You spent some time thinking about your new business venture. You created SMART goals, put together a business plan to move your business forward and are ready to spread the word to others about what you do. But you have one problem: cash flow.
You know you want to be your own boss and that this comes with reward and risk. Approximately 80 percent of small businesses survive their first year. After five years, this drops to 50 percent. Businesses fail because they have no cash flow, so how do you promote your small business on a lean or non-existent budget? Here are some affordable ways to promote your start-up.
- Social media
Approximately 3.6 billion people around the world use social media. This is predicted to increase to 4.41 billion by 2025. As part of your strategic marketing plan, you will want to research the various social media platforms, how they are used, the demographics associated with each and how businesses use them to communicate with consumers and other businesses.
Which social networks will you use? Who is your ideal customer? Do they use social media?
By using this advertising avenue, you're building trust with potential consumers. You can’t do this if you don’t have a consistent online presence or you don’t know who your target audience is. Set clear objectives for each ad campaign. Your goal is to grow your business, but in what ways? How will you measure this? Sales growth? Revenue expansion? Growth of customer base?
- Email newsletters
Emails are a cost-effective method for businesses to communicate and organically grow relationships with current customers and an excellent way to find new ones. The return on investment (ROI) for email marketing is $42 for every $1 spent. Almost 85 percent of businesses use email communication to retain customers and locate new ones. The success or failure of an email campaign depends on the service chosen and the software used.
Don’t forget about your local community. You can establish a greater connection with potential customers and other businesses through interaction and involvement.
- Word of mouth (WOM) advertising
83 percent of people surveyed by LinkedIn and QuickBooks said they'd try a new product/service based on a recommendation from a friend.
- Online reviews
Ask customers to leave reviews for your small business on social media and sites like Yelp. To help consumers find your business, create a Google My Business account. 46 percent of Google searches are local searches and 75 percent of these result in visits to a business.
- Offer yourself as an expert in your field
Use Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to receive alerts from members of the media who need advice from experts. This could be an excellent opportunity for you to be used as a knowledgeable source while also promoting your business.
- Locate bloggers and editors who write about your industry. See if you can collaborate with them or if they’ll mention you and your business in the future.
- Hold contests targeting your ideal customer
- Stay current about local events. See if you can attend and/or sponsor one.
- Join your local chamber of commerce
These local, community-based organizations provide businesses with a source of networking, financial support, guidance and an opportunity to influence the socio-economic future of the community.
Don’t let cash flow hold your small business back. With some creative approaches and solid goals, you can reach your audience on any budget. Outlook Business Solutions helps businesses of any size be successful. Contact us today to discuss your needs.