This post is provided by guest author, Rhonda Abrams. Rhonda is a friend and supporter of the Small Business Development Center network, nationally known speaker and columnist, and Chief Entrepreneur of the Planning Shop.
Don't be lured away from the tried and true in your small business. While glamor businesses and social media can be successful, often down-to-earth ideas and tactics are your best bet. So here's a list of six practical tips:
1. Someone called from some place
That's what one of my editors, filling in on the phone, told my admin after she returned to her desk. While we all laughed at the message, it reminded us that we may be letting important messages slip through the cracks. After all, handling phone messages is a key part of business. Read my column in USA Today for more.
2. A website is a basic necessity
Surprisingly, a large number of small businesses still don't have a website—a necessity as basic as a business card, whether you sell online or not. If you need a website, setting it up can be inexpensive and easy. Check out freebies Weebly.com and Moonfruit.com.
To help you plan what you'll put on your new site (or spruce up an existing one), download your free worksheet: " My Website Checklist."
3. Don't ignore the tried and true in marketing
Social media. Search engine ads. Mobile marketing. You can market your business in a lot of dynamic new ways, but hold on. Don't overlook one of the best ways to let people know about your business—signs. Click here to read my column in USA Today.
4. Go for gold, not for glamor
Often when I speak to people who want to start a small business, they're interested in exciting choices—photographer, writer, golf pro, and so forth. But competition is fierce, and the monetary rewards can be small. Usually you can find gold—and work you enjoy—in more mundane industries. Read more about going for gold here.
5. How do you make your dreams come true?
Dreaming is vital to starting your business, but you need concrete goals and a vision to succeed. Reading the "dream scale" in my column in USA Today, and then start thinking about your goals.
6. Rhonda's tip of the month
Don’t underestimate the value of having a cup of coffee with someone. Any meeting might lead to something great.