Marketing immediately conjures up huge expense lines for many business owners, but there are methods to maximise your marketing budget without sacrificing on exposure. New businesses often don’t have a lot in the way of extra funds to offer marketing services and established businesses may not be doing all they could to effectively market. Below are a few tips that cost little to nothing beyond time.
Working with businesses that are in industries that compliment your own can be a good way to generate new business. Consider all the other products or services that customers who buy your products would be interested in. For example, a hair salon might want to start a referral service with local nail salons or spas. All three are in the beauty industry without being in direct competition. By referring customers back and forth all of the businesses benefit. Combining marketing funds to produce joint materials can also help get the most out of a tiny budget. When two companies share the cost of a bulk mailing it reduces the overall expense for each. Every industry has the potential for creating a referral network, so start building yours today!
For service industries, the only cost associated with what you sell is time. If you offer a deep discount for first time customers, you have the opportunity to build a clientele base. Going back to the hair salon example, you might offer a free cut with any colour or 20% off on a service of their choice. Offering free consultations or a package deal can also be helpful. When you give these types of discounts you get the opportunity to show clients your skills first hand.
Getting the coupons out to the general public can be the difficult part, but approach other local companies and see if they will display them for you. Providing you are willing to return the favour many other businesses are usually happy to let you set up a small display. Give family and friends a stack with the request that they pass them out. Leave some at your church or community centre, and always carry a few with you so that you never miss an opportunity to advertise.
Reconnect with Current Clients
Generating new customers is always nice, but it is far easier to convince old clients to return. It also makes good business sense to preserve existing relationships as you seek to build new ones. Picking up the phone or typing a quick email, just to say “hi, how’s it going,” can do more to re-establish a relationship than any other method. By getting in touch simply to catch up you remind the client that your company is about more than sales, it’s about people.