Council Post: How To Make The Most Of Your Stimulus Grant As A Solopreneur

President at AudateMedia. We create content marketing for Small to Large-Sized Businesses to engage new clients from Online to your Door. 

For the past year, businesses have had to struggle along with everyone else, all because of the global novel coronavirus pandemic. The government has had to scramble to find solutions to help its ailing citizens and to help its economy. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in March 2020. It aimed to assist all Americans who were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. This grant also became one of the catalysts to stimulate the economy.

This entitled American citizens who filed their income taxes in 2018 and 2019 to up to $1,200 in government assistance through a direct payment. Along with a lot of individual American lives being affected by the pandemic, among those also impacted are businesses, large-scale corporations and small-business owners.

The question is, what has the government done to help business owners get back on track after having been unceremoniously interrupted by either the lockdowns or by simply having little to no business during the pandemic period?

The Economic Aid To Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits And Venues Act

This act to the tune of $325 billion provides a second round of loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. The good news is that if you were able to take advantage of this loan previously, you should be eligible to apply for a second loan, under the condition that the initial loan has already been exhausted. This boosts the business owner’s ability to bounce back in tandem with the stimulus checks given to consumers and spenders.

Another program along with the PPP providing assistance to businesses is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). It was announced that an EIDL grant in the amount of $10,000 would be available for qualifying businesses.

With all of these financial options provided by the government for relief and recovery, it is really up to the business owner how they will use these stimulus grants and loans and maximize the earning potential provided by these opportunities.

So, What Do You Do Now With The Money?

If you own a small business, you are most likely an expert in your chosen field. You may be a plumber who has years of experience in the industry and knows all the ins and outs of your local area of service, or you may be a pet groomer who has mastered the aesthetics of grooming pet hair and is familiar with different breeds of dogs and cats.

As a business owner, you know that the right thing to do is make sure that the funds return with a profit. We all know that the best way to get the word out is through marketing. Online marketing is perhaps the most effective, given that almost every consumer demographic gets their buying information from their smartphone or computer. 

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Some entrepreneurs will spend their grants and loans trying to develop their business from the operations side: upgrading their truck, buying new equipment and possibly hiring help. Though this is a good area to crank up your business, the fact remains that you may have the best service or the best equipment, but it all amounts to nothing if no one knows you exist. That’s why I believe (as president of a marketing company) that marketing is the best place to start making sure your business gets the boost it needs.

Business owners have a tendency to stick to what they know, which is a good thing because if they spread themselves too thin and spend too much time on a part of their business they are not good at, they will tend to make costly mistakes. Marketing is a discipline that requires expert sourcing and delivery skills, so it is recommended that you look for a firm or group that does marketing full time and can come up with strategies that are custom-made for your target audience.

What Could Be An Effective Marketing Campaign?

Deciding to outsource your marketing campaign could be exciting and challenging at the same time. As you anticipate the possibilities of an expanded customer base, also come the challenges of knowing what strategy to use to get the best results.

Please know that hiring a marketing specialist is not the only turn-key solution or a fix-all to your marketing problems. The business owner and marketing specialist or group will need to work together to determine what strategy is best for the business. Constant interaction and communication are essential to determine if strategies work or not — if campaigns are being acknowledged or are just being left in the prospects’ inboxes.

Email and social media campaigns are probably the most common types of client outreach that most marketing campaigns use to get prospects for their client businesses. Text message marketing is also an equally effective method as it has a high open rate compared to email marketing, which has had an average open rate of 21.3% in 2020. The unique advantage of text message marketing is that it has a more personalized customer outreach stance. It creates a personal connection between the business and the customer, and because of this, customers have a tendency to respond to text messages more.

Whatever route you choose, once the stimulus loan or grant is received, make sure that you put the well-being of your cash cow first before anything else.

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?

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