Archive | September, 2011
business cards

Using Business Cards for Small Business Marketing

Small business owners face different marketing challenges than their larger counterparts. They often have lower advertising budgets and rely more heavily on word-of-mouth advertising. As a result, it’s especially important for small business owners and entrepreneurs to find advertising methods that are both affordable and effective. With low costs and easy distribution, business cards are undoubtedly one of the best choices.

A business card for a small business can convey all kinds of important information in a small space. It doesn’t take much effort to have a batch of cards printed, and business owners can begin passing them out to potential leads and customers right away. Before a business chooses this marketing option, however, it’s important to figure out what information should be included and how the cards will stand out from those distributed by other companies. Additionally, a small business owner should have a clear marketing plan that includes a distribution strategy and conversion goals.

Making Cards Stand Out

There are plenty of ways to design a professional, appealing business card. The most important thing to consider is whether or not the design stands out from those of other companies. Some businesses have enjoyed great success by creating business cards in unique shapes or with design schemes that relate to their services. For example, a landscaping company might create a tree-shaped business card, while a graphic design firm might craft a striking, artistic theme. Customers who receive cards from multiple businesses will pay more attention to the designs that are unique in some way.Even a business card that looks plain, however, can be effective if it incorporates something novel like a coupon, discount offer or rewards program. These types of cards are a great way for small businesses to encourage potential clients and returning customers to make purchases.

Important Information to Include

While businesses should spend time correlating their card designs to their brands, they also need to remember to include important information. A business card should include the company’s name and a short tagline or description of its services. Additionally, the card needs to include contact information such as a phone number, email address, store or office location and website. Personalized cards for individual employees might also include the representative’s name, direct phone line and job title. With more businesses using social media to interact with their customers, some companies also include their Facebook addresses or Twitter handles.

Leads, Conversions and Results

For business cards to be effective, small business owners need to take steps to pass the cards out among potential leads. Sales staff and employees should keep cards with them at networking events and while they are out looking for interested customers. A company with reasonable goals and a clear distribution strategy is more likely to enjoy successful marketing results. When small business owners go to design their cards, they should focus on specific ways in which they would like to improve their numbers. With a clear plan in mind and a well-designed business card, a company can gain more publicity and qualified leads.

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Promoting Your Business at Events

Keeping the public aware of your business and the services that you offer is hard work no matter how established your business is. Getting attention through advertising and press releases is essential, but can be very difficult, especially for new businesses. Other ways of trying to create a positive impact can be great way of attracting attention and standing out from the crowds. For example attending events is a great way of engaging with potential customers. Events can be anything from your local town fair to gigantic trade shows and launch parties. So long as your business is relevant to those attending they offer great opportunities.

Of course at any event you have to stand out. Possibly the biggest part of creating a great first impression is how your exhibition stands look. Exhibition stands can take many forms. Some businesses opt for a simple table with a few free items and hope for the best; this approach is bland at best and is unlikely to engage visitors to the event. Your stand should not only be highly visible, but should make potential want to come over and see what it’s about. After all the more potential customers you get, the higher the chance some will turn into actual customers.

Events are also a great place to get across what your business does. Hopefully anyone who is aware of your business knows what services and products they can get from you. However there is always room for confusion, and by ensuring those of your staff who attend events are well informed you ensure your message can be made clear. The best ways to ensure clarity is to make sure your stand is uncluttered with key points highlighted and that your employees are both well informed and trained.

For these reasons it is worth getting your stands made professionally. Stands that are well put together and designed help create a professional and trustworthy look that all businesses need to project. Stands can vary from affordable banner displays to the latest modular exhibition stands. Of course the amount you spend on a stand should be done through a careful cost benefit analysis. Turning up a local fair with a flashy stand featuring display screens and games will just look odd. In contrast turn up at a large show with some banners and a table and you will either look cheap or just disappear into the mass of companies displaying on the day.

Events are always going to be challenging, but when they go well you can come out with your brand enhanced. Lots of new contacts and most importantly some sales! The thing to remember is that even more than on the high street presentation is everything. Fail to stand out, and you will waste time and money or even give your brand a bad reputation.

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