Small Business Saturday Blog
12 Top Tips for Micro-businesses
Monday, January 15 at 13:55
On #microbizmatters day we shared 12 top tips on running your business to support their #IGave12 campaign which encourages others to give 12 to a micro business owner.
Focusing on business advice, branding and marketing there are some great tips for all kinds of businesses and some helpful links to further help from our Small Business Community.
Running your business
1. Get connected
Don’t feel like you have to be alone. Running your own business can be lonely and having other entrepreneurs and thought laders around you can really help to develop ideas and provide key support as well as a great sounding board for queries.
The FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) is a great organisation so check out @fsb_voice for more help and advice for Small Business.
2. Get social!
Today it is easier than ever to connect with peers online and join support groups and business development pages on social media. Be brave, sign up and get asking (and supporting) other small businesses. There may be someone out there that needs your expertise too!
Enterprise Nation has great meet-ups and networking opportunities, search @e_nation on twitter.
3. Money matters
Make sure that you get good financial advice when setting up or running your business. Good financial planning, clear strategies/forecasting and a good accountant can save a lot of sleepless nights and heartache.
If you want to find someone local to you with specific expertise, check out @ACCA_UK for your local member.
4. It’s all about me
Whether you are a sole trader or have a small team, you need to look after you. It’s tempting to take on all the roles and run yourself into the ground in order to move your business forward but as the saying goes, ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’. You are the most important asset for your business, you must look after your needs in order to run a business to the best of your ability.
Marketing and social media
5. Make a plan
Planning is key for a marketing strategy. Don’t create an unrealistic plan as this can be demoralising and leave you feeling defeated. Set yourself small simple goals and these can be increased as you see success. It may be a target number of followers on Facebook, a specific number of sign-ups for a newsletter or exhibiting goals.
If you need help with a marketing plan, check out Marketing by Minal @Minal2804
6. Be where your customers are
It may sound obvious but with so many social media platforms it can sometimes feel very overwhelming and like you have to be everywhere at once! Find the social media platform that most speaks to your customers, most people are on Facebook so that is an obvious start but you may consider other platforms like Instagram if your business is creative or particularly visual. Do some research and see where your customers are visiting.
7.Aim for relationships not just sales
Building strong relationships with your customers will mean that they are more likely to be a repeat customer and share their good experiences with others. Micro businesses are all about the people at the very heart of them. Be brave and put yourself, your passion for your product/service and your business into all your interactions to make sure you stick in their minds for exceptional customer service.
8. Keep in touch
Don’t be afraid to ask someone for their contact details. Mailing lists have a bad reputation but used carefully and compassionately they can be a great tool to inform your customers, advise them of great offers and let that personality shine through. Similarly, every day we come across opportunities to network (especially if you produce a wearable product), always make sure you have a supply of business cards and details you can pass on.
If you need more help with your marketing, one of our fab small business community Karen Campbell could help you. Check out @k_c_marketing for some great blogs, advice and tips.
9. Have a good name and logo.
A strong brand is easily recognizable. Recognition starts with the name of your business. The name will appear on your business cards, letterhead, website, social networks, promotional materials, products, and pretty much everywhere in print and online to identify your company or your company’s products and/or services. People commonly associate brands with the brand’s logo. As you think about your logo, keep your audience and products/services in mind because you want your logo to reflect your company. A good logo builds trust and a strong logo will help to pull your brand together.
10. Find your brand voice.
What you say is important, but don’t overlook how you say it. Your company’s “voice” is the language and personality you and your employees will use to deliver your branding message and reach your customers. Successful brands speak with a unique voice. Think about the brands you admire – what makes them unique? How do they communicate with you and other customers? What do you like about their voice?
11. Deliver value for your customers.
Value doesn’t mean lowest price. You can focus on product, great customer service , delivery of service, or a combination of those things. When thinking about the value your company delivers ask what sets your product or service apart from others with similar products/services. A personable company with an excellent product are strong emotional drivers for a customer to purchase.
12. Create a personality.
When you are deciding on how to brand your company and ‘voice’ it sometimes helps to think of it as a person. Analysing that character’s beliefs, likes and dislikes, where they live and what their lifestyle is like. This will help you find your target customer and solidify your brand.
One of our favourite personalities is Alison Edgar from The Entrepreneurs Godmother, go to @aliedgar13 to check her out!
Small Business Saturday provides help and support for all Small Businesses throughout the year by providing workshops, webinars and informative content.
Small Business Saturday UK also highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.
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