If your marketing budget is small you need to put in some elbow grease. FACT!
I've often spoken to business owners who have the perception that building a successful business requires a lot of money. From my own experiences and observations, this is not necessarily true. There are countless examples of businesses that have had big cash injections to get started and they failed, miserably. Likewise, there are countless examples of businesses that started on a shoestring and ended up as huge corporations. (Think Apple and Microsoft)
Money can help but it is by no means the be-all and end-all when it comes to building a successful business, and this is particularly relevant when you talk marketing. The simple reality is that if you haven’t got a big budget to spend on marketing your business, you need to be prepared to roll up your sleeves and do some hard work yourself. It’s easy to spend a lot of money on advertising.
Full-page ads in newspapers, on television and radio and most other forms of high-profile advertising, will certainly get the phone ringing or the customers coming in the door, but it costs a lot of money. Often the return is nowhere near what you expect. Low-cost marketing means you have to look for ways to market and promote yourself that generally require effort rather than budget.
I know a business owner who does makeovers on balconies and courtyards and any other small spaces. She had a limited budget but enough money to have some nice brochures printed, which explained exactly what she did. My advice to her was to hit the pavements and put her brochures in the letterbox of every house and apartment that looked like it could do with a makeover in town and to her credit that is exactly what she did.
Today she has built a very successful business from being prepared to put in that elbow grease. There are literally too many examples of ways to market a business for very little money. The best piece of advice I can give is to buy a book that specialises on this topic. ‘Guerrilla Marketing’ by Jay Conrad Levinson is full of ideas and recommendations that fit into this category. There are also lots of others and they all generally contain great recommendations and tips that will cost very little money.
The aim of this tip is to get you thinking about low-cost marketing ideas and accept the fact that to make them ‘happen’ the biggest requirement will be someone’s time and effort.
What can you do today?
Pop down to your local bookstore and buy a book on low-cost marketing ideas. If you are not sure which one to buy talk to other people in your network and you will find someone who will make a good recommendation. Buying the book is only the start, though. Putting the recommendations into place is the real key—commit to implementing one idea every day.