Are you looking to start a new small business, but don’t know where to start? If so, you’re in luck. I was joined by successful small business coach, Ali Brown (she was featured on ABC’s hit primetime show, Secret Millionaire and was named one of Forbes’ Women to Watch) who was kind enough to share some of her top tips on how to start a moneymaking business now and how 12 small business owners can win a $250,000 grant!
Candace Rose: What’s the secret to starting a successful small business?
Ali Brown: “There are three keys that I’d like to share, and the first is you’ve got to have passion or purpose around what you’re doing in the world. In starting a business that is important because studies show that small businesses that survive longer have business owners that really love what they do. It sounds so simple, but that’s what is going to keep you going when times get tough.
My second key is to be marketing all the time. It’s a simple tip but it’s so important because as you start a small business and grow with it, you start getting caught up in the day to day, and you forget that you need to be in front of new clients and you need to be in front of new customers all the time. Don’t get so focused on taking care of the clients and customers you have (you’ve got to do that) you need to find ways of bringing new people online and offline.
The third key is to keep an eye on the numbers. Watch the money; show me the money. Starting a business is usually to generate a profit, it’s interesting when small business owners come to me for coaching, they often have a problem with the money in their business. I’ll take a look at what’s going on and we’ll find out pretty quickly where that problem is by looking at the numbers. The problem is most of these small business owners haven’t looked at their books in months…sometimes even a year or two.
I want to let people know about that, Candace because the most important barrier that small businesses have as they grow is money and having capital as they grow. I want to make sure everyone listening knows about a new program that I’m working on with Chase, it’s called Mission Main Street Grants and it is the opportunity to be eligible for a $250,000 grant for your business. Chase is awarding 12 of these grants and the deadline to apply is October 31st.
So if you have a small business or you know someone who is a small business owner, you want to go to MissionMainStreetGrants.com, and that is where you can learn about the eligibility requirements and we’d love to see your application come in.”
Candace Rose: I’m one of those people that absolutely despises social media. Do you have any advice on how to engage customers since social media is such a great tool?
Ali Brown: “Social media is about two words: communication and conversation. It’s important that you engage with your customers on a regular basis, but also people that you can bring into your community. So coming up with points or ideas or stories that you can talk about with your clients and customers online, sharing photos! A big tip right now that I’m sharing with my clients is when we started using more images on Facebook (instead of text) we actually put it inside an image, our shares increased by over 1,000 percent. So that’s a great tip to add to your social media mix.
Mixing it up- the biggest mistake you can make in social media is talking about your products or services all the time. You want to toot your horn, but engage with people on a personal level….that’s even more important.”
Candace Rose: Wonderful! Well, thank you so much, Ali. Where can we go for more information?
Ali Brown: “To learn more about the Chase program, you want to go to MissionMainStreetGrants.com. That’s where you can learn all about the program, see if you qualify. Get your application in by October 31st.”