Tips to start your own small business (and how to keep it going)

Tips to start your own small business (and how to keep it going)

If you are a crafty or creative beginner entrepreneur here are some ideas you may want to look into, if you are thinking of turning your crafts into a small-scale business.

1. Photographer

You can set up a studio in your home and consider renting a commercial space as your business grows. You could be a photographer at weddings, birthdays, and family gatherings, or you could choose to dedicate yourself to taking photos of pets or new-born babies.

For this small-scale business, you’ll need professional lighting and camera equipment business.
Another option if you like photography and prefer to have a more flexible timetable, is to make money by taking pictures and selling them on stock photography sites.

2. Etsy store owner

Etsy is an easy-to-use platform with low selling fees and a quick storefront setup, where you can turn your crafting hobby into a small-scale business by selling homemade crafts or products. You can link your Facebook account to your Etsy store and make it simple to advertise and sell your products to a larger audience.

3. Custom gift creator

You can create custom gifts and sell them at craft shows or through dropshipping sites like Shopify. Anything you like doing can be sold at these places. Handmade ornaments, purses, knitted ítems, wooden toys or jewelry are some of the products you can make yourself. The start-up costs for this type of business are low and mostly consist of the supplies you need to make the products.

4. Graphic designer

If you have an eye for design, enjoy being creative, and have access to programs like Canva, Illustrator, or Photoshop, you could start a small business as a graphic designer. Many of these programs can be learned to use by seeing tutorials on YouTube or by investigating yourself. You can offer you services to small brands to start with and acquire experience before you move on to bigger clients 

5. Book designer

Another option if you have a knack for graphic design, is to use those skills to work as a book designer. Many authors love writing books but have no idea of how to design the cover or decide the layout. You can also include related marketing services like ad campaigns and social media graphics in the services you offer.

No money to invest? No problem!

If you need to generate some extra cash but have no money to invest, here is a profitable option for you. Dropshipping may even start out as a hustle and end up being your main income if you learn how to do it the right way.  

Dropshipping is a legal retail fulfillment method where you sell things without buying any inventory. Instead, when your customer buys a product you have listed, you purchase the item from a third party and have it shipped directly to the customer.

This way, the customer pays the retail price on an item from your online store, but you pay the supplier the wholesale price. Your supplier will ship the order to your customer and you’ll get to keep the profit. 

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However, there are some secrets to building a successful dropshipping business. These are the 6 Steps you should take:

1.    Select a niche. 
2.    Perform competition research.
3.    Secure a supplier. 
4.    Build your e-commerce website.
5.    Create a customer acquisition plan.
6.    Analyze and optimize along the way.

Without any doubt, dropshipping is still profitable in 2020, but you must choose the products you sell carefully. They must be attractive, with low shipping costs, not available locally or items that appeal to impulse buyers. The marketing techniques you use to advertise your store are also fundamental. 

Once you follow these rules then the dropshipping success rate can become higher. You can use Etsy, Shopify, eBay or even Amazon in some cases to offer your products.

Cash flow tips for freelancers and small businesses

Delays on payments are quite usual for freelancers and small businesses, but they shouldn't get used to this! Here you will find some tips that can help you increase your cash flow.

If you own a small business or work freelance you probably have to deal with delays on payments on a daily basis. This means that you probably struggle to get paid every time you present your invoices.

However, there are some tips that can help you increase your cash flow and avoid problematic payments. Take a look!

1.    Online payments: This may be the most important method to grant on-time payments for your business. Besides, it will set the foundation for your entire payment process! By allowing online payments, you can create, send and pay invoices online, without having to wait for payments to be done.

2.    Recurring payments: This is one of the best ways to guarantee consistent cash flow when you work on larger projects for clients. You should always be in control of the billing while setting the payments on a large project, this way you can organize a payment schedule based on your needs.

3.    Always communicate with your client: This may seem obvious, but communication might become a bit rusty when it comes to billing. Make sure that you communicate with the right person, otherwise, payments will probably take more time.

4.    Make a plan: Before jumping into business, make sure you include a full project scope. This should include payment schedules, pricing, timelines and expectations. Use this as a roadmap to avoid confusion with your clients, especially at payment time!

How to increase your cash flow

Learning how to increase your cash flow is of vital importance for your small business. Here are 4 strategies to do this and help your enterprise not only survive but grow and thrive.  

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1. Watch your inventory

Whether you are starting your business or you’ve already had it for some time, finding a balance between having enough inventory to satisfy customer needs and having too much is crucial. 

2. Reduce your spending

Following the same idea, decreasing your spending is a way to increase your small business cash flow. For this, you need to carefully analyze all of your business spendings which include salaries, office supplies, bills, inventory costs, etc. 

When you have a clear idea of what you are spending money on, you can find places where it is possible to reduce costs without affecting the quality of your product.

3. Encourage and reward fast payments

If you’re trying to encourage your customers to pay faster to increase your cash flow, you can offer a variety of rewards ranging from discounts to extra products. You can make a special rewards program with gift cards or other items.

Also, try several payment plans with different discount levels to reach more clients.

4. Raise your prices.

Raising prices may be the last strategy you try. Sometimes it may scare away clients, but you need to keep up with inflation. It’s important to find a balance that works for your business and your customers.

Conclusion:

Increasing cash flow is a way of getting your business to grow and thrive, and this advice can help you achieve it. There are other more aggressive strategies to help you recover a portion of unpaid bills like collection agencies or court, but sometimes the money and time are not really worth it.
 

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