Depending on the service or product you have to offer, starting up a new business can be extremely costly. If you’re going into a retail spot you need to either pay rent or buy the unit, pay taxes, real estate fees, and probably spend a large chunk of cash on making the inside of your new store match your company culture. Again, depending on what your company is, you then need to buy equipment or inventory, hire a staff, and keep cash on deck for many other miscellaneous expenses.
One of the hardest things about starting a new business is getting people to walk through your doors. If you’re offering a service like accounting, financial planning, or interior decorating, maybe you have clients that you’re bringing into your new company. However if you’re opening up an ice cream shop, beauty salon, or bar, you’re going to need to market yourself. Of course there’s word of mouth marketing, but if you don’t live in a major city, you’re going to need to bring in people from the outside in order to make considerable profit. Companies with large marketing budgets have options. They could choose from any of the marketing techniques below and probably see a return on their investment.
- Call to action marketing via the web
- PR marketing
- Email marketing
- Event marketing
- Outbound marketing
- Tradeshow marketing
- Social media marketing
Large corporations and franchises are in a better position for marketing tactics, mom and pop shops on the other hand could suffer if they don’t get their name out there from the start. Even if you have a very low budget and minimal resources, there are marketing strategies you can use to boost business.
Know what you’re doing with social media
Maybe you can’t afford to post ads on social media, but that doesn’t mean your company can’t have an awesome account. It costs nothing to create an account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc., but they way you see a return on your time investment is by posting what your customers want to see. Keep the content relevant, consistent, and different from other companies like you. Offer discounts and promotions as well, that way you’ll get more local followers.
Get involved in the community
If you have the opportunity to sponsor a little league baseball game or set up a tent at your Town Fair, do it! Most of the people that will see your name will be from around town and it’s a great way to get your name out there. At your booth, you can fan out some brochures/menu/services offered, give out some coupons, and even offer free pens or custom floating key chains so these potential clients have something to remember you by.
The more people you can get involved with your company the better. You can do business card drawings for a free (whatever it is you offer) or even more elaborate competitions that you host right there in your shop. Thinking more long-term, you can offer a discount for local kids who bring in their good report card or hang up school athletic posters to bring in the younger crowd. You can get creative with this, but you want it to be something that people get excited for, respect you for, and keeps them coming back.
Marketing has to be strategic and creative. If you’re very small scale, you have some wiggle room with techniques that don’t work as well as expected since you’re probably not spending too much money in the first place. Start small to see what works and go from there.