In some businesses, advertising can be an important and integral part of its activity. Having said this, advertising can be very costly and many small businesses just can’t afford it, hence they often tend to ignore this side of the business.
However, it is like insurance, even if you can’t afford it, but you cannot ever afford not to have it. As someone has wisely said, “When business is good it pays to advertise, when business is bad you’ve got to advertise.”
However, considering the limited resources which small business owner usually have, an ideal advertising should be focussed on results and should be cost effective.
Some people call publicity "free," but it is something you must earn by doing something creative, innovative or newsworthy. Often, publicity is better than paid advertising because it is noticed by more people and is not considered "hype."
Here are some key points that can derive cost effective advertising and promotion of the business.
Disseminate a press release on timely basis:
(Disseminate press release whenever any of the following developments happen.)
- An employee is promoted, retires or a new hire at the top level of the company’s management.
- When a new product or service is launched or introduced in the market.
- Your business anniversary.
- You present an employee an award, such as Employee of the Month/quarter or Year.
- Your business has a VIP visitor; whether a public figure or someone related to your business field.
- Your business sponsors or is involved with an important community event.
- If you have a satisfied customer.
Host an Event or Participate in Events
Even if the business is a local restaurant, eatable shop, bakery, healthcare clinic or any other point of sales driven business, participation in local events is really important.
- Have a clinic where a professional or specialist related to a product or service you provide comes and repairs, demonstrates or talks to people. A sports store may host a reel clinic, An appliance store my host a clinic showing how to cook an entire meal with the microwave.
- Provide a free health screening where Registered Nurses check blood pressure.
- Offer free popcorn or coffee. A lot of hardware stores offer free popcorn every day. It’s inexpensive and people love it.
Volunteering for a local/social cause
- Serve on a community board or committee.
- Help plan, raise money or work in the annual parade or local fair.
Place paid ads when and wherever you can afford it. Talk about your business, promote it. Make other people want to talk about your business.
Word-of-mouth is still one of the best methods of advertising your business.
Don’t forget business cards, signs, billboards. There are many good printers who can provide affordable printing. You can also do it yourself on your computer.