Monday, July 14, 2008

Making Your Small Business Look Big

Young Inventors has asked experts for their advice for innovators and first-time student entrepreneurs. The first post is by Janet Holian, President of VistaPrint Europe:

As a small business, your budget is tight and your time is even tighter. But you still have to compete with larger organizations that have big budgets and even bigger staff. Let’s face it image is everything and if you can’t look big, prospective customers will go elsewhere.

How can you make your small business look big without breaking the bank? Start with these five time and budget friendly ideas. In no time you’ll be competing head-to-head with the larger organizations in your market.

1. Powerful Logo – the logo of your company is often the first thing that someone sees. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but don’t take it for granted. It should communicate the values of your company – strong, dedicated, customer focused, etc – and be on all of your marketing materials

2. Business Cards - Don’t underestimate the power of the business card. It’s often the first thing someone sees when you meet them for the first time and they are you when you aren’t there. Make sure your business cards are high-quality, full-color and make an immediate impact. Distribute them freely to ensure that your name gets out there often. Give a stack of cards to colleagues who will pass them along to potential customers.

3. Professional Materials—Produce high-quality, professional materials for all of your branding and marketing initiatives. All of your collateral materials - business cards, letterhead, brochures, note cards, post cards, giveaways and even return address labels - should all match and make a strong impression. And don’t forget note cards for hand written thank you notes. Because prospects and customers like to review information from home, clear and easy-to-read brochures with product or service information are important. Skip photo-copied fliers on colored paper and shoot for full color glossy materials. Hand them out when you meet with clients or prospects at shows and conferences.

4. Reinforce Your Brand With Great Giveaways—Stay in front of your customers every day. Look for cost-effective options that have staying power. If it makes sense for your business, items like calendar magnets with seasonal professional sports calendars are a great way to ensure your customers will place your business and contact information in a frequently viewed location like the refrigerator or file cabinet. Also consider holiday cards and holiday promotional giveaways with your name and messaging.

5. High Impact, High Frequency Mailings—Promotional mailings are one of the most cost-effective ways to keep you top of mind with your customers. Look for high-impact, full-color postcards that inform customers of your latest successes or upcoming sales. The frequency of the communication is almost as important as what you say. Mail your customer base twice a month for the best response. If you can segment your database, send smaller print runs of mailings to targeted audiences. You’d be surprised how appropriate mailings can impact the bottom line.

No matter your budget, these simple tips will enable you to look professional and will keep your company’s name in front of your customers.

Janet Holian is President of VistaPrint Europe, the small business marketing company. For more ideas on making your small business look professional, visit


At 5:53 AM , Blogger Marc Levack said...

Very nice information about business card. Different size of a business cards so we can distribute in professionals. We have design a business card.

At 6:36 PM , Blogger Daniel said...

Business cards is the first face of the business and they are an invaluable tool. There are so many types of business cards these days and one of my favorite is raised ink business cards.


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