If you own a business, knowledge of the basic marketing essentials will be pivotal to your success. A company survives on sales. No sales = no business.

Many small business owners have no clue what those basic items are. They claim that they don’t have the budget to market effectively, and that as soon as they have a budget they will get the items, but for now they will have to wait.

The cost for not having these items is higher than you think and can be avoided without investing a lot of money. The biggest challenge that business owners face is “what can I do on a limited budget?”

Here are three basic marketing items that can be inexpensively implemented to properly represent a company and make sales – business cards, sales brochure and website.

Business Cards

A good business card should include all contact information – name, logo, website, e-mail address, phone number and social media handles. The wording should be large enough to read. Phone numbers should be located where they are easily found and in a bold typeface.

DON’T set up and print your business cards from your PC. It may seem like a good idea but it isn’t. The card design should be simple and eye catching. Have them designed and printed by a professional if possible. Try printing 500 cards in one color to lower printing costs down. A short time spent on Google will yield plenty of printers offering deals on business card printing.

Remember, this is the item a potential client takes to remember you. Make it memorable!

Sales Brochure

Every business needs a simple brochure. The brochure’s size will depend on how much information you want to include.

Basic information describing your services or product should be written in a clear, concise way that is easy to follow. Stay away from industry jargon. You may want to consider including an introduction to you or your company and why a buyer should do business with you. Why does your business stand above its competitors? What is your unique selling proposition? Do you offer a guarantee or special pricing schemes? Are you an award winner? Inclue this important information.

Cover the basics about your business. Who will use it? Why will they use it? Why do they need it? How will it be used? How much does it cost? Where can they get it?

Brochures can be costly to produce so make 50 to 100 copies on your computer printer as a test run before having them professionally printed. Limiting colors to one or two inks will keep the costs down. Once more Google will yield plenty of information on brochure printers and design hints and tips.

The most important feature of a brochure to give the reader an understanding of what you and your business can do. Why should they hire you and how can you be contacted.

When your brochure is finished turn it into a PDF file so it can be attached to e-mails. A PDF can have a URL created for it that can be linked to in your e-mail signature. Go to the settings tab of your e-mail service to set your signature up.

Website

You need a website if you want your business to be taken seriously.

This should be online before you open for business. With a multitude of site-building options now available online, you needn’t break the bank on one. It should be a clean, easy-to-navigate design and most of all, helpful. Many business websites now include a blog. This will let you to start up conversations with your customers, showing them the “human” side of the business. A regularly updated blog is also great for SEO (search engine optimization) as Google loves fresh online content.

If you offer your products or services online, they must be easy to purchase online! Make sure there is a “Buy Now” button to click. If your product or service has to be sold in person, then the most important part of your website (and business card and brochure) is your phone number.

Once your website is in place your social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can be added to make it a strong part of your marketing strategy.

Just because you have a small marketing budget it doesn’t mean that you need to go without important marketing materials. Let prospective clients know you’re a professional and remember you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Photo – http://www.symposi.com

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