Times are Tough. Make it work ! Having trouble with your business ? If you aren't on the web, these days it is a must. But, there are a lot of marketing tools available to you for little money. You might need a lot of nerve though !
I don't have a big budget for advertising for my business. I do advertise when I am able. I use search marketing on Yahoo small business, I use twitter and face book. I even do print advertising when I can.
What do you do when you cant afford those either even though they are all available to us at just about any budget ?
Get out and pound the pavement. I truly believe any strive in a positive direction is better than none at all. I go out in my town a few times a month, each time to a different area. I have focused on businesses so far.
Most towns have ordinances so call your town center first. But, I go out and go door to door and introduce myself and ask each store if I can leave a few business cards or post cards with them and also offer to bring some of their marketing materials to my store.
This is good for several reasons. One of them is that talking to people takes practice for some of us. Going out and talking to people that you don't know is a good start. Going door to door will also give you a chance to meet your neighbors and see how their business looks and what they offer. This way when someone comes in to your store and asks you where the local "radio shack" is, you will be able to tell them and hopefully your new neighbors will help potential customers find you as well.
Something else I do is send out post cards. I go through the phone book or research online for businesses in my area and I send out postcards announcing my shop and what I do. I send as many as I can afford to send.
The main thing is to get your name out. EVERYDAY someone comes in my store and says "I didn't know you were here". Every time I hear this, I try harder. Ad another sandwich board to your storefront. Do everything you can to make your business visible to potential customers ! Any work in the direction of making your business better is good work ! Good luck and have fun !