As a small business owner, it seems that the operational costs are always higher than what you take in. When someone mentions advertising, it’s hard to include that in the budget. Here are some low cost advertising ideas for your small business.
Living in a booming economy for the last 10 years has been great for local small businesses. Many have had an overflow of work coming in without any advertising or marketing. Even companies who just open their doors were finding their schedules full and sales growing.
The problem is, what happens if the economy takes a downturn? This is something that is out of the small business owner’s control. What you do in a booming economy can carry or kill your business when things slow down. It’s imperative for small business owners to plan for future slow times. If it’s already slow, there are still things that you can do the increase sales. Read “Grow Your Small Business In A Slow Economy”
There are many options for marketing when things are booming and money is rolling in. It’s a lot more difficult to get your name out there when money is tight. The most successful small business owners budget monthly for ongoing advertising. Where you advertise depends on your customer demographic.
If you want to ensure your small business weathers the storm, you need to set aside a monthly marketing budget. You don’t want to be stuck scrambling to get sales and wondering how you will pay your bills like I was. Read about my experience here.
I have actually had small business owners tell me that advertising is too expensive for small business. The truth is, NOT advertising is much more expensive.
A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time. ~ Henry Ford
Marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are many places where you can find affordable advertising. Here are some low cost advertising ideas:
For as little as a dollar a day, you can advertise locally, targeting by specific interests, gender, age, career, education and much more. If you don’t feel comfortable setting up and managing Facebook ads, we can help.
The price varies, but as with Facebook, you can adjust your budget with Google Ads. With remarketing you are able to send ads to those who have already visited your website.
Community Sponsorships & Giveaways
It’s always good to support good works. Find a group, sports team or non-profit that is benefitting the community and sponsor their next event. When you give back, not only does it feel good, it gets your name out there!
Parades & Local Tradeshows
A great way to get your name out there is being part of a local parade or tradeshow. Parades are typically free to enter (apart from your float costs) and tradeshows usually bring in enough business to cover their costs.
Your vehicle is a potential driving billboard. Even refuse to put decals on their ride, know the benefit. When people see your vehicle driving around town, they recognize your business. Though the initial setup may set you back a bit, the ROI of vehicle decals is massive.
Getting out in front of people is always effective. Speaking at events is an even greater way to get your brand out there. Most events are low cost and there are no shortage of them. Get out of your comfort zone and in front of people. Hand out some business cards and make connections!
Offer to Write
Ask to write an article for a local newspaper. These are typically 300-500 words and should be on a topic that you are an expert on. Be informational and helpful without advertising yourself. No one is interested in reading an ad about you and your business, but offer a solution to a problem and you will have their ear.
Before you jump into any sort of advertising or marketing, read our article on InspireCast “Four Tips for Marketing Your Small Business”. It will help determine what form of advertising is most beneficial for your small business.