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Category Archives: Frugal Marketing

Challenge your assumptions and start saving money!

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There are three main assumptions that small business owners make about their business, and they’re dangerous. They’re restricting a business owner’s capability to solve problems and innovate, making it harder for the entrepreneur to cut costs and speed up entire processes.

The best indicator that these assumptions need to be challenged is that big corporations have already unlocked the potential for growth they were guarding.

The three assumption holding your business back are these:

  1. You need an office or a brick-and-mortar shop to have a “real” business.
  2. You can only look for candidates for your open positions only in your own area.
  3. You get what you pay for.

Let’s talk about them, one by one.

Assumption #1: You need to buy or rent space for your business.

If you’re running a coffee shop, yeah, you’ll probably need to rent a space. If you run a taco truck, you’ll probably need to rent or buy a truck. If you’re recruiting staff, handling accounting, crunching numbers for financial investments, offering coaching sessions or providing any other service that can be done on a laptop or over the phone, you might not need an office. Commuting is stressful, both for you and your employees. A store or an office means paying money on something that has no or little impact on the quality of the service you’re offering. Only a fraction of what you’d normally pay for rent, can give you access to exceptional tools that would allow you to collaborate with your team and contractors and efficiently communicate with customers and serve them.

Assumption #2: You need to hire locally.

There are jobs for which someone’s physical presence is a must, but there are also countless jobs for which remote work delivers the same or even better results. Take it from someone who worked and is still working with people thousands of miles away. It works. You do have to learn how to share what you’re working onĀ and use tools that would help you track time and progress made, but it works.

By hiring remotely, you’re opening your company up to more talented individuals, because your recruiting pool is now the entire planet, and to lower labour costs, because you can now hire people from parts of the world where the cost of living isn’t as high as in your own country.

Assumption #3: You get what you pay for.

You might expect me to say that I’m referring to cheap things that are actually high-quality, but you’d only be half-right. Another important thing, and this causes small business owners more trouble, is something you really need, that costs a lot, and doesn’t deliver. This can be the case with online advertising – buying ad space on niche websites, spending hundreds or thousands of dollars and getting only 2 or 3 clicks in return. This can also be the case with buying services like custom business cards locally, 4-5 time more expensive than in other parts of the world, without having the quality that would explain the huge difference in price.

Working with people who know the prices of services and products across the Globe, and who also regularly test systems and software, can help you spend less money on things that won’t bring in any value.

At Nollar, we’ve never thought we’ll end up recommending suppliers or contractors to our current clients, but ended up doing so because we were shocked to hear how much certain things cost and we knew there were better (and cheaper) way of obtaining the same products or results with the help of other globally-connected professionals.

If you have any questions about saving money while ordering business cards or hiring staff, give us a sign, we might be able to help by connecting you with the right people.

What is Frugal Marketing

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Frugal marketing is the low-cost, creative, ready to turn disadvantages into opportunities type of marketing bootstrapping entrepreneurs turn to when they realize they’ve wasted too much energy, time, and money on vanity metrics. Like in all things, there’s a learning curve to marketing your business, and frugal marketing is rarely the first option because it’s not glamorous or flashy like the expensive type. When you turn to frugal marketing, it’s usually after you’ve burned through a big chunk of your budget and got nothing or almost nothing in return.

You shouldn’t beat yourself up, though. All entrepreneurs make a few wrong steps, and it’s ridiculously easy to make these mistakes when there’s so much buzz around some social media experts and internet marketers, about how much freedom and money your own startup would bring you if you just start, about how easy it’s to handle all things yourself with software automation.

To be effective, marketing doesn’t have to be expensive, but it has to be smart.

At Nollar, we don’t recommend the same old things “experts” recommend when talking about frugal marketing like giveaways, volunteering your time, networking, using your email signature to promote your business. These are indeed free or low-cost, but they’re rarely effective. They’re not helping you differentiate yourself from your competitors. They’re not delivering results as fast or as often as the marketing specialists have you believe. Just because it’s low-cost, it doesn’t mean it has to be half-cocked.

Putting something on the internet is not the same as getting people to see something you’ve put on the internet, and that is something business owners turning to social media without a plan realize as soon as they are confronted with their actual sales.

For us, frugal marketing is about knowing where to display your message as much as what that message is. Some channels are effective, others are just machines designed to scam business owners. Knowing the difference takes effort – examining assumptions against delivered results, running multiple tests, paying attention to what data becomes available and integrating new insights into the process used for making decisions. There are hundreds of websites where you can waste hundreds or thousands of dollars and get 1-2 clicks in return, there are channels that deliver 0 results because they’re not used correctly. There are tricks one can take advantage of to cut the PPC costs on Facebook adverts. There are many solutions business owners can choose, they just need to be open to giving something else a try, something like frugal marketing.