5 Low Cost Ways to Promote Your Small Business

As a small business owner, sometimes growing your brand requires thinking outside of the box. Chances are you don’t have a large staff or budget, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Creating brand awareness is a critical part of any marketing campaign, but with so many things on your plate, it can be tough. Need help getting started? Check out the five tips below.

1. Cross-promotion

Reach out to other business owners to form a cross-promotion partnership. Research each business to make sure it shares the same values as yours and offers reliable services or goods. Select a partner who sells goods or services that complement yours, but make sure they aren’t competition. Create a recommendation page on your website to promote your partner, mention them on social media, or offer special deals to customers who purchase from both businesses. This will help get your business’s name in front of new customers.

2. Have a contest

A great way to grow your brand is to have a contest. You can create a scavenger hunt with your cross-promoting partners, or you can do something on your own like a raffle. Use raffle participants’ information to create a mailing list. You can also involve participants more with a creative contest, such as coming up with the best slogan or mascot for your business. This will make them feel connected to your business. You can have a contest through social media, too. The prize can be as big or small as your budget allows.

3. Direct mail

Direct mail allows you to reach potential customers within a specific distance of your business. You can use it to announce upcoming sales, invite customers to check out your website or social media, or send out newsletters. People receive less junk mail in person than their email inbox, so they are more likely see your message. Its shelf life is also longer, as people typically keep mail as a reference. Print a custom mailer envelope that includes company branding. Keep the design simple so that it won’t get tossed in the trash, and use a font that resembles handwriting to increase your open rate.

4. Community service

Create goodwill with your local community and grow your brand with community service. Sponsor a school event or team, host a pet supply drive for animal shelters or adopt a local park. Have an event to kick-off or celebrate a successful service event. If you have the opportunity, wear branded T-shirts to showcase your business. You can also donate a portion of your proceeds for a specific time period to a cause. People love to see businesses give back; it creates a strong bond between the community and the business.

5. Loyalty program

Customer loyalty programs are a great way to entice new customers to check you out and reward existing customers. You can use the back of your business cards as punch cards so customers will always have your card handy, or keep track electronically with customer loyalty software. You can provide a discount after a specific amount of money is spent, or a free product after a specific number of products are purchased. In addition, you can provide other perks to your reward members. Happy customers will tell others about your program, thus growing your brand.

The best way to grow your brand is to be good to your customers. Satisfied customers are the greatest way to spread the word about your business. However, it doesn’t hurt to implement other strategies to boost your brand. Hopefully, these tips give your brand a lift.


Alex is a small business blogger with a focus on entrepreneurship and growth. With over 5 years of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Alex has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, approachable and entrepreneurial-minded blogger. He has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners, and is able to provide actionable advice and strategies for success. Alex has interviewed successful entrepreneurs, and covered major small business events such as the Small Business Expo and the Inc. 500|5000 conference. He is also a successful entrepreneur himself, having started and grown several small businesses in different industries.