Free small business marketing ideas: Sounds great, but like almost everything else, does “free” mean worthless?

I am asked this question often. People have a small enterprise of some sort and are afraid of its stagnating, of staying where they are. As a matter of fact, with the world economy in tatters like it is right now, can it get worse and thus make their revenues even smaller?

Yes, things can get worse, much worse, but that is not in the scope of this article. You have a product or service that you are selling and you want to sell more of it.

If you sell something that you manufacture: Here are some things for you to consider before examining any free small business marketing ideas:

  • Can you handle a large increase in orders?
  • Do you require a great deal of lead time to train new employees if your online ideas skyrocket and you need to hire?
  • I am sure you would want to keep increased sales in your pocket, not the pockets of employees, so, is there any product or service that would add value to what you are doing right now and that which would not require hiring?

The best small business ideas to increase any business involve affiliate marketing. Basically, you become a sales agent for someone else. If you sell bulldozers, you might become an affiliate for a company selling bulldozer garages or bulldozer trailers. If you own a corner convenience store, you might want to add a particular item to your inventory and go with Google Local Searches (it’s free and very effective). This also applies if you are a trades person or professional like a plumber, a nurse or a lawyer.

If you are selling something that someone else manufactures and you grow because of your hard work and cleverness, consider these possible problems as you build your free small business marketing ideas portfolio:

  • Do you have room and money to handle the extra inventory?
  • The subject of hiring creeps up again.
  • Can you handle the extra customer care issues like complaints and returns?
  • What if your supplier shuts down on you? Do you have a back-up plan?
  • And so forth. I’m sure you can think of many other possible problems.

Again, the affiliate business model is the best for you and I urge you to get more information on it. It is the wave of the future, risk is zero and the sky is the limit. Do some research on it and blend the concept into your small business ideas.

Here are some free small business marketing ideas to get you started:

  1. Register with Google Local Searches. (Free, easy to use and highly effective)
  2. Start a small news letter or online magazine (called an ezine) to give out handy tips on whatever kind of business you are in. They are easy to set up if you offer a free incentive for people to sign up for it and put out a free issue once a week, a month or whatever. A lawyer could give his readers information on the latest laws relating to his specialty like estate planning. A bulldozer dealer could give tips on the latest lubricants, environmental and labor laws for your area. People love these and you cannot believe the trust factor that the regular contact builds in your subscribers.
  3. Buy a video camera (a cheap one will do fine) and make your own informative videos on anything pertaining to your product or business. Offer them free on the internet or sell them. The choice is yours. A plumber might offer simple tips on how to repair a leak. If the reader can’t do it, you just picked up a service call. A bakery could offer free recipes or cooking classes. Why not charge for the video cooking classes? People love quality instruction in the comfort of their own homes. Be funny, don’t worry about mistakes and have fun.
  4. Go through your list of previous buyers and ask yourself this question: “If people who bought (whatever you are selling), what else might they be interested in?” If someone bought a used couch from your used furniture store, they might like to buy a book or eBook on furniture recovering or a catalogue of fabrics that you can be an affiliate for. Give people that “aha!” feeling and you will win their business for life.

An excellent example of what I am talking about is a lady I know who lives in a small town. She had a small business in her home where she sold health foods and vitamins. She built up a list of free small business marketing ideas, thought about what was her best marketing bet and set forth into the world with an open mind.

She found a manufacturer of quality equipment for older people that improves the quality of their lives. They also manufacture and sell high quality prostheses. She struck a deal with them, learned how to build a simple web site and learned the ways of the web. Now, she is earning in the low six figures. People come to her site, see what they want and order directly from the manufacturer. They ship, collect the money and handle all customer issues. It’s all on autopilot. This is affiliate marketing. Want free small business marketing ideas? There is an excellent example of the small business ideas you are looking for explained in two paragraphs.

Do the research.

In conclusion, there are many viable free small business marketing ideas. Marketing is important, but so are all the other things mentioned above like cost of inventory and so forth. If you are just starting, consider the above as you build your list of small business ideas.