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Tips for marketing your home-based business

Provided by Business Partners Ltd, South Africa's leading investor in SMEs


A good marketing plan is vital to the success of your business. When you're running your business from home, it's often overlooked or you just don't know how to go about doing it. Marketing your home-based business is not as hard or as scary as it sounds.

Marketing is often the last thing on most entrepreneurs' minds when they are strategising for the success of their business. It is, however, one of the most important components of a good business plan, and could mean the difference between an okay and a great bottom line.

When you're working from home, your may think you just don't have the budget, the resources or the know-how to do a marketing drive. But the following tips will prove that it's not only easier than you think, but it doesn't have to break the bank either.

  • Word of mouth can be your biggest deal-spinner. Make sure that every client walks away happy. There's nothing better than a satisfied client who refers their colleagues, friends or family to you.
  • Keep a database of all your clients, so you can e-mail them seasonal greetings, special offers and anything else that will keep you top-of-mind, without becoming a nuisance.
  • Network online: Online networking groups aren't just a social thing. Look at groups like facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn and establish a profile where appropriate. Search for websites relevant to you area of business or customer base. Many of these have free business directories where you can list your business
  • Be visible in the community: Are there charities or organisations in your community you can provide services for free? You'd be amazed how many contacts you can make this way and you'll have the added warm and fuzzy feelings of doing some good
  • Special offers: Depending on your type of business, think about having season specials, group discounts or something extra for new customers. Something like this might just put you one step ahead of your competitors.
  • Advertise: It may sound like you're headed into expensive territory, go small, like classified ads in your local newspaper, community notice-board, pamphlets in post-boxes and so on.

A little planning and creativity can make for a successful marketing drive that brings customers to your door. And remember, this shouldn't just be a once-off event when you open the business or when times are tough. Marketing should be part of your quarterly/annual business planning. 

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