Determining what your marketing budget is, if any, should be an important part of every small business owner’s annual planning. I hear this question regularly, “I want to grow but I don’t have a marketing budget, can you still help me?” The answer is yes and no!
Establish a Marketing Budget
When I hear this, the first thing I recommend clients do is take a good hard look at their cash flow and determine if there is ANY money you can allocate monthly for marketing. Even if it’s $100 it’s better than nothing to start! From there, you need to figure out the most effective way to spend that $100. I can help you determine this through some goal setting and consulting sessions. If you determine you have a larger budget than you thought, then we can talk and figure out the most effective way for us to work together!
5 Things You Can Do To Grow With Little to No Marketing Budget
Now, if you determine you don’t have a marketing budget at all, I still may be able to help you from a consulting standpoint where we talk occasionally as your budget allows. But in the mean time you can’t leave your marketing sitting idle waiting to get a budget. Here are 5 things you can do to market your business with little to no marketing budget.
1. Collect emails and use them – Email is a cost effective way to reach your customers with little to no marketing budget. There are a few free email marketing platforms that are good and several low cost options as well. I am Constant Contact provider and their email marketing programs start at around $20 per month. Here are the details…
2. Get active on social media – I’ve worked with several companies who have successfully built their business using social media. The key is being consistent and posting regularly then leveraging your work with some ads buys or boosted posts (if you’re using Facebook.)
3. Networking – Find some networking groups and attend. Many are free or low cost to attend so bring a stack of business cards, your brochure and what ever else you can pass out and start talking up your business!
4. Tap into your existing customer base – It costs far more to acquire a new customer than to retain and develop an existing customer. Find ways to sell more to existing clients or to get them to promote your business through referral programs or other incentive based opportunities.
5. Partner with other businesses – Many times you can find other businesses that offer complimentary services to partner with to promote your company or to generate business. For example, if you are a florist, making connections with event planners, funeral homes, churches, wedding venues and other businesses like that could lead to a nice source of referrals that help you grow your business. All you’d need is a nice brochure, a business card and maybe drop off a sample or two.
I can work with you to implement items like this by helping you map out a plan of attack and by keeping you accountable! Contact me to learn more about my consulting calls that work well for small business owners that have small marketing budgets. And remember…not having a marketing budget is no excuse for pushing your marketing efforts to the back burner…there are plenty of low cost options out there to help promote your business!