Marketing a small business does not need to be an overwhelming and expensive time suck.  With just a few quick tips, scaled to size from marketing strategies of Fortune 500 companies, any small business owner can crush their competition.

1.  Know who your customer is and isn’t
There is no reason to waste a single dollar on marketing towards the wrong audience.  Get to know the demographics of your market, keep a log of who walks in if you have to.  Casually ask how they found you, or offer a coupon for completion of a brief survey.  All easy to do and cheap.

2.  Turn your customers into brand ambassadors
This sounds like something only a brand with a massive budget can do, but by properly leveraging the power of todays technology it’s very easy to amplify the reach of each and every customer for just about nothing.

3.  Measure your ROI
Does that print ad in the local paper you’ve been running for 10 years still make sense?

4.  Look big, act local
Just because you serve your local market doesn’t mean you can get away with a website your nephew built 10 years ago.  You need your brand to look polished by todays standards.  I recently saw a local business still using an AOL e-mail address, couldn’t help but to laugh.

5.  If you’re able to sell online, DO IT
Nothing will expand your market more if you are able to create a transactional website.  And don’t be put off by the idea, it’s surprisingly easy to do.

Once these highly effective tactics have been scaled to meet the needs of a small business they don’t have to cost huge amounts.  A little technical know how and an investment of time and commitment on your part is often all it takes to launch a world class campaign on a local scale.