There are many advantages to starting your business as a side-hustle. You have a steady job with a steady income to keep you going while your small business is just beginning. You can weather the bumps in the road better. Whether you started freelancing or opened an Etsy boutique, you are a blossoming entrepreneur. And, hopefully, your side-hustle will grow naturally on its own. However, there are a few things you can do to boost your small business.
Market yourself online
If your small business doesn’t already have a presence on the internet, it should. Set up a domain on the internet. Domains typically start at about $99 for a 1-year subscription. Use a website-builder tool to construct your website. WordPress is a wonderful, easy-to-use tool to help you build your website.
Most businesses attach a blog to their website. They use it to announce new products or services and provide free tips and advice. Post regularly to ensure that your website is active. Your website design and strategy will depend on your purpose. A writer or photographer might focus their website on their portfolio. A restaurant or bakery would post their menus, hours, and include a link for catering.
You can also draw attention to your business by creating social media accounts. You should also post regularly to social media. Showcase the work you are doing. A caterer might post pictures of food from a recent event they catered.
Another way to spread the word about your business through your customers is social media. Use hashtags and tag people to interact with your clients on social media platforms. Satisfied customers can “like” you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter and Instagram, and tag you in their own posts. As customers interact with you in their daily postings, your business with get more visibility. Greater visibility means a bigger customer pool.
Networking for your small business
Contact local companies. Figure out what their needs are and offer your services. Use your judgement in your approach. It may be best just to get to know about the company in your first conversation. Or, they may respond better if you reach out via email to show them your portfolio and offer your services. It just depends on the individual.
Some companies may even refer some of their customers to you—either because they have too much on their plates or because your services compliment the services they already provide. A restaurant that specializes in catering savory food may suggest that a customer consider a pastry shop to cater the dessert. When companies refer clients to you, make sure you thank those companies.
Another strategy is to ask your current clients for referrals. If you do good work, they will probably refer you to friends and family anyway. Generally, the best approach is to say something like: “I’m glad you’re satisfied. We’d be happy to serve you again. Let us know what we can do or if you know of someone else who needs our services.”
Be confident. You’re an entrepreneur. You can do this.