Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Most people believe that for a business to be successful, a great amount of money should be spent especially when it comes to marketing. While it can be true, it doesn’t mean that small businesses with small budget don’t have a chance. If you don’t have much money to spend on marketing your business, there’s no need to worry because there are plenty of marketing tactics you can do without spending much. Here are some marketing ideas for small businesses working on a limited budget.

Create a Website

If your business doesn’t have a website yet, you might want to create one. Having a website is important because most of the people today use the internet to find all sorts of things. A simple website which presents the who, what, where, and why of your business will work. Having a website will give your business a chance to appear in local search engines, where most of the businesses are found in the present time.

Publish Great Content

When marketing a business, it’s very important to have great content because it’s something that will give people the idea on what your business is about. It’s even better if you can create it yourself. However, if you’re not into writing, it’s not that difficult to find someone in your team who can write some blog posts for you. Blogging will allow you to create bigger market for your products and services.

Create Instructional Videos

Aside from written contents, video content is also valuable. Getting someone to produce professional YouTube videos can be expensive, but you can find cheaper alternatives for it. You can even try it yourself or maybe hire a film student who will not ask for much money for a project. If you find producing videos challenging, you can also create slide decks which you can share on SlideShare.

Use Social Networking Sites

You can create business accounts in big social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Since a lot of people use these platforms on a daily basis, it can be a great way to reach out to them and let them know about your business. If your business is image oriented, you can also create an account on Instagram. Developing presence on social media is a great low budget marketing.

Create Your Own Infographics

One of the powerful marketing tools are infographics because they can catch attention and are easier to understand. However, hiring a designer may cost you a lot. If you do not want to spend that much for infographics, you can try creating your own as well. There are lots of free vector kits available as well as online infographics maker you can use. You can use published infographics as inspirations on creating your own.

Recycle Your Content

If you’re running out of ideas for content, you can recycle your old ones. For example, you can turn a collection of your blog posts into an eBook. Don’t be afraid of mashing up your content because some people might not be able to see the old contents you’ve published. Even if you recycled an old content, it will be a fresh and brand new content piece for a larger audience.

Industry Partnerships

You can also team up with a business that is related to your industry for a joint project. You can choose between doing this offline through some special events, or online through a webinar or some promotional giveaways. Partnering with an industry-relevant business will introduce you to a whole new audience related to your field.

Give Out Business Cards

Giving out business cards can also help you in making your business known. Create your own business card and give them out to every person you meet. The more people that will know your business the better.

Create a Brochure

Aside from business cards, brochures are also great sales tools. They can help you discuss to people what your products or services are about. You can also give out brochures as a form of advertising. You can also give customers time to think about your business by having something to take away with them.

Host an Event or Class

Hosting an event or class can also help in promoting your business. You can use flyers which you can post on community bulletin boards. In fact, it’s easier to post educational events promotions compared to business advertisements on community bulletin boards. Events and classes can also help people better understand the products and services your offer.

Create an Email Newsletter

A great way of getting people engaged with your business is through email marketing. Once you’ve established your website, you can get website visitors to sign up for your newsletter. Through newsletters, you can offer them bonus content pieces for subscribing. Some bonus content pieces are a free eBook or other tips which are related to your business.

Join in on Local Contests

Another way of presenting your products and services is by donating them as a prize in a local contest or event. This way, you can get the interest of the people who will win your products. It’s also a good way to let your business name be heard even just locally.

These are just some of the great marketing ideas you can do for your small business but we hope these will be helpful for you. Some of the big businesses you see today also started small and with a limited budget as well but they were able to become big in time. You just have to work hard, be creative, and do your best for your own business to be successful.

Cloud Backup to Prevent Cyber Criminals From Stealing Your Data

cloud backups

Marketing your products and services online is one of the best ways to gain more customers to your business. People nowadays are interested to buy products online, but aside from our customers buying your products, there are also those who are interested in stealing your data. These hackers are indeed a major threat to your business. Once the damage is done, you can never undo it, but you can take precautions for it not to happen to your business. There are a few steps that you can take to protect your business data from violation or loss. When developing a data protection strategy for your business, below are a few things to keep in mind.

Cloud backup

An affordable and secure way to protect your data is to make use of existing cloud technologies. This simply means a platform that backs up your data online instead of storing it to a physical storage. Owners can access their data remotely through a secured login from the storage with encrypted connection. There are companies that offer cloud storage which you can purchase or subscribe to at a very reasonable fee. This is a great solution for small businesses.

Advantages of cloud backup

Saving your business data in the cloud comes with numerous advantages. For a start, it is an effective and affordable way to protect data since you never have to secure a physical location for this purpose. Secondly, you can access data through devices connected to the internet from any location. In the event of loss, the data can be quickly restored to your servers and computers. Data backup is done behind the scenes and it’s automatic so you never have to spend any time doing it manually. Most importantly, your business data will be safe from cyber criminals and other unauthorized access.

Factors to consider when choosing a cloud service

With numerous cloud backup service providers (such as Mozy, Carbonite and others,) you need to choose wisely the one that will offer the best solution for your business. For a start, you need to know the total data that you need to backup. Get the details of the specific type of files that need to be backed up so you can find a suitable solution. Other companies access their data through mobile phones, some cloud storage providers also offers security when accessing through mobile. If for some cases you need to access your data on mobile devices, you may want to consider choosing the provider that covers security for mobile devices. The most important factor to consider when finding the right cloud service provider is to research on their background.  Your data is the jewel of your business and you don’t want it to be on the hands of those you didn’t know. Find a provider that offers 24/7 customer support to take care of your needs.

Understand data vulnerabilities

Before you even take a step to protect your data, it is important to make changes that will protect your data internally from loss or unauthorized access. First, you need to understand that data is connected to revenue. All kinds of data in your business is at risk. With cloud backup, you get an affordable and simple form of data protection and recovery. Lastly, understand that you will only get peace of mind when the cloud service provider you choose is trustworthy and uses the latest technology to protect your data.

It’s never too late to implement a data protection strategy. Whether you are running a small business that experiences numerous power outages or a huge organization with a fully fledged IT department, cloud backup can help you mitigate risks and minimize any downtime.

Heidi Kim is a professional business consultant and legal researcher focusing on business laws. She is passionate in helping those who have any queries regarding business laws and how these may affect their respective businesses. Follow her on Twitter @gehreslawatty

Freelancing a Path to Freedom & Happiness

freelancing ideas

Setting up a freelance business is one of the best ways to put your skills to work in an environment completely under your control. Whether you start your own business as a part-time enterprise or as the primary way to make a living, it helps to know the steps to successfully launch a new venture.

Finances & Taxes

Before you start up your business, open business banking accounts separate from your personal accounts. After you register your business with the appropriate state agency, open a business checking account and apply for a business credit card. With small business credit cards from American Express, you can select from among a dozen different cards, depending on your needs. Whether you want to earn travel rewards, have the freedom to maintain a balance interest-free for 60 days or get cash back based on your purchases, you’ll probably be able to find the card with the features your new business needs most.

Though the IRS doesn’t require separate bank accounts for individual proprietorships, you’ll benefit from taking time to create different accounts for business expenses. You’ll have tax advantages and the ability to analyze your business performance more accurately. You will also have the ability to clearly see your personal financial status, independent of your business. Keep this in mind, too; if business and family finances are linked, it’s tougher to get a business loan. Lenders are reluctant to extend credit to an enterprise that seems to be just a hobby.

Hire a good CPA who can advise you on paying estimated quarterly taxes and keep track of and explain 1099s, the equivalent of a W-2 from an employer, from your clients.


Recordkeeping is an essential function of a successful business. Keeping track of billable hours and total time spent on tasks is easier through any of a number of software programs available. Harvest is an example of a time-tracking tool that also can create online invoices. Chrometa is another time-management tool.


The next step is generating business. The best way to attract new clients is by networking. Make the most of your social media presence —through Linkedin primarily — but also through Facebook and Twitter, along with others you regularly visit, such as Tumblr.

This isn’t the time to be shy. Let everyone connected to you online know that you’ve hung out a shingle. Face-to-face networking is critical, too. Attend every networking event you can where professionals gather who may need your services.

Don’t forget business cards. It sounds counter intuitive in the digital age, but executives actually keep business cards, especially those that pertain to their business. Also create a website and include an online portfolio of your best work.

Become a recognized leader through blogging about topics related to your expertise and try to get speaking engagements, even at small meetings, suggests To further position yourself as an expert in your field, volunteer to write a guest column in your local newspaper about a subject related to your new business.

Before you know it, you’ll have more work than you think you can handle. Too much work is the best problem you can have.


Francis Miller is a freelance writer from Washington D.C., he follows current events like it’s his full time job.

Perspiration Precipitates Performance and Other Marketing Lessons Learned

Marketing Ideas Douglas Criticism Quote

The following is a letter I received from a dear client, John Douglas, who also happens to be a talented local photographer. Over the past year, John has undergone the rigors of becoming an SEO-savvy entrepreneur. John is a model student; eager to learn, invested in his own success and quick to pick up the strategies required to build success, both online and offline.

I asked John if I could share his letter with you. I feel his experience may resonate and help normalize others who may feel as he did as they attempt to break into their local marketplace.

As I mentioned to John, it is wonderful to see yourself progress toward self-confidence as a business person and professional. Yes, it’s hard to teach such things without the frustrating mechanism of time and the roller-coaster of the success/failure continuum. Take pleasure in recognizing your inner growth. Lessons like these are learned not just intellectually, but also at a cellular level, through life discovery. This means such valuable lessons become truly yours, adding onto the wisdom you already possess. You are richer today–both in the spirit and in the material–as a result.

In support of your efforts,

Matt Schoenherr

online marketing course divider

Hey Matt:
It’s been close to a year since we started working together. I thought I would share some observations with you. I have been seeing increasing activity and interest in my work as manifest by the number of requests I am getting now. Am I as busy as I’d like to be? Absolutely not, but I’ve learned to be patient. Some random thoughts:

  • Success is measured incrementally, and doesn’t happen according to your prescribed schedule. I have learned be comfortable with even modest gains. As you are well aware the last year has seen some frustrations on my part, largely because I was focusing on the success of others and not on my personal successes. I have learned to focus on myself and my abilities and not be concerned with the success or failure of others.
  • Don’t evaluate your success on the short term. It has taken me a while to assimilate this, and I’m sure you’ve told me this a number of times. Being an engineer, I plotted a linear regression of where I expected to be in a year with regard to web traffic. Am I going to reach my goal? I don’t know. Do I care? No.
  • “P cubed”. Perspiration precipitates performance. Gains are not achieved without some hard work and drudgery. I never imagined it would be so difficult to to get top ranking, and to hold on to decent ranking.
  • Web design is fun, but web maintenance is boring and mundane. The website design looks fantastic, and I am still happy with it today after nearly a year.
  • Word of mouth is the best advertising. I firmly believe that reputation trumps any search engine rankings or website designs. SEO is a way of getting your foot in the door and establishing yourself as a credible resource.
  • Does top ranking mean you are the best? Absolutely not. I have learned that you have to have faith in people and recognize that they will make decisions to hire me based on their criteria, and not my criteria.
  • Learn to see the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Appreciate the constructive, ignore the destructive.
  • Has it been worth the time, effort, and money? Absolutely! I would not be seeing the interest I am seeing without decent ranking on keyword searches. Thank you for your efforts.

Lastly, thank you for being patient with me in the last year. You have been my technical advisor, mentor, and (at times) my spiritual and psychological counselor.  =)

I am very appreciative of all of your efforts and assistance in the past year.

John Douglas