I used Microsoft Publisher software to create my brochures. It costs about $100, if I remember correctly. It comes with dozens of templates and color palettes for creating everything from business cards to tri-fold brochures, calendars, greeting cards, gift certificates, letterhead, newsletters, envelopes, and much more. The templates were created by Microsoft designers, so it`s like having professional design services for the price of a software program.
I created tri-fold brochures and business cards for myself (I`m a freelance writer for this site and elsewhere), and I created business cards for my parents and for a friend who has a pet-sitting business. They all look great, but it`s the software that deserves the credit.
I use HP matte tri-fold brochure paper, which is a heavy cardstock that`s pre-scored for easy folding. For the business cards I use Avery 8869 (print to edge) or Avery 8877 Clean Edge Business Cards, depending on the design of the card. They print eight to a page and then snap out cleanly, with no visible perforations. Few people would be able to tell that the cards weren`t professionally printed. I print them and the brochures on an inexpensive color printer.
The software and the color printer, if you don`t already have one, are an investment, but I`d recommend it. You can change your business card or brochure at any time. And as we all know, things change quickly when you have a new business. Good luck!
Freelance writer and editor
Moreau, New York