Having business cards on you at all times is important because you never know when you’ll run into a prospective client. It’s much more effective to talk shop and then leave someone with a business card than it is to just hope that they remember your business name.
2. An Internet Connected Device
Having a tablet or small laptop on you is great because you can easily pull up your site to show someone, but a cell phone will work as well. Being able to leverage different apps and resources from your phone or tablet shows your professionalism and commitment to the latest technology.
3. Your Business Credit or Debit Card
Carrying the credit or debit card for your business is helpful from a financial perspective because if you run into a business expense, you can keep it separate from your own personal finances. As a business owner you’re probably aware of how easy it is to be out running personal errands and think of something last minute that you need for your business – promotional merchandise, office supplies, etc. You also never know when you might run into a prospective client that you’ll want to grab coffee or lunch with on a moment’s notice.
4. A Prepared Elevator Pitch
Being able to state what you do and what your business’s value proposition is succinctly is a vital skill. Prepare an elevator pitch to use when you meet new people that sounds natural and compelling.
5. A Pen and Small Pad or Notebook
Having something that you can use to jot down a quick note is important in case someone gives you a tip or lead. This tip is a big one for me because it lets me take specific notes on a conversation I have with a prospective client as they talk about their online marketing service needs.
Alternatively, you can use your phone to keep track of these things if you would prefer. I like to keep some paper on me so that when someone gives me information like that that I want to hold onto, I don’t come off as rude when I pull out my phone and start typing.
6. Some Swag
Giving business cards to people that you meet is a good way to make contacts, but giving people branded swag is an even better way to cement your brand in their minds. Carrying small items like magnets, pens, bottle openers, etc. with your company’s name can set you apart.
7. Breath Spray, Mints or Gum
There’s nothing worse than getting stuck talking to someone who has really funky breath. Whether you have a naturally odiferous mouth or you just came from a pungent lunch, you need to get that in check with some sort of spray, mints or gum so that people will want to stick around and hear what you have to say.
8. A Comb or Hairbrush
As a business owner, you represent the business, which means that the first impression you make is the first impression someone will have of your business. Being able to fix your hair on the go so that you don’t look like a mess is one quick way to make a good first impression.
9. Pain Reliever
I know I probably shouldn’t be advocating popping pills but the reality of the matter is that if you’re experiencing pain from a stress headache or sore muscles, then you won’t be in any mood to talk to people. It’s good to carry some ibuprofen or acetaminophen so that you can deal with aches and pains and seize the opportunity to talk to people when it presents itself.
10. A Protein Bar
When I get hungry, I get grouchy and the last thing I want to do is take my time to chat with people. On days when I know that I am going to be really busy or running around a bunch, I like to carry a protein bar on me so I don’t turn into a grouch.
As a woman, it’s easier to carry of these things because you can use a stylish purse or tote to help you out but as a man you may need a briefcase, messenger bag or just very large pockets.
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!