I recently paid a visit to a friend who just opened her first business, a laundry shop.
During our conversation, she told me that the store had been doing good for the past weeks, but lately, she noticed that sales are going on a slow decent.
I told her that new businesses will normally get an influx of sales from “curious” customers, but one needs to follow through with a marketing plan to sustain that momentum and eventually grow the business.
While she understands the importance of having a marketing strategy, she’s somehow decided to postpone it until she has recuperated some of her start-up expenses.
“My finances are really tight right now. Is there a way to make a small marketing budget work?” she asks.
Fortunately, there is a way.
Here are some tips on how a small marketing budget can work for your business:
Specially for small and medium enterprises, distributing flyers can be an inexpensive way to promote your business.
In my area, risograph services for a ream of short bond paper will cost less than P200. A one-fourth bond paper size flyer design will yield around 2,000 pieces – enough to last for two weeks, assuming you distribute around 150 flyers consistently everyday.
Set Up A Website / Blog
More and more businesses are now putting up websites to give their customers comprehensive information about their products and services. Some are even putting up business blogs to promote interaction and get feedback from their consumers.
Setting up a website or a blog can be free – just innovate with Facebook, Multiply, Blogger or other free social networking and blog hosting services online.
Launch A Referral Rewards Program
Encourage your current customers to bring you new ones by launching a referral rewards program. Rather than having a straightforward discount promo, make the special price exclusive to those who can “bring a friend”.
Not only is this effective in getting new customers, but it also costs less to promote because you only need to reach your existing customer base.
Concentrate On A Small Niche Market
With a limited budget, it may be wiser to just try to reach a specific niche in your target market instead of the whole.
For example, rather than distributing flyers in subdivision gates and tricycle terminals, my friend can choose to distribute them in apartment compounds where most single young urban professionals live. This way, she’s specifically targeting a small but profitable niche market.
Collaborate With Other Campaigns
One can also choose to collaborate with other businesses to come up with a complementary marketing plan. Moreover, it might also work if you can ride with a marketing campaign of another business.
For example, if a nearby water refilling station is holding a promo, then my friend might want to partner with them and offer ex-deals to their customers
What makes a successful marketing plan?
Whatever you decide to do, it’s best if you keep in mind the three main factors that make up a successful marketing plan, they are:
In other words, be sure that you’ll reach your target market; that you remain consistent with your offers and lastly, make a long-term commitment to your marketing campaign.
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Photo credit: walkingphotolife and pasukaru76
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