Anyone who has started a small business will tell you that even under ideal conditions it is very difficult. Even those with a good idea and are able to find enough financing to open up their business face the problem of how to spread the word to acquire customers. If you are able to get enough people in the door then you will have a good chance at success. What is vital to any new small business owner is to find enough cheap or better yet free methods to advertise. This is especially important in the current economic environment. Without some decent and cost effective advertising almost any new establishment is doomed for failure.
So what low cost ways can you use to find customers? First of all you need a website. They are actually cheap to setup. The two main considerations are hosting and a domain name. Quality hosting can be found for under ten dollars a month and domains can be registered for less than that for a whole year. If you aren’t a wiz at building a website then you can find people to design one for you online fron sites such as elance for a reasonable fee. There are many things you can do with a website to help you promote your business so it is important to get one up and running as soon as possible.
There are many other cheap methods to advertiise your business. One of them is to use bumper stickers. If they are colorful and stand out they can really help get some customers. Another idea is to use flyers. They can be posted in public places such as libraries, laundromats and other businesses that have bulletin boards. T-shirts are another excellent low cost way to get some excellent exposure to your new establishment. You can even give them away for free to employees and customers who will wear them and become walking advertisments for you.
Getting involved in community events can also help get your business name out there and build goodwill at the same time which is priceless which brings me to the final and likely the best way to get new clients which is word of mouth. Having other people recommend your business to others is an way to get new customers and for many places is how most of their revenues are generated. If your profit margins are large enough to allow it a way to greatly increase word of mouth is to start an referral program and reward those that send many customers your way.
The advertising methods above are just some ideas for you to acquire customers for free or low cost. You are really only limited by your creativity for marketing your business.