Launching your company after creating an innovative service or product that people would like to buy is the initial step of your business. What to do to take the next step of spreading the word about your business or to promote your product? Irrespective of how innovative and the useful product you offer to the world, you cannot survive and sustain in the business unless you have buyers and for that, you need an extensive marketing strategy.
Most of the startups have just bottleneck – they face the challenge of competing with the other business without having a decent budget and funds for their business. In a shoestring budget driving sales is a bit tough. A good marketing plan in place can help but you can’t work on your marketing plans too if you haven’t already made some sales.
So, it’s very important to make the right move of budgeting in the nascent stages of marketing for a growing startup. You may not have large cash to spend in the initial stage and you’ll have to survive on a shoestring budget. So, how to make the most of your shoestring budget?
Here are the top 6 tips to promote your product successfully without spending a fortune and making the most of your limited budget:
- Know your Affordability
The most important aspect of budgeting is knowing your resources, how much can you afford and how to use it. You need to figure out how much your startup can afford to spend.
For this, you need to evaluate your earnings and calculate how much of it you can dispose of or can afford to spend.
The most popular way to calculate your liquidity and affordability is to make your marketing budget based on the percentage of your sales. You can analyze your current sales or potential projections and then calculate your budget based on these two aspects. The best part is, you can step up or down at any time considering your current performance in your marketing budget.
Several entrepreneurs opt to spend 5% to 7% of their sales revenues and follow this thumb rule religiously. With this budgeting approach, you would be able to invest a part of your revenue that is small, affordable and would last for long.
2. Do the Research work to Calculate ROI
Once making your first marketing budget, you may have to come back to make changes given the current situation and upcoming dynamism of the market. Always keep the doors of changes and unexpected fluctuations in your marketing budget open and thereby the ROI and given this, get ready to redesign your strategy.
It’s the funds finally that matters in budgeting. Do not make any budget based on speculations! Without monitoring the outcome of your marketing strategies, it’s not possible to analyze if it is working or not! So, better to calculate your ROI and then ensure if your marketing strategies are working and driving revenue.
3. Opt for Free Marketing
Yes, this is possible in this revolutionary era of digital marketing! If your business is at its early stage and you have a tiny budget for marketing or no budget at all, there is still scope of marketing online without spending a penny although less effective but great for startups.
The most important approach that you can have when you set out for free marketing is networking with influential people in your genre. It will not necessarily require to spend any money. You only have to spend time, efforts and strong interaction skills.
Create your professional profile in multiple popular social networking sites and start interacting with influential people and stay active as much as possible. Follow them, comment and share their posts amongst your friends. Such engagement will make them notice you.
All these are possible without spending a penny, just your time and effort. You can start with the most professional of social networking sites that include LinkedIn and Twitter where like-minded people are found and are ready to congregate. You can use these platforms to develop your strong network of industry people if you ever need their help down the road to promote your startup.
4. Decide Where to Spend and How much
Once your startup begins to grow, you’ll also start making revenue and funds to start investing in bigger marketing strategies. The best way to know how much should you spend and where is by performing thorough research to know exactly which marketing channels are worth investing for newly set up business.
Probably at a later stage, you would conclude that now you can start paying for premium social media plans than just posting free posts.
Although social media is almost free, promoting your post on any networking site can work better and well when you opt for their paid plans. It can immensely elevate your customer reach and bring new followers and prospects. A few dollars a month can do the magic for your business.
On the same line, it is equally true for your content marketing initiatives. Paid promotional plans of social sites can promote your business’s search engine rankings also resulting in more inquiries, more clicks, and increased readers and finally increased paying customers.
Considering all these initiatives, to market your small business you need a big budget is not mandatory at all. There are several options that you can follow at a shoestring budget and have been proven to be effective also before, and you too can utilize those aspects for your business.
Here are the top tips:
Start evaluating how much you can afford to spend in the marketing of your startup. Integrate your marketing budget with your sales and plan to spend 5% to 7% of your earning on marketing initiatives.
Keep an eye and calculate your ROI and make sure your investments are paying off. In case you cannot see this happening, redesign your marketing plan and mix it up with other initiatives to see some results.
In case you do not even have any small budget also for your business, look for different ways to spread a word for your business for free. Social media networking is the most potent and powerful medium to do so with guaranteed results.
Ultimately, as you start growing, look for strategic initiatives to spend on paid social posts or improved search engine rankings.