Small business owners are always looking for ways to increase traffic and sales. While the Small Business Administration reports that word of mouth is the single most productive advertising medium for small businesses, unfortunately, word of mouth also takes the longest to translate into sales. Advertising experts usually recommend a small business spend around seven percent of their gross revenue on advertising and marketing. However, advertising is often out of the reach of many small businesses on a budget. This is doubly true during hard economic times. To help small business owners attract more business without breaking the bank, here are five easy advertising tips for small businesses that work:
1. Get Found Locally
Unlike large businesses that may have a reach across several states, most small businesses have a relatively small geographical area from which to attract customers. However, there are several online tools that can help target local customers. The internet is the first place customers who are not familiar with your business will go when looking for local products and services. Over 45 percent of all searches on Google are for local business. Tools such as “Google My Business” allow small business owners to create a free local business listing that will rank on Google’s search engine in both the search results and map listings. This also permits business owners to get and reply to Google reviews, a very important component of a successful online advertising strategy.
2) Set Up a Website
Long gone are the days when it cost thousands of dollars and a professional designer to set up a website. There are tools and services that allow anyone to build a website in less than an hour with just a few clicks of a mouse. Web hosting fees are also extremely reasonable with costs starting at less than $5 per month. Even someone with no experience or skill can now set up a professional looking website to establish their business presence online. Having a website also allows for increasing revenue by selling products and promoting services online. Some of the bigger names in do-it-yourself websites include Wix, Weebly and GoDaddy. PC Magazine published an article: The Best Website Builders for 2020.
3) Free Business Listing Websites
The more people who know about your business, the more people will decide to buy from you. There are dozens of free business websites, such as Yelp, to help small businesses increase their local exposure. Additionally, listing on these sites will help with the small business’s own search engine rankings. Here is a list of totally free online business listings and directories to create a profile: Free Website to List Your Business.
4) Register with the Better Business Bureau
The Better Business Bureau is the largest business accreditation company in the world and has been providing business ratings to the public since 1912. The BBB provides ratings based on how many reviews it receives and calculates the ratings based on consumer feedback.
Hands down, the best advertising medium for small business is an outdoor lighted sign. This is backed up by The Small Business Administration reporting that on premise lighted signs are the single most cost effective form of advertising for small businesses. Most advertising mediums, such as radio, print and TV, set costs based on the number of exposures, meaning how many people will see or hear the advertisement. An outdoor lighted sign will typically pay for itself in increased revenue in less than 90 days and generate an increase in sales of up to 150 percent annually. Once the signage is paid for it becomes a prime source of virtually free advertising 24 hours a day 365 days a year.