The new year is upon us. If you’re like me, maybe one of your resolutions was to start a small business. Or if you own one maybe the resolution was to take it to the next level. Most small businesses are in competition with larger players with huge advertising budgets and very recognizable brand names. You may offer unique goods or services, but it’s hard to get noticed when your rivals have a long track record, better locations, and more money to spend.

Hard, however, does not mean it’s impossible. You can get attention for your company without spending big bucks. Being smart, becoming a part of the community, and spending your dollars wisely can get you the attention your small business.

  •  Be In The Community | Louisville as a whole, and especially the unique neighborhoods, have a plethora of festivals for you to attend. Purchase a booth to sell your items or just hand out candy and business cards and tell people what you do. You can capitalize on the foot traffic of the event to get your name out. Another thing to do is join the chamber of commerce to network with other small businesses and owners.
Attention
Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, your uniqueness, what you stand for 
Christine Lynch
  • Work Alongside with Other Small Businesses | Utilize other small businesses to help refer you business and be an additional salesperson. For example, if you are a local artist, partner with a local restaurant to display your work while also offering them for sale. Also, you could work with other small businesses and give deals to customers who use multiple businesses that work together.
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Find a great mentor, someone who has already been through the many challenges of being an entrepreneur.
-Jodi Levine
  •  Be Charitable |If you’re a service company, donate your time as often as you can. There are tons of nonprofits that need help in everything from photography to social media. If you run a retail business or restaurant consider having a day or at least part of a day where you donate a portion of proceeds to non-profit partners. School groups and youth sports are good potential partners that can help expose you to new customers while you are giving back to the community.
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A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.
-Nicole Snow
  • Become an Expert |With social media being the fastest way to get information, examine your own expertise and pitch yourself as the expert in your field. People are always turning to their friends on social media, so by becoming an expert, friends and family will start tagging you for your expertise and this allows you to sell yourself or your business.
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An expert is someone who has succeeded in making decisions and judgements simpler through knowing what to pay attention to and what to ignore
-Edward de Bono

Spending a lot of money on ads or locating your business in a high-traffic area is easy. If you can’t do both or even one of those, you have to be smarter than your competition to attract attention.

Embrace your community and support it. That includes not just pitching your own business but helping other small business owners advance theirs as well. Take a grassroots approach to building your customer base. Get out there and meet your potential customers. Shake their hands and invite them to come check out what you have to offer.

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