By April 23, 2013 Read More →

Marketing your home business on a shoestring

Budget-conscious ways to find customers for your home business

Work from Home Wisdom - marketing your home businessA guest post on establishing a customer base for your home business without blowing the budget:

You’ve thought of a mind-blowingly brilliant home business idea, cooked up a number of different directions you could take it and drawn lots of impressive looking spreadsheets. You’re ready to break into the market, but there’s one thing you’re missing – customers!

Whether you’re just starting out or are struggling to reach out to a sufficiently broad audience, failing to regularly water your home business with a generous supply of clients can see it wilting fast.

Customers are the lifeblood of any business, making marketing an incredibly important component of a company, whether it is run from an office or in front of your computer at home.

However, scraping together the funds to get your home businesses off to a good start is often easier said than done, especially if you are just starting out. With this in mind, how can you market your home business on a budget?

Get Online
A website builder can be invaluable when it comes to getting your product or service on the web and raising awareness amongst a vast audience. The internet is used by billions of people 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so is the best possible marketing platform for your home business.

If you’re on a tight budget, Webeden’s free website builder is ideal, allowing you to get a great looking website up and running for absolutely nothing.

Get Social Media Savvy
With billions of users logging on every day, social media platforms are an excellent way to reach a vast amount of people. Setting up a Facebook page or building your business 140 characters at a time on Twitter is a great way to get your home business name out there. You can even target specific people who have a genuine interest in the type of product you are offering.

Social media platforms allow you to extend useful information and promotions to potential clients and engage with them on a more human level. What’s more, they are absolutely free to set up so you don’t have to worry about unsightly overheads.

Just allocate time for social networking and stick to it where possible. You can’t always “sit down for 1hr at 10am” each day every day as social media can be sporadic and you often have to react quickly at random points. However, you can use a timer to calculate the amount of hours you spent dipping in and out of social media.

Tools like Little Bird are a great option for those who want to identify the biggest influencers in their industry before they explode with popularity and are unreachable. Staying ahead of the curve is the name of the game with social media and this tool is a great way to get ahead.

The Power Of Business Cards

There are some pretty decent deals on business cards floating around. If you buy in bulk you can usually get hundreds for a relatively small amount of money. Once you’ve got them in your grasp, start handing them out as soon as you possibly can.

Moo Cards often run promotions so you can get some free business cards. Order a batch of free business cards for your trial run and remember to treble check all of your details to avoid any embarrassing spelling errors.

You can even use something like Identyme to create virtual business cards (Vcards) that are a great way to bring this traditional option into the modern world.

Make sure you write “Networking” into your business plan, and remember to take your business cards to every event you attend. You can also leave business cards in taxis, phone booths and pin boards in newsagents to spread the word as far as possible – perfect for the home promoter.

Word Of Mouth

Finally, word of mouth marketing is so often overlooked I thought it’s worth a mention here. As well as being one of the cheapest types of marketing, this is also arguably the most powerful.

People are more likely to take the word of friends and family over company ads so go the extra mile with every customer and you might find they spread the word about your home business to others. What’s better, they won’t expect you to pay them for it as your good service is thanks enough.

The key is to not be afraid to ask your happy customers to spread the word. As long as you do it softly, the worst that can happen is it won’t happen!

Always remember to be proud of what you do and marketing will come easily whatever technique you use.

Posted in: Saving money

2 Comments on "Marketing your home business on a shoestring"

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  1. Hi there… I work in the home/small business market and with home workers, so this caught my attention.

    I’m with you on the points you make – however, one thing I think is always key to point out to those with minimial or non-existent marketing budgets, is to try not to sacrifice quality.

    In today’s world of web and social media, it’s just as easy to gather negative marketing which can gain traction in social media circles as quickly as a great product.

    The key to this is often networking with those in a similar position. I’ve run two businesses pretty successfully from home, and found that almost all the holes in my kowledge, plus my clients/customers, came from those in my network, through sharing services, sharing ideas, and gaining knowledge.

    • Quite right, David, and it’s why it’s so important to get out of the home office regularly. Jelly is particularly good for finding answers to niggling questions that have been holding you back – you tend to meet people there you don’t normally come across who have very different experience and knowledge to your own. Especially good for tech problems!