Inexpensive Ways to Advertise Your Home Business

Everyone who owns a home business knows the challenge you have to economically get the word out about your services. Even though home businesses usually have lower overhead, they also usually generate smaller profits than their formal small business and corporate cousins. Squeezing money from your bottom line for advertising can cut into your operating expenses and profit and in many cases simply is not a viable option.So what is a home business owner to do? Even the best ideas can fizzle out if no one knows about them. Not advertising costs you money. The key is striking a balance between effective advertising tools and not having to skip grocery shopping for the week in order to pay for it. This is where creativity comes in to play. The home business owner who can use the following ideas to advertise his business and still maintain a healthy profit margin:* Never leave home without a stack of business cards. Business cards cost relatively little; even when professionally printed. Keep your eyes open as you go about your daily business. You will find that you regularly run across public bulletin boards where you can tack up one of your business cards. If you are feeling bold, you may want to approach local businesses that generate traffic that would be interested in your particular services. As long as you are not offering services that would compete with that business, they are often happy to let you leave a stack of your business cards for their customers to help themselves to.* Stock up on promotional gifts. Promotional gifts are an inexpensive way to get your business name circulated in public. Pens, mugs, golf balls or one of hundreds of promotional items which bear your business name and logo will get you noticed by potential clients. Choose promotional gifts that relate to your home business, such as monogrammed water bottles or towels. Says one first-time home buyer: “A refrigerator magnet was how we chose our realtor.” After floundering around in the market on his own for several weeks, a glance at the refrigerator magnet handed out by a local real estate agent prompted the buyer to make a phone call to the number on the magnet, which ultimately led to a home sale for that particular agent.* Become a member of your local Chamber of Commerce. Joining your Chamber of Commerce lends credibility to your business and membership means that your business will be promoted within your city. Membership requirements vary from locale to locale and it is usually well worth your time and money to investigate a Chamber membership. Plus, you may be privy to special deals, such as discounts at other local businesses, Chamber-sponsored networking luncheons, and more.* Take advantage of local trade shows. Many areas host regular host trade shows or other symposiums which feature a specific sector of industry that relates to your home business (i.e. boat shows, auto shows, craft fairs, etc.) and allow public vendors to set up displays selling their wares or services and promoting their businesses. Cost for a booth rental varies from venue to venue and show to show and may seem like a big expenditure but the exposure that you receive will far outweigh the cost.* Familiarize yourself with the many free advertising sites on the Internet. The Internet is rife with free advertising opportunities, and while it is true that some of these sites generate very little web traffic, while others like Craig’s List have gained mainstream popularity. A little bit of web research might reveal some potential goldmines when it comes to free advertising.The best home business opportunities can be made even better with some savvy advertising. And although it does require some time and effort on your part as a home business owner, you never know how your investment might pay off. Like the realtor who made a sale because of a refrigerator magnet, you may very well hit on a similar opportunity because you took the time to do some creative advertising without having to spend a lot of money.

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