Not too long ago, I wrote a post about low-cost resources that small business owners and entrepreneurs can access. I mentioned the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) and universities. My article started an interesting conversation in the comment section and lots of readers had their own suggestions. These are all great resources but what if you run into an issue and need help today? Do you have a built-in support system? Do you have a go-to person that you can shoot a quick email to and ask for suggestions?
There’s an African proverb that says “It takes a village to raise a child”. What does it take for an entrepreneur or small business owner to successfully raise an idea into a profitable business? In a previous post, “How Do Entrepreneurs and Sole Proprietors Juggle All Those Balls?”, I wrote about dealing with all of the different aspects of a business including technology, marketing, sales and finance – on top of your core business. Ideally, you have a budget and can hire professionals. But what if you’re an “accidental entrepreneur” (Thanks to Jeannette Paladino for coining that term.) and you find yourself suddenly out of work . . . or maybe you’re looking for a way to earn extra income but you don’t have money to invest? What if you’re just testing the waters to see if there’s an interest in a product that you make or you want to see if you can make money through affiliate programs or Google AdSense advertising? How can you find people who are willing to help you when you can’t afford to pay them?
Are you the sole proprietor of a business? Are you a 1-person shop? Whether you’re trying to make a living online, supplement your income or build a nest egg, more and more people these days are looking to the Internet as a way to make money. Every day hundreds (maybe hundreds-of-thousands) of websites and blogs are being launched in this country alone. So how do you stand out? Even after identifying your niche, doing your keyword research, understanding your target customer and carefully mapping a business plan … what’s the secret to success? How is it that some people are sitting back and boasting that they’re making 6-figure incomes while some of us are struggling to pay the mortgage? How does the “little guy” (or “gal”) compete with companies (and individuals) when you’re faced with limited resources?