“Lean” is a buzzword that travels in entrepreneurial circles, most commonly referring to lean startups – those businesses that launch on the bare minimum of resources (as though most small startups have any other choice). Practicing the art of the lean business is great for startups; not only is it usually necessary, it challenges you to produce profits with minimal resources. If you can master the lean startup, then when you do have more funds, employees, and resources, you stand to grow rapidly. Being lean doesn’t mean subsisting entirely without support, though, and there are certain investments all startups must make in order to be success. A print marketing foundation is one of them. The following covers three must-have print marketing tools for lean startups.
The staple marketing and networking tool of all businesses, business cards aren’t just good for your image – they’re expected. If you do not have a business card you’ll find it difficult to be taken seriously. Business cards are great for networking, too, which can be an incredibly cheap strategy for growing your small business. The good news is business cards are likewise cheap; you can print 1,000 for under $70.
A lot of brochures are boring and plain, but yours don’t have to be. A great brochure can serve multiple purposes, from showcasing your services and customer benefits to serving as mini-catalogs for retail products. Print brochures with discount incentives to bring qualified leads to you or motivate direct sales. You can print 500 brochures for under $300, under $200 on sale.
Many startups hesitate to engage in direct-mail marketing, fearful of the cost of postage. They view direct-mail as an expense, not an investment with an expected return. Postcards, however, can be your best friends – they’re cheap to print, relatively cheap to send, and can be send to highly-targeted mailing lists comprised of pre-qualified customers. The key to a successful direct-mail postcard marketing campaign is to create a compelling offer and send it to a narrowly-targeted list. Start small – just a few hundred at a time – until you can generate predictable, repeatable results. In this manner, you can scale your postcard marketing campaigns confident in the ROI they’ll yield for your business. You can print 500 postcard for under $100, and mail them for around $200. Armed with just these three marketing tools, you can promote your lean startup and grow your business into a successful, profitable enterprise.