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Article Contributed by Keith Elton

When I started my first business – I needed to keep costs as low as possible. The reality was, I simply couldn’t afford expensive or wide-reaching professional advertising campaigns. But I still needed to get more customers. With little money coming in, I was stuck thinking of ways to grow my business without breaking the bank. Thankfully some of these tips helped me get off the ground without spending much money at all.

Local networking events

I used to ignore these – but I was making a huge mistake. Not only are they a great place to meet like-minded business people, there a huge marketplace for your startup. Make sure you print up tons of business cards and other promotional material. Hand it out liberally. Tell everyone about your business.

When I started going to local networking events – I started seeing people I’d met come to me with business opportunities. The best thing about most of these events is – they’re totally free. You’re missing a great opportunity to spread the word about your business if you ignore these events.

Social Media

Social media is huge in business marketing. In this day and age – you’d struggle to get by without it. I was reluctant to fully make the most of social media in the beginning – I thought it was just for friends and family. The reality is, NOT having an active social media presence for your business says something negative about what you’ve got to offer.

Staying in touch with both existing and potential customers has never been easier. When people start to like you on social media, they’re telling their friends about it. That’s viral marketing juice which was hard to come by before social media – and you need it to make your business a success.

Contests and competitions

These can be tied in to your social media accounts to give followers something extra – or they can be standalone. You don’t have to give away much – but people love to take part in competitions even if they hadn’t really heard about your business before. When I started running a few small-scale contests – I noticed some of the losers popping into my store more often just because they’d become more aware of what I had to offer.

Charity fundraisers

Charity fundraisers are one of the best ways of becoming an active and valued member of your local community. You get increased publicity and get to help a charity in the process – it’s win-win.

Refer-a-friend schemes

Another way of getting people talking about you and your business is to recruit all your existing customers as casual salespeople. In fact, I noticed this scheme helped me more than some direct sales campaigns. I gave existing customers an incentive (a discount on their next purchase) if they brought me a new customer. This not only got me more customers from word-of-mouth – but I even made a profit on the discounted item I was selling to the existing customer. They actually came back quicker themselves – so it was another win-win situation for my business.

Leafleting

You might think your business is above some simple leafleting – but it can be a great way of getting to people who might not have heard of you before. If you’ve got a decent printer – you can make them yourself to quite a good standard. If you want to go door-to-door, it’s much cheaper than you might think. Another alternative is standing in a busy area and handing them out yourself. It’s a cheap and effective way to grow your business.

About the author

Keith Elton has years of experience helping people with their startup and business related questions. He also knows how important business education is, which is why he writes for a personal tuition blog.


 
 
 

 
 

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