Marketing is a big investment and often involves a suggested five to 10 percent of your budget at a minimum, to sufficiently advertise your business. However, when you are a small business, it can be hard to promote visibility and drive sales while only using that small amount. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can promote your business on a budget while still looking professional.
Though marketing may seem unnecessary, especially if you are already bringing in clients, it is an important part of keeping your business going and continuously getting new clients.
Word of Mouth
No matter whether you own an online store or a local store, word of mouth is one of the best things you can strive to generate when starting out. It doesn’t cost anything except making your customers happy.
Especially locals. If you can make people in the area happy with your business and the products you sell, they will often be quick to bring their friends over and send tourists your way.
However, word of mouth can sometimes be really hard to do. You can’t push people into recommending your business, and if you ask people to do this, it may put them off, so while this is one of the best options, it is also often the most variable option.
However, by having good business practices like great customer service and reliable products, you can not only gain customers willing to return again and again but customers who will likely put your business above others when giving recommendations as well. Treat locals with care and be sure that they are enjoying their time in your store, your products or your business service.
Get an Optimized Website
A website is a necessity. Even if you only have a physical location, having a website with details about your company, what you sell, your hours of operation, and your location is key to bringing in people. It lets potential customers understand what your business is about and why they should go to you over others. Plus, it gives them an easy way to get questions answered that they may have about your business, and adds legitimacy to your offering. Your website has to be well-designed though. You don’t want a business website that is slow, complicated, or confusing, or it will turn people off just as much as not having a website.
Though it can be costly, hiring someone to design your website is often the best idea unless you have some experience with it. This allows your website to be unique and work smoothly so that customers can use it intuitively.
Ask for Online Reviews
While it may seem a little awkward, asking for online reviews is another great option. You can post signs around your store, or have your staff at the cash registers mention it at checkout. This can be a great way to start spreading the word about your business on a bigger scale and will tell potential tourists and visitors that your store is worth checking out.
When you sell things online, it is a lot easier to gather reviews, but it is still always a good idea to mention or give a note to your customers reminding them to review your business.
Much of the world is online now and visual. Whether you are working locally or on a larger scale, posting videos online can be a great way to spread the information. You can consider posting on websites and apps like Youtube and TikTok to get your product noticed.
The videos don’t have to be long either. Start with a bunch of short clips focused on your unique items, or something that makes your business stand out. You can even post your address or a video of the front of your store.
Some people find that posting videos on how their products are made, or how they came up with the idea for their products are also great ways to bring in clients. Many people want to support small businesses, and seeing that the products were thought up or made locally often entices people to give your business a try.
Work the Local Scene
If your company is based locally, then it is a good idea to try to increase local sales in addition to other target customers.. When your business is located in a big city, it can be hard to get noticed. We suggest taking New York group transportation and traveling around the city. (This one is charter group transportation; might be better if were not a group/charter) Stop people with posters, flyers, and discount codes and let them know you will be or are open.
You can also connect with local news agencies and see if they will post an article about your business. You can consider pitching big newspapers and magazines as well, but be sure not to overlook smaller companies. These are often free, so people will pick them up as they walk by, and maybe see information about your business.
Sometimes, this costs a little money, but it can be well worth it and you can set it up to republish multiple times to make sure plenty of people are seeing it. Adding discounts for people who bring in the newspapers or mention the newspaper when they come in can also be beneficial, as it entices people to give it a shot.
You can also look at news blogs and websites that post online and see if there are any local options.