Every small business owner knows in the abstract that marketing is essential. You have to let potential customers and clients know you exist and what it is that makes your business different from others and worthy of their patronage. If you don’t, no one will purchase your products and/or services. The small business won’t be able to sustain itself, let alone grow.
Yet at the same time, nobody likes to waste money, and you may well be looking for ways to economize. This may be especially true when a small business is just starting out, but even a well established and highly profitable business can be budget-conscious. In fact, staying within its budget may be a significant part of the reason it is profitable.
Still, there are five marketing materials that no small business, new or well established, can do without. Here they are:
Your logo is a vital part of your business’s identity, and it will probably go on all the marketing materials you create moving forward. Accordingly, it makes sense to talk about it first.
Because the logo will in effect anchor everything else, a small business should engage a professional to create it. Fortunately, this won’t take a great deal of time, nor is it expensive, especially when you consider that you’re buying something you’ll use constantly for years to come, quite possibly for the entire life of the business.
Once you have your logo, one of the first places you’ll want to feature it is on business cards. Business cards are extremely inexpensive while providing extraordinary value. Such being the case, it’s vital they look professional and contain all the business’s contact information, phone number, email address, etc. They should make clear the special skills or merchandise you have that sets your business apart from the rest.
You should always have some business cards with you. You never know when a chance encounter will turn into a business opportunity. If your business has a physical location in a business district, you can also establish cordial relationships with neighboring businesses and leave stacks of cards on the counters of their establishments.
Brochures make excellent printed marketing materials to give to potential customers. They have room for a lot more information about your business than you can fit on a business card. In other words, they’re for individuals to read later, at their leisure. Like the business card, they should include your contact information, your products and/or services, and your background, but they can go into greater detail. They can tell the story of the business in a way that strikes a chord with prospective customers. Brochures are great to hand out at trade shows or other events, to offer at points of sale, or to include when you mail out a package.
Brochures are also inexpensive enough that you don’t need to limit yourself to just one. As the small business grows, you can produce new brochures featuring new products and services.
Postcards and Flyers
As many a small business has discovered, postcards and flyers can be highly effective marketing materials. Think about all the ones you find daily in your mailbox. There’s a reason so many businesses send them out.
In addition to being inexpensive, these marketing materials have a variety of uses. Besides mailing them out, a small business can post them on community boards or leave them behind at events. When they are mailed, their special size and stock quality distinguishes them from other mail and attracts attention. Though the size is still economical, you can tout special sales and promotions and in general include more information than fits on a business card. Postcards and flyers are best ordered in bulk so your small business will always have some on hand when an opportunity arises.
Finally, in this digital age, every small business truly does need a website. Many prospective customers or clients check out a business online before ever deciding to pick up the phone or pay a visit, and an appealing website is what will incline such individuals in your favor. The website needs to make your small business look professional, trustworthy, and legitimate. To that end, it must include the business name, a brief “About Us” section, hours of operation, contact information, basic product offering information, and social media widgets. It will also help greatly if the business has strong SEO to make it come up at the top of Internet searches (and if the business is listed in local directories.)
If you’re not a master of website design, don’t despair. You can obtain expert help quickly and inexpensively just as you can get professional help to create printed marketing materials.
We at AmeriPrint hope this information has been helpful. If you need someone to design and supply printed marketing materials or with any printing need, we invite you to contact us.