THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
When Small Business Gets Creative on a Small Budget
As a small business, chances are you don’t have a considerable marketing budget. But just because your budget may not match that of your competitors, it doesn’t mean you can’t find effective, low-cost marketing methods that provide ROI and allows your business to gain the kind of exposure it needs to grow.
Here are some low-cost and creative ways to help market your small business.
WORK WITH OTHER BUSINESSES
Collaborating with other local businesses is a great way to drive traffic to your business, especially when the business is not a direct competitor and it’s a brand that you respect. Look for businesses that are effective with their own marketing efforts and team up for a cross-promotion. You can mention each other on social media, create a joint advertisement, split a booth at a trade show, or combine your email subscriber lists to issue a joint promotional e-blast.
HOST AN EVENT OR CLASS
Plan an event or host a class that your target audience would want to attend. Events could include a “How-To” class, a charity event, special guest event, or a webinar. These gatherings often provide great networking opportunities, but most importantly, once people have met you face-to-face and learn what services you offer, they are more likely to refer your business or hire you themselves.
SEND OUT A CUSTOMER SATISFACTION SURVEY
A customer satisfaction survey is not only a great way to learn about your customer base, but it’s also a great way for customers to remember you exist! Many sales people can get so caught up in looking for new customers that they totally ignore their greatest asset… their existing clients. Customers can feel invested in the results of a survey which will translate into better loyalty over time AND you may learn a thing, or two, about how your business might improve along the way (win-win!).
CREATE A FREE OFFER
Get the conversation started with potential customers by offering a free offer or a free sample of your services. If someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they will want to purchase more. People are more comfortable making a purchase after they have been able to experience it first.
AirVu Media offered a free animated business logo to twenty-five marketers at a recent marketing conference (CIMPA 2018). Rather than placing a basic coupon in the conference gift bag, the team decided to get creative and place a ‘no strings attached’ offer in the guise of a Cat’s Cradle string game. The result was twenty-five face-to-face meetings with local industry business leaders which in turn resulted in significant new business.
Sometimes all it takes is a little creativity and thinking outside of the box to get more of your limited marketing budget. Sometimes it takes a little more elbow grease, but you are more likely to reap the rewards.