Life as an entrepreneur is tough, more so if you are operating on a limited budget. Adversity is a constant companion on every business owner’s journey to success, and you need all the help you can get.
Below are some simple things you can do to push your business forward:
Establish or rethink your business strategies
You need to have an overall strategy for your business to help you know where you want to be. Having a clearly-laid out plan for your business will prepare you to cope with business problems, and deal with any obstacles that crop up in a calm and analytical way. In business, problems have a way of popping up one after the other; sometimes altogether and as the business owner, you must tackle them head-on. With a business plan you can clearly focus on your long-term goals and on your business objectives.
If you are looking for examples of a business plan, visit our Free Sample Business Plans page. Also check out Bplans.com at http://www.bplans.com. While they sell their business plan software, their site offers a number of business plans, marketing plans, web strategy plans, and advertising plans that you browse for free. Find out how these real-life businesses are taking their businesses to the next level and meeting their challenges head-on.
Add networking activities to your calendar
Networking is a very effective tool in pushing your business forward. Unfortunately, many small and home business entrepreneurs do not find the time to add interaction with other entrepreneurs, industry members, and other organizations into their day-to-day activities. Networking activities can include participating in chamber of commerce meetings, joining social and community organizations, attending industry shindigs, and meeting fellow entrepreneurs. Joining in these myriad of activities may help you spread the word about your business, increase your and your company s profile in the community, find mentors or even investors to your business.
One new yet very effective way to meet fellow entrepreneurs in your area is through MeetUp.com (http://www.meetup.com). MeetUp.com organizes local gatherings where people of a particular group of interest e.g. small business owners can meet and talk in real life. They currently have groups that meet for a monthly meeting for Entrepreneurs, Stay at Home Moms, Ebiz Owners, Consultants, Fashion Industry professionals, and many more. A meeting is set in a venue voted by the members in a city or state (usually a restaurant), and members agree upon the time, date and agenda.
Keep abreast with developments in your industry
The best way to know what is happening in your industry is through subscription in trade publications. These publications help you know about the latest trends, technology, and news about your industry. If you are creating or selling Christmas ornaments, check out Edgell Publication’s Selling Christmas Decorations Magazine. Greetings Etc. is a magazine for those in the greeting card, stationary products and party goods business.
Whether you are already operating or simply thinking of starting a business, you can also benefit from the ads from potential suppliers, manufacturers, buyers or partners in the industry. Some magazines like Art Business News publish a yearly sourcebook for those in the framing and art businesses, which are a goldmine of contact information in the industry. Check out TradePub.com ( http://www.tradepub.com ) for a listing of trade publications.