Can you really market successfully on a tight budget?

Yes, you can! And you don’t need a marketing degree to do it either.

Most small businesses owners who are setting up or those who are new owners are under fairly tight marketing controls at the beginning.

LOGO AND STATIONERY PRESENTATION There are a number of marketing processes that have to be done, such as business cards and window signage to name a few, or in a virtual business, a website set up.

First off, you will need to look at your own skills. Do you have a sense of color co-ordination, are you great with words, do you understand the meaning of ‘ask the question’ in your advertising.

If you answer ‘no’ to these questions then you should be looking at a copywriter to help you in this area. And you may need to employ a graphic designer for an eye catching business logo. It is essential that you logo relates to your business and is one that customers will instantly recognise.

SET UP A MARKETING PLAN Before opening up a business or taking over a business, if you have bought one, set up a marketing plan while you have the time to research costs.

It is so important that you start building up your customer base as soon as possible and successful marketing is one of the many ways of doing so.

You need to be able to effectively market your business and your product, keeping foremost in mind the question ‘WHAT BENEFITS ARE MY CUSTOMERS GOING TO GET FROM MY BUSINESS/PRODUCT?’ You need to have this in your marketing so that it is spelt out for your customers.

So the challenge you have is to find ways of getting your marketing out there for the best possible price. To do this you can contact the relevant suppliers or you can research other businesses that have great logos and copy written ads to find out who did the work for them.

KEEPING COSTS UNDER CONTROL Initially you will need to keep the spending under very strict control, but even as your business grows any money spent on marketing needs to be measurable and this needs to be considered when writing a marketing plan. Keep away from risky marketing first up, but as time goes on you may wish to spend a small amount on a calculated risk.

MARKET TO SUIT YOUR PARTICULAR BUSINESS It is so easy to be talked into marketing of different sorts, either by another business owner who has run a successful campaign, or by a sales representative trying to get you to commit because of a deadline.

Placing ads to meet a deadline is a NO, NO. If you end up in this situation step back and say that you will go in the next one. Spur of the moment advertising is a sure way to failure. With media advertising, always try and work at least one month ahead so that you market to suit the climate, a specially good priced item you have or what ever it is, but think ahead!

Just because another business owner has used a certain type of media, or for some other reason has had a successful campaign, it may not suit your business. You need to research it and see if the price is right, if your client base is going to be reached and if you have a product or service that suits.

INTERNET MARKETING In time you will need to look at internet marketing as this is the way of the business world today.

When planning any marketing remember to ask yourself: “Is this the most effective marketing I can do for the best price?”