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Bootstrap marketing for beginners – Part five

June 26, 2012

In the first four parts of this series, we looked at online and offline marketing techniques, how to build some buzz around your promotional campaign, and how to adopt a positive approach in other aspects of your business.

With this fifth and final part, we tie it all together by looking at a final few topics relating to streamlining your business, getting your affairs in order, and maximising your profit.

Cost and profit, bootstrap-style

In business, everything affects how much you earn – even if you don’t realise it at first. The secret to bootstrap marketing lies in identifying how each factor takes hold of your operations, and turning it to your advantage with minimal outlay.

10. Have a spring clean

Tidy office, tidy mind, right? Seriously, keeping your workplace clean and organised reduces health risks, cutting down on sick days, while helping you to know where important paperwork can be found.

9. Topical themes

Make the most of seasonal opportunities – summertime, Christmas, and so on – as well as any topical themes or events, like the World Cup or the Olympic Games.

Often, industry-specific news stories can be turned into marketing tools, and may be much less hotly contested in terms of search engine position.

8. Guarantees

These days, you’re as likely to see a money-back guarantee as you are to see a guarantee that a product will not fail or break.

Either way, guarantees give peace of mind to would-be customers that their money is not at risk if they purchase a product and later change their mind, which increases the chance of them buying it at all.

7. Put up your prices

Economists call it ‘price elasticity of demand’ – the amount by which you can raise your prices and still make a sale – but in the real, day to day world, it’s simply about getting the most money for each sale.

Think of the shops that put umbrellas nearer to the door when it rains – if you were one of them, you could easily add a pound to the price of each umbrella, and still sell plenty of them, for more overall profit.

6. Cross-promote and sell up

If you have complementary goods and services, make sure your customers are aware of that fact – in the same way that, for example, TV companies now often offer broadband and telephone connections too.

Even if you can’t see an opportunity to cross-promote your services, don’t be afraid to try and ‘sell up’ your customers by letting them know about a better (i.e. more expensive) alternative to the service they’re currently paying you for.

5. Gift vouchers

It isn’t too expensive to have gift vouchers printed, and they allow your products and services to be given as presents – potentially from someone who wouldn’t buy your products themselves, to somebody who wouldn’t either, making two non-customers into one sale.

4. Join local groups

Get involved with business forums (of the offline variety) and real-world discussion groups, and you can establish yourself as a voice to be heard in your local business community.

3. Print a catalogue

A catalogue gives you a single place to showcase everything you have to offer, and can multitask as a way to reach new customers, and to stay in the minds of existing clients.

2. Lower prices for repeat business

Loyal customers deserve a reward, and if you don’t fancy running a fully featured loyalty scheme, a simple discount for repeat orders can be a useful alternative.

1. Take a holiday

Take a break – you deserve one. You’ll come back (hopefully) feeling refreshed and positive, and ready to throw yourself into your work with renewed vigour – and with a renewed you at the helm, how could your business possibly fail?