At some point, most small business owners consider creating a brochure. Unfortunately, the final product often doesn’t accomplish what they were hoping for because they didn’t plan the process out on the front end.

Don’t let brochure design become an exercise in futility. Whether you are creating the brochure yourself, or hiring someone to do it for you, be sure to ask the following questions before you get started!

Small Business Brochure Planning Tips
  1. blog image2How will the brochure be used? – Is it sent as a follow-up to phone inquiries, left behind after a sales call or delivered with a formal proposal? Are you trying to get more repeat business from customers who already know you? Or is your goal to attract the attention of a new client? Define your objective up front, and then write your copy with that in mind.
  2. How will you grab your reader’s attention? – One of the most common mistakes companies make is leading with their name. If you haven’t caught the reader’s attention by speaking to their needs, problems or desires, they won’t care about your name. Consider starting with a provocative question or declaration; an appeal to the emotions, needs and wants of your customer; or a benefit-laden statement.
  3. For whom is the brochure created? This is not a trick question. Your answer should roll off your lips instantly: the client! That seems simple, but many companies make a serious error by focusing on the company instead of the needs of potential customers.  Here’s a quick way to check your brochure for the correct focus: Circle every “you” with a red pen and circle every “we” or “I” or mention of your company’s name with a blue pen. There should be a lot more red than blue on your brochure. If not, it is time to revise, revise, revise.
I like the idea of doing a short run on a brochure first, to see how the piece comes together. It is a little more expensive, but gives you an opportunity to make changes before you commit to a lifetime supply.  This piece we designed for Companion Animal was an unusual size and shape.  It was nice to see the finished piece accomplish everything the client was looking for.