Advertising Opportunities for Small Businesses

Advertising ideas for small businessesWhen I asked Chat GPT for some advertising ideas for small businesses I was rather surprised that the answers were not billboards, television, Google Ads, Facebook Ads or even direct mail. This tells me that even Chat GPT knows that these options are, most of the time, out of budget for small businesses. Chat GPT did recommend social media marketing and local listings, which are mostly free if time and effort are allocated. Some other ideas from Chat GPT: networking, community involvement, collaborations, referral programs and…local advertising which I am going to focus on for this post. When a business owner is involved in the community, they are more aware of these opportunities.

  1. 1. Local sports teams need sponsors. Reach out to local sports associations to see if they need sponsorships that offer banners or placement on uniforms. This is great for companies that provide products and services to families.
  2. 2. Churches need donations and sell ad space in their bulletins and offer opportunities at fundraising events like festivals and fish fry. Contact your church or look for churches within 10 miles of your location to find the ones that make the most sense for you.
  3. 3. Local organizations depend on sponsorships to pay their expenses. Choose causes that make sense for your business and look for local organizations with the same interests. Golf courses schedule golf outings so going to local golf courses may be beneficial.
  4. 4. Festivals/fairs throughout the year are an excellent opportunity to get in front of people in your area. You can do a search on Google for local festivals and vendor fairs to start creating a list of events at which you would like to promote your products/services. There is usually a submission deadline and a fee for setting up your table. There are many kinds of festivals/fairs such as job fairs, holidays markets, seasonal festivals, competitions, expos, so make sure to include all the ones that make sense for your business.
  5. 5. Check out BNI’s website for a list of chapters in your area. You can visit and sub for free and get in front of 15-80 local business owners!
  6. 6. Billboards are very expensive and require a long commitment, but have you thought about grocery cart ads? Here is a link to a company that will put your business in the right stores for you! (disclaimer: I do not have an affiliation with this company and do not endorse their services.)
  7. 7. Your hometown may have several options for getting exposure: newsletters, networking events, expos, etc. Ask your local administrator or economic development director about what they offer. You could event attend a city council meeting and talk about your business!