Starting a new business is a lot of work. Not only is it a lot of work, but depending on the business, it can also be very expensive. Ensuring you have enough money for your business is important, but savings can quickly deplete. When that happens, it is time to begin marketing to bring in more cash. When cash flow is tight, marketing can save your business, but you run into a Catch-22 here. You need to market your business because you are low on money, but marketing costs money and you may not have enough. If that is the case, then these inexpensive marketing tips could save you.
Inexpensive Marketing Tips When Initial Cash Flow Is Tight
The most important thing is to think outside the box. Usually, thinking outside the box will allow you to save money, increase sales and build a prosperous business.
We all know that word-of-mouth advertising is incredibly important to the survival of a business. Person A telling Person B how much they like your business is more important than paying a fortune for a commercial on television.
When we talk about word-of-mouth, what we are speaking of is referrals. A referral is a great way to grow your business. Many major companies like PayPal began with referrals and quickly built their business around that. Essentially, you are paying money to make money with a referral. You can offer a customer 25 percent off their next visit if they bring in a new customer. At the same time, give that customer a discount. Rewarding both will go a long way rather than just rewarding the referrer.
Take your product or service and teach other people how to use it. People love free things and they love learning new things. A free workshop or class that relates to your product or service helps to spread the word about your product, while also showing people why your product or service can benefit them. Started a cannabis business? Hold a workshop about how to roll properly, about the benefits and dangers of cannabis and more.
The media can be your best friend when you are trying to get your business off the ground. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the media will do a story on your business unless it is a unique idea (like a cat cafeé, or a cannabis store on the day cannabis is legalized). As a result, you need to think outside the box, while also benefitting your local community. You can host a grand opening or a charity event that gets the media out and helps give something back to the area you live in. If you don’t want to plan anything, you can also become a sponsor of an event. Being a sponsor doesn’t always have to mean giving cash to something. If you are a graphic designer, it could be as simple as designing the advertising for the event in exchange for sponsorship.
Use Social Media
One of the great things about Facebook is the ability to create ads that target specific people. For example, if you are a business that specializes in pet portraits, then you can create an ad that targets pet owners in your area specifically. A television or radio ad is going to cost a lot of money and hit a wide segment of people who don’t care about what you offer. A Facebook Ad is the opposite. It can cost you $1.50 a day and target specific people who are most likely to use your product or service.
Couple Invoices with Promotions
When someone buys from you, you have won half the battle. They have come to you for a product or service. Now you can go just a bit extra to keep them coming back. When you give an invoice, put a promotion for an upcoming event, or a discount on a future purchase in with the invoice. This will help to bring the customer back, and a returning customer is worth their weight in gold.
It is tough to do this one, we know. The thing is, cold calling is free and only takes a little of your time. Before you do any cold calling, you should make a list of the people and businesses that will be more interested in what you are selling. At that point, start calling and be friendly. Tell them what you have, how they could benefit and ask to meet to speak more about it. Some will say yes, many will say no. All you can do is move on to the next list.
Apply For Awards
Many business organizations, like the Chamber of Commerce, hold annual business awards. The great thing about these awards is they are often written about in newspapers, they are attended by many people and they can be a great way to get your business name out there. Have a friend nominate your business, or you can do so yourself, and if you win you can then use that in your advertising. “Best Customer Service” is a nice thing to add to your sales flyers.
Forget about trying to advertise your business on a bus that costs way too much. What doesn’t cost that much is advertising your business on your own car? In addition, you can choose to drive your vehicle through select areas to capitalize on the advertising. The big event in town? Go to it and park your vehicle where many people will see it. It is free mobile advertising and it can go a long way towards getting you some new customers, just mind the gas you spend.
Generally, these will cost you about $100 or more depending on the size of the trade fair. Focusing on small town trade fairs will save you costs and help get you out to a rural audience. No matter where the trade fair is, you should always make sure you have an effective trade fair booth that gets people to stop. Have some fun with it, and make your booth really pop. Also, give things away because everyone likes free stuff. There are many sites online that will teach you how to be effective at a trade fair and reach a large audience of people and future customers.
There are many ways to reach a lot of customers without spending a lot of money. These are just a few but always remember to think outside the box and provide a quality product or service to your customers.