Running a startup (small business) can be so overwhelming especially if it has to be done on a shoestring budget.
You have to find things that can be done on a low budget to push the business forward. I have listed 10 ways that you can market your small business on a shoestring budget.
Check out these tips and share them if they are useful.
1. Use The Social Media Strategically
Before you delve into social media marketing, you’ll need to create an ideal customer avatar so as to describe who you want to serve in your business.
This will help you to understand your target audience better and be able to serve them better too.
Where do these ideal customers hang out?
Identify the social media platform they are most active on and make sure your business is represented there. Start building your Know, Like and Trust with strategic contents that will be attractive to your ideal customer.
Are they members of some closed groups? Join those groups, introduce yourself and stay visible there by participating in discussions.
Effective social media marketing starts with knowing exactly who your most important audience members are, then crafting a content plan meant to amplify your reach and influence.
2. Word of Mouth Marketing
Be sure to let people you meet know about your business. I recommend you talk to a minimum of 3 persons everyday about your business. Don’t make it salesy. Just make an introduction and be sure the person understands the problem that you are solving.
3. Ask for Referral
Every time a customer is satisfied, ask for a referral. Don’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. The truth is that the majority of satisfied customers are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very most of them won’t take the initiative to do it on their own.
Getting customers by referrals is a MUST for every small business that is marketing on a shoestring budget. If you aren’t asking for referrals, you are leaving money on the table.
4. Build an Email List
You most likely have a high level of expertise in your business and what you may not realize is that by sharing a little bit of that knowledge for free you can entice customers and prospects to give you their email information.
For example, if you’re a Chef you can offer simple dessert recipes or more interesting menu for family dinner. If you run a beauty parlor you can offer tips on homemade skin care regimen. And all anyone needs to do to get that information is give you an email address to send it to.”
Building an email list gives you an inner circle of individuals who are interested in your business and you have the opportunity to indoctrinate them till they are ready to buy from you.
5. Offer Discounts to satisfied customers:
Introduce new product/service to satisfied customers at discounted rate. Always make sure you have them coming back. Your business cannot thrive on one time offers only.
6. Upsell and Cross-sell
Upselling and cross-selling are the art and science of introducing customers to better or complementary products to what they are currently interested in.
Upselling is the key to success for many businesses as the initial sale may only have a small margin. It is upselling that is most profitable.
E.g. If you sell mobile phones, you can decide to upsell protective casing and cross sell a headphone. Always think of what extra value you can add to your products or services to enhance customer experience.
7. Set Sales Targets
This cannot be over emphasized. You must have heard the saying that when you aim at nothing, you hit nothing. It is absolutely true especially with respect to sales.
Also, the number of sales you make as a business is one of the best indicators of how your business is growing.
How much will you like to make in sales?
Break this target down into different areas depending on the type of customers you are seeking:
New customers – You need to constantly work out strategies to get new customers who have never purchased your product or service.
Existing customers – what further problem can you solve for your existing customers in exchange for more money? This can be product or service enhancements that you can sell to existing customers.
Past customers – Do you feel you have lost some previous customers? Don’t consider them lost forever. Set targets to pursue past customers.