DIY Small Business Marketing

How to Create Promotional Materials With a Home Computer

When small businesses don’t have a big marketing budget, they can try the DIY approach.

As operating budgets continue to shrink, many small business owners find themselves with a very small marketing budget. Since a business that doesn’t promote itself is in danger of failing because no one knows that it exists, stopping all marketing is not a good solution for these businesses. Instead, business owners without a substantial marketing budget may want to try DIY small business marketing.


Supplies for Small Business Marketing Campaigns

To be able to create promotional materials, a small business owner will need to have:

  • A computer with desktop publishing software installed on it. A good printer is nice, but not strictly necessary. (The local library may have computers with desktop publishing software and may offer a laser printer for public use, as well.)
  • Nice graphics. A clear shot of the business building or of employees helping customers can work if there isn’t a company logo. (Logos are a good idea because people associate them with the company more easily than they do a photograph.)
  • Paper or cardstock for printing the final product onto. Again, this is not always necessary. Some people prefer to have the marketing materials printed by Kinko’s or Staples instead of printing them at home.

Common Small Business Marketing Materials

With the supplies in place, all the business owner needs to do is open the desktop publishing software, find a template for the item he or she wants to create and start designing.

One of the most effective marketing tools for a small business owner who is trying to network is still the basic business card. Some business owners prefer to go digital and simply add contacts right into their Blackberry, but not others will still ask for a business card. With options like VistaPrint or blank business card cardstock, this is one very economical way to promote a business.

Another useful marketing item is a flyer or brochure. A flier is a one-sheet marketing piece that usually highlights a special service or announces an event. The brochure is often a longer piece that talks about the company, the services it offers and how to contact the company. Brochures are usually more expensive to produce than fliers because they are usually two-sided and are printed on cardstock instead of copy paper.

Finally, a small business owner creating his or her own marketing materials may want to make a few other items to promote the business. Bookmarks with a company’s information are really simple to make and tend to stick around potential customers’ homes because they are useful. Also, coupons and gift certificates are great ways to increase revenue and are fairly easy to create.