Building a small business can be tougher than it seems. Although many may have known thriving small business owners, rest assured, it is not always as easy as it looks. Luckily the following is an overview of tips to help you promote your small business, even while on the tightest budget. Here are some of the best (and most affordable ways) to promote your business.
Cross-Promotion with Other Businesses
First and foremost, cross-promotion is one of the most cost-effective methods of promoting any business. This is because it essentially costs nothing more than a few posts in which you also promote the business of a friend or fellow associate. This may not seem like a very effective method of promotion, however, if you reach out to people who live in other markets, your business and services could be exposed to thousands or even millions of new potential customers within an instant.
Host a Class or Open House
For those who prefer to deal with their potential clients in person, you can simply host a class or have an open house. For instance, if you have an insurance company, you might give a class showing people how to lower their insurance. On the flip side, if you have a beauty salon, you might give out free makeover consultations.
Gift-in-Kind Local Events
In keeping with that notion, gift-in-kind events involve offering potential clients free goods and/or services as a means of securing them as long-term clients. For instance, if you have a barber shop, you may give away things such as haircuts or even school supplies. From there, you can request they return within a few weeks to purchase a paid service at a discounted rate.
Research shows that consumers are using the internet to find local businesses more today than ever before. This stat alone makes it vital for companies of all sizes to maintain a robust online presence. Fortunately, listed your business online is not hard to do. You do, however, need to know how to maximize your online presence by listing your business at the right places.
Local Chamber of Commerce
Your local Chamber of Commerce is always a good place to start. Most Chamber of Commerce groups maintain an online and print directory of local businesses for residents in the surrounding area to use as a resource.
Depending on your specific type of business, you may also want to join a professional organization. For example, if you are a locksmith, you should consider joining a professional group, such as the Associated Locksmiths of America. Once you become a member, you can display the organization’s logo on your website and social media profile, and the association will list your business on its online directory.
Search Engine Platforms
Search engines are the most popular platform consumers use to find businesses in their community. It’s important to list your business will the top search engine, including Google My Business, Yahoo! Local, and Bing Places.
Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one of the most reputable business accreditation organizations. Many consumers turn to the BBB to determine if a business is legitimate or not. Even being listed on the BBB website can help prospective customers find your business.
Social Media Outlets
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube have millions, or even billions, of active users. This is too large of a platform to ignore. You must create a business page profile on each of these social media outlets and work to build a substantial following of prospective customers.
Take the time to list your business in as many places as possible. Multiple listings will make it easier for potential customers to learn more about your business online. The most important thing to keep in mind when listing your business is to keep all your business and contact information consistent across all mediums.
Online Customer Reviews
Lastly, online customer reviews are an excellent way to promote your business on a budget. By offering a customer a free good or service in exchange for an honest (but hopefully favorable) review, you can begin to promote your business online by simply compiling enough favorable reviews to include on your website and social media pages. Word of mouth is a very powerful method of promoting any business.
Overall, there are plenty of ways to promote your business on a budget. By heeding these tips, you are well on your way to acquiring a slew of new clients without breaking the bank.