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How to Advertise Your Small Business Free of Cost or for Very Little Money

Updated on February 22, 2017

Cut Advertising Costs

Advertising your home based business does not have to be expensive. There are many ways to promote your company without going to advertising agencies, newspapers, and magazines.

To a new business owner, it may seem daunting to promote yourself or sing your own praises. Some people have a natural gift for marketing themselves, but most people have to work at developing a style that promotes their company, product, or service in a positive way, yet feels comfortable.

A crucial, yet often overlooked element in advertising is to prepare to meet the demand that your advertising generates. If you feel you are ready for more sales or new clients, here are some tips to begin promoting your company for very little cost.

Design a Professional Letterhead

Develop a simple, clean letterhead that is easy to read.
Develop a simple, clean letterhead that is easy to read. | Source

Use Your Letterhead Often

This seems simple enough. Many people who are just starting out with their small business do a great job of designing their letterhead, but then do not make good use of this low cost advertising. After creating your letterhead, use it to make sincere inquires about products and services. Write thank you letters on it. You do not need to print your letters on expensive paper. What matters is that you do some letter writing and that your letterhead communicates a professional message that is easy to read. Avoid using fonts that are difficult to read. Many creative fonts look beautiful, but have so many swirls and serifs that it is hard to tell if you are looking at a picture or reading words. Think clean, simple, and effective.

Clean, Simple, Effective

Don't forget to use your business card when the timing is right.
Don't forget to use your business card when the timing is right. | Source

Create a Clean and Effective Business Card and Don’t Forget to Use It!

Again, this is a very simple but effective tool. Avoid handing out a card to everyone you meet, but do have them ready when the opportunity presents itself. By showing a genuine interest in others, you will initiate conversations that will flow naturally. You will know when the time is right.

Join Your Local Chamber of Commerce

In most areas, it is relatively inexpensive to join. Many people join but do not get involved. By attending meetings and offering to help with organization projects and committees, you will be creating a network of friends in your business community, which over time, will bring clients and customers to your small business.


Coupons are a great tool if they are used selectively.

It is easy to make and print your own professional looking coupons with a desktop publishing program.
It is easy to make and print your own professional looking coupons with a desktop publishing program. | Source

Put Yourself "Out There"

Join Professional Associations and Organizations

This opportunity is often overlooked. Take some time to search the internet for professional associations related to your small business. Many of these organizations allow you to join free of charge, or for a relatively small annual membership fee. After you join, participate in the community discussion online, or in person, if applicable. Again, if possible, volunteer to help with things.

Offer Coupons for Free or Discounted Services

This is a great tool, but it is important to be selective when choosing the recipients of these coupons, especially if you are offering a one-time free service. Take some time to think about what you will offer. Try to offer something that is quick and easy for you to accomplish, yet is of real value to the customer or client. When offering a free service, for example, try to come up with something that a customer or client will want to use again. This way, they get to try it out free of charge. They will see that you offer a quality product or service, and will find the service to be valuable enough to pay for it next time. This works well when grouped with another item of value, such as the buy-one-get-one-free coupon.

Get Out and Meet People

This is a great tool if you use it right. The goal is to get to know people because you are truly interested in them. If your only goal is to meet people so they will buy something from you, chances are you will come across sort of stiff or uninterested in them. It is a challenge, especially when you desperately need to increase sales, or make more money, but if you can take all thought of your small business growth efforts out of the equation and just focus on getting to know people, you will find that the opportunity will present itself eventually. Then the time will be right to tell them about your product, service, and company.


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  • OhMe profile image

    Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

    Great suggestions for small businesses. I think the Facebook Fan Pages have been great for small businesses, too.

  • Nancy Owens profile image
    Author

    Nancy Owens 4 years ago from USA

    Hey, Goldennic!

    Thanks for taking a look at this Hub. You are so right in that every penny saved helps us to cut the cost of bringing product to market. Now days, there is so much we can do to advertise our small businesses for very little money. Yes, it takes time and effort, but it is worth it. Sometimes we can enlist family members and close friends to help out once in a while, and this helps the entrepreneur to stay focused on other tasks.

  • goldennic profile image

    Nwafor innocent 4 years ago

    Good tips, at least we don't need to break our bank again before we bring our products to the market.

  • Nancy Owens profile image
    Author

    Nancy Owens 5 years ago from USA

    Hi bruzzbuzz! It really is true. Even when we have established a customer base, I think we still need to remind people that we are out there and available on some level every day. Marketing our small businesses is a process. There is so much that can be done inexpensively!

  • bruzzbuzz profile image

    bruzzbuzz 5 years ago from Texas , USA

    This is really good information. I do need to use my business cards more. I notice that my website visits go up when I have given out my cards which have the website on them.. Thanks for your great hub.

  • Nancy Owens profile image
    Author

    Nancy Owens 5 years ago from USA

    Moiz17, thank you for your vote! I agree with your comment completely. Finding balance is good, too, though. I once gave out a whole bunch of coupons for free services and ended up putting my budget in jeapordy. Now days I am more selective when it comes to offering free services, but I still do it and think of it as something to do to help others.

  • Nancy Owens profile image
    Author

    Nancy Owens 5 years ago from USA

    Thank you for the kind words, Alocsin! I love small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit, and hope this is useful information for people starting out with a small budget.

  • moiz17 profile image

    moiz17 5 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

    Free or discount coupons are really helpful. Attracting audience by offering them a free service at first can build a larger fan base than excessive advertising. A very useful hub. Voted up!

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

    Good advice for the small business on a budget. Voting this Up and Useful.

  • Nancy Owens profile image
    Author

    Nancy Owens 5 years ago from USA

    Thank you for taking the time to read this and write a comment, Alipuckett. Nice to meet you, and hope these ideas help and inspire new ideas.

  • alipuckett profile image

    alipuckett 5 years ago

    Great ideas! Thanks for posting.

  • Nancy Owens profile image
    Author

    Nancy Owens 5 years ago from USA

    Thank you for the kind words, Syrup. Simple techniques, but effective. Thanks for taking the time to read this Hub.

  • syrup profile image

    syrup 5 years ago

    Thanks for the tips Nancy!

  • Nancy Owens profile image
    Author

    Nancy Owens 5 years ago from USA

    Laughter Medicine, thank you for the kind words. Please let me know which ones you try to how it works out for you.

  • Nancy Owens profile image
    Author

    Nancy Owens 5 years ago from USA

    Thank you for taking time to read this hub, Sangeeta. Buddah Bless You Too, if it is okay for me to say.

  • profile image

    Sangeeta Gurung 5 years ago

    Dear Nancy,

    Great to read your Hubs. Yes I have asmall business n the tips are very useful n effective..Buddha bless,

    Sangeeta

  • profile image

    Laughter Medicine 5 years ago

    This is helpful information and provides excellent real examples - ones that are simple, low cost and practical!

    I am going to try them.

    Thanks!