Small businesses, start-ups and nonprofits are always balancing big ideas with small budgets. But they must often look at the best way to use their budget. Here are some ways to use a small budget the best way possible.
Have a plan: Decide your end goal. As a nonprofit, you might be looking to extend your services to more clients or raise more money for your programs. Small businesses and start-ups may want to market their product for investors or sell more products. One of my favorite quotes from Alice in Wonderland fits perfectly here;
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where –” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Knowing where you want to go is imperative to figuring out how to get there.
Design multi-use pieces: If you are spending money on designing and printing a piece pay close attention to all of its uses. By making a few tweaks to content or layout you may be able to use the same piece for multiple projects. Think about alternatives to your current pieces. Do you need brochures explaining every different program you offer or can they be combined into one brochure? How about a folder with rack cards that can be switched depending on the audience?
Use technology: You are already using your website and social media platforms to provide information to your clients and supporters. If you are investing heavily in invitations, flyers or promotional pieces, think about how you can drive clients to your website or social media pages to get the information. Not only is it cost effective, the information is always up to date and can be changed by your staff as often as needed. Try sending an eye-catching postcard with a link to your next big event instead of save the dates, invitations and remittance cards.
Tap into free or low-cost help: Internships are increasingly becoming a huge resume builder for college students to help them land the career of their dreams. They are very social media savvy and can keep your websites and social media platforms up to date and engaging. Often, interns become huge supporters of your organization or even your newest employee. Another great option is to work with your local colleges and universities. Communications, public relations, nonprofit administration, business, and many other major programs are constantly looking for projects for their students to work on throughout the semester. Everything from simple projects to creating large scale communication plans can be done at no cost to you while providing real world experience for students.