~by Donya Zimmerman~
Are you spending too much to promote your business?
Small business owners often believe that to successfully promote and advertise their business, they must spend a lot of money to do so. But, when first starting a business, one must learn how to create a budget for advertising. Small business owners do not realize that there are a variety of economical methods to market and promote their business. There are so many ways to promote a business without breaking the bank – and it can be done on a “shoestring budget”.
Here are 3 inexpensive ways to market your business:
1. Networking involves going to business and social events to gain knowledge and make the right connections. By networking, you can create strategic partnerships with other businesses that provide products and services similar to your business. With these strategic partnerships, you can create a great referral source for customers. This is a good way to ensure that one’s business has a regular flow of customers. Whenever one attends social events, it is advisable to have business cards to pass out to businesses and potential clients. Also, ensure that you have your “30 second” sales pitch ready to introduce yourself and your business to others. Networking is critical for promoting your business; it gives you the chance to hone your skills in selling your business to potential clients, it allows you meet other business owners, and it allows you to create business relationships that can last a lifetime.
2. Joining business organizations and social groups geared toward your ideal client, or target market, is the best way to connect with other businesses. The membership fees for such organizations range from $0 to $300 per year.
Most business organizations provide the following perks:
• Good events to attend
• Seminars and workshops
• Retreat events that focus on relaxation and valuable training at the same time
• Social mixers where entrepreneurs can mix and mingle with each other
Social groups and business organizations are a good way to promote a small business and make valuable connections. These business connections can be a good resource for one’s business. Plus, these business connections can create a good support system to deal with the everyday “pains and headaches” of running a business.
3. Use Social Media to market your business on a “shoestring budget”. With social media, you can create a special page for your business.
Why create a social media page for a business?
- Can provide valuable information to the public about the business
- Keep your customers up to date on upcoming business events
- Provide valuable information that the public can use in their everyday life
- Allows the business to keep customers up to date on special sales of products and services
Social media allows a business to connect with other businesses and share valuable information with each other. To be successful on social media sites, a business has to create a presence.
Pointers to consider when creating a social media presence for a business:
- Ensure that you have something of value to offer
- You must have good content
- Know your audience
- Know the wants and needs of your audience
- Share the content of others
- Do not always have a “sales angle” with your content
- Ensure that your content can solve a problem
- You must be present on social media on a regular basis
These are just a few inexpensive methods of marketing and promoting your business on a “shoestring budget”. You need to find what works for you and your business, and keep at it.
This is the first of two articles on Marketing Your Business on Shoestring Budget. Please stay tuned for the second.
Meet the Author: Donya Zimmerman
Donya Zimmerman is a business consultant, mediator, and legal professional with over ten years of experience. Donya is also a public speaker and aspiring author.
She is owner of Family & Community Mediation and Business Consulting (FACMBC) and Powerful Biz Woman (subsidiary of FACMBC), both of which are based in Baltimore, MD.
Services provided by FACMBC: Mediation and Conflict Resolution Services; Business Registration Assistance; Business Plan Drafting Assistance; Business Certification Assistance; and Business Organization Assistance.
If you are thinking about starting your own small business or non-profit organization, do not hesitate to contact me because I can show you how to do so.
For more information about Donya:
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/FACMBC