1. Piggyback your advertising. Including advertising material in other mailings, such as in invoices, saves postage and other costs, says J. Donald
Weinrauch, co-author of The Frugal Marketer. Likewise, make the most of your point-of-purchase opportunities by tucking coupons, newsletters or other
promotional fliers in the bag with customers' purchases.
2. Be a good neighbor. Split advertising and promotion costs with neighboring businesses. Jointly promote a sidewalk sale, or take your marketing
alliance further by sharing mailing lists, distribution channels and suppliers with businesses that sell complementary goods or services.
3. Ask the people you know for help. The kind of support you'd most like to get from your contacts is referrals-the names of specific individuals who
need your products and services. So go ahead and ask! Your contacts can also give prospects your name and number. As the number of referrals you
receive increases, so does your potential for increasing the percentage of your business generated through referrals.
4. Got a happy customer? By telling others what they've gained from using your products or services in presentations or informal conversations, your
sources can encourage others to use your products or services.
5. Make a special TV appearance. Local cable TV stations often have very reasonable advertising rates at time slots throughout the day and night.
Though you won't necessarily reach prime-time viewers, you will make an impression where it counts-in the comfort of potential customers' homes.
6. Offer expert advice. Teaching a class, speaking at a community meeting, or writing an article for a local paper not only makes you look like an expert
but garners low-cost attention for your business.
Read more online here.
7. Start your search engines. Research your market and find potential visitors for your Web site by looking through Usenet newsgroups (forums on the
Internet where people post messages for public viewing) and special-interest groups related to your target market, product or service. Or, if you have
America Online, visit their Small Business Center, which includes libraries of small-business information you can download at no charge.
8. Cut costs when setting up your online store. Think going online has to cost an arm and a leg? You can start out by selling items for next to nothing on
online auction sites like eBay and Yahoo! Auctions . If you want to create a professional storefront, there are several "Web site in a box" solutions
available, usually for a low monthly fee.
9. Start chatting. Find groups that cater to your audience, and join the fray. Don't start participating in online discussion groups to generate business,
but do it as a way to find information for yourself. It costs only your time. Always include your URL in your signature, but don't do any hard selling-most
groups will ban you immediately. Instead, provide useful information that'll make people will want to click on your site.
10. Spread the word yourself. Are you letting people know what your URL is? Try putting it on your letterhead and business cards and in e-mail
signatures-wherever potential visitors are likely to see it. Include it on employee uniforms, any promotional items you give away, all press releases,
in your Yellow Pages ad and on company vehicles.
On a shoestring budget?
What entrepreneur isn't?), it really pays to scrimp and save.
Just in case you've forgotten the value of a hard-earned penny, here are a few money-saving
ideas to boost your business's bottom line-from cutting your legal bills to inexpensive ways to
draw in customers.
Though some tips will save you more money than others, the end result of your overall
spendthrift strategy could add up to a bundle.
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