7 ways to promote your small business when you don’t have a lot of money
Save your business budget by using creative marketing strategies.
- Possibly the biggest bang for your buck online word of mouth for free.
- Whether you spend money or not, advertising takes focus and energy.
- Cross promotion is a way to collaborate with other business owners and get your business known.
According to real estate guru Barbara Corcoran, there’s no reason to empty your business account to pay for advertising. There are inexpensive and free ways to spread the word. Here we present seven examples.
Dive into Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social media sites. Participation is free and you can create a page specifically for your business. Don’t just advertise on this page, gain the interest of your followers. For example, you can ask a daily trivia question or share a remarkable and unusual fact.
The idea is to make everyone who follows your business page familiar with what you have to offer.
2. Think of an easy-to-understand name
Suppose you own a dog walking service and your last name is Westwood. While the name of your company, Westwood Services, is nice and concise, it gives no idea of what your company does. Try something like Westwood Dog Walking Services instead. You want people to be able to find you easily if they’re specifically looking for someone to walk their dog.
3. Collaborate online
All entrepreneurs have to start somewhere. Find other entrepreneurs with businesses similar to yours. You don’t want them to be exactly the same because that makes them a competitor. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a brick-and-mortar or online business. What you are looking for is a professional, dedicated company that will be a good match for yours.
Once you’ve found a company you’d like to work with, let them know who you are and what your company is about. Ask if they are willing to work together. It might sound like, “You market my products on your website and I’ll give you 20% of the profits for any sales I make through your efforts.”
If the business owner wants you to market their products, do the same for them. Make it a point to write down the details of your deal before cross-promotions begin. Let’s say the person you work with inspires someone to buy your product, but that new customer keeps coming back to buy the same thing every month. Make sure the other business owner understands that you are only offering 20% of the initial sale.
4. Create a website
It’s difficult to look professional without a website. Luckily, sites like Wix, GoDaddy, and Squarespace make it easy for beginners to create their own websites with pre-built templates. While there is a cost involved in buying a domain and paying for website hosting, they are considered business expenses and are usually tax deductible.
5. Start a blog
A blog is one of the first places you can offer potential customers something of value. For example, if you’re starting a bakery, you can use your blog to tell funny anecdotes and share simple recipes.
Starting a blog is also a great way to introduce clients to your unique personality and make them feel like working with you.
6. Be added to directories
If there’s a business directory online, you’ll want to be added. Get your company’s name out. Here are some of the directories you might want to target:
- Apple Maps
- LinkedIn Business Directory
- Google My Business
- Super Pages
7. Request reviews
Granted, getting people to slow down long enough to review your business can be challenging, but it’s critical to future growth. Ask valued customers to share their opinions online. Positive reviews go a long way in attracting new customers.
An estimated 5 million small businesses will be founded in 2022. Get on the road to success by making your business stand out. The best way to do this is to get your company’s name out there as often as possible. Fortunately, when it comes to advertising, determination can be more important than your budget.
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