Starting a company is a challenge of its own. You need to form a business plan, decide what service or product you are offering, and get a logo and a website. If you’re selling a product, you also need to prepare your stock, decide how you are packaging it, and consider renting an in-person storefront. But even once everything is ready to go, you can’t just expect customers to come walking in your door. They need to hear about you first – which means you need to find a way to promote your company.
Wearing a shirt or hat with your business’s name and logo on it is a great way to attract customer attention. People will see it while you’re in line at the grocery store, filling up gas, or walking around a large event. Give one to your employees and coworkers, and you can reach an even greater audience.
You can also expand your audience by giving your paraphernalia as client gifts or as part of promotional events. Tuck a free shirt into a grab bag, pass hats out at a trade show, or simply keep a few items behind the register for happy customers. The more people that are wearing your logo, the more exposure your business will get.
T-shirts aren’t the only thing you can use as a client gift. Try getting pens, stress balls, sticker sheets, and water bottles printed with your company name. These products require only a small upfront investment, and can be handed out whenever you get the chance. If you keep a cup full of company pens by your register or on your reception desk, it will actually be a good thing when a customer accidentally walks away with one.
Promotional products like these are also a great way to start conversations with potential clients at trade shows. A free water bottle or stress ball will draw people to your table; once there, you have a chance to pitch your business to them. After talking with you, they’ll walk away with a continual reminder of your company’s name and contact information.
If you need to send a message about your business, there’s no reason to say it quietly. A custom printed banner will alert the world to your company’s offerings. Get one for your trade show booth to catch the eye of potential clients, or hang one outside the store to draw customers in. Remember, the banner should show your company’s contact information and logo, and carry a simple, easy to read message that invites them to learn more.
You can also get a great effect with small yard signs. Try placing them at the street corner outside your storefront, or on your lawn if you are allowed. These small signs attract attention from passing cars; a simple sale offer and an arrow pointing towards your store can be all it takes to get a new customer to walk in the door.
Paper advertising will always be a major staple of any business promotion. The versatile flyer can be tucked under a doorknob, wedged in a mailbox, or handed out at a major event. Make sure to include information about any promotional offers, and choose a design that accurately represents the look and feel of your company.
You can also mail out postcards to clients as a way to remind them of your services. Save client addresses to a mailing list, and send out a postcard with details of your latest sale, or simply a holiday greeting. When they open their mailbox, your clients will remember how good your services were, and consider calling you again.
Business cards work off the same concept, but have a more professional edge. Order cards printed with your name, logo, and company contact information, and carry them at all times. Whenever you talk to a potential client or customer, make sure to pass them a business card; you never know when you’ll get a call.
When you first start promoting your business, you’ll want to choose a few of these methods to use together. Hand out business cards at trade shows, and remember to wear your company shirt. The key to good advertising is to get your company’s name in the customer’s mind, but without overwhelming them. As long as you use each method with moderation, you’ll soon see customers pouring through the door.