Ask Evan – How to Promote Your Business With No Money

Promotion

Ask Evan is a segment on this blog where I answer reader questions. This week’s question comes from Sunny:

My biggest challenge right now is advertising. I need someone to pound the pavement for me and pass out business cards and brochures. I just don’t have the funds to pay that person to do that for my business right now.

Thanks for caring,

Sunny

Dear Sunny,

Thanks for the great question – as entrepreneurs we never seem to have enough time, money, and other resources to get the job done. Here are my top 5 tips for you on how to promote your business with no money.

1) Partner Up

The fastest way to make sales and not spend on advertising is to find a company who is already selling to your target market and create a partnership where they promote your products or services to their customers in return for a percentage of the sale.

One of the easiest ways for a company to grow their business is to sell more to current customers so many business owners are open to the idea of promoting other products if there is something in it for them. The best part is: It doesn’t cost you anything until you make a sale.

Before approaching potential partners make sure you’ve done your research and are aligning yourself with someone who has the same company values as you. You don’t want to associate your business with a company that does not reflect the way you run your company so do your research and then get hunting!

If you’re looking for help but don’t have money, what else can you offer in return? Think about all the other resources and knowledge that you have – could you trade something else instead of money?

2) Commissioned Sales People

The best sales people are the ones who work on commission only but they very hard to find and usually gravitate towards the best opportunities. You might still try your luck in finding someone who wants to do it on a part time basis as a trial to see if they can generate an income from it.

You might also have to take a risk on someone with less experience and train them about what it is that you’re selling and what the key features are.

The benefit of commissioned only sales people is that, once again, you’re only paying once you get a result so the only downsides are the time you invest in the sales people and the risk that they don’t represent your company properly.

3) Barter Deals

If you’re looking for help but don’t have money, what else can you offer in return? Think about all the other resources and knowledge that you have – could you trade something else instead of money?

As an example, for one of my businesses I convinced a venture capital company to let me use their offices to incubate my company. Instead of paying them rent I helped bring in leads for their business.

What are you good at and what can you offer people to help you besides money? This can also work for your suppliers. When I was furnishing my first house I got thousands of dollars of free furniture from the company my wife and I liked in return for me giving them SEO advice.

What about making money first before spending it? Use some of the ideas above and tap into your entrepreneurial creativity to promote your business without spending money.

4) Use The Internet

Instead of printing off business cards and flyers, put them online and direct people to your website. It’s a whole lot cheaper and no matter what you are selling, people are looking for you online.

You can test out different keywords using Google AdWords on a limited budget and then focus in on your main keywords and build a SEO campaign around them. It will require work but you can do it yourself.

Online marketing consistently comes up as one of the most cost-effective ways that business owners are using to promote their companies.

5) Don’t Spend Until You Earn

This is one of the most important lessons you can learn as an entrepreneur trying to start a business. It’s easy to spend money – anybody can do it – and as entrepreneurs we sometimes feel like we have to.

We need an office, we need flyers, we need business cards, and the list goes on. What about making money first before spending it? Use some of the ideas above and tap into your entrepreneurial creativity to promote your business without spending money.

Once the money is coming in you’ll have a budget to expand but most entrepreneurs close their companies because they don’t give it enough time and they run out of money. Don’t be that entrepreneur!

If you’re looking for more ideas and inspiration on how to promote your business check out my blog post: How to Promote Your Business like P.T. Barnum.

Good luck Sunny!

Readers, do you have any other ideas for Sunny? How have you promoted your business without spending money?

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you leave a comment below!

Photo credit: The Green Album

About the Author

I #Believe in entrepreneurs.

68 Responses to “Ask Evan – How to Promote Your Business With No Money”

  1. Stuart says:

    This is a great article, thank you!

  2. Bonnie says:

    I’m so glad I read this article!

  3. Ruth Hirt says:

    This is worth passing to the next worthy, honest business person. Thank you so much, Mr. Evans.

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  5. Roger says:

    This is such a helpful article. I’m very excited that I found it.

  6. Alvin says:

    I really appreciate you sharing this article with us. Thanks!

  7. kumar says:

    It is very interesting and nice to read

  8. Tanya says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article, thanks for sharing!

  9. Shari says:

    This is a great article. Very interesting and nice to read.

  10. Sharon says:

    Really, this article is very nice and I like it very much.

  11. Vijay Kumar says:

    Good advice tips that are very much helpful. Promoting our busines without money is really a good idea. Thanks for giving the useful tips.

  12. Ron says:

    It’s a very informative and helpful article for small or newly started businesses. I will share it with my friends. Thanks again, man, for sharing it.

  13. Victor says:

    It was a very nice and great article. I mean it’s really cool to know you can start a small business with no investment.

  14. Roger says:

    Evan, this is wonderful!

  15. Carrie says:

    It’s a very useful article, especially for young entrepreneurs. Keep sharing such great articles.

  16. Claire says:

    This article on how to promote your business with no money will be very useful for most business people. This is full of very good advice tips.

  17. Eric says:

    This article gives very good advice tips for business people. Really great ideas.

  18. Kevin says:

    It was a very interesting post to read, so nice, very helpful, useful tips, great ideas. Very good article to forward or suggest to our friends. Once again, thank you very much for your best article.

  19. Brian says:

    While nothing is avilable for free, your interest in sharing such a valuble information is commendable. This will be useful for low level to top level enterprenuers for taking cost-effective decisions easily.

  20. Jim says:

    Wonderful post. Trying to figure out how I can apply all these tricks in my business. Thanks.

  21. Matthew says:

    Promoting your business without the use of money is always a dream of any businessman. Thank you so much giving us your valued opinions in this regard.

  22. unnikrishnan says:

    It is a very interesting article about promoting business. It gives more informations about promoting business with no money.

  23. Heidi says:

    Word of mouth works well. Just keep talking to people, eventually someone knows someone that needs what you have, and the more people you talk to, the more info that is out there about you, and it will spread. Yes, this takes time, but if you present yourself well, people do not forget you or what you have to offer. This has worked well for our family business.

  24. Barry Sarner says:

    This is great Evan… Thanks a million

  25. Emma says:

    This is a nice article for those who do not have money, but like to do business. Thanks for this interesting article, it was a pleasure to read.

  26. balaji says:

    nice article busines without money is really a good idea

  27. Austin says:

    This is outstanding information, thanks Evan. I appreciate it and I know others will, great work.

  28. Marsha Vaz says:

    A very innovative plan of action. I can see by the way all the steps have been laid out that everything is tried and tested. Good Post!

  29. Veronica says:

    Nice article, it is useful for me. Thank you, Evan.

  30. Shari says:

    Your post inspired me and gave me a lot of confidence.

  31. Tanya says:

    The five ways of promoting business was a good one, but I have some suggestions for Sunny. If your business is a local one and your target audience is the local people, you can always hire up some kid from the neighbourhood to do the distribution of flyers and brochures. All you have to do is pay him with a small tip and maybe buy him a burger or even a chocolate bar would do. But, if your business targets other business people and is a service sector oriented business, I would strongly suggest you follow certain tips given by Mr. Carmichael. I would also like to add to it that you should take up the habit of going to exhibitions and conferences relating to your field. This could greatly help in promoting your business with the right kind of people. Mr. Carmichael, thank you for that informative article.

  32. Chaa says:

    Sunny can also create a facebook fan page and a twitter account – tools that can help drive traffic to its website.

  33. Mandy says:

    This is a goldmine of useful information that could help anyone get started, or give someone the kick-start they need! Brilliant blog, thanks Evan! :)

  34. Shirley says:

    This is a very interesting post, thanks for sharing.

  35. John says:

    “Don’t Spend Until You Earn” This is most important thing according to my experience. I learned it the hard way though. I spent a lot of money that I had earned though my business and then when there was economic doom, I had hardly any money left in my account.

  36. Karin says:

    Great post! I think no. 5 is the most important. I try to remember reinvesting before spending :)

  37. Lucas says:

    Having a way to grow a business is very important. Like making a good decision, timing is very important.

  38. Sasha says:

    This is a very innovative plan of action. I can see by the way all the steps have been laid out that everything is tried and tested. Good post!

  39. Becky says:

    This is such a helpful and informative article, thank you.

  40. Bonnie says:

    Evan, thanks for the information. Now I feel there is hope in making money this way. Once again, thanks a billion. Also keep me posted on new ideas that you have. Thanks.

  41. Richard says:

    This is such an informative site, thank you!

  42. shamnath says:

    Good advice tips that are very much helpful. Promoting our busines without money is really a good idea. Thanks for giving the useful tips.

  43. Veronica says:

    Good blog. This post gives good information about business. I can learn from this post and take ideas from this blog and put them into my business. Thanks for sharing it, I really appreciate this blog.

  44. Charlie says:

    This will be a useful post for those who have a dream of starting a business with no strong economic background.

  45. Daniel says:

    This blog article tells me how to promote me and my own business. Thanks for writing this kind of article. I really appreciate your good advice and suggestions.

  46. Henderson says:

    Very good article. I think there are three methods that we can use to make our business grow globally: Search engine optimization (SEO), website optimization, and web marketing.

  47. Ashley says:

    I really like the way you laid out this article, well done.

  48. Sheila says:

    Nice post. I think it is really an informative entry on this blog for those who are ready to start a good business by trading something else instead of money. And I like the lessons that do not spend money until we earn something more.

  49. Johnresa says:

    These are great ideas. I have just started a small business and these tips will be very helpful in growing my business. Thank you!

  50. Miranda says:

    Very nice post. Thanks for sharing this.

  51. Todd says:

    I am looking for these types of ideas to improve my business skills. Thanks for these and I look forward to more.

  52. Tammy says:

    Well, Evan, the article is nice and very helpful to people like me who do not have money to invest, but have several business skills. Your ideas can help people with a very big inspiration and it is also helpful to the people who have recently started their own businesses as you have also given several tips for the growth of the business.

  53. Sharon says:

    Your suggestions are useful for all, we would do well to follow your ideas. It is very important for success in business.

  54. Karen says:

    This is an awesome article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with this article.

  55. Meredith K. says:

    I especially like the barter idea. People say word-of-mouth is best, and having a mutually satisfactory exchange with someone is one of the best ways to get referrals later.

  56. NAMRATA says:

    This is such a helpful article. I’m very excited that I found it.

  57. sid says:

    A good way to pet light on how to keep on with business if you do not have enough money to invest. This article will be of great help and importance to a large section of society who find themselves in the same situation.

  58. Angela says:

    This is a very helpful article, thanks for sharing!

  59. Kayla says:

    This is such a useful article, very nice.

  60. [...] starters you can read my Ask Evan post last week where I discussed how to promote your business with no money. I’m going to add to that by [...]

  61. Leslie says:

    This article is very impressive and interesting.

  62. Chris says:

    This article was very useful and a smooth read! Thanks for shedding light on a subject that seems like every entrepreneur thinks about.

  63. Steve says:

    Nice post. Thanks.

  64. Josh says:

    First, you should have enough money to start a new business. Suppose, if you want to start a very big business then you should have a big amount of money for that business.

  65. itsyourbiz says:

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  66. Leonard says:

    I liked this one!

  67. Great article; very useful to me in getting started with an already established entreprenuer. I will be able to use this information to help in my own endeavors for marketing without much money!

    1. Great to hear Kimberly – good luck!

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