If you run a small business in the crowded Portland market, standing out from the crowd is an important aspect of your business success! Making sure the public knows about the amazing services you provide or goods you make is an important part of making your business dreams happen.
Here are some things to consider when planning your small business and orchestrating future growth!
1.) Need It For Your Business? Get It Done Right.
You may be tempted to cut corners when planning your business, especially if your dreams bump up against the reality of your budget. If that’s the case, it’s important to prioritize. Some things may be free, but that doesn’t make them come cheap by default!
Investing in quality is important across the board, and it provides you the foundation you need to build and expand once you’re more successful. You’ll need to have many major puzzle pieces in place before you launch your business, not after. This means knowing your business, your competitors, your advantages, your budget, and your own commitment to the journey!
Try putting your ideas in front of friends who are supportive, but also fiscally conservative — if they buy it, you’re probably onto something!
2.) Give, Support, and Share First.
Organizations, groups and individuals will remember you in much more favorable light if you take the time to offer something before asking them for their support. Try donating your goods or services to a local non-profit for their annual fundraiser. Give away some samples to your friends, family, co-workers and other associates. Reach out to community organizations and offer your support. Connect with complementary businesses and industries, to help create a network of support and sharing.
Here’s just one example: if you make jewelry designs, you could speak to fashion and photography professionals you admire and let them know you love their work. Then, you could offer to have them borrow pieces for their next photoshoot. This works for other industries too: Do what you can to create a network of emotional investment in your success.
3.) Don’t Be Afraid to Grow!
Becoming successful isn’t a specific point in time — it’s a gradual thing, and it’s dependent on your goals. You may find that in order to grow to the place you want, you’ll have to step away from the front lines a bit, so you can look at the bigger picture issues. Or, you might realize you need to make a financial investment in your business such as moving, rebranding, opening another location, or scaling up staff or product lines.
This can feel very intimidating, but it’s also exciting: this is exactly what you’ve been working towards! Still, it’s important to make rational and valuable decisions, and not just shopping based on price. Buying the more expensive website or sewing machine, or hiring the more experienced front desk manager may seem like a stretch for your budget, but it’s these choices that mean the difference between encouraging growth, or limiting it. For the right investment, you might even want to consider financing for your business. Online lenders such as Kabbage can be good place to start looking for small business loans to boost your marketing budget.
Stay away from making impulsive decisions: think it through, talk to some trusted advisors, look at all the options, and then make your choices!
If you’re interested in leveling up your branding, photography, social media or web design, you can start by talking with us here at Upswept. We’re here to help!