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Saving money on marketing

ladywithmoney30383826.jpgSuccessful small business owners understand the power of good marketing. However, marketing is a large cost to any business and it can literally cause you to go bankrupt if you aren't doing it correctly. There are some low-cost marketing strategies you can try that will save your small business money. Here are some tips to follow:

First, know your budget. Sure marketing on television, the internet, and in the newspapers is great but what can you actually afford? Paying for a billboard can cost you thousands of dollars and it may not return the results you are looking for. Instead of paying tons of money toward marketing that doesn't work, take a look at your target audience. How do you customers find out about your company? Stop trying to put yourself up there with the big corporations. Your small business may someday grow into one of the biggest companies in America but you need to give it time and have a lot of patience.

Second, advertise to repeat customers. About 80-85% of your business will come from repeat customers, which is why it is important to spend money on them. Take some time to figure out what they like. Create products that will suit their needs and their wants. Consider offering them discounts and other promotions to keep them coming back for more. Always collect your customer information and use e-mail marketing and other methods to reach them. If you are offering a discount, make sure you include an expiration date so you can get an influx of cash within a certain time frame. Sending discounts is a great way to add a sense of urgency to your customers and to get them to tell their friends about your company. When they feel special, they will tell everyone else about their experience with your company, which is called word-of-mouth marketing. The other benefit to sending out discounts is that it entices the customer to go online or come into your business to buy something. Many of them will purchase extra items that they really don't need because they can get a small discount.

Third, market to the right network. A common problem small businesses can run into is getting caught up with finding new customers that they stop marketing to the right target audience. Take your time to do your research and find out if you are targeting the right market. Don't waste your time on advertisements that reach a broad audience if you sell a product that is specifically focused on one thing. For example, if you sell safety software, paying for a large banner advertisement won't do you any good because you need to target large corporations and manufacturing firms that tend to have problems with safety. A clothing store worker won't be interested in your billboard so that $500 a month you pay just went to waste.

Fourth, look at unique ways to market. Since you are trying to save money, take a look at other businesses that may be able to help you. Can you rent space in other stores to leave your promotional materials by the cash register? What about placing an advertisement in their door? Smart marketers will find ways to reach their audience for a low cost. Always consider marketing online. Use blogs and social networking sites to your advantage. Almost everyone has a joined a social networking site and they actually will see your advertisements or profile page if you create an account. This is a great way to introduce yourself to your target audience and to find out more information about them and their needs.

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