How to Advertise Your Business on a Small Budget
Starting a new business costs a lot of money, so when it comes to marketing many of us aren’t as lucky as Pepsi or John Deere or some other huge brand name with millions to spend just on marketing and advertising their products. But in local business, it’s completely possible to still handle some advertising and marketing methods without much of a budget. Just make sure that any money you do spend is money well spent and not a waste of time, and you’ll see results.
In the world of small business, one of the best ways to market your product is by working with other small businesses that aren’t directly in competition with you. When possible, find a project you can work on together that won’t cost lots of money and promotes both businesses. Share links on each other’s websites, create a product together, or split the cost of a billboard. You’ll both benefit in the end!
Coupons and Giveaways
People love saving money, and even more they love free stuff. Coupons are always a great way to get people in your business. Have a coupon ran in the local newspaper, make it available online, and give out coupons along with purchases. Have you ever bought a pizza and seen a $2 off coupon taped to the box? Did you use it? Giveaways are also going to work, just be sure to have fair rules and don’t try to scam people (they’ll find out!)
Try to host events. This could be free food (great if you’re a restaurant, but works for other business models as well). If it fits your market, put together a family fun day event using popular kid’s attractions like bounce houses and other forms of entertainment. If you’re in a more professional field, offer free consultation for a day or two.
Be Involved With Your Community
If your business is food related, you better set up a booth at the farmer’s market every Saturday! If there’s a blood drive, you should be one of the companies that sponsor it. Be involved in any county fairs or parades, and find as many opportunities to join in and get your name out there as possible. People like working with those that show dedication to more than just their money!
Not all paid ads are unbelievably expensive. Most newspapers have reasonable rates for ads. Place free ads in free classifieds online, and when you get the chance to put a coupon in a community coupon book, don’t you dare turn it down!
Both online and in person, connect with people. No one ever made a business by having a cold shoulder. So develop a Facebook page and give exclusive coupons and deals to the fans of your social networking pages! Ask customers to tell their friends if they are happy with your services. Ask if they mind posting a review on Yelp.com for you. All of these little things are going to build up, and word of mouth will get around if you provide the types of services and products people expect for their money.
And that’s really the big key: create return customers. If you can please a customer, they’ll most likely be back or send their friends!