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Don’t Be Afraid to Sweat It Out

America's trusted voice on money and business, Dave Ramsey is a personal money management expert and extremely popular national radio personality. His three New York Times best-selling books - Financial Peace, More Than Enough and The Total Money Makeover - have sold more than 6 million copies combined. His latest book is EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches.
When you are just starting a small business, you may not have a lot of money to spend on marketing. Here are some tips from Dave to get you started. Don’t Be Afraid to Sweat It Out

In the early days of my company, we were just like a lot of other newly-established small businesses. There wasn’t a lot of cash coming in, and the budget was minimal. We had to make sure every carefully spent dollar worked very, very hard.

Lots of small business owners who are just starting out ask me how to determine the proper amount of money to budget for marketing. A lot of fledgling companies rely on bootstrapping, where you re-invest a large portion of your profits to keep things growing. Combining this with social media enables many start-ups to keep their heads above water. Back in the day, our marketing budgets relied on about 10% cash and 90% sweat equity.

Sweat equity means physically doing something to push your message in front of people. I must have spoken to every civic group and Sunday school class out there back then. None of them paid me a dime, but I was there every single time anyone would allow me to make a presentation to their group. Those little gigs didn’t create a direct income, but it provided opportunities to get the word out about who we were and what we offered. Over time, and with a lot of work, those little opportunities got the ball rolling.

Remember, there’s no such thing as an overnight success. Go slow, be smart, and don’t be afraid to sweat a little. Take time to learn, and study what’s effective in your particular field. And don’t waste what little marketing budget you have on one or two expensive options that don’t work!

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