By Alan Piggot
IT might be a cliche but there's certainly some truth in the adage - failing to plan is planning to fail. And in today's fast-paced, next-day delivery world, where everything is available at the touch of a button, we all expect things to happen in an instant.
But when it comes to marketing your business it's worth taking a couple of hours - maybe around now, as we approach the start of a new financial year - to work out what your strategy is going to be for the next six or 12 months.
Events - most business sectors have dedicated exhibitions or trade shows throughout the year and it makes sense to do a little bit of homework and decide which ones are best for you. It could be that you want to simply attend, to get a feel for what others in your area or related sectors are doing, or you may feel taking an exhibition stand to showcase your services or products is better.
Or you could be the organiser, in which case promotional folders, brochures, goody bags and lanyards are all worth investing in.
Exhibition stands - If it's the latter, then start to think about how you're going to present your business. Go for the size of pitch that works within your budget and then look at how to get your message across most effectively. A large stand needs an eye-catching backdrop, maybe somewhere for people to stop, sit down and chat - something novel to grab their interest quickly works well.
On a smaller pitch, fill your space with information about your business. That could be a brochure or posters, but it's also worth looking at giveaways - something visitors can take away with them to remind them of your name and how to contact you, and to remind them to dig your brochure out and take another look once the show is over.
Products - There's a vast range of promotional items available from the novelty to the traditional to hand out to passers-by. Pens are a long-established favourite, but you can also consider packs of mints, flower seeds, stationery and desktop items. If you're giving them away they can't be expensive but you can also have slightly higher value items such as reusable coffee cups or memory sticks to give away to those you feel are truly prospective customers.
Get ready - whatever your strategy, there is nothing to be gained from leaving it to the last minute. Yes, we can order from major online retailers today and get items delivered tomorrow - but in the world of personalised promotional products, it doesn't work like that.
You need to take time to decide exactly what you want, discuss your needs with a promotions company, and give them time to order and deliver. Last minute could well mean you end up with items you're not 100 per cent happy with and will almost certainly cost you more for a fast turnaround.
Promote-it Ltd can help with everything from offering a host of interesting ideas through to branding, ordering and delivery so that you're set to impress as soon as the event gets under way.