Improve Your Business Brochure

By Lanee' Blunt

Your company brochure may need improving to receive the maximum results. Creating a brochure is more than adding a list of your services to your favorite desktop publishing software program. A brochure must give customers the information that they are seeking about your service or product. Your brochure makes a positive statement about your business and creates a positive impression.

Business Description
Have enough information in your brochure that is necessary to inform your prospect about your business. When a prospect sends for your brochure you must keep in mind, that they are interested in reading about your product or service. Include all the information about product, service, website, price, ordering information, and you may be descriptive. Keep it simple by breaking the text into easy to read sections. Your brochure must dramatize the problem then position your product or service as the customer’s solution to their problem.

A brochure should contain a range of information about your company to specific product features and benefits. List the benefits and features of using your product or service.

Call to Action
Use a call to action in the brochure. Tell the reader the type of action that you want her to take. Tell her to respond.  What do you want the reader to do? Give the specific action that you want her to take for example, call you or visit your website?  Give all of your contact information, your name, address, website, phone and email address.

Small Business Notes; Marketing Brochures and Flyers

Printing Industry; Custom Brochure

How to Write a Direct Marketing Letter

By Lanee' Blunt

Direct marketing letters areimportant to your company’s marketing efforts. They can help you get morecustomers, sell your products, and get repeat business. Small businesses needto create a direct marketing letter that is tailored to their particularbusiness. Here are some tips on how to write a direct marketing letter.

Have you considered using aheadline in your marketing letter? Your headline is able to pull the readersattention better than a regular letter without one. The headline should grabthe reader’s attention and make them want to read more of the letter.

An offer is what the readerwill get when he responds to your direct marketing letter and it engages him totake some type of action, call you, visit your website or buy your product. Youroffer should not be too hard for the customer to understand and too complicatedwhere they will just pass over it.

Call to Action
When you are writing yourletter make sure that you include a call to action. A call to action engagesthe reader and tells them what action that you want them to take. You must havea call to action that tells the reader to pick up the phone and call now. Ifthe product is sold by mail ask them to send for more information. Include allof your contact information in the letter, phone numbers, mailing address, faxnumbers, and website address.

How to Create a Company Letterhead on your Computer

By Lanee' Blunt

Your company letterheadrepresents your small business. It shows that you are professional and thatyour company is here to compete in the marketplace. There are many letterheadsto choose from, so it will depend on the type of business you have and how youwant it to look.

Software Packages
There are many softwarepackages on the market that will do the job. Most desktop publishing programscome with templates that create letterheads. Microsoft word will create a professionallooking letterhead too, and is easy to use. Go to the file menu click “New” andfrom there you’ll get the templates. Pick a color scheme and letterhead designthat you like.

Incorporate any graphic orimage in your logo design. You can place your logo at the top of the page. Pickan image that is related your company. If you already have a logo for yoursmall business you can scan the image into the template and download it intothe letterhead.

Add Your Information
Choose the font size that iseasy to read. Give your business name impact by making the font size larger andchoosing a font style that stands out from the rest of the text. Format thename in bold or italics. Type your address, phone, fax, website, and emailaddress directly onto the template.

Designer Freelance: 10 Tipsfor Designing your Business’s Print Letterhead

Computer Free Tips: How toCreate Business Letterhead in Word 2007 

How to Create Business Cards on Your Computer

By Lanee' Blunt

Business cards can be made on your computer and can look professional. You can make company business cards and add your company logo using Microsoft Word.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things you’ll need:
Microsoft word
Card stock
Open your Microsoft word software. Open the File menu and choose New. Click the business card template or download a template that you like.

Select Avery Standard and choose Business card from the design gallery. Click okay in the product menu.

Click “New” document and select the picture insert for your logo design. Upload your company logo by clicking.
Select the font size for the text on your business card. Type your name, address, phone number, and website address.

Save your file. Print one copy to be sure that you like the color scheme and layout. Make any changes and readjustments necessary to the saved file and print.

Make sure that you proofread the business card before you print.

You can also use color card stock and a black printer. 

Starting an Online Store Using Wholesale Suppliers

By Lanee' Blunt

When you start an online store you can sell many of your own products, but you can also work with wholesale suppliers. Starting an online store is an excellent way to make money selling your products everyday. It is a way that you can sell your products 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Setting up your own e-commerce site gives you more freedom, flexibility, and more control.

Set Up Online Site
Get a domain name and register it. Get a web host. You can find a web host that is inexpensive and effective. Make sure you use a web host that offers features that make third-party scripts like a shopping cart a one click system.  Look for free shopping cart scripts. Most web host will offer the open source osCommerce script as a quick install, but there are others you can download. Install payment modules Paypal, 2Checkout, and others. For accepting credit cards select a credit card processor.

Business License

Get a sales tax ID. You will need to collect sales tax and can obtain a Sales Tax Permit from your state or local government. Wholesalers and distributors will not let you open an account with them until you have your sales tax ID.

Finding Wholesalers
Some wholesalers that are high-volume manufacturer or wholesaler will not let you buy directly from them because you are a new small business and your sales volume won’t support buying any kind of bulk. There are many others that will work with smaller businesses. As your sales grow you will be able to work with the other marketing channels. Talk to people in your trade and go and check out their merchandise. Ask them questions if you feel that you won’t compete with them as for their source. Talk to brand manufactures, sometimes they only work with large companies but you can talk to them to see if they will work with small businesses. Search the internet for a wholesaler, and go to trade shows.

Create Accounts with Wholesalers
After you have identified a supplier that provides the types of products you want to sell, contact each wholesale company through their website, or by calling them on the phone and fill out their new account application. Make sure you understand the volume discounts, return policies, and order processing time. Purchase the products you want to sell or set up a drop shipping arrangement with them. Start promoting your online store.

SBA: Small Business Matters; Tips for Finding and Working with Wholesale Suppliers; Caron Beesley; 2010

Lifehacker: How to Set Up Your Own Online Store

Advantages and Disadvantages of Internet Marketing

By Lanee' Blunt

Direct marketing on the internet means that you can track the results from your campaigns from pay-per click advertising, search engine optimization, email marketing, banner advertising, contextual advertising, and affiliate marketing campaigns. Many small businesses advertise the traditional way using offline advertising, but some companies are looking to the internet for additional exposure.

An advantage of online marketing is you have the speed and ease of tracking all of your marketing campaigns. You can identify your profit and your loss and then improve your ROI from each marketing avenues. You can use tracking software that will help you track where your ads are, what ads are being clicked on, and in what location.

Cost Effective
Another advantage of internet marketing is that you can advertise more cheaply than you can with more traditional methods of advertising, such as television, full page ads in the newspaper, and directories. For example, you can reach your customers cheaply and effectively. You can get a free listing in many business online directories. You can contact your customers more than you normally would and more affordably than other methods, by sending information out to your existing customers and others who have opted-in to your mailing list.

A disadvantage of direct marketing on the internet is that your email may be considered spam. Please don’t spam your customers. Always include an opt-out statement in your message. This will give your customers a choice to receive your email messages or your newsletter. For example, if you wish to discontinue receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe to these offers by clicking here.

A disadvantage of direct marketing on the internet is that your campaign takes time to build. It takes time to receive page views and then for someone to click on what you are offering in your ad. Another disadvantage of using HTML format for newsletters and emails for marketing that some people may have a slow computer and it may take a long time to download all of the information from your newsletter and they may lose patience. HTML looks visually appealing and is easier to read than text format.

In a matter of months of aggressive SEO campaigning, you can secure millions of impressions and reach your target audience but it takes patience when you’re just beginning your new campaign.

Deer Farmer’s Library; Internet Direct Marketing; Russell Sawchulk; 2003

Marketing Smartt; 10 Advantages of Online Marketing vs. Traditional Media; Kyle Pearce; 2009

SEO & Online Marketing Tips; Direct Marketing on the Internet; Alex Cleanthous, 2007

How to Write a Small Business Proposal

By Lanee' Blunt

Writing a small business proposal is a challenge, but it can be done providing that you take the right steps and provide the right information. Writing a small business proposal can help your business by getting you a business loan, investors, or more commercial clients. A proposal’s effectiveness is based on the value that your business brings to the table.


Things You’ll Need
Company brochures
Cost of material
Cover reports
White printer paper

Write the executive summary. Tell the evaluator why they should choose your company and why your small business is the best for the contract. Explain to the reader that your company is going to accomplish the requested work and how you’re going to do it. Give the history of your company.

Small business qualifications. Write about the number of similar types of projects that your small business has worked on. State the size of each project and the number of participants. Provide references from the other jobs that you have done that are similar to the one you are writing the proposal for.

Cost Estimate. Explain the price you are proposing. List your project price. Include each service that your company is going to perform with a detailed fee schedule. Include a maintenance cost estimate which is an estimated cost for planned or unplanned work which can be carried out in conjunction with the proposed project, but is not required to meet the intent of the project.

Schedule.  Address expected completion dates. The schedule should provide a timeline throughout the project. A timeline which includes a beginning date and end date. For example, timeline will include a beginning and end date for construction, installation for site preparation, assembly,  equipment installation, and functional testing.

Personal Information. Provide the responsibilities of key personnel in your company. List all management and all employees that will be doing certain jobs.

Proofread. Rewrite sections of the proposal that are vague and may not explain in detail of what you are proposing. Eliminate all typos. Use section titles and subheadings. Avoid adjectives that make your proposal sound too unprofessional and amateurs.

Demonstrate in the proposal that your firm has the capabilities to perform the proposed job.
Complete the proposal on time before the deadline so that you will have time to go over it and revise the proposal.

AESO: Proposal to Provide Service

Find FRP: Government Contracting: How to Write a Proposal or Respond to a Bid Solicitation

Read This Next
How to Write a Proposal for a Service Business

Tips on How to Write a Business Proposal

How to Write a Janitorial Service Proposal

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Business Plan

By Lanee' Blunt

The cover letter should identify you, the reason the plan is presented, and your submissions that are included with the plan.  The cover letter is the first impression that you will make. The cover letter should be no more than three paragraphs in length. The cover letter briefly announces that the feasibility is attached. A feasibility plan evaluates the feasibility of a business concept and details and why a business concept and details how and why a business concept will be a success. Most feasibility plans discuss the advantages of doing business with a consultant or firm.

Moderately easy

Things you’ll need
Word processing program
Good quality paper

Know your audience.  This will help with the tone of the cover letter if you know who you speaking too. Think of your letter as speaking directly to the investor and imagine that you are writing to that person. Let your letter be brief and to the point because your audience is a busy investor which should not have to read several pages to determine the nature of the material you are sending.

Address the cover letter to the correct recipient. Make sure that the clients name, business name or department is correct. Keep your letterhead simple and use a formal salutation. Start the first paragraph with a single spaced line after the salutation. The first paragraph tells the reader the purpose of the letter. State what you have sent you don’t need a lead; just identify enclosures and their purpose. Open the first sentence by coming right to the point. “I’m enclosing my feasibility plan for your consideration.” Next say something in the same paragraph about the purpose or reason the plan is presented. Make sure that you double space between the first paragraph and the second one.

Start your second paragraph with biographical information. This paragraph chronicles your experience, and writes it toward what your clients needs are.  Outline your background that’s relevant to the feasibility. Identify your firm briefly and if you’ve done work relevant or similar and written in a clear and concise language. Write three or four sentences for each paragraph.

Write closing sentences for the final paragraph. An example of a closing: “Thank you for your attention. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Keep the cover letter brief no more than one to one and a half pages. Try to stay within the three paragraph limit because cover letters are brief and only identify you and the feasibility plan presented.

Attach the feasibility plan after the cover letter


Writing a Convincing Business Plan”; Arthur DeThomas PHD, Stephanie A Derammelaere; 2008

“How to Write Attention Grabbing Query and Cover Letters”; John Wood; 2000

Start Your Own Online Store

By Lanee' Blunt

Starting an online store is a good way to make money selling your products everyday.  Cheap web hosting and templates help you to build a website for your own catalog on the web. Setting up your own e-commerce site gives you more flexibility, freedom, and more control. Having your own site lets you avoid transaction and listing fees, but you will have to pay processing fees from your payment gateway.

Obtain a Tax ID
Get a sales tax ID. To sell products you are required to collect sales taxes, you will need to obtain a Sales Tax Permit from your state or local government. In order to deal with wholesalers and distributors you will need the tax ID before they will let you open an account with them.

Web Host
You probably have one in mind so I won’t talk about it too much here. Make sure that you use a web host that offers features that make installing third-party scripts like shopping cart systems just in one click. Get a domain name.
Set up your website. Install your shopping cart system.

Online Store
Get an account with an online provider such as Amazon, Yahoo, or eBay.

Payment Method
You can install payment modules including Paypal, 2Checkout, and others. Select a credit card payment processor for accepting payments through credit cards. Paypal is easy to set up and popular for most online users. For the shipping cost you ban specify per item shipping cost, and rates for different zones.

Product Images
Use product images and descriptions of your products in your online shopping site. Select a category product image and enter in the other detail description and name.

Lifehacker: How to Set Up Your Own Online Store