avatarINMotionNew Member

by INMotion ‎10-20-2013 08:32 PM

Paralegal-Legal Assistant / Certified Notary Signing Agent in            

Alabama

 

I am the proud owner of a Paralegal/ Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent company, closing mortgages, annuities, debt settlements, etc. while volunteering by offering free notarization to soldiers in my community.

 

After moving around with my husband and finding it hard to find a job, I started to look for creative opportunities to find employment. I go to school full time taking 18 credits per semester (major Criminal Justice with minor in business administration) so it was important that I maintained some flexibility in my schedule. I also hold a Cert in Management Foundation, Paralegal, and Associate in Business Management. I started my company (In Motion, LLC) and began working from home. In the past, I have achieved great success working for large companies in Marketing, Sales and IT (Miami Herald-The McClatchy Company, Cable&Wireless Telecommunications, Ltd, etc) where I developed skilled that are invaluable in today's fast paced work environment.

 

I woke up one morning and the light came on...I thought, if I can market, sell, and fix computers for a company why can't I sell my product and services.

 

I took all the skills I had and packaged them into a business plan and never looked back. Now I love what I do and look forward to a bright future.

 

Volunteering works great for me a is one of the best tools to get the word out. By offering free notorisations I meet many new clients who are eighter PCSing or looking to purchase a home then request that the title company use my services as the closer.

 

Give to get is my moto.

 

 

I am Simone!

 

 

      

Paralegal-Legal Assistant / Certified Notary Signing Agent in            

Alabama

 

I am the proud owner of a Paralegal/ Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent company, closing mortgages, annuities, debt settlements, etc. while volunteering by offering free notarization to soldiers in my community.

 

After moving around with my husband and finding it hard to find a job, I started to look for creative opportunities to find employment. I go to school full time taking 18 credits per semester (major Criminal Justice with minor in business administration) so it was important that I maintained some flexibility in my schedule. I also hold a Cert in Management Foundation, Paralegal, and Associate in Business Management. I started my company (In Motion, LLC) and began working from home. In the past, I have achieved great success working for large companies in Marketing, Sales and IT (Miami Herald-The McClatchy Company, Cable&Wireless Telecommunications, Ltd, etc) where I developed skilled that are invaluable in today's fast paced work environment.

 

I woke up one morning and the light came on...I thought, if I can market, sell, and fix computers for a company why can't I sell my product and services.

 

I took all the skills I had and packaged them into a business plan and never looked back. Now I love what I do and look forward to a bright future.

 

Volunteering works great for me a is one of the best tools to get the word out. By offering free notorisations I meet many new clients who are eighter PCSing or looking to purchase a home then request that the title company use my services as the closer.

 

Give to get is my moto.

 

 

I am Simone!