This line, from ‘Field of Dreams’ starring Kevin Costner, is a new business’s dream. And in times gone by it might have been true. But in our modern age of social media saturation and huge brand startup rates, you’ve about as much chance of building a business, sitting back and letting nature take it course, as you have of sprouting wings and flying under your own steam.
Companies that appear to be overnight successes, aren’t. There are years and years of hard graft behind genuine startups. Their stories are littered with failures, successes, hours of hawking products and a ton of freebies. Often owners have spent 10 or 20 years in their industry working under someone else before deciding to go it alone. But you only need that one complimentary tweet or product review to get the ball rolling.
As a small business I can’t get PR or marketing support. And it’s the same for most of us unless you have plenty of spare cash. So you have to do your own. And it’s not a part of the business that I particularly know anything about or like doing. But it has to be done. And until I can afford to hire someone, that’s the way it’s going to be.
It’s been an interesting learning curve. I certainly don’t claim to know all the answers and I am far from having ‘nailed it’. It’s one of my big resolutions for 2016. That being said I am still in business, just. And it’s only been the last 5 months that’s been the problem – largely because I have changed the dynamics of my business and started selling as a label full time.
My online shop is still very much a baby but I’m hoping it’s going to grow into something in 2016.
Social media will always be a part of the marketing campaign. It just is. But the days of this being the go-to way to promote your business is dead. And business is going back to the old ways – networking, face to face conversations, meeting people. Things new generations don’t do so well, protected as they have been by texting and faceless social media profiles.
It’s also tricky if you’re not running a physical shop. There is no where people can go to meet you, handle products. You can’t set up events. If you’re only an online presence, you have to work extra hard because you are compensating for that lack of walk in traffic.
Next year will be all about networking for me. And hopefully catwalk shows. And more photoshoots which are always great for B2B networking. Make your plans now if you’re struggling with your PR. Make a solid plan and stick to it. It’s going to be hard, but you can do it.