Note from Yoon:
Setting your own hours, working from the comfort of your home (in your pajamas?) and being your own boss are some of the big perks of being a small business owner. As a business coach my clients are throughout the United States and even overseas, but it’s all headquartered right in my own home. This is me in my home office (ok, so I don’t always take the Richard Branson approach and work sitting in a hammock).
A major drawback, however, is the cost that it takes to get everything up and running. In today’s article I wanted to share with you my tips for one of the most common questions I receive from small business owners and solopreneurs who are trying to market their businesses on a small budget. Read below and make sure you share your comments and questions.
The Small Business Administration says that the average business owner invests $30,000 into their new business. If you’re dreaming of starting a business, or already have, and are strapped for cash; here are five low cost marketing tips to help you gain and retain customers:
Donate to local fundraisers and charity events.
Doing things like giving $50 to a charity to help victims of a natural disaster or donating some of your products to the school’s annual carnival — and getting your name printed on their handouts — is likely to be worth every penny you invest, says Entrepreneur. Aim to support any cause as a business that you would personally, and try to support events that are mid- to large-scale so that you get the most visibility for your dollar. As a bonus, your donation may be tax deductible.
Work with other small business owners to cross promote.
Nothing helps ramp up business better than by teaming up with others. Find businesses that have a natural connection to yours and hand out their sales fliers and business cards to your customers. And ask them to reciprocate. If you’re a dog groomer, it would be natural for you to work with people who specialize in walking dogs, baking organic doggie snacks, crafting dog sweaters and the local pet shop owner. In this way, you’re creating value, not competition, since each one of your offer unique goods and services.
Remember your customers’ special days
Collect info on your customers as part of your loyalty program, create and order postcards from OvernightPrints.com and then send the cards to customers on their birthday, anniversary, birth of a child or other special event that you know about. The cards can do double-duty by offering a discount or free gift when the customer comes in with the card.
Start a blog and be active in social media
Internet users are pretty savvy and are adept at finding free information. Businesspeople who hand out loads of useful info are often rewarded with the sale or contract, simply because they go above and beyond the average person’s expectations. An article from PC Mag says that providing tips, suggestions, hints or reviews of your product or service makes great web content. Also be sure to join relevant groups and be active in the conversations taking place on Twitter and Facebook.
Set up a booth or table at community events.
Dropping $100 for a booth at a local festival where thousands of people will be exposed to your products or services can offer a great ROI. Be liberal in handing out business cards, brochures, samples, pencils, magnets or whatever fun item that you have personalized with your name, phone number and website URL. Within a few days your name and phone number will be in the hands of hundreds or thousands of households in your city, where they’ll repeatedly be reminded of you and likely give you a call when the time is right.
There are actually hundreds of ways to market your small business inexpensively. I just shared 5. Please share your best ideas on other inexpensive ways to market your small business.
About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development. Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947.
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