Image courtesy of Cam Miller
Image courtesy of Cam Miller

If you already have a small business or are in the process of setting one up, then one of the key areas you will need to consider is marketing. You will need to be aware of what market your goods or services appeal to and how you will sell them to them. If you ever study marketing theory you will know that this can be an extremely expensive process.

The textbooks will tell you to do research into the market to start with to find out whether there is a gap for the good or service to fit in. Find out what else is there in competition and make sure you are better/cheaper or have another unique selling point. Then make some prototypes and try out the market, find out if you can make improvements by doing further research and finally launch the finished good or service.

The above all sounds great in theory but needs a lot of money to do. As a small business it is unlikely you will have a marketing budget at all and if you do it will be very small. Therefore you will need a different approach.

It is quite easy to find out what goods and services are available these days using the Internet. Therefore you will be able to do this bit for free. You should also be able to find out more about your competition and work out what you can do to stand out, without having to pay out any money either. It is a good idea to find out what those companies are doing to promote their products and where they are selling them, in order to see whether you can copy them or do better than them.

These days there are many free ways to raise awareness of your goods and services without having to pay for advertising. This means that you will be able to save a lot of money. You can use a website, social media, a blog and then post about your product on the Internet perhaps using videos, articles and message board posts as well as social media posts. It is hard work, but as it is free it can be the only feasible option available for small businesses who do not have a marketing budget. There is also a lot of material around online to show you how to be really successful at doing this which can help you beyond doing what seems obvious to you.

One trap that many small businesses fall into is paying for marketing. This may seem like the obvious thing to do, but it can be a real strain on the budget. It is wise to look for as many free marketing ideas before you start to think about paying for marketing. There are so many opportunities out there that you should be able to take advantage of a lot and start earning some income before thinking about investing any back into marketing and even then it may not be necessary.