DIY Business-Building Ideas for Small Businesses

IMG_0774Marketing is an integral part of business growth. Yet to afford a marketing campaign, many small-business owners feel pressured to grow their businesses first. It’s easy to see how a vicious and counterproductive cycle develops from here. Business growth and marketing go hand-in-hand; to achieve one, you must have the other. But how is a small-business owner or solopreneur supposed to do any marketing if there’s no budget to support the efforts? Read on to learn a few do-it-yourself ways you can grow your business without spending the big money you don’t yet have.

Cost-Effective Marketing Solutions for a Shoestring Budget

    1. Network within the Community. Whether you run an online or brick and mortar business, you shouldn’t overlook the power of networking within your local community. Attend networking meetings; if there aren’t any in your area, talk to other business owners and start one. Chances are there are other people who would like to share and discuss marketing techniques.
    2. Be a Guest Blogger. Many blog owners welcome guest bloggers who can write content that’s relevant to their blog. This is an excellent way to market your business by discussing something related to your business and building a relationship with other like-minded businesses and in return driving traffic to your website.
    3. Offer Business-Building Incentives. Existing customers are often happy to help spread the word about a business they enjoy frequenting. Offer a discount or small freebie to current customers who bring a new paying customer to the business.
    4. Attract New Customers with Exclusive Offers. New customers also enjoy incentives. Attract consumers with offers that are exclusively for first-time customers. This is a great way to convert a consumer who’s on the fence to a buyer.

  1. Conduct Online or In-Store Free Workshops/Classes. Today’s consumers are looking for value in many shapes and forms. Offering workshops or classes that relate to your products or services is an effective way to provide value to your customers, attract new customers and increase sales. Hold a monthly or bi-monthly class in your store or online. They don’t have to be long; even 20 to 30 minutes are sufficient if what you’re offering during that time isn’t fluff.
  2. Use Social Media Consistently. Social media marketing is one of the best ways to market your business for free. Choose three social media venues you or an employee feels comfortable with and post to them at least three times weekly. As you build followers, you’ll be able to lead them to your business website.
  3. Add a Blog to Your Website. A business website is something every small-business owner should have. If it’s not in the budget to have one designed for you, there are plenty of sites that offer free or low-cost templates that can be used for now. Be sure to add a blog to your website so you can regularly post about what’s new in your business, as well as on any other topics you feel would be relevant to what you have to offer.

Slow, Steady Progress Brings Results

Eager small-business owners would love to see overnight business growth, but things seldom work out that way, and that might be a good thing. Too much growth too soon would be hard to prepare for and could result in poor customer service. By using the tips above, you can slowly and steadily build your customer base and gain exposure for your business. Consistency is important, so use these marketing ideas regularly to keep the momentum going. Over time, you’ll learn which ones work best for you and your customers.

LucyHLucy Harper is part of the writing team at, a specialist media and advertising agency.

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  1. Lucy, Great article! I have met with many small business owners and marketing seems to be a sticking point. Some look at the funds in the bank as rainy day reserves instead of looking for a return on investment from a formal campaign.

    I have read about the rule of three. Pick three methods of marketing, develop a 3 month marketing program and run those at the same time. At the end of the 3 months reassess each marketing program – replace the worst with another campaign, make changes to #2 and run again, finally put more time or money into number one.

    The sweet part of this is any of the campaigns can be the same free ones you suggest! The key is be consistent. Ultimately where you invest you time, energy, and money is where the return will come from.

  2. Very well written and presented, and, in my case, timely. There are really good ideas for my web video production service which has just opened. Especially the teaching a local class and the blog. Those really make sense, and the price for renting a room at the local college here, equipped with Wi-fi is less than $75.00.

    I also send out press releases which I find helpful as well as setting up a free YouTube Channel. Since Google owns YouTube you can see how both can tie in with each other and help raise SEO (and you can’t beat the price – free).

    Thanks again for the article. I’ve printed it out and will be jumping on it tomorrow.
    – Jerry Bullard

  3. @ Steve – Thanks Steve, the rule of three that you mentioned sounds a great approach to a marketing program. A straight forward organised way to try out different methods and see which campaign works best for you; great 3 month plan!

    @ Saprina – Thank you Saprina, I hope your clients benefit from it:) Jerry’s comment shows that you don’t necessarily have to spend vast sums and great results can be achieved on a small budget with just a bit more investment in time.

    @ Jerry – Hope the classes go well for your web video production service :) One to one contact with consumers is almost forgotten, it’s a perfect means to build customer confidence, attract new clients and hopefully increase sales.

  4. Great article! It has brought some new ideas to me. Even though I’ve been using guest blogging method (along with guestographics) for a while and exclusive offers, now I am thinking over networking with the community. Thanks again!

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