How To Articles

I’ve operated a successful one-man handyman business for seven years, working in people’s houses doing everything from fixing a stair tread to building small additions. All my jobs have come from word of mouth referrals and I’ve never lacked for work. Since the economy has slowed down, however, for the first time I’m experiencing holes in my schedule, so I want to do some marketing. Where do I start?

I own a business that installs residential security systems. We’ve done fairly well in the three years we’ve been in business without doing any advertising, however, how we’re seeing more competition and beginning to think maybe it’s time we ran some ads,. Any advice you can offer?

I own a successful janitorial/office cleaning business. Over the past year or so, we’ve begun to experience collection problems, which I assume is a function of the economic slowdown. How can we do a better job of getting the money we’re owed?

I have a business that helps people trace their genealogy. Most of my clients find me via Web searches that direct them to my website, and I’d like to expand on that by doing some Internet advertising. What’s the most effective way to do this?

I’ve worked as a house painter for a number of years and have decided to start my own painting business. While the start-up costs aren’t huge, neither is my bank account. I’ve approached a couple of banks regarding a loan, but in today’s credit market no one is willing to fund a first-time business owner with limited assets. How can I get this off the ground? I’m confident I can make it a success.

I’m an interior designer who has worked on my own for the last three years. The business has now reached the point where I need to expand and hire staff to assist me. I’ve never been a “boss” before; can you offer me some tips on how to do it successfully?

I operate a petsitting business and plan to expand the territory that I serve. Without a large budget to advertise, how can I get the word out?

We all need to keep the cash flowing so we can run and grow our businesses. But, for many entrepreneurs, money is still hard to come by. And I don’t mean investment capital; it’s become a waiting game just to collect money that’s due us. 

Cash

Far too many business owners have receivables they, well, haven’t received. So, how do you collect what you are owed? 

About the Author

Rieva Lesonsky HeadshotBizSuccessTips Editor Rieva Lesonsky is founder and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company. A nationally recognized small business expert, Lesonsky has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and numerous local and national television programs. Read more of her insights at SmallBizDaily.com.

Many entrepreneurs are challenged—even intimidated—by the prospect of collecting what is owed to them, partly because most don’t like being confrontational and partly because they are afraid to find out they’ve been had. In spite of this discomfort or fear, however, you must be proactive in collecting your receivables. If you’re not, you gain nothing and lose everything.

PiggybankCertainly, nonexistent or sloppy bookkeeping practices will slow down the process and exacerbate the discomfort, simply because you can’t remember and/or can’t prove that a customer is in arrears. Even when you’re well organized, collecting overdue accounts is not easy or pleasant.

About the Author

This article provided by Terri Lonier of Working Solo. Lonier is the author of a series of five working solo books for entrepreneurs. This article is excerpted from Smart Strategies for Growing Your Business by Terri Lonier.

Use these quick tips from Kansas City SCORE to help grow your business.

1. Don’t let a day pass without engaging in at least one marketing activity.

2. Determine a percentage of gross income to spend annually on marketing.

3. Set specific marketing goals every year; review and adjust quarterly.

4. Maintain a tickler file of ideas for later use.

5. Carry business cards with you (all day, every day).

6. Create a personal nametag or pin with your company name and logo on it and wear it at high visibility meetings.

 

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