Promo Power


Most companies that offer logo merchandise require a setup fee of at least $35 to prepare your artwork, as well as a minimum order (usually a few hundred of the smallest items, less of larger ones).

Pricing varies depending on quality and quantity; you could pay anywhere from $5 to $20 per T-shirt, for example, depending on whether you go with brand names and how many you order. As with any bulk order, your per-item price gets lower as your quantity rises. Whatever you decide, make sure you're getting the most for your dollar while not resorting to shoddy materials.

After all, the final product will be a tangible symbol of your company's message. And you want to make it one worth hanging onto. (Visit my Web site here to shop around for promotional products.)

With incentives, how you buy and how much you spend all depends on the type of program you're running. If you're outsourcing to an incentives service, you could pay a lump sum or on a point system that the company administers; and your employees can choose rewards from its online catalog. Use these figures for benchmarking: For a sales incentive, the value of the award should be between 3 and 5 percent of the participant's annual income; in a nonsales program, that number could well be as low as 1 percent. But remember that you know your employees-and your budget-best.

Promotional products and incentives have proved to be quite effective in promoting businesses both inside and outside company walls. The toughest part about incorporating them into your business is deciding on the products and ideas that best suit your company and your budget. But spend the time to make a smart decision on what to offer-you'll reap the benefits multifold.

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This article was originally published in the November 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Promo Power.

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