Recently, I was helping a friend who is just starting up her own business with some marketing advice.

She realised that as a new business, the key to getting her first customers was getting her name out there and letting people know what valuable services she can offer. But, she really didn’t know where to start.

The thought of cold calling strangers brought her out in a cold sweat and with no email list to start from, she was at a loss.

This can be true for many start-ups, who are starting from scratch and do not have a huge budget to start marketing themselves with online and print advertising.

But the answer could be right there in your own hand, right now.

It’s your mobile phone contacts list and your Facebook friends list.

These people aren’t strangers – you are already connected to them in some way – so it’s much easier to get in touch and let them know you are starting your own business and looking for customers.

Some of these people will be interested in what you have to offer. Others will be only too happy to pass your details along to someone else they know who might be.

I had my friend start entering these “contacts” into a simple CRM database, which she can work through a few at a time and make a personal approach to by text, Messenger, email or phone – which ever is best suited to the relationship she has with them.

It’s a simple, non-salesy way to get started and who knows what conversations and opportunities it may lead to. The simple solutions are often the best.