Home Based Business Marketing – Choosing Which Tools to Use

Marketing is important for any business, specially for a home-based business.  Marketing spreads the word of the business and creates awareness of the business.  Unfortunately, the home-based business owner might balk at the cost of marketing.  Even on a small budget the home business owner can make use of common business tools for prospective clients to notice the business.

It’s not enough to send out flyers, knock on doors or have newspaper inserts, there are a lot more marketing venues available to the home-based business.

One of the simplest marketing tool is the business name.  It should be catchy and descriptive of the service being offered.  It can even help create a need for the services offered.  If the name doesn’t catch on early, it’s easy enough to change it.  Making it catchy and descriptive helps in brand recall.

The most accessible tool for the home based business owner is still word of mouth advertising.  Take note that it’s a double-edged sword:  if you have a good reputation, your customers would happily spread around a good word about your service.  However, if you have a bad reputation, word of mouth would spread faster.  Keeping the customer happy is part of the marketing effort.

The home-based business owner should always ask for referrals.  Satisfied customers will only be happy to refer the business or service to friends.  Referrals are not limited to existing customers.  Friends and relatives can also be a source of referrals.  Even a prospective client can be a source for referrals.  Keeping this in mind, it’s a good idea to keep extra calling cards and hand these out at every opportunity.

Increasingly, the home-based business can do marketing on the internet.  Using new technology, it’s important  to expand your marketing reach through email and the internet.  Setting up a website to advertise merchandise or service doesn’t need a lot of technical know-how.  There are lots of free sites available for use.  A home based business could also make use of targeted mailing lists or a newsletter sent to regular customers.  With more technical savvy, the business can also avail of podcasting or an e-commerce site complete with a shopping cart and the facility for credit card payment.

A home-based business marketing activity which is often neglected is to network by joining organizations.  Membership in business organizations can give the home business owner information on developments in the industry.  The business owner can attend seminars and expand his circle of acquaintances.  In line with this, the business can also expand influence in the community by volunteering as a resource speaker for seminars or other training.  This may even become a secondary source of income.  A seminar speaker brings to a receptive audience his product knowledge.  In turn the audience remembers the speaker as an expert in the business.

Some home-based businesses don’t get off the ground because of a lack of professionalism.  As a business, being professional means the business owner keeps his word.  For a contract or a project, it has to be on time, and within budget.  There is always a place for affordable, professional, quality products and services.  A business with a high level of professionalism will keep existing clients and fuel return business.

The home-based business cannot afford to be too focused on the merchandise or service and forget to let the world know of its existence.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  And as part of the business, it’s also a continuing process.

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