Must-Have Marketing Materials for Start-Up Businesses

Unfortunately, when a business is just getting started, advertising is one of the first things to be left on the backburner. While it is very important to get your name out into the public, when you are scraping to pay the bills and stay afloat, marketing quickly becomes an expendable expense. There are, however, a few marketing items that are absolutely essential for a start-up business to invest in if it expects to survive. No matter how the budget stands, these items are must-haves, and all expenses should be set aside to make space for them. Business cards, postcards, a letterhead and brochures are marketing materials that you absolutely cannot do without.

Business cards are the first marketing item that many small businesses have trouble getting by without. Whenever you meet an individual who is interested in your business, it is essential to hand them a business card. Every customer served well should leave your company with a card. Every local establishment that will allow it should have your business card on its bulletin board. Very simply, a business card will do wonders for word of mouth advertising. While that alone is not enough to make your company flourish, it can keep you afloat while you settle in.

A good business card can be difficult to design, but there are a few basic tactics to help you decide which path to take. The first suggestion is to keep it simple. Too much text, and an excessive design can clutter your card and distract your consumer from the important information. Stick to the essentials when it comes to text, and keep visual flair simple. The second suggestion is to include something to make your card stand out. Whether it is an especially attractive logo, a slightly unconventional material, a creative, but still functional shape, or an excellent use of a unified color scheme, your card needs to stand out in some way. The third suggestion for business cards is not to settle for something cheap. While it is tempting to skimp a little here and there to save money, it is crucial to establish your company as a professional organization. Having a high quality business card is a great step towards accomplishing that goal.

A second important basic marketing item is a postcard. Postcards are great because they are simple, cheap and easy for potential customers to keep. Use postcards to announce your company’s grand opening, and have the postcard act as a coupon when brought in with the customer. You could also consider running a contest through the postcards. Whatever you do, make sure you have a direct benefit to your customer when it comes to the postcard. It needs to be more than just a business card. Make sure you give the person who receives the postcard in the mail a reason to keep it hanging up on the bulletin board, or on their refrigerator. Beyond that, keeping all basic company information on the card and taking advantage of how cheap they are to mail by sending one to everybody in your area will ensure that you will not have wasted your money.

Letterheads and brochures are two other important marketing devices for your start up business. Letterheads exude professionalism, and a good one will get the attention of consumers and make them think of you in a similar way to how they think of major companies in your field. Giving that sense of establishment to your new company will help your potential customers develop an essential trust with you. Gaining the trust of consumers is especially important for a start-up business to become successful. Brochures can help you develop that sense of trust and professionalism further. In many cases, customers will want to see tangible results of your services before they will trust you enough to give you their money. Having a brochure with sample products, testimonials and other similar items is a great way to give potential customers that sense of security that they need. A brochure can be one of your greatest tools to turn potential customers into satisfied customers.

Maintaining your budget as a start-up business can be one of the hardest tasks you will face. Balancing funds coming in with those going out can be daunting and can easily leave you tempted to cut spending to a minimum. While that can be a wise conclusion, there are certain elements of marketing that are undoubtedly must-haves, and should never be cut. Business cards help you reach new consumers, and establish your professionalism. Postcards can get your name out to the masses, while also giving people a direct reason to visit you on location. Letterheads and brochures give you the chance to establish a sense of trust with customers, furthering your professional reputation. These four elements of marketing are things that a young business can just not do without.

About The Author

Nick Kakolowski is a freelance writer who writes about business and networking, often describing is specific aspect of networking such as utilizing printing services .


7 thoughts on “Must-Have Marketing Materials for Start-Up Businesses”

  1. Hi,

    I am not sure I agree with what you say first in this article, you say

    Unfortunately, when a business is just getting started, advertising is one of the first things to be left on the backburner.

    But, how about the internet? If you know how you can instantly advertise your new company on the first page of Google.

    opening up a WordPress blog for instance can go a long way and be very successful in getting a new business known.

    Then have it inserted in the local Google map area as a local business listing and voila: free advertising for the business. Not only will the blog show up in organic results, the business listing will be on top of Google for any local search performed related to the business.

    This works like a charm for start up businesses.


  2. There is no reason these should be the first thing a business buys. Why do you need a business card? Or a postcard? Or letterhead?

    That makes no sense. There’s no point in creating those until you’ve found a way to to make money. Having a “high quality business card” does not equal more revenue.

    Customers don’t care if you have a business card, a fancy logo, or a well designed letterhead. They care about getting their problem fixed. Period.

    While all these things might be nice…. they are definitely not a necessity.

    Cash flow is the most important thing a startup can have. Until you have money coming in, you don’t have much of a business. Even if your business card says so.

  3. Adding your business to and other online directories is a fundamental marketing step all startup companies should take. Brownbook is a free global online business directory – includes live backlinks; search engine marketing heaven!

  4. Good post, had similar thoughts on quality print collateral just a few months ago. Couple things:

    When you are struggling to start up, dual purpose materials can help. A postcard that can double as a mini-brochure could be a cost saver. Maybe a split run, some for mailing and some for hand distribution.

    A website is also a standard start up item. Though not print, it is the Internet brochure and face of the company. One can always start small, basic (free WordPress templates, iWeb) and expand as the business grows.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. I completely agree with all the things you said!
    Business cards really are the most essential tool for marketing. And the other printed materials for marketing a business are important too.
    However, nowadays, I think a website is also a must-have, just because a lot of customers get their info on the web. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great information, you are correct keeping to a budget is very difficult with a start-up because you want to make it the best business possible, but don’t always have the necessary funding.

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