Marketing Without a Budget

Build Cross-Promotions with Other Businesses

Most simply you can just pass our cards or flyers for another business and they can promote your business. Or maybe you offer free tickets to the ballgame with a purchase? Or you can get more elaborate and put together an enticing package. For example let’s say you have an art gallery…you can put together a night out including a reception at the art gallery with food and provided at a discount by another featured business and discounted parking at a local parking garage. Or maybe you do a promotion that includes a discounted dinner at a local restaurant? The possibilities are endless.

Save Your Cash with Trades

You know how important I think cash is! But you can “buy” business services and goods without using cash. You can do in kind trades directly with other businesses. Or you can participate in a barter network. Just be careful of the tax implications… non cash sales are still taxable.

Juicy Discounts Pull in the Sale

From my experience selling advertising, too many small businesses wasted time and energy with 10% and 15% off type of sales. Advertising is expensive, it is competitive, and it is hard to get noticed. Unless you offer juicy really deep deals, you are likely to be disappointed with your results. Remember that if you can pull in a repeat customer if may be worthwhile to make that first sale way below cost. And even if you don’t have a repeat customer type of sale, getting satisfied customers in the door will lead to attract other, full-paying customers.

You may want to consider using Groupon and other deal sites. They demand that you offer the customer a huge discount and then they demand that you give them a giant part of the pie. But I have seen businesses built using these websites.

Giving Away Your Goods Can Make You Money

Sounds crazy but it can be true. I remember seeing a sandwich shop open up with free sandwiches on the first day. Hugely successful opening and their business was up and running hard the registers full by the second day!

Even if you have an expensive business you can offer a free trial or free period. For example an executive office complex lured me in with free three months rent for the first year.

The word “Free” is very powerful! Think of someway to make it work for your business!

Offer Special Deals for New Customers

It’s often easy to get potential new customers excited about your business and to listen to your sales pitch, visit your website or read your advertising. But getting them to actually pull the trigger usually requires an extra big “push.”

That’s where special deals for new customers comes in. Special deals just for new customers, and especially time sensitive ones—today only! for example can be crucial for turning browers into buyers!

In Summary…

There are endless cheap marketing ideas that can drive your business ahead! They may not require cash expenses, but they will take energy, time and creativity. Often you will have to rigorously try a number of different promotions to find what really works for you! But don’t rest then, keep mixing it up! Have fun with these promotions and your customers will too!

From his success on the sales floor of an automotive dealership  to becoming a veteran trainer and then the adoption of technology for Internet-based marketing, his career has evolved to deliver the skills and tools needed to help consumers. Richie Bello combined his automotive expertise with his robust desire to “take care of the customer first” to become an automotive influencer, published author, and renowned trainer.  Bello absorbed the wants and needs of consumers as he worked up the ladder of the automotive industry.

Over the thirty-five years of his career, he developed strong Internet marketing skills, leading him to developing software solutions that create ease for consumers, and helps dealers improve relationships with customers. Innovation drives success. And, for Bello, it’s in his DNA. took years to come to consumers and arrived in a timely manner, during the 2020 Pandemic. With over 6 million vehicles on the site, features that help consumers deliver, finance and warranty, Bello has met the retail digital age head on.

Bello also is founder of Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management, a 501C3 not for profit, dedicated to the recruitment, education and employment of veterans into the automotive industry. Visit


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