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Thursday, 15 January 2015

A time and cost saving marketing toolkit for small business startups.

You took the leap of faith and started your own business. That’s a big deal! I know, because it took me months to go from talking about starting my own business to finally taking action. As a first step, I wrote a business plan, where I outlined mymarketing budget and all the marketing materials I thought I needed. It turned out that half of what I listed in my marketing plan was useless to me. Spending time on developing unnecessary marketing collateral is costly so here is my advice to you.Create a very basic marketing toolkit for your startup business and add marketing tools and collateral as you grow.
Less is more.” Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Here is what a very basic marketing toolkit should contain:
  • A logo. Creating a good logo sounds simpler than it really is. Your logo is the visual representation of your brand. That is why it is important to define your brand before you begin the process of designing your logo. If you choose tohire a professional designer (I strongly recommend this route), you will be able to avoid misunderstandings and expensive back and forth, because you did your due diligence in defining your brand ahead of time.
  • A business card. It is true that we use business cards much less than before, but you still need them. You will need to give them away at networking events, sales meetings and even to the people you meet randomly. The good news is that you won’t need thousands of business cards and you won’t be reprinting them over and over again. The not-so-good news is that you will have to use what you printed so think over every detail of your business card, from its layout to paper stock.
  • A professional headshot. This is a relatively new element that I am including in the basic marketing toolkit, but it is very important. You will have various Social Media profiles for you and your business and your headshot needs to represent you well. There are many photographers that specialize in taking professional portraits so it’s worth the investment. But if your budget is very tight, you can ask a friend with a good camera and a good sense for photography to take a few shots that you will use in the beginning stages. Selfies, family pictures and portraits of baby animals will not serve you well when you are trying to build your brand on Social Media.
  • A website. There is no way around it, you need a website for your business. Your website is your sales tool, not a mere presence on the web. There are many DIY website builders available if you have the chops for it. But it is imperative for you to understand that your website is part of your business strategy and needs to be well planned. To help you with determining the right approach to website building, here are my 5 strategic tips to building a business website.
These marketing elements are universal, but you might need additional collateral based on the type of business and the marketing budget you have. If you don’t quite know yet what the right marketing strategy for your business is, this basic marketing toolkit should be enough to start promoting your business and yourself.
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