Let’s face it: in business, most of us judge a book by its cover. If you have a stack of pizza menus in front of you, which one will you choose? Probably the one with the best pictures and most attractive layout, right? What if you are choosing between two soccer camps? The one with the better website will probably earn your signup, won’t it?

Regardless of the quality of the product at hand, we all have a tendency to make decisions based on packaging, branding, and advertising. So what do you do if you are a young entrepreneur without a marketing department? How do you compete with the flashy ads of the “big guys”?

If you’re a young entrepreneur with a business you’re passionate about, it is your job to communicate that passion to others by telling the story of your business through the marketing materials you distribute. A website with typos or hard to read type tells people that you don’t pay attention to details. An eye-catching and professional business card, on the other hand, communicates that you know how to market yourself. So how do you do it?

Templates can be a saving grace, or they can be the worst design decisions you will ever make. If you are using a 1990’s version of a word processing program, you are not going to create something cutting edge. When printing business cards, most printing companies or even office supply companies will have decent templates to choose from, even supplying you with graphics if you don’t have a logo of your own.

If you don’t already have a website for your business, take advantage of well-designed templates from sites like WordPress and Tumblr. They are used by thousands of people to create fast, professional-looking websites. But the template is just part of the process. Don’t launch your website until it is complete. “Site under construction” messages scream of small startup status, and reduce confidence in the consumer. Make sure you have someone scan your site for typos, as well.

Finally, be creative. Every marketing department from 1000-person corporate machine to the sole proprietor wants to do the same thing: get attention. You can overcome the drawback of limited funds by using your creative, youthful brain. Great ideas can be reduced to putty in enormous companies. By being a Biz Kid and thinking creatively, you can get your business the marketing attention you want. You have what it takes, Biz Kid. Go tell the world your story.

For more on advertising, check out our brand new episode, “You are the Target!”