23 August 2018-Starting a small business is a fun adventure in which you get to work for yourself and customize your work to suit your life goals. To stay in business and start turning a profit, potential customers need to know you exist, and so it is essential that you promote yourself and get the word out there. One of the challenges many small business owners face is finding ways to promote their products and services while adhering to a tight budget to start off. Here are ten smart ways you can effectively market your new entrepreneurial adventure without spending a lot of money:
Utilize Social Media
Social media is a free global information super hub that allows friends, families, and complete strangers from all around the world to connect and share photos, stories, events, and more. Part of your business and marketing plan should be to set up social media accounts on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn so you can reach as many potential customers as possible. You can use these platforms to promote new products and services, discounts, coupon codes, and the latest about what is going on with your business. Your connections will then be able to share and like your posts, and send information on to their contacts. Keep your business relevant by updating your social media accounts regularly.
Most consumers do at least some of their research and shopping online, so take advantage of digitally promoting your business by creating a visually appealing website that people want to visit. You can register a website with companies like Domain.com, Godaddy.com, Register.com, and more. Registering a website name is affordable, and you will have a fun time building your web portal from scratch. If you lack computer programming skills and do not have time to indulge in a little self-teaching, you can hire a programmer to do the work for you. When building your website, keep the colors and branding consistent, so customers don’t get confused. You will also want to avoid using a ton of flashy colors that look like you are sponsoring a massive liquidation sale, so customers take your website seriously.
Wrap and Tag Your Vehicle
Be a mobile billboard for your own business when you are cruising around town with the help of promotional graphics. Graphics are cheap to custom create and to order from a print service. Graphics can be as simple as a window sticker or as bold as a wrap for your entire vehicle. Be sure to include your business phone number and email address so customers can contact you.
Flyers and Business Cards
Flyers and business cards are tried and true tools for promoting businesses. They can be pinned up on community boards, utility poles, and windows of other businesses if they allow you to. Print out a bunch of catchy flyers and pass them out, along with your business cards to people you meet, neighbours, friends, community organizations, and more. You can even include a coupon to entice new customers. “When designing your cards and flyers, be sure to keep the design layout simple,” says entrepreneur Glenn Sandler, who is located in Melbourne, Florida.
Network, Network, Network!
Networking is powerful, and you should take advantage of every opportunity you get to share the concept of your business with anyone who will listen. Connect with those who are in similar niches as you and learn from those who have been successful in their business ventures. Attend seminars, business association meetings, community meetings, and conferences so you can exchange business cards with others and let them know what you are all about. Do not be afraid of mingling with the competition; use these interactions to help further your own business.
Create Information Packets
Information packets offer a quick way to showcase your business and get clients interested in your products and services. A good information packet includes a pricing guide, samples of your work, information about your business, ordering sheets, a business card or two, and coupons or discount codes. Keep your information packets handy so that you can offer them out to prospective customers as you go about your day.
Attend Local Events
Whether it be a community farmers market or a seasonal fair, attend events in your community so you can market your business and wrangle in potential customers while they are out enjoying the weekend. You can rent booth space at community events for an affordable price, and have instant access to people from all over your city. To attract even more potential customers to your booth, set up games and raffles, and offer some promotional gifts for just stopping by to see you. Gifts can be as simple as branded stationary or treat bags.
Host an Event
People love a good party, and special social events are a great way to market your business and find out who your potential customers are. If your business operates out of commercial office space, open up the doors and invite the public in for an open house. If your business is conducted from your home, rent a banquet hall or a conference room and spread the word about your party to friends, family, business associates, and social media contacts. You can also create flyers and post them throughout the community. Must have items to have at your event include beverages and cocktails, snacks, promotional materials, free gifts, and door prizes. Be sure to put together a captivating presentation to share with your attendees.
Public forums bring people from all over the globe together to discuss topics of interests and can be an incredible promotional tool for your business. Niche forums are easy to locate by doing a simple Google search. Type in the topic related to your business and include the word “forum” at the end to see what pops up. Most forums are free to sign up. Once you are confirmed in the group, you can begin having open discussions with customers and other members of your chosen business community. Many forum owners will allow you to add links to your business so people can check out what you have for sale.
Samples, Discounts, and Freebies
Businessman Glenn Sandler advises, “Let customers try out your products and services through samples, discounts, and freebies.” If you are in the business of selling tangible goods, create samples that you can hand out to new customers. Discounts can also be offered to new clients who purchase services from you. You can either offer to do a portion of the work for free or provide the customer with a percentage off the total price of the service just for choosing your company to do the work. This is a great way to establish new customers and make them feel like they are getting a deal. As part of your promotional package, provide free gifts with a purchase to make the transaction feel even more special to the customer.
Marketing is essential for any new business and being proactive in getting your brand name out there is how you will attract customers and forge lasting relationships. Take advantage of all of the free and low-cost promotional tools at your disposal and have some fun while introducing yourself to the community that you serve.