Low budget advertising ideas for small business

by Kate Sykes

Key points in this article

  • Stepping from salary to business ownership
  • Promoting your business at low cost

Creating a business from scratch is an interesting exercise. It tests everything, including your:

  • patience
  • business objectives
  • listening skills
  • drive
  • budget.

There are so many challenges but two stand out in the early stages.

The first challenge: from salary to business ownership

The first challenge involves transitioning from being a salaried worker to a business owner solely responsible for money coming through the door.

For the first three months, you might wake up every morning with a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, not knowing what the day might hold – a mix of excitement and fear.

To ease the pressure, make sure you have enough money to cover your first 6-12 months of expenses.

Ensure you consider your running costs before you open for business.

For example, if you’re renting a premise, covering the rent is critical. You may also have a mortgage and other general living expenses. You may go for 3-6 months without earning anything so be prepared.

The step from a secure salary to an initially unsecure income stream through your new business is significant

The second challenge: promoting your business

The second challenge involves promoting your business on a shoestring budget. This can be a difficult challenge if you’re used to spending a large corporate marketing budget.

You’ll have to get smarter with less, and know how you'll fund everything – a whole new paradigm.

Getting a content management system

Make sure you ask your web designer for a content management system so you can edit web pages and upload images and documents yourself.

The alternative is paying web developers to make changes to your website, which can add up.

Get your new business sorted with free online solutions by:

  • creating a social media strategy
  • setting up Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn accounts
  • scheduling your entries using a free online system.

Conducting research

Conduct research on your existing and prospective customers with an online survey tool like Survey Monkey. Make sure your research highlights something interesting and news worthy.

Always think about what could generate media interest.

Entering in business awards

Enter local and national business awards. Try entering some local small business awards in your early years. If you're fortunate enough to win a prestigious and well-respected one, your business will gain considerable media interest.

Writing an eBook

Write a book or an eBook. This sounds simple doesn't it? If only!

The whole process could take years, but it will likely be worth it. Being a published author provides a new level of professional credibility and can open up new business opportunities.

Promoting your business doesn’t have to cost a small fortune – take advantage of online opportunities through social media


Kate Sykes

Kate Sykes is founder of CareerMums, Australia's leading careers centre for working parents. Specialising in recruitment after a stint in corporate marketing, she’s also founded recruitment company Lift and is a published author. In 2010 Kate was named Telstra's ACT Businesswoman of the year. www.careermums.com.au

ANZ have asked me to blog for them. The opinions expressed here are my own and not those of ANZ.

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