Do you have a great business idea, but aren’t sure what print materials you will need to start your business? Or perhaps you are in the process of writing your business plan and aren’t sure what expenses to plan for. Below you will find what print materials I most recommend to my clients.
I call the following print materials “essentials” because they are the top two things you will need to start getting the word out about your service and product. If you have a limited budget these are the first two pieces I would recommend spending money on.
Without a logo your company will miss out on an important first step – credibility. Part of building credibility is creating a company that looks official, even if you just opened. In order for a client or customer to purchase your product or services they will need to trust your company. How? Build credibility with a professional logo that says “I am here to stay” and not just a whim.
Before you begin the logo process, make sure you have already talked to a lawyer and accountant and figured out the best business structure for your company, whether it’s an LLC, S-Corp, or Corporation. Why have this figured out before meeting with a logo designer? To save you money. I would hate to design a logo and then find out later that the name you picked out is already taken and we need to re-do the logo.
2. Business Card:
This is essential to start in-person networking. How many have you fallen into this trap: You want to save money and just go to Office Max, buy business card paper and print out a template design. I actually did this myself when I first went on my own. Can that work for networking? Yes, to a point.
One key element of networking is to stand out. For instance, if you and 3 other people were at an event and you all sold laptop cases, what would make you stand out? Remember you only have a few minutes to make a first impression and then what does your marketing? Your business card. You want to make people so intrigued that they either call you or go to your website to find out more.
While the above two things are great to start meeting people and to give you a professional look, this “advanced” list will help you more effectively market your company.
Having letterhead will make you appear professional, even if you are just starting out. It can be used for a letter to introduce yourself to your ideal customer or it can be used as the background for your invoices and estimates. And we all need to get paid, right?
As a small business owner myself, I know that some people are interested in your product, but don’t need it right this minute. The solution? Ask if you can mail them more information about your awesome product, a.k.a. the brochure. This can also be a great leave behind piece when you meet with someone or to pass out at a networking group.
While we all wish everyone would be beating down our door to buy our product or service, the reality is you need to get the word out. One of the ways is through a print ad. Make sure before you place an ad, that the publication hits your target market. The last thing you want to do is waste your precious marketing dollars. Are you not sure where to start? I work with a media buyer, Terry Kitzmiller, that can help you decide and negotiate an ad price.
4. Postcard/Direct Mail
While creating your business plan did you discover that there are certain areas your target customer lives? Direct mail can be a great tool for your business if you know the age, marital status, income level and zip code of where your ideal client is located. Think Direct Mail is outdated? Consider this – the world’s largest online search engine, Google, often sends out direct mail.
Stay tuned for my next article, were I’ll explain about what online components you need to get your business up and running.