It’s a common situation: you need to market your business, but you don’t have the capital to do so early in your company’s operations. The dilemma is difficult. You can’t generate business without marketing and advertising, but you need money for marketing and advertising. Unfortunately, many of the small businesses will fail as a result of not advertising their products or services.
These tips will keep you from becoming a statistic:
1. Take Marketing Risks
You wouldn’t be in business if you weren’t willing to take risks. You may have taken out a second mortgage on your home, raided the nest egg, or scrimped and saved to start your business. It is a complete waste of all of that if you do not advertise.
2. You Can’t Afford NOT to Market Your Business
You may have no money coming in during the first few months of your business. So if you have no money, how can you advertise?
First of all, marketing and advertising should be built into your monthly budget (you have a marketing budget, right?), along with electricity, web hosting, inventory, etc. You need marketing just as much as you need electricity. Designate a percentage of the anticipated sales you plan (hope) to earn each month on advertising.
Each month, decide how you’ll spend your allotted marketing money. Some affordable but effective marketing tools include:
- Business cards, notecards with company logo, letterhead
- Banner ad on small website
- Thank you gifts to good customers
- Membership to business organization
- Content marketing (free!)
- Social media (free!)
All Advertising is Not Equal
Don’t waste your money on advertising that’s not going to be effective for your type of business. If you run a web radio station, brochures and fliers are a waste of time, because your audience is worldwide. If you run a doggy bakery in Sacramento, nationwide web advertising may not be for you. Think about who you’re trying to sell to, and then research advertising options.
You don’t need deep pockets for marketing your business, but you do need to invest time and energy into the process. After a while, you’ll start to generate more revenue, which will allow you to invest more in marketing!