Running good old fashioned advertising campaigns is always extremely expensive and often prohibitively so. This is especially true for small businesses that naturally don’t have as much money to spend as their larger competitors. But there are always alternatives and so we at Katoka sought out the best low budget marketing strategies that can be helpful for small businesses without costing too much.
Become an Expert
Many small businesses are only perceived as an extension of their owner-manager, even if they have quite a few other employees. This can easily be seen as a drawback, but can also be turned into an advantage. If the owner manages to be perceived as an expert in the field, customers are much more likely to be interested in doing business with the company. Of course that requires expert knowledge on the field you are working in, but every small business owner possesses that. What you need to do is get that message across, for example by contributing articles to magazines, writing a blog about the business or volunteering as a presenter at conferences. Marketing can hardly be cheaper and is seldom this effective.
Use Social Media
I have written before about how social media is affecting business and how you can make use of that. There really isn’t any reason why a small business shouldn’t have at least a facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn account. All there provide opportunities for getting new customers, but are especially powerful when it comes to hearing what your old customers think and how their experience could have been improved. This is valuable information that you can get for free and thus should not miss.
Liaise with Customers
Customer satisfaction research is a pricey and lengthy process, which often does not yield conclusive results. It is much easier to just talk to your customers and make sure that you know how happy they are with your product and/or service. Depending on what your business does and who your customers are, this strategy can look very different, but at the core is the need to know what your customers think and what they want. And the easiest way to find that out is simply to ask.
Provide Accurate and Up-to-date Information
I was looking for a mechanic to fix a minor problem on my car the other day and I simply could not find a single one online. Apparently, they do not use the internet. But is it really asking too much to have a website that describes what you do? The logical next step is then to make sure all the information on there is accurate and up-to-date. Try to update your information regularly and let people see that you do so. Maybe even write an email newsletter for existing customers – they are much more likely to come back if they still have your business on their mind the next time they need your services.
Try Something New
None of these low budget marketing strategies are new or unique. They don’t require great ideas, just some common sense for building and growing your business. But there are always other options, other possibilities. And no small business should ever be afraid to just go out and try something new. Maybe you have already found a low budget marketing strategy that worked wonders for your business. If so, we would love to hear about it and share it with other small businesses!