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If you have a computer and a printer, preferably one that can print in color, then you can make your own brochures and business cards that are very professional-looking! Be sure to use good quality paper (that is available at any office supplies store like Office Depot or Staples) for anything that you are going to hand out or send to potential customers and clients.
Writing Text for Your Brochure and Business Card
The very best thing to do is to get a few examples of business brochures and business cards, preferably from the same type of business as the business you are starting. If you can't find any, then think about the type of customer or client you are trying to attract.
If you are starting a professional service as your at-home business (such as accounting, bookkeeping, proofreading, etc.), then the text and graphics used in your brochure and business card should be minimal, crisp, easy to read, and contain only the most vital pieces of information. "Clutter" is not very professional. Pick paper colors that are monotone (one color) or that have a nice edging in a complementary color. State what services you have to offer, describe your business in professional-style precise terms, and make sure that your contact information (name, phone/fax/cell number, and email address) is easy to locate.
If you are going to start up something like a children's birthday party service or another "fun" type of business, then you definitely want to think about bright colors and graphics that grab people's attention! Remember though, don't "clutter" your brochure or business card with too much information! Make sure your prospective customers can find your name, phone number, and email address easily---make them want to contact you right away!
Most brochures are either bi-fold (one fold, four printable sides or "areas") or tri-fold (two folds, with six printable areas). You need to decide on which format you want to use, and then shop for good-quality paper that comes pre-scored (or "creased") so that it folds with a sharp edge. Brochure paper is heavier than printer paper (called "stock" or "card stock").
Your computer probably has a few built-in templates for creating simple brochures. Many "print shop" type software programs offer a variety of templates that you can use to create more professional-looking brochures. Regardless of which you use, it should require very little effort to create your first business brochure! (I was able to use a template provided in my Hallmark Greetings! software to create a brochure that was professional-looking and had a little bit of "personality" to it!)
Follow the instructions for the template you are going to use, and write the text for your brochure as described above. If you are going to insert pictures or graphics, make sure that you are not violating any copyrights (if you are taking graphics from another source). Using the guidelines given above, make your text simple and clear and be sure that your contact information is easy to locate on the brochure.
Just as for the brochures, your computer will either have a few easy templates to use, or you can use any print-shop-type software that has templates for business forms. Using the guidelines as given above, write the text for your business card.
I do suggest that you buy business cards that are "laser-perforated" so that when you separate the business cards after you print them, you will get nice sharp edges.
If you have the type of business that you can promote by tacking up flyers, then you need nothing more than your word processing software. Flyers are generally printer paper sized, and you can be as creative as you like!
You might want to invest in card-stock-weight paper for your flyers. This paper is a little heavier and will be a little more durable than printer paper.
Things to Remember When Printing Your Business Brochures and Business Cards
About The Author
Jan K., The Proofer is freelance proofreader and copyeditor. Visit http://www.janktheproofer.com for more information about Jan's services; http://work-at-home.janktheproofer.com for work at home articles and free printables; and for work at home moms, visit Jan's sister site http://work-at-home.momsbreak.com for articles, free printables, and work at home T-shirts and other fun products.
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St John's University News
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