How to promote a small business on a budget
Whether you’re a small business online or an offline small business, in today’s article I will be showing you a wealth of ways to promote your small business on a budget. It’s pretty simple but you’ve to remember to be consistent if you want to see long lasting results!
Does your small business have a goal?
Before we look at how to promote a small business on a budget, it’s good to have a clear goal in mind of what you want to achieve. Yes it’s great that you know you want to get out there, but it’s much better if you narrow it down.
So ask yourself: how many customers would I like to attract? When would I like to this to happen by?
Always make sure your goals are specific and follow the S.M.A.R.T analogy as you’re more likely to achieve them.
Simple ways to promote your small business offline
Get a stall at your local market or industry relevant events:
These are great if you’re a craft, food, beauty or any other type of product based business. The most beneficial thing about these is, it’s a chance to show customers first hand your products.
Ideas include: an outdoor cookery lesson, a make- up demonstration, a product test. In fact one lady I saw recently at a craft stall was making handmade cards, and then customizing names and ages for buyers.
Run an event:
Ideally something that benefits your local community. Business awards are popular and so are charity events too. They both give you a chance to do something good but get a lot in return.
They don’t have to cost a lot of money because you can get sponsors and donations to fund room hire, entertainment, food and so on. You would then offer those sponsors PR so things like putting them on your website, your social media accounts, talking to the local press and so on.
As you then sell tickets it’s your opportunity to tell people about you, and perhaps give a discount to your product and service providing that they attend the event.
Host a workshop:
Room hire in community centres, gyms, libraries, cafes and college facilities are very low cost nowadays. Do you have something that you can teach? Better yet, do you have something that you could teach that includes using your product? Charge for your workshop and then give attendees chance to buy your goods at the end.
Ideas include: running a cookery class (or at home cooking lessons,) a craft class, DIY workshop, a product demonstration (i.e. a make-up lesson or a hair up master class.)
Join a networking group:
Word of mouth is still one of the biggest business generators and with networking you’re more likely to get referrals too.
A colleague of mine attends one where there are only two types of the same business in each sector, to ensure everyone gets a fair chance at getting referrals.
Look for local ones initially as locally is a smarter way to go when growing a product based business.
Get some business stationery printed up:
These days you can get 500 business cards for as little as £30 and 500 flyers for around £50. If you’ve got your own printer, attempt them yourself.
Have a look around for places you think may benefit you and put your business stationary there.
Ideas include: local shops, gyms, crèches, community boards of interests, community centres, and perhaps you have friends who are in business that could also pass you on to their clients.
Giving talks in your local community at business networking groups and community events can be a great way of generating interest about your small business.
A friend of mine who is a copywriter and blogger for small businesses recently gave a talk on ‘blogging for your businesses’ to a group of mums who were interested in doing it themselves. This was her chance to show case her expertise and indirectly sell – It worked too as she got some clients from it.
How to promote your small business online –
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest should be your first port of call especially if you’ve not got a website. If you’re planning on selling nationally and even online, people will want to see what your products look like.
They’re free, and make it easier to connect to a large amount of people in a time efficient way. They’re known as brand builders because they help your target audience see who you are, what you stand for and what makes you different.
Ideas include: running a competition and giving away freebies when you reach a social mile stone (page likes etc.)
Get a website and blog:
Websites can be costly so you need to make sure that you’re committed to your business. Once you know, start blogging on your site. Social media like I say is a brand builder and you can do this with your blog. The only difference is that you’re doing it on your website, so people are more likely to click on your products, services and buy.
Note: eBay can be a good alternative to a website and platforms such as wordpress.com offers free blogging.
Talk to bloggers:
This is known as outreach and is especially popular within food, fashion and beauty businesses. Bloggers have become very important in the digital age. If you can find bloggers that have a large online audience to review a product of yours (give it away for free) you’ll see some pretty significant benefits!
There are many more ways to promote your small business, but hopefully I’ve provided you with a few beneficial ideas to get you started.
If you have your own promotion ideas, then please share in the comments section below.