Post # 1
I’m in law school and graduating in May, and I’ve been baking dog treats for myself, family, and friends for a little while now. (My dog is a very picky eater, so I just started cooking for him instead of buying treats and food he won’t eat and wasting money.) I was thinking about turning it into a small business to earn a little extra money, but I must admit, I have no idea where to start in terms of actually getting people to buy them.
I already have a ton of recipes that have been dog-tested and approved. 🙂 Obviously I would need a name, logo, to check local laws about making and selling food out of my home, probably make an LLC to protect myself from personal liability, packaging, trademark, and most importantly customers. I guess I’m hung up on the last part. How did you get the word out to people and establish a clientele? Did you have more established stores sell your product for you? Just have a website? Post on craigslist?
I do have a job, so like I said before, I would just like this to start as a small, weekend thing, and maybe in the future if everything is working out, I could think about doing it full time or expanding. Any advice for a clueless entrepeneur?
Post # 4
Small business these days is all about network marketing and social media. Get on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, everything. Start selling on etsy.
I have a Health Coaching business and I own a yoga apparel company, both grown from scratch. I was a featured Health Coach in O Magazine (March Issue) because an editor read one of my tweets.
Post # 5
I agree with PP. I run a small graphic design business and I feel as if most of my “work” is tied up in networking and social media. I plan on hiring a young thing to do all the for me so i can get back to designing new a fresh ideas for my corp clients and my bridal clients.
Start yourself as a SP and then when you feel like your clientel has reach a certain goal level, which you should establish in your business plan, then consider an LLC.
Post # 6
If you go on etsy, they do have a book for $20 about internet marketing. It’s pretty useful.
I enroll people to buy tea tree oil based products such as laundry soap, cleaning products, make up, just about everything in your home.
Post # 7
Start a newsletter, promote a free report to get names and email address for your newsletter. Buy Pay-Per-Click ads on Google and Yahoo. Advertise on Natural Human sites as well as Animal sites. Within the free report have a link to your product with an impressive gurantee. But the I must warn you the e-biz is a lot of time and energy you have to go full blast or not at all. Have a website, network in your neighborhood with Vets and Doggy Daycares.
Post # 8
Etsy is good. So is craigslist potentially. see if you can do your local farmer’s market, or get a local vet or pet store to carry your product.
alternatively, start a “subscription” service where people sign up for monthly or weekly installment of product. This helps build your base and gets you the cash upfront.
Post # 9
I have a part-time business, Cake business, I bake, decorate, delivere any kind of cakes you can thing off. I started off very small, created a page on Facebook and eventually my friends started spreading the word around. Now I have a website and I have alot of orders coming in. I love doing it but one day I hope to have my own bakery 🙂 Hope this helps.
Post # 10
I started a dog-walking and pet care business about 14 years ago. When it comes to things that have to do with dogs I found it wasn’t the advertising, it was word-of-mouth. You’ll need to network at all the dog parks…give out samples…get yourself known at every vet office and pet store in the area. If you haven’t already, educate yourself on pet food ingredients and things to avoid.
Take advantage of every single holiday…participate in parades and charity events. make it so that your business name is the first one rolling off peoples’ tongues. Good luck! 🙂
Post # 11
Fiance co-owns a mac and iPhone development firm and he and I just recently started our own software company. Our company is still getting off the ground but the firm he co-owns is very much established and in some circles, quite well known.
When they were first starting out they utulized as much free marketing as possible (social media mostly) but they also developed relationships with bloggers and journalists who in turn pushed their product out to their readers. You pretty much have to spend money to make money when you’re first starting out which means giving your potential customers a taste (literally) of what you have to offer. Fiance and his business partner gave away countless licenses to their products just so they could land in the right hands.
It takes a lot of hard work to get established and actually make money but once you have those customers, they’re likely to come back wanting more. Fiance and his partner have been in business for a little over 5 years now and their original application is now used by hundreds of thousands of people.