Running a small business is no mean feat. It’s ‘sold’ as this wonderful dream; no boss to report to, holiday time whenever you want it, unlimited earning potential and permission to stay in your pyjamas until at least lunch time (most days). As much as those are very real benefits, the reality however is not always so idyllic.
With no set hours and customers wanting answers around the clock days are long but somehow still go by so fast! Not having a boss to report to is fantastic most days but it does get lonely and with nobody else to bounce ideas off or to deal with the inevitable angry customer. As for days off – an hour off would be nice! But fear not, it needn’t be all doom and gloom on this wonderful journey to small business success. (I’ve not really sold it so far have I?) There are ways for small business owners to ‘hack’ the system, save cash, save time and make friends.
1) Social Media – Oh boy is this a biggie! EvoEquine is on, wait for it… Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Pinterest, Snapchat, VK and Google+ . That in itself is a full time job and whilst it’s great to get in touch with customers so quickly it can be difficult to keep up. Personally I have found the best social media hack to be hootsuite. Now I’m not talking about scheduling 100 posts a week, 6 weeks in advance but rather use it to help plan your day and week and always, always make sure that you’re around to respond to your scheduled posts. For example, if you’ve scheduled posts on twitter for the evening, be there! Use it as a tool to get organised, not a tool to be lazy. Social media needs to be social and it’s no good posting and running.
2) Google – Now this might sound like a bit of an obvious one but believe me the amount of times I’ve been stuck searching for ideas in my own head to get nowhere is unreal. Not sure what to post on social media? Need inspiration? Not sure what to blog about next? There are thousands of lists, blogs and articles online helping to inspire you. Most of the time whilst searching for help and ideas I won’t come away what I’m looking for but an article or image has sparked an idea for me to do something even better.
3) Canva – Oh gosh my love for Canva is strong! It’s a fantastic website/ app that allows you to create awesome graphics quickly, easily and more importantly for free! It comes with a set of pre-loaded templates in the right shape for various applications, facebook banners, postcards etc. If you want a stock image this is usually charged at $1 per image but uploading your own images to manipulate is also free. I love Canva, I really do! If you haven’t tried it yet whether you’re running a business or not I highly recommend it.
4) Sponsored Riders/ Brand Ambassadors – This may sound like an odd one but the right sponsored riders/ brand ambassador(s) can have a hugely positive effect on business. Conversely the wrong person can have a disastrous effect. The right brand ambassador can help you with social media exposure, be a great sound board for ideas and provide honest feedback. Finding the right Brand Ambassador make take a while but taking the time to get it right can be a benefit to both parties.
5) Small Business Groups – These really are invaluable! Sitting at home/ in the office squirreling away running a business can get awfully lonely and inspiration can soon dry up. There are however a few small businesses groups out there that save the day and provide a huge amounts of value and some really great connections. I never would have imagined that upon starting my small business journey last year I would have already met and worked with some really brilliant people. I honestly couldn’t have done it without the help and support of an amazing little Facebook group called Small and Super Charged. Hosted by the Lovely Rhea Freeman PR, this group in particular has been invaluable for my business. For a start, I wouldn’t have had this brilliant blogging opportunity without it! So whatever your niche, your thing or your aims, get in touch with likeminded individuals, whether it be a local group in your area meeting in person, a Twitter hour or Facebook group. Never underestimate the power of networking and most importantly, don’t forget to give back and contribute whenever you can. As with anything in life, you’ll get out what you put in.
In conclusion folks, whether you’re already running your small business, have interest in running one or simply want to know what it takes, know that when there’s a will there’s a way and with enough fire, passion and determination, anything is possible!
Thanks for reading and I do hope that’s helped a few of you whether it be running your business or personally. Don’t forget you can keep up with EvoEquine on the social media channels below to see how these hacks have really been put into action and claim your Haynet readers discount by using code HAYNET for 15% off anything at www.EvoEquine.co.uk
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Snapchat - http://www.evoequine.co.uk/snapchat.html