How to Market on a Budget: from the desk of a small business

January 17, 2010

Not all businesses can afford to place a full page advert in the Yellow Pages or promote themselves on prime time television. Marketing on a budget does not mean you have to compromise your campaign or results!

I have summarised 10 ways to market your company without having to call your bank manager.  Not all of the ideas mentioned will work for you, find the ones you think will work the best and give them a try.  Marketing opportunities for a small business are endless!
  1. Customer Service is where you will make or break your business.  Go beyond your customer’s expectations and ‘Word of Mouth’ advertising can be your greatest promotion.  One happy customer will tell ten happy friends who will tell ….
  2. Treat each customer like your only customer.  Exceed their expectations, follow up with phone calls, remember birthdays, reward repeat business, think of ways you as a customer have been treated and what has stood out for you.
  3. Your local press are always looking for new stories and it’s easier than you think to get published.  Are you offering something out of the ordinary, taking on a new associate, helped out in your community?  The newspaper is an unbiased source and written well, will not look like a standard advertisement.
  4. Celebrate all holidays, not just major public holidays.  If there is an Anniversary Day for your city coming up, send out promotional gifts celebrating this.  Better yet create your own; a toyshop may promote a “Best Dressed Doll” day and arrange local media coverage to tie in with this.
  5. People love to receive “free” items, especially items they can use to gain knowledge or improve their lives.  Promote giveaways on your website.
  6. Blogging is a fantastic marketing tool and works on a limited budget.  Reach prospective customers and inform existing customers through affiliate sites, directories, search engine optimization, google adds and much more.  Refer to my article on “How to Improve your Online Web Presence” for more detailed information on online marketing.
  7. Put your business name everywhere.  The more people to see you, the more people are likely to become a customer.  Suggestions include: signage, drop off business cards and brochures, hang flyers, make T-shirts, signwrite vehicles, give out branded promotional items and so on.
  8. Network with others.  Sponsor an event, cross market with another business, offer prizes for charity events.
  9. Website is key.  Make sure it looks professional, fits in with your printed branding, is easy to navigate and well organised.  A prospect may only spend seconds browsing your site and if he doesn’t find information immediately he will probably move onto your competition.
  10. Finally, hire a Virtual Assistant!  We can set up a marketing plan for you to fit your budget, implement your plan and you can move onto what you do best.  By outsourcing you are utilising your time to maximum benefit and a VA will be more cost effective than using an agency.  Email me for more information on how to market your business on a budget.

Read the following blog for information on measuring your social media marketing results.

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