5 Low-Cost Marketing Ideas For Entrepreneurs

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Big things start from small beginnings – and to make it big as an entrepreneur, you need to find ways to get your business out there quickly. People need to know that you exist, and that they can depend on you for quality products and services. 

But the thing with being an entrepreneur is that you might be constrained financially and need to make do with marketing on a shoestring budget. You obviously won’t be able to afford print advertisements, radio and TV ads, billboards, celebrity endorsers and the like. So what you need to do is to find affordable marketing solutions that are effective and reach a wide audience, as well. 

To help you in your marketing venture, here are five savvy, low-cost marketing ideas to get your business off the ground and your ROI growing: 

1. Build Your Website 

The first thing people look up when they hear about a business, old or new, is the company website. Your business should be at the top of the search results when they type your company name in the search bar. The reason people do this is to get an overview of what you do and what you currently offer. 

Your website gives people an idea of your history and who you are as a company. You need to ensure all pertinent business details, including how they can reach you, are presented in your website. It should also contain information on what products or services you provide. 

If you already have existing customers, ask for testimonials and their permission to share these on your website. If you want to position yourself as an industry expert looking to help customers and not just generate business, you can also include a blog on your website. 

Creating a website on a content management system (CMS) like Wix or WordPress is quite easy and free. But if you have a budget to get it set up by a professional, get it done after discussing what your business is about and what content you want to present in your website, as well as the functionalities you need. 

2. Get On Social Media 

You have got your personal social media accounts, so why not your company? 

Creating a social media page is much easier than setting up a personal account, and you can start with a few posts and relevant, impactful images in under an hour. In fact, if you are gearing up to start a business, you need to have a social media strategy built into marketing, no matter how simple it may be. 

Make sure your company contact details are there, including your business hours and links to your other social pages and company website. If you already have a logo, you can use it as the profile picture or some other impactful branding image. 

Start with a few posts that give hints at what your need is about or ones that talk about your target customers’ pain points and provide solutions in the form of the products and or services you offer. Make effective use of relevant, high-quality pictures that can work as attention- getters for your posts – whether it is about new products, special deals or promotions. 

If you have a budget for social media advertising, use it to get your business the exposure it needs to your target market. Don’t go all out; instead, invest carefully and try to spread out your social media ads over a number of days leading into the weekend when more people are at home and have time to browse. 

Whenever possible, encourage your customers to leave reviews about your business as these can help persuade others to try your products. A lot of new restaurants, caterers and bakeshops start this way. And even if you are a clinic, home renovation, delivery, maintenance, cleaning, or painting business, you can get inquiries in this manner. 

3. Invest In Vehicle Branding 

Most businesses would have a company vehicle – either for deliveries or transporting employees and supplies. So why not consider branding it by putting up your company details and logo in the form of van signage, for example. Make sure you get a car wrapping quote ahead of time so you can set aside a budget for it if it is an unplanned expense. 

Adding a pair of private number plates is another upgrade to your business vehicle that can increase branding recognition. It is a sleek way to elevate your company's image and make a statement while on the road. Alternatively, you can also have vehicle magnets made which can be stuck to the sides of your fleet, or window decals that can be positioned on the side and rear windows.

This is actually a good marketing strategy as, wherever your vehicle or fleet goes, you will be getting free exposure for your business. Make sure the contact details stand out, particularly your telephone numbers and email address. Also, have your drivers take business cards with them to give away whenever interested prospects approach them or inquire after seeing your signage. 

4. Tie Up With Local Businesses 

You can also collaborate and build business partnerships with other local businesses in your community. This way, you can promote each other’s businesses and generate income in the process. 

You can hold a small business fair featuring all of your products. This is especially effective if you have related or complementary businesses. A good example would be a bakery teaming up with delicatessen and an organic produce shop. 

You can start a promo or deal wherein certain purchases qualify customers for coupons they can use to purchase products at your partner businesses. You can also promote each other’s businesses on social media and in your email blasts. Make sure you include each other’s logos and business information in all marketing materials. 

5. Build More Business Out Of Your Existing Customers 

Ensure your existing customers give you repeat business by providing quality products and topnotch customer service. You can also issue loyalty cards or engage them in collecting loyalty points simply by using their phone number whenever they purchase from you. Start a referral program and offer incentives, freebies or special deals whenever they bring in new customers for your business. 

You can also make collecting email addresses and phone numbers a habit as people come and visit your shop, including people who just happen to drop by with a customer. This way, you can include them in your email lists and keep them updated about sales, discounts, new product launches and updates about your business. You can also encourage them to follow you on social media simply by including social media buttons in your emails. 

So, gauging from these options, you don’t need a big budget to come up with effective marketing ideas. All you need is to start with these and continue exploring your options. 

What is essential is to take care of delivering what you promise, and communicating regularly with your customers so you always stay top-of-mind.

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