Starting a business from scratch can be a daunting and overwhelming undertaking. It requires a combination of hard work, great people and plenty of capital in order to get your new company off the ground and running.

Telemarketing, door-to-door soliciting and canvassing neighborhoods with door hangers are all proven and effective approaches to boost brand awareness. The more cost-effective and creative the approach, the more successful the sales campaign. Techniques can vary in effectiveness depending on the time of year and the market.

As they say, “necessity breeds innovation.” In fact, a company is healthier in the long run if it starts with very little seed capital and bootstraps early marketing efforts. This trains a company to operate leanly and cut down on the “fat” and waste that accumulates within many marketing budgets. This also forces a company to measure every dollar spent on marketing and zero in on what marketing methods are gaining the highest return on investment.

Recently, I was waiting in line to order my coffee and a friendly young woman offered to buy me a cup. This woman represented the local branch of a well-known national bank in my town. As she handed me my cup of coffee, it had a coffee sleeve with the bank’s name and logo on it along with a logoed napkin to help prevent spills. The woman then told me where their bank was located and asked me to stop in at any time to inquire about their free checking account program.

The approach was simple and creative. Although this free coffee promotion did not turn into an instant sale for the bank, it certainly created a lasting impression on me and the other people who visited the coffee shop that day.

As we approach the spring season, think of your own creative promotional and branding initiatives. As green industry professionals in a seasonal business, there is no better time to capitalize on the consumer’s enthusiasm for the spring season than now.

Here are some simple guerilla marketing ideas you can use to kick-start spring sales:

Door hangers: Canvas neighborhoods in your top zip codes that are in your target market. Leave a door hangar with a description of your company’s services on it. You can simplify the sales process and create a quick call to action by including service pricing.

Driveway bags: These bags can be delivered to targeted prospects’ doorsteps, driveways or walkways. The sealed bags can include a magnet or calendar to weigh the bag down, along with your company’s brochure, business cards and literature.

Telemarketing: This is one of the lowest costs in acquiring a customer and the most efficient method in closing new sales. Even if you are unable to close new sales on the phone, it also a great way to market and brand your company.

Door knocking: With the recent advances in technology, which include excellent mapping software and apps, you can now pre-route your outside sales team and you can also track their every move to gauge productivity and efficiency.

Posting signs: Large 18-inch-by-24-inch disposable lawn signs are affordable and effective for marketing and advertising. Stake them in your customer’s lawns after you have performed a service and wait 24 to 48 hours for neighbors to start ringing your office phone.

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