Small Business Marketing Ideas For Smaller Budgets

January 15, 2020
5 min read

Having a small business or start-up often means you have an even smaller budget.

Every dollar counts.

Every spend needs to be accounted for.

How do you build your business with limited funds? How do you execute that big idea without money for a huge advertising campaign? All valid questions many small business owners have.

The truth is, there are plenty of cost-effective things you can do right now to grow your business and advertise your brand.

girl with brown hat and long black hair standing in field

The Small Business Marketing Essentials

Yes. We said it.

Not all marketing has to be expensive. Especially in the beginning.


There are some essential marketing elements that are simply unavoidable. The first of those is a great website.

A Website…

  • Provides credibility
  • Offers a sense of professionalism
  • Increases your ability to reach potential customers
  • Plays a significant role in your brand’s future

97% of consumers go online to find a local business or local service, before they buy. 81% of shoppers do research online before they buy.

Without a website, you miss countless opportunities for potential customers and connections.

Another important marketing element for any small business is social media. Establishing a strong social media presence — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube — is critical.

Social Media…

  • Grows awareness
  • Helps your customers engage on a more intimate level
  • Shows authenticity
  • Provides support

Also Read: The Importance of Brand Authenticity

person taking photo of food and drinks

Social media is a powerful tool. When your budget is less of a constraint, running targeted ad campaigns can help generate leads and create a larger sense of brand awareness.

But, when the budget is tight, even organic posts that encourage engagement and interact with your customers on a meaningful level can be just as important.

Your social channels are where potential customers can get to know who you are.


When customers engage with your content, you naturally establish relationships and credibility. It also gives people the opportunity to become evangelists for your brand. They begin to create the content for you, by tweeting, posting and tagging you and your products.

They create the content and promote your vision. All without you ever having to spend a cent.

Marketing is Everything

We’re not just saying that because we’re in the business. Marketing is essential to your success as a small business.

You might have the best product or service, but if people don’t know you exist, you won’t have anyone to sell to.

What you do in terms of marketing will be the key to building your brand and growing your business. It gets your message out to potential customers and tells your story.

And a great story?

Well, that’s just impossible to ignore.

three people looking at lap top

But, I Have a Small Budget

No worries.

Your dreams are still achievable.

Like we mentioned earlier, there are some things you can do right now to market your small business without spending a fortune. The suggestions listed below are foundational. They lay the groundwork for future marketing initiatives.

  • Network: Get out there and tell people who you are. Search for local networking opportunities. Shake some hands. Get to know other small business owners and professionals.
  • Establishing strong connections in your niche of the market is a long-term strategy and one that will help you solidify yourself in your community.
  • Build Relationships: Skimming through old emails and contact lists doesn’t count. Building relationships means seeking out fellow business owners or established professionals in your field.
  • They have a treasure trove of wisdom to learn from. You could avoid early mistakes or gain insightful tips on how to grow.
  • Ask For Referrals: You have a great product. And, presumably, you already have customers who have enjoyed that product or service. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.
  • Most people love referring companies they enjoy, however, very few do it unprompted. Offering a discount on future products or services for every new referral is a great enticer and an easy way to generate business.  
store sign that reads thank you for shopping local

We Know We Already Said it, But...

Getting your brand in front of people is important, and it requires good marketing. Building brand recognition takes time and some money. With specialized marketing efforts, you create awareness among potential customers.

And that is the goal, right?

The trick is, it doesn’t have to cost huge sums of money.

At least, not in the beginning.

We encourage clients to think of marketing as a big-umbrella term that includes a bunch of tools that help their business grow.

  • Print media
  • Digital ad campaigns
  • Organic social posts
  • Radio
  • A simple email

While some initiatives cost more than others, all can play a role in your future success.

Trust us. We get it.

Every business or venture started somewhere, with a little bit of money and a big idea. Spending some of that money on good marketing is an investment in your future.

It’s not an extra or an add-on; it’s essential to bringing your vision to life.

And, in the meantime? Make sure you have a great website and a strong social presence. The rest will come in time.

open concept office with concrete wall that reads Punch Today in the Face

Helping Your Small Business Grow Is Our Passion

It might sound cheesy, but watching our clients blossom is the reason we enjoy our work so much. Helping someone bring their vision to life is the reason we do what we do.

Your job is to do what you do best: provide excellent customer service and developing long-lasting expectations for your customers.

And us?

We help you share your story with others. So you can do what you love, and we can do more of what we love.

Hey -- we warned you it was cheesy.

Have a question about how to market your new idea or small business? Leave a comment below or send us an email. We’d love to help!

Share this post


There is no previous post
Back to all posts


There is no next post
Back to all posts

Connect With Us

Edmonton is located within Treaty 6 Territory and within the Métis homelands and Otipemsiwak Métis Government Districts 9 & 10. We acknowledge this land as the traditional territories of many First Nations such as the Nehiyaw (Cree), Denesuliné (Dene), Nakota Sioux (Stoney), Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) and Niitsitapi (Blackfoot).
© 2022 Spark & Pony Creative. All right reserved.