January 21, 2008

No Budget? No Problem: How to Market Your Business on a Shoestring

All of us in the business world understand the importance of marketing. It is a strategy to get your product or service known to a target market. It is done in an effort to increase sales and generate revenue. However, many small businesses get caught in a catch 22. They don't have money to advertise and market their business, so they aren't able to generate more sales and revenue. Since they aren't able to increase revenue, they continue not to have money to invest in marketing strategies. Yet consumers can't purchase products they don't know about.

Don't let the myth that big budget marketing strategies are going to generate more business. The focus should be on the quality of the advertising rather than the cost of it. While having a limited budget for marketing can be intimidating, you can still make it work for your business if you have a plan.

Creative marketing
There are creative ways to market your business on a very tight budget. Setting up a website is relatively easy and fast to complete. This is a great place to start advertising your business with very little investment. Create an electronic newsletter to share information with former, current, and potential customers. Create a blog, and write on it daily. You should write articles about your business and post them online in article directories. Make sure to include links back to your own website. The number of people this sort of advertising on the internet can reach is phenomenal.

Keep in touch with email
Make sure you have an email account set up for those who want more information on your product or have particular questions. This email needs to be checked several times daily. Potential customers may lose interest in your product if they don't get a prompt reply to their email.

The power of word of mouth advertising
Word of mouth is also a great marketing method. While it doesn't reach as many people as quickly as other advertising methods, it costs you absolutely nothing. Low budgeting for marketing doesn't have to mean low impact if you are able to reach the target market.

If possible, consider taking out marketing in trade. It might be possible for you to get a reputable marketing company to represent your business. In return, you will provide that marketing company with goods or services from your business. No money will be exchanged.

Another great idea is to network as much as possible. Business cards are a very inexpensive way of marketing your business. Attend trade shows and conferences where individuals who are in the market for your product will attend. It might also be a good idea to look into setting up booths as these trade shows to further promote your business.

Take whatever funding you possibly can and put it into fast marketing prospects that will generate some customers for your business. These strategies include a radio ad, a unique brochure, or a business newsletter. Since the average consumer needs to hear and ad seven times before they make a decision to make a purchase. Using multiple marketing avenues will also help you to reach more people.