Affordable Marketing | Six Simple Ways To Market Your Small Business And Boost Visibility
Affordable Marketing | During an economic downturn, clients, customers, and consumers have less money to spend. This means that when they’re ready to buy, you want your company to be at the top of their list. Don’t skip out on marketing you business because you think you can’t afford it; you actually can’t afford not to market.
From a marketing standpoint, it’s a great time to own or start a business. There are more marketing opportunities and strategies available to small business owners which make it more cost-effective than ever before to get the word out about your products and services, no matter what industry you’re in. It doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out, or have been in business for years, these tested marketing strategies will help you find new clients without spending a fortune.
Do your research | Affordable Marketing
The first thing you have to do is research the market you are targeting. Who will your competitors be? Is there really a gap in the market that you can exploit? Effective marketing starts with putting the customer first. Define who your potential clients are, and then choose the best way to reach them. Be as specific as possible. Understand what they need and expect from your business, then achieve this by using marketing strategies to boost the customer’s experience. Wow the customer! They will come back, and bring their friends.
Hand out business cards | Affordable Marketing
Design a business card that potential clients will keep. Most business cards are tossed within hours of a meeting. Instead of having your card tossed, design one that recipients actually will keep. Leave them everywhere, give them to everyone. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a business card and business stationery custom-designed, have them designed immediately. Your business card, letterhead and envelope tell potential customers you are a professional who takes your business seriously.
The back of your business card could also offer a specific discount, or coupon code to be used on your website or in your store. Coupons are a good way for many businesses to get new customers. Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving that this method is effective in expanding your customer base.
Ask for referrals | Affordable Marketing
Don’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. Most of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own. Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. Create a referral program for your existing customers; they get a free product, a coupon, or a reward of some kind for every new customer they send your way.
Mail it | Affordable Marketing
Collect e-mail addresses and send out e-mail newsletters, promotions, or updates. The only cost is your time. Most businesses have harnessed the power of e-newsletters — and you definitely should be sending out one, too. But because e-mail marketing is now nearly ubiquitous, you can quickly stand out by occasionally sending personal, surface mail letters to potential and existing clients. Enclose your brochure, ad, or a flyer in all your outgoing mail. It doesn’t cost any additional postage, and you’ll be surprised at who could use the product or the service you’re offering.
Collaborate | Affordable Marketing
Referrals don’t come only from customers. Referral programs include business-to-business referrals too. If you have ever found yourself saying, “we don’t sell that here, but the store down the street does,” you should make sure that you are getting a referral in return. Get together with businesses who serve the same market, but sell different products and services, and agree to cross-promote. You can use coupons, fliers, reciprocal website links, bundled promotions or social media advertising.
Network | Affordable Marketing
There is no better way to build a business than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people. Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have. Go to meetings of professional groups, and groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or civic associations. Organize an event, party or conference for a cause you care about. That puts you in the position of getting to know lots of people, and shows off your small business leadership skills.