No matter what type of business you run, there will always be an expense.
Phone bills, utility costs, staff wages, office supply costs… and many many more.
This can be frustrating for a small business owner trying to make a profit, as at times, expenditure can threaten to overshadow any income. This can be alleviated by marketing, of course, as the more people know about the business, the higher the chance of sales. But because of the expensive nature of running a business, the budget for marketing may be little to nil. It’s a dilemma. So, what is a small business owner to do?
For starters, it’s important to make savings across the board, using as many cost-cutting strategies as possible to make room for a marketing budget. Secondly, it’s worth using as many low-budget marketing ideas as possible. For you, these might include the following.
- Attend networking events. If there are any events happening near you, attend them. These might include trade shows, business workshops, and conferences. There may be a registration fee for some, but considering the number of people attending (and the potential to build your client or customer list), it’s worth paying the price if you can afford it. However, there might also be free events, so do your research and add them to your calendar.
- Carry your brand with you. Have a look at the items at Dynamic Gift and then purchase as much as you can with your brand name. You can then carry your brand with you, through the clothes you wear, and with items such as pens and other stationery that you can hand out to others, or sneakily leave lying around for others to find. There is an expense for some of these items but not a huge one, and some items you need only buy once. This is your way to get your brand out into the world, whether you talk about it to others or not.
- List your business for free. You don’t have to pay for the classified ads in newspaper and trade mags because there are places online where you can list your business for nothing. These include Yelp, Google My Business, Angie’s List, and City Search. Check this link for more.
- Build your email list. Many businesses implement email marketing campaigns, but there is usually a price to pay when choosing to use an email management service. Not so with Mailchimp, as if you have less than 2,000 subscribers on your contact list, you can use their services for free. Follow the previous link and find out more for yourself.
- Implement free marketing tools. You don’t need to pay over the odds on marketing apps and software as many can be downloaded for free. And even those tools that do have a fee attached, there are usually free versions available for you to try before you buy. There are some useful examples on this Infographic, so have a look and use as many as are applicable to your needs. Then consider paying a little more for any that might prove particularly useful to you in the long-term.
You can easily curb the expense of marketing using our ideas, so no matter how healthy (or unhealthy) your budget is, you can spread the word about your business cheaply. Let us know what you think, and if you have any further low-budget or free marketing ideas, please share them with us.