This week, both the NamesCon and Affiliate Summit conferences are going on in Las Vegas. I thought it would be interesting to post about exhibiting on a budget.
For small or even established companies marketing can represent a huge cost and significantly eat into profits, yet without sufficient marketing businesses can’t hope to meet their targets.
There are ways, however, in which you can seek to reduce the cost of marketing, whilst still generating the desired attention.
Many businesses just starting up with a good idea for a product or service, may lack knowledge or expertise when it comes to taking an idea from an initial concept through to production.
There is the need to raise finance and secure orders in a world which may be competitive, or if you really do have unique product or service, have your offerings taken seriously. This means creating a compelling sales message and educating customers about your business and (more importantly) how it could benefit them.
So how do you achieve that when you have zero budget with which to hire someone? Well, there are a number of potential solutions. One is to acquire the skills you need for yourself. This can, however, be a dangerous course of action. Although your inner control freak might benefit from knowing that you are in charge of every aspect, your business is likely to move forward at a snail’s pace. Seeking to do everything by yourself means that you will be spread very thinly and leave the door open for others to have a similar idea, or otherwise invade your market space. Also in the meantime the prospect of actually generating revenue will slip further and further away.
So how can you stay in control yet benefit (cheaply!) from the expertise of others?
One answer is to use a student. With a lack of work experience hampering many students from getting a foothold on the career ladder, there has never been a better time to get some committed assistance from someone seeking to make a name for themselves and get a valuable reference.
Not only will you benefit from the latest innovations available to our colleges and universities, but also the experience of a tutor who will help you and the student in question to get the very best from one another and achieve your goals.
You would, of course, have a responsibility to help the student to achieve what they need to do for their course and so should carefully review the work experience guidelines, however meeting with the student and their tutor beforehand will give you an insight into how best to achieve this alongside your own targets. Students doing a course in areas such as web and graphic design, marketing, business and event management are extremely useful to fledgling businesses.
If you already have all of the collateral you need to launch your business (product and service information, logo, branding, a website etc) then the natural next stage for many companies is to attend a trade show or exhibition. The benefits of this are not just limited to attracting the right attention, but also getting an insight into your space and any potential competitors, as well as getting you experience in handling objections. This is where outbound marketing and market research meet.
Exhibiting however, can be a very costly business. Obviously you need to print materials for your customers to review and man the stand, but actually creating an eye catching stand is far from cheap.
A good solution is to hire rather than buy your display stands, this can cut the cost by as much as 2/3 and actually bring with it a professional installation team.
Your business may be small, but there is no reason why it can’t be perfectly formed!
Nicola Wilson is a mommy blogger from the UK, she is currently working for Merit Display part time whilst running a family and looking after her children. Nicola has a huge interest in home design and decor.