How to be cost effective when marketing your small business
To many small business owners look at marketing their business as simply an expense, when the reality is that marketing your small business is an investment. The bottom line is that your small business will fail (no matter how good your product or service), if you cannot get the word out to your target market.However, you want to do that in the most cost-effective way as possible.
It is important to keep in mind that you want to be both cost effective, and effective in technique when marketing. A shot-gun approach to marketing (and just hoping you hit the target), rarely pays off. Small business owners can find that they are spending a lot of money on this approach, and seeing very little in return. In order to be cost effective you want to do the following things:
- Target your marketing
- Utilize smart marketing campaigns and strategies(that are low or no cost)
- Stretch every marketing dollar as far as possible.
Here is what you need to know about how to be cost effective, when marketing your small business.
- Utilize free publicity-Remember that publicity costs nothing, and it builds awareness of your business. If you use publicity correctly, it can also build points, for you within your community. One of the ways to do this is to sponsor a community activity that is somehow tied in with your business. You can also issue a press release, when something new comes up, within your business such as the release of a new product or service, or a different use for an existing one. Be sure to include it on your website.
- Reach out to other businesses-Small businesses with low or non-existent marketing budgets, can organize a partnership and pool their marketing budgets. An example of this is: perhaps a small business would like to hold a conference, to increase the visibility of their firm and draw advertisers. However, one small business would probably not have the marketing budget necessary to finance such a conference. If several complementary small businesses got together, then they might be able to manage the costs of the conference, and draw advertisers to the conference. Remember that there is strength in numbers.
- Join clubs and organization in your community-As a business person in a community, it is important to be visible, particularly if your business has a storefront in the community and is not entirely online. You can do this by joining the local Chamber of Commerce Business Alliance, and any other service clubs that exist in your community. It is important to know that such service clubs are always looking for speakers, for their meetings, and you are going to be an expert in whatever product or service you sell. This will give you several opportunities to network, for your business.Not only will this be a great networking opportunity, but you may be called on to speak which will really increase the visibility of your business.
- Set up a website for your business-In today's world of technology every business must have a website. You should understand, even if you are not tech savvy that a website domain can be bought for cheap. Do not feel overwhelmed because if you can't build it and maintain it yourself, you can outsource it. A presence on the web is an extremely cost-effective way, of letting people know about your business, even if your business is mostly a storefront operation. You can also publish a newsletter about your business on the web, (virtually for free), and create articles about your business to publish there.