I have too much stuff in my house. And, a big proportion of that stuff is business marketing stuff that I'm beginning to doubt that I'll ever use.
I thought that I needed all of these things in order to act like a legitimate business. Also, when I first started out, I had no idea how many marketing pieces I'd actually be able to distribute. Or, how quickly I'd get distracted from distributing one piece and want to move on to the next.
So now, on my shelves, I have:
- Boxes of printed letterhead (sure, I've used a bit of this – but I wish there was a way to print less at once and not have to store it, while still getting a decent price!)
- Crates of presentation folders (hundreds of them – but I've probably only used a dozen!)
- A ton of mini-flashlights ("Designs that make you shine" – get it? I'd actually forgotten that I had these, and I just have to get them out again!)
- Leftover postcards from mailings that I did years ago. I probably just need to recycle these and stop hanging on to them for sentimental reasons.
- A ton of printed samples from past clients. Really, do I need 50 business cards from my first job? (Probably, again, no.)
- Trade show booth graphics and posters
- Spiral-bound promotional books
- An entire file cabinet drawer full of a few copies each of promotional flyers from promotions I put together 3 years ago.
I really just would rather have the space than some of these materials. Especially considering the coating of dust that some of them have accumulated.
What I advise to most of my clients is to really think about how they'll use these printed marketing materials that they think they need just to pen their business If you are going to go to the work and expense of writing, designing and printing materials, then you want to make sure that they'll at least get outof your home or office and into a clients' hands. Not only is that the only way that the pieces will become useful for you, but you also want the space back – and to be able to use things instead of going to the recycling bin.
But, that's a lesson that would have been good to learn a few years ago, before all that print ordering. Now I just have to work up the energy to take everything downstairs to recycle… sigh.