Starting your own business from home can often mean that you are on a very tight budget. Every penny has to be accounted for and used wisely. Therefore it does literally pay to be innovative when it comes to how you spend your marketing budget.
There are lots of ways to market your business for free or for a very small charge. Here are my favourties:
- Build your own website: Sounds daunting, but it really isn’t. A website is vital to your business, even just a few pages can make your business look more professional and established. There are lots of companies that allow you to build your own website with little or no technical knowledge, and the best bit is that most of them are free. My favourite is WordPress – lots of free themes and very easy to use. For a small fee you can also choose your own domain name and customise fonts. Once you’ve built your site, make sure it includes a blog…then get writing! Blogging just once or twice a week is a fantastic way of promoting your business and expertise…and even better, it’s completely free.
How to build a website – picture by Shutterstock
- SEO: what’s that? Search Engine Optimisation – no point having a great website or blog if it’s not search engine friendly! Your website provider may be able to help you with this for a fee. Otherwise, it is never too late to visit a few SEO expert sites and gain an insight to how search engines work. Google, the leader of all search engines, provides an excellent starter guide on SEO.
SEO basics – picture by Shutterstock
- Google AdWords: pay per click advertising is a great way to gain instant web traffic and you only pay when someone clicks on your ads and comes to your site. The beauty of Google AdWords is you have full control over your budget and when and how you want the ads to show. For example, if you only have a budget of £100 for advertising, you can stretch the budget over 2 months, and instruct Google to only display your ads during weekdays and during office hours, even in certain locations only. Although AdWords offer many benefits, the downside is you are likely to see a sharp drop in web traffic once you stop the advertisement.
- Business cards: printed materials – business cards and A5 flyers are relevant and essential. It is important that you invest in a good quality business printer. Epson has a wide range of WorkForce Pro printers that cater to micro and small businesses that are multifunction, WiFi-enabled, and offer low cost per print, which may suit you perfectly. Having an efficient printer, some excellent printer ink, good quality papers and a great design which you can download from the Internet, you are all set to print business cards and flyers yourself for a fraction of the cost.
A selection of business card templates – available from Shutterstock
- Use Your Contacts: network with friends, family and people you used to work for or with, let them know you have started your own business and are available for work. There are many great networking groups out there which you can explore too. Don’t be shy. Spread the words far and wide and your customers will come rolling in!
In association with Epson