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Small Budget Advertising

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Whether you're just starting your business or you're on a budget diet, there are still ways to bypass high cost advertising.

Budget Publications
This includes weekly shoppers, free local TV guides, newsletters, community papers. These publications are targeted toward a specific audience with relatively low ad rates. You're looking at a small market segment either geographically or by the consumer's special interests.

Classified Ads
Weekly newspapers, metropolitan dailies, national magazines. Readers in these areas may not be looking for your product, but your ad will be seen by individuals who are looking for specific information.

On that note, classified ads need to be written in a clear and simple manner. Only feature one product/service per ad. If you offer more than one product, consider running a separate ad for each product you want featured.

Coupon Mailers
You've probably received a package of these at some point. They contain cards advertising several different companies and their products. These are also known as "card decks" and reduce the cost of mailing from 34 to 40 cents all the way down to about 5 cents per piece.

Handbills and Fliers
While you may not want to distribute handbills on the street yourself, you can hire a high school or college student to do the grunt work for you.

There are even distribution services you can hire at a low cost to pass these handbills out. You'll still save money on your advertising and it only takes one customer to make up for the cost.

You can also post fliers on bulletin boards, put business cards under windshield wipers, hang ads on doorknobs and pass out your promotional materials in office buildings.

Another place you might want to consider distributing these materials is at a trade show for your specific industry. Think of all the targeted prospects that are right there at your fingertips!

Bargain Broadcasting
If you're looking to hit the airwaves, you can find some good deals on radio, your local TV stations and even cable. But you have to make sure you're reaching prospects, your target market.

Co-Op Advertising
A lot of companies overlook one of the easiest ways to get your name out there. Co-op advertising is a program in which several businesses take in the expense of advertising by advertising together.

Say you're in the interior decorating business. You can co-op with furniture companies, carpet dealers, etc., to reduce your advertising cost and increase your exposure.

Advertising doesn't have to be expensive to be effective. It can make or break your business...but it doesn't have to break your bank account in the process.

Related Video
Adam Gerber on advertising business models

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