Need to find a way to advertise your start-up business on a limited budget? Let’s face it, in today’s society for small businesses it’s hard to survive. But needless to say, you can’t go without advertising your business. As you know, most small businesses are on a limited budget and can’t afford a lot to advertise. So what do you do?

Here are five inexpensive, some free, ways to advertise your small start-up business on a limited budget. Keep in mind you will have to spend a limited amount of money for advertisement, but that’s to be expected for any start-up company wanting to make it work. Trust me, you’re return of investment will be worthwhile if you do the right things by targeting your audience.

1. Get Online

I feel this is a no-brainer but really without a website and some tools to be found online, you’re not going to get anywhere. Today, people expect businesses, even small businesses, to have an online presence.

This requires buying a domain name and either creating a website yourself or finding someone that can build a website for you at a limited cost. I know websites aren’t cheap. For a small business website, upfront costs could be anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000. See what I mean about not being cheap?

Thankfully, there are other options to get your website online, like a DIY website. If interested, check out these top five do-it-yourself website builders. You can get away with building a do-it-yourself website really cheap, but with limited resources. You can always upgrade later and hire a professional to do the job once your business has established itself.

So there really is no excuse as to why you don’t have a website. It’s actually #7 on the list as to why small businesses fail and that’s because of no website and no social media presence. I don’t care how small your business is, this is a must do.

2. Add your Business to Local Directories

Once you’re online you’ll want to make an online presence. Make sure to add your business listing to local directories like Yelp, YellowPages, and Angie’s List (which now you can search for free). Even add your business to Google My Business.

Making an online presence will help you get found on the world wide web. Make sure where ever potential customers are searching you show up there too. Having an online presence will increase your click-through rate and get people visiting your website.

Not only that it will help you move up in the search engine. You’ll begin to see a “local” presence in your Google searches for your keywords and city you’re located. For instance, our business is ranking for the term “promotional products thousand oaks”. You’ll do great if there is a need for this service in that area. You can do a search using the Google Keyword Planner tool and see what kind of search results you can expect for your keywords.

3. Advertise on Social Media

Yes, this means you need to claim your social media handle across all the different social media platforms. You’ll need to grab Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can check to see if your username is available here at That would be a great place to start and see if you can get the same username across all social media, claim your brand.

First, I would start with advertising on Facebook as it has the best return of investment in my opinion. You can run ads locally to your targeted audience, and on your own set budget. Facebook lets you set your budget and when to start running the ad and when to end the ad. It’s a great way to introduce your new business to the community.

Also, with Facebook you’ll be able to include Instagram ads. Since Instagram is a product of Facebook too. So you’ll be able to advertise on two social media platforms for the price of one. A smart way to start advertising on social media.

4. Buy Business Cards

I know this might be a little old school, but business cards still work. They still serve a purpose and that is to get your name out there. But, don’t just pass them out to anybody. You’ll want to hand them out to your target audience, interested parties. Or people that will refer you and pass along your business cards to people they know who may be interested.

You can buy a whole set of business cards real cheap. At Vistaprint a pack of 500 standard business cards can run anywhere from $9.99 to $20.00. Which should totally be in your advertising budget for your small business start-up.

5. Purchase Promotional Products

Branding is a great way to advertising your small business. People remember symbols or names when it’s consistent across your marketing campaign. Having promotional products to advertise your business is ideal for branding your business. Set yourself apart from your competitors and make you stand out to potential customers looking for your services.

You can get creative with your branding and buy some cheap promotional products. Be sure to check out our line of cheap promotional pens. Our Blackpen collection ranges anywhere from $1.00 to $9.99 per piece. And everybody could sure use an extra pen lying around the house.

Order a minimum of 100 pieces for the lowest prices of approximately $1.75 including a $50.00 setup fee. So, that’s $175 you can fit into your limited budget for 100 promotional pens. Again, don’t just pass these out to just anybody.

Elyssa McGregor

Hi! I'm Elyssa McGregor. I love helping people succeed online and promoting businesses with our wide range of promotional products. I have a love for search engine optimization (SEO) and getting companies out there on the world wide web. How can I help you?

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