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Growing your online business

I’ve just been reading an older article that I stumbled across on the Telegraph website:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/7663080/Growing-an-online-gardening-service.html

Although the article is getting on for 6 months old, it is still an interesting read, and has some good advice for small business owners, which I believe are even more pertinent in the current economic climate.

RECESSION TOOL KIT

  • Market yourself for free through social media networks
  • Work virtually unless you need an office

STARTING OUT

Do

  • Seek expert advice and opinions, but then make up your own mind
  • Be great at customer service, and you’ll stand out and be remembered

Don’t

  • Use outside investment unless you have to
  • Invest based on forecasted profits, but on actual profits

Lets explore these tips in a little more detail, do you have any tips for small businesses that you can share? Add them to the comment section at the bottom of this post.

Market yourself for free through social media networks – Great advice, this is something that you should be doing on a regular basis regardless of a recession or not, Twitter (Follow me by the way), Facebook, Posting on your favourite forums – utilising signatures, blogs, YouTube etc – loads of good places to help increase your marketing push for free.

Work virtually unless you need an office – A sound tip, money in – money out > 0. Basically the more money you spend, the more money you need to earn to cover that cost! Working virtually can drastically lower (or keep low) your overheads.

Seek expert advice and opinions, but then make up your own mind – Listen to what the professionals have to say, but remember that they too are a business, and may steer you towards advice or solutions that line their pockets rather than acting on your interests.

Be great at customer service – be a customer service rock star, its one area where small businesses can easily outshine larger institutions.

Don’t Use outside investment – unless you have to, taking an investment means diluting your company, you then are answerable to someone else (maybe not wholly, but in part) which may mean you’re not going to actually fulfil your dream of working for yourself.

Don’t Invest based on forecasted profits, but on actual profits, forecasted profits and bottom line P&L may differ, usually with forecast profits far outperforming actual profit. Investing on forecast profits may lead to over investment stretching tight resources beyond comfortable limits.
Hope you enjoyed this post, certainly an interesting topic of conversation. Please add any comments below if you’d like to share your view on the article.

About the author: Paper Free Invoices started out as a small blog for my invoicing software business Paper Free Billing but has morphed into something much more useful. I’ve really enjoyed reading the guest articles and speaking with guest publishers so much so I’m always looking for talented bloggers to contribute. If you have any questions or feedback on this article, please find your voice in the comment section, we will try to answer every genuine comment!

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