The economy has been a tough one for many small businesses, and many haven’t made it past the first few years of struggle. If you have, congratulations – you’re among the 10{7e4ee7cd997d36f6dec43befd6b19c37edf0959bbf61766e988f901dd91e96d7} of small businesses that has actually survived. But all of this difficulty should be teaching your business one very important thing – how to be innovative. That is, after all, the biggest factor that has separated the survivors from the bankrupt. So what are a few ways you can continue to use the economy to your advantage?

Crowdsourcing

You know you need to get a certain project done, but the numbers are telling you that you can’t. You know the money is out there somewhere; it’s just not in your pocket. So how do you make those few bucks you could use to get your new idea going? Crowdsourcing! Places like Spigit, IndieGoGo, and Kickstarter are available for you at little to no cost to get your ideas out there and funded. It has never been easier to tap into pockets that are more than willing to help you with a small, no-strings-attached investment.

Social Media

The vast majority of things that have to do with social media are completely free, and a good innovator has already taken advantage of the nearly billion people you can reach via these platforms. Social media has become so popular that you can even check many of your favorite websites from your  phone, and reply to happy or disgruntled customers, as well as post and schedule updates. The best thing about social media is that you can use it to “listen” to the groups of people that are your customers (and potential customers) and figure out what you can do for them that will make them happy.

“Let’s Do This” Attitude

When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose, right? Companies that launch out of a garage are testimonies to this kind of thinking, and often they are actually pretty successful once they get rolling. Some people do get scared and cling to old ideas and ways when the going gets tough, but it’s much better if you cling to the opposite tactic. Keep flexing, moving with the times, and you’ll find more success. When you feel like you’ve got nothing to lose, then it’s much easier to try something new and creative that will win the hearts of many in your niche.

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