Small Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. -

Small Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. - lehighvalleylive.comSmall Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. - lehighvalleylive.comPosted: 30 May 2020 05:22 AM PDT More than 40 Lehigh Valley small business owners Saturday will be offering virtual deals on what they say will be one of their biggest shopping sales annually.Small Business Saturday typically is timed for following Black Friday in November. The nationwide effort for the past decade encourages communities to shop local as it kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year.The chamber is moving this year to hold the event twice -- this time with social distancing -- as many businesses struggle to survive financially during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close their doors on March 19. Restaurants were then forced to offer menu items by takeout only with curbside pickup or delivery.Lehigh Val…

10 Small Business Ideas for the Passionate Entrepreneur - Thrive Global

10 Small Business Ideas for the Passionate Entrepreneur - Thrive Global

10 Small Business Ideas for the Passionate Entrepreneur - Thrive Global

Posted: 14 Jun 2019 09:15 AM PDT

you could start, manage and grow yourself, something you could run from home, an entrepreneurial adventure that could profit you immensely… And yet, you're dry on ideas.

But any idea to kick off business require start-up funding is really challenging.  Here, we list ten most interesting, likely successful business ideas for your start-up:

1.    Cleaning Services:

This is a universal, always-in-demand business. Reliable, affordable quality cleaning services are needed almost everywhere. In fact, there are quite a number of directions you can take your cleaning business. Would you like to cater homes, or offices, restaurants or shops? Some places, such as restaurants, require more thorough cleaning than others. A lot of times, businesses require cleaners at late timings, once they've closed for the day. Mostly, for services like these, you hardly need to spend on marketing because your customers come as word spreads in your neighborhood.

2.    Household Organizer:

In too many homes, clutter and disorder is a serious enough problem for family members, especially moms, to seek outside help. You could choose to act as a consultant who helps the family organize by giving suggestions, or you could come into the house and do the organizing for them.

You'd have to understand how the family uses the different rooms in the house, and what work each family member does, to give useful advice on how to organize. You could use questionnaires and organizers, and a horde of organizing ideas to help make their home a more comfortable, manageable place to live.

3.    Interior Designer:

If you have the talent in making indoor scenes look alive and welcoming, you could get paid for it. Although many interior designers are trained and certified, what the art requires is insight. It requires an understanding of the people who live in the house, their lifestyle and preferences, and then using that knowledge to tailor their home's interior appropriately.

Interior Designers can use their creativity to make dark, narrow places look vibrant, colorful and spacious. They can make ordinary rooms look more attractive with simple, low-cost solutions.

4.    Used Book Sales:

Most avid readers own great quality originals they are unwilling to part with. In fact, almost everyone has a stash of unused books they don't know what to do with. Book sellers can acquire these books for almost free, clean and sort them and sell them for a lot less than their market price. For you to gain customers, especially repeat customers, you'll need regular shop hours. If you focus on a particular category of books, you could create a baseline of customers who regularly shop for books from you.

5.    Wedding Planner

This is the kind of help most brides need. You'll need to know the trending fashions and fads, the colors of the season and the hottest dress styles. You can advise your client on the best and most affordable options in the market, helping them choose flowers, wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, beauty parlors, venues, invitation cards, caterers and the one million other things you need for a wedding. For you to become the go-to wedding planner in town, you must know every intricacy of the business. This gives your client the comfort that they have someone they can rely on during this stressful time.

6.    Event Planner

This idea is quite similar to the last, although these events may usually be smaller in scale than weddings. Event planning requires insight into the possibilities across town, you may have to visit all the possible nearby venues and find all relevant details. You could then easily advise your clientele of the venue that suits them best considering the kind and scale of their event. Is it a grand birthday party, an anniversary, or an engagement? What kind of d├ęcor would be appropriate; would you need a cake? All these would be questions the event planner would be left to decide.

7.    Freelance Graphic Designer

Owing to the involvement of graphics in almost all visuals, graphic designers are very much in demand. Freelancers with the expertise and the name, can be hired by websites, start-ups and businesses that require anything from fliers and newsletters to magazines and advertisements. Even if you're only good at designing, you can offer potential clients more, including editorial creation and the printing and distribution of the work. You can also employ other freelancers for the work you cannot do yourself.

8.    Graffiti Removal

Equip yourself with an arsenal of products that could clean spray paint, chalk or markers from all kinds of surfaces, and get to work cleaning your neighborhood. Some spots are famous among late-night graffiti artists, and many public buildings and private properties require this kind of maintenance. You can even arrange an interval deal, wherein you clean their property every month or quarter, and charge accordingly.

9.    Landscaper

Most houses need regular yard maintenance, and many house-owners don't have the time. Yards need different kinds of service throughout the year. They need leaves to be cleared out during fall, snow shoveled from the driveways in winter; seeds need to be sowed in the spring, and regular mowing is needed in the summer. You can offer your client a variety of annuals and perennials, kitchen gardens for home-grown vegetables, trimming and pruning, and pest control.

10.  Flea Market

Almost everyone has highly useful, interesting things they own that they never get the chance to use. It's your job to find those things, convince them to part with them, and name a good price. Once you have an inventory of small, use-able things, you'll almost certainly have a ton of customers spending their weekend rummaging your collection for stuff they like. You'll get a larger profit margin because used things may even be obtained for free.

Summer Slowdown? 3 Things a Small Business Can Do - Motley Fool

Posted: 13 Jun 2019 03:45 PM PDT

For many small businesses, summertime presents a major challenge. Regular customers have other priorities -- kids are not in school, vacations disrupt day-to-day schedules, and summer activities like trips to the beach or pool take up much of the remaining time.

That can lead to big slowdowns for small businesses. Ideally, you've already budgeted for that, but there are things you can do to both increase business and set your company up well for the rest of the year. These ideas won't turn the summer into the holiday season, but they're still smart moves to make.

Two women carry shopping bags.

Summer may be a slower period for your business. Image source: Getty Images.

1. Lean into it

If things are going to be slow, use the summer months to take care of business. This is the perfect opportunity to make major changes, revamp your physical location, and work on fine-tuning marketing efforts for your busier season.

This is also a period when you should encourage your staff to take time off. If you had a really good year, consider shutting down for a week or having a rolling shutdown where you operate with a skeleton crew to offer your team some extra time off this summer.

2. Fill seasonal needs

When I ran a giant toy store, we boosted summer business by running half-day events where parents could leave their children with us. We hired a school teacher who led art classes, model building, and Lego events, giving parents a necessary break during the long summer.

Your business may not have such an obvious fit, but look at what the market needs and try to deliver it. Be clever by trying new things at a time of year when it's less risky to experiment.

3. Build up to an event

At the toy store, we held a summer sidewalk sale coupled with a customer appreciation barbecue. It was a fun event that felt appropriate for summer. It drew a pretty big crowd and our only promotions about the event were to our email and social media list.

Understand that your business may not command your customers' attention all summer, but that doesn't mean they don't like you. Don't try to take a lot of their time. Instead, find a way to remain connected and drive some business during summer months when people often have other things on their mind.

Be creative

If you know you're not going to be as busy as usual, take some chances. Try out new ideas -- if they fail, it won't be that big a deal. This is a season to put in the work to grow your business for the rest of the year. That can mean a lot of things. Attend community events to raise awareness of your existence, or focus on building a bigger social media presence.

Whatever you do, focus on longer-term goals. You may not be able to make huge gains during the summer, but you might be able to set yourself up to make them once the season changes to fall.


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