04 19 2016

Small business owners should invest in marketing

04 19 2016

Inexpensive ways to boost your small business marketing campaign

Without sufficient working capital, it can be difficult for a small business owner to truly maximize his or her marketing campaign. Purchasing high-gloss marketing mailings or hiring an outside consultant can be pricey. This is especially true for small business owners who must handle the majority of the company’s marketing strategies.
Thankfully, though, there are many cost-effective and creative ways to launch a successful small business marketing strategy without breaking the bank.

Volunteer
At first glance, this might seem like a silly – if noble – strategy to incorporate into your marketing campaign. Even if you’re swamped with work and struggling to complete your daily tasks, you should still try to carve out some time to give back to your community. Even better is to launch your own initiative that reflects your business culture. If you’re in the tech industry, start an electronics recycling program. Or if you’re in the grocery business, create a food drive to help the needy.

There are several ways this can benefit your small business. First, volunteering for an organization or nonprofit provides you with an opportunity to network with other individuals and community leaders, Inc. reported. Second, other than making time for volunteering, there’s an extremely low cost to do this, which gives you a free opportunity to market your company, boost its PR and engender goodwill with your neighbors and peers. Best of all, though, you’re still helping someone or something, whether it’s a disadvantaged child, a homeless adult or a sick animal.

Host an event
This marketing tactic works better for small businesses that have a brick-and-mortar shop, but even purely e-commerce sites can still get in on the fun. With some foresight and a bit of planning, hosting an event to promote your small business can be a huge success.
String up some balloons and streamers, break out the barbecue, crank up the tunes and watch as long-time customers mingle with potential ones. Ideally, your loyal customers will do the marketing for you, informing other people about your particular goods and services. Further, inquisitive individuals who see a celebration will show up to the event to satiate their curiosity and hopefully become a customer.

Become a public speaker
Getting in front of a group of strangers and talking about your small business can be a great way to increase your company’s visibility and attract new customers. Forbes contributor Neil Patel noted how public speaking can be a good way to further brand your company and find new customers. While this might not be a route for every small business owner – especially ones who don’t find public speaking their particular cup of tea – for those owners who are articulate and engaging, this could be a powerful and inexpensive way to market the company.

Public speaking may include giving speeches at local or national conferences that fall within your industry, or simply arranging something with the community college in your area. Consider joining the Rotary Club or other small-business related organization in your city that regularly hosts meetings, since these will typically include public speakers that you can join.

Alternative financing
If you truly want to optimize your small business marketing campaign, injecting some capital into the project can increase your options and give you more bang for your buck. Obtaining a working capital or small business loan from an alternative lender is a quick and easy way to get the money you need to buy more marketing material, hire someone to survey your customer base or conduct additional market research that you can then incorporate into your campaign.

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