Big Business On A Small Budget: Affordable Promotional Ideas

Research has shown that businesses are simply throwing their money away unless they are spending it on promotional items. Why? Because you’ll never attract customers if you don’t spread the word about your business. In fact, 85 percent of college students surveyed were able to name an imprinted item in their possession or at home. You may not have big business money, but you can definitely market like you do. Here are five affordable promotional ideas that work:

1.Flash Drives

Mandarin Orange Card Disk USB DrivesToday’s floppy disc is the flash drive. Whether they use them or not, most people have a flash drive in their possession. These drives are fairly cheap, easily duplicated and can be attractively packaged. Have flash drives imprinted with your company’s name or logo and include a file that details the mission, activities and services provided by your company. Keep your file small so that there is plenty of usable free-space left on the drive.


Everyone uses sticky notes. You can easily buy notepads emblazoned with your company logo or in your company’s colors for less than 50 cents per pad. Hand out the notepads at any event you attend, put them in shopping bags when you sell goods, and leave them on restaurant tables with your tip. Consider that even a small, $100 investment will net you 200 notepads and each notepad holds a potential customer within its pages.

3.Eco-Friendly Totes

New Tote BagAn eco-friendly tote is a stand-out promotional item, albeit a bit more expensive than the most. Not only will you tell the world that you are environmentally-friendly, but your customers will advertise your company each time they shop in their favorite store. Reusable shopping totes are the “in” item of the moment. If you purchase them in bulk, it will cost you a little over $1 per printed bag.

4.Sports Bottles

Parents love sports bottles because they are easy to carry and virtually indestructible. A translucent bottle with your company’s logo on it will cost you just over $1. As the green movement continues to gain steam, people are turning to sports bottles instead of buying pre-bottled juices and water. Utilize their popularity and turn sports bottles into a fantastic promotional item for your company.

5.Service Items

Oakley Sport BottlesWhat service does your company provide? If you can pull it off, the best promotional item will not only have your logo on it, but it will tie in with the things that you sell or the services that you offer. For example, if you sell pet products or offer grooming services, leashes and pet toys make fantastic promotional items. If you cut hair, mirrors and combs are a good choice. Think of something small that will be useful to your customers.

You don’t have to spend big money to promote your company, but you do have to spend money. Buying promotional items is an art form. Small items that will be seen by the most people are effective; large items that will sit in someone’s cupboard are a waste of money.

Ken Osteen uses creative flash drive packaging as one of many advertising strategies for his business.

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