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Guerrilla Marketing For The Small Marketing Budget

By Lee Lister

A ‘smallish’ budget, a need to spend it wisely; indeed, a common cry from the small business.  But small budget does not mean ineffective, you just need to be specific, memorable, and unusual and have a lot of energy.

Be Specific: I think the most important thing to do is ensure that you are aiming at actual potential customers.  If you are auto repair guys, you have a head start as most people have cars nowadays, so you would think it was easy.  But, make sure that you are aiming at people who own the kind of cars that you repair, be that make of car, age of car and/or income level.  


If you are selling items or services aimed at mums with small children then advertise there. Similarly if you are aiming for purchases from the affluent young or the baby boomers, then advertise where they will see it.

Be Memorable: Second consideration is deciding what you want to market. Have a service or product, or make one up, that you can explain in a few words.  Try something like 'Bridal Makeup’ or ‘First Car Service’ or ‘Baby Blues Cure’.  Notice how the name explains it all.  Try and offer something that will be appealing and that no one else is offering.


It is far easier to sell a particular service on a small marketing budget than it is to sell all that you do!  Identify your company with good branding, one that sticks in the mind , like ‘The Spanner Man’, ‘Jim'll Fix It’, ‘The service you can trust’, ‘Blushing Brides’, ‘The Lawn Man’.  You get the idea.

Be Energetic: Get some posters printed in 4 colours, about the size of a paperback book, is the most versatile size.  Make sure they explain your offer and are easy to read, include graphics and not too many words.  Don't forget your contact phone number, address, web site and company name.

So we have your potential customers and what you want to sell to them, now you need to market your company where these people are likely to be.  Here are a few suggestions for you. Please always get permission to make your postings.

  • Car parks: Arrange to put up small posters on the payment machines, at the entry barriers or at the payment booth.  Wherever the motorist pauses for a while.

  • Movies, restaurants etc: Particularly useful if you have a younger cliental. Place the posters on the notice boards, in the restrooms and wherever people wait for a while.

  • Your local take-aways: Place them where people are waiting for their meals.

  • Clubs, pubs and sports areas: Place them where they can be seen as people meet or line up.

  • Complimentary services: Such as car sellers, hairdressers etc, anyone who offers a service that could lead to your company's services or profits. Offer commission to sellers who send you clients. Swap adverts with them or package your products together.

  • Source companies: These are people like lawyers, realtors, wedding planners, financial companies etc that do not offer all the services people require at that particular time e.g. we offer business planning services to people seeking USA visas or purchasing businesses. Our sources get to offer a full service, or a commission (where allowable), and we refer our people to them.

Be Unusual: If your budget will stretch, some other guerrilla ideas are:

§         Place your advert on the lid of takeaway food.

§         Beer mats with your service, bring it to you and get a discount.

§         Special offers sent to local businesses and their staff, aimed specifically at their staff, eg. discounts for the Widget factory staff.

§         Interesting fridge magnets are always collectable.
People are always sticking things on their computer monitors or desks at work. I have a squeeze ball I regularly use.

§         A competition (legal of course) that your local paper will hopefully feature for you.

§         It can be something like guess the washers in a can to win a free service.

§         Anything that will bring people into your business where you can show yourselves off and provide sales material.

§         Be imaginative!

Tip: Send off details of your new service to the local press and local radio stations, in the form of a press release.  Hopefully they will run this information to give you more FREE coverage.

Lastly, think a little out of the box, differentiate yourself and aim to introduce just one small element of your service, the rest will follow.

About the Author: Lee Lister writes as The Biz Guru, for a number of web sites including her own sites With over 20 year's management and business consultancy experience with businesses large and small as well as being a serial entrepreneur, she now helps others set up, develop and market their businesses.

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