Your small business information package is the printed materials to give or send to prospective clients to tell them who you are, where you are, how to contact you, what you do, how to buy, and why to buy from you instead of your competition.
We’re going to discuss what you should put inside your information package. For all intents and purposes, anything that promotes your company can go inside it. Some of the more common things include:
• Business card
• Small business brochure
• Letter of introduction
• Product or service review
• Price list
• Press releases
• White papers
• Recent articles written by you or about your company
• Biography of key officers
• Flyers, coupons or direct mail pieces
• Information pamphlets
So, let’s talk a bit about each. And let’s start with the big one—your small business brochure. Your small business brochure can stand alone. If you decide not to have a complete small business information package, at the very least, create a tri-fold brochure so you have detailed printed information to give clients.
If your prospective client reads only one thing in your whole information package, it will most likely be your brochure. Why? Because it captures the reader’s attention better than any other item in your information package. Most of your other items will be letters, articles or reviews. They’ll look good, and they’ll all match because they’re on your letterhead, but they won’t jump out at your readers like your full color tri-fold brochure will.
So, you want to make sure it’s the first thing people see when they open the front cover of your information package. If you can capture their interest with your brochure, they’re more likely to read the rest.
The first page of your small business brochure should have your business name and logo, and possibly a photo or some graphics. Make it colorful. Make it interesting. Add a slogan or motto on the front that will make people curious as to what’s inside. You don’t want them to just look at the front cover and put it aside!
Inside, try to introduce yourself and review your product or service briefly. If you can, keep the introduction and review to the length of the first inside page or so. Adding a few graphics or photos throughout the whole brochure, together with informative text helps keep your readers’ interest. And, make good use of your headings, remembering that most readers will scan from left to right, stopping at graphics and headings, and sometimes reading the last paragraph.
Now, this part is important, and is possibly the biggest mistake most small businesses make with their brochure—at least some of the other two inside pages could be better used to show prospective buyers how your product or service can benefit them, rather than to describe your product or service features.
I cannot stress this enough. Too many times small business brochures are used simply to talk about you, your company or your product/service. Most of your readers simply won’t care who you are, what you do or how you do it. What they really care about is how you can benefit them. How you can save them time or resources. How you can make their lives just a little bit easier.
Often, the last outside page of your brochure summarizes the inside pages, or lists products or services in point form. You could even add a price list, if you have one.
The next several items in your small business information package are all written on your letterhead, and the sky’s the limit as to what you can use.
You could put the letter of introduction just behind your brochure, or you could include it outside the information package cover if you’re mailing it. Usually this is just a short, one-page letter introducing yourself and your company, and thanking the recipient for taking the time to look at your information package.
Your product or service review could be long or short, depending on what you’re offering. This is not the place to stress benefits, but simply to list and describe your services or products. You can combine a product or service review with your price list very effectively.
Include any press releases about your company, and articles written by you or about your company. If you don’t have any, don’t worry. You can write some specifically for your information kit. Include announcements of your grand opening, for example, or a new line of products, or your new location. Or write an article about one of your products or services.
White papers are becoming increasingly popular. Are you an expert in a particular area? If you are, you might want to write a white paper to include with your information package. A white paper discusses specific business issues, products, technology or other such topics. It usually summarizes information about the topic, and then suggests a proposal for action, referencing research data to justify the reasons for the action. It explains your topic in terms most people can understand, with the goal of educating consumers and marketing your product or service. White papers help establish the writer as an authority.
The biography of your key officers is basically a resume. Include short one-page biographies of key officers to highlight areas of expertise and level of experience in your industry.
Fliers, coupons and direct mail pieces can also be included in your small business information package. Fliers and coupons emphasize current specials or discounts. Here’s a few tips. When you’re thinking about specials or discounts, try to create a sense of urgency with them by making them time- or quantity-limited. And, consider the 10/10 rule, which theorizes that people are most likely to buy when they see discounts of 10% or $10. Or, better yet, offer something extra free.
Recent direct mail sales letters can also be included. There’s simply too much to say about them to really give justice in this short article, but some things to remember are: to stress benefits, create a sense of urgency, the 10/10 rule and a bolded P.S. including a call to action.
Keep direct mail sales letter simple and relevant. Be enthusiastic, know your product, use your imagination and understand your target audience. Establish trust and credibility. Include testimonials. Give free nuggets of information. And, just like in your brochure, write your direct mail sales letter for how people will read it, scanning left to right, and stopping at graphics and headlines, and the P.S.
Now that you’ve gotten all your information package items written and printed, it’s time to put them all together. You can buy covers in your company colors and have your logo and business name printed on them. Put your business card in the front slot and your information in the inside pockets, making sure your brochure is the first item they’ll see. Then send it out, and sit back and wait for responses you’re sure to get!