Let's face it. You're not Procter & Gamble or Volkswagen, so when it comes to marketing to your customers, you're more likely to get a little creative than to grab your checkbook and sign on with some hot New York agency. That's what these business owners have done in Inc.com's Guide to Grassroots Marketing. From counter help that sing and dance to engineers that produce comic strips, each of these businesses found effective ways to spread the word about their businesses and to retain their customers without spending a fortune.
Entrepreneur and marketer Lisa H. Buksbaum never leaves home without her business cards. Neither should you. More advice: show prospective clients how you help current clients, invite guests to your speaking engagements, and send out quarterly newsletters.
In 1999, a pair of Wharton grads started a company to build and sell a specialized computer mouse. They chronicled their experiences -- the trials and triumphs of starting a business -- in a house newsletter.