Whether you are trying to start up a new business or keep a struggling one afloat, even in a downturned economy, you still must market yourself. However, how can you spread the word about your business when profits are soft and costs are high? Here are some ideas of way you can expand your marketing without expanding your budget. Build your identity If you are starting a business, you must have an identity to which customers can relate. The most important part of this is having a set logo, color palette, or slogan that is easy for your customers to remember. This identity will be placed on every business card, piece of stationery, brochure, or advertisement that you publish. If you don’t have a definitive identity, your printer may be able to help you come up with a logo design that works for you. Business cards If you spend money on nothing else, you should always invest in business cards. Business cards allow you to share the identity you have created with everyone you meet. You can hand them out to people that visit your business, give them away to contacts you meet on the street, and stick them into every single envelope that leaves your business. They are inexpensive to produce, can start the brand recognition process, and provide the recipient with all the contact information that they need to reach you. Create a presentation You can easily create a slide presentation on your own computer or have a marketing company put one together for you. This presentation should briefly go over the products and/or services that your company offers. It should be short enough that you can email the link to prospective clients or show it at sales meetings. Remember to have your business cards and other marketing materials handy to present as well. Brochures Brochures are another marketing tool that are relatively simple to produce and not too expensive to have printed. Your brochure should highlight specific products or services that you offer and include eye-catching pictures. Text should be short, easy to read, and to the point, and the entire brochure should be visually attractive. Brochures can be sent in the mail to interested clients, set out on a counter for customers to pick up, or left behind after you have given a sales pitch. Website A website is one of the ways that you can tie all of the previous items together. Domain names are relatively inexpensive, and you can print your website information on your business card. Once on the site, customers can learn more about your business, order brochures, view your presentation, or contact you. It allows you to have a constant presence on the internet to garner clients once unreachable through traditional methods, as well as a way for customers to contact you without having to pick up the phone. With a little planning, a good printer, and some well thought out designs, you can have a marketing plan that is inexpensive to implement yet highly successful.