What to do when you’re on a small marketing budget?
It takes a lot to set up a company and start your own business, and even more to become successful and achieve goals. When you are a small business owner, success comes in a different way than if you were a CEO of a big international corporation – when in charge of a limited number of workers and resources, you can hold your position in a more efficient way and be on top of everything. However, this also means that you can face some money problems and budget cuts and, consequently, do not have enough financial opportunities to start a serious marketing campaign that would attract new clients. Therefore, it is important to find affordable and reliable marketing strategies that will not cost much, but still manage to promote and advertize what you offer. Here are some ideas on how you can fit your big marketing plans into a small marketing budget.
Small business are called small for a good reason – not to express pejorative attitude, but to express their limits and scales – and should not therefore dream about achieving unimaginable success overnight. If you adapt your expectations and size down what you want to achieve, you will be more content and happy with what you have. Following the same logic, your marketing strategies should reflect this desire as well – do not think of hiring Hollywood actors to promote you or look into endorsements you cannot finance because you will just spend too much money and not reach what you wanted to. It would be better to apply more local ideas and focus on the presence in your own community. After you have made a name for your self there, you can go onto conquering the world.
Use the Internet
Being able to access so many things online these days is probably one of the best benefits of our developed technological societies, and you too can use the Internet for your own purposes when it comes to marketing. Besides advertizing your products and services this way – a combination of a company’s website that will give all relevant information and presence on social media that will allow your clients to personally reach you goes a long way – you can also learn new things over the Internet and stay informed about your client base and how it can be expanded. If you carefully follow what your current clients say about your company and what you do, you will be able to get the most accurate feedback there is – and it is practically completely free! After you have gathered all the information, you can adapt your approaches and become more suitable for a bigger number of people.
Always be a part of your clients’ lives – not intrusively, of course, but in a professional business-like manner – and do everything you can to make sure that it is your company that pops into their minds when they are in need of a particular service you offer. The competition is harsh these days and a growing number of small businesses provide same or similar services, which is why you have to become different from them and special in some way. An idea that has been proven effective over years are promotional products that can be presented both to paying customers as an unexpected addition to their purchase, or handed away in the streets to passers-by, hoping they will pay attention to your company. These can be various and quite different, from simple pens and lighters to more usable things, like calendars and bags. Moreover, depending on your niche, you can include practical things that people will use for free, but will still address you once they need it in the future – for example, a car wash, a bookstore and a family restaurant can give away windscreen cleaning cloths, bookmarks and free food samples, respectively.
When you are on a small budget, you are not in a position to plan big and expensive marketing tactics, but adapt to what you have. That means settling for something that initially sounds not good enough, but will turn out to be just fine if executed in the right way. For example, instead of producing a costly advertisement that would be played on national TV, you can create low-budget videos that are just as effective. There are a few easy steps and ways you can turn your creativity, basic recording skills and editing technology into something many people will like and see. You can upload it to YouTube, Vimeo, Vine and even Instagram, ask your online community and supporters to share it and get a good promotion while simultaneously saving a ton of money.
Again, having a low budget means that some things are unavailable, but other are just waiting for you – promotional blog posts, good interaction with clients, responsive feedbacks and social media presence are a few easy and cheap tactics that will transform your marketing from average into extraordinary.