Running a side business is one of the best ways to make sure that you stay out of debt and have enough cash available to put in a savings account. It is relatively easy to come up with an idea and set yourself up. You can run all kinds of business from your home or garage. And there are affordable ways to advertise your side business if you know where to look.
The fact that you are not located on a main thoroughfare means that you will have to advertise and market your business quite heavily. Certainly, in the early days, it is the only way people are going to know you are there. Fortunately, there are lots of relatively low-cost ways to do this; here are some of our favorites.
Use Sandwich Board Advertising is One of the Most Affordable Ways to Advertise Your Small Business
Sometimes the old ways are the best. Sandwich board advertising is surprisingly effective. You can go online and buy a set of customized sandwich boards.
Once they arrive, you or a member of your family could stand on the corner of a street wearing them. But, before you order them it is wise to check that there are no local bylaws that prevent you from advertising in this way. Your local police will be able to advise you about this.
Set up a Website Providing Free Advice to Visitors
In today’s digital world, you’re not really in business unless you have a website up and running. At a minimum, the website functions as a form of “social proof”. It’s a place where a prospect can check out your business before making a purchase.
You can promote the website by providing free content. This is mostly using short articles that provide useful information for anything related to your product or service. You’re not trying to make a sale with these articles. Instead, you’re positioning yourself as an expert in your field. If you can do that successfully, visitors will eventually turn into paying customers.
In addition, a website can be used as an additional sales platform. It’s the perfect way to reach potential customers who live beyond your geographic service area. Some businesses even draw most of their revenue from their websites.
Still another advantage to having a website is that you can promote the information articles you provide on the site on the social media. Eventually, you may even be able to develop an email mailing list, so you can send out updates on new articles and products and services you’re offering.
You can set up a website for no more than a few hundred dollars. And it’s one of the most cost effective ways for a small business owners to market themselves.
Place Free Classified Ads
There are dozens of free classified ads sites on the internet. Sites that people use all the time when they need a product or service. Advertising on these is a no-brainer. Just make sure that you do not use your personal number when you do so. Unfortunately, you stand a pretty good chance of getting spammed when you use these sites. But, picking out the details of genuine customers will not be difficult. Here is a list of 20 of them that still work, in 2019.
Use Social Media
There is also the potential for you to set up a Facebook or Instagram page for your business. In some cases, advertising your product or services using a social media marketplace will also work. This is one of the most affordable ways to advertise your small business.
Approach Local Business Owners for Help
It is also worth seeing if you can get local business owners to help you out. There will be a lot that are not competing for the same clients as you. Often, they will be willing to assist. Some will do so free of charge. Others may charge you a nominal fee to place a banner ad on their website or put up a poster in their shop window.
Join Local Business Associations
It is also worth getting involved with local business associations. The people you meet at the events they hold will help you to get started. Many will do their best to spread the word about your new enterprise. This approach is particularly effective if you offer products and services that other business owners need.
In short, the more ways you share the fact that you are there the faster things will take off for you. Start with the free ways first. Later, when you have a few more clients you can consider using more expensive methods like leafleting or taking adverts out in the local press.