If you’ve been operating your small business for a long, you already know that marketing is the key to success. Whether it’s web-based, giveaways or simply passing out flyers and business cards at the local mom and pop grocery, it is essential to your success. The only thing is — marketing can get expensive. If you’re already on a shoestring budget with your business, it can seem like self-promotion is just not in the cards for you. Luckily, there are a few things you can do, even on a shoestring budget to get the word out there about your business.
Take Out a Loan
While it might not seem like a good idea to go into (or further into) debt, advance loans are a great way to pay for a round of marketing up front. If you do it the right way, you should recoup the money for that loan and more in the end. Don’t forget that you do need to pay back that loan in a timely manner by taking some of those profits to do so.
Everyone loves free stuff, so doing a giveaway that promotes your business is a win-win for everyone involved. Whether it’s mugs with your business’s name on them or cheap pens that you know will make the rounds, there are always budget-friendly gifts out there that you can give away. It’s also possible to do a giveaway that gives one lucky winner a bigger price. This will not only advertise your business but hopefully win you the loyalty of the winner as well.
Do a Demo
If you are an online business, contact some local businesses and ask to do a demo of the products or services that you offer. If you run a brick and mortar location, host a demo of a product to attract customers. The most this should cost you is advertising in the local newspaper and the cost of fliers that you can have employees give out for free in front of local businesses or on cars, with the owner’s permission, of course.
Word of Mouth
In a highly internet driven world, it’s still important to remember that word of mouth is still the best way to market your business. If Jerry tells Troy and Troy tells his wife and then she tells the ladies group at church, you will soon have more business than you can handle and it’s all for free. Make sure that these customers know that your business gives great service and their recommendations to others will be glowing as well. Throwing in the fact that you are offering a few freebies or coupons will only help your cause as well.
These are just a few of the ways that you can market your small business on a shoestring budget. There are many more out there, you just have to know where to find the ideas and then implement them.