How to Advertise on a Budget.
These six ideas on How to Advertise on a Budget and get your marketing plan started make-up, Part Four of the Business Planning Series and is a follow-on from Build a Market Plan.
You are a small business and just starting out, you have a marketing plan with a limited budget. The information provided here can be used to expand on the basic marketing plan you have developed so far, so you, can cost-effectively promote your business
Most businesses have between 2-10% allocated from their total annual business income, the amount you choose is dependent on you and your budget. How do you maximise that limited budget, we will look at some simple ways to get the most out of your budget.
There are many simple, effective methods that you can use to get the maximum impact to promote your business.
Even with the little experience you and most new business owners have; there are simple methods that can be used to get exposure in the market. Getting this exposure is an ongoing and challenging dilemma for establish businesses and especially for any small business just starting out. Having your brand (business name); product or service exposed to the market is essential to the success of any business.
1. Printed Advertising
One of the first things, you will need is to get some business cards, a well-presented card shows you are professional and mean it. Go to a reputable printer and get a minimum of 500 printed the cost is often minimal and well worth it. You will be very supprised how fast you will go through 500 cards.
Hand out your cards as often as you can, and only give them to those who can assist you in building a customer base. Avoid giving your card to family and friends, they know how to contact you and most likely not be a customer.
I strongly advise avoiding using Software and printing your business cards.
Homemade cards are exactly that homemade and give the message you are unprofessional, lack commitment and backing. Sending these messages will turn potential customers away giving the impression you won’t last, and you will be out of business very soon.
2. Make Contact
You should have already decided, and determined who you customer/client base will be. Now is the time to make contact, go back to your marketing plan look at who are your customers’/clients’. What do you know about them? Are they the stay at home Mom, working Mom, a business owner or the manager of a large corporation. You need to know, who they are if you are going to reach them.
Joining organisations, business groups, associations or societies are a must. If you don’t know how to get in contact with them start by looking in the yellow pages, and search online. One of the best ways is to talk to local business owners; often they are already a member of some organisation and will be more than willing to assist and welcome new members.
A great thing about joining an organisation is networking, especially if your market is other businesses. Also by networking you can learn from the experience of others, such as how do they advertise and what lesson have they learned. Often many of these organisations have seminars and training sessions available to members this is a bonus that is well worth tapping into this.
3. Social networks
These days with the many social networks apps available reaching potential customers has never been easier.
Create a page profiling your business and your product/service on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google Plus and use Twitter to post regularly, a brief introduction to your product or service.
Be sure to have a detailed description, about your business and regularly promote to keep your customers interested. There are many other social networks available and new ones coming into play almost every day, use the ones that suit your market.
Social Networks often have groups that may already have a following in your niche market. Join in and start conversations, always be careful you don’t get too pushy and get marked as a spammer.
4. Get a Website
In this day and age, you can’t afford not to have a website. Having a website need not be expensive, and I often recommend Wealthy Affiliate where you can build your own, site and have it hosted for free.
Full hosting and site Building Tools are also available using ipage at very reasonable prices.
Having a Website will open up your business to millions of potential customers.
The bottom line in business these days is you can’t afford not to have a Website.
5. Email Marketing
Email is a great way to reach a multitude of potential customers with one email. You can use bulk emails to send a newsletter to advise of any updates on your business and products or to highlight and promote a special offer.
Email marketing usually involves an “Opt-in” where potential customers choose and accept to receive promotional emails from you.
There are many email autoresponder services available such as MailChimp and AWeber.
Aweber has an easy to use platform and provides many professional templates, for you to highlight your product or service in an eye-catching format.
Email Marketing is a cheap way to reach hundreds of customers at the push of a button and is a proven reliable method of marketing.
6. Pay Per Click Advertising
Google, Bing and Yahoo have what, is known as Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. PPC is where you pay the search engine provider to advertise and promote your product, service a good service but one you need to monitor as the cost can overrun it’s, effectiveness.
As a business, you want to be seen, being seen gets your product or service known. Starting out your budget to advertise is likely limited, by putting in place these six simple steps will help promote with minimal cost.
Always take every opportunity to talk and promote your business and product or service. As your business grows, you can increase your budget expanding on these six steps and reap the rewards of your effort.
Do you want your business to be kept up to date? Join our Subscribers List and get updates, newsletters and notifications of new posts, and why not get involved and follow us on a Social Network.
About Darren Wilkins
Darren is a semi-retired senior executive and serial entrepreneur who runs a number, of successful businesses both online and offline.
With 30+ years experience in management and as a management consultant Darren has a can-do attitude and offers real practical advice that can be used for any business no matter the size, Darren is using his time focusing on online opportunities and building better businesses.
With global experience managing and directing multimillion-dollar mega construction projects and businesses. Darren has a wealth of practical experience to share and wants to help you and your business.