How to Build a Promotional Products Small Business from Scratch

We’ve all received promotional products from our favorite businesses from time to time. Maybe you recently had to fix a leaky pipe in your home and the plumber handed you a T-shirt with his company logo on it. Or maybe you recently participated in a marathon and one of the sponsors provided all the runners with custom water holders.

As you received these free gifts, you had a thought: “What would I have to do to create a promotional product business from scratch?” If you’ve ever asked yourself this question for any reason, we’d like to help you by providing the answer below. So stick around to find out our thoughts on this topic.

Step #1: Learning the Promotional Products Industry

If you’re brand-new to this business and you know very little about it, you’ll have a difficult time becoming successful right away until you learn the industry. You have the option of gaining experience in this business two different ways. You can go to work for somebody else and learn the business firsthand. Or you can hire somebody with experience to help you grow your company from the ground up.

Each situation is going to be appealing for obvious reasons. If you’re bootstrapping your way to success, you aren’t going to have a great deal of capital on hand to hire an expert to help you. So in this case, you’d be better off going to work for an existing company selling promotional products and learn the ins and outs of the industry while making a little money on the side to invest in your own business.

On the other hand, you may have plenty of capital to get started and want to get this business up and running as fast as possible. In this case, you’re going to have to learn on the job still, but you’ll do it by hiring an expert to run your company as they teach you the ins and outs of the business.

Both methods are completely viable and perfectly effective. Choose the one that makes the most sense to you based on your personal situation.

Step #2: Choose One Niche and Focus on It in the Beginning


When you first had the idea to open your promotional products business, what immediately came to mind? Was it selling promotional keychains, hats, T-shirts, and tote bags? Or were you more interested in creating promotional marketing materials?

Think about your options for a second and choose the one that excites you the most. And once you’ve picked your favorite, you’re going to spend time focusing on that area alone for the foreseeable future. By limiting your focus this way, you’ll become an expert in your niche. Once you have a solid system in place that continuously helps you make money, you can then branch out into other areas.

Step #3: Analyzing the Competition

The fastest way to the road to success is to copy those who’ve already come before you. We’re not saying to outright steal their campaigns because that would be cheap and a crappy way to enter this market. Instead, look at their successful marketing campaigns and mimic them without outright stealing them. By approaching your business this way, you’ll be able to discover the best marketing methods and ways to sell your products without having to spend thousands of dollars testing different options.

Step #4: Give Samples to Potential Customers

Finally, giving samples to potential customers is always a good idea. They’ll be able to see the promotional pens, hats, T-shirts, tote bags, etc. in living color. And if they like what they see, you can bet your bottom dollar that many of them will place an order with you. So do not hesitate to give away samples because they pay big dividends over the long run.

Final Thoughts

Growing your new promotional products business is going to take hard work and dedication. But it’s more than possible, and if you use the tips shared today, you’ll be off to a great start in no time flat.