I, 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.
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?