Question from the e-mail box:
I have a small consulting business where I help other local small business get online and help get them started with an online marketing strategy. I’m just starting out and have a really tight budget. Do you have any free or low cost suggestions for ways to get my business started?
There are three options that come to mind here; all of them focus on the local market.
Since you mentioned “local,” get your home business listed the local listings of the search engines. Google has ‘Google Local’ and you can sign up here. Microsoft has their new ‘Bing Local’ and you can sign up here. Both are free and are great for getting your presence established on the local level.
Also check into your local Chamber of Commerce. Most Chamber of Commerce organizations have a monthly or quarterly meeting of local businesses. Usually these are semi-formal breakfast or luncheon meetings. There is usually a small, but reasonable cost to attend them. During these meetings, there are usually roundtable groups where you will have the opportunity to talk about your business to other local business owners. Since your business is a B2B (Business to Business) service business, this should be an ideal forum for you.
Finally, don’t forget about CraigsList and Backpage — both free classified online advertising services. Use the “services” area of both sites to place free ads. You can read more on this subject in my blog post Local CraigsList for your Home Business.
That should get you started!