Entrepreneurs often fail to market their startups due to inadequacy of resources. However, they fail to realize that while a limited budget can impact their marketing endeavors, it doesn’t necessarily need to sabotage it. There are many ways in which startup marketing can be achieved, even on a shoe-string budget.
First and Foremost, Draw Up a Marketing Plan
Create a marketing plan. Identify what the goals of your startup marketing will be, the techniques you will use and the measurement tools you will require for analyzing the profitability of your marketing efforts. A well-documented plan will help you stay on track with your marketing goals and ambitions. Tailor your marketing to your specific industry. For example, if developing a car wash business plan, your marketing strategy might include coupons, cross-promotions with local mechanics and local radio and print advertising.
Include an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is a short description of your business. Not only are attention spans getting shorter, few people have time for a detailed and nuanced explanation of what your startup business has to offer. One of the many advantages of having a ready elevator pitch for your business is that it allows you to market anytime, anywhere.
Don’t have the money for traditional advertising? Don’t lose heart, there are other ways to get the word out. One of the easiest ways to raise awareness of your new business is to actively participate in local community gatherings. Sponsor neighborhood events or print out and distribute flyers to event audiences.
Cross-promoting can have significant benefits for your new business. If there’s a company that offers products/services in your business ballpark – but not necessarily in your business niche – reach out to them. Persuade them that collaboration is possible and engage in some healthy cross-promoting. Even better if the business you are cross-promoting with already has a customer base.
Network! Network! Network!
Networking can be time-consuming and exhausting, but the benefits are unparalleled. Try to grow a network by initiating conversation with people you find interesting. A reliable business network can really help a new business endeavor stay afloat, even in difficult times.
Don’t Be Shy About Asking for Referrals
If you’ve already gathered a bunch of customers who’ve purchased your products/services, contact them and ask them if they’d be kind enough to leave you a referral. The importance of social proof in marketing efforts cannot be denied. Customers today are always on the lookout for reviews and recommendations of products/services before making their purchase. A good word from a past customer can go a long way in securing your next potential customer.
Focus on Building Customer Relationships
One-time buyers might bring your new business immediate profit but establishing a loyal customer base will extend long-term gains for your business. Make your existing customers feel special and valued and they will make repeat purchases from your business. Strong business-client relationships can provide a steady stream of revenue income for your new business.