Small Business Marketing by Jillian Shaw Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations for the Small Business

Creating Take-Aways for Your Small Business

Brochures Small Business Advertising Marketing

Picture this: you’re in the doctor’s office, waiting for the doctor, probably with no pants on, and you’ve got absolutely nothing to do.  So you pick up one of the many pamphlets available on a wall display.  One is about asthma, there’s another on heart disease, and another on bladder infection symptoms.  Maybe some of the stuff you read reminds you of someone, so you keep it to give to them.

You’ve just responded to the marketing effort of a drug or medical service company.

These flyers, pamphlets and brochures can be made to promote any product or service, and are a great  way to get pertinent information to your customers about products you provide that may be useful to them.

To create a successful take-away promotional piece, you need to achieve three things:

  • Design an attractive, eye-catching cover
  • Write informative content based on what you perceive your customers’ needs are
  • Place the take-away in a highly visible location in the store, and encourage your customers to take one

You can have one take-away or several, as long as you don’t create a mess of brochures that clutter your check-out space.


To design your flyer or brochure, you can use anything from MicroSoft Word to PowerPoint to Publisher.  And I recommend you use a program you already have and do it yourself.  Your customers won’t mind a home-made brochure, provided it’s attractive and informative.

If this is your first promotional take-away, I suggest sticking with Word.  Most versions of Word have templates for flyers, brochures and other small business promotional documents already, so at the very least all you will have to do is change the words.  Include some relevant pictures, especially of your product, and choose colors that complement your store’s decor yet stand-out amid the other items it will be close to.


Writing your take-away, you need to first consider the needs of your customer.  Take the time to describe the problem your product solves – sometimes it can be a problem they don’t even realize they have – and be sure to list each and every difficulty this problem will cause your customer to have.

Next, you want to propose a solution, outlining the best possible outcome for your customer.

Finally, introduce your product, extolling its virtues by explaining how it addresses and solves the very problem you have described above.  This section will be a significant portion of the take-away, as you’ll want to go into a little detail about each of the benefits of the product or service.

The most important concept to keep in mind while writing is that you want to genuinely create a useful tool for your customer by creating informative and salient content.  It’s not so much a sales pitch, think of it more as a discussion starter.

Stay away from superlative language.  Stick to the facts and to the outline above.  You want to give your customer good content, but you don’t want to give them a novel to read either.  You should be able to get your point across in a three-panel brochure on regular 8.5 x 11 paper (front and back) using no less than 12-point font.


Near the cash register is always a great place to put take-away materials, since your customer is headed out anyway.  Near the door is another option.  Or you can choose to put it near the product you’re promoting, if there is display space for it.  Wherever you choose, be sure there aren’t too many other loose items or clutter that will detract from the take-away.

Don’t have an actual store?  If you sell your wares at convention booths, on the corner during rush hour, or other portable small business set-up spots, take your materials with you and display them where they are highly visible but out of the way of the transaction and browsing areas.

Jillian's Currently Reading: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
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