$200 for marketing and advertising to build a business....
Before I begin, I'm going to say that hunger, desire and the refuse-to-lose attitude that goes along with the mere $200 is absolutely necessary.
So it's 2013, people look for everything they want and need online for the most part, so there needs to be a presence online. You need a website.
Wait, don't websites cost like $2,000 or something? Besides, how many people know how to build a website?
Wait....it's easy. It's called Wordpress.
1.) Buy a domain name for your business - $6.99.
2.) Go to wordpress and set up a site - free.
3.) Direct your domain name to your wordpress site - $13.00.
4.) Get 5,000 flyers made (assuming you will make it look right and say the right things, not just a grocery list of services you provide) - $79.00.
5.) Get 1,000 business cards made at a vistaprint.com site for $34.99.
6.) Build your google local page - an ABSOLUTE MUST - free.
7.) Place a business card sized ad in your local newspaper in the areas you intend to service - small newspaper - usually a once a week publication - $10.00 (weekly).
8.) Create a facebook page for your business and actually build it and use it - free.
9.) Email friends and family and let them know you are in business and ask them to spread the word.
10.) Get 8 large yard signs made from vistaprint.com and strategically place them in high-traffic areas - $55.99
Total spent $199.97
Now I know better than anyone that it is the tendency for people on this site to go out of their way to poke holes in what I just said.
But please read my first few sentences. With a $200 budget, you can get a lot further in 2013 than you could in the year 2005 even.
It still comes down to your willingness and desire to get off your rear-end and do all of this - relentlessly. Passing out flyers, shaking hands, passing out business cards, telling people about your facebook page, placing signs, building your own site.... Effort.