Being a micro business, a startup in a world of established and successful businesses can be a daunting place. Customers flock to your competitors and its tough, really tough, to get a look in, never mind bag your own customer.
Every business and every entrepreneur has been there. Everyone has started from humble beginnings. As well as having nerves of steel, an unflagging passion for your business and a belief that you WILL be successful, there are a few practical tools you need up your sleeves.
The business card
One of the first purchases a new business makes is business cards. In some ways, this makes perfect sense. When you come across a potential lead or customer—and they lurk everywhere and on a daily basis—giving them a professional designed business card is a great idea.
They have something in their hand, and this tangibility is not to be under estimated, and makes meeting you memorable as well as a convenient way of contacting you when they are ready to buy and so on.
But the business card, as powerful and versatile as it is, is not the sole product you should invest in as a new business. And this is what we think you should look at…
Step 1: Letting people know you are there
Marketing and promotional activities is a must for any new business and frankly, when you start you need to have a promotional plan of what you are going to do and when, and who you will reach by doing so.
There is also no need to re-invent the wheel each and every time. We love these ideas, for example;
Leaflet drop through doors or hit the busy streets – they don’t just work for take away outlets, you know. Research has shown that many customers who buy online do so because they first came across an advert, promo leaflet, radio advert etc. beforehand. However, before you print thousands of leaflet, spend hours pushing them through letterboxes or paying hundreds for a company to do it, you first need to research the best time to deliver them. In other words, when will your customers take note of your leaflet? You also need to bear in mind you need to entice them with a delicious offer, as well as a firm call to action.
Banners and pavement signs – if you have a high street presence, then letting people who you are and where you are, as well as weekly or daily offers is also important. Pavement signs or A-boards are relatively cheap and with a black board, you can change your offers and details on a daily.
The important aspect of offline marketing is that it can support and be supported by local advertising in local papers and radio etc. Or, it can have a standalone function but most marketing experts will tell you that the get the best from any marketing plan, activities and methods need to dovetail together for the best effect for minimal financial outlay.
Step 2: Giving them something to look at
Business cards are great for when you have made contact with a potential customer but you first have to entice them in order to have that important conversation. The same is true no matter what your business is, whether it is an online business only, or online and on the high street.
There are many printed products that can give the customer the tangibility they often seek.
Offers and deals:
- QR codes on banners, adverts and leaflets – linking your website, social media channels and your offline a marketing activities is important with QR codes being a great invention. You will have seen this square on many things, including business cards. With virtually everyone owning a smart phone, reading the code with a phone is simple and straightforward. They are easy enough to set up via online means, and then reproduce on everything from banners (yes, they will blow up to significant proportions without losing clarity!), leaflets, posters and so one.
- Constant, consistent and planned marketing approach – we think this worth emphasising again but many a printing agency will testify how many start-ups branch out with thousands of leaflets, business cards and so on with no firm idea of how they intend to use them or distribute them. Without knowing these basic facts, the content and design of printed materials will not hit the mark.
Step 3: Living it and breathing it
And that means having a well-designed business card on you at all times. When you meet someone who could walk alongside you or buy from you, reel them in.
Author: Colour Graphics is an online print and design studio with many years of experience working with start-ups and micro-businesses to create the best in marketing products. From letting people know who you are, to capitalising on your brand, printed marketing materials can set you apart from competitors.