Oh to start anew! First impressions are everything. Your marketing material has a lot to say about your business. If it is executed poorly, you may lose a sale before you get the chance. Do you and your business a favor and spend the time and money it takes to get these top five items to the professional look they desperately need and get your business noticed.
1) Your company image - a logo
The number one tool that many businesses will refuse to take care of first - so just stop fighting it and get it done. You have competition out there. If you can't stand out among them, you've lost even before you even started. Your logo, your brand is needed before you create the materials below and just like the other materials, quality and professionalism should be your top priority. Also, make sure your voice is heard in the design. Your designer should ask you what you would like to see, not what you should have.
2) Your calling card - a well-designed business card
Think that something as small as a business card can't get your noticed, think again. The impression can go both ways. If you feel that a Inkjet printed or poorly laid out business card shows that professional side of your business, think again. Quality goes a long way. You must keep this in mind when creating your calling card.
A strong Home Page
3) A well-designed and focused website
Many thought the internet was just a fad. Well, it's not going anywhere and your potential clients will look to Google to find the services you offer. Will you be on that list? If your website is not updated or is not user-friendly, then that potential customer will look to your competitor down the street. You don't have to have everything - including the kitchen sink - to have your services come across, but have the following pages to start:
A strong Home Page
4) Professional letterhead and envelopes
Two items that are always overlooked are your letterhead and envelopes. Letterhead can be used for just about anything - from thank you letters to invoices, you can always have a professional presence. Once you have the letterhead, you'll need that attractive envelope to put it in. Make sure that your presentation stands out when your clients are sorting through the mail. Use full color and really make that envelope pop.
5) Leave them with a handout: Brochures and rack cards
You should always leave something behind during your networking. Brochures and rack cards are a great handout. A "mini-website" on paper, they can leave a potential client with more information about your company and what you have to offer. Most people will skim the content, so emphasize the sections you want potential customers to read. Also, a picture is worth a thousand words, so keep that in mind when choosing them for your design.
If I can help a business owner create the brand they're looking for, my job is done.