10 Ways To Market A Small Business On A Shoestring Budget
Marketing is the first place you look to cut expenses when you have a tight budget.
This is due to traditional marketing methods being expensive and hard to measure. Fortunately, small businesses now have greater access to trackable and cost-effective small business marketing strategies.
The problem is that this greater access can make it hard to determine where to start with digital marketing, particularly when you have a tight budget. If you are in this position, there are some marketing methods that you can try that will not break your limited budget.
#1. Create An Elevator Pitch
Marketing is something that you should do all the time, wherever you are.
This is why you need to have a clear and compelling elevator pitch. Research has found that the average adult has an attention span of between 6 and 8 seconds. This means that you have a very small window to grab their attention.
If you are able to initially grab then, you will then have just over 1 minute to sell them your service or product. This is why you need to have a killer elevator pitch. The return on this investment will be huge and comes in the way of creating new business opportunities.
According to the team at On Tap Plumbing And Gas, this has been a major contributor in gaining new business, noting that “you’ll be surprised by the number of people who answer awkwardly when they ask what they do. After creating an elevator pitch and using it in my daily life, I’ve gained clients from the most unexpected places. You never know who needs your services”.
#2. Leverage Your Community
When it comes to marketing your business, you do not have to think big. All you need is to think locally. Take the time to find out what is going on in your community.
You could market your business by sponsoring a charity run or a local sports team.
You can print some bookmarks and leave them around the local library. Of course, you will need to know who your ideal client is and where they will be spending their time. You can then search for opportunities in your community that will place your business in front of them.
Gather a group of non-competitive and synergistic businesses in your community to cross-promote.
There are a lot of ways that you can do this from fliers to coupons to bundled promotions and social media platforms. When you collaborate with other local businesses, you will be expanding your customer base based on the reach of the other business.
You could also work with a lender and request a loan to help you expand your marketing budget. According to the business loan experts Max Funding, collaborating with another business to help fund your marketing is a massively successful approach, saying that “for many marketing channels, a certain tipping point must be reached before prospects are pushed to the sale as a result of massive social proof. Collaborating with other businesses to pool funding or receive a loan, is a good strategy to accomplish this when you have a small budget”.
Networking is something that you need to do and there is no better way of getting your business out there. You need to take the time to shake hands and get to know other people. This is a marketing method that requires some time and commitment.
Networking will also not provide an instant result which can be off-putting for some people.
However, you don’t have to adhere to traditional networking, with studies showing that LinkedIn messages have resulted in jobs for 35% of networkers, with 40% of respondents to a recent survey saying they networking more online than face-to-face.
However, when you have a strong network, you will have an amazing asset for your business.
#5. Give A Speech
Public speaking is something that a lot of people hate.
However, there are a lot of organisations who want qualified subject-matter experts to present and talk to their groups. This is something that you should volunteer to do regardless of your feelings on public speaking.
It is important to note that you do not have to be a professional as long as the information you can provide is helpful to the group. There is another upside to this and that is the fact that the more you do, the easier it will become.
Giving speeches is also a great way to position yourself as a credible authority in your industry or field.
#6. Create Some Buzz
Over the years, technology has changed public relations.
In the past, a public relations firm was needed, but small businesses no longer need to do this. It is possible for any business to respond to queries from reporters who are looking for resources and story ideas through online services.
There are also a lot of social media opportunities that small businesses can use to generate a buzz around them.
Wondering what type of business you could be missing out on? Try this FREE ‘Missed Call Calculator’ to find out just how much is slipping through the cracks.
#7. Ask For Referrals
You should never be shy about asking your customers for referrals. Most people state that they are willing to provide a referral if they are asked. It is up to you to actually ask for this.
Referrals are important because they are a great way to get new customers. If you are not asking your current client base for them, you are missing out on opportunities.
The experience from the custom home designers All Image Architects, highlight this marketing channel, noting that “a large number of clients do end up referring someone to me. These people are more likely to turn into a paying client than people gained through advertisements. It’s been the easiest way for us to gain new clients”.
#8. Build Relationships
Keeping a customer is much cheaper and easier than getting a new one.
This is why you need to form strong relationships with your current customers. One of the best ways to do this is through email marketing where you can keep in touch with customers with minimal work.
When a customer visits your website or store, you should ask them for their email address. You should then send a communication which is professional, informative and helpful. The emails need to be something that your customers look forward to getting.
#9. Offer Coupons
If you need to attract new customers, coupons are a good way to go. Research has found that people are likely to go out of their way to use a coupon. This proves that coupons are a great method of expanding your customer base.
Coupons are also more likely to generate return visits. An example of this is a customer who has a coupon for a discount on future business with your company. There is a high chance that they will come back to redeem their coupons.
Sydney Marketer Max Persyn explains you can also incorporate coupons into your digital presence, he notes “while coupons may feel old-fashioned and traditional, adding digital discounts can help increase exposure and attract new prospects. Consider posting a promotion exclusive to your social media followers to create scarcity and exclusivity. Or add a discount to your website with an expiring offer. The countdown of the offer can stimulate your prospect’s desires to avoid missing out, and represent valuable ways to harness coupons in the digital age.”
#10. Give Something Away
If you give someone the chance to experience your service or product for free, they are more likely to purchase more.
You should not be afraid of offering samples and free trials. In the modern economy, people are more comfortable buying something they already have experience with.
One good strategy for this is writing for a blog. This way you can easily share your expertise with a large number of people.
Do you have any ways to market a business on a shoestring that we’ve missed?
Let us know in the comments!
Ryan Smith is an Australian writer and uni student living in Melbourne. As a Business Management major, Ryan is passionate about business revenues. He also has a love for pets, he regularly takes his pet dog for a walk in the park.