The Back Pocket
Advertising On A Limited Budget
Starting a small business can be trying under the best of circumstances. You’ve had your idea, you had the gumption and resourcefulness to acquire enough funds to open, and you’re quite sure that if enough people find out about your business, you’re going to make a fortune; or at least enough to make a living off of. But that’s the rub. How will people find out about your business in the first place. Your advertising budget may be meager or nonexistent. If this is the case, you’ll be dead on arrival if you don’t find some free or cheap methods of attracting people to your business.
Here are a few ways you can advertise on the cheap. They may not sound like much, but they’ll help get the ball rolling when you have no other options. The first thing you need to do is get a website. You can likely find a domain name for under $10, and find a hosting service that will only charge you about that much a month to keep a website. This is essential in today’s internet age, even if you plan on doing no selling on the actual website.
You can do all kinds of things with a website, and if you devote yourself to learning search engine optimization techniques, soon you can be near the top of a Google search for the genre of your business. As an addendum to this, make sure you add your website address to the signature of your outgoing emails. Getting business cards will be another step along your cheap advertising route, and you’ll want to add your website to these as well. Bumper stickers don’t cost much to make up, and if their colorful and creative, people will naturally want them. Put the first one on your own car. After all, if you aren’t willing to toot your own horn, why would anyone else? Along the same lines, get some T-shirts made up and wear your T-shirt to public places, particularly places that might be hangouts for your targeted audience. The most powerful form of advertising is, and always has been, word of mouth. If you are starting up a small business and have done even a modicum of research into what this entails, then you’ve doubtlessly heard this over and over again. What does this mean to you, though? After all, you can’t force people to talk about your business. No, but you can provide the best service, selection, something.
If you are the best at what you do in at least one area, people will talk about you in a favorable light. Nowadays, it is increasingly difficult to find two commodities that should be as cheap as table salt: friendliness and good service. These two things don’t cost you a dime, but supplying them will make a big difference in the success or failure of your business. Copyright © John Cargo.
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