If you’ve recently opened a small business, you probably watch your budget closely and make sure your money is spent strategically on the things essential to running your business.
If you’ve been a business owner for some time and noticed that sales have been stagnant or unstable over the last two years, you are probably even more careful about managing your expenses.
Your budget will probably include rent, staff salaries, inventory, and utilities. Marketing either does not feature at all or is an afterthought.
Perhaps if you spend on marketing, it’s when you have money in a month that you’ve overachieved in your sales target. This approach does not work. Marketing should be consistent and strategic rather than sporadic with minimal planning.
While you don’t need a massive marketing budget, you need to spend some money on marketing. Without marketing, you may:
- Miss opportunities to reach new customers
- Lack communication with your customers
- Fail to understand changing customer demands
There are ways to market your business that don’t require a massive budget. The easiest way to do this is by focusing on your online presence. Pay attention to your website and ensure it is up to date with relevant information.
Also, use social media to your advantage. Depending on your industry and your target audience, use different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to stay in touch with your customers.
Post engaging content regularly, and respond to customers. Keep up with trends and learn how algorithms work to make your content visible to a broad audience.
Small Business Funding
While some marketing efforts can be free or low-cost, others may require a little more money. Even if you have little cash flow, there is help available for small businesses. Consider these options:
A business loan from a bank is a good option for a small company that’s been operational for at least two years and is financially stable. If you have a business bank account and a good relationship with your bank, securing a business loan with good terms and a low-interest rate should not be difficult.
Your application may take a few days to process, so you will receive the money after one to seven of submitting your application.
Start-ups rarely qualify for business loans from banks, so if you’ve recently launched a business and need a loan, you can apply for a personal loan. Your credit score determines the type of personal loan you qualify for.
With good credit, you can apply for a personal loan at a bank. Banks typically offer loans with low-interest rates and give you a more extended period to repay the loan.
People with lower credit ratings may struggle to secure loans from traditional lenders, but many other lenders will offer loans to those with poor credit.
Before taking a bad credit loan, you must compare quotes and review the terms carefully, as these loan types often have high-interest rates with short payment periods.
The interest rate you are charged also differs by state, so the interest you would pay on CreditNinja loans in Auburn, for example, will differ from a similar loan in Florida.
Non-profits interested in uplifting businesses in disadvantaged communities offer micro-loans to small businesses. To qualify for a micro-loan, you would need to show that you are from a poor background.
Micro-loans are usually small loans, but the interest rates are low, making them affordable, and the terms are reasonable. However, it is important to watch out for dishonest lenders that are going to offer you micro-loans with much higher interests than the market average. Just do your research so you will not be taken advantage of.
As you can see, you have access to three very useful small business funding options that can help you to get some cash fast to supplement your marketing budget. But, you should never hurry the choice.
Unfortunately, many end up taking out a loan for all the bad reasons or when they are not ready to repay it. Do not make such a mistake.
Be careful with loan requirements and repayment conditions. If you do this, you will surely be able to improve your profits, as long as the marketing campaign you create is effective, of course.