Most small business owners right now are stuck between Two decisions. Should I wait for the results of the Brexit discussions and hold off making any decisions that have a cost attached (except for the desperately urgent) or spend something on marketing to potentially develop the future business.
I suppose there is no completely right or wrong answer and a lot will depend on your market place and any growth plans that you may still have. All we can do is speak for our own company and market place, focussing on some of the things that we do to market ourselves, without releasing too much money from the coffers.
Social Media Marketing
Check that you are using all the relevant social media channels, these are not completely free – there is your time to consider after all, but in terms of hard cash the outlay is Zero. From our experience the best way to reduce the perceived burden is to set up a monthly plan to put some time aside, to write something that engages your audience, and not just #TGIFriday (Please see previous Blog on this HERE) that can be shared to other social media channels. So, for example, write the Blog on your Website, copy the content with a link to Facebook, copy and paste the link with an image and a line of explanation to Twitter and then copy and paste with the link to Linked In. A whole load of coverage for no cash outlay.
Check the Pulse of your Database
Do you make the best use of the names and addresses that you have collected over the years? When was the last time you sent an email to let them know the benefit you bring to their businesses? It is very easy to put this off when you are busy and I would bet that this is probably not being done regularly, however it is probably the most cost and time effective method of maintaining your current customer base and giving you something to build on.
Local Free Directories
Whether online or handed out, a bit of time spent looking around on Google or even at local publications will bring up a surprising number of places that you can promote your business completely free, massively improving your business’ exposure to potential customers. This is an area that we have looked at previously and more information can be found in our Blog HERE
Local Network Clubs
A bit of a cheeky one this, but a quick call to your local Networking Clubs can often elicit a free invitation to one of their events or, if not free, then may only cost a nominal sum perhaps for Breakfast or Dinner (depending on the time of day of the meeting). You will be surprised by how many connections you can make and how many business cards and leaflets you can hand out.