This article originally appeared on the Prime Design Solutions website.

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It’s no secret that running a business requires a large investment of time and money. It can be tempting, especially when the business is a start-up, to try to manage your marketing efforts on a shoe-string (or smaller) budget. It’s a fact that reputation is a key component to every business’s success. However, relying exclusively on word-of-mouth creates far more business development obstacles than the cost savings warrant.

Without argument, a full-scale marketing campaign can require a notable investment. There is a direct relationship between the investment and results of a well-planned, well-executed campaign (both in terms of rate and volume of return). However, budget-strapped businesses can still achieve satisfactory results. The key is in employing strategic marketing tactics.

Chamber of Commerce

A primary function of a Chamber of Commerce is to support business and industry by aiding communication and awareness among its members. Periodic Chamber publications are an easy way to get your message in front of decision makers that may be a targeted customer for your business. A strategically crafted circular or advertisement could be the key to getting their eyes on you.

Changing Location

A proven strategy for increasing visibility while limiting costs is to enter an agreement with an outdoor (billboard) company that offers multiple positioning for your boards. Using this strategy you can purchase a minimal number of boards (say, two) and have them placed in varying locations over the course of a year. Using this approach a business can minimize design costs by limiting design variations to the number of active boards, and appear to have billboards “all over town” by regularly popping up in someplace new.

A Website is Vital

Pound for pound, the hardest working marketing tool is a website. For many people, this is where they start their search for a product or service. By making your company available from the Internet you are “selling” to customers before your telephone even rings. You are reaching them on their time, in their preferred means of connecting and offering solutions for their needs.


Networking and reputation will always be a cornerstone to a company’s growth. However, relying on word-of-mouth exclusively is a mistake. Even a minimized marketing campaign will yield notable dividends. No matter how networked your clients may be, there is still a need to reach beyond this circle to an audience that may otherwise have no way of hearing about your business.