Your marketing dollars need to be well spent in small business. The rate of return of your marketing dollars should be in direct proportion with your dollars spent. Here are a few companies that I have used in the past that are very cost effective and had the greatest return for the money spent.
Expresscopy is best used for a direct mail campaign. You can get a targeted list of new customers and upload that list directly to the site in an excel spreadsheet. You can design online the postcards with their editing system and choose from literally hundreds of editable design options and upload your logo and/or pictures to get your message across. They will automatically mail the cards directly to your prospective customers. Its pretty amazing, from the time you send the order, the cards start being delivered 2-3 days later and the quality of the product is excellent. Also, I found that they are the least expensive company on the net. Below is a link to get started.
I have been using Vistaprint for years. They have by far the best prices on the net and your local printers. For business cards, they will give you free cards if you pay for the shipping. The catch is that their logo is on the back, but for an additional $25, you can get full color, glossy high quality 2 sided cards for about $25 per 500. You can call every printer you know, let me know if there is anyone that can come close to their pricing. They also have many other products available with your design on it such as magnets, cups, shirts, caps, the list goes on and on. They also have an easy to use editing program that you can upload your info and logo to 100's of templates they have available to choose from. Below is a link to see their product list and pricing.
For purchasing domains, hands down Go Daddy is the way to go. I personally have about 30 domains with them that I use to generate web traffic. They give member discounts and bulk discounts if you purchase multiple domains. There are a few companies that you can create free websites, my favorite is www.letseat.at which is primarily a restaurant free site service, though it can be changed to fit almost any business. It has an upload feature to put your menu on the site and will give a google map of your business so customers can find you. You can then purchase a domain relating to your business and point it toward your free site. You also get a free 5 page site from Go Daddy, but the designs and features are not even close to what you get with the lesteat site. Below is a link to the Go Daddy site where you can begin your search. Make sure to try to limit your domain name to 3 words and no more than 16 letters. Your new domain should always be your business name or words pertinent to your business.
If the free site is just not going to cut it for your business, the best company for a very affordable website package is Network Solutions. You can get a basic site with 1000 email addresses for less than $10 a month. There are literally 100's of design templates to choose from with easy to edit business templates to choose from. They also throw in a free domain with the purchase of a website package. Below is a link to get more information on how to get started on your new site.
The hands down winner when it comes to prices on signs is Oakley Signs. You can expect a savings anywhere from 30-50% savings over your local sign companies and about 10% less than other internet sign companies. They make any kind of sign using high quality materials and have an easy to use on line sign creating software. Below is a link to see what products they carry and the great prices.
When purchasing office supplies, bulkofficesupply.com is a very economical way to stock up on your office needs. You can purchase online which will save you time and gas and they are much less expensive than your local office retailers. Below is a link so you can browse products and pricing.
Before I developed my own system, I used an email marketing system, Constant Contact is one of the better ones on the market. Besides a website, this will be the least expensive and most effective marketing tool that you can use. You can keep in contact with your clients/customer with little effort for a small monthly fee. You can create email and target marketing campaigns and send newsletters automatically to your prospective and regular customers. For instance, if you are a restaurant owner, you could have monthly coupons or entertainment schedules sent directly to your guests automatically. Below is a link and get a free 60 day trial.
Metrofax is a great way to go paperless for people that frequently use fax for business. You can send and receive faxes right from your computer and they give you your own number that you will use to send and receive faxes. It will save you on paper, ink and it will eliminate your need for a separate phone line for your fax machine. Personally, I use my cell phone for all calls I make so when I started using MetroFax, I saw a great savings as I eliminated my home fax line and definately saved money on paper and ink. Packages start at less than $13 a month, about half the cost of a phone line. Below is a link to get more information on the service. If your business involves a decent amount of mail outs, I would suggest using Stamps.com to get all of you postal needs. Not only will it save you time and money, but you can also "brand" yourself with the postage you put on letters. They have a new program called "photostamps" you can upload photos to the site and print out your own personalized postage stamps. What better way to get in the minds of your customers/clients than to send your letters with your logo or business name? Maybe if you are a restaurant, you can upload a photo of your signature dish, mmmm. Below is a link for more info and to get started on branding your business.
If you are looking for electronics the best company I found was "the nerds". I was searching for a digital camcorder to promote my business with, I searched high and low for the perfect model at the lowest price. Once I found the one that would work for me, I priced it at all the major retailers and online. I found my lowest price at thenerds.net , I bought a fully functional Samsung digital camcorder for $145 including a warranty, wow! I also bought the Roxio Studio 10 editing software to use with my camcorder, it is easy to use and will make your video productions look like you are a hollywood producer. Below is a link to view their products and pricing.
I didnt buy my cell phone plan from this company, but I have bought accessories. I lost my charger and the retailer I bought my phone from wanted $19.99 plus tax. I found the identical charger at the cellphoneshop.net for $6. I use them regularly now for all my accessory needs, they are usually at least half of what you would pay at a retailer. Also, if you need a battery for your phone, they are very inexpensive. Below is a link to view their products and pricing.
If you have any questions or need some tips on how to market your business or want money saving tips, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my direct line at 727-403-9933.