Chapter 19

Marketing on a Shoestring

Sell to their needs, not yours.

—Earl G. Graves

There is no doubt that big corporations have resources and abilities not shared by their small business brethren. They have budgets that we can only dream about, experts to do their bidding, even managers to manage their managers. Likewise, we have attributes they do not. Small businesses are far less bureaucratic. We are resourceful. We are nimble and quick. I would venture to say that the only area in which small businesses actually envy big businesses is with regard to their budgets. One ad in the Wall Street Journal might cost a Fortune 500 company $100,000. What kind of marketing could you do with $100,000? But fear not. Marketing need not cost a fortune. There are scores of ways to market on the cheap, look big in the process, and even the playing field.

The Shoestring Ground Rules

Marketing need not cost a fortune to reap tremendous rewards, but first, you have to know the ground rules.

Shoestring Marketing Takes Commitment

If you are like most small businesses, you have one or two or three tried-and-true marketing methods. But shoestring marketing means that you will try, and eventually adopt, several more methods. If three methods allow you to net $150,000 a year, what might you be able to make using six methods? To become a shoestring marketer means that you will try out many methods, test them, see which ones work best, and then add the winners to your marketing repertoire. This will ...

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