If you’re just starting out in business, you may not have the capital to invest a lot into marketing. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t market your business. Businesses need to market in order to grow and yes this often does come at an expense but there are low cost ways to market your small business until there are more funds to cover big advertising.
Learn to give your pitch
When you’re talking to prospect clients, it’s important that you learn to sell yourself well. Rambling and stumbling over words, not quite clear on what you offer will deter people from using your services. Sell yourself and what you do, believe in what you do and have a love for what you offer and people will believe in you and buy from you.
Ask for referrals
You are much more likely to get something that you ask for than what you wish for. Ask your current or past clients for referrals or if they would recommend your business to others. If this is new to you and you’re not used to asking for referrals, start with people that you know, family or friends and make them fully aware of what you offer so they can recommend you if they come across someone looking for your services.
Create promotional material: leaflets, flyers, brochures
It’s not too expensive to create leaflets or flyers that you can either put through local letterboxes or have on hand when you’re giving a pitch. Having visual content helps a person to see what you do with real-life examples or what other clients think of your services by using testimonials, and makes it easier for someone to gain insight into how you can help them. It’s also a resource for someone to take away with them if they want to think over what are offering.
Use social media
Social media is a great tool for any business, it allows you to get up close and personal with your followers, to find and target your ideal audience and to offer value to all those who interact with your accounts. Whether you set up a Facebook business page and share what you offer, along with real-life stories and images, or you jump on LinkedIn and target business owners looking for your services. Social media is there for you to get ‘social’ with your audience, what better free place to speak directly to them.
Participate in a joint venture
If you’re short of funds to market your business, why not join forces with another company and put your funds and your heads together. Find someone that offers complimentary services or products to yours so you can work together to build awareness. Not only will this grow your offered skillset to potential customers, meaning that you can work with more/different people, but you’ll have a bigger marketing reach from the two audiences pulled together. Double the funds will help provide you with a bigger budget for marketing which in turn should reach more people in order to grow your business.
Have a website
Every small business needs a website. People will do a web search when looking for your business or researching your industry and you want to appear at the top, or near the top at least when they do that search. A website gives them a look into your business and what you offer before they make the step to contact you. Therefore, you don’t just need a website, you need a website that meets the needs of your audience and provides them with a good user experience right from the first glance. Ensure that information is up to date, service or product information is relevant and it’s easy to make contact with you when they want to.
You may not have the funds to be able to buy advertising space in your local press but have you got a story to tell? Reporters won’t write an article on something you are selling but if you have a unique perspective or something interesting that readers will want to see, they will write an article on you which means you can promote your business through the story.
Market to previous customers
Past customers already know what you can do and what you have to offer. It’s always harder to reach new clients than it is to use the ones you already have! Keep in touch with them through regular contact so they don’t forget you, and when they have a need for your services they will know where to come. Also, if you’re in regular contact with them, perhaps through a newsletter for example, you can offer services or products that they may not think of but that they do need and your message just gives them a gentle nudge to buy.
Wherever you are in your business whether you’ve just started out or have been going a while, marketing is necessary to build and grow the business. How you market the business will come down to your preferences but there are always low-cost options available to you when you don’t have a big budget.
Need help managing your budget as a small business? Get in touch, we’d love to help!