For a lot of people starting out with a Home Based Business one of the big issues they face sooner than later is how to promote themselves and the business without spending a load of cash on the process. With so many media options available to promote your home based business it would be very easy to spend a lot of money and get literally no return for it.
One of the things we advocate and practice with The 3 S Method is that when starting out keep your costs as low as possible. Part of the reason being that if your business concept is not viable then your losses are minimal. When you have a business that is showing some returns and growth then you can spend more on your promotions.
That is why I like to resort to some ‘old school’ type tactics that cost almost nothing in dollars and only a small investment of time.
Even online businesses can benefit from some ‘hard copy’ promotions, especially if they have a ‘local’ site that follows events and such in the area they live.
5 Ways To Promote Your Home Based Business
1. Flyers and Posters
Starting off there is no need to go for full out production on your printed material. Printers are expensive and often take time that you don’t want to wait for. Also, when starting out on a new business venture people often change their offerings to suit their marketplace, that’s a whole new order to the printer any time a change is made.
Keep your material simple, explain what it is you do, how or when you do it and most importantly your contact information and logo (or whatever you used to identify your company). Of course, you will want to make the language and layout as attractive and easy to read as possible.
By creating your own promotional material you can make as few or as many as you need at any time. This is really handy if you need to change your prices or add a new service, change hours of operation or whatever.
Flyers and posters can be made on a home computer using one of the many free software options available online. You really don’t need skills just follow along with the instructions.
You would be amazed at how many Home Business flyers or posters I have read that try to fill every inch of the page with what they think is useful information only to make the information so unattractive it’s not readable.
Once you’ve got a good sales piece created you can put them out wherever you go, there are still a lot of push pin bulletin boards at places like grocery stores and plazas. You could stand on a corner and hand them out. Also, if you do household services put a flyer in the mailbox of each house on the block where you did your job. Do that each time you have a job instead of mass delivery.
2. Signs and Ad. Boards
If your business requires you to drive your vehicle to conduct the business then you can use your vehicle as a mobile ad.
Magnetic signs are great for this purpose, you can take them off when you don’t want to be recognised by your business name and you can also change vehicles any time, no fuss at all.
You can also get your vehicle painted or have a decal with your business name, good for when you know your business is working out.
If you are offering any kind of household service like cleaning, gardening or maintenance then you could look at using an ‘A’ board, the small collapsible sign boards in an A shape. Stick that out at the curb or on a driveway while your working.
Not quite a sign but effective in the same way is a T-shirt with your company name. You can get these made up fairly inexpensively at one of the many online T-shirt retailers.
3. Events, Fairs/Markets and Trade Shows
These are great places to sell products and make contacts depending on what your business is.
A lot of communities, large and small, will
have some kind of event where vendors can rent a table or booth to
either sell products or market their services.
There are home shows, car/boat shows,
dog/cat/horse shows, country markets and fairs, block parties and so
many more and you don’t necessarily have to fit in the theme of the
show to be successful.
An example: a couple of years ago my wife was
working a booth at a Home & Garden show, across from her home
products booth was a young guy selling an overpriced ceramic hair
straightening device for women. He was busy the whole weekend with women
often lining up to get to him.
He knew that it’s not just a bunch of lumber
head guys showing up at that event, he knew their wives/partners would
be there too and he was ready for them. That’s how he does business.
4. Chamber of Commerce
This one does often require an outlay of cash
for membership but the benefits are usually worth it. I won’t go into
the benefits here as they are often different in each municipality so
take the time and have a look at what your Chamber offers aside from the
Most Chambers that I have been associated
with have had small and home business groups within them. These groups
will have regular meetings where you can get to meet local business
owners and operators.
Aside from the regular meetings there is
often a sponsored event held by one of the Chamber members who want to
showcase their business. A great venue to create contacts you can follow
up on later.
Using the Chamber is best
suited to businesses that have services or products directed to the
business community, also not the place to promote your MLM or Direct
5. Free (Or Close) Online Bulletin Boards
Most communities in North America will have access to a local online bulletin board like Craigslist, Gumtree, Kijiji and so on. Some of them charge a nominal fee whilst others are completely free for a basic ad which will be enough to get you started.
Make sure to choose an appropriate ad category for what you are doing. I know this sounds very obvious but believe me there are a lot of people who really don’t get it.
If you actually do your home based business from home, with people coming by, then you should register your business with Google My Business. That way your business information; description, directions, any pictures you want to post, hours of business etc. will be available to people who Google your business or if they search for your type of business with a ‘near me’ search then your business will be pin pointed on the results.
So if you operate a dog grooming service from home and somebody does a search for dog groomers near me they will see your business flagged along with any others that might be in the area. When people tap on your flag your business info will show up. That is a free service from Google, why wouldn’t you use it?
Running a business on your own can be tough especially if you’re doing it as a side gig. Time will always be in short supply and you don’t want to spend a lot money chasing business. Use the resources you have wisely, be creative in ways to make your business stand out.
I used to know an event planner/organiser who would always wear loud flashy colours when doing her events. She stood out so that people could find her. That became sort of a theme for her business and she would come to business meetings dressed in flamboyant clothing.
She was her own billboard. At business socials people gravitated to her just to see what she was all about, find out what she does. And of course people would talk about her and her business.
Now that isn’t for everyone but maybe there is something you could do to get people talking about your business.
Also remember that this is certainly not a definitive list, there are many other ways to get your message out that will not cost you a lot of time or money.