What Marketing Materials Does Your Micro-business Need?
If you run a micro-business or are thinking about starting one, you will need appropriate marketing materials. Here’s a simple guide to the most essential items you’ll need with tips on how to obtain them as cost-effectively as possible.
Even if you trade online, you will still meet people and giving out your name and phone number on a scrap of paper is unprofessional. However, a poorly-produced business card is also unprofessional. Have a well-designed logo, with your name and contact details included as a minimum. Use colour on both sides of the card, perhaps with contact details on one side and a brief description of what you do on the other. Use good quality card rather than thin paper.
Your letterhead should be single-sided of A4 size and printed on good quality paper with plenty of space to type on.
You might want to have standard items such as invoices professionally printed. A computer template printed on your letterhead may suffice, but it will need to be a high quality printer and paper.
‘With Compliments’ Slips
These are optional. Is there anything you would send with a compliment slip that couldn’t have a letter or an introductory leaflet? If you do have them, print both sides with one side providing a list of products or benefits you provide.
Flyers & Leaflets
Flyers are single-page leaflets, normally double-sided in either 1/3 A4 or A5 size with details of what you do and how people might contact you. They can be useful for giving out in bulk or leaving in appropriate places for people to pick up.
Leaflets can cover a variety of uses, from glossy brochures with full details of a company’s offering, to A4 folders with individual inserts about different products. Exact requirements for your micro-business will depend on the type of business you have and how people buy your products.
Advertising and listings in directories should be an important part of your overall marketing approach as explored in Using Marketing and Types of Advertising. Consider the size of advert needed, what it should say and which directories you need to be in. Don’t automatically use the same advert in every directory and the same directories every year, consider it carefully. Yellow Pages attracts a certain type of customer so target the advert at them, whereas online directories may only need brief bullet points with a website link. Find the directories and publications your prospective customers are most likely to use and the category they are most likely to look in.
Even if customers can’t buy from your site, you still need a presence. Don’t have a holding page saying ‘coming soon’ and don’t just repeat the information from your flyer or leaflet – visitors expect something extra.
Don’t expect to be on the first page of Google either, it takes considerable time and investment to achieve this. Focus instead on creating a site worth visiting and promote it on all your other literature. Don’t be tempted to create the site yourself unless you really know what you’re doing – use a professional or it will look home-made.
Banners and Posters
If attending exhibitions or having stands at events is important then consider investing in quality display equipment with professionally designed posters. You need to stand out from the other exhibitors.
A cost-effective way for new businesses to produce the most essential marketing materials is through start-up packages from printers and graphic designers. They can provide fixed prices to produce multiple items, normally at a substantial discount and with logo design included, in the hope that they get your future design and print business.