Running a successful small business requires more than being good at creating a product or providing a service. It also means being savvy about promoting yourself. Traditional advertising can be more expensive than some small business owners can afford, but there are many ways of publicizing your business that will cost less and be just as effective.
Here are seven ways of promoting your small business.
Create an e-newsletter.
Creating an e-mail newsletter is a good way of keeping your customers informed about what’s going on at your small business. Start by collecting e-mail addresses from your clients, customers, and people who are interested in what you do. Make sure you are clear that you will use the e-mail addresses to sign people up for a newsletter. Let them know if it will be monthly, weekly, or just occasionally.
When you get a group of e-mail addresses together, you can create your newsletter. There are websites that allow you to do this for free and some that will help you put together a professional-looking newsletter for a small cost.
Include news about the business, interesting and relevant links, and news about coupons or discounts. Offering special promotions or discounts through the newsletter only is a great way to get people to sign up.
Publish a catalog or brochure.
If you have several products to sell, a small catalog can help you stand out from the crowd. Print something with pictures of your products and information about where to buy them. Then you can hand this out to friends, clients, and the public. Online printing companies are usually inexpensive. Consider hiring an experienced designer to make your layout look professional.
Give away samples.
Everyone loves to get something for free, so it makes sense to hand out a free sample of your product. This is an especially good technique if you sell food, soaps, or beauty products. By offering a small sample size of your product, you encourage consumers to want to buy more.
There are many different places to give samples away. You can offer free samples at your business or at an event where you are selling your products. You can also pair up with another business to offer samples to their clients. For example, the dry cleaner down the street might be interested in providing samples of your homemade cookies. This brings more customers in for them and creates new customers for you.
Attend community events.
Make sure the name of your business sticks in the minds of community members. Do this by being part of community activities like local parades or craft shows. You might sponsor some part of the celebration, rent a table at a fair, or even have a float in a parade. Showing that you are part of local life will help endear you to your neighbors, especially in small towns.
Order promotional merchandise.
Promotional merchandise is a fairly cheap and effective way of promoting a small business. Choose a product that is relevant to what you do and have your name and contact information printed on it. This can be anything from pens to magnets to ballcaps. If you have a dog walking business, print your business information on tennis balls. If you sell food in a bag, print personalized chip clips. Unlike a business card that people might throw away, a useful item will ensure that potential clients see your name again and again.
Take advantage of social media.
While not everyone likes to use social media, it is undeniably important in promoting a business. You need to have a presence online, and you need to use that to reach out to your customers. Have at least a one-page website where people can land if they search for you online. Then create at least one social media account. What you choose will depend on the age and interests of your potential customers. Try to post something at least a few times a week to stay fresh in customers’ minds.
Sponsor a local team.
Local recreational teens need businesses to sponsor them. It’s a great way of getting your business recognized for something positive and for lots of people to hear your name. Sponsorship usually requires buying t-shirts for the team with your business name printed across them. It may also involve paying some fees for the team, and you can take everybody out for ice cream at the end of the season.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to promote your small business. Get creative and do some research to find where you can best reach your potential customers. Then make a multi-faceted plan that puts your business front and center. Use these promotion tips to help your small business grow.
If you have any questions, our team would be more than happy to help. Call us today at (484) 893-4055.