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10 Ways to Market on a Start-Up Budget

I have a friend who likes to point out (only half-jokingly) that she’s a CEO who also happens to be responsible for answering phones, scrubbing toilets and whatever else is required as a small business owner. Whether you’re new in business or have been around for a very long time it’s easy to get so busy that you lose sight of the fact you’re not marketing frequently enough to ensure you stay in business.

Marketing is one of the most fundamental features of any successful organization. Yet, in small business workshops, when I ask how many people have a marketing plan only a very small fraction of the participants raise their hands. When I go on to ask how many actually follow their marketing plans, that fraction shrinks even smaller.

Some feel they don’t have enough money to market effectively while others are so busy serving clients, they’re afraid to even think about taking on new accounts. Consequently, the end of a big project is often accompanied by panic over where to find the next customer.

Here’s the downside of life without marketing. Instead of the gradual growth we’re supposed to experience, we work, work, work–and then hit a drought in which we’re forced to deal with cash flow issues and other problems related to operating without new revenues. Each episode sends your organization a step backwards.

If you’re working without a plan or just not sure how to boost your marketing efforts, you’re not alone. Like many small business owners, you’re likely very good at what you do–just not a trained marketer.

The good news is you can learn how to market, affordably, and enjoy it. So let’s break the cycle!

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