Partnerships — The secret to inexpensive marketing

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Don’t you hate it when someone tells you they have the “secret to…” and then you realize it is something you already know? Well, add me to the “hate” list.  I have a “secret” that you may know, but rarely use.

Marketing a small business is often an expensive endeavor. The rule of thumb for advertising budgets is 1% – 4% of gross revenues. When your business is in the “small” category, that just isn’t a lot of money. For instance, if your business does $10,000 a month in total revenue, then your marketing budget should be $100-$400 a month.

It takes some creative marketing to stretch that amount over an entire month. Even if your total revenue is much higher, it is still a balancing act.

Here is the secret, that’s no secret: Pooling resources with others can stretch marketing dollars. Here are some examples:

  • Chamber of Commerce Sponsorships. Your local Chamber has a host of marketing opportunities that cost very little and get your business name (and access) to their membership. If you are smart, you can introduce yourself to many that may not be aware of your existence or products.
  • Multiple advertiser pages/opportunities. Newspapers like the Minden Press-Herald offer multiple advertiser pages, where the cost of the space is split among many similar businesses. The cost to each business is usually much less than the space would have cost outright.
  • Create an event with your neighbors. For those in retail, this is a “lost art.” From sidewalk sales to Christmas events, retailers can pool their collective resources and create something that makes their locale a retail destination for customers. Often, the marketing for these events is split among participants, making them more affordable for all.

As we move into the fall sales months, look for ways to partner with others for the benefit of everyone,. This is really a secret that should get out.