Many would-be small business owners 'feel the fear' when thinking about setting up their own business, and quite frankly in these tough economic times, they should. BUT... you don't have to be a marketing genius to promote your business, drive people (and sales) to your company or massively boost the following of what you're currently doing whether it's an online store, a high street cafe, or a charity helping old people cross the road (not sure they exist but never mind).
Direct Marketing (or call it whatever you want) works, and whilst there's numerous ways to use the Internet to get free returns, printed media has to be the easiest and most guaranteed; so that's what i'm going to talk about in this article.
We're The Local Print Company, printers who sell online to customers all over the UK and Ireland. Every year we print millions of flyers and are responsible for posters, leaflets and business cards everywhere - especially in the South-West of England where we're based. Customers return again, and again, and again and regardless of how hideous their design is are getting successful, cost effective returns from handing out, posting or displaying printed promotional messages in their local area.
What are you going on about?
I'm talking about getting someone (preferably us) to print you some flyers or leaflets to hand out, post or leave about the place in a bid to increase the following of what you're currently doing - whether you want to boost the number of people who turn up to your parish council meetings, let everyone know that there's a fun day at the local park, draw people into your shop to buy your stuff or fill an empty cafe with middle aged women.
How will printing help me do that?
If you're in business hopefully it's doing something people are interested in - however obscure it might be (and believe me we work with some pretty unusual businesses).
Chances are that you are - i'm probably not the only one who was disappointed when i realised they hadn't actually invented doggy dentures when i watched the advert for some dog chew that helps their teeth! So 'how do you think printing will help'? Do I need to tell you?! Getting people to do what you want is as easy as finding your market and telling them about yourself, what you offer yadayada.
So something like flyers are a great way to do that - you can target them at exactly who you want... in the street as handouts, through the letterboxes of posh houses, on the windscreens of white vans etc...
The best bit of course is that you don't have to be a marketing genius... you just need a bit of cash (most businesses can afford £90 for 1000 flyers to be design and printed), and a bit of energy / effort (to hand them out - or whatever).