One. Get your legal documents in order and your ducks will line-up in their proper rows! It costs “pennies a day” up in the long run to get smart legal and financial advice up front. The Small Business Administration holds free classes most counties. Our public servants are there to help you find and file the necessary forms for a DBA and business license. See sba.gov for a good start; it has many subsets of information. Beware websites that promise help unless you have a trusted family member or friend who has used it successfully. Lastly: Read, read, read! Write down your questions and ask your advisors.
Two. Side-step the cost of a website with smart social media on three sites: Facebook Business, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
a. Facebook Business: All your family, high school and longtime friends want to find you! Ask your Facebook “personal friends” to join and “like” you on your Facebook Business page.
b. Every senior has been a professional in something, and the professionals’ social media sit is LinkedIn. LinkedIn is where you’ll find customers, sponsors and other people in your marketplace who want to find and associate themselves with you in business.
c. Instagram is all about photos, photos, photos! If the saying is true “a picture’s worth 1000 words” (and it is), then Instagram is where you must be!
• Hot tip on Instagram: Sunsets are the number one searched photo, so make sure your Instagram page has a sunset every day or every other day.
Three. Bare-bones business expenses must-haves:
- Snappy-looking, colorful, and easy to read business cards are a must. Use both sides, but leave room for your customers and future affiliates to write a note like: “great resource” or “can-do attitude!”. Again, use a professional. A good graphic artist in business is almost as valuable as a good attorney. We are a society swayed by visuals and audios; use them to your advantage.
- A smart phone will truly help you keep up in today’s business arena.
- A credit card reader attachment will also make your life a lot easier in sales.