Tag Archives: Small Businesses

Transform Personal Talents into Small Businesses: Tips for Promoting Unique Skills for Small Profits

Whether it’s the party-throwing skills that put together a blockbuster Christmas bash or the back-breaking gardening skills learned in grandma’s backyard, find a purpose for talents abandoned for real employment opportunities. A reputation among friends and family for a special skill may be more than just bragging; sometimes it may signal a gift worth a small or occasional profit.

A few simple tips below can help utilize or promote a special skill in the form of a business or promote the money-making side of a talent. From small items like order slips to big efforts like self-promotions and business stands, find an outlet that best showcases a skill and increases the chance for business success.

Promoting Small Business with Parties

What better way to showcase a special talent than with a party? While it sounds slightly silly, convincing friends and neighbors than a talent is worth paying for takes time and effort. Organize a party that entertains guests while displaying the business idea front and center.

Kick off a landscaping business with a “lawn party” that shows off elaborate landscaping skills for free in a volunteer’s yard, complete with a few hands-on training techniques. As a kids party coordinator, host a “party” party that lets potential clients sample a variety of potential party themes, from decorations and games to music and snacks.

Keep the money investment in the party to a minimum, but make the best effort to showcase the business concept in its best light. If nothing else, the party will be a good time for the host and guests even if the business doesn’t fly.

Advertising Small Business

Advertising is one of the most expensive and important aspects of starting a business. Rather than suck any business funds dry, try using personal and offbeat means of advertising to promote a small business, especially a part-time venture based on personal skills.

Cheap t-shirts with creative iron-on logos are a great means of promotion; pass them out for free or wear a thought-provoking version to self-advertise in public. Be a shameless promoter for the business, printing off flyers to post (where legal) in neighborhoods and business bulletin boards; consider offering a service partially or wholly free to a potential client capable of recommending the business to others.

Heck, you can even do what Roger Mitchell did and blast messages out your car window as you’re driving through a downtown area on a busy day. Sounds crazy, but it worked well! If you’re thinking about doing this, I suggest the Yamaha HS8 Review here. Loud and proud!

Promoting Personal Skills

Personally designed order slips for handicrafts, artistic projects, or creative designs are a great way to promote a small business and make personal skills accessible to potential clients. Pass them out or carry them along with business literature, so clients can easily make contact with requests. A prompt response to work out order and payment details using the information on the slip, makes a professional impression on customers.

Since personal or small businesses are always a risk, weigh carefully the consequences of taking on any debt, such as expensive business equipment or investing in advertising, stationary, and other costly features. Remember to have fun with any business venture, regardless of its outcome.

Small Businesses That Thrive Overseas: Deciding Whether a Company Should Compete in the Global Marketplace

Webkinz, Amazon and Overstock all have one important thing in common. These big companies did not exclude the global marketplace when they focused on expanding their business. Today, they are major players in their fields, both overseas and at home. So, should every business owner focus on growing globally? Not necessarily. The folks at Shipwire.com talk about businesses that should concentrate on global sales in this interview.

What Types of Businesses Do Well When They Expand to Include the Global Marketplace?

Two types of businesses absolutely must have an international growth story: 1) Niche Product manufacturers; and, 2) Established online retailers.

If you are manufacturing a new toy, consumer electronic or starting a clothing or apparel line you have to make it easy for buyers to get your projects. If you sell direct-to-consumer the shipping costs has to be low and preferably locally delivered. If you sell b2b or through retailers, you can grow market share by offering distributors and retailers drop-shipping (inventory-less selling) and small minimum order quantities that can be easily restocked; both of these features require local storage.

If you are an established online retailer with a large product catalog – focus on your best sellers. Find a limited selection of inventory that will sell well overseas and focus on just increasing your sales of those products. Don’t worry about selling your whole product catalog overseas. By focusing on best sellers you can optimize your time and investment. If a buyer wants a product that isn’t stored overseas it is an easy conversation and most buyers understand that the product may take longer for delivery; however, you got the sale because you were in market with local products.

Our customers that have gained an international market share include everything from apparel and toy companies to more niche verticals like mattresses and automotive accessories.

What Are the Top Three Things You Wish Every Small Business Owner Knew About Overseas Markets?

  1. The opportunity is there for those looking to expand into key new markets for very little to no extra cost.
  2. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to enter overseas market. Look for tools and resources that provide you the flexibility without the high cost.
  3. Make the international market operate like your local market: don’t ship products one-by-one to international recipients. Create working relationships with local warehouses (through Shipwire). An Internet enabled distribution center (warehouse) will help you respond to buyers like a local e-tailer.

Business Cards a Necessity for Small Businesses: Small Companies Need Cheap Custom Business Card Printing

Business cards are just one of the things entrepreneurs need. Many people need more than one card because they run more than one business, or wear more than one hat at one organization. Some specific examples:

  • daycare and other small business owners
  • actors and other artists
  • electricians and other independent contractors
  • cleaning services

Cheap Business Cards Can be of Good Quality

Cheap as in “inexpensive” doesn’t have to mean cheap as in “poorly made.” Small business owners want to find cheap business cards that are high quality, but doing so can be a challenge.

Low prices don’t necessarily mean shoddy workmanship. Low cost can be a result of the bulk buying power that professional printers have. Printers who keep overhead down can also pass on the savings to customers.

Business Card Design Choices Include Creating Own Business Cards, Hiring Graphic Designer

Special business card creating software is available for small business owners to buy, but it isn’t necessary for creating business cards on a home computer. Business cards can be made with programs that are already installed on most personal computers – Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Word are just two programs that will create business cards.

Hiring a graphic designer or a professional printing company may be a good idea for those who are not confident in their ability to design their own business cards. Local art students, marketing majors and business majors might also be able and willing to design business cards at a low cost. The businessperson can then take the card design to a printer, or make business cards at home.

Business Card Printing Options Include Printing at Home, Sending to Professional Printer

Many people who are starting small or home-based businesses believe that it costs less to print business cards on their home computers. They may plan to use a free program online, use software they already have, or purchase special software.

Printing business cards at home is the least expensive option only when printing a small batch of cards. Buying card stock and computer ink is more expensive than ordering the cards from a printer. If more than a few cards are needed, it is more cost effective to order cards. Purchasing special software also adds to this expense.

Order Business Cards Online From Internet Printers; Possibly Get Discounts, Free Shipping

Ordering business cards online may be the most convenient option for small business owners who have some experience shopping and ordering online. Entrepreneurs can design their own cards, or they can have other professionals design their cards for them. Professionals who design business cards include graphic designers and printers, and local art students can be a good resource.

Online printers or internet printers can be a source of high quality business cards and other printed materials at affordable prices. Most are fast and flexible, offering standard and custom printing options. Small business owners may find them to be less intimidating to deal with than traditional printing houses may be.

Ordering business cards from a professional printer can be the most cost-effective option, whether small business owners design their own business cards, or have the printer design them. Some companies run specials from time to time or offer volume discounts, so customers should be on the lookout for discounts and free shipping when ordering business cards online.

Small Businesses Go Green to Save Green: More Comapnies are Realizing Big Savings from Eco Initiatives

Big green companies like McDonald’s continue to find ways to green up and to save. McDonald’s recently announced they are researching ways to use less potato pesticides. International aviation trade groups are looking at Performance Based Navigation (PBN) to cut the length of trips which will cut fuel use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Small businesses also continue to find ways to take the eco initiative one step further and reach higher for green techniques and green savings.

Small Business Goes Green

More and more new ways to take advantage of the going green present themselves every day. Here are nine greenings that any company can implement while saving some green.

  1. Install a water cooler at the office and stop buying bottled water. Also use pitchers of water and glasses for attendees of meetings and conferences instead of bottled water. This reduces the amount of plastic that needs recycled and it saves money when paying for the water cooler than paying one to two dollars per bottle of water.
  2. Use the new soy based toner for laser printers versus the petroleum based toner. There are several manufacturers of soy based toner cartridges available. Check with your printer’s manufacturer before using the soy based toner. When buying new printers, buy those that can use soy based toner. Using the soy based toner reduces the oil use as well as being more eco friendly.
  3. Extend the life of your current technology by upgrading computer equipment instead of buying all new. Many computers that are less than five years old have the capability to have the processor, the storage devices, the graphics cards and monitors upgraded. This step again reduces the amount of technology items ending up in the landfills as well as saving money for the company.
  4. Include questions about reduce, recycle, reuse in all purchasing projects and requests for proposals. Buy products that are manufactured green, that provide green savings when in use, and provide an environmentally friendly disposal.
  5. Buy mobile devices that serve multiple purposes. For example, buy one cell phone with GPS functions per employee rather than buying one cell phone and one GPS device per employee.
  6. Bring going green seminars and training to the workplace through webinars and distance learning. Or, enroll select employees in some of the new green degree programs such as those at the University of Dayton and Wright State in Ohio. Using the webinars and distance learning will reduce fuel usage, save paying the employees travel expenses and utilizes technology to its fullest.
  7. Replace current lighting in parking lots or building entrances with solar lighting. Using the power of the sun, solar lighting recharges during the day saving on electricity use and electric bills.
  8. Encourage the use of web or audio conferencing for meetings. Driving or flying to meetings cost money, use unnecessary fuel and takes lots of time. Using the webinar or audio conferencing for meetings is an effective way to conduct meetings and the savings can be phenomenal. Thinkgreenmeeting.com offers web and audio meeting resources at reasonable prices.
  9. Encourage employees to rent business, leadership, and other reference books from the local library versus buying them. Library usage is up. One local Canton, Ohio library reported seeing over 11,000 more people in the first two months of 2014 versus the same time frame in 2015.

Going Green Saves Green

All of these tips will help preserve the environment while preserving cash for the company. With such simple to implement green tips available these days, there are no longer any excuses for not joining in on the green movement. Remember that small continual contributions make a long term big impact.