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I have to say those are really important questions and some I don't even have the answers to, but answer to one or 2 can one afford right now to give away something free, well that all depends on the company I think, more of the smaller companies really can't keep their heads above water let alone give away something in order to market their company. This is quiet sad when one is trying to get in the business.. I think one way of doing some marketing, in these time is make it small and in your face, maybe even a business card with a sweet attached handed out at people driving past. Just an idea.
You're absolutely right, Penny - many small and micro-businesses do not have the budget to give away free samples, especially if the product or service costs more than a chocolate.
What they need to do is brainstorm other ways to get their goods in the hands of customers. One excellent way to do this is to set up an interactive booth at a trade show, festival, conference, or other event. You only need one or two samples, and you can have hundreds of potential customers try them out on the spot.
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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.