Tag Archives: Business

11 Ways to Market Your Business with a Small Budget

Advertisements
Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com
Advertisements

Small businesses with great products often fail due to its inability to get themselves in front of the mass market.

Despite of the successes of multiple social media platforms, traditional marketing mediums remain to be outside the budget limits of most small businesses.

In today’s article, I’ll share with you top ten ways to market your business with a small budget.

1. Advertisements

There are a number of websites now that offer free advertisements if you wish to sell product/service such as Mudah.my, Carousell and more.

You can even post advertisement on Facebook Groups which is specifically built for the purpose.

If you’re willing to spend a little bit of money, you can always go for Facebook Ads as it also posts your ad on Instagram – which means you are able to extend your market reach further.

Although, keep in mind that it is important to target your market specifically – or you’ll risk having only traffic to your business but without much sale.

Advertisements

2. Press Releases

Press releases can be expensive depending on which medium you approach. It goes without saying, the larger the news, the more expensive it becomes.

However, if you’re able to attract enough attention from public, most news medium are more likely to come over and have a look at what the big deal is.

Release a statement that you’re organizing a charity event or that you’re helping homeless people to build their homes. Organize events, followed by invitations to news media to cover the stories. It’s a cheap form of publicity.

3. Sponsorship

Sponsorship is not as easy you’d think. Quite a number of entrepreneurs often mistaken that it’s always best to sponsor any events that attract the most customers. While these kind of events can be very expensive, it is also attracting people who are not in your targeted market.

If you’ve followed me long enough, you’ll know it’s always best to avoid or reduce reliance on the ‘numbers’ game – where the more is better. This is expensive and is kind of a gamble.

Personally, I feel it is best to narrow down the number of consumers by categorizing them into who would need and benefit the most from your product/service. Whilst the market has been minimized to smaller number of consumers, the chances of getting sales return is promising.

For example, if you are selling affordable designer handbags – sponsor a group of fashion influencers who attract women looking for international branded designs but with cheaper price tag. If you sell athletic watches – a group of fitness enthusiasts/celebrity fitness trainers. You get the idea.

Play with numbers where you can afford to lose in case things go south.

Advertisements

4. Media Stunts/Guerrilla Marketing

Media stunts are effective in creating buzz.

Remember when Richard Branson drove a tank through the city?

Or do you remember when Elon Musk launch his Tesla to space?

Look at Domino’s on how they leverage the potholes problems in US towns by adding their own brands on each of the repairs they conducted.

While small businesses can’t compete at the level of those billionaires, there’s nothing you can’t do with a little bit of ingenuity and creativity.

For a small business, start looking around your neighboring area for things that you feel need to be addressed.

Provide a solution and stamp your brands all over it to create awareness of your company.

Don’t forget to invite news reporters too.

Advertisements

5. Make more use of your business cards

Your business cards are a form of investment – so use it wisely.

It’s not a matter of simply distributing those cards among your family and friends, it’s about creating the need for them to ask for your business cards.

For example, back when I ran Mirsky Mode, I often meet up with my lady friends to catch up on things where I always bring up the ‘handbag’ conversation. We’ll talk about the design, brand and the expensive price tag of the bag. Once we get to the price, talk your way into how your company offers designer handbags for an affordable price. They would immediately ask for a card or even check out your online store on the spot!

This can also be applied to other industries too.

The important thing to do is to make sure the person you intend on distributing the business card is a part of your targeted market – or you’ll risk of wasting away that card.

Then, create a need for them to find out more about your business

6. Join a local networking group

A business that does not connect often fails.

Your company needs to be connected with people to gain their support.

By becoming emotionally connected with people, you are adding value to the relationship. Build on it and when the time is right, people will start visiting you to see what your business has to offer.

I’ve often made new friends from online meetup sites such as Meetup and AirBnB activities.

If you visit the local public library or town hall, there will be notice boards on local events or gathering too.

Pay a visit to one of them and start building relationship with people.

7. Use self-employed sales agents

This is a cheap alternative selling method.

Self-employed sales agents do not take large commissions from you since they do not have to pay any sales agency fees.

They are also highly motivated and very good at working independently.

This is great for you since you do not need to spend too much time on training/teaching them the ropes as they can get the things done on their own.

Advertisements

8. Leaflet drops

The key of a successful leaflet drop is to pick the right market to distribute to.

Leaflet drops is a numbers’ game. Traditionally, the more you distribute, the higher chances of getting sales. This costs money.

Instead, narrow down your market. Target those who you feel the most likely to be interested in your product/service.

Pay more attention to the design of the leaflet. Be more emotionally connected with the consumers on the issues of what your business offers to resolve. Selling part comes later.

I’m not a huge fan of traditional leaflet drops but since I know a few businesses that successfully gain results from it, I’d share with you nonetheless – but with caution as it could costs much money and time which small businesses can’t afford.

9. Give talks to other businesses

I’ve given talks on investment once and learned few things from it.

First, you gain new connection who are in similar fields or interest. This is a no-brainer.

Just be sure to leave your contact or company’s contact details so they can find out more about your business.

Secondly, during Q&A session, I’ve managed to understand what troubles or issues people are experiencing in the field respectively.

The sessions gave me direct insight and I’ve learned numerous issues which my company can help resolve. A win-win.

Advertisements

10. Write for your favorite e-magazines/blogs or create your own newsletter

Contributing articles is a must for bloggers and even writers nowadays.

Reasons are that you will extend your market reach to the blogs you’re contributing to. Don’t forget to leave links back to your blog (with permission, of course). If readers enjoy your writing, they will know where to look to find you.

Being a writer, I’m very fond of this idea. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always enjoyed writing fiction and as I grew older – business topics. So, why not use this to advantage in growing business?

11. Collaborate With Social Media Influencers

In this digital age where social media thrives able to flood your business with traffic/consumers, you’d best take full advantage of it. Plus, it’s cost varies from low-to-zero.

Influencers’ endorsements are definitely cheap compared to celebrities’. They can help influence their followers with a click of several buttons and your business will be on the ‘maps!’

While some agree to promote your business on reasonable fees, there are also those who simply accept your product/service as payment. It all comes down to negotiation and their popularity rating. Rest assured, they will cost you a lot less than celebrities.

Read more about what I wrote on selecting the right social media influencer for your small business.

Advertisements

Secrets To Financial Freedom

Advertisements

You work very hard. Day in. Day out.

Yet, you could not yield the results you want – which is to achieve financial freedom.

Today, I’m gonna share with you the secrets to financial freedom.

Create Your Networth Target

Creating a budget never really makes sense to me in the first place.

I went through many online material that talks about budgeting & yet, they continue talking about cutting spending & never really got to the core of budgeting.

Whilst it is a no-brainer to cut down spending, I was clueless as to how much is considered a good budget.

I was directionless.

Then I discovered how important net-worth is and how helpful it is when it comes to creating a budget.

Basically, you need to come up with a targeted net-worth & how long you’d think it requires to reach that target.

Once you have a target, all you need now is to reverse engineer that figure into tangible numbers using simple math – giving you an idea how much you need to save every month and so on.

In a nutshell, let’s say you’re aiming to reach a networth of $100,000 in 3 years. This means you need to make $2777.77 every month.

This is where you decide where to cut your expenses or how much money are you short from achieving the figure. It all comes down to simple math.

Advertisements

Apply The 50/30/20 Rule In Budget

I’ve also talked about this rule.

For those who are not familiar, the 50/30/20 rule was introduced as guidelines to how much you should spend based on needs, wants & savings

Although this is a good place to start, I believe there should be some tweaks depending on where you are today.

In short, I believe the rule should be re-introduced as 40/10/50 – where savings should be the priority, so you can add more money into investment later on.

If you want to know more about it, check out my other article where I discussed this in details.

Advertisements

Seek Wise Men/Women For Advise On Investment

This is the toughest topic to talk to you about.

Honestly speaking, there is no such thing as an investment that fits all.

Different investment has different settings, different mentality and so on – which can be challenging if you’re not used to the environment.

My experience tells me that the best person to talk to about investment are those whom you have personal relationship with – who have gone through the experience from becoming poor to wealthy.

Gaining their insight is valuable as it gives you first hand lessons, mistakes & failures that you can avoid in the future which is priceless.

Then, once you’re certain – you can go all in.

Advertisements

Improve Tax Awareness

You have no idea how much money you can save by starting to listen to your accountant.

Credited accountants are able to tell you exactly how and where to spend in order to get the best tax reliefs, or tax reductions.

Getting tax reliefs is always great – so maximize its uses.

If you run a company, it’s even better. You can gain more tax reliefs under company spending.

So go talk to a credited accountant now before that next tax declaration dateline.

My Final Two Cent

If you’re clueless as to where to begin, then, seek advice from wise men or women. Take note every single thing they share with you – even if you disagree with some of the ideas.

Always keep in mind, the best entrepreneur are the ones who are open-minded and do not have answer to every question.

Let me know what you think about the article in the comment below.

Don’t forget to Execute

Advertisements

7 Signs You’re Going To Be Successful

ANIMATED INFOGRAPHICS 1 (2)

You’ve put in the effort. And you have yet to see the result. You become fearful and your mind starts to wonder “Am I gonna make it?”. Don’t worry, in today’s video, I’m gonna share with you the 7 major signs you’re going to be successful.

1.) You hate average.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

You don’t want to be average, and you believe that you are made for greatness; to achieve great things. You believe anything less is not an option for you.

This is where the importance of ‘mind over matter’ is emphasized. You want to do great things. You want to serve in a great way. You want to take care of those who are important to you.

This mentality will play essential role to make you a success. It will drive your will to become a master of what you want to achieve in.

Below are some of the qualities you need to focus on in order to beat ‘average’:

  1. Willing to sacrifice short term to achieve long term success
  2. Master self discipline
  3. Self control
  4. Critical thinking
  5. Product development
  6. Public speaking
  7. Networking
  8. Specific skills related to your industry

2.) You practice discipline and self-control.

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and successes.”

I know I’ve listed these earlier but I’d like to talk a little in depth about it.

It’s obvious one of the basics of being an entrepreneur is to master self discipline and self control. Everybody wants to buy things right now, but nobody is willing to take a look at the bigger picture and take actions.

Being your own boss, there is no one to tell you to work. No one is there to appraise your performance. You only answer to yourself. This sounds great, but could potentially become a trap if you do not have the discipline and control over yourself.

Without these qualities, you tend to procrastinate, you become lazy, you take things for granted; and above all, you neglect mountains of responsibilities. Let’s not ignore that while being a boss is great, with it, comes a lot of responsibilities.

Practice self-control and discipline on a regular basis. Become better at it. Remember, sacrifice today so you can live a better life tomorrow!

3.) Failure doesn’t scare you.

“Failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of success.”

Jack Ma comes into mind whenever I write or talk about failures. The Alibaba founder once said he sent multiple applications to Harvard only to be rejected. He did it purposely because he wanted to learn to overcome fear of failure.

This is one of the best way to practice facing your failure – in my opinion. What better way to learn handling failure other than facing rejection by one of the best institution in the world.

The people who are not scared of failure are the ones who become massively successful. On the other hand, people who take the ‘safe’ route becomes another average individual.

Also, failure is not permanent. It should not scare you out of action. Mark Cuban once said “All it takes is to become right once and you’ve made it.”

4.) You wake up early.

“If you don’t develop the habit of waking up early than others, you won’t be able to change the world.”

Our brain functions the best after waking up. Surveys have indicated our brains work at optimal capacity as soon you open those eyes in the morning.

Since our brains work best during this time, it’s best to get most things done within the hours. Starting your day early increases your productivity level – and every entrepreneur knows the importance of it.

Some even vouch that it’s easier to work during these hours too since it tends to be very quiet enabling them to work without much distractions.

Even if you’re not getting up at 5AM now, at least you have the awareness that getting up early is a powerful tool for your success.

5.) You surround yourself with great people.

“If you hang around nine people who are down, you will be the 10th one, if you hang around nine people who are broke, you will be the 10th one.”

We can’t control our family, where we grow up, or what we’re born into. But we can control who we spend our time with.

Successful people understand the influence of their peers. Who they spend most of their time with can some what determines who they’ll become in the future.

This is because, successful people has an aura that can be intriguing. If you spend more time with them, you tend to behave and become just like them.

You’ll start to have better attitude. You’ll improve your work ethics. You’ll start communicating better. You start reading similar books. You get the idea.

People who are a massive success know that you can only surround yourself with folks who want to be extraordinary. Eventually, you’ll try to ‘out-compete’ among yourselves and we all know how competition is good.

6.) You don’t complain.

“I think some people enjoy complaining as much as they enjoy doing nothing about it.”

Yes, entrepreneurs can be very critical – but some tend to deviate and starts to complain too much. Of course, being honest and truthful have its merits – but you need to be careful as there are setbacks too.

I used to be one, always complaining about life. Both of my parents diagnosed with chronic diseases at the same time – so I had to slow down my pursuit of success. You get the idea.

Long story-short, with time, I adapted. I still complain, but it always ends with searching for opportunities behind that complain.

Instead of just looking at the problem, I look at both the problem and the solution. This attitude completely changed the outlook of my life forever.

So, stop complaining too much. It’s a waste of time. Start looking for opportunities behind it. Execute!

7.) You are patient.

“Be in a rush to be patient. The only thing you should be rushing towards is greater patience.”

Patience is another key to becoming a massive success. Many people give up on their dreams simply because they are not willing to wait for it to happen.

Every successful entrepreneur knows that good things take time. It’s like a marathon, not a sprint. Success is not a get-rich quick scheme. It requires hardwork and countless amount of sacrifices for future gains. So, keep hustling and be patient.

This Is the Biggest Mistake Entrepreneurs Make, According to Mark Cuban

According to a billionaire, the ‘number one sin’ an entrepreneur can make when starting their own business begins with money.

Dallas Mavericks owner and an essential investor on hit show Shark Tank, Mark Cuban, provided some good career advice on a podcast interview with Ryan Seacrest.

He told Ryan Seacrest that the biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is thinking they need to raise money.

“I think the biggest mistake people make is once they have an idea and the goal of starting a business, they think they have to raise money.” – Mark Cuban pointed out.

“Once you raise money, that’s not an accomplishment, that’s an obligation. Now, you’re reporting to whoever you raised money from.” – He continued.

Mr Cuban indicated that by getting outside help, it adds further pressure to business owners since they have added another voice in the room – which complicates the dynamics of decision making.

He went on advising entrepreneurs to grow a business the old-fashioned way – which is to hustle and grind all the way from bottom.

“If you can go out there and start it on your own — like I started out by selling garbage bags — whatever it is … try to find something that you can make or that you can buy yourself and sell to people around you, then ask for referrals and grow the business that way, and you can turn it into something enormous,” Cuban insisted.

My Final Two Cent

While I agree the points made by Mr Cuban, I do like to argue that there are businesses that become a success after raising funds.

Yes, sometimes having another voice in the decision making process can slow things down, but if that ‘other’ voice brings in a lot of value to the table (e.g. expertise, network, experience etc), then, that changes everything.

I don’t think Mr Cuban is completely right in this case. But I don’t feel I’m completely wrong either.

One thing I’ve learned from my time running businesses, is that you’re often wrong on day one. It is your job to figure things out and become less wrong through trial and error – as Mr Elon Musk puts it. It’s just the way business works.