Marketing your business effectively can be a costly endeavor. Traditional marketing tactics might not work as well for your business as they might for others, even in the same industry. Figuring out what marketing methods work best for your business can be an exercise in trial and error. (Not to mention, cost you a bunch of money.) Traditional marketing methods require extensive analytics and targeting in order to be truly give you the highest return on investment (ROI) possible. The only way of doing this is to spend money, money you may or may not have budgeted for along with all of your other small business expenses. Still, the most traditional marketing method is still the best, and that is word-of-mouth. Your customers speaking positively about your business or brand are the best marketing tool you can have. This is especially true in this social media heavy world that we have built over the past few years. Take the time, above all else, to make sure your business is providing a service or product that your customers enjoy and is a positive experience in every way. This will generate more business on its own. Spend a little of your marketing budget on bonuses for your employees that are representing your business in a way that benefits its image and work hard to build a staff that does the same. Once you have found a good team, the difficult part is making sure they stick around. With a rebounding economy, you may see your turnover rate skyrocket. A better economy means an abundance of job opportunities and more competitive salaries. Employee retention is largely reliant on compensation packages. An employee is more likely to be happy at his job if he or she feels properly compensated for their efforts. The mistake that most business owners make with regards to payroll, is not taking into account what a big part of marketing a good employee is. You may have a budget for payroll and a stipend for marketing expenses without realizing there is crossover. Make sure you provide recognition and compensation for the staff you have that is giving your business a good name with your customers. This won’t be difficult to determine because your customers will often mention your best employees by name if your industry has any sort of customer service aspect. Your customers will naturally gravitate to those that offer a more positive experience. Do your best to make sure you keep these employees happy. Alternatively, don’t waste too much time trying to cultivate ones that are not performing at the same level. Pay attention to your reviews online and work on correcting any problem issues your customers might point out, and thank them for doing so. Many make the mistake of offering compensation to customers that leave positive reviews in the way of discounts or gift cards, but it is the customers that point out your flaws that can offer the most value. Business owners would do well not to lose sight of this. Converting an unsatisfied customer into an evangelist for your brand carries more weight than rewarding blind fandom. With so many low-cost marketing tools available via the internet, you will find your marketing budget goes further when you apply it internally than spending it blindly on blanket advertising.