Promoting on a Budget

To expand your clientele you know you have to do some form of promotion but it’s important to do this on a budget and not break the bank. Your promotion needs to be effective and bring in a return more than what you spent on it.

Most people get into a dry-spell and the first thing they do is stop promoting their services. This is the kiss of death! If your business is suffering you MUST promote even harder to resolve this in such times.

Here are some simple promotional steps you can take that won’t break the bank:

  • First of all do some short surveys of your current clientele and random people on the street. What are they looking for in terms of what you offer? (For example, if you own a bakery find out from the public how often they eat sweets, what are their favorites, what is their price range, what do they expect from a bakery, etc.)
  • Using the survey responses create a small postcard mailing that pushes these survey results and buttons and positions your surveys as to being exactly what they’re looking for. (Search online for postcard companies or even use your local print and copy store.)
  • Create a “buy now.” This is a sales technique where you offer a special for a limited time so the customer buys now rather than later. Create fliers and pass these out, or do a mailing.
  • Survey your past clientele and get some successes from them. For the bakery this would entail getting a customer to write you how they felt you performed on their wedding cake. Was your service fast? Were you friendly? Let them tell you in their own words how they felt about your business. Make sure to get them to sign something giving their “okay to publish” this in your promotion; then get this data out through mailings, your website, fliers, internet ads, etc.
  • If you have an existing website look at modifying it to create a tag-line or message that directly pushes your services in a way that incorporates these survey results. If you don’t have a website…that’s a problem. The world has become very reliant on the Internet and the majority of people do say they search the Web when looking for a business to service their needs.

There is a common myth that websites are too expensive. There are several companies online that boast being able to get up a quick, user-friendly site. My suggestion is to Google “build a website” and several options will come up. Websites can run any where from up-front payments with separate maintenance contracts, some companies charge minimal monthly fees. Just do your research until you feel comfortable with the terms you are agreeing to.

Promotion is not as complicated as it may seem, but does entail you knowing who will buy/pay for your products and services, what they need and want from those services and what they can afford, etc. Then it takes positioning your business to show the public you can fill all their needs.

Get inventive! Think outside the box! More importantly…put yourself in your client’s shoes…what would YOU pay for? What do YOU expect from the businesses you work with? How friendly do your employees need to be? What type of promotion catches your eye?

Hopefully this has given you some good tips. I’m excited for you to apply these and see what happens with your business. Let me know what happens, I’d love to hear from you.