Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Low Budget Marketing Strategies For Start-Ups

Factoring in marketing costs when you’re operating as a start-up can be tricky. You want to reach as many people as possible to let them know how awesome you are, but simply don’t have a huge budget to create huge advertising campaigns.

Don’t despair.

Small steps can often make a huge difference and with that in mind, here are some low budget marketing strategies for start-ups that are all worth considering.

Don’t neglect the old fashioned business card.

Business cards are still very worth making a small outlay for. In fact, you’d be surprised at the number of people at marketing events who still request them or enquire if you have one. Have a batch printed up and give them to everyone you meet. Leave some in local businesses, even libraries and local shops. It’s amazing how many connections you can make from these.

Be a savvy guerrilla marketer.

Locally, put your social media handles in chalk, on pavements and walls of abandoned buildings and empty shops.

Make up posters and street art and see if local businesses will give permission for you to put them up in their windows and on their walls. Never do anything without checking it’s safe/legal (or both). It’s amazing how much local outreach you can garner from these tactics.

Have an event night.

Get together and plan an event night to promote your business and post on local forums and websites to gather momentum. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but a few drinks and snacks laid out in a welcoming way, and plenty of staff on hand to talk to potential customers about your services in a friendly manner can work wonders in boosting your business.

Make some innovative freebies.

Freebies are for the win, so think outside of the box. You could print up some balloons with your company logo and give them away to people on the street. Arrange to have an original and innovate set of custom magic 8 ball made up, for example, to be given out at trade shows. People will love the creativity and quirky thought that’s gone into a free gift like this one, and it could help drive traffic and sales to your site.

Hold a competition with a difference.

If you have a reception area, or place where you welcome guests, then get them to drop their business cards into a bowl, which is placed on a desk – this automatically enters them into a competition, to win a great gift from you. For instance, if you’re a beauty salon or skincare store, then you might want to offer a gift hamper filled with pampering products.

Let people know that at the end of the month the prize winner will be drawn from the heap of business cards and they can collect their prize. There’s only going to be one winner, but you’ve also handily collected the business cards and details of a ton of other potential contacts who you can then keep in touch with. Email them to let them know they can join your mailing list, or that they’ll be automatically entered into any other future competitions you run.

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Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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