Events can be an incredible way to boost your small business. But the thing that puts a lot of small business owners off is the idea of breaking the bank.
If you have budget constraints, you’re certainly not alone. A well-planned event could have many benefits for your business, so you might decide it’s a good investment. If so, here are three ways to ensure you stay within budget and make your event a success.
It seems obvious, but if you’re looking to promote your business on a budget, you’ve got to set that budget. This is a critical step. It’s not enough to say you have a small budget. You should define the actual maximum amount that you are able or willing to spend. That way, you’ll be able to allocate a definitive amount of your budget to certain elements, like catering and your venue. Once these basics are covered to your satisfaction, you will be able to spend any surplus on extras.
If this is your first event, it may be hard to decide on a reasonable budget. Call around some vendors to get some estimates, so that you can start building a realistic picture of the costs involved. The contents of your budgeting template are likely to change as you go along, so make sure you’re tracking every spend carefully, and that you leave a little room in the budget for unexpected costs.
Set up valuable partnerships
If you’re a local small business, other businesses might be keen to partner with you. You could even decide to host a joint event. Either way, why not approach other, non-competitor companies and see if you can reach a mutually beneficial partnership deal? This can help keep your costs low. For example, you could partner with a local caterer. You might also approach a venue as a potential partner if there is a way you could add value to them in return for cheaper hire. Don’t also forget to make use of existing contacts in your local area that might be keen to help you out in return for some publicity.
Maximize the return
Before you even start planning an event, you should have a goal in mind for what you want to achieve. For many small businesses, this will be increased brand awareness. In this case, make sure you get the maximum value out of the investment you’re putting into this event. Is there a particular action you want your guests to take while they’re there? Map it all out ahead of time.
Have branded merchandise made so that your guests have something to take away. Balloons are a popular option, as it gets your name out around town in a natural way. Pens and keychains are also good choices since they will keep your brand name in your guests’ minds every time they use them. You should also think about marketing your event on social media and encouraging visitors to share their experiences using a hashtag. This helps to spread your brand name digitally, too.