Marketing a home-based business presents more obstacles than a large business. Most small home businesses have the disadvantage of low visibility, and often a smaller marketing budget. It may call for some creative thinking, but one should approach the problem with the same marketing plan as a larger venture.
Here are a few cost-effective suggestions to consider when developing a marketing strategy.
1. Choose a logo – Branding is huge success for many large retailers. Use the logo on all your written communications, webpages, checkbooks, and advertising. No need to come up with some complex design, in fact think of Nike’s famous check mark logo and how instantly recognizable it has become.
2. Business Cards – Consider this one of your strongest edges. Design one that looks professional and hand it out freely. Enclose it in your handwritten notes to relatives and friends. Hand it out when you meet someone new, and pass it out at any gatherings you attend.
3. Partner with another home business for promotion purposes. If you know someone who sells products or conducts home parties, suggest to them that you exchange business cards to be handed out to customers. Try to choose a product line that would be complimentary to your own business.
4. Contact your past customers with a promotion previous to a major sales period. For example if you sell home-made chocolates, you may phone your customers 3 weeks before Valentine’s Day to offer them free delivery or some other sales incentive as a customer appreciation tactic. It is a nice way to show how much you value their business.
5. Watch your newspaper for community events that would accept your offer to host a demonstration of your product or service. Many chambers-of-commerce, business associations as well as arts and service organizations are in favor of featuring a short speech or demonstration at their meetings or hosted events.
6. If possible, provide a free product sample. I know a lady who sells Christmas cakes who mails a small daintily-wrapped piece of her cake as a sample to stores she hopes to sell her product to. It is a great marketing strategy and has resulted in several contacts for her.
Promotion is key to growing your business. Continue to look for ways to get your product noticed. It may take some testing and an investment of time, but marketing is critical and cannot be overlooked as part of your business plan.