How to Market Your Business on a Tight Budget
After years of preparation, developing your business plan, and negotiating a loan with the bank, you’ve finally created a business that you are proud to call your own. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to make sure that your company succeeds. That means you need to gain clients and customers. The best way to do that is to market yourself. The only problem is, after all of the expenses to get your business started, there is not much money left in the budget for marketing.
This is a problem that many companies run into. There are plenty of ways to market your business and stay within the limits of your small budget. Below, there are 4 money-saving strategies for getting your business name out there.
1. Develop a presence on social media
Find the social media platforms that your competition are most active on and make sure that you create a voice on those platforms as well. Interact with others in your industry. Post consistently and with great, interesting content. If you have a little wiggle room in your budget, you can pay a small fee to promote your posts and increase visibility of your company.
2. Send your marketing messages for less money
There is no need to fork out thousands of dollars on advertising for your company. Instead, opt for directed messages to your audience through email or text marketing. Ask for your customer’s contact information and you can send them messages to let them know about happenings within your company. You can send messages directly to your customers phones for under a hundred dollars a month. There are great platforms such as Mail Chimp that help you create professional emails for free, until your business grows and your needs increase.
3. List your business on Yelp for free
Make sure that you take advantage of free business listings. The most important of these is Yelp. Many people refer to this platform before ever making a buying decision and you don’t want to miss out on this free marketing. Getting your business listed is not the only step you need to take. Ask your customers to leave you reviews as well. The closer you can get to a five star rating, the more new customers you will receive.
4. Attend local networking events
You are your best marketing asset. Be proud of this business that you have worked so hard for and tell others about it. Use meetup or LinkedIn to join local chapters of professional groups in your industry. Attend conferences and make connections with others who might help spread the word about your company. Use any opportunity to network and tell others about your business. As an added bonus, select unique business cards to stand out from the crowd.
The first few years after you start your company can be tough. Starting with these inexpensive (or free) marketing tips can help you get your foot in the door until your business is making enough money to afford more expensive marketing tactics.
Andrew is a corporate finance consultant living in Los Angeles, specializing in distressed and bankrupt consulting. He helps clients review business plans and the general market and decide what steps to take next. He has a masters in finance.
Andrew enjoys running and biking in the San Gabriel mountains, cheering for the San Francisco Giants and eating (but trying not to gain weight).