5 Ways To Get Customers on a Budget

….And What NOT To Do

When you start a business, those first few dozen customers or sales feel pretty special. Because often, those first few dozen customers are the hardest to get. You’re not ranking on Google yet, you haven’t done a leaflet drop and your Facebook page has less than 200 likes, most of them friends and family.

That is the reality in 2016 for a lot of just-started entrepreneurs or business owners.

But there are lots of ways we can get a first few customers for little or no cost. Here are some of our favourites…

1: Free giveaway

Lots of businesses run a giveaway or a raffle, particularly product based businesses. This is very easy to run, and you can have people like and share your page as the entry. You cannot charge any money for entry, though, as that’s illegal, but giving away a small amount of product in return for more exposure is a fantastic investment if done right.

2: Join and Post in Local Buy and Sell groups on Facebook

There are thousands of these groups. THOUSANDS. Several for each area and town, and dozens of groups for the bigger cities. Join them, and make a small friendly post advertising your business. Be sure to check the groups rules, but most don’t have a problem with local business posts. Word to the wise: Don’t overdo posting in these groups. Spamming the same advert and in short spaces of time can get you banned. Go easy!

3: Make a YouTube Video!

This is very easy! Once it’s up there on YouTube, there’s no more work to be done, so it’s worth getting a short video on Youtube under your company name. It also helps you with ranking and establishing authority for SEO. Fill your description with your business, what it does, where you’re based and include an e-mail address. Be sure to include your website if you have one and your social media pages links. Windows movie maker or similar free software can be used to make a simple video. Alternatively, many smartphones have some really top quality free software to make videos, which ties in perfectly if you’re recording footage of your products, shopfront or otherwise with your phone too.

4: Car Vinyl Stickers

Get your website, number and some vital info made into vinyl stickers that you put on your car window. This way you can advertise your business while out, parked, or crawling through the traffic. This can be done quite cheap, even for something so bespoke.

5: Post on Gumtree 

Gumtree has worked for a lot of businesses as a good free place to get some business. Other sites can be worth posting on, but for UK based businesses, Gumtree has worked well.


These are just a few ways that you can use to get customers and business in the beginning, especially on a budget. However, there are also a few things that you should avoid doing. The following are a few things commonly done that are either ineffective or harmful in another way.

What To Avoid Doing To Attract New Customers

I would also encourage you to avoid offering a sale to encourage buyers when you have a very audience. All you’ll be doing is losing money to your current customers, with no real incentive to do much other than buy.

Even worse would be dropping your prices. All that will really do is lessen your brands value.

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