B2B Demand Generation | Guest Post by Dee Mason
We’re pleased to present this guest post by freelance writer, Dee Mason. Thanks Dee.
Please note this is similar to our post/presentation “How to Do Great Marketing with (Almost) No Money.”
Start-up businesses tend to have the highest mountains to climb. In the current financial climate it is virtually impossible to get banks to cough up any money to help with marketing budgets and set-up costs. Even those with a cast-iron business plan will have trouble getting funding for equipment or office space. So what’s the trick to getting started on a low budget?
If you have a personal or business credit card, only use this as a last resort, unless you have a 0% transfer rate. Swap your credit card for a lower %APR and remember to pay it off every month if you can. Paying the minimum balance every month will cause the card to accumulate compound interest and if you are paying up 6.99%, as some charge, you will end up with a hefty balance and far more to pay. Use your card wisely and only purchase things you absolutely need.
Think smart when it comes to marketing your business. Make connections on Social Networks. These are free to use and you can even place your own adverts on site like Facebook. Free exposure for your business will get you maximum return for zero layout costs. Join sites like LinkedIn which give you a profile and allows other members to view your information. Place links to your website on there and send prospective customers and clients to your site. Oh and if you don’t already have a website, get one. They are extremely cheap to set up, even if you use a web service. You can buy your own domain name for a very reasonable price.
Free is the Best Price
Use free advertising services where possible. Think about the old phrase “If you buy cheap, you buy twice.” This is true when it comes to consumer items like TV’s, computers, furniture and clothes, but not necessarily true when it comes to business promotion. You can offer a service to another company as an exchange for a link to your site on theirs. This can also win you testimonies from customers to give your company a boost. Become an affiliate member on websites such as Amazon.com. This lets users click on their link from your site and every time they purchase from Amazon, you will get a small percentage of the fees. This could accumulate over the course of a few months and if you save that money it can pay toward your own website maintenance without you forking out one cent. You can even offer other companies the chance to become affiliate members of your website. This creates a sort of business family tree, whereby any business affiliate will be connected via links on your website and their websites.
Setting a low start-up budget is always a good idea. Good housekeeping demands wise spending and maximum returns. Running a business is almost exactly like running a home. There are utility bills to pay, rent or mortgage to pay, furniture to pay for, and other expenses. Business is the same. You need an office, furniture, lights, computers, printers, stock and of course the odd employee. All this must be run on a budget and maintained correctly, if you are going to prevent your running costs spiraling out of control.
Websites are full of advice these days. Some of it is good advice, provided by experts, and some of it is bad advice. If you’re based in the US, the fool.com website is indispensable whereas readers on the other side of the pond can find a similar service at money.co.uk. Everything from the stock market to smart personal and small business finance tips can be found out there, so do some digging!
The more informative your website, the more chance you have to attract visitors. Whatever the nature of your business, make your product or service an attractive one. You can begin by using special offers to entice customers to your business. Provide them with the best service you can right down to delivery and they will be sure to not only come back, but also to recommend you. There is a huge difference between exciting and informative websites, and busy and hard to follow websites. When setting up your site, make sure that you try to stick to a few colors as possible. If you have your own corporate colors or logo, use them on every webpage to keep consistency. Inform your customers about your business and yourself or your employee(s). Don’t forget to have a contact section on your site so that customers can offer feedback, ask questions or place orders.
Dee Mason is a social media and travel fanatic, and has been writing freelance for nearly four years. She main focuses are on personal finance, online marketing and travel but she has been known to write about anything and everything. You can always drop her a line at [email protected]
“If more companies listened to (Find New Customers) a lot more would be sold.” Dan McDade, Pointclear.