When you’re building a business on a budget, getting started may seem like an insurmountable task. But with hard work and determination, you can do it. Once you’ve got everything in place, it’s time to get to work on marketing your business.
Small business owners often feel that they do not have the resources to market themselves, so they just set up shop and hope for the best. This is one of the reasons that so many small businesses fail. If no one knows that you exist, how are you going to make any money?
You don’t have to spend a lot of money for your marketing to be successful. If you’re willing to take promotion into your own hands, you can get good results without going broke. In fact, there are some marketing methods that do not cost a dime. Here are some cheap and free ways to get the word out about your business:
* Write and distribute press releases. There are websites where you can submit them for free for anyone to read, but it’s also important to send them directly to media outlets. This could get your business featured in a story in the paper or a magazine, or maybe even the television news.
* Write articles about your field of expertise and submit them to online article directories. You can add a resource box with a short bio and link to your website. Webmasters can access these articles and add them to their sites as long as they keep them as-is, so this will give you publicity and links to your website.
* Seek out joint ventures with other small businesses. This could be a good source of publicity, and you can split advertising costs.
* Try bartering for advertising. If you run a cleaning service, for example, see if the local newspaper will allow you to clean offices in exchange for ad space.
* Distribute lots and lots of business cards. Business cards are a staple for any businessperson, whether a small business owner or the head of a multinational corporation. Hand them out to anyone you discuss business with, leave them at local business that cater to clients who might be interested in your products or services, and drop them in any correspondence you send.
* Donate items for fundraising raffles and other types of giveaways. This is a nice gesture of goodwill, and your business name will be featured on tickets and promotional materials.
Marketing does not have to be expensive to be effective. There is room for some amount of marketing in any budget, because some methods come at no cost except your time. So there’s no reason that you can’t get the word out about your business, no matter how little you have to spend.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, homeschooling mom, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.