How to Build and Promote Your Business

How_to_build_promote_your_businessMost people wouldn’t think of me as a small business owner but I actually own two small businesses.  They don’t have a physical presence or a storefront but they still count as small businesses in the eyes of the IRS.  And although the income is only supplemental to the salary at my main job, it still counts for something(and most of it is tax free).

There are lots of benefits to starting your own small business including flexible working hours, being able to enjoy your work and so on.  But the real benefit in my mind is the ability to work for yourself.  See when you own your own business, the amount of work you put in will generally correlate to your level of success.  I can’t say the same about my day job since if I work 60 hours a week instead of 40 hours, my boss will give me a pat on the back as a reward(if that).  I don’t mind working hard and I feel that the work I do for my business is rewarded accordingly.

Can’t Do It All Alone

One of the things I hate about my day job is how dependent I am on others.  There aren’t a whole lot of structural engineering topics you can just google to learn about and my workplace doesn’t have a very organized system of standard tools like other companies.  So I’m forced to rely on other engineers to help me out whenever I don’t know how to do something.

I thought this dependency would change when I started my blog(since I would be the one working on everything) but I was wrong.  I’ve gotten help from countless numbers of people and I use an extensive network of friends for ad referrals, advice and so on.

This is actually one of the most important things I’ve learned from starting a business.  There are other people who have done it before, encountered some of the same problems you’re going to encounter and are willing to help you succeed.

Promote Your Business

Most of the promotion for my blog is done on social media.  It would be asinine for me not to focus on this aspect of promotion since it’s so easy to get referral traffic from here.  If I owned a physical business, people might read or hear about me online but they would still have to physically drop in.  Online, I’m just a click away.

Some people think that promoting their business to as many people as possible is best.  Although I partially agree, I would rather have a smaller group of extremely dedicated followers.  Your most loyal customers/readers are the ones who will tell their friends about your business and support you no matter what.

Online, I try to build solid relationships by giving thoughtful responses to e-mails I get, responding to comments and promoting other site’s articles.  Offline, I don’t talk about my blog with my friends/family a whole lot unless they bring it up.  I’m sure most people know that I run a blog and I don’t want to force them to read it.  But for those that do show an interest in finance, I always carry around a few business cards.

My business cards aren’t anything special, they say the name of my site, what it’s about, the web address, my name and my e-mail.  Not really the type of business card that will impress a woman but it gets the point across.

Readers, so what do you do to promote your small business?  How have you built it up from just an idea to a thriving(or on the way to thriving) business?

-Harry @ PF Pro

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Btw, here’s where I got my business cards:

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Hi, I'm Harry, the owner and head writer for Your PF Pro. I started this site back in 2011 in order to create a place where young professionals could come and get all of their financial questions answered. On the site, you'll find articles on everything from asset allocation for retirement to saving money at Chipotle! So enjoy..

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    • says

      Yea that’s true. For me, I’m all about efficiency and online tends to be much more efficient than in person. I don’t even have to go into the bank anymore now that they have mobile check deposit, ATMs, etc.

  1. says

    Good tips Harry. For me I run both types of businesses, brick and mortar and online base business and I can tell you relationships are important in both. We work with two distributors with our brick and mortar business and we are constantly working with them and lining up more jobs for us. On the online side of things I very similar as well, working with other and building those valuable connections to help promote your business.
    Chris @ Stumble Forward recently posted…How Many Credit Cards Should You HaveMy Profile

    • says

      Oh interesting, I didn’t know you have experience in both types of businesses, thanks for the input. That’s true though, as the famous saying goes, it’s not what you know(partially true) but who you know, right?

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