As important as advertising is, it can sometimes get time-consuming and costly. The costly part is what often causes many small business owners to cringe.
The good news is that there are a number of different ways that you can go about advertising your small business without having to spend more money than you need to.
*Pro Tip: Your targeted market should be the individuals who are most likely to need what your business has to offer.
For instance, if you run a professional resume writing business, you will want to target those who are currently unemployed or those who are looking for jobs.
1.) Word of Mouth
One of the best advertising methods that people fail to realize the importance of is word of mouth. In today’s society, many consumers like giving company feedback or ratings, literally or figuratively.
That is why many consumers tell their friends when they find a nice new store; one that is worth visiting, or a store that they had a bad experience at.
You should never underestimate the power of the customers that you already have.
Not only will keeping your current customers happy increase the chances of them coming back again, it also ups the chances of them recommending your business to those that they know.
2. Hand out Business Cards & Flyers
Another easy and relatively cheap way that you can go about advertising your small business to your targeted market is by carefully choosing where you choose to advertise your business.
In keeping with the above-mentioned example of running a professional resume writing business, you may want to think about distributing flyers or business cards to local coffee shops or college campuses.
The same can be done for other types of businesses. For instance, if you run a dog grooming salon, you can advertise your business in local pet supply stores, vet offices, and such.
Of course, you will need to get permission from other businesses before placing your business cards or flyers on their properties, but you may find that most are willing to assist you.
In fact, you may even want to think about doing a flyer or business card swap.
3. Give away free coupons
In addition to handing out traditional business cards or flyers, you may also want to think about giving away free coupons.
There are many consumers who like free stuff, even if it is only a few coupons.
When a customer has a money-saving coupon, they are more likely to buy what you are selling, whether it is a product or a service
If you are trying to target a specific group of individuals, like your targeted market, you may want to carefully choose how you distribute your coupons and how much in savings you give away.
If you are just trying to generate as many sales as possible or create a “buzz,” you may want to think about contacting one of your local newspapers to put coupons inside their paper.
4.) Hold a Contest
As it was previously mentioned, there are many consumers who love free stuff, even if it is just coupons. You are advised to take advantage of this well-known fact.
For instance, you may want to think about holding a contest or a drawing for your customers.
For instance, if you run a pet supply store, you may want to think about creating a pet gift basket, like one that may include food, treats, or grooming supplies.
You will want to allow each of your customers, the ones who make a purchase, to enter your contest.
If the prize is nice enough, you may that some customers buy something just to get entered into the contest. Hosting a contest is a great way to generate sales and business “buzz.”
The above-mentioned approaches are just a few of the many low-cost, affordable ways that you can go about advertising your business to the general public or even just to your targeted market.
The decision as to whether or not you want to use any of the above-mentioned methods is yours to make, but they are at least worth looking into.