Susan Watkin, owner of Watkin Small Business Service
. Susan is an accountant and business information professional, who works with clients to create sound business and financial strategies, maintain accurate financial records, and plan for future growth for their business.
In Business Since: 2012
Business Highlights: Helping several clients who have been more than two years behind in their bookkeeping and corporate tax submissions get caught up to date and avoid penalties.
Business Question: I would love to know the best way to get started in marketing my business seriously. I've been fortunate to work off of referrals for the most part, but I want to see growth and I know I need to spend time and money on advertising and social media. I would love to be pointed in the right direction to the best resources.
Spark’s Insights: We feel like we don’t go a week without someone asking us to recommend a good bookkeeper! Take it from us, there’s tons of demand—it’s just a matter of letting the right people know you’re out there.
Pick some key networks you want to infiltrate—business networking groups, neighbourhood business associations, etc.—and make a concentrated effort to become known in them. Once they know you, pick a few more networks to infiltrate. For you it’s going to be about getting out and meeting the right people and letting them know you can help. Why not offer to do a free webinar or write guest blog posts that will position you as an expert? We actually think advertising and social media may be lower payback strategies for you—you will want to get in front of very specific groups of people (small business owners), so a more targeted approach will likely work best.
Susan’s Advice to Other Entrepreneurs: Start with a business plan of some kind. It is great to be passionate, but don't forget to keep your perspective and be practical. You need a real understanding of the cost of doing business to see if it is viable, before you spend time and money on your business. Get help to get your books set up right, right from the start, don't get caught not knowing where your business stands, especially if you hope to grow it.
Before you get to the networking event, make sure you've honed your elevator pitch.