Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Promotional products are a fun way to market your small or home-based business. While you can spend a fortune on one promotional product, for most SOHO owners, a better choice is one or two inexpensive items to represent your company.
One of my “rules of thumb” for promos is to try to get a product that your customer will use during their decision-making or point of use space. Think of refrigerator magnets for take-out or food delivery companies. Or mouse pads for computer repair consultants. The better you can target your message, the better.
Some items, however, are practical and useful for most people and are great for small businesses to spread their company info at reasonable prices. Here are my four general favorite and affordable give-away items:
1—Ink pens: Every time I sign a credit card slip with a non-logo’d pen, I think of what a wasted marketing opportunity I’m seeing. Get some pens with your logo and you can not only give them to your customers, but take them to the places where your customers shop or eat or buy gas or sign anything! Don’t get the cheapest pens that run out of ink or skip or leak. You can get some decent, brand-name ink pens with your logo and perhaps your phone number or website imprinted for under a dollar each.
2—Letter slitters: Unlike knife-shaped letter openers, slitters are those handheld cutters with a small blade imbedded in them. They are typically about the size of a business card, but thicker. These are great to keep on your desk and, to my surprise in your gift-wrapping area. Someone recently told me they were great for cutting wrapping paper and they are! So, they have gone from being an office supply to an essential for everyone! Particularly useful if you have own any kind of gift or paper business. I imagine they would even be good for scrap booking or other paper crafts. They cost around one dollar each, too.
3—Magnets: You can buy sticky magnet blanks at your office supply store and attach your business cards, or you can have special magnets imprinted at very reasonable prices. I like magnets because my file cabinet is a great magnet site in my office. I particularly like magnet photo frames. You can customize these to your business, too—for instance, a pet sitter can get pet-themed frames so owners can put their pet picture on the fridge, then, add your business name and phone number to the frame. The prices for magnets can vary from about 30 cents each to well over a dollar each.
4—Self-stick Labels: You can use imprinted labels for so many things that you surely must have some! If you make any sort of item, you need to put your label on it, and sticky labels will work for most things (except fabric). You can also use sticky labels on any item you give away. For instance, have some labels printed with “compliments of” and your company info. You can then attach those to anything from a small houseplant to a bottle of water to a bag of cookies to your own products you are giving as samples.
One of my favorite companies for promos is Branders.com, where you can instantly preview your logo on thousands of promotional products. They also offer free samples and great pricing, and they carry all of the items I discussed above. Give them a try for your next promotional item order.