Eight Collateral Marketing Items Every Small Business Needs
Over time, you´ll want to provide information about your company to lots of different people, including employees, investors, existing and potential clients and the media. Your company´s success may depend in part upon how well you communicate that information — which in turn may depend upon how well you prepare collateral items ranging from company and product fact sheets to biographies of key employees.

Every business should always have the following eight items on hand, ready to distribute. Get them printed today.
1. Company fact sheet. Potential investors or employees, analysts and media people should be able to learn important facts about your business with a quick look at your fact sheet. A company fact sheet should include the following information:

  • Date the company was founded
  • Where it is headquartered and has affiliate offices
  • Names and brief backgrounds of founders and upper-level management
  • Contact information
  • Brief mission statement

2. Product fact sheets. Keep a fact sheet on file for each of your products or services. A product fact sheet should include the following:

  • The products function
  • Distinctive features
  • Comparison to similar products on the market
  • Quality level
  • Reliability
  • Cost

3. Bios on founders and senior management. Make sure you have a bio on hand for each founding member of the company, every senior manager and each member of the board of directors. Bios should include the person´s education, relevant experience, awards or honors, and publications that featured the team member or the team member´s work.
4. Mission statement. A mission statement can motivate and direct employees and give new hires an idea of how your company works. You can also show the statement to potential investors, lenders or members of the media.
5. Company background. Whereas the company fact sheet essentially is just that — a list of facts — this document is written in paragraph form and should include more detail.
6. Current list of clients/partners. This information may be interesting to investors or potential clients.
7. Press kit. When you open your business or launch a new product, consider sending out a press kit. Press kits also can come in handy if you decide to pitch your business at a trade show. Your kit should include the following elements:

  • Folder with your company´s logo
  • Personalized letter pitching your company, product or service
  • Company fact sheet
  • Product fact sheet
  • Press release
  • Articles written about your company
  • Business card
  • Company background

While you may want to keep a few press kits on hand, don´t keep a giant stack of them around. Otherwise, you risk distributing out-of-date materials. Instead, keep each element of the press kit in a computer file, and update as needed when you´re distributing a new round of kits.
8. Clip file. Make someone in your office responsible for collecting and maintaining any articles written about your company. Note: If you are thinking about mounting a PR blitz, consider hiring a PR firm to track where press kits were sent, make sure they are received and then monitor the press for mentions of your firm.