The internet has made it easy to market your small business for little or no cost. Take blogging, for example. If you write your own content, it won’t cost a dime but it can dramatically increase your chances of getting a positive ROI.
Let’s look at some other ways you can market your small business on a shoestring budget.
Look for Opportunities Close to Home
If you do business locally, look for ways you can get your name out in the community. Strategies like sponsoring a youth sports team or a local event don’t have to cost a lot but you can get a lot of exposure.
Not to mention the benefit your donation can have in the community.
Figure out where your ideal customers go and find ways to get your name in front of them there. Posting on library or community center bulletin boards likely doesn’t cost anything but if your target market is likely to see it there, it’s a good way to reach them.
Cross-Promote with Other Businesses
When you sit down to write a marketing plan, think about other companies that target the same audience without competing with you directly. You can partner up with those businesses to cross-promote one another to your customers.
For example, if you operate an auto repair shop, you could partner with a local tire shop to send customers to one another.
Ask Your Customers to Help
Once you have some customers, ask them for referrals. They might know other people who are also in the market for what you sell and if they’re happy with the products or services they got, you can ask them to pass your company’s name along.
You could even offer an incentive for every customer they refer who ends up buying from you. A gift card to a local coffee shop or some other type of reward can help motivate them to make more referrals. You might even be able to get those gift cards at a discount if you let those businesses know you’re going to send new customers their way.
Offer Free Trials
Depending on the types of products and services you offer, you may be able to offer your customers a free trial so they can test it out for themselves. This doesn’t have to cost you anything in a lot of cases if you’re able to reuse the same product for other trials.
Face-to-face networking is one of the most effective low-cost marketing strategies. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or another group that’s related to what your business offers. Introduce yourself to other members and be ready to share what you do.
Come up with a 30-second “elevator pitch” that tells people why they should do business with you. Be prepared to share it whenever someone asks what you do. Keep fine-tuning it over time to figure out what is most likely to convince them to ask for more information.
Promotion on a Shoestring Budget: Always Be Marketing
The secret to how to get more business on a shoestring budget is to always be marketing. Be on the lookout for opportunities to talk about what you do everywhere you go. Assuming the quality of your products or services is good, you’ll be doing your new customers a favor by telling them about it.
Did this post give you some food for thought? Check out the rest of our blog for more helpful ideas for marketing your business.