One of the first things you have to do when you start a new business is to get the word out about what you are doing. While this can be a daunting task to new entrepreneurs, my experience starting Bales Goats has taught me that there are actually many easy ways to start getting the word out so you can start raking in business. These tactics won’t necessarily blow your business up immediately, but they will help get you into public image and pave the way for your business to take off.
1. Word of Mouth
This is a big one. For me, this one came easily. My family has lived in the Rocky Valley area for generations, so my last name carried with it some significant weight. My parents would share my business with their co-workers and friends, and those people would now know what I was doing. Simultaneously, I would share my business with my fellow students, as well as teachers, at my high school. Obviously, a lot of people like goats, which also helped in my case and encouraged others to want to learn more about what I was doing.
By spreading this information and becoming involved with the high school FFA, I eventually met more people in my niche and attracted the attention of the local newspaper who wrote up a nice article on my business and participation in the FFA field of goat production. Again, word of mouth works.
2. Online Presence
As someone who also has a web design business that I started myself, I knew I needed a heavy online presence if I was going to get serious about Bales Goats. I quickly got to work making various social media pages including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a TikTok which is technically my personal account but is just goat-themed videos. In my opinion, it’s important to have both Facebook and Instagram especially, as this will expose you to both younger and older generations. The older generations and adults will mostly be your customer base, but the younger generations and kids like you would find on Instagram primarily allow more buzz to be generated. I don’t have mass followings on any of my profiles, but I have a decent enough following for what I need, and I promote the posts on my personal accounts as well. The social media does well to establish myself as relatable with my audience and keep updates on the business.
Another example of online presence that I use heavily would be this website, more specifically the blog that you are reading right now. Yes, this blog. It might sound silly, but the website is actually how I got my first customer. I had been at Universal Studios when I got a call from an unknown California number. I don’t know anyone from Cali, so I ignored it completely. A week later, I saw that they left a voicemail and I called them back and got in touch for my first job, the Nix Project, and a mass overgrowth of kudzu. The rest is history, but I’ve continually gotten calls from people who found me through my website.
Another huge way I drove up awareness for Bales Goats was by diversifying what Bales Goats is. Starting off early as Bales Goat Landscaping, I quickly decided to build more than just a goat rental business. I designed my branding with social media and a website with a blog. I came up with other avenues of goat-related income such as breeding, dairy, merchandise, and more to be revealed in the future (Cough. Cough. Spoiler alert). While landscaping is easily my largest portion of the business, these all folded together to become Bales Goats as we all know it today. By doing all of this, I was able to widen my customer base beyond people with overgrown brush. Why? Simple. Not everyone has overgrown brush or invasive plant species consuming their land. However, lots of people have, or like, goats and goat products.
Similar to the point I was making about diversification, another great way to get your name out there is to come up with merchandise for your business. For me, this started with hoodies and t-shirts. These are relatively easy to do, and I had considered the idea long before I started selling hoodies. My parents had one made for me for Christmas, alongside a t-shirt. The final push to make this move came when my AP Biology teacher saw me wearing mine and asked if I sold them. Within minutes, almost my entire class had their hands raised wanting hoodies. By popular demand, I satisfied my customer needs. Once that class was seen wearing Bales Goats hoodies around the school, more and more people within the building contacted me about getting one for themselves, including numerous teachers. Today, I still take hoodie orders and have added slightly more selection among the hoodies, which can be found in my new-ish online store, here.