20 Low Cost Marketing Ideas for a Small Business
Become a member of TranslationDirectory.com at just
$8 per month (paid per year)
It's time to get fruity with some great small business marketing ideas that will help you explode your clients (not literally!). As a small business, marketing can sometimes be daunting, but take these 20 ideas and implement one idea every day. Put a tick list on your desk and take massive action.
1. Brand your Business Clearly. Make sure your business
name or logo clearly identifies the ultimate benefit of what you are offering,
in a way which will appeal to your market; keep it simple, short and memorable.
A store called "Gifts for Garden-lovers" or "Green-finger Gifts" is precise
and clear; one called "Smith's Store" or "Universal Wonder" gives no clue.
2. Be Seen in All the Right Places. Think about where
your target customers go and try to arrange to advertise by displaying
leaflets or posters there. For the youth market, use Twitter, Facebook,
YouTube or other online resources. For adults and young families it might
be the local supermarket, the library, the gym, or the "mother and toddler"
group. For the senior market, target locations your potential customers
visit such as libraries, doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms, church
halls, community centres etc. or advertise in the local paper or free-sheet,
perhaps with a promotional discount voucher.
3. Give Your Knowledge Away. What you know about your
business and your industry is interesting and potentially valuable to
others. Without giving away any really sensitive information, offer to
speak at schools and colleges, women's groups or business clubs on a topic
related to your business; write for the local paper or speak on the local
radio and you will gain valuable exposure. Make your website as informative
as possible. Tell potential customers exactly how you will help their
business, or benefit them personally. If you can, reveal a few "tricks
of the trade" to help them make best use of what you sell. Very few people
will actually steal your knowledge to set up for themselves, but many
of your customers will feel gratified that you are willing to be open
and honest with them.
4. Word of Mouth. This can be a very valuable marketing
tool - and is absolutely free! Make sure all your customers leave you
100% happy and satisfied with the service you have provided to them, and
they will become ambassadors for your business.
5. Investigate the Competition. Use a friend or a paid
"Mystery Shopper" to call on other businesses in your area to see how
they operate. Get hold of their advertising literature and compare their
offering with yours. Check out their websites. What can you do to make
your business stand out?
6. Offer Discounts. Produce Discount Vouchers to be used
at your store or business (perhaps on certain slower moving products,
or on certain days when your trade is usually slack). Add an expiry date
to generate a sense of urgency. You could include a discount voucher in
your advertising, hand them to each customer, or mail them to previous
7. Give-Aways. Hand out free samples in your local high
street; give customers a small free product with each purchase over a
certain value; or have "3 for 2" offers or "Buy -1-Get-1-Free" promotions.
8. Linked Purchases. Offer a deal where customers who
buy product A get product B at a reduced price. This can encourage customers
to buy two products, when they would otherwise only have bought one.
9. Loyalty or Reward Schemes. Issue a card to be stamped
each time the customer buys, with a full card entitling the customer to
a free product, or a discount on their next purchase (but make sure the
cards and stamps are kept under control, or you could end up with an unexpected
rush of claims!)
10. Competitions. Run a competition and choose an exciting
prize from your range of products or services, which will not cost you
a great deal but which will be very appealing to your potential customers.
Advertise the competition widely in the locality, send a press release
about it to the local press and radio and, if appropriate, make sure people
have to call at your business in order to enter - which gives you a chance
to promote your business to them in person. Invite the local press to
be present when the prize is awarded, to get some more free publicity.
11. Open House. Host an open evening at your premises.
Invite both potential and regular customers for drinks and nibbles and
a chance to see/test your latest products, with a discount for purchases
or orders placed on the night.
12. Join an Online Booking Service. If you run a hospitality
business (hotel, bar, pub, cafй or coffee shop) consider joining one of
the online booking services, such as Top Table, or Gourmet Society. This
will bring you to the attention of travellers from other areas who might
not otherwise find you, and you can also offer special deals through some
sites. This can be a two-edged sword, of course, as the site will probably
also carry reviews by your customers - but if you offer high-quality service
and excellent food and drink, good reviews will boost your reputation.
13. Carry Out a Survey. Have a supply of small cards
by the till as each customer completes their transaction with you, asking
the customer to complete a short survey on their experience with your
business, and to fill in their details (especially email address). Offer
a small monthly prize as an incentive. This will not only give you valuable
feedback on your success (or otherwise), but you will build up a database
of email addresses, which you can use for promotional emails, newsletters
etc. For ideas on how to use these, click on.
14. Collect Business Cards. Copy those city centre restaurants
and have a large glass bowl by the cash desk, to collect business cards
(or hand-written contact details slips) from customers, with a monthly
draw for, say, a free bottle of wine or champagne - this is another way
of building a database for future marketing activities.
15. New Image Party. When you re-decorate your premises,
hold a "New Image" party, inviting local press, radio, community dignitaries,
neighbours, the general public and previous customers from your database,
to show off your new premises, and launch new products or services.
16. Professional Brochure or Leaflet. With desktop publishing
software available on every PC and laptop, there is no excuse for unprofessional
looking publicity material. Have a nit-picking friend read through any
leaflet/flyer/poster you propose to use, to check for grammatical, punctuation
and spelling mistakes.
17. Error-free Website. The same applies to your website
- your professionalism is in doubt right away if your website is riddled
with typing errors, misplaced apostrophes, poor punctuation and grammatical
mistakes. Don't assume your website designer will correct your text -
he or she is an expert in computers not grammar. If you can't afford a
proofreader, ask a fussy friend or relation to check it for you.
18. Superior Telephone Service. Is your telephone system
as good as it could be? During working hours, make sure every call is
answered within 3 rings and that the greeting you give is friendly and
personal. Ensure that the person who answers your calls is trained to
deal with the majority of customers' questions themselves. After hours
or at busy times, make sure your answerphone message is professional,
helpful, and proactive. Not just "please leave a message" but "we are
so sorry that no-one is able to help you right away, but we promise to
call you back by 9:30am tomorrow if you would be kind enough to leave
your number" or something similar. And make certain you always deliver
on that promise.
19. Community Visibility. Join fellow Business people
at the local Chamber of Commerce, Business Clubs, Round Table
etc. Get involved in local charity events, so you gain a positive reputation
for contributing to the community.
20. Get Involved in Local Events and Activities. If there
is a community event in your town, make sure you are there to publicise
your business - maybe you can have small samples to give away, or hand
out a voucher for a discount at your business. If there is a local charity
event, take part yourself (or sponsor someone else to do so) carrying/wearing
your business name.
I really hope you enjoyed those 20 tips. Just one that works should help you to explode your profits!
Would you like tip 21 to 70? If so head to http://www.marketingbrainstorm.com/blog to download the full ebook 70 Marketing Ideas: That Won't Break The Bank. It's completely free and let your small business marketing grow!
Published - May 2010
Submit your article!
Read more articles - free!
Read sense of life articles!
this article to your colleague!
more translation jobs? Click here!
agencies are welcome to register here - Free!
translators are welcome to register here - Free!
Please see some ads as well as other content from TranslationDirectory.com: