You are running your own business now and it feels great to be your own boss. All you have to do now is make it a great success. But advertising costs. What do you do? Here are 8 great ideas for businesses that have a tiny budget.

1. Pitch it Right

If you want to impress a potential customer quickly, you have to get your ‘elevator pitch’ ready. This is a short, succinct statement of who you are, what your business does and the benefits of using you. Short, punchy and definitely effective.

2. Networking

There are a number of local groups that only exist to get business people together. This can be a great way to spread the word. Rehearse your ‘elevator pitch’, gather your business cards and flyers and go to a Speed Networking session soon. It will get you in front of a lot of potential clients very quickly. Joining the Chamber of Commerce can also really help your networking as they hold a number of popular networking events.

3. Get a T-shirt Printed

When you are not at work, you can still promote your business. This technique even works for those of us who are not great salesmen. Get a T-shirt printed with your business name or website clearly visible. Then wear it absolutely everywhere. That’s all you have to do. It’s easy!

4. Get a Marketing Partner

Double your impact by making a reciprocal agreement with another business that does something complementary (but not competitive) to what your business does. Then, when you hand out your brochure or business card you also give one of their flyers too. If you both do the same, it will double your presence and appear to broaden your range of services.

5. Use Your Car as a Billboard

It’s relatively inexpensive to get some magnetic signs made with your business name, website and telephone number. It’s not permanent, but it will advertise your services as you drive around. You’ll be surprised how many people will see it.

6. Publicity Stunt

There are few better ways to attract free publicity and media coverage than a really creative public stunt or activity. The rule here is to make sure it is interesting, original and attention-grabbing. Then, make sure you let everyone you can think of know about it before it happens. Tell them exactly where and when it’s happening and make sure your branding, telephone number or website address is clearly visible throughout the event.

7. Run a Competition

Everyone loves to win stuff! Why not get together with a popular website and offer a prize or two in exchange for some free publicity? It’s a great way to promote your services to a wide local audience and surprisingly easy. Prizes can be anything from an object to an experience or service.

8. Optimise Your Website

It’s no good having a website if no-one knows it’s there. If the key search engines don’t have it listed, or don’t rank it high enough in their listings, you will definitely be losing out on business. You can cure this by talking to your web designers and asking them about Search Engine Optimisation. But here’s a warning: to do it well can cost a bit. Yet if you don’t do it, what’s the point of having a website at all? If you do it well, the new business it attracts could pay for it several times over. The rule? Don’t be too cheap to do it properly. And don’t forget that websites now how to be able to work on all devices so make sure it’s mobile friendly.


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