How to market your business without breaking the bank

Spring is here and this is one of the best seasons to bring in new business  before summer arrrives and everyone is out to play.

Here's three effective ways you can use to bring in new businesses TODAY!

1) Contact past customers.

This is one of the most effective ways to bring back business and boost your cash flow.

Most customers leave you either because they are no longer in need of the service or simply forgotten about you.Simply take back your old contact list and give everyone a friendly call and let them know about your business or recent promotions. Here are two examples to get you started.

A) New promotions to bring them back.

For instance if you are a tax planner, you can call your customers to give them a free audit with no obligations.Once they are in your office, you can do other follow-up sales if they have a need. However bear in mind that most people do not like 'pushy' sales people so do it when you find that your follow-up service will fulfill their needs.

B) Free oil change-If you own an auto repair business, this is a good way to generate new business by offering a free oil change for customers who drive-in. Once thry have driven their car in, you can check for other problems and propose other solutions. Thsi strategy creates an excellent oppotunity for you to promote your other services which your client may not be aware of.

2) Enrol customers on asubscription programme

If you sell a product or service, you can always enrol customers on a subscription programme. I have a student who is in the lawn-mowing business and he provides the first service at a steep discount.At the end of the visit, he will sell the customers several options for lawn care services such as a 3-visit pass, 6-visit pass or 9-visit pass. In this way, he can collect the cash upfront and have business planned for the next few months.

Another way to apply this strategy is to enrol customers on auto-renewal basis and works well for beauty products or even food hampers. Most businesses are too busy with purchasing hampers especially near the festive seasons and you can provide this service to remind them to send their gifts to the clients when the time nears.They will appreciate this service and you can earn back lots of customers this way without doing any advertising.

3) Do joint promotions with related businesses to bring in new leads.

This works well if you can identify complementary businesses in your vicinity.

For instance, if you have a laundry service business, you can do joint promotions with a lawn care or home cleaning business to do joint promotions. I know of an elderly day-care centre that does joint promotions with a local drug store. Once patrons flash the identity card from that particular day-care centre, they can get discounts off certain vitamins and medications. The local deli offers a free drink to members from that day-care as well.

4) Bonus. Contact local Charities and schools

If  your business serves students and families who are schooling in your locality, you can contact the school principals and offer a discount to students from that school. For instance you can offer a free pizza night every Tuesday or week day nights when business is usually slow. You can also cash-in immediateiy by selling discount cards. Group together a few businesses and offer discounts whenever people flash that card at your business. You can get the students to offer the discount cards for sale in exchange for a percentage of the sales for their school fund. So if you sell a card at $10, you can offer $3-$5 to the school for every card sold. In that way, you can earn by selling the cards and earn again when they patronize your business. This is an excellent way to generate new business without significant upfront cost.

The schools involved will also appreciate a donation to their school funds that can go towards field trips this summer. This is a 'win-win' strategy for both.