QR codes for my small business Westvyne MarketingBy now you’ve surely seen the odd looking graphics that have been popping up everywhere- on websites, business cards, signs, postcards, promotional products and even vehicles (I was driving behind a van the other day with a huge QR code on the back window). 

If you haven’t seen one, you definitely will.  QR (Quick Response) codes have been around for a while but have become more in vogue in the last year due in part to the proliferation of smart phones.  You can take a picture of a QR code with your smart phone or mobile device that has a QR code reader application (which you can easily download for free on your phone).  The QR reader allows your phone or mobile device to do something- such as show a video, visit a website, and display a message or coupon or contact information. 

QR code generators are also available. Just google “create QR codes free” and you’ll get hundreds from which to choose.  Many of the generators are very simple to use and will create a code from a URL (such as your website address). They will usually also give you the option of saving the code as a picture and emailing it to yourself.  Many of these QR generator sites are affilated with promotional products and printing companies so that you can have products or paper materials printed with your new QR code.  We created the QR code for this post using one of the free services we found on the web. 

You may have heard that QR codes are the future and you may have also been feeling a vague uneasiness that your business should also be using these for… something.  So, how can they be used and how can you take advantage of this technology for your business? 

Send people to your social media profiles or blog
If you have an attractive and interactive website with constantly updated information, then send people there with your QR code.  However, if your website isn’t much more than an online business card, why not send them to your Facebook page, Twitter account or blog site?  That way, they can become fans or followers and get your updated news and information (as often as you update, anyway).

Add one on your business cards or other printed materials
Put a little excitement into your business card or flyer by adding a QR code that links to a YouTube video showcasing your products or services.  Or maybe link it to a special page on your website that shows a discount coupon or promotional code. 

Print one on promotional giveaways for your next trade show
Many promotional products companies are printing items with QR codes.  People who pick up one of your trade show giveaways may be more inclined to take a second look at your business if they know the QR code will allow them to enter a raffle (as long as they provide their email address, of course).

Put one in your window
If you have a storefront or office, consider putting a QR code in your window.  When you’re closed, people may take a minute to scan the code while they’re walking by and find out more about your products, services, specials and promotions.  

Some of these options may require you to work with your website developer in order to create a new web page or raffle entry form that collects email addresses, etc.  However, you are only limited by your creativity and budget. 

QR codes have many more applications and uses than detailed above, and it’s probably safe to say that businesses will think of even more in the years to come.