WITH THE PREVAILING economic conditions, starting a new business may seem like a big challenge to many prospective entrepreneurs—the truth is that, well, it is.  This is because of the cost involved in starting a business and getting the new initiative off the ground.  One of the necessary expenses that you will have to be ready for is advertising costs.  There is no business that can prosper without some form of advertising.  You can, however, take measures during the planning process to limit the need for advertising (location, retail design, etc.). Due to the need for advertising, you need to have enough savings to cater for these expenses.  Here are a few low cost advertising ideas to get your brainstorming session started. Remember that your business is unique and only you can decide the best way to advertise it.

The first idea is to look for low-cost or free magazines and newspaper advertising.  I know what you’re thinking—You want me to look for WHAT???  I assure you that such things do exist.   There are many free magazines and newspapers that are published in various parts of the world that you can make use of to advertise your business.  Other magazines and newspapers will offer you lower rates when you want to advertise.  The magazines that will offer you the best deals are the ones that are new in the market; they are still trying to root themselves, hence, may offer to advertise your services and products for free.  However, remember that not all publications will benefit you.  It is good to take your time to look for the best publications to advertise in.  Look for publications that are either local (because Alexander the Great didn’t conquer the world all at once), or local in trade, meaning strictly confined to your industry.

The next idea is to post advertisements of your business with associations and other non-related businesses.  This is where friends and colleagues come in. There are a number of large businesses that look for discounts for their employees as part of compensation or reward packages.  These are the ones you can make use of to have your ads get posted at a cheap or non-existent price.  Are you a member of the PTA, church, Rotary Club, local chamber of commerce, athletic league (where are my bowlers?), AMVETs, Masons, golf or country club, etc.? These are all great places to market your business. Bulletin boards, sponsorships, or just good ol’ blabbering works wonders at little-to-no cost in social arenas like this.  

Craigslist is another good option.  Craigslist is an internet service that is focused on providing services in local areas.  When you search Craigslist, you will be able to find the best ideas on how you can post an advertisement for your company.  There is a section that is provided where you can post your ad for free or at a cheap cost.  Don’t forget to include your contact number, name, and e-mail.  This will allow people to get back to you to know more about the services and products that you offer. If you have a website, add that in there, too.

Try using email to advertise your business.  Email blast campaigns are one of the Internet’s secret weapons.  While sending emails are free of charge, it’s well worth the money to pay for a pre-qualified lead list through an email blast campaign provider. You’ll go straight to their inboxes (no bulk mailbox), and you’ll know that everyone who gets your email actually cares about your industry.  All you need is an Internet connection. This method is still cheaper than the mailers of “old-timey days” because you don’t have to pay for printing, stamps, paper, etc., and it’s also much faster and more convenient. Don’t forget, if the recipients like what they see, they can easily forward it to others!