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7 Ways to Market Your Business on a Budget

If you had all the money in the world you’d have no problem getting the word out about your business. But the truth is most small businesses have an even smaller marketing budget so they have to be creative and thoughtful when planning their marketing strategy. Obviously the goal is to get the most bang for your buck, but finding ways to do so isn’t always easy. That’s what we’re here for! Here are 7 cost effective ways to market your business on a tight budget.

Organize a contest or giveaway – Depending on what your business entails this could cost little to nothing out of pocket. For instance, let’s say you own a massage parlor. You could give away a free hour massage and all it really costs is your time. And yes, we know your time is money but the free word of mouth marketing and attention you’ll get, not to mention the potential new business, will be well worth it.

Offer a referral program – There’s no better way to get new customers than through word of mouth from your existing ones. Offering a referral program to your valued customers may give them that added incentive to really tell others about your business and hopefully bring some new faces to your door.

Hone your negotiating skills – Not sure how? Hang out at a used car lot for a day and you’ll see first-hand haggling at its best (or worst). Seriously, most people just take prices at face value. You need business cards, you need web service, you need to take out ads, etc., right? But you don’t necessarily have to pay full price. It never hurts to try and negotiate the cost down to something that’s a little more reasonable for your budget. It doesn’t always work but you’d be surprised at how often it does.

Get active in social media – At this point this suggestion should be followed by a resounding “duh!”, but amazingly enough there are still a huge number of small businesses who have not tapped into this incredible resource. The bottom line is this: it’s free and it’s reach is massive. Enough said.

Participate in local charities – Offer a gift certificate as a donation to an auction for a local charity. It doesn’t cost much and it has a tremendous impact in terms of good will and people will be impressed by your generosity. Win win.

Replace snail mail with email – Sending out mailings can be expensive. Shifting over to email for sending out notices or newsletters can save a ton of dough and as a bonus it helps the environment.

Use the web to the fullest – Sure some marketing online costs money, but there are plenty of other ways to get your business online without spending a dime. For example, there are hundreds if not thousands of free listings where you can add your business information. Writing helpful articles that include links back to your website and submitting them to various free directories is another great option.

Ok – you get the idea. Just putting a few of these suggestions into action can make a tremendous impact on your business. And, of course, there are certainly plenty of other ways to get the word out about your company without blowing your budget but the best advice is this: be creative and think outside the box. Before long you’ll be seeing the results you want and at a budget you’re comfortable with.

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posted by Rebecca Daneault @ 11:30 AM