Frugal Feature: Spending Money to Make Money


A lot of frugalpreneurs have trouble reconciling their artistic visions with the reality of doing business. One of the biggest hang-ups is with the truth of having to spend money to make money. You’re a frugalpreneur. This means you want as much as possible for as little as possible! Spending to earn flies in the face of all of that.

If you’re creative, though, the money you spend will help you bring in more than went out. Try the following creative (some might say guerilla) marketing techniques to help stretch your budget as far as possible.

Personalize Everything

Instead of simply buying non-descript ballpoint pens in bulk from Office Depot, spend a little extra with a bulk printing company and have some personalized pens printed up. There are two reasons this could be beneficial to your brand:

1. You can leave these branded pens in places where people regularly need (and forget to give back) writing implements like the grocery store, the bank, etc. You leave the pen, someone else takes the pen and then later finds it in a bag, sees the logo and visits your site (also printed on the pen) out of curiosity.

2. People are less likely to swipe personalized items off of your desk because they are easy to spot. This means that, if you’re working in a space with other people, you won’t have to shell out as much for replacement tools. This is why the personalizing should also be done on your notepads and other office supplies.

Your Business Card

Getting business cards printed in mass quantities for little amounts of money is easy. Keep these cards on you at all times. You already know that you need them for networking purposes. You also need them for those times when you come across a space that would benefit from the inclusion of your business card: bulletin boards, bus stops, books in the library that are relevant to your niche, etc.

Wear Yourself

Branded clothing can cost a lot of money to produce if you aren’t careful. The trick is not to order a one-off shirt, jacket or bag. The trick is to order the branded item as a “sample.” Companies that think you will be ordering more items in bulk are happy to print up one-offs for very low cost or even for free to show you what they can do. They also understand that you will want to shop around so they usually don’t require you to commit to a future purchase. Have these samples printed up and wear them around town. People will see the logo and name, get curious and Google it to see what makes it special enough to wear in public.

PRO TIP: If you get a lot of compliments on a specific item, put in a bulk order for it with the company that made the sample and then sell the item through your site for extra income!

The trick to spreading the word as frugally as possible is to get creative. What are some of the creative (and as close to free as possible) things you’ve done to put your brand out there into the world?

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