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Shoe String Marketing;
Where to save and where not to

By George Torok

To improve your cash flow you have two options: spend less or take in more. Why not do both? Spend less money on marketing while improving your marketing results. “How?” you ask. Use the do’s and don’t’s listed below.

Don’t
In your attempt to save costs don’t cut in these areas:

- Value

Never try to save money by cutting the value of your product to your customer. If you reduce value they will expect a corresponding price reduction at the very least.

- Quality

Never sacrifice quality to save money. Be clear on what quality means to your customers. The best definition of quality is ‘meeting expectations’.

- Speed

Never try to save money by making your customers wait longer. They will never have more time.

- Cheapest deal

Going cheap is not a good way to save money. Cheap looks and feels cheap. Don’t send marketing messages that feel cheap. Instead pick your marketing channels and hunt for the best deal – not the cheapest.

- Core benefit

Never trim from the core benefit of your product in your attempt to save money. The main reason customers buy your product – don’t you dare reduce that. That is like cutting bone.

Do
You can use these methods to help you save money on your marketing:

- Barter

The oldest form of commerce – trade food for animal hides. You can try two approaches to barter. You can trade directly with your supplier or customer. For example you might trade some of your product with a publisher for ad space in their publication. The challenge to this form of barter is that you both must want and need what the other has. You might barter the whole amount or have a mixed deal of cash and barter.

Another form of barter is through one of the many barter companies. They form a relationship with many companies. Any member of the barter group can buy your product with their barter dollars. You can then spend those barter dollars with some other member of the barter group to buy what you need.

- Co-op

If you are part of a larger group such as a franchise you can get advertising subsidy from your franchiser to help you promote their name and your business. If you sell or distribute for a manufacturer you might be able to arrange co-op support from them.

- Ask customers

This is so simple that many overlook it. Ask your customers what they noticed that you could eliminate that has no significant value to them. For example I noticed my local bank renovating the branch every few years. That added zero value to me. I wish they would stop it.

- Buy when others are not

Buy your marketing services when demand is low. Query your suppliers to learn when their slow period is. If you offer to buy at that time you might get a lower price, faster service or even more value.

- Partner

Share a promotion with another company that also markets to your customers. You split the costs of the promotion. You can offer to promote their product at your business while they do the same for you. You can offer your product as a prize in their promotion.

- Work with a charity

Donate time, product or resources to a charity. They might recognize you in their signage, printed material or with a nice letter. When you work with a charity you benefit from the goodwill you create among your customers and the community. You might also get some free media coverage in the process.

- Negotiate

Negotiate with your suppliers and customers. Negotiation is a skill that can be learned and honed. Read good books and take a course on negotiation to become a superior negotiator. You will learn the different gambits, styles and strategies of negotiating.

- Be creative

Look for unusual promotions in other industries and find a way to make it work for you. Being creative does not mean being original. Borrow ideas from around you.

- Offer customers something more important than money

What could be more important than money to your customers? Ask them. They might value using your name as a reference, access to information, exposure to new markets, referrals, new technology, time to relax, etc..

Spend carefully and be creative to stretch your shoestring marketing budget. Watch your cash flow improve.


This article is based on the critically acclaimed book, Secrets of Power Marketing by business strategist, consultant, radio host and international speaker George Torok. To obtain your own copy of his book just visit our secure online store here.

 

Free trial issue of SOHO Business Report magazine, the source for small business / home based business solutions. Whether your target market is retail, warehouse, manufacturing, import / export, service, hospitality, restaurant or transportation, we can give you the strategic advantage you need to succeed.

PHSP Information; Find out how small business and home based business can get health benefits and extended coverage (including dental) while saving money by paying for these benefits with pre tax corporate income.

 

 

 


Copyright 2006 SOHO Business Report
a Dream Launchers Partner






SOHO Business report magazine, a Dream Launchers project publication, helps Small Office / Home Office Entrepreneurs succeed. We help home-based business and small business with free articles, multimedia (audio, video & interactive), tools and tips. Topics for home business and small business include business planning (e.g. business plan and marketing templates), strategy, guerrilla marketing, Internet marketing, publicity, project management, importing, exporting, taxes, finance, trade shows, technology, negotiation, consulting, sales techniques and tactics, work life balance, growth management, profit optimization, team work, leadership, human resources (recruiting, hiring, training & firing) and network marketing (referrals and contact building). SBR can help you start your home business or small business and give you the management tools and resources to succeed by making a business plan or marketing plan with expert input. All of that without getting an MBA, going through training or school. Start increasing your profits, improving your cash flow and building the business your entrepreneurial aspirations demand.