Marketing a Business for Free
Your small business is ready to begin marketing, and
your advertising budget is -- $0. Don't despair.
For many personal service businesses, expensive mass-marketing
is the least effective means of promoting your business.
Here are some inexpensive methods that actually work.
When they arrive from the printer, don't just sit them
on the shelf. Get them into as many hands as possible.
Here are some suggestions:
- Call your friends and relatives and tell them you
have started a new business. Visit them and leave a
small stack of business cards to hand out to their friends.
- Talk to all the vendors from whom you buy products
or services. Give them your business card, and ask if
they can use your product or service, or if they know
anyone who can.
- If they have bulletin boards where business cards
are displayed ask if yours can be added to the board.
- Leave a small stack of cards on the table in the waiting
room of your doctor, auto mechanic, children's school.
- Enclose cards in all your correspondence, even if
it is not directly related to your business, such as
household bills and personal letters.
- Use your business card to give your phone number or
e-mail address to people you've just met.
Networking, or Speaking up
- Attend meetings of professional groups, such as computer
users groups, Rotary or Kiwanis Clubs, your local Chamber
of Commerce. Have business cards in a pocket where they
are easily reachable so that you can hand it to each
person with whom you speak.
- Volunteer. Participating in worthwhile community projects
you believe in will give you the opportunity to meet
more people who may be in need of your services.
- Talk to people wherever you go; show an interest in
them and they'll respond with an interest in you...
and an opportunity to promote what you do. They may
not be potential clients themselves, but they may know
someone who might be. Don't miss this opportunity
Take Care of Your Image
- As a small business owner, you want to ensure that
everyone who meets you forms a positive first impression.
- When sending e-mail to a client, nothing looks more
unprofessional than typos or misspelled words. So take
a little extra time to get your e-mail messages right.
- Answer all your e-mail messages with a maximum delay
of one day. This shows that you are prompt and take
people who want to contact you seriously.
- Leave a professional, friendly-sounding message on
your answering machine. Return calls promptly.
- You don't have to dress up to work in your yard,
or wear a business suit when you're working in your
home office, but you do need to be physically presentable
and prepared to deal with people pleasantly at all times.
By PageWise, Inc.