Affordable Resources for Small Business Owners
Whether you’re just getting started or you’re already established, here’s a look at several powerful resources to help you grow your business.
Mobile Payment Options
Customers tend to spend more money when they have the option of paying by credit card. Now even the smallest businesses can accept plastic on the go without investing in expensive merchant accounts, costly equipment or long-term contracts.
Crowdfunding is a growing method for raising money. Unlike loans, grants or investments, crowdfunding allows you to solicit contributions from your network of friends and family based on the strength of your idea and their willingness to support it. They can opt to contribute as little as $5 or as much as thousands of dollars if they believe in you and have a desire to support your small business success.
Before determining which (if any) crowdfunding site is right for you, do your research to compare the strengths and niche of each option. Some sites offer all-or-nothing funding, which means if you fail to reach your established financial goal, you don’t receive any of the pledged contributions. Others provide whatever-you-raise options that allow you to collect any amount that’s submitted, even if you fall short of your targeted total. Each site collects its feesdifferently too, so be clear on the rules and restrictions before you get started. Finally, none of the sites work for you, so to speak. There’s no such thing as post it and the money will come. There are no internet angels trolling the web looking for random places to dump their cash. Crowding sites are a platform to promote your small business project, but the promotional muscle—and hustle—must come from you.
Peruse thousands of projects posted by businesses of all sizes and budgets and then submit your best work. Projects tend to offer low pay, but volume and the connections to future clients can easily make up for it. On the flip side, if you’re a solopreneur or small business owner looking for specialized talent to help build your business—from logo design and branding to a personal assistant to creative tshirts—these sites allow you to find highly affordable services.
CrowdSpring.com (logos, design and branding)
99designs.com (logos, design and branding)
Poptent.net (promotional videos)
Threadless.com (tshirt designs)
Elance.com (business services)
Odesk.com (business services)
CloudCrowd.com (business services)
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