Installment Loans and Free Advertising for Small Businesses

Survival of small businesses in a tight economy

Billboards may become a thing of the past (photo by

Billboards may become a thing of the past (photo by

Small business owners are looking to installment loans to make it through the rough economy. With industry giants like GM and Chrysler falling into bankruptcy, it’s easy to see how smaller businesses are in precarious financial situations. Part of the problem is cyclical. As business owner Terry Grant, owner of a small chain of dry cleaners in Orlando, Florida, stated, “It’s hard because to get more business we have to advertise; but to advertise we need more business.” Many businesses have the same problem and are looking for ways to afford the advertising needed to reach more customers.

Advertising is being cut from budgets

Unfortunately, every business is suffering and advertising outlets of the past, like magazines, newspapers and radio stations, are also suffering. They are trying their best to give customers small perks in efforts to keep their business. Meg Schaeffer, manager of the sales department of WBRT Radio said, “It’s hard because we want to keep people buying our ad-time, but the first thing people cut in times of trouble is marketing. We are trying to throw in perks and bonuses, but only our most loyal customers are still here.”

Advertising is changing

One popular way to advertise is online. Many small business owners are turning to free advertising online with social marketing and blogging. Nancy Everett, owner of a graphics design firm in Seattle, Washington, stated, “We need free marketing and online tools are the best…all it takes is time and you can create an online buzz about your product quickly and easily.” There are some simple ways of using the internet to build a brand and they are becoming more and more popular as internet usage expands.

Social marketing works

Using Myspace, Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook to market is the simplest way of getting a name out. Each of these social marketing sites boasts millions of users who check in daily to communicate, market, and build their businesses. The key is consistency. Everett confirmed this, adding, “I dedicate two hours every other day of my work week to social marketing and networking. Whether it’s tweeting people or uploading new pictures to Myspace, I make sure that there is activity on my online presence….and I always communicate with those who talk to me.”

Consistent communication is the key

That’s another key for business owners who use online marketing—consistent communication with potential buyers. Many owners realize the importance of using any communication wisely and following up. Everett added, “Even if it’s just to say ‘Thanks’, it’s all about relationships and building them… you don’t know if that one ‘thank you’ will lead to a new contract or job.” By making the most of an online presence, businesses can use funds procured through installment loans, bank loans and grants for running the business, rather than supporting a heavy advertising budget.

Blogging is user-friendly and it attracts business

Blogging is one of the most effective ways of maintaining a user-friendly and pleasant website for a business. Some tips to blogging are:

1.  Always provide fresh content. Marcus Gentry, marketing professor at Pepperdine, stated, “You want to make the customer glad they went to your website. Outdated content won’t help that cause. You need to post something as often as possible to engage your viewers.”

2.  Stay connected to visitors by asking for input, feedback and opinions. One of the best ways of captivating an audience is to ask for their opinions. Business owners should incorporate a “comment” section on their website that gives visitors an outlet.

3.  Owners should use blogs as a way to reach search engines. Blogs can keep a website popular because of the constant addition of content with keywords. There are plug-ins available to create keyword friendly URLs and business owners should find them and use them wisely.

Try social marketing – it’s free!

These are all great ways for business owners to find free advertising and marketing possibilities. In times like these when businesses need installment loans or bank loans and may even have to liquidate assets to stay alive, it’s good to know that marketing does not have to come to a standstill. Marketing and advertising are what will bring new customers in and, hopefully, generate more income.

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