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28 June 2015

How to Make No-Budget Marketing Effective for your Small Business

Marketing is more than just advertising; it’s about putting effort into the way you interact with your clients. Marketing covers everything from a television spot to a handshake. It’s about how you approach your customer base and how that affects business. You don’t need to throw out large amounts of money to start thinking critically about maintaining good relationships with your own customers. There are other ways that you can introduce yourself and impress new clients without spending large amounts of money. Marketing yourself will allow you to find new customers and strengthen the relationship you have with existing ones.

Talk to People.

It sounds obvious, but how you talk to people is important. Tell people about your business. If you’re interested in what you do, they’ll be interested in listening. You represent your company at all times, not only when you’re in the office or on site. Developing rapport one-on-one builds your customer base, but it also allows potential customers to develop a positive image of you that can transfer over to your business.

Go Online.

A lot of people find online marketing exhausting. That’s because they expect too much of themselves. People want to be able to find you online and you want them to feel comfortable contacting you. Customers will want to engage with you if you’re already starting the conversation. Encourage your friends and followers to talk about your business online. These can be short, simple messages. Keep it to a single channel (facebook or instagram), because multiple channels will slow you down. If you put up posts consistently, and you ensure that you respond to messages, customers will be able to use your online channels to direct you work. Don’t worry about posting big, impressive things. Just make sure to check in consistently and be responsive.

Be Attentive to Detail.

Customers remember the small things. If you can do an extra 5 per cent to remind your clients that they matter to you, that will increase the chance that they’ll return. You will also increase the chance that they’ll let others know about the experience they had with you. Positive word of mouth is incredibly important for small businesses, and ensuring that every customer feels totally satisfied by your service is important. This can come down to something as simple as an extra courtesy call or a token gift.

Customer Referral.

This method is popular because it works well. Giving a small initial discount to gain a new customer is always worth it. However, one small change can make this an even more effective marketing method; hand out discount cards that your customers can pass on to their friends to redeem. Handing out referral discount cards means that they are more likely to be redeemed and you can still track business. Even if the card isn’t redeemed, you’re going to have a little bit of advertising space in somebody’s wallet.

Get a Franchisor to Market for you.

Having a limited budget for advertising doesn’t always mean you can’t do big picture marketing. Joining a franchise group like Taskforce allows you to pay small franchise fees but leverage national marketing. Taskforce runs Australia-wide television advertisements, as well as delivering flyers and business cards for your own local marketing. Joining a franchise group also has the advantage of propelling your business through the brand equity they’ve spent time and money developing.

Marketing for a small business is all about managing your relationships with customers. Finding a way to present yourself and your business in a way that attracts new clients doesn’t need to be expensive. There are affordable resources around that you can leverage in order to push yourself ahead of competitors with marketing that is intelligent and efficient.