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4 Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses on a Small Budget

By Contributing Author

As a small business, you probably have a small budget, and you’re probably short on time! As someone who’s doing a bit of everything, your marketing strategy can’t take up too much time and have a significant ROI. Here are some ideas to make a splash without breaking the bank.

Become a thought leader.

When looking at getting featured in a local newspaper or an industry magazine or website, it’s common to assume that advertising is the best option and expensive. The second part of this assumption can be true, and taking out advertorials and print ads will be out of many small businesses’ budgets. Still, by contacting papers and magazines, and letting them know that you’re willing to submit comments and editorial articles, you can get free exposure. If you have a valuable opinion to give on industry trends and prove your credibility, then magazines will be happy to speak to you. If published, you’ll be positioning yourself as a thought leader, making people more likely to come to you for your services.

Enter awards.

Another great way to get free exposure is by entering awards in your industry. You’ll generally have to fill out a submission form, and if you win, you’ll get great coverage from the event itself. You’ll also have a fantastic accolade that you can post across the rest of your marketing materials. The process of submitting an award entry will also give you some great case studies that you’ll be able to post on your website, making it a useful approach to go through.

Sort out your signs.

A quick win for small businesses is to have your printed marketing collateral in stock and ready to go. This includes your business cards, letterheads, and the signs outside of your business. Business cards can be conveniently given, and flyers are still an excellent way to spread the word about your brand. The signs you have at events and your store are also vital and relatively low-cost. These are the first things that people will see when finding out about your business, too, so having a well-designed sign at an event will help catch the eye of passers-by. If you attend many occasions, then foam board signs are a great cheap option and are very light to be transported around easily.

Try cheap advertising.

While taking out ads in magazines can be expensive, some more creative options are far cheaper. To start with, make sure you have your brand all over your car for some free advertising as you drive around. You’ll likely pass hundreds of people every day, and never know when someone interested in your services will see you at just the right time. As well as getting your car painted permanently, you can also get magnetic branding you can remove if you need a more subtle ride!

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