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Cheap marketing ideas for your start-up

Starting your own business is a difficult task even outside of a period of recession when access to credit is harder to find. That said, some of our biggest brands were launched during periods of economic downturn and if you are taking the brave step of launching your own company, you shouldn't let a restricted budget put you off. When starting out, promoting your business and its services as cost-effectively as possible should be a top priority in order to help you establish a market presence. Here are three tried-and-tested ways of attracting attention:

1) Distributing branded or promotional goods can help the name of your business become known, even before you open and including contact details on them can help potential customers connect with you more easily. You may want to try something traditional like a pen or a mug, but make them stand out by ordering from professional marketing product suppliers. Alternatively, you could opt for something a little quirkier or more creative – why not illuminate the services you offer with the help of a branded torch?

2) You may want to try running a competition to celebrate your launch. You could give away your services or products for free and use the event as an opportunity to engage with your customers and create footfall in your store. To promote the event, get in touch with the local media and use social media platforms. As a follow up to a competition, you can also offer those customers who took part the chance to keep up to date with your offering by signing them up for regular email newsletters and SMS promotional texts. These can be used to inform them of any special offers, discounts or new services you choose to offer in the future.

3) Once your business is in full swing, making sure you always provide excellent customer service is a cost-free way to promote products and services. You should never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing, particularly in our social media age when consumers often turn to platforms such as Twitter and Facebook to comment on services or products; so make sure you make a positive impression. You may even choose to run a refer-a-friend scheme, offering a reward for customers who introduce friends to your business.

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