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If you’ve ever been into marketing or related skill areas, any business related to marketing would be a great fit. Providing marketing services, consulting, and developing customized marketing or promotional products for other small businesses is one such business niche that’s profitable, fun, and easy to start with.
Here’s how and why you should start a promotional merchandize business:
Promotional merchandize businesses are the need of the day
Businesses all over the world are looking to diversify their marketing methods. No one marketing method fits and hence the entire function of marketing is a major experiment. Businesses continue to invest in marketing because they need customers.
Each customer responds to one marketing method better than others. However, you just can’t go wrong with a few kinds of marketing – promotional merchandizing and distribution is one such marketing method that closely follows on the heels of direct marketing but with a much more personalized approach..
Promotional merchandizing includes creating personalized products with company branding on each of these products such as t-shirts, purses, hoodies, jerseys, caps, mugs, sweatshirts, greeting cards, mats, apparel, mouse pads, pens, pen holders, and even table tops.
Depending on the target market for each business, any one or more of these promotional merchandize categories can be customized and distributed to clients as a means of saying thank you or for generating business.
Software makes your startup nimble
You’ll be forgiven to think that to start such a business might incur heavy expenditure in terms of investment such as printing machines, 3 D printing equipment, design tools, and staff.
Consider this: how about starting a business such as this with almost none of these investments?
As for design, you don’t do any of it. Your customers will. To make such a system available for your customers, you’ll need a completely customizable solution, which can come shipped with an ecommerce solution to help you sell your packages to other small businesses interested in signing up for your services. You’ll also need a secure login and administration area for other small business owners to login and create their own promotional merchandize.
Meanwhile, you’ll get everything you need to run your own business and cater to your customers. With a simple investment in a turnkey design solution for creating customizable products, you are giving everything your clients will need for custom merchandizing.
Add consulting to the mix
Now, if everyone could invest in a solution such as an All-in-one Product Designer, it’d be just too competitive a niche to get into. That’s why you should avoid sticking to the basic, bare bones offerings and go for “value added pricing”. Apart from providing a great way for other businesses to create their own merchandize and a great design tool to help dig into their creativity, offer to provide consulting on marketing, ideas for promotional products, corporate gifting, etc.
Your customers will create the products using your platform. You’ll then be able to advice customers on design, distribution, printing, logistics, lead generation, brand building, and even customer service on your customers’ behalf.
Promote yourself on the web
Since your business runs on a subscription model where clients pay you each month for access to the design software, you’d do well to find ways to market your business online.
Start a blog and post regularly, grow your presence on various social media channels, start creating content for your own business and also parallel content that you can use as guest posts on other popular blogs. Feature a few whitepapers and give away downloadable resources for your clients so that you increase the value of our your own product.
Start your own newsletter, an educational email series with tutorials and classes for your clients. You’ll also be able to create videos showcasing other small businesses that had tremendous success distributing promotional merchandize for branding or for lead generation.
Invest in Google ads, LinkedIn ads, and Facebook ads. Promote your content on third-party publications and also create a LinkedIn page. Since you are in B2B segment, LinkedIn has a huge potential – no matter how you choose to leverage it.
Demonstrate the power of promotional merchandize
For your business, showing is convincing. There’s no other better way for your clients to know what a difference it makes when they receive physical mail with promotional merchandize (which is more thoughtful than promotional). Set up yourself as your first client, create designs on products that you think are the best for other small business owners, and send them out to your list of subscribers, leads, or customers.
While you do that, send out a note, which says something like this:
“Delighted, aren’t you? How about doing something like this for your own customers?”
“Unpacking gifts is pure happiness. We are sure your customers will feel the same. Talk to us if you’d like to send items like these to your customers”
“Just as you rubbed your hands in glee when this package arrived, your customers would do the same. Call us now to find out how to do this easily”
The rise of web to is a welcome change giving a new dimension to the print industry. Likewise, it’s also changing how customers perceive businesses based on how much effort businesses put in just to stay in touch with customers. Today, customers are mostly on the web but when you send out thoughtful and personalized promotional items that your customers can use, you are making them think about you – especially every time they use the product you sent them.
Would you like to get into the business that walks on the critical need for personal touch? How about changing how other businesses do marketing forever? What do you think the potential of such a business can be? Share your ideas, thoughts, and opinions with us. We’d love to hear from you.
Ekta Jain works for Design’N’Buy, leader in Web to Print turnkey solutions. She always tests the products she writes about and says All-In-One Product line is just awesome for both the end-user and the store owner in terms of promotional merchandize for business. You can follow Design’N’Buy on Twitter @designnbuy .