Many business owners work under the false assumption that because they don't have much money to spend on marketing there is not much they can actually do to promote their business. From my experience this is simply not the case.
Marketing isn't about how much you spend it is about what you do. So whereas a large corporation may do a high profile television, radio and newspaper campaign to generate business, a small business with a small marketing budget needs to get attention and drive sales on a shoestring. This means getting creative.
Those businesses that are very good at marketing themselves on a low budget do a number of specific things every well:
- They are very good at building a large network of fans and followers to promote their business via social media. They put a lot of time and energy into engaging their fans and keeping them engaged. For many, this is their only marketing activity.
- They get out a lot more, which simply means they go hunting for business rather than waiting for it to come to them. This can be as simple as knocking on doors, chasing referrals, doing their homework, being detectives and doing what they can to track down decision makers wherever they may be found.
- They look after their existing customers extremely well to ensure their word of mouth promotion is happening 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To do this they have to treat their customers with respect - and they do this gladly.
- They partner with other businesses that share similar customers and cross promote. This reduces the cost of marketing for new businesses and accelerates the speed at which new customers come on board due to the existing credibility with the referring partner business.
- They market all the time, regardless of how busy or how quiet they may be. They know that the marketing they do today will serve their business tomorrow.
- They are constantly trying new products and services to ensure they are giving their customers exactly what they want. This is a big one. They are constantly engaging with their customers to make sure are on target with what they are selling. So many businesses overlook this.
- They are never afraid to try something a little "crazy" or unconventional to get noticed. This can be anything from an attempt at a "Guinness Book of World Records" record through to making a funny video that might just go viral.
Successfully marketing any business is a state of mind. If you think you can't because you don't have enough money, you won't do anything. It becomes an excuse rather than a reality. If you're hungry enough, prepared to hit the streets to chase business and do whatever it takes, you will be successful and I bet you will have a pile of fun doing it.