A small enterprise or start up needs all the publicity it can handle in order to grow and where better to start than close to home? Spreading awareness about your business, products or services offered in a small community is much easier. With a strong foundation in place, climbing up the ladder can be a lot easier. Such small businesses work on small budgets that may not allow ostentatious advertising and marketing campaigns. There are several time-tested methods that guarantee good results without having to shell out a lot of money.
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- Identify the people who can make a difference for the business. Meet them personally to put in a word about your start up and what you have to offer. A one to one also gives an opportunity for them to judge your personal caliber and credentials. It can be a small group of people, a number that is manageable.
- Look out for local organizations to register with. Many people go looking for services and products in the local governing body’s office. It could be a business bureau or an entrepreneurs association. This also adds to the credibility of your business, as you need to meet standards in order to be registered with most of them and further boosts your businesses’ ranking in the customers’ minds.
- Seek affiliations with related service providers. For example if your services are related to software, tying up with hardware stores or other electronic stores can help promote your services. It needs to be a two-way relationship; you also need to recommend the other party to your clients and following a ‘live and let live’ policy.
- Be seen in local community events. Make the most of different opportunities to take part in events where there is an opportunity to meet up with people directly and explain your business. Give handouts with contact details for future use.
- Maintain a simple website for customers to look up on you. Advertise the website in different places, fliers in supermarkets, groceries or other places can do some good. But ensure that you maintain an up to date website that has the latest contact information. Also be ready to receive calls at anytime.
- Listing in local business pages is also a good idea. Even though most people rely on Internet listings, these traditional methods still has takers.
- The other major reliable way to promote your business is through word of mouth, so carefully build a trustworthy relationship with customers who will not think twice before recommending you or your services to their acquaintances. This is the best way to get noticed in the local community, and comes with a huge responsibility to live up to various expectations.
- Even though your budget does not allow for heavy-duty advertising, manage small publicity materials once in a while to get the attention of customers. Run some competitions or print ads occasionally to let the community know about your presence. These are unavoidable expenditures and worth risking.
- Lastly, use personal experiences to modify your marketing strategy in order to get better mileage. Sometimes, unconventional methods do good to get the attention of customers and there is no harm in trying. Even social networking websites can help in such cases.