Small Business Consultation Services

Nancy asks…

How do you survive while starting a business.?

I opened a business two years ago and it is taking a while to grow. Personally my finances are at rock bottom. Do I qualify for any special loans or grants to help me support my family until my business takes off. I am a veteran(Marine Corps) if it helps. Please help I dont want to close shop.

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Not grants — grants are not given to struggling business owners. Otherwise, you won’t hear of small businesses closing shop because the government bails them out when the going gets tough

First, find a mentor who can give you an objective assessment of your business. At this point, you need to evaluate what’s not working with your business, and a mentor can help you look at your business with a clean fresh perspective — and more importantly, recommend how you can improve your business situation:

- is there really no market for your product/service?
- are you not managing your cashflow well?
- what are the loopholes in your marketing strategy?
- is there something you can improve with regards to your price points?
- how can you improve your distribution?

Go to your local SBDC Small Business Development Center and ask for a free consultation. They can give you mentors or consultants who can guide you.

Sharon asks…

What’s the most effective way to promote a security company?

I have a small security company and I just want to get some feedback on how to expand?

AustinBusinessConsulting answers:

Presuming that you are talking about a Security Guard/Patrol company? After my law enforcement days I owned part of a security guard and patrol company. We made up fliers, got in uniform, and went from business to business talking to owners. Going in uniform has a big impact and will get you past the clerks and direct to the business owner.

We started by looking at a geographic area where we wanted to build a patrol route. In my example we had a tourist area with lots of hotels/motels where there were lots of problems with drugs, gangs and prostitution. Our patrol guys who were out at night were our leads, we had them watch where the local cops were going on a regular basis then we’d follow up the next day to talk to the owner to show them how our service could help to reduce their problems. It worked well, we signed up lots of motels, bars and restaurants. We found that people didn’t just own one motel, so when we signed up one we would get 7.

Results were our best selling tool. Our clients each got several patrol checks per night and we started to have an impact. Problems left our motels and restaurants and went to others. Then we started getting calls from new motels as the problems moved. In some cases we got contract to not only provide patrol but to put a guard on the property. As problems left the motels they started to head for the surrounding apartments, so we started to visit apartment managers and slowly built up those clients. Like motels, apartment owners generally own more than one property. We got several contracts for property managers who had large complexes all over the county.

When a standing guard had a problem he could call for a patrol car. Clients liked seeing the cars.

Of course as time went on we were finally able to get into the phone book, not that phone books will be around much longer.

This was just one method. If you need more help I do small business consultation.

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