Many small businesses view marketing as a never ending spiral of expenses with little to no guaranteed payoff. But many overlook tactics they that don’t require a big cash outlay.  In fact, many of them are free!

  1. Create and continually refine a succinct elevator pitch. A well thought-out elevator pitch can be one of the most simple but powerful free tools for your small business. It should be a few sentences that convey what you do and the value your business provides. As the name implies, you should be able to deliver it in the time it takes to complete your average elevator ride.
  2. ALWAYS carry company information with you wherever you go. You never know where you might meet your next client or business partner.  Keep those business cards, pens, giveaways, and coupons handy!
  3. Take advantage of FREE services, seminars, workshops, and networking groups in your industry and community.   One example is SCORE.  It is supported by Small Business Administration and is a nonprofit association of thousands of volunteer business counselors throughout the U.S. and its territories. They offer workshops, free mentoring, and provide a wealth of information and advice at no cost. Search for a chapter near you!
  4. Over-service existing customers and keep them happy. Many sources say it costs between 4 and 10 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. So keep the ones you already have ecstatic! Send a personal thank you note or a holiday gift.  Better yet, pick up the phone to check in and see how business is going.
  5. Survey past prospects who decided to use another provider.  It’s disappointing when you’re not awarded business after spending time meeting with a potential customer or submitting a contract.  But this is a great opportunity to get some feedback on how you can improve your prospecting and proposal process.
  6. Create an effective email signature line. You should be attaching a signature line to EVERY email you send.  Including your email address, your website URL and links to any social media profiles when appropriate makes contacting you super simple.
  7. Add a results section to your website for customer testimonials, reviews and success stories. Your website is often one of your best marketing tools. Use it to provide concrete examples of how you’ve helped customers solve their problems with quantified results.
  8. Reuse and repurpose existing sales and marketing materials: At The Price Group, this is one of our favorites. You know that article you wrote or that flyer you created? Reuse it! Submit the article to online news agencies, use it for email marketing or post it on your website’s blog.  Use the flyer’s graphics to create a landing page on your website for a specific offer.
  9. Barter for products and/or services: Take a look at some of the other businesses in your community or at local networking events.  Do they have services or products that might help your business grow? And, in return, can you help them achieve some of their business or personal goals in exchange?  Bartering is a great way to market your products for minimal or no cash outlay and hopefully results in some ongoing word-of-mouth advertising.
  10. Focus on your strengths, and delegate your weaknesses: Maybe you need a new website, professional print brochure or some research about your industry or market.  Consider outsourcing items and using third-party companies to stretch your marketing dollars with items that are not in your skill set. In the end, this will help your small business maximize growth and save time, money and energy that can be applied elsewhere!