Attracting new customers on a budget, Part II

If you missed part one of this column, I discussed ways of marketing your business without a budget. Social media, email marketing and networking are all great ways to start a business. In part two I want to give a few ideas of other media to consider when taking your business to the next step.

Your next step? Start your website. In the many years that I have been developing websites and other multimedia, I have come across many people who say, “Hey, I can do this myself.” My answer is always, “Yes, you can but is it going to be the professional look that many consumers are looking for from a business?”

When a customer approaches your storefront it should be appealing and draw customers in. Websites are your storefront of the Internet. When consumers come to your site and they see that is simply thrown together with a logo and a little information or a few products, their first impression in most cases is to go somewhere else. Always let a professional designer help you with a website. Web design can be quite affordable if you find the right designer who provides quality work. Take your time when searching for a designer and find one that understands your needs and fits your budget.

After you get your website going, start your local marketing plan. Have some professional fliers designed, place your ad in the local newspapers and magazines (even if it is just a classified ad) and/or contact your local Chamber of Commerce to ask about its email blasts. Whatever you decide to do to market your business, make sure that you will be reaching the consumer group you want to attract to your business.

— Rachel Painter-Fields owns a graphic and web design business in Martinsburg.

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