Category Archives: Small Business Spotlight

9 Simple and Effective Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

As any entrepreneur knows, it can be very difficult getting your feet off the ground and your name out there in the early days of owning a small business. Nobody has ever heard of you before, you don’t have any past customers or testimonials, and you’ve got nobody to spread your services through word of mouth.

That’s where small business marketing strategies come in. In order to be noticed and considered by your target market, you’ll need to advertise or market your business somehow – but what actually works, and where should you start?

In this article, we’ll discuss some small business marketing ideas to jump-start your marketing strategy. Before trying any of these ideas, it’s worth sitting back and considering some marketing goals and budget. Not all the small business marketing ideas in this article are free, some cost money or time investment. Try to focus on what’s best for your business and make the best use of your marketing budget.

Online Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

It is undeniable that online marketing has taken over the world of business. According to recent research, 70–80% of consumers research a company or product online before making a purchase. That’s a huge number of people to ignore if your company doesn’t have an online presence! Here are some ideas to kick off your online marketing.

Website Blog

If your company has a website, it could benefit from the addition of a blog. A blog is a website page used to display articles, news and other useful information. For marketing, blog articles encourage customers to visit and browse your website.

For instance, if you run a home improvement business, include a series of articles with tips about how to improve and upgrade a house. Well-written content with search engine optimised keywords will show up in search engines, such as Google or Bing. If someone searches for ‘home improvement tips’ and your blog has a suitable article, they will see your link in the search engine results.

One thing that you hear a lot about in online marketing is ‘conversions’. This means, what do you want the customer to do after they have landed on your website? If, for instance, a customer looking for information on home improvement ideas lands on your website, you could add links in the article for your company’s home improvement services or perhaps encourage them to subscribe to your blog and receive emails when the next article is posted (this is great for email marketing—see below).

Email Marketing

Email marketing is still one of the most popular forms of online marketing. As noted above, this can be combined with a website blog. Subscribed customers get updates and you can send email promotions to the subscriber list.

With email marketing, it is important not to send emails too often, otherwise you risk getting listed as spam content (or your customers will unsubscribe out of frustration). Do it right and email marketing is very powerful.

Aside from using a blog, there are several other ways to get subscribers. Many websites offer free information downloads in exchange for a subscription, or some other free offer. Most email marketing companies offer free starter accounts for up to 2,000 subscribers.

Google My Business

If your company supplies local services, Google My Business is one of the best small-business marketing ideas. Register your business and if someone in your local area searches for your business type, your listing will appear, with others, on top of the search listing.

It is possible to add useful information, such as opening hours, business information, location and pictures. It also allows customers to leave a review—the best-reviewed businesses appear at the top of the listing, which is great motivation to provide first-class services.

Facebook Adverts

Despite some of the adverse publicity that surrounds Facebook, it is still one of the best ways to advertise products online. It is relatively cheap compared to other platforms, and extremely effective.

The most powerful aspect of Facebook advertising is the huge number of users on the platform and the amount of searchable information about them. It is possible to pinpoint users and groups with specific interests or living in a particular country or city if marketing locally. For instance, as an author, marketing a new book about meditation, you could direct an advert to Facebook groups promoting spiritualism.

Internet Influencers and Social Media Advertising

Internet influencers are product promoters who have large followings on social media platforms, such as YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. For instance, an influencer with a popular YouTube fashion channel might promote your new fashion product to their followers.

The cost of the service will probably depend on how many followers the channel has. Some influencers might promote products in exchange for free samples, while others charge a fee. If you don’t have the budget to pay an influencer, consider starting a YouTube channel for your business as part of your social media marketing.

Create Facebook and Twitter accounts for marketing your business and create promotions to encourage customers to like your posts. If you have a website, include links to your social media accounts. As with establishing a brand, it is a long-term strategy. Remember to use your brand image on social media posts.

Brand Development Marketing Strategies

Establishing a brand is one of the most important aspects of a long-term marketing plan. A brand is something that should permeate every aspect of your business and define its identity.

Customers who associate with a particular brand will happily pay a higher price for their products. For instance, coffee sold in most high street coffee shops is of a similarly high standard, but if drunk from a cup sporting a Starbucks logo, it tastes magically better. This is how a powerful brand can influence customer perception.

Unless your products appeal to a wide market, and you have a marketing budget to match, you’ll likely be aiming at a smaller niche. So, as an important first step, understand who your customers are. A common way of doing this is to create what they called a customer blueprint or persona. That means creating a profile of your ideal customer, the person (or business) who would buy your product.

Build a Brand – Quick Tips:

It takes time, but when done well, branding is the most powerful marketing strategy of them all. Here are some quick tips:

1) Decide on your mission statement and target audience.
2) Brand differentiation – make sure that your brand differs from the competition, make your business stand out.
3) Stay on message – promote your brand image consistently on every platform. You want customers to instantly recognise your products and marketing information.
4) Design your brand’s image – this will include a carefully designed corporate style with a logo, appropriate colours and an attractive typeface. The design and style should apply to every aspect of the business, including the website, promotional materials, and business cards.

For great design ideas, try 123Print – we carry a full range of fully customisable promotional materials.

Brand Ambassadors

Get your employees involved as brand ambassadors. For example, if your business is in retail, give your staff a discount! It’ll surprise you how many of their friends want to make use of the staff discount. It is a good way of both rewarding your employees and spreading the word about your products to their wider social sphere.

Flyer Campaign

There’s nothing wrong with good old-fashioned letterbox marketing. Flyer (leaflet) distribution may sound old-fashioned, but there’s a reason it’s been around for so long: it just plain works.

You’ve likely received flyers in your letterbox yourself. You may have thrown them away eventually, but did you at least look at the flyer first, and take a mental note of what company sent it? Of course you did. And you’d recognise that company name if you saw it again in the future, increasing your familiarity with them.

Try a simple letterbox marketing campaign in your target postcode area. Include your logo and branding all over the flyer, and an enticing offer to get people shopping with you, and you’ll spread awareness of your company at lightning speed. You can design personalised and high-quality flyers at 123Print.

Loyalty Cards

Loyalty cards are very good for marketing your business and encouraging customers to buy again. They can be as simple as a card that is stamped every time a customer purchases a cup of coffee, or other products – after a certain number of stamps, the customer gets a free cup of coffee, for example.

Alternatively, loyalty cards can be a full-blown computer system, where a customer scans a card at the cash register and is awarded redeemable loyalty points. While powerful, the computerised loyalty system is a significant investment best suited to medium and large businesses. Stamp-style loyalty cards are much more affordable, incredibly simple to set up, and still very effective – check out a huge range of customisable loyalty card designs at 123Print.

What Font is Best for Business Cards?

It can be a challenging task choosing a font for your new business cards. There are often many options, and it can be unclear what you need to base your choice on.
Should you go for a classic, elegant serif font – or will that come off as old-fashioned? If you choose a more modern or contemporary font style, will your company stand out as fresh and up-and-coming, or will it make you look unprofessional?

The best way to choose a font for your business cards is to choose one that you feel represents you, or your brand. If you have a logo which you are featuring on your cards, it would also be a good idea to make sure your font has similar design characteristics.
You will also need to consider what colour to have your font – this depends again on your brand, logo and what you want to communicate visually with potential customers.
In this article we will select some stylistic fonts and discuss how these would work best on a business card, as well as how to choose a font colour.

The Psychology of Font for Business Cards

In marketing, the font you choose for your business cards (and other marketing material and promotional products) is important. The style of the typeface that you use on your cards can alter how a potential client, customer, colleague or contact will perceive you and your company. In this way, font choice is quite similar to colour, which we’ll touch upon briefly later.

For example: a modern, sans serif typeface will come across as contemporary, fun, and casual. If your company makes children’s toys, this style of font would be perfect – you could also choose a graphic, chunky font that evokes excitement and creates an aura of child-like glee.

But if your company provides financial or legal advice, the above font choice would be a big mistake. It could cause potential clients to take you less seriously, and doubt your professionalism. Instead, you’ll want to go with a simple, sleek and professional font which will make prospect clients trust you.

What Are the Different Types of Fonts?

As a general rule, serif fonts (such as Times New Roman) are perceived as more old-fashioned, dependable, and serious than sans serif fonts (such as Arial). They’re the kinds of fonts you’d likely see in older books and newspapers.

Handwriting-style fonts, such as Comic Sans MS, are the opposite: they’re perceived as very informal, fun, and fresh. They work well for small or casual businesses, such as dog groomers and children’s soft play centres.

Cursive, calligraphy or script-style fonts, like Amadeo and Studio Script, give off a romantic and feminine vibe. They’d be perfect if you’re a wedding planner or florist, for example.
Let’s now go through some examples of popular fonts and when they might be used.

Business Card Font Examples

Here are four of our favourite fonts for business cards, and the impression they might create about you or your business.

1. Avant Garde

Avant Garde is a brilliant font choice for anyone who wants something unique, but still professional. The letter spacing makes it extremely easy to read which is important on a business card.
Without being too bold, the roundness of this font makes text look approachable and it would work particularly well to draw attention to the key information on your business card.

If you have a modern, progressive brand with a fun and contemporary logo, this would be a great font choice for you.
If you feel this is for you, you may enjoy the ‘Fashion’ business card template for its modern, bright design.

2. Century Schoolbook

Century Schoolbook is the perfect example of a professional, easy to read serif font. This typeface is bold but without the chunky letters usually associated with standout font.
Although the style is similar to more commonly used fonts, it is a fantastic business card font choice for those looking to make their cards unique than, say, Times New Roman.
This font would work well for any professional brand, especially if you have a sleek, elegant logo. Choose a font like this for a company that needs to be taken seriously, such as an accounting firm or a solicitor.

If your brand fits this category, you may want to look at the simple yet elegant ‘Solid Black’ business card template.

3. Courier New

Courier New oozes simplicity. This typeface, which bears resemblance to typewriter font, is minimalistic in the best way. It is extremely clear and will stand out against any background.

This is a brilliant font to use for business cards as it merges playful and elegant perfectly. If your brand uses a to the point, minimal logo, Courier New would be one to consider.
For a brand with this aesthetic, the ‘Swoosh’ business card template could be a good fit.

4. Bauhaus

If you are looking for a fun and funky business card font that is still readable, Bauhaus would be an excellent choice.
It’s distinctive, striking and yet it still comes across as professional. It’s boldness means it would read clearly, even against a coloured background.

Bauhaus would make a brilliant business card font for anyone whose brand is quirky, eccentric, and fun, and would complement a bright logo.
No logo? Bauhaus would compliment the ‘Unique Antique’ business card template.

Which Font Should I Choose?

If you’re having trouble choosing, there is nothing wrong with going for a traditional and well-known typeface for your business cards. For example, Ariel or Times New Roman. They’re both classic, professional fonts that would work for almost any brand and logo.
You don’t have to go the “unique” angle if you’re worried about what your chosen font will say about your business. You can always make your business cards stand out in other ways, such as through use of colour, orientation or clever image placement.

You could also consider looking at other brands, and consider how they use font to communicate with potential customers. If you find an example that you enjoy, you can try out a similar font on your business card.

What Font Colour Should I Choose for My Business Card?

Don’t forget about colour! On a business card, it is important that all the information can be read clearly. If your clients and customers have to put in extra effort to read your information, they may not bother, and will pick up a competitor’s card instead.
It’s best to go for a font that contrasts well with your background. If your background is white or cream, a classic and professional choice would be a dark colour such as black, graphite, or navy.

If your business card has a dark background, however (such as ‘Strike a Deal’), white (or another very light colour) would be the obvious choice.


If you do choose to go with another colour, make sure it contrasts strongly enough with the background to show up clearly on your card. As well as this, it would be best to select a colour that will accent your logo if you have one.

What Does Font Colour Tell Customers About My Business?

The psychology of colour is very interesting, and brands use colour all the time to tell their audience about their product or company. For example:

1) Black symbolises formality and sophistication
2) Purple oozes luxury and royalty
3) Red gives off an aura of energy and excitement
4) Green comes across as fresh and natural
5) Blue is a calm colour that signifies trust and honesty
6) Yellow represents fun, happiness and creativity
7) Pink symbolises love and emotion
8) Brown denotes toughness and simplicity

Business Card Colours

Where Can I Buy Business Cards?

At 123Print you can completely customise your own business cards to suit the experience you want potential customers to have. As well having a choice of 32 fonts and thousands of custom colours, you can also upload your own artwork and logo to make the card completely your own.

If you are not feeling so creative, you could have a look through our massive range of business card templates. All templates can still be customised so you can add your own personal touches to the design, and edit the font and colour to your liking.

You can order business cards with 123Print stress-free in the knowledge that we have a 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. Our 48-hour dispatch time and low price point means you can receive your order of high quality business cards quickly and cheaply.

Where is the Best Place to Leave Business Cards?

You’ve just had some swanky new business cards printed, and you’re wondering how best to distribute them. Rather than scattering your business cards around just anywhere (wasting your precious time and money, and potentially littering to boot) you should approach this with a logical angle.

There are many different places you can leave business cards, and some locations work better than others for different businesses. In this article we’re going to discuss your business card distribution goals, and give you a comprehensive list of the various places you can leave them, for the biggest chance of success.

What Are Your Business Card Goals?

Good quality business cards are an expense. To get the best value from wherever you leave them, it’s good practice to do some out of the box thinking and consider who your customers are.
A popular technique with marketers is to create a ‘customer blueprint’—that means creating a profile of a fictional customer who’d want to buy your product or service. That might include who it is (person or company), where they frequent and what problem your product solves for them.

For instance, say that your business provides home plumbing services. Where would you leave a business card?
A person in the market for your services would visit plumbing supply and DIY stores. Many of these shops, DIY stores especially, provide a section where local tradespeople may leave their business cards—what better place to leave your business card than a shop where your potential customer may search for a part to fix their leaky boiler or a new sink to upgrade their bathroom.

The above suggestion applies to other businesses, such as electrical installers or decorators. Even if it doesn’t fit your specific business, try the same customer mindset technique and plenty of creative ideas will pop into your head.
One last word of advice: wherever you choose to leave or distribute your business cards, make sure that you have permission. Unwanted cards will get thrown away, and they might also invite an angry phone call or bad words on social media.

Creative Ideas for Where to Leave Your Business Card

Without further ado, let’s get into our all-inclusive guide to where you can distribute your business cards.

Business to Business

If you provide a Business to Business Service (B2B), there are plenty of opportunities for places to distribute or leave your business card.

Trade Shows:

Sometimes customers at trade shows don’t wish to talk at the booth, and they’ll just do a hit-and-run, picking up promotional material on their way through. Stapling a business card to the material is a good way to catch these potential customers.

Promotional Gift Raffle:

This isn’t so much about passing on your business card, but getting one from your potential customer. As an exhibitor, offer the chance to win a high-value gift to customers willing to leave their business card in a bowl or bucket.

Business Centres:

Most big brand hotels provide some level of business service for their guests. Ask the hotel if you could leave some business cards and promotional materials, or leave a few around if you’re staying as a guest.

Flexible Office Space Providers:

Office space in major cities is very expensive. Many start-ups and small businesses, who can’t afford the high rental, use flexible offices for hot desking. These are great places to leave business cards and promotional materials, especially if offering B2B services.

Networking Organisations:

Join business networking associations. Attend meetings and exchange business cards and materials by hand or leave them around for people to peruse.

Affiliates:

Through networking, you are likely to find other businesses offering complimentary services. Give them your business cards and offer sign-up bonuses for new customer introductions and do the same for them—quid pro quo.

Chamber of Commerce:

Most UK cities have a Chamber of Commerce dedicated to promoting business within the local community. They are a great place to leave your business cards and promotional materials.

Estate Agents:

If your business provides services to home or commercial building owners, consider giving your cards and information to an estate agent. They often keep lists of local tradespeople to give to house buyers, renters or commercial customers.
Don’t forget about using your existing Clients. Often existing clients are the best advertisement for your business. Leave a few cards with them and perhaps offer incentives for introducing new prospects.

In the Community

If you want to pick up customers out and about in your local community, here are some ideas for places you can leave your business cards for the highest chance of reeling them in.

Bulletin Boards:

Many shops and organisations have community bulletin boards aimed at the general public. They are great places to leave business cards.

educatebusiness

Church:

If your business provides a community service, a church would be a great place to promote it.

Community Centre:

As with churches, community centres provide services for the general public.

Citizens Advice:

This is an especially good place for advertising legal advice.

Sports facilities/Gyms:

These are great if your business is health-related—yoga, meditation, sports massage or some such service. Most facilities would be happy for you to leave your cards and promotional materials.

Local Libraries:

Check out their community section bulletin board. There are some clandestine tricks that you could try in libraries—leave your cards in books relevant to your business, or better still, create a bookmark shaped business card. For instance, for your business services company, leave your branded bookmarks in business books.

Tourist Information:

If your business is travel-related, there is no better place to leave your card and information. When visiting a place for the first time, most visitors seek the local tourist information centre.

Coffee Shops:

People spend a lot of time in coffee shops drinking coffee, reading and using free Wi-Fi. Take advantage of this by placing your card strategically around the shop. Again, get the shop’s permission to do this.

Shopping Mall:

Shopping malls often have their own community area with information on local services. Leave your cards and information around these areas.

Also, if you have the marketing budget, pay for someone to distribute your cards and information around your local area, perhaps attached to promotional flyers. Offering a discount service is a good way to encourage someone to take your card. Consult with your local authority first, to ensure it’s legal where you are to distribute material in this way.
Waiting Rooms, Receptions and Other Locations

Waiting rooms, reception areas and checkouts are other fruitful places for business cards. For instance, business cards for a beauty-related business might go well in a dentist’s waiting room.

Dentist Waiting Rooms:

As mentioned above, your dentist’s waiting room is a good place to distribute information. Most patients wait for at least ten minutes, browsing the magazines.

Doctors Waiting Rooms:

It may be harder to get permission for this area, but great if your business provides health or wellbeing-related services.

Hotel Receptions:

Hotels will be happy to help if your service benefits their customers (taxi service, restaurant, etc.)

Restaurants:

Ask permission to leave your cards at the checkout.

Taxis:

Ask taxi drivers to distribute your cards—provide a cardholder to put in the back of the taxi. This might not work with gig economy drivers, such as Uber, whose terms and conditions prohibit promoting other businesses to customers.

Coach and Bus Stations:

This is another area especially good for promoting travel-related business.

If you’re looking for stylish, professionally printed business cards to promote your small business or services, look no further than 123Print. We have thousands of high quality, fully customisable business cards designs, and we’ll have your order shipped out to you within 48 working hours! What are you waiting for?

Small Business Spotlight – All Sealed Up

Here at 123Print UK we’re big fans of small business. You’re the backbone of our business and the backbone of our country. Because of this we’ve decided to dedicate part of our blog to you, giving you the chance to talk about your business and tell others how you got started and what makes you great…

SmallBusinessSpotlight
In our spotlight this week is paperwork fairies All Sealed Up. Read on as Head Paperwork Fairy, Liz Barnes explains how she became inspired to take the entrepreneur route, as well as what makes All Sealed Up such a fantastic British business.

AllSealedUp Continue reading Small Business Spotlight — All Sealed Up