Okay, so you’ve done the brainstorming, had the round circle discussions, and secured the perfect domain name. You’ve told your friends, family and professional colleagues, and your two-week’s notice is well within your rearview. It’s official: you’re starting your own business. And while this is absolutely one of the most exciting and rewarding things any hardworking American will ever do, it’s vital that you do it right.
Having a killer website and flawless networking skills will help, but they’ll only get you so far. Let’s take a look at seven of the most important printed marketing tools for startup businesses which no new business owner can afford to go without.
Budding entrepreneurs are often shocked to discover how many business cards they go through when striking out on their own. You’ll give them out everywhere. Whether it’s at an organized business function, in the elevator at an existing client’s office, or in line at the post office, you need to make sure that you’re always armed with a generous reserve of cards to make that quick pitch. Choose a quality business card design that’s reflective of your industry, while offering clients an effortless way to get in touch.
The trifold has become as ubiquitous a marketing tool as any other used today, and you’ll be amazed at how versatile and informative they can be. In addition to serving as a concise, visual snapshot of what you offer, they’re a compact and cost-effective way to show your prospects that you take your new endeavor seriously. Be sure to have your trifolds printed on good paper, using clean, colorful graphics that integrate your logo and key business information.
Just like your trifolds, sales sheets can be of immeasurable importance in telling the world exactly what it is that you do. They’re traditionally printed in 8.5″ x 11″ sizes, though some new businesses use unique sizes to save money or accommodate their custom marketing kits. Be sure to have a sell sheet created for each product or service you wish to showcase, and if you can’t write, it’s worth your time and resources to hire a freelancer who can tell your story in an interesting and grammatically-pleasing way.
Once you’re amply armed with a wide spectrum of promotional literature to show off your new business, you’ll need something to house it. This is where pocket folders genuinely earn their keep. A customizable folder allows you to not only present all of your exciting new reading materials, but moreover lets you brand your company colors, logo, slogan and other essential bits of information. Choose a clean design that clearly features your logo on both the front and back, as well as consistent color themes.
You’ve seen them everywhere… pens, post-it notes, personalized coffee mugs, golf balls, hats, company calendars, and the list goes on almost infinitely. But there’s a reason why businesses of every stripe continue to collectively spend billions on them each year: they work. Promotional marketing materials afford you endless opportunities to brand your business, using everyday products that decision makers use on a daily basis. Learning your prospect and market will serve you well in selecting items that are sure to increase your visibility.
One of the first mistakes new business owners make is relying on homemade, do-it-yourself letterhead, envelopes and other fundamental stationary. You can take us at our word when we tell you that other business owners can see right through the convenience of inkjet-printed forms and 20# copy paper. In the worst case scenario, it could leave a negative impression before you’ve even had time to state your case. Professional letterhead printed on laser printers using a high quality parchment is a sound way to increase your odds of being seen, heard and contacted.
Regardless of which industry you’ve chosen to plant your flag, you’re going to need to get the word out in ways that don’t always involve business after hours and literature drop-offs. For many, direct postcard mail can be an incredibly effective tool. Postcards are compact, colorful and allow you to reach large target audiences without having to write a long pitch. Be sure to have your cards designed by someone who understands your goals, in order to make them as effective when mailed as they are sitting on a prospect’s desk.
Are you a new business owner with a tip to share? Did one of your most successful startup tools not make our list? We love hearing from our customers and website visitors, so be sure to leave your comments and suggestions below!