We’ve got a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners in our circle of friends, and so we get to see firsthand the ups and downs they go through with regard to business. From our observations, though, one thing holds steady for all of them. When they try to save money by cutting back on advertising, they do themselves no favors. It’s like a man who is dying of thirst and so dehydrated he can’t make his way out of the desert, and yet he saves his little canteen of water in case he has to put out a fire. That man has got to “spend” those drops of water to get himself to a faucet or a creek. Similarly, struggling businesses need to spend their dwindling funds to attract more customers, thereby replenishing their bank accounts. Yes, it’s a leap of faith, but just think about these wise words spoken by everyone’s favorite American author, Mark Twain:
“Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”
That said, the “right kind” of advertising is going to vary by your business. But for many, printed advertisements are going to be the most financially accessible and effective tools to reel in new clients. (Don’t get us wrong – television and radio ads are also effective, but production costs are sky-high compared to the small investment needed to create great printed advertising.)
Consider the local restaurant that cooks up great hot meals at affordable prices. They have a small and dedicated local clientele, but seem unable to reach new potential diners. It doesn’t help that their location is half a mile away from the center of town. Half a mile is far enough out that people could easily miss the fact that the restaurant exists, but it’s a distance most people would be willing to drive for a delicious hot plate of food in a cool setting.
The answer to this restaurant’s dilemma is printed advertising. And several different types of print advertising might fit their needs.
Maybe the most effective would be an EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail). Many printers print advertisements for this purpose, and some even go the extra mile and take care of design of the printed flyer or advertisement, as well as postage and mailing to entire neighborhoods or zip codes as part of a one-stop direct mailing service. A restaurant like the one mentioned above would do well to use this service, creating a print advertisement that not only explains the restaurant’s specialties and location, but also gives the recipient an incentive to check the place out, even though it is a little out of the way. A free drink at the bar, a free dessert, or $10 off a meal are all good ideas.
Other types of advertising printing that are easy to execute and affordable include flyer and brochure printing. Flyers provide a great format for businesses to print special offers similar to the ones above, and then distribute them in key locations, either on the street or at the counters of other businesses that are related to your industry. A restaurant like the one mentioned above could distribute such flyers pretty much anywhere, because everyone eats! But if you have a more specialized business, like a yoga studio or a wealth management company, you would do well to bring your flyers into or near a juice bar or a luxury car dealer, respectively.
Brochures are a type of advertising printing that can provide a great way to answer any questions people might have before checking out your business. They can take away fear or misunderstandings that people may have about what you offer. For example, perhaps you own a furniture store whose merchandise looks prohibitively expensive, while in fact it is quite affordable. A brochure would allow your business to explain the true pricing and also how your resourceful manufacturing allows you to achieve such high quality while maintaining low prices. These brochures could then be distributed through the mail so that people can browse through at home, get enticed by the great deals you have on beautiful furniture, and finally be driven to check out your showroom in person.
For most businesses, well-designed printed advertisements can boost awareness and interest in your product or service. And with the affordable prices that print advertising offers, even businesses that are currently losing money can use this technique to get back in the black.