If you have Microsoft Publisher on your computer you can create a flyer, postcard or tri-fold brochure and add photos from your files or from Microsoft.com (they have free access to clip art and photos.)
Flyers can be created with a word processing program, but do not present the most professional image. Also, if you plan to mail your flyers in an envelope you increase your costs and take the chance that the envelopes (often considered junk-mail) will never be opened.
By far, the most professional way to market your small service business is to create a high quality brochure. These can be hand delivered or mailed to prospective customers. You can also ask permission to display them at local businesses.
A cost effective way to advertise is to create postcards. These are less expensive to reproduce, and can also be hand delivered, mailed or left on counters.
If you will be mailing your marketing piece, then visit your local post office and purchase a First Class pre-paid mailing permit. The USPS representative will provide instructions on how to set up the permit block. When your postcards or brochures are printed you simply count out the number to be mailed, and then deliver them to the bulk-mail representative at your local post office. This saves time (no applying stamps by hand) and looks more professional.
Direct mail lists are available through a number of sources. The most economical lists we have found are the ?City Search? discs offered by Hill-Donnelly. Telephone assistance is provided by Hill-Donnelly to teach you how to extract information from the discs and save it as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Other lists are available through many sources which you can locate on the internet. Also, most companies offer the information pre-sorted onto mailing labels, ready to peel-and-stick.
Your brochures and postcards can be printed at a local office supply store. Staples and Office Depot often have special prices on color copies. Call around to find the best prices, but keep in mind that color has more impact than black & white.