How to market for your business on a tight budget
Marketing might be the first expense you consider cutting when budgets are tight but it should be known that even though traditional advertising methods are hard to measure and costly, small businesses are actually in a better place to market now; this is because they have greater access to trackable, cost-effective marketing tools.
Social media and email marketing are just the beginning; some of the other strategies you can employ for your small business are listed below.
- An elevator pitch: wherever you are you should be marketing whenever you get the chance which is why you’ll need a compelling elevator pitch. An adult’s average attention span is 6-8 seconds which is all the time you need to capture someone’s attention. After successfully engaging them you have a little over a minute to sell your product or service. Take time to craft a convincing elevator pitch and your return on investment will pay huge dividend sums in terms of developing business opportunities.
- Collaborate: put a team together consisting of non-competitive, synergistic businesses in your area and come together to cross-promote. Use social media platforms, bundled promotions, reciprocal website links, fliers or coupons. Collaborating with each other will expand your customer base because you will be interacting with new people.
- Networking: There is no better way to build your business. Get to know people, shake some hands and get out there. Networking needs time commitment and it may not provide instant gratification but one of the greatest assets any business person can have is a strong network.
- Giveaways: giving people the opportunity to experience your service or product may make them want to purchase more. Don’t be scared to give out samples or free trials as people are more comfortable purchasing things they have been able to experience first.
- Coupons: offering coupons is a good way for many businesses to get new customers. People will go out of their way to use coupons according to research indicating the success of this method in the expansion of your customer base. Coupons are also great for generating return visits e.g. if you give customers discount coupons to use on future business transactions, there is a good chance they will be back.
- Build relationships: keeping a customer is a lot easier than getting a new one which is why establishing a strong relationship with your customer base is imperative. You can do this via email marketing. Ask for your customers’ email addresses when they visit your website or store and make your communications professional, helpful and informative so they will look forward to hearing from you.
- Referrals: ask for referrals from your customers. Lots of people have admitted to providing a referral upon request but not taking the initiative to do it on their own. A referral or several will make it easier to get in the door with new customers.
- Leverage your community: think locally. Consider the goings-on in your community and sponsor a charity walk or run or a Little League team, print some bookmarks and leave them at your local library. Think about how your ideal customer spends their time and where as you get to know them. Look for opportunities to get an audience with your customer with your marketing message.