The Case for Calendars: Smart Small Business Building Blocks

The Case for Calendars - Smart Small Business Building BlocksWhen you think of calendars, what automatically pops into your mind?

For instance, do you conjure up images of old school relics that appeal to the 75+ crowd (Who doesn’t love a good 12 pages of glossy “Knittin’ with Kittens” dangling from the wall!)?

Or are you one of the forward-thinking small business visionaries who see the potential value of having a visual presence with the more than 98 percent of people who look at a calendar of some kind each day?

Although many folks have made the switch to an online calendar, there is still a wealth of marketing potential to be found within the oft overlooked realm of wall and desk calendars. When you think about it, offering a free calendar to your friends and clients as a means to promote your business is a no-brainer.

But just in case you’re still sittin’ with the kittens, here’s a bit more on the business sense behind using calendars in building your small business.

People are Visual Creatures.

We’re all familiar with “out of sight, out of mind,” right? This saying has stuck around because it’s true: people have a habit of forgetting about something if it’s not staring them in the face.

At the same time, we like to look at pretty things, bright lights and pictures with appealing shapes or pleasant colors or that we associate with happy memories or positive feelings in general. Use this fundamental tenet of human nature to your advantage when designing your business calendars. By including an interesting or high-quality photo, you increase the chances that someone will simply display your calendar for decorative purposes. Meanwhile, every time they glance at the eye-catching photo, their eyes will also be drawn to your business logo (strategically placed somewhere within view, of course), thereby subconsciously reinforcing your business’ presence in their lives and thought processes. It’s a win-win for everyone and business branding at its most basic.

We are a Scheduling Society.

Another use for calendars—–reminders for everything from meetings and appointments to keeping track of the color of shorts to wear on a particular day! Busy parents and professionals alike need a means to keep track of their jam-packed lives and because time is money, anything that can save us time saves us money. If you can be that gift-giver to a client, you can build that all-important and virtually priceless goodwill.

Now that we’ve covered a couple of the reasons why calendars make great advertising and marketing tools for any small business looking to expand its empire, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding the “how.”

The Beauty of the Freebie.

Who doesn’t love getting free stuff? Whenever you can extend someone a token that they were not expecting and that they did not have to specifically pay for, do it, if for no other reason than the fact that you can reap some serious benefits on the back end.

In terms of calendars, consider the following:

  • They are inexpensive: You can purchase them in bulk and many designs can be purchased for less than or slightly more than a penny a day (under or around $5 each).
  • They are pervasive: What’s the point of having a calendar if you can’t find it? For this reason alone, many people maintain more than one calendar and keep them in kitchens, offices and even hallways.
  • They can be super convenient: If you are looking for a way to pack a big punch with a little bite out of your budget, opt for a desk or wall calendar with ample space for note-taking or a pocket-sized, multi-functional calendar with little notepads inside. Every time soccer mom reaches into her carry-all bag, there’s your small business saving the day for her to record that last minute scheduling change!

The Art of the Freebie.

At the same time, make sure your freebie calendar is done tastefully. The only thing worse than spending money (even a minimal amount) to better your business is having that money tossed in the nearest receptacle the moment it leaves your premises.

*Economical Tip: People remember something that makes them laugh far longer than a glossy picture, so if you can’t spend a ton on master artwork or photography, go with a good (clean) joke or funny story!

And don’t forget about the timing of your gift: it’s better to give them to your patrons on their way out rather than on their way in. This way, you have complete control over the quantity of distribution (you can make sure you are only giving one to each person) and you ensure each person at least makes it out the door with their swag.

*Profession-Centric Tip: For certain small businesses – like dentists, mechanics, insurance and car salespeople and solo practice attorneys – you are only likely to see your clients, customers or patients on an annual or semi-annual basis or when there is an emergency, so plan ahead. Order your calendars early and hand them out for the next year.

What other ways have you seen calendars used as effective tools for marketing, advertising or goodwill building for a small business?

Christopher Wallace
Christopher Wallace is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Amsterdam Printing, a leading provider of custom pens and other promotional products such as imprinted clothing, mugs and customized calendars.
Christopher Wallace

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One Comment

  1. Irish Carter says:

    I can see calendars being used to provide time management with promoting others. You can schedule blocks of time on calendars to know you are meeting committments you made with companies, bloggers, your followers, etc.


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