How to Market Your Business on a Small Budget

It might seem like small businesses have to spend a fortune to advertise at events such as trade shows, fairs, and other local events. This, however, is not the case. Small businesses do not have to overpay for effective marketing materials.

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Exhibiting at a small show comes to around $2,000 while a larger show reaches around $10,000. The total expenses, however, do not have to be as much for every event. Many small companies find economical ways for getting the most out of their advertising displays and promotional items. Companies that reuse items and cheaper ways of advertising end up saving a lot of money.

Here are some helpful tips for spreading brand awareness on a small business budget.

Reuse Advertising Products for Different Events

One of the most important items vendors use at trade shows are custom pop up tents. Event tents bring the whole booth setup together and are ideal tools for both indoor and outdoor setups. Some custom-made canopy tents, however, can cost thousands of dollars depending on their size and material.

Tent vendors often sell more economic tents in their collection to suit those on a tighter budget. Businesses that can only afford a few hundred dollars on a tent can get one in a smaller size between 5ft x 5ft – 10ft x 10ft and made from steel, which costs less than aluminum frames.

Small businesses also find it helpful to reuse tent canopies between events. Getting canopies custom printed is a great advertising technique. Many companies offer premium and economic printing methods, such as only getting your logo printed on a section of the canopy rather than the whole surface. There is also the option of just getting a stock canopy without any graphics printed, which is common for street vendors. When getting a custom design, however, it is important to create graphics that can be reused at different events. We recommend not adding dates or the name of the event to the canopy so that the tent and canopy can be setup at different events over time.

Use Car Space to Spread Brand Awareness

Some very affordable items that small businesses use are car magnets and stickers. Getting an average 12in x 12in decal for a car costs approximately $25 while a standard 24in x 12in magnet is about $33, making them a small dent on tight budgets.

Many businesses find car stickers and magnets helpful with their business because they spread brand awareness to a wide range of people. Placing a company logo on a car showcases the brand to whoever is driving or walking by whether on the highway or in a neighborhood.

When designing stickers, it is important to get them at a size that is easy to read from a few feet away and include helpful information, such as a phone number or website. Car magnets and stickers are easy to replace but are made durable enough for extended use, making them worth their small price.

Trade shows are great places to generate fresh sales leads for your business

Hand Out Unique Business Cards

One of the most classic ways for small businesses to reach out to new customers is by handing out business cards to people at trade shows and conferences. Business cards are very inexpensive, but still an important tool for branding.

It is crucial with business cards to create a design that stands out from the crowd. Chances are customers only look over business cards for a few seconds before deciding if they will keep it. This, however, does not mean that companies need to go overboard with the design. A lot of successful businesses use subtle ways to grab the attention of people, such as utilizing bold, contrasting colors and double-sided printing. Get some creative ideas for professional business card designs here. The main thing with business cards, however, is to get the company’s message out there.

Businesses need to make sure that, above everything, their cards clearly state their contact information and the services provided.

Email Newsletters to Customers

Lots of online email servers do not cost a lot and are great advertising tools for large and small businesses. Emails are perfect ways for small businesses to alert customers of upcoming sales and other company related news. If businesses are attending an event, such as a trade show, they let their customers know by sending out an email announcement.

Lots of small businesses also create exciting email campaigns to advertise upcoming sales. Some of the most popular sites for creating customer emails are MailChimp and Constant Contact. Not only are these sites easy to use, but they also provide a lot of helpful insights on how to effectively structure an email and increase click rates.

Just because a company is small does not mean that it cannot advertise successfully. The important thing is to leave an impression on customers by using affordable, yet creative marketing tools that clearly showcase the company’s brand and service.


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