5 Best Promotional Items for Small Businesses

Posted on February 20, 2020 | Last Updated On: October 18th, 2020 by

Small businesses face unique challenges when it comes to competing with titans of their industries and standing out from the crowd. As a small business, you might lack the big budget much larger businesses within your industry have to invest in advertising and promotions.

That doesn’t mean you should skip them altogether in hopes that word of mouth will sustain you. Instead, focus your efforts on promotional items that are both affordable and impactful for your small business.

These are the best options for small businesses everywhere to get their name out and about around town.

1. Pens

These classics in the world of promotional items are classics for a reason. They work. More than that, they are highly effective tools for promotion that get passed around from person to person (creating more touches for your efforts) and they are affordable enough that most small businesses have no problem handing them out far and wide.

Because pens have been around so long, you’ll find that there are thousands of options to choose from, in a variety of colors and combinations. This can help you spread the word about your business while building your brand at the same time.

Pens are so affordable as promotional items that some people hand them out just as they would hand out business cards. In fact, your business might find that giving out pens with your business information on them is even more effective than handing out business cards.

They are even better than standard office supplies because when workers leave the office with your business pens, they are essentially advertising for your business whenever they use them in public.

2. Calendars

Even in the day and age of digital calendars, people carry around on their mobile phones, there are still those who prefer to write important days on paper calendars and circle them in red. It’s something that just cannot be done on digital calendars and something so many people find pleasant. Small businesses that give out promotional calendars are giving people something they’ll look at daily, use often, and think of your small business, at least on some level, every time they look at the calendar you gave them.

Your brand will become familiar to them and your small business will be the first one that comes to mind when they have a need your business can meet. The real beauty of calendars is that they are the type of advertising that will last at least 12 full calendar months for the people who take them home.

It isn’t something people use once then discard. They come back to their calendars day after day for a variety of reasons. Some people even use them as a “to do” list. Which is even better for you because the satisfaction they receive by marking items off their lists, will spill over into goodwill toward your small business.

3. Reusable Totes and Bags

There are many reasons to consider custom reusable totes and bags as promotional items. The first of which is that they are incredibly useful. People use totes and bags for all kinds of things. Reusable totes allow them to carry multiple items around freeing up their hands for other things, like holding an umbrella, opening doors, etc.

For you, they’re affordable promotional items that promote your small business on multiple fronts. First, the people using the bag know where it comes from and appreciate your business for the gift you’ve given them. Second, people they pass daily see the bag and become familiar with your brand, your business, and your logo.

They may even ask questions about your business and become customers through a chance encounter. Finally, people often pass promotional items like this along to someone else when they are done using them. Because they are reusable, they can enjoy a new life over and over again. Your small business receives continuous advertising from that one-time investment.

The final benefit is that there are endless possibilities and options with reusable bags and totes, creating endless possibilities for your small business. There are even custom jute bags and totes you can gift VIP clients and customers with, items you can give to local school children to bring home, such as reusable drawstring bags or reusable lunch tote bags; and items you can give away at major events like trade shows and expos. You can even give (or sell) laminated shopping bags to your customers and offer loyalty discounts when they return with those bags. Custom reusable totes and bags offer endless opportunities to continue promoting your business.

4. Coffee Cups or Travel Mugs

Another grand idea for promotional item gifts from small businesses is the ubiquitous coffee mug. It is another classic that has withstood many changes in demand and design over the years. Yet it remains one of the most popular gifts to those who receive it. In fact, it will get used over and over again, with some using it daily.

For those who do not drink coffee, it often becomes a favorite desk ornament for holding pens, pencils, and other essential office supplies. They are inexpensive and offer many options to businesses like yours for branding. You can purchase traditional coffee mugs or travel mugs that people can take on the go, showing off your logo to all when they do.

5. Tech Toys and Tools

Toy joy is not just for kids. Even adults get a thrill when they get a new gadget or gizmo to play with. It’s even better if it happens to be something that is useful, such as the tools they need to keep the juice going in their other tech toys. From portable charging stations, to tech travel bags (A.K.A. cord keepers), and even special cloths to keep screens clean, there are plenty of options to consider that are surprisingly cost-effective in the tech toys and tools category for promotional items.

As you can see, there are plenty of options to consider for small businesses seeking affordable, effective promotional items. Whether for everyday gifting or your next big event, these five promotional items are sure to be a win for your small business.

About the Author

Douglas Lober Chief Product Specialist

Doug Lober is Co-Founder and Chief Product Specialist for ReuseThisBag.com. Lober is a passionate environmentalist with roots in the Southern California surf culture. Over the last 15 years, Lober has launched and supported a number of environmental initiatives around the land, sea, and air. Today, he continues to provide and support the use of eco-friendly promotional products for small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies. You can learn more about his extensive background in the industry on Linkedin.com, Quora.com, Instagram.com, Twitter and Alignable.com

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