Marketing your business on a budget

Do you have a small business and are currently thinking of new and affordable ways to market your business? Before cutting down on some of your marketing expenses, let’s look at some inexpensive ways in which you can market your business.

Top 6 ways to market your small business with a tight budget

1. The ‘Elevator Pitch’

Keep in mind that an adult’s attentions span is no more than 6-8 seconds, That’s all the time you have to capture someone’s attention, so you have to make sure that you have a succinct and persuasive sales pitch to make them want to hear more.

2. Make use of the community

Look at the life events that are taking place in your community and see how your business can create an opportunity to market itself or build brand awareness your business. For example, supplying t-shirts to charity walks / runs, or printing bookmarks for the local library with your logo and basic information on.

3. Partnering with other non-competitive companies

Another great way to market your bus is putting together a group of non-competitive companies together where you can cross-promote each other’s businesses through website links, flyers, promotions, social media.

4. Networking

Committing to creating and building good relationships is one of the best ways to market your business. Interacting with different people can increase word of mouth marketing and ultimately bring in new customers.

5. Create a buzz

Brands today are more likely to make more sales on social media than any other channel. Instagram, Facebook & LinkedIn are three platforms customers use to discover new brands. If you find a way to go viral by creating a hashtag that trends you would have a better chance of being discovered.

6. Ask for referrals

Majority of people say they are willing to give referrals if asked for but would not take the initiative to do it themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from clients, as good referrals can have a good effect on new clients, and not so good referrals can help you identify your business’s weak points.

Steps to marketing your business:

Conduct market research

Market research is very important as this helps you understand your client better; this will help you focus your marketing strategy.

Profile your target market

Trying to promote & sell your business can be costly, grouping your clients based on certain characteristics can save you a lot of money & time, base your research on factors such as buying patterns, location, lifestyle etc.

Identify your business “Unique Selling Proposition” USP

Try looking at why customers choose your product or service over your competitors. What makes you stand out from your competitors is your USP.  You can ask yourself the following questions below to find your USP:

  • What do you love most about the services & Product you offer?
  • What special skills or knowledge do you have?
  • What makes your customers come to you instead of your competitor?
  • How does one benefit from your product or service?
  • What part of your business do you highlight when you describe your services/products to potential client?

Develop your brand

Every business regardless of the size needs to have a brand. This is beyond your logo, colors & tagline. Your brand is the voice of your business. You can look at the following to build your brand:

  • Online presence, Social media & Website
  • Printing, Signage and packaging
  • Sales and customer service
  • Email Marketing
  • Mission Statement
  • Form your brand voice

Choose how to market your brand

There are many ways and platforms to advertise your business, it is important to consider your target market when choosing, Options include:

  • Business Website
  • Social Media
  • Blogging
  • Brochures, Flyers
  • Word of mouth
  • Billboards
  • Letter drops, etc.

Set your Goals & Budget

Marketing goals should help you define what you want to achieve through your marketing activities. Your goals should always be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based.  Your marketing budget will have to include the following items:

  • Designing of your branding & Website
  • Search engine optimization
  • Printing costs
  • Employment of staff to undertake marketing activities

Take care of your loyal customers

Customers are the key to the success of your business. Providing consistent customer care will help build trust and good relationships and get people coming back and also make you different from your competitors. Ways you can use to build your customers loyalty:

  • Regular communication with clients
  • Providing after sale follow up
  • Delivering on your promises
  • Train staff in customer service and basic sales process

Conclusion

Marketing your business doesn’t have to be expensive. With the right amount of creative thinking and invested time, you can grow your business in no time. It is very important to engage with your customers, build relationships, but most importantly-  keep your brand in mind. The more time and effort put into marketing your business, the more profitable your business will become.

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