Posted by: Roni Deutch Staff | March 16, 2009

10 Ways to Market your Small Business for Under $200

Marketing and advertising your small business can get quite pricey, but it does not have to be. In fact, there are hundreds upon hundreds of ways to get your word out there for little or no cost at all. To help some of our readers wondering how to run a low-budget marketing campaign of their own, we have put together this list of ways to market your small business for under $200.

1. Business Cards

Despite what many think, business cards are actually quite affordable. There are hundreds of sites online with all kinds of sales and discounts; just make sure to find one that lets you upload your company logo. Then give these cards out to everyone you meet. The person you give your card to might not need your services right now, but at least they will have your contact information in the future.

2. Mailers

Try creating mailers or a monthly newsletter to send out to your clients on a regular basis with special offers or news. You want to make sure you stay in touch with your clients so that they do not forget about your store. Also, by offering free information in a newsletter you can help establish trust with your clients.

3. Create a Referral Program

By creating a referral program you can basically put your customers to work for you! By offering a small discount to current clients you can generate dozens of new clients with almost no direct cost to you.

4. Newspaper Ads

Try taking an ad out in your local newspaper or magazine. This is a great way to reach out to local customer opportunities, and support your community at the same time. If your area newspaper is too expensive, then you could try a discount publication such as the Penny Saver. Even better, you could even reach out to your local paper and offer to write a new article on a subject related to your business.

5. Online Presence

Having an online presence these days is pretty much essential for a small business. If you do not already have your own website, or a page on a corporate site, then you should definitely consider creating one. It does not need to be a big budget production, just a simple page with a picture and some contact info. Remember, having a website means that you can put the address on your business cards, letterhead, etc.

6. Submit to Google Maps

Once you have your store location, you can submit your address to Google maps. You do not even have to have a website to do this, although we recommend you do. This will make it so that customers searching in your area will find your store when they check Google Maps.

7. Networking Events

Join your local chamber of commerce to mingle with other business owners and potential clients. Some networking groups or events have sign-up or admission fees, but if you bring enough business cards and work the crowd well, it will more than make up for it.

8. Give Something Away for Free

Offering a promotion and losing a little profit is well worth signing up a new client in the end. You can do this by having a grand-opening sale, or simply by slashing prices for the first 50 customers over a weekend. Once you get the customers in the hot seat, you can do everything in your power to keep them coming back.

9. Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is a great way to generate leads for your business. You can hire a SEM company or specialist to help you out, but there are also plenty of ways to do some online marketing yourself. Google adWords has a great “Beginner’s Edition” program that will help you select keywords and create ads for a basic pay per click campaign.

10. Sign Waivers

Having a sign holder for even just the weekends is a great way to get attention to your business, especially if your store is located on a busy street.

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