//// This article is part of a series I’m working on for start-ups looking for a cheap way to get a professional image. For absolutely free options keep an eye out for part five and six. The goal of this series is to layout a full print/email/website campaign setup for $600. ////
If you already own a computer with internet access then you might want to consider purchasing a good camera and a printer/scanner. These are not vital tools of marketing, but they tend to be useful.
If you own a restaurant you can photograph your own dishes for your menu. If you run a training course you can take pictures of different scenarios for your slideshow or tests. If you have a lot of products for sale you can document and advertise them. If you service broken equipment of some sort you can take pictures of some of your ‘horror stories’ to go along with how you fixed a really bad problem. If you’re a people-oriented company you can take smiling photos of your staff so customers know who they get to meet and deal with.
I think you get the idea…
A printer/scanner doubles as a fax machine as there are several programs that let you send faxes using your computer. Alternatively you can send scans as PDFs through your email. An ink-efficient printer can be used for convenient short-run printing of training manuals, sales presentations, product labels, ‘Special Meal of the Day’ flyers and more. It will give you a solution for when you need promotional or supplementary material in a hurry. In a small business, especially a start-up, that flexibility will be very helpful.
So if you have the money, these are two very useful tools. Do keep in mind printers are sometimes cheaper than their replacement ink, so a little research into the cost of ink and how many pages an ink cartridge will print before going dry is advised.
You Can Read the Whole Series Here:
Part One: Your Greatest Tool
Part One (And a Half): Camera & Printer
Part Two: Free Software
Part Three: Design, Design, Design
Part Four: Start Up Printing
Part Five: Website!
Part Six: Out of Money?
Part Seven: Out of Ideas?
Part Eight: Back Up