Online business in today’s marketplace has many advantages that small business has never had in the past.
The challenge for the business owner is to take advantage of these advances and use them to grow his business in ways that direct competitors either don’t know about or are too lazy to set up.
The advances are only an advantage if they’re put to good use. That’s why they are so powerful for you – because you know the strategies and can implement them into your business and others in your niche won’t.
It’s amazing the number of productive and creative marketing ideas there are available for every small business. These ideas are freely and openly shared and discussed online, but so many business owners never think to include them in their business.
Or maybe they just feel they don’t want to mess with them. Either way, they miss out on a wonderful opportunity!
One such strategy is the inclusion of a free, color catalog or product brochure at the web site that highlights the company’s offerings. How many product web sites have you visited that offer this type of marketing?
Here’s the real advantage of developing such a marketing piece.
It can be put online as a sales aid and filled with lots of good and valuable information besides just product descriptions and pricing.
You might include such “goodies” as a product planning guide, tips for best use of the product, color or size selection charts, how to care for your product, a side-by-side comparison of other competitor’s offerings, and hints on maintenance or easy customer tune-ups.
Your company catalog can then be made available as a downloadable color bonus guide that customers will print out at home and keep handy just in case they ever have questions or need help with your products.
Your catalog will be viewed as a valuable information piece that should be kept handy for future reference.
The best way to produce such a piece is with a desktop combination of word processing software and a graphics editor to handle the images.
You will probably want to buy or borrow a digital camera to take product photos. If you are selling a product that you purchased wholesale from another company, there is a good chance that the wholesaler will already have digital photos that you will be allowed to use when selling the product. If not, you may be able to get permission to scan and digitize images from the wholesaler’s product catalog.
You could pay a publishing service to do all the work for you – to design and create your catalog – but for the typical one-person business that alternative is probably way too expensive.
When the catalog is ready to publish I would suggest doing so in .pdf format which is universally readable on both PCs and MACs.
The .pdf catalog can then be uploaded to the web server and made available for download by your prospects and customers.
The customer can either keep the catalog on his computer hard drive or print it out (either in color or B/W) for easy reference or later viewing.
The expense of delivery is nothing.
Think about what it used to cost a small business to have a color catalog created, published and mailed to interested customers.
The Internet makes it all possible and at a fraction of the cost of yesterday’s business and it can be delivered very quickly.
Why not take advantage of the great opportunity that the Internet affords the small business owner? It’s so easy to put your products and company information in front of the targeted customers that would like your catalog!
It is fast, easy, and a wonderful reminder for the customer to purchase from you whenever she sees your catalog at home. It is also very easy to edit, modify, and update last year’s catalog with new products and information – no need to begin again from scratch every year!
To your online business success!