Also known as how a mom of 4 started a social media marketing business out of her home office while only one kid was old enough to be in school and all the lessons she learned as a result…
LOL! Please don’t let that intro scare you off!
I open with that anecdote just to say that no matter your dream or your current situation, small towns need the idea you have and the unique skills you offer your community.
My favorite thing about small towns is the variety of industries represented. From skilled trades to remote workers in Fortune 500 companies, to factories that started from small one-stall garages, to a frozen meal delivery service, I’ve seen all of these unfold in recent years in Eastern Iowa.
My recommendations if you want to get your small business started this year
And if you’ve had an idea in your heart about a way you can serve your community and benefit the lives of those around you by starting your own small business, here’s what I recommend you do today to get your small business off the ground:
Gather your courage to take your first step.
This can be the biggest hurdle you have to leap. Feeling all the fear of other people’s opinions, risks you assume, debt you assume, and constant question of “will this really work?” is real. But I truly believe that at some point you get so uncomfortable where you are that it is more painful to stay stuck than to take that step to your new endeavor. Once you’ve decided on yourself and announced your new move, you will feel such relief and motivation to keep progressing that you’ll wonder what took you so long in the first place! …Can you tell I have experience in this area? So take my advice and start with one small step. You aren’t required to write a business plan tomorrow or take out an operating line of credit, but you do need to make one move that gets your dream closer to reality.
Branding yourself: develop your visual and verbal brand assets.
Visual branding assets include your logo, brand colors, and typefaces that make up how you want your business to be seen. When developing your logo, I highly recommend working with a professional designer who is in your budget. I always opt to look local first, but if you can’t stretch your dollars Fiverr and Upwork are good options that are more cost-effective. Do not design a logo on Canva, even though I love this website. This will not make you stand out among your industry. Use your logo and the colors and typefaces that make it everywhere from your IG grid to your outfits to your printed marketing materials. Think about what your looks convey to your audience by researching color psychology and font psychology and use it to your advantage by consistently using it wherever your business shows up to create brand recognition.
Verbal: the way you speak to your audience matters. Will you keep a professional tone or do you prefer a more casual method of communication? Make sure you are consistent in the way you write and speak when it comes to your business.
Reach out to others
Nothing is worse than putting time, money, and faith into something that fails. Many times, we as the business owner think we have the solution to all the world’s problems, but what we really need is to place ourselves in the shoes of our audience. Talk to them, survey them, and make sure that your offer is something people actually want. Ensure that your offer has validity before you get too far in your build.
Talk to other business owners and mentors you look up to and see if he/she would be willing to give you some pointers. Business owners learn through experience, and you can set yourself months or years ahead of the learning curve by getting in touch with those who have walked the path before you. Ask for their advice and help.
Develop your digital real estate.
First, create a website. This is your owned space online, and you can do with as you please. Create an online storefront, a digital portfolio, a treasure trove of resources for your visitors, or whatever you think will most resonate with your ideal customer. Then get on the social media platforms that make sense for your region and industry to help spread the word of you and your new venture. Social is the way to share your products and services and get your ideal audience talking about you in an exponential way.
So there you have it. The four things you need to do today to get your small business off the ground and living and breathing in your small town.
Remember small steps can lead to big impact. Even the smallest measures of progress are still getting you a little closer to your dream. You can do this. Believe that you have the skills and abilities to make this real.
Molly Knuth Media
Molly Knuth Media helps small-town small businesses share their products and services online so they can generate leads and then get back to doing what they love. Molly and her team know that being a small business owner requires you to be a tradesperson, bookkeeper, accountant, HR manager, IT tech, marketer, and 100 other jobs throughout your workday. So MKM is here to help you get your time back by helping you clarifty your marketing message, streamline your social marketing, connect with customers, and get back to doing what you love. Let’s help you market your small business better online.
Check out mollyknuthmedia.com for her collaborative services, shop full of DIY resources, and registration for the upcoming Instagram Academy, a 5-week Instagram Intensive to get your small business groovin’ on the ‘gram.
@mollyknuthmedia Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube