Guide to Bootstrap Marketing for a Small Business

Marketing is an all-encompassing and ultra-essential business activity, even for businesses with small or limited capital. Marketing is the alpha and omega of things, so to speak. For many entrepreneurs and small business owners, the way to go is bootstrapping, or using small, personally pooled capital and operating revenues to make the business grow. Getting a loan or borrowing money is a no-no.So how does a small business with financial constraints ever afford to advertise, let alone to fund effective marketing schemes? Is bootstrap marketing feasible? The term bootstrapping initially means doing the impossible but today, bootstrapping a business has become simpler and doable. In fact, many business gurus consider it as the best technique to start a business.Rule #1: Establishing Authority within the Community One fine way to bootstrap marketing for a small business is to establish authority or influence in a particular market niche. This means that whatever knowledge you just gained and whatever field you are expert in, use those to inform others. Share what you know to other people as this is the simplest way to earn respect and recognition within the community. Keep feeding your target audience or customers with fresh, brilliant ideas related to your product and company, but remain subtle with your advertising. Use your blog, newsletter, newspaper column, and other regular circulars in sharing your ideas and updating your audience.Rule #2: Using Cost-Effective, Well-Targeted AdvertisingThere are advertising strategies that are way too expensive for a small business to sustain. Those are obviously not one of your options. Go for cost-effective, well-targeted advertising. If you serve a local market, consider buying radio advertising, which is highly recommended for small businesses having high reach, high targetability, and low cost. Another feasible option for advertising is social media. My, there are plenty of affordable ways to let your company and product known to your target market, and even to the rest of the world. Set up accounts with popular social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Also, optimize your website for search engines to gain organic online traffic.Rule #3: Using Tried and Tested Community ServiceYou cannot go wrong with getting involved with community works. Although you have a limited budget, you can partner with organizations and enterprises in pursuing or supporting a worthwhile cause. Of course, this entails sincere, long-term commitment but cause-related marketing pays you back multifold, and in unexpected ways. You instantly gain recognition within the community, and if you are targeting the local market – perfect!Rule #3: Using Simple, Passive Marketing TacticsMarketing a small business does not have to be very complicated. As a matter of fact, the simple act of giving away business cards, cleaning your retail store or showroom, rearranging the merchandise, placing new neon signs, and publishing press releases are passive marketing tactics that can impact your revenues in enormously positive ways.Bootstrap marketing is feasible, no doubt about that. It has become a widely accepted and very effective technique in propelling small businesses towards better revenues and profits. A small business with small marketing budget need not worry because it can achieve growth and success through bootstrap marketing.