In today’s tough economic environment it is more important than ever for small business owners to find low cost marketing strategies that work. Sure advertising your small business on buses and on billboards would be great, if you could afford it, but if you can’t that doesn’t mean you can’t get the word out effectively about your small business without going broke.

There are many different ways to help your small business drum up awareness that are both low cost and effective. It is simply a matter of using your imagination and ingenuity to get the job done. Three of the most tried and true low cost marketing strategies are as follows:

1. Advertise a Special to Existing Customers: Hopefully you have compiled an e-mail list of all your loyal customers that you already have. If you have, you can advertise a one-day only sale for preferred customers to get them into your place of business. Simply send out a generic e-mail and offer a deal too good to be true, but only offer it for one day and only for your existing customers. What will happen is that customers will come in because of the sense of urgency that you created by giving such a short deadline for them to save. They will also feel ‘special’ knowing that the sale is only for a select few that they are part of. More times than not, the customer will pick up additional items that are not on sale as well as the advertised sale item.

2. Look at Windows: Go to a busy down town area where you know the foot traffic is great. Find a small business that has great window visibility to that traffic and talk to the owner to see if you can advertise your business in their window. What you create is a win, win situation. The shop owner gets a little bit of money for the advertisement and you get a lot of exposure for your business. Really what you will be getting is all the eyeballs for say $50 per month that the shop owner is getting who pays $1500 per month in rent. This works in reverse too. If you have a small business that is located in a place with terrific foot traffic, approach other small businesses and either charge them to advertise in your window, or trade out for advertisement in theirs.

3. Market Within Your Network: Start first with your friends and family but don’t stop there. Go to your lawyer, landscaper, mailman, dentist, doctor, you get the point. You do business with them, why shouldn’t they do business with you? The best part about this type of low cost marketing strategy is that even if they can’t use your business chances are they will know someone who can. That’s how word-of-mouth works.

Just because your business is small and you don’t have a lot of money, doesn’t mean that you can’t use these effective low cost marketing strategies to help your small business not only to survive, but to thrive as well. Being a small business owner can be cut throat at times and in any business it is survival of the fittest, and more times than not, the smartest as well.

Another low cost marketing strategy is to get a vanity 800 number. You can get an 800 number that spells your business name for around $10 a month.