Business Tips

How to promote your business without breaking the bank

You might be the best cupcake baker or hairstylist in town, but unless you want to go door-to-door telling people to come check out what you can offer, customers will never find you. Promoting your business to potential customers can seem daunting for some. We’ve outlined some easy (and free or relatively affordable) ways to start generating some inbound lead calls and texts.

Online directory listings

What’s the first thing people do when they’re looking for something, like a new restaurant or nail salon? They search online. That’s why it’s crucial your business is easy to find online.

Google and Apple Maps

If your business has a physical location, make sure it’s listed, along with your business phone number, on Google and Apple Maps so customers can easily find you.

  • Learn more about managing your Google Maps listing.
  • Learn more about managing your Apple Maps listing.

Pro Tip: Publishing a 2nd number can provide a layer of privacy for your personal life.

Google My Business and Yelp

A recent survey by Zendesk found that online reviews influence 90% of people’s buying decisions. If you provide a good or service, setting up a business profile on Google and Yelp is critical.

  • To learn more about getting reviews on Google My Business, click here.
  • To learn more about getting reviews on Yelp, click here.

Social media

Many people use social media as a directory. If it makes sense for your business, set up and maintain social media profiles. As a bonus for some small businesses, social media profiles can take the place of websites, so you don’t have to spend time and effort to maintain both.

promote your business
pixdeluxe via iStock

Other affordable marketing channels

Placement in online directories isn’t the only low-cost option when it comes to spreading the word about your business.

Business cards, flyers, signs, and other printed materials

While having an online presence has clearly become an essential piece to a successful business today, good old fashioned print materials still serve an important function for many small businesses.

Many small businesses want to support other small businesses. Find a kindred-spirited local small business that is willing to put a flyer up on their window, community board, or cash wrap area. If relevant to your business, large signage with your business phone number printed large enough for passersby to notice and read can help draw attention to your location and potential foot traffic and lead calls. Some places you can source these printed materials from include:

Most of these resources have templates that you can use to create your materials, so you don’t have to be a graphic designer to create something that will impress customers. They also offer a lot of different items so you can get all of your printed materials in one place.

Good old fashioned print materials still serve an important function for many small businesses. 

Work vehicles 

Consider attaching a car magnet or decal to your car with the name of your business, phone number, and your website (if you have one). With one of these, you’re advertising to new people just going about your everyday business. What could be easier than that? You can order car magnets and decals from:

Try social media ads or promoted posts 

If you are looking to take your efforts to the next level, consider spending a little on social media marketing. You don’t have to have a huge marketing budget to do so. Just make sure your ads and promoted posts are getting in front of the right people and that you’re not spending too much to do it. It does require some time and research on how to target the right audiences to be successful. To get started, here are a few of the top resources:

If you’re looking for more tips to help your small business,  check out some of our other blogs.

Header Image: martinedoucet via iStock