$50 Marketing Program: Part I
OK, you have a small business, you have a great product or service an idea as to who would need it. Now you need to let your potential clients know who you are and how you can help them. Only downside? You are not exactly in a position to spend a lot on marketing your idea.
So here is the challenge: put together a workable marketing program for a small business. Nothing remarkable about this, other than the monthly budget is only $50,00!
What do you think; is this even possible? I believe it is, using some of the fabulous resources that are available. In fact, for the $50.00 budget, I believe I can put together a very viable program that would help a small business build their presence.
The $50 program includes both traditional outbound marketing techniques and some inbound marketing ideas – exactly what marketers should be doing, regardless of budget.
The program uses some key components:
Website and blog (including hosting plan)
Constant Contact email marketing
Vonage VoIP phone service
You’ll note that this isn’t a real marketing plan – more a collection of ideas. In any case, I’m hoping they will be helpful for anyone starting a small business and wanting to effectively market their services on a limited budget.
OK, let’s get started. There are two things that every business must have, phone service and a website/blog. In the budget, I’ve allowed for Vonage unlimited calling plan and for domain registration and hosting fees for a website. I’ve assumed that the business owner already has broadband Internet access that can be used.
We need to register the domain name and get a hosting account. For this, I’m going to use that old faithful – GoDaddy.com. I’ve used GoDaddy for years and other than the horribly unfriendly website, I’ve never had a problem. The price is right – $10.00 for a .com name and $5 per month for a Linux hosting account.
For the website, My plan is to use WordPress as the platform and to purchase a template that can be customized to suit the business needs.
I budgeted to use the Corporate template from StudioPress. There are several reasons for this:
• Easy to customize, a high of programming skill isn’t needed.
• Combines static site and blog pages – both are essential for any business
• Excellent support forum available at no additional cost
• I’ve had good SEO results using StudioPress themes
• Can use any of the huge range of WordPress plugins
One thing I like with the GoDaddy hosting is that it comes with WordPress already to go as well as the MySQL database that is needed to drive it. There is pretty good documentation on both the GoDaddy and WordPress sites to help get everything installed.
While setting up the hosting account, also set up an email forwarding account. GoDaddy allows a whole bunch of these per domain. I used this feature to send my comcast.net email account that I got with my broadband account to my me@mydomain account I set up with GoDaddy – easy and looks much more proffessional than using a gmail, or comcast type account.
Once the hosting account is set up, it is time to get WordPress installed and upload the new theme you have purchased. It’s then time to get customising to make your new site reflect your business and personality. Use the support forum at studiopress.com to help with this.
Since we’ve been in spending mode, let’s also set up the Vonage account. This is the most expensive thing we have to deal with – $25 per month for unlimited local and long distance calls.
I would prefer to use a mobile phone (as I do in real life – haven’t had a landline phone for years) but this would cause big budget problems.
So. let’s quickly review what we’ve achieved so far and what it has cost.
Registered web domain – $10 = $0.83 per month
Hosting account – $5.00 per month
Purchase site template – $60 = $5.00 per month
Phone service – $25.00 per month
Total monthly amount = $35.83
Not bad so far. In the next part of the story, we’ll start to use our new stuff.
Are you involved in marketing for a small or start-up business? Do you have any comments or ideas to share?