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Selecting Stationery Choose letter-perfect stationery to convey a professional business image.

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Every time you mail a letter to a prospective client or to anexisting customer, the missive leaves a long-lasting impression ofyour company. In a service business, your written materials areamong your company's most important marketing items. And if yourun a homebased business that doesn't have a commerciallocation or sign, introducing your company to clients through themail can be one of your most effective marketing techniques.

The paper stock you choose, as well as the colors and graphicsembellishing it, plays an important role in the image yourstationery presents. A hot, neon-pink stock may work well for a newsuntan cream manufacturer, but not for an accounting service. Yourstationery should tie in with your business cards, featuring thesame color scheme and overall look.

Don't get so caught up in the design elements of yourbusiness stationery that you forget the obvious. Every piece ofstationery should include the basics: your company name or logo,address, phone and fax numbers, and e-mail address. Make it as easyas possible for your clients to respond to your offer by making allthe information they need readily available. And attach yourbusiness card to each letter as well, so clients can put it intheir Rolodexes for future reference.

Excerpted from Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-UpBook You'll Ever Need, by Rieva Lesonsky and the Staff ofEntrepreneur Magazine, © 1998 Entrepreneur Press

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