Being a small business owner or entrepreneur, you are undoubtedly familiar with penny pinching. Those first few years of idea and brand development can be more than a little tight. You are trying to make a name for yourself and develop an irresistible brand, all while using the fewest dollars possible. While budgeting and thoughtful marketing can help your business, there are many more areas that could survive a cutback. Included here are a few ways to save money in your small business.
Make the Most of Every Customer Interaction
Interacting with customers is likely your biggest strong point as a small business owner. You are great at making new friends, pitching sales and creating a loyal following. A great way to increase your repeat customers is to piggy-pack advertising into every customer interaction.
This means slipping paper advertisements, coupons and event information into their purchase bag; or creating a business card drawing where you give away a product or service once a month. Anything that gets your customer reminded of your company and products and interested in coming back will benefit your business for a low cost. This can help you save on postage and mailing costs for advertising as well.
Offer Referral Rewards
Happy customers are any business’s best friend. Word-of-mouth referrals are often the most effective means of gaining new customers, but do your existing customers have a reason to talk? Offering rewards for any referrals brought in from your existing customers will give them more incentive to talk you up to their friends and co-workers. This is an extremely low-cost method of saving money on advertising while also gaining loyal new customers.
Save Money on Internet Sales
You may believe that going online for your business is going to cost you a large amount initially. Fortunately, you can begin by selling products on Ebay, Craigslist, Amazon, Yahoo Auctions or Etsy for a very low fee. If you believe it is time to launch your own website you can purchase a “website in a box” solution that offers you everything you need to start your site with only a low monthly fee.
Chat Online To Generate New Customers
If it really takes six times as much money to gain a new customer than keep an old one, you are going to have to be thrifty about finding your new consumers. Fortunately, there are many online sites where you can join conversations about your industry. Try to focus on finding competitors and engage in the conversation.
Don’t ever do any strictly hard-selling of your product or you will be removed and banned immediately. Simply focus on being an intelligent participant in the conversation and link your URL with your signature. If you can be interesting and engaging during this time, you increase the likelihood that new consumers will click on your site and generate new revenue for you.