Marketing on a Shoestring
Budget Marketing Strategies
It’s a common situation: new business owners need to advertise, but they don’t have the capital to do so early in their company’s operations. The dilemma is circular. You can’t generate business without marketing and advertising, but you need money for marketing and advertising. Unfortunately, many small businesses will fail if they don't advertise their products or services. Don't fall victim to something that can easily be remedied.
Take Marketing Risks
You wouldn’t be in business if you weren’t willing to take risks. You may have taken out a second mortgage on your home, raided the nest egg, or scrimped and saved to start your business. It is a complete waste of all of that if you do not advertise.
You Can’t Afford NOT to Advertise
You may have no money coming in during the first few months of your business. So if you have no money, how can you advertise?
First of all, marketing and advertising should be built into your monthly budget (you have a budget, right?), along with electricity, web hosting, inventory, etc. You need marketing just as much as you need electricity. Designate a percentage of the anticipated sales you plan (hope) to earn each month on advertising.
Each month, decide how you’ll spend your allotted marketing money. Some affordable but effective marketing tools include:
o Business cards, notecards with company logo, letterhead
o Banner ad on small website (can cost under $100)
o Thank you gifts to good customers
o Membership to business organization
All Advertising is Not Equal
Don’t waste your money on advertising that’s not going to be effective for your type of business. If you run a web radio station, brochures and fliers are a waste of time, because your audience is worldwide. If you run a doggy bakery in Sacramento, nationwide web advertising may not be for you. Think about who you’re trying to sell to, and then research advertising options.