Most small businesses start in home offices or in the garage. It’s space that’s already being paid for through rent or a mortgage. Cars can be parked outside. The space inside the home can be rearranged to accommodate a home office. In contrast, an outside office can cost as much or more than a rent or mortgage payment. Using a home office is an immediate savings of $500 or more. Since I don’t have an extra bedroom, my living room is set up as an office. My other option was setting up my bedroom as an office and my living room as a bedroom. Since I don’t want clients or guests walking through my bedroom to get to my office, I didn’t set it up that way.
There are still free websites out there. However, all of them include ads in some form whether they are on the right side of the page or delivered as popups. Those ads can be annoying to potential customers, but as a small business, free is free.
I used an existing personal web account and changed the page and website link to reflect my business instead of my personal hobbies. Since I was already paying for the website, I incurred no extra costs.
Business Cards And Flyers
I print my own business cards and flyers. A pack of business cards from Walmart or Office Depot cost between $5 and $14. A pack of brochure paper costs about the same. In contrast, paying a business to print them can cost upwards of $150 and typically require a minimum amount to be purchased. I print mine at home so that I can control how many blank sheets I buy and how many I print off at a time.
Since I had no money for advertising, I use word of mouth and social networking to find clients. Facebook, Twitter, and Craigslist are awesome for finding clients who need my services and skills. Not to mention, they are all free.
Another way to advertise is through business cards and flyers. Business cards and flyers can be hung anywhere there’s a corkboard. Apartment complexes usually have them near the mailboxes. Certain restaurants such as Jimmy Johns and various coffee houses have them on the walls. All you have to do is visit the establishments and tack your card or flyer to the wall. I do recommend bringing push pins as there are always more pages stuck to the corkboard than available push pins.
A second way to get your business cards and flyers out is to visit neighborhoods. Anything put in a mailbox has to have a stamp, but flyers and cards can be put in the newspaper boxes or hung on the doors of homes. It takes more time to hang the flyers than it does to mail them, but at .50 cents a stamp, it’s worth it to make the drive into a neighborhood and hang flyers for a couple hours.
I spend about four hours a week canvassing neighborhoods for new business, and I almost always receive four or five calls for my efforts.
Stacey Carroll is the author of the thriller series - Avia. She also authors the paranormal erotica series - The Blooddoll Factory. Stacey grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana. she went to college at Indiana State University (ISU) and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in aerospace in the professional pilot program. She has flown Cessna 152s, Cessna 172s, the Pipe Seneca and the King Air. She also graduated with a minor in computer science that specialized in web design.
She has always been interested in reading and writing, and the first book she was ever read was the Grimms Brother's Fairy tales. From the ages of 6 to 11, she read the Nancy Drew series. By the age of 11, she had graduated to Stephen King novels. A few of her favorites include Carrie, Tommyknockers, The Dark Tower Series up to book 3 (That's where it stopped in the late 80s/ early 90s), Pet Semetary, The Shining, Night Shift, The Stand, It, Cujo, Christine, The Eyes of the Dragon and Thinner (Richard Bachman). In her teen years, she moved on to Anne Rice and got through about four of those books before they degraded. If you've ever read Anne Rice, you know book 5 isn't readable. Stacey has read a couple Harry Potter books as she was introduced to them in the early 2000s, and she's never read or watched anything Twilight or 50 Shades. Sorry. I'm a vampire purist, and nothing needs to be said about the latter. You already know.
She is currently an author and freelance writer. She received an honorable mention in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in 2008 for a short story entitled The Field. In 2014, she was published in 13 Stories by Us by MacKenzie Publishing.
Other books by Stacey