Starting a new business or want to expand but you’re on a tight budget. There are a number of things you can do to promote your business without spending a great deal of money. One of the first things you will need to do is to develop a budget and strategic plan. In a budget you recognize and set your goals, determine what you are willing and able to spend and prepare a plan to follow to reach your goals. Investopedia How Budgeting Works For Business you will find guides explaining the why and how-to of budgeting.
Budgets are a necessary part of managing a business effectively. They are an efficient plan of action and method of comparison showing where you are successful, where you are ineffective and provide information to re-budget and adjust your approach. Business budgeting is different than that of a household budget where income and expenses are set.
In a business, you are using a budget to determine how to use the money on hand to reach projected income streams desired. Once reliable streams of income are set the budget becomes two-part…continuing to manage resources for expansion and also maintenance of current income and expenses. Essentially two budgets merged into one. Budget templates may be found at Smartsheet Budget Marketing Templates.
Attracting customers and earning sales with referrals
It is often heard “you have to spend money to make money” That can be true but nothing says you have to spend a lot of money in hopes of making a little. Here are a few low-cost ideas to market with a small budget to earn customers and win sales. The first is using existing customers or if you’re new using word of mouth referrals. Marketing targeted to existing customers is inexpensive, and, with a little creativity, an awesome means to generate sales revenue.
Referrals are like money in the bank. They grow organically as one person tells another, then they tell others, then they tell others and so forth. Referrals are best asked for in person. For example, a newly formed Christian t-Shirt business grew their business completely on referrals with the only expense being business cards that contained the website and a few example pictures.
The owner started at his church walking up to people he knew as well as strangers, quickly explained what he offered, handing each person 2-3 business cards and asked them to take a look at the site. He gave out a thousand cards. In two weeks he saw visitor stats to the site rise to over 3,000 first time visitors with 1,500 return visits. People not only looked, but they also gave extra cards to friends, who told others about the site.
Sales went BOOM! thru the roof. He repeated the process at other churches and experienced similar results. The key is he directly asked people for the referral and gave them the means to ask others in person. Don’t be afraid to ask friends, colleagues, associates or even strangers who may be interested in your product or service. They may know someone who knows someone who responds.
Learn your targeted clients’ interests and where they may be found. Direct advertising efforts towards them. Trying to reach seniors? Post notices at senior centres. Do you offer home repair or handiwork services? Visit a home improvement. One gentleman offers free advice, handing out business cards. He is always busy.
Is your audience in need of financial advice, tax, insurance or legal services? Consider offering free consultation or conducting a seminar. Many can be set up free through the local library or a professional. Here again is that personal touch building trust. Local talk radio may be interested in bringing you on for a segment. Don’t be afraid to self-promote regardless of your industry.
Social media advertising
Social media is another available source of free or inexpensive advertising. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn and other sites exist. A gay friend created a number of greeting cards, notepads, and other products. He used his friend base of over 4,000 on Facebook to get people to like his product page. They posted links to his page and before he knew it word got out around the world. Facebook also offers page or ad promotions.
Pinterest and YouTube have essentially become very busy search engine marketplaces. Did you know Google Adwords now owns YouTube? Countless videos are uploaded daily on any subject. Post pictures of your products or services on Pinterest with a link back to you. When someone searches for your keywords you have a high chance of your post being seen.
Instagram is a source to promote your business also. A quick way to get customers is to find those people in your niche area who have large numbers of followers. If approached properly they will often accept small financial incentives to help promote your business to their followers. This will increase your followers and draw business to you.
Cash flow finance and its benefits to marketing
Another idea to add to your marketing concept is to consider business financing options. These financing opportunities come as saviours and protect you and the customer when the access cash flow is required in the course of business.
This can include improving your debt run, getting quick access to money, cutting the accounts receivable costs, investing in innovation, and many more.damage to property, warranty and consumer protection. Cash flow finance comes with competitive advantages to the business, and you can consider achieving many things with its help.
Writing free expert articles for publication
There is a multitude of methods you can use to promote your business on a budget. A little thought and ingenuity are all that is needed. Consider writing articles for publication in newspapers, newsletters, online blogs and other publications. Ezinearticles is a service for submitting free articles. When the articles are picked up and used the service requires your link and byline be included in the published article. This draws attention to you.