Kimberley Ramsay founded All Star Cheerleaders in 1999 and it’s now the biggest cheerleading school in the Southern Hemisphere with branches in north, west, east and central Auckland, as well as Hamilton, Wellington, Tauranga and Christchurch.

What are some of the strategies you've found have worked well for marketing your business with limited funds?

Bring-a friend-promotions have worked well for us. We incentivise current cheerleaders to bring a friend along, and once that friend joins a team we gift both them and the current client with a piece of cheerleading-oriented apparel from our line of promotional wear.

Likewise, we offer free trial classes to make it easy for new clients to try cheerleading. These are booked through our head office so we can make sure follow up calls are made, and we can manage communication and conversion rates. We also use social media to share information about free trials and any referral offers we've got coming up.

PR and events are also important for us. Cheerleading is a really dynamic and exciting sport for spectators, so we've found that taking part in displays and public performances provides us with the greatest level of enquiries. All Star Cheerleaders has also taken part in television variety shows and competitions like New Zealand's Got Talent and we've consistently had a marked increase in enquiries for free trials after things like this.

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You've also hosted competitions. How has this helped spread the word about your business when you've got a limited budget?

I think hosting competitions raises the profile of the sport in general and provides a forum for cheerleaders to display their skills. Both during and after competitions we use social media, particularly Instagram and Facebook, to run competitions and 'tag' and share images. We've noticed this dramatically increases our online statistics as people post and share images of the competitions, and this drives our enquiry levels higher.

What three key shoestring marketing tips would you have for other business owners?

1. Understand your market and where they look for information. This will avoid you having to use a 'scattergun' approach to marketing and will save money and time.

2. Become and position yourself as an 'expert' in your field and then market this fact through PR, the web and other channels.

3. Use your current clients to help you increase your market share. Referral marketing helps to attract customers who are more loyal and profitable.

Coming up in Your Business: I'm keen to hear about some of the interesting small businesses people are running in rural locations, and how their environment impacts on their operations. If you've got a story to tell about your rural business, drop me a note: nzhsmallbusiness@gmail.com