Small Business

Running a small business is no small feat. Expert tips for marketing and growing your company.

Advertising on a budget

Q: Seven months ago, I opened a small store selling futons, carpeting, and home furnishings located on a busy road with little foot traffic. I’ve advertised in papers and the phone book, but it’s like flushing money down the toilet. How can I get a better response on a shoestring? — Rudy Scott, Oceanside, N.Y.

A: What you need is a strategic marketing plan. Instead of throwing money at random venues—a little here, a little there—craft an advertising campaign to attract the customers you want. You probably can’t afford professional marketing help, so brainstorm instead with employees, family members, and friends. Who are your target customers? What are they reading, listening to, or looking at online? What can you offer that will lure them into your shop? …more from BusinessWeek. Flickr photo credit: Andyrob

By | December 5, 2008|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

The franchising way to grow

Lisa Flynn, a mother of two young boys, never relished having her children photographed. For her, birth announcements and holiday portraits meant either spending a small fortune for a professional photographer who didn’t cater to colicky clientele or settling for cheesy props and fuzzy blue backdrops at the mall portrait studio. “I thought, ‘There has got to be a better way to get your kid’s picture taken,’ ” says Flynn, who was running her own marketing and advertising firm at the time. She looked into buying a franchise that specialized in children’s photography but, unimpressed, created her own studio instead. In 2006 she opened Whippersnappers Studio …more at The Franchising Way to Grow – BusinessWeek.

Flickr photo credit:  Heavenhated

By | December 5, 2008|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments

What will Obama’s SBA be like?

An Obama Administration could rescue the agency from its Bush-era neglect, if it can get these few things right

Any entrepreneur who’s been through a business turnaround might have some empathy for the folks at the Small Business Administration. During the past eight years, the SBA has been, generally speaking, underfunded, underutilized, and underloved. But it wouldn’t be all that complicated to transform the agency into a powerful advocate for small businesses. Here’s what needs to happen …more at What Will Obama’s SBA Be Like? – BusinessWeek.

Flickr photo credit: radiospike photography

By | December 5, 2008|Blog, Small Business|0 Comments