33 Affordable Ways To Promote Your Business

33 Affordable Ways to Promote Your Business

affordable-promotionWhat’s the best way to promote your business? How can you advertise your business and get your name in front of potential prospects when you’re on a low budget? How can you get the word out about your business in the most affordable way?

1.KNOW WHO YOUR AUDIENCE (BUYERS) ARE.  What do they look like?  Who are they?  What is the age group?  What are their hobbies?  What are their interests?  Do you work full time or part time?  What is their income level?  When you know who your market is, then you fit your promotional strategies towards your target market.

2. If you don’t have a website – get one quickly. If you can’t afford to have someone custom-design your own.  It’s easy with WordPress. There are millions of websites created every day using WordPress.  They also have “plugins” that are free and can help enhance the features of your site.  Make time to learn WordPress – it will be a great investment of time and energy.

3. Set up a listing for your business in search engine local directories.
Google and Bing both offer a free listing for local businesses.
To get listed on Google, go to Google My Business.
To get listed on Bing, go to Bing Places for Business
Yahoo charges for local listings, but you get listed on a lot more than Yahoo if you buy their service. The service, called Yahoo Localworks, costs $29.99 a month and lists you in 50 directories including Yahoo Local, Yelp, WhitePages, Bing, Mapquest and more. The benefit of paying: You have a single location to enter your data to make it consistent and available on multiple online directories that your customers might search to find what you sell.

      1. Set your business profile or page up on Linkedin, Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter. Be sure your business profile includes a good description, keywords and a link to your website. Look for groups or conversations that talk about your type of products or services and participate in the conversations, but don’t spam them with constant promos for what you sell.  A great way to PROMOTE your business.
      2. Business Cards and postcards (used as fliers) are always an inexpensive method to promote your business.  Place all your contact information on your business card or postcard.  Your website and email address should be printed and easily seen Promote your business today.
      3. Make sure to utilize an affordable email service, and send an email newsletter and/or promotional offers to customers and prospects for your business.   An email service (see Resources at the top of this website)
      4. Get your business cards into the hand of anyone who can help you in your search for new clients. Call your friends and relatives and tell them you have started a business. Visit them and leave a small stack of business cards to hand out to their friends.
      5. Talk to all the vendors from whom you buy products or services. Give them your business card, and ask if they can use your products or service, or if they know anyone who can. If they have bulletin boards where business cards are displayed (printers often do, and so do some supermarkets, hairdressers, etc.), ask if yours can be added to the board.
      6. Attend meetings of professional groups, and groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, or civic associations. Have business cards in a pocket where they are easily reachable. Don’t forget to ask what the people you speak with do, and to really listen to them. They’ll be flattered by your interest, and better remember you because of it.
      7. Join clubs or organizations who target your customers. If they charge a fee, then pay it.  It could be a great investment. If the group has a website and publishes a list members on the site, make sure your name and website link get added.
      8. Get involved in 2 or 3 groups. That will give you more opportunity to meet possible prospects. Do not be an opportunist.  People recognize a greed hustler and they will avoid you. Bond with the group on other levels without a sleazy sales pitch. Help them with their problems first.
      9. Publicize the most unique asset about you or your business. Send out press releases to local newspapers, radio stations, cable TV stations, magazines whose audiences are likely to be interested in buying what you sell. Be sure to post the press releases on one or more online press release services, too, being sure to include links to your website. To increase your chance of having the material published, send along a photo (but not to radio stations) with your press release. Editors of printed publications are often in need of “art” (drawings or photos) to fill space and break up the gray look of a page of text.  Another great way to Promote.
      10. Write an article illustrating your expertise in your market Send it to noncompeting newspapers, magazines, and websites in your field that accept submissions from experts. Be sure your name, business name, phone number, and a reference to your product or service is included at the end of the article. If the editor can use the article you get your name in print, and possibly get your contact information printed for free, too.
      11. Publicize your publicity. Whenever you do get publicity, get permission from the publisher to reprint the article containing the publicity. Make photocopies and mail the copies out with sales letters or any other literature you use to market your product or service. The publicity clips lend credibility to the claims you make for your products or services.
      12. Request work or leads others. Contact nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges, and even other businesses that have customers who may need your services.  This is invaluable – great way to promote.
      13. Network with others who earn a living in the same industry. Let them know you are available to handle their work overloads. (But don’t try to steal their customers.
      14. Make yourself available as a speaker. Industry conferences, volunteer organizations, libraries, and local business groups often need speakers for meetings. You’ll benefit from the name recognition.
      15. If your product or service is appropriate, give demonstrations of it to whatever groups or individuals might be interested. Or, teach others how to use some tool you use in your work.
      16. Create unique Youtube videos.  Also-sharing and slide-sharing sites.
      17. Find out what federal, state, and local government programs are in existence to help you get started in business. Most offer free business counseling, and some can put you in touch with government agencies and large corporations that buy from small and woman-owned businesses
      18. If you’re a woman-owned or minority-owned business look into getting certified by private, state or federal organizations. Many purchasing agents have quotas or guide for the amount of goods and services they need to buy from minority- and woman-owned businesses.
      19. Send out sales letters or postcards to everyone you think could be able to use what you sell. Be sure to describe your business in terms of how it can help the prospect.  Develop an ELEVATOR PITCH.  Promote your business to others with a short 30 second pitch – learn how to describe your business and the greatest benefit in 30 seconds.
      20. If you use a car or truck in your business have your business name and contact information professionally painted on the side of the vehicle. That way your means of transportation becomes a vehicle for advertising your business. If you don’t want the business name painted on the vehicle, consider using magnetic signs.
      21. Get on the telephone and make “cold calls.” These are calls to people who you would like to do business with. Briefly describe what you do and ask for an appointment to talk to them about ways you can benefit them.
      22. Get samples of your product or your work into as many hands as possible.
      23. Offer a free, no obligation consultation to people you think could use your services. During such consultations offer some practical suggestions or ideas–and before you leave ask for an “order” to implement the ideas.
      24. Always ask for referrals. Ask existing customers, prospects and casual acquaintances. When you get them, follow up on the leads.
      25. Utilize the famous word of mouth method. Instead of (or in addition to) selling your products yourself, look for affiliates, resellers or people who will generate leads for you in return for a commission on sales.
      26. Create an Arrangement with other businesses who serve the same market, but sell different products and services. Make arrangements to pass leads back and forth, or share mailings.
      27. Have sales letters, flyers and other pertinent information printed and ready to go. Ask prospects who seem reluctant to buy from you: “Would you like me to send information?” Follow up promptly with a note and a letter that says, “Here is the information you requested.
      28. Run a contest. Make the prize something desirable and related to your business — it could be a free gift basket of your products, for instance, or free services.
      29. Utilize all the pay per click methods on the Internet.  They can become fairly handy. If you are not yet advertising on search engines search for offers that give you $50 or $75 in free advertising to start.
      30. Buy Ads in ONLINE newsletters.  Newsletters can have thousand of subscribers.  Request your promotional email to be blasted out to thousands of their subscribers for a fee.  It works.  See Mentors.

Guarding Trade Secrets

trade-secrets-amazingbizsecretsMost companies GUARD trade secrets the best they can.  Through this desire to protect their success secrets is the reason it’s sometimes difficult for you to succeed. You must not only know the basics of business, but if you wish to compete with another company or market, then you must dig, scratch and climb the highest mountains.  Seek out great mentors whenever possible.

Companies fear competition as it eats into their profits- therefore they GUARD TRADE SECRETS.  If it took you long hours and years to accomplish success, then you may want to guard your secrets as well.

How should YOUR businesses be protecting YOUR trade secrets?
Adding simple computer features like security software and computer logouts and locks can reduce your exposure.

Companies should also limit access to sensitive company information to certain employees. Train employees to safeguard company information by locking it away after the workday, to keep and frequently change passwords on their computers and mobile devices, to avoid suspicious links and emails, and to shred hard documents.

Additionally, the use of external hard drives and thumb drives can make it easy to transport data, but also leaves it unsecured. It might be wise to prohibit their use can DECREASE the loss of the company’s trade secrets.

Have nondisclosure agreements with contractors, consultants, suppliers, vendors and other business partners that set forth the terms of the disclosure of any confidential information, including what is considered to be confidential, the term of the agreement, and the provisions for a breach of the agreement arising from an improper disclosure of trade secrets.

Employment agreements should also contain nondisclosure provisions to protect confidential information.

What does the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 mean for businesses?
Although the DTSA may provide added protections for companies, you still need to take precautions:

It May Benefit You to Guard Trade Secrets.

■  Limit exposure to certain employees. Educate your employees to protect the company’s trade secrets. Your trade secrets could be compromised by an ‘innocent’ social media post of a picture taken in a production area or discussions in unsecure locations like restaurants and airports.  Explain this to your employees – you never know who is listening.

■  You should eliminate unnecessary visitors or limit them from vulnerable ares of your company.  This policy can decrease the loss of trade secrets tremendously.

■  Revise employee agreements to fulfill the notice requirement of the DTSA for trade secret disclosure to the government. Under the new law, companies must provide notice of whistleblower and retaliation protections for reporting suspected trade secret violations to both current employees and contractors.

If this NOTICE is not provided, the company may lose exemplary damages and attorney’s fees in an action against that employee. You should also include a procedure in your company policies for an employee to report suspected trade secret violations to government officials.

Review and update current company trade secret policies to comply with the DTSA, taking into account soon-to-be former employees that may take trade secrets from the company and new employees that could bring trade secrets from a previous job.

It is uncertain how the DTSA will impact future litigation. However, businesses should review current agreements to comply with the new law. Trade secrets are valuable assets that must be protected. Creating policies to safeguard trade secrets within the organization can help to protect them. Get more information here.

12 Big Business Mistakes

12 Big Business Mistakes - AmazingBizSecrets.comTop 12 Big Mistakes in Online and Offline Business that you can avoid to make your business grow faster and more efficiently.

#1 Big Business Mistakes. Timing is Everything.  Waiting too long to Start the Business.

Everything does not need to be perfect before you begin.  The most secret word any entrepreneur will learn is the word “START”.   Just create the plan and work the plan.  Most people wait way to long before starting. They enjoy talking about their business idea or concept, but they never start it.  Why?   We’ll talk about this later.  It is one of the biggest business mistakes ever.

Many people have great ideas, but they are working a regular job and family and do not have much time.  It takes a strong and willful person to work a regular job, care for a family and also start a business.  There are only 16 working hours in a day.  It’s tough.

Many beginning wanna-be business owners fear failure and often talk themselves into placing their dream business ‘idea’ on the shelf.

The risk of starting a business and nobody purchases the product or service is a fearful thought to many beginning business owners.  Negative thoughts often creates negative results.  If you never start, then you’ll never know how your idea or concept could have changed the lives of thousands or millions of people.

#2 Big Business Mistakes. Not Enough Research to Make Sure the Problem to be Solved has a Large Enough Market.

Business is all about solving problems.  If your product or service solves a problem, but not ENOUGH people care about spending money to solve that particular problem…then your market is probably too small to succeed.

This is mistake is nothing new. Businesses fail all the time because they try to solve a problem that nobody really cares about.   Creating a more important problem solving product or service might be what you need to do.  Investing money into trying to convince people to buy something they don’t care about is not wise.  Find your market first, then create a product they want to buy.

#3 Big Business Mistakes. Not Respecting Potential Customers are Their Comments.

Listen to your customers. YOU MUST LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS.

Interviews or put out surveys.  Ask your potential customers buying questions.  If people are not buying, then discover why they didn’t buy. Most customers will tell you why they did not purchase from you.  If you have too many refunds, then something is not right.  Improve your product.  Give your customers what they want!

#4 Big Business Mistakes. If Your Product is Not Unique, Then It May be Over-Looked.

Your customers have a huge variety of product options in most any market.  If your business has competition, you have to give your potential customers a reason to choose your offering over another.  It must be more unique, better price or better quality.

Businesses are not usually successful if your mission is to create a product or service less than your competitors.  This is a BIG mistake and most businesses fail due to this idea of giving their customers less than they deserve.

#5 Big Business Mistakes. Creating a Product or Service When Your Heart is Not into It.

Most people fail when they start a business they are NOT passionate about.  They go through the motions and it shows.  It doesn’t take too long and they usually fail and lose their investment.

Competitors who care about their business will put those who do not care out of business very quickly.

This doesn’t mean your business has to be your #1 “passion” or life’s work (most of us don’t have one single passion in life), but don’t make things impossible by choosing something you don’t care about.

#6 Big Business Mistakes.  Starting Your Business With Visions of Grand Doing.

Creating a workable plan is a good idea.  However, do not set up your expectations so high that it is not realistic.

These are the hard truths that most people rarely talk about. Overnight successes rarely exist. Your original plan will probably have to be completely re-written, maybe multiple times in order to make your expectations more real.

It is important to find a mentor who has already done almost exactly what you’re doing or thinking of doing.  An honest mentor will share with you all the pitfalls and more of what you should expect – this is why he or she is a mentor or a coach – because they guide you in the right direction.

A big mistake is not doing the homework necessary to make sure this business something that will be of value to you…..and will the income replace the income from your regular job.

#7 Big Business Mistakes. Stop Being a Loner.

No one can succeed in business by themselves.  It usually takes a team of people. You will need other people to make it work. Your customers are people, your suppliers are people, your service providers are people.

Even if you create an online business.  Starting a blog or website and selling affiliate products will require much time and other people.

The more connected you become with other entrepreneurs, the more fun and the faster your business will grow. Mastermind with other people.

Reach out to other entrepreneurs or a mentor. Share your struggles and goals, and review your progress each week. This simple process is extremely powerful.

#8 Big Business Mistakes. Confusing a Hobby with a Business.

A hobby usually will not make you a penny.  If you want to earn an income from your efforts, then it is important to treat it like a business.

Keep track of all your expenses and any income generated.  A big mistake is confusing a hobby with starting a business.  Either you intend for it to be an income generating business or you’re not.

#9 Big Business Mistakes.  Procrastination. Not Starting.

This is perhaps the biggest mistake of all. Don’t be that friend who talks and talks about starting a business for years and never does anything thing about it.

It’s easy to get so worried about all the possible mistakes that you never get started at all. But that’s the only way to guarantee failure.
Starting a business isn’t a sure thing — it takes guts and intelligence and heart and hustle — but you will get better over time ONLY if you start.

The best way to ensure you’ll succeed is simply this: don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the process. So dive in, get started and find a community to support you… because you are not alone.

#10 Big Business Mistakes.  Don’t Listen to Negative Stinking Thinking.

Most people never start or own a business. Those who do have a dream of owning an independent business is unique.  Yes, there are millions of small business in our country, but there are many more people who do not even think of starting a business.  They simply get up each day…show up at their job and collect a pay check.  This is their mentality.

Those who do not have similar dreams as you will try to steal it from you.  They want you to be like them.  They cannot relate to your dreams because they think of themselves as losers.

Don’t discuss your dreams with others who do not share your dreams. Only share your ideas with those who also excited about the venture.  This is a huge mistake of allowing stinking thinking of others to spoil your future.

#11 Big Business Mistakes.  Under Capitalized.

Being under capitalized is a huge mistake when starting a business – rather it be offline or online.  It takes money or an investment to start and succeed in business.  You must have enough money to pay at least the essentials.  A business can be expensive and not having enough money to go forward can slow you down.  A good mentor can provide you with the investment that is required to guarantee some type of success.

#12 Big Business Mistakes. Spending too much time Thinking and NOT enough Action!

All talk and no action is a big mistake.  You must take action to make things happen.  This is probably the #1 biggest mistake.  Most people enjoy talking about what they plan to do – but make a big mistake by not taking action.  These people are all talk – no action.  Avoid this big mistake by becoming a LIST maker.  Create a list of things that need to be done every day.

You must accomplish a list of “actions” every day.  Each day is like laying a few more bricks on the house – one day it will be finished and you’ll look back and thank yourself.  Follow through and make it happen.  Mentors are always good to keeping you on track and in the right direction.