Limited Money, Limited Time – Where’s the Biggest Bang for the Buck?

Lately, I’ve had a lot of conversations with business owners about where the biggest bang for their buck is when it comes to advertising their business. Since it seems to be a common theme this month, I thought you might be interested in it as well.

The first question I always ask is how quickly do you need to drive business to your door? If the answer is. “Right now – I’ve got no customers!” that sends us down this kind of a path:

  • Get out do some cold calling. Go knock on doors, meet people, tell them what you do and where to find you.
  • Ask your network for referrals to your business. You’d be amazed what simply asking will do for your business.
  • Radio – Find at least 1 station you can afford and buy it. Try to get as much frequency as you can afford. If you can’t afford much, buy 1 week bursts (1 week on, 2 weeks off). If money’s tight look for a radio auction you can participate in that will allow you to donate your goods or services for radio advertising.
  • If you can’t afford radio, consider online advertising. You can limit the people who see the ad nicely and control your costs, while maximizing the viewing by your target audience.
  • As a long term strategy – consider social media. They won’t return business quickly but if you start now, 3-9 months down the line you’ll have business coming in because of them.

If the answer is, “I’ve got a steady stream and I’m OK for right now, but I want to make sure I’ve got a pipeline for the future.” Congratulations, you’ve got the luxury of branding possibilities:

  • Social Media – Facebook and Twitter are powerful, open accounts and spend some time and money making them consistent, interesting, and cultivate relationships.
  • Radio Branding – Put together a branding commercial that will keep your business top-of-mind for the listener.
  • Television – If you’ve got the money, television is a powerful brand builder. But take the time and spend the money to make the television commercial better than “local direct.”
  • Online – buy some small amount of online advertising to showcase your business. It’s really quite affordable at Google or Facebook and you’ll see nice results because of it.

It’s a tough position to be, limited budgets, finite time, and the overwhelming need for your business to be a success. But it’s not a position you alone find yourself in…almost every small business owner finds the same set of demands. These strategies will help you to navigate those demands – successfully.

Comments

  1. Great tips building brand for social media. One tip I’m using is a particular keyword. Having this as a url, and not my company name, builds higher traffic numbers from the get-go. Using same keyword throughout social media helps serp through and through. Wished I would have known this 8 years ago, but taking charge from this point forward. So many web sites fight for top page, when having keyword domain and not company name is 50+% getting to the top in record time. Reason, no one who searches for a painting company types in company name ordinarily. Therefore, building brand for us is also using keyword, instead of company name. Thanks again for your branding tips, as they are very good for those who need direction.

    • Thanks for taking the time to post about this concept! You are, of course, correct. At the end of the day we all will thrive (or not) based upon how well we rank on the keywords that define our business.

  2. Excellent article – lots of valid and relevant pointers. I particularly like your point about TV “If you’ve got the money, television is a powerful brand builder” and agree 100% that it’s worth doing properly and professionally. There’s a place for DIY video, but all online video content, including that on YouTube, does better for your business if it’s well thought out, scripted and produced by people who know how. Thanks for your thoughts on this.