Small Biz Marketing Essentials
Every entrepreneur is challenged when it comes to marketing their business. And, if you’re a small business owner like myself, with a limited amount of resources, you are probably asking the following questions every waking minute throughout your day “Are there ways to market my business that are low cost and no cost, when one is on a limited budget?” How can I get the word out without depleting my budget?
The long and the short of it, is marketing does take money and it is the cornerstone of your businesses success however, all is not lost there are some low cost and no cost creative ways to get the word out about your products and services. While these ideas will not break your budget however; they will require you to trade your time for marketing your business. The following marketing strategies are fantastic, cost effective and essential for the small business just starting out.
1. Join your local Chamber of Commerce
Go to your local Chamber networking events to meet other businesses in the community, hand out business cards and sponsor chamber events, which usually includes your being able to market your business products and services. The the advantages of being a member of your local chamber is that they will provide you with a ribbon cutting ceremony and usually invite members of the local press to participate. Most Chambers’ do member to member marketing and has an online business directory where you can include information about your business and your website url.
2. Become a Member of Business Networking International (BNI)
Belonging to BNI is like having dozens of sales people working for you, because all of them carry several copies of your business cards around with them. When they meet someone who could use your products or services, they give out your card and recommend you. It's as simple as that! It's simple because it's based on a proven concept by BNI Founder, Dr. Ivan Misner, called "Givers Gain." If I give you business you'll give me business and we'll both benefit as a result.
3. Sponsor Community Projects
Whenever possible, participate in community projects for example, homeless shelters, habitat for humanity and various school projects so that members of the community in which you do business can put a face with a name and get to know you.
4. Tap into Your Sphere of Influence
Make a list of 100 people that you know and call and/or write them announcing your new business. In the insurance and real estate business, this is marketing 101; build your sphere of influence “people that already know you.” And ask them who they know that would be interested in your products and services….referral, referral, referral. There is nothing like a warm lead.
5. Send a Press Release
There is nothing like free publicity especially over the weekend. Most local community newspapers are usually looking for fillers for the weekend edition and what better way to get your new business and or product offerings to potential customers at no cost to you by having a well written press release answering the who, what, when, why and where. This is an especially good strategy to utilize when there is a holiday weekend coming up….The news room is usually short of stories.
6. Blog like crazy
Every chance you get ride that internet wave and blog like crazy, it costs noting to write a blog and send it to your friends and have them pass it to their networks. Play it forward.
7. Car wraps
Great stand alone advertising in the parking lot of grocery stores, malls, and while driving to various locals.
8. Target Women and Ethnic Specific Organizations
The U.S. is a melting pot and there is a demographic shift occurring in America; Asian and Hispanics are the fastest growing groups. There are also various women organizations and ethnic specific organizations that could be targeted for marketing your products and services. It is a well know fact that women influence 95% of the purchasing decisions in most house holds.
9. Utilize Internet Buzz
The buzz speaks for itself. At the present time, there is no cost associated with it, so start buzzing.
The bottom line as it relates to marketing, people like doing business with people they know.
Mz. LVD On Small Biz Marketing