1. Learn how to use social media for your business. Social media will allow you to promote your business to a potentially huge audience and will cost you nothing but your time. Social media channels such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook can open up significant opportunities when properly utilised.
  2. Start a blog. You don’t need to be a professional writer to be a blogger, you just need to have something interesting to say or have knowledge which a potential customer might find interesting. Like social media starting a blog is completely free, the only cost is your time.
  3. Ask for referrals. Something many business owners don’t like to do, but think about your client base for a minute. A good proportion of your customers will already be coming from ‘word of mouth’ or referrals. When you do business with someone, ask if they have any friends or colleagues who may also benefit from your services.
  4. Attend networking events. Many networking events are completely free, others charge a fee for attending or a yearly subscription. Attending networking events is one of the quickest way to get your face known in the local business community.
  5. Put on a class. Whether your specialism is website design or accountancy by putting on a free one hour class you can get across your expertise to potential customers and get to know a wider audience of people who may one day become customers. Your class should be used to teach and not to sell.
  6. Make sure your business is listed on Google Places. A great feature from Google which is free and can place your business highly on local search results as long as your business has a physical address.
  7. Offer something for free. Whether it’s an informational product or a small gift, offering something for free gives you the opportunity to gain visitors email addresses (see point 8) and puts you in touch with people who otherwise may never have dealt with you.
  8. Email marketing. Consistently keeping in touch with past and potential customers has been shown to increase sales.
  9. Wear company clothing. An extremely cheap way of getting your business some recognition, a printed t shirt with your company logo, website and contact number can cost less than £10.
  10. Join your local Chamber of Commerce. Being a member of your local chamber can offer many benefits, one of the key features is the ability to attend local networking events and gaining the contact details of fellow members.