According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small business creates between 60 and 80 percent of our country’s net new jobs every year. To keep a small business growing, small business owners need to market effectively, but what about the cost? How can you accommodate champagne taste on a beer budget? Here are five ways:
- Networking – Belong to a professional organization? Don’t waste membership dues – get to know other people by becoming involved.
- Referrals – It takes far less effort (and money) to get a customer referral than it takes to advertise for a new customer. Ask clients for reference letters to use to win new business.
- Add a Tagline – a tagline communicates what you do easily and clearly. Add it on your web site, ads, business card and brochure.
- Expand – Think beyond what you do now. Look for opportunities closely related to what you do now; things you might be interested in trying. When I started my business, I never thought of teaching college. But I’ve taken opportunities to teach. It’s not my core business, but it’s something I enjoy and it brings in extra revenue.
- Awards – Awards are great opportunities for publicity and building your business reputation. Find out about industry, community and professional organization awards and nominate yourself. Consider nominating your best customers for awards, too. It improves customer relations and associates your company with an award-winning business or individual. (Some awards do require entry fees, so this may require some marketing resources.)
– Sue Voyles