Tag Archives: Small Business Inspiration

Product Packaging Tips for Small Businesses

When thinking about how to market your product, its packaging shouldn’t be the last thing that you consider. Even if you’re selling an online-only digital product, packing design is still relevant.

For instance, in the days when computer stores sold boxed software on DVD/CD, they needed a well-designed box to sit on the shelf. While that is no longer a reality, people still remember the packaging. Browse through computer software advertisements on the Internet, and you’ll be surprised at how many feature ‘virtual’ product packaging.

The packaging that you use will say a lot about your company – it’s one of the first impressions that customers will create about your business. Your packaging is also a great opportunity to further spread your branding and even turn customers into repeat customers!

Keep reading to discover plenty of handy tips on how to make the most out of your product packaging as a small business.

Invest in Eco-Friendly Packaging

Going back even just five years, how many vegan products would you expect to see in an average supermarket? Certainly not many, and very expensive at that compared to their non-vegan counterparts. But now every food category has a vegan/vegetarian or health-conscious alternative.

Given that this sector is more environmentally conscious than the average and consumers seem willing to pay a little more, it’s fair to assume that general consumer attitude is trending towards the environment. In today’s environmentally conscious world, this is probably one of the most relevant product packaging design tips.

How to Make Your Packaging More Environmentally Friendly

Look carefully at the materials that you’re using. Most urban houses have recycling bins—make sure that most of the product’s packing is recyclable and prominently display a recycling logo on the packaging.

Show your company’s green credentials by using recycled materials in product packaging—it’s true to say that recycled materials tend not to look and feel as pristine as non-recycled. However, being able to print ‘Made from 100% recycled material’ on the packaging is a big plus point.

Don’t forget to use recycled paper for your paper mailings, too – otherwise eco-friendly packaging may come across as a token gesture or gimmick, rather than a sign that your business is serious about the environment. At 123Print, you can purchase both letterheads and envelopes made of 100% recycled paper.

Consider the Unboxing Experience

Over the past several years, the phenomenon of the ‘unboxing video’ has become popular on social media sites such as YouTube and TikTok. Simply put, they feature a customer unboxing a new product (opening it and taking it out of its packaging), and reviewing the experience.

You might wonder why anyone would sit through a video about unboxing a product, but they have become insanely popular. Steve Jobs at Apple revolutionised this experience, designing packaging with the same care and attention to detail lavished on the product itself. This approach sets and enhances the customer’s expectations for the product.

Now consumers, especially of high-end electronic devices and luxury cosmetic products, crave this experience. When choosing between different products, in the same category, many people search for unboxing videos on YouTube. A flattering unboxing review might make the difference when choosing between similar products.

Tips for Successful Unboxings

Here are some general tips to enhance your customers’ general unboxing experience.

1) Consider the cost of packaging. The material cost of packaging, especially high-end, can reach up to 10% of the total manufacturing cost. If your product is in a price-sensitive market, would this extra cost hurt your bottom line?
2) Know your customers. What is your target consumer’s attitude to the environment? To some, the cost of high-end packaging may seem an unnecessary expense and detract from the product.
3) Be creative. YouTube is a visual medium, so your packaging material should look good under lighting, not be too reflective and feature attractive colours with a well-designed logo and font.
4) Use easy-to-open packaging such as a cardboard box. The opening process should be smooth and easy – having to hack plastic packaging open with a pair of kitchen scissors isn’t very appealing.
5) Ensure the product is secure. You don’t want it falling from the packaging upon opening. If your product features multiple parts, use packing foam inside the box and make sure that each part is visible and secure. If your product is a foodstuff, package it in a resealable bag—it looks good, is easy to open and enhances the freshness of your product.

Imagine yourself as a YouTuber, unboxing your product: what comment would you make—if the experience feels good to you, then you’re on the right track.

Theme Your Packaging

The theme is an important element of packaging design. A product’s packaging may comprise multiple items, not just a single bag or a box. It’s good to employ a consistent design with each element.

Maybe you use matching colour schemes or design elements, such as tying packages with twine. Whatever it is, remember that people like the personal touch. If your product is presented in plain packaging, it’s unlikely that your customer would choose to feature it on their Instagram feed or other social media channel.

Your product, perhaps a manual coffee grinder, might come in a well-constructed, attractive box, but also include a matching bag for travel. These small touches of design flair make a difference when trying to stand out against the competition. This might not be so important in an online marketplace, such as Amazon, where advertisers focus on the product image, rather than packaging. However, for an online marketplace, such as Etsy, which focuses on artisan products, cute and thematic product packaging, helps products to stand out from the crowd.

Make Use of Seasons and Holidays

If your product is aimed at (or sold during) a particular holiday, design the packaging with that in mind—the obvious example is Christmas, with bold red, gold and green festive designs.

But it’s not only holidays that you should think about. There are seasonal products that would benefit from appropriate design. For instance, a consumer in a DIY store, looking for, say, a garden product, would subconsciously look for green packaging.

Use Clear and Attractive Language

If you’re lucky enough that a customer has picked up your product from the shelf, make sure that all the information they need to make the choice is included on the packaging.
For instance, if it’s a health food product, make sure that it includes details of its benefits.

Otherwise, the customer might put it back and choose another brand. If you’re selling clothing, you should have a clear label stating what materials it’s made from, and the percentage of the overall product.

Like all marketing, think like a customer. While your product packaging might include a detailed instruction leaflet inside, print enough instructions on the packaging to convince the customer that it’s what they need.

Is It Legal?

While the most important aspect of packaging design is to enhance the product’s desirability, you should always consider the legal aspect. Depending on product type, certain things that appear on the packaging, such as medicinal claims, may be legally restricted.

Also, make sure that any product claims that appear on the packaging are accurate and truthful. Lying to customers for the sake of selling more units isn’t a good look.

Encourage Brand Awareness and Recognition

While your company may have a varied product line, you always want people to know from whom they’re buying. Brand awareness requires a consistent design strategy across product lines.

For instance, consider supermarkets—they offer a range of products. There is never just one brand of soup or sunblock on the shelf and, of course, you want the consumer to pick up your product first, rather than the store’s own brand, or a competitor’s.

A consistent brand identity can help with this—something familiar in the packaging, perhaps a particular font or colour scheme to grab their attention and make them reflexively reach for your product first.

While your small business might not have the research budget of a national supermarket chain, it’s valuable, when planning product packaging, to put yourself in the mind of your customer. Think about what they might look for when searching for your type of product.

And of course, always prominently display your business’s logo and any taglines or slogans you may use on the outer packaging. That way, even if the customer doesn’t end up buying it, they’ll still be more likely to remember and recognise your brand in the future.

Include Extra Promotional Materials

In order to upsell to your customers, add some additional promotional material in the product packaging. For example, you might include a flyer with a special discount code for 10% off future purchases – this will encourage your customers to place another order.

You could also consider including a loyalty card inside the packaging, with one stamp already on it. People love to collect things, and loyalty stamps are no exception. The mere presence of a loyalty card will inspire them to shop with you again, and work towards the reward (whatever it may be).

Always make sure any promotional materials you include in your packaging are professionally designed and printed, to create the most favourable impression possible with your customers. 123Print carry a full range of professional-quality flyers, business cards and other promotional materials.

 

Our thousands of designs are fully customisable with your own wording and font choices, and will be shipped to you within 2 working days of your order. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can have confidence in us to provide for all of your marketing needs.

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.

8 Amazing Tips to Boost Your Small Business in 2021

In the last decade, small businesses have been growing at a rapid pace. Technology and innovation have removed the barriers to entry for starting a business, and increasing numbers of people want to be their own boss.

But one thing that’s never changed about running a small business is the need for innovation in order to stay competitive. Every day, we see it: new start-ups are popping up all over while existing companies scramble to keep up with the new competition and changing customer demands or face extinction. So how can you make your business stand out from the rest? How do you plan on staying ahead of these changes?
Here are eight tips for boosting your small business in 2021.

1. Modernise Your Logo

The only real difference between a small business and a global enterprise is branding. You’d be amazed how many “global companies” are still run out of a spare bedroom in someone’s house, but customers think of them as big and powerful because they recognise their brand.

With that in mind, the first element of any brand is a stylish, modern logo. If your logo design looks dated or was made using a terrible old font (hello, Comic Sans!), it’s definitely time for an overhaul.

Here are some tips for a refreshed look:

1. Switch from black-and-white logos to colour images or use gradients that allow for more colours in one image
2. Clean up logos by removing superfluous details like extraneous words or squiggly lines (serif fonts are okay!)
3. Adjust typeface size, so it’s not too small and hard to read on small screens; consider whether upper case or lower-case letters work better depending on how formal/informal you want things to appear

The good news is, there any hundreds of quality graphic designers on sites like Fiverr and Upwork that will make you a unique new logo at a great price. If artistic endeavours aren’t really your thing, be smart and leave it in the hands of a professional!

2. Update Your Stationery

That new logo will require some new stationery to go along with your rebranding. We sometimes forget in the digital age, but customers definitely associate the quality of your business with the physical medium communications they receive from you. If you use any type of print, letterhead, or even packaging in your business, you definitely don’t want to skimp on your stationery.

When you’re redesigning your stationery, don’t forget to include:

1. Your new logo as a brand identifier on every piece of stationery and marketing materials sent out from your business. Your updated brand should stand out in everything your customers see! This means creating new letterhead with the updated design included and cards or envelopes for thank-you or follow-up correspondence.
2. Contact details – including full address, email address, phone number (including international codes), and hours of operation to make it easy for customers who want to get in touch directly.
3. Social media handles that are appropriate for professional use can also help build brand awareness across platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to encourage people to like and follow you on those accounts.

123Print offers professionally printed, high-quality business stationery at a price that won’t break the bank. Choose from hundreds of templates or create your own designs from scratch with our easy-to-use editing tool.

3. Use Quality Printing for All Your Marketing Materials

Gone are the days when you had to choose between affordable marketing materials and high-quality ones. Advancements in printing capabilities and small-batch production mean that it’s not only possible but profitable to invest in high-quality printing for your marketing materials.

Most small business owners know the value of a good flyer or brochure, which can be an easy and cost-effective way to get information about your company out into the world quickly. Just be sure that the image you’re projecting builds trust in your potential customers. After all, if your marketing materials look low-quality, doesn’t that imply your products or services are the same?

4. Modernise Your Business Cards

Despite all of the fancy technology we interact with every day, the good old-fashioned business card is still the best way to tell people about your business in person. If you’re still using cheap business cards with just a company logo and contact details on the front, it’s time to move into the 21st century!

Make sure your business card has:

1. Your modernised logo or at least an updated version of an old one. This will help customers remember who you are when they see that brand in the future.
2. A scannable QR code that allows customers to go directly to your site from the card itself.
QR codes are really taking off after years of people resisting using them. Adding one to your business card itself creates the perfect blend of old and new technology that everyone can use.

With 123Print, you can edit one of our fully customisable business card templates and upload your own logos and artwork with the click of a button. Or, if you’re feeling creative, create your own design from scratch!

5. Go Big on Social Media

It’s incredible how many companies still fail to take advantage of the reach of social media. If you have a small business and are not using social media for marketing purposes yet, now is the time to begin.

Start by making sure that your business profile on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter – or any other mediums of choice – has all the contact information necessary for customers to reach you about buying services or products.

Next, sit down and make a 30-day plan for posting consistently about your business or services. The more you post, and the more times your small business is in a customer’s news feed per week (especially on their mobile device), the higher chance they’ll buy from you.

If you’re too busy to post on social media consistently, consider hiring a company or a freelancer to make daily posts to your accounts. For less than the proverbial cost of a cup of coffee per day, they’ll manage all of your business’s social media marketing for you. The key is consistency, so if you can’t do it yourself or delegate it to an employee, definitely consider using outside help.

Don’t Forget Google My Business

Many business owners don’t realise that they can also use their Google My Business (sometimes called the Google Maps page) to make posts, the same as Facebook or other social media platforms. Not only can you make posts on Google My Business, but you can also upload videos and make offers and promotions directly from there. And since Google loves its own products, those posts have a good chance of being seen locally when people are searching.

Don’t Forget Pinterest Either

Poor Pinterest – it sometimes seems like they went by the wayside in the face of overwhelming competition from giants like Facebook and Instagram. But here’s a staggering stat: Pinterest has 460 MILLION active and dedicated users. That’s more than the entire population of Russia!

And here’s a little life hack about Pinterest: Unlike most social media posts, theirs rank in Google search. That means your Pinterest post about your awesome carpet cleaning business has a great chance of appearing in Google when someone searches for it nearby, just like the Google My Business posts we talked about earlier.
So, small business owners: it might be time to start showing some love to Pinterest. When you post on Pinterest, make sure that everything is in a vertical format and links back to your website.
Wait, you do have a website, don’t you?
If not…

6. Get a Website for Your Business

It’s come into vogue in recent years, but there are still many people who believe that they don’t need a site if they’re only running a small business. That couldn’t be further from the truth! A blog is one thing, but you really should have an actual domain that reflects your name and location if you want to get taken seriously by customers.

7. Get a Business Email Address

Customers will subconsciously assume what type of business experience they’ll have if they see a small business sending out social media messages with an email address that says @gmail.com or something similar. It’s easy to get a dedicated domain email address through sites like Google or your web hosting company. Make an effort to appear professional, and your customers will assume you are.

8. Invest in Small Business Video Content

You’ve been hearing it for years…you HAVE to have a presence on YouTube if you want small business success. And the truth is, many prospective customers will go to YouTube before they search for your particular services on Google. In fact, YouTube is the #2 search engine by volume globally, second only to its parent company Google.

I bet you thought it was Bing, huh?

Nope. Google holds the number two slot for searches and is showing no signs of slowing down. What scares most people about becoming active on YouTube is the idea of having to create videos, or worse yet, appear in them. The great news is there are gigs on sites such as Fiverr that can get you high-quality videos made to show off your fantastic business at prices that are small business friendly. So, take advantage of the second largest search engine on earth to get some new exposure for your brand.

Make 2021 the Year You Go Big!

The time has never been better for small business owners to take advantage of the power of branding and internet marketing. As we move out of the Covid-19 pandemic, now is the perfect time to boost your small business and grow your sale and customer base.
From getting a website to using social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram effectively, we hope you find these tips helpful as you work on increasing your sales and visibility online. And if you’re looking for quality printing and business stationery, visit 123Print and let us show you how affordable we can make it for your business!

10 Tips for Making Your Small Business Appear Bigger

In business your image and how you appear to your potential client or customer is everything. As a small business who works with a select number of clients, this may have worked to your advantage in the past. No doubt you have thrived on the friendly one to one service only a true small business owner can provide. And the work, well, no one works harder than a small business owner.

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