When the "experts" tell you you're going to need a press kit for your small business I'll bet you're wondering why on earth you'd need one. At least, I think you'd wonder why if you think a press kit is just for the press. But the term 'press kit' is misleading if you ask me because press kits aren't just what their name implies.
I prefer to call them small business information kits or information packages instead because that's what they really are. They are meant to inform everyone, not just the press, about you and your business.
Once you have a small business information kit, you'll find you're often giving them when someone asks for information about your company--who you are, what you do, how you can benefit them. In fact, you'll probably find you'll give out almost as many of your information kits as your business cards.
Sometimes it's more appropriate to simply hand out just your card, but other times, you might like to give someone more information than what's on your business card.
Say you're at a party and someone asks what you do. You'd probably just give them your business card. But your business card gives this business contact only the briefest information about your company.
So, you might also ask for their name and address, and send them an information kit the next day. Sending your information kit the next day also works as an important reminder of the evening's discussion.
On the other hand, if you're a plumbing company, you might want to contact construction companies in your area to see if they're interested in subcontracting your company from time to time, or better yet all the time!
Sending them just a business card probably won't get you very far. Even sending a well-written letter introducing your company together with your business card probably wouldn't be as effective as a complete information kit.
You could think of your business card as the "who and the where, and a little bit of the what" of the 6 interview questions-who, what, where, when, why and how. Your card probably has your business name, contact information and possibly a slogan, motto or some saying suggesting what you do.
Your information kit on the other hand, answers all the questions. It tells people who and where you are, just like your business card does. But instead of one little line suggesting what you do, your information kit tells people exactly what you do. How well it tells them what you do depends on how good your copywriting is.
And it tells them how to buy, (with your convenient order form for example, or by phone or fax, with cash, check or credit card) and when to buy (today, right now, before the special offer expires).
Your business card doesn't have the room to tell people why they should buy from you, but your information package does. And not just by telling them you're the biggest, the best, and of course the most innovative either.
The real secret is convincing people they can't do without your product or service, remembering that along with a great description of your product or service, to consider your information kit from your clients' perspective. Everyone wants to know how what you do can benefit them. How you can save them time or how you can save them money, or how you can make their life just a little bit easier.
One last word on presentation of your business identity package. It's almost as important as what you say, so make sure that along with saying everything it needs to say, it also looks professional. A professional image can go a long way in assuring potential clients your small business is the one they want to do business with.
You cannot compete with big companies without one, and you'll be miles ahead of the small businesses that don't have one. And while we're talking about professional image, imagine how your small business will be perceived when you have the ultimate in professional image-- a matching corporate identity package, information kit and small business web site.
Eve Jackson is owner of Details Small Business Solutions, a company that specializes in providing high quality, cost effective small business communication and image services.