How to Market When You Have No Budget

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Credit-squeeze-522549_1920Every business experiences a time where they need new customers but just don’t have the advertising budget.  For this I recommend four things.

First, get into today’s Yellow Pages.  In the past it was key that you get your business into the Yellow Pages so that people ready to buy now could find you.  In most markets today the Yellow Pages just don’t work as well.  Today you need show up on the first page of a Google Search or the online Yellow Pages.  Iit is so important that any marketing budget you can afford should first be spent here.

Second, look for ways to increase sales from current customers.  This is often the quickest and easiest way to increase sales since your customers know you, like you, and trust you.  Check out our article titled “Marketing to Current Customers:  Fastest Way to Grow Your Business” in our August 2012 issue.

Third, identify your ideal customers who you can reach by mail.  Then design a three-step mail campaign to get prospects to call you.  See our article titled “Direct Mail That Always Works” in our July 2014 issue for a more detailed discussion of this tactic.  The advantage is that you can print and mail what you can afford.  If you can only afford $50 this week, then only send out 100 letters to prospects.  If next week you can afford $75, then mail another 150 letters to prospects.  Continue this pattern each week based on your cash availability.

Finally, you may not have money but you usually have time.  Get out of your chair and hit the streets.  Stop in on prospects and introduce yourself.  Pick up the phone and make calls.  Email your contacts.  Just get out there and make yourself known.

Doing these things usually starts to generate sales and cash that will allow you to expand into paid advertising.  But I have found that this is a great way to start when your cash is short.