|Small Business Information|
Share Ad Expenses to Boost Profits
The challenges of the small business owner are well documented. They must battle for market share against larger competitors, run all aspects of their business, and even pay higher rates for advertising and other marketing related expenses. Small businesses generally do not qualify for volume discounts when it comes to buying advertising space or marketing materials, and thus they end up paying higher rates for the same ad space or marketing materials purchased by their corporate counterparts.
In recent years, there have been some changes in the marketplace that are of benefit to small business owners. For example, Internet procurement sites have emerged offering discount rates on everyday office supplies such as toner or paper. However, the high cost of advertising has not been formally addressed. That's why many small businesses are taking matters into their own hands and joining forces in marketing "co-ops".
Here's an example of how it works. Andy's Accounting Firm and Larry's Legal Firm are both small businesses operating in the business-to-business sector. Andy services small businesses with their accounting needs, and Larry is a lawyer specializing in small business issues. Andy and Larry both wish to purchase advertising space in a popular small business magazine. The rate they are quoted individually is $5000 for the back page of the magazine. Since they are not repeat advertisers, neither Andy nor Larry receives any kind of discount. So how do they save money on this advertising venture? A co-op approach on one of two fronts will cut their advertising costs significantly:
Share the ad: Since they are not direct competitors, Andy and Larry could split the ad space 50/50, acting almost as if they were partners although their businesses are distinct. This drops the cost to $2500 for each business and they still receive broad exposure in their chosen publication. In fact, by putting their heads together they should be able promote their collective business expertise as "Total Solutions for Small Business".
Purchase separately at a discount ? There may be some occasions where a business does not wish to share its ad space. Even in these cases a co-op approach can offer a lower cost. Andy could call the publication and ask for a quote on the back page for next month. Once the price of $5000 is quoted, he then offers the publication a deal "What if I bring on another advertiser for you. Would I get a small discount?" Most publications live or die on the sales of their advertising space, and are usually willing to offer someone like Andy a 10% discount for bringing someone like Larry in to purchase an ad elsewhere in the publication. Andy and Larry split the savings and Andy ends up paying $4750 for a $5000 ad. Although the savings were smaller in this case than the shared ad example, remember that Andy now has the entire back page to himself and saves $250.
Advertising is not the only example of co-ops at work. Web Designers would jump at the chance to line up two clients in one shot, and would likely offer a discount to do so. The same applies to a printing company that prints brochures or business cards. The possibilities are endless, including the size of the co-op you choose to join.
When faced with a major advertising buying decision or the need for new marketing materials, find out how much you will have to pay as a small business. Then form alliances with similar small business, and negotiate a better deal for all parties involved.
About The Author
Will Dylan is the Author of Small Business Big Marketing and owner of www.marketingyoursmallbusiness.com. Will also offers article and news release writing services through his website. You can contact Will at firstname.lastname@example.org
Combating Over Regulation of Small Business
Many small businesses do quite well due to the blood, sweat and tears of their proprietors. Unfortunately in doing to well often you find that the competition uses the government to attack you. They do this by complaining to various local agencies about how you are not following certain rules, such as the dumpster out back has broken hinges on the doors or that your handicap spot in front of your store is fading? Often they will even make stuff up simply to get the enforcement folks out there who will start to go through your business with a fine toothcomb, we all know what that means, they will indeed find something wrong and you will get a fine of some type. This general harassment is so common that it takes its toll on the small businessperson.
Look Like Sizzle, Be The Steak
You've heard marketing and advertising gurus quip, "Sell the sizzle, not the steak." Advertising initiatives best reach their target audience with benefits and the "wow" effect, not the value or features of their product or service. This may work well to get customers in the door. But once they're in, you better have some substance. How can you ensure you uphold the integrity of your business and still maintain the "Wow Effect"? It just takes well executed strategic steps for business AND personal development:
3.5 Million People And A Possible UK Home Business Opportunity
Has this ever happened to you... 'John, you have a lot of mail this morning dear'. Stunned as a goldfish you walk over to the kitchen table and pick up the envelopes. Each one is a quality envelope that has an address label with your name on it. You flick through them and the labels are more or less identical. You open one, then another and you can then start to feel what the others are about. More UK home business opportunity!
How to let go of your EGO
When does your ego get in the way?
Small Business 101: Deadly Ignorance
American small business is again in transition. Many employees, now working from home, are no longer tied to a geographic office and the woes of commuting. This is a relatively new phenomenon with hints of explosive sector growth in the days ahead. As this turbulent economy has forced downsizing, offshore restructuring and closures in large companies, many new entrepreneurs have been born. These are people, who instead of tirelessly attempting to find new employment and possibly enduring the same fate as previously experienced, are now starting small businesses and enjoying the benefits and perils of self-employment.
Small Business Spoiler - Procrastination
One of the most common issues that comes up for business owners is procrastination -wasting time, putting obstacles in the way of taking action towards goals, making excuses for delays, creating confusion/busyness etc. Procrastination is a self-defeating behavior.
How to Successfully Avoid Becoming One of The 80% of Small Businesses That Will FAIL
It's a commonly quoted statistic: 80% of all small businesses will fail within the first five years of running. In fact, in Internet marketing, this figure can be as high as 95%. Yes, it's a commonly quoted statistic but for some reason, people are not very good at saying exactly why this happens. And it happens to what seems like nearly all newborn businesses.
Home Based Franchise Case Study
Here is an interesting case study of a company, which franchised mobile car wash units. It started with the humblest of beginnings indeed. I can say that with complete knowledge because this is a company I started at age 12 years old. It was not until I was nearly 32 years old that we franchised my business. This franchise was great in concept but franchisees would not follow the system enough, they deviated from the plan in most cases. The franchisees that stayed with the plan did very well, the ones who did not, did okay, but could have done better.
Small Business Opportunities Magazine Business
A Small Business Opportunities Magazine is one of the new small business opportunities opening up everyday. More and more companies are looking to outsource for basic services, cutting their budgets in the process and increasing profits. With this happening globally, the small business opportunities available are increasing. This process will only benefit the company's bottom line, but will also open the door for more employees to own their own businesses and take control of their lives.
Sample; Territory Reduction Policy for a Franchise Company
I propose this thought on the subject of Franchisee territory reduction based on performance for a Mobile Business Model. Please read the sample policy below as it explains the reasoning and methodologies considered to extend brand without risking underdeveloped territory. We will use a Mobile Car Wash Franchise Business for this discussion. This sample is speaking from the Operation Manual of the franchisor to the franchised unit:
You Are Invited
Business card size works well for invitations to special events.
Five Break-through Ideas to Immediately Increase Profits and Improve Cash Flow
Too often in business we get trapped into reviewing our sales numbers without analyzing the all important "profit" number. This is commonly referred to as the "bottom-line" of a business. There are various ways you can dramatically impact your profitability.
Retail Customer Opportunities for Pressure Washing Companies
Pressure washing companies must look for customers in the retail industry to make sure they stay busy. Large Box Stores and Grocery Stores are often you best customers in that regard. Cleaning concrete or doing "flat work" makes sense for a number of reasons, 1.) It is not labor intensive like washing trucks; 2.) Routine scheduled customers make the work extremely easy; 3.) Generally you do not have to worry about not getting paid for work completed, as the corporate offices will pay you, even if they are sometimes a little slow to pay.
How To Get Slightly Famous in Print
Early in my career, I wrote an article for a small business magazine about self-publishing as a marketing tool for businesses. Because I specialize in helping businesses get into print, the article only took a few hours to write. A few months later it was published. Almost immediately, my phone began to ring and my email box filled up with inquires.
Collection Agency Selection
Frankly, given the legal and regulatory requirements involved in attempting to collect a debt, it makes as much sense to do it yourself as it does to try to remove your own appendix. A collection agency is, on the whole, much cheaper than a doctors - and lawyers. Do yourself a favor and let a professional collection agency handle this complex matter for you.
Business Scents - Do They Work?
You see it often in large shopping complexes. Customers seem to be flocking to a certain stall in large droves. There is a special attraction that cannot be explained.
Small Business Marketing - How Important Are Your First Words?
"What do you do?" It just might be one of the most asked questions there is, at least here in America.
Top 10 Rules for Small Business Success
Local Search and Internet Yellow Pages - A Whole NewVocabulary for Small Businesss
Buyers want both online and local information about where to buy Most small businesses are local in nature, serving people who live nearby. Their customers found them through traditional methods like the Yellow Pages or newspaper ads. So far, the Internet hasn't figured prominently in their marketing efforts. That's about to change, as Local Search methods become more widespread. Even for buyers expecting to spend their money close to home, more and more of them go to the Internet to locate desired products and services. They rely on search engines to find suitable vendors in the fastest, easiest way. Local Search combines the search query word or phrase with specific geographic terms, like city or zip code. That way, search results only include enterprises in that local area. Instead of information about a small enterprise being lost among millions of pages of search results, it shows up in a small pool of local providers. That's good for them, as well as the person looking for what they provide. Small operations can easily be located by a whole new group of buyers Consumers don't simply go to the Yellow Pages when ready to buy - as they once did. Studies show that an astonishing 36% of online searches are conducted to find local businesses. About a quarter of all Internet users already conduct local searches. They'd do even more of it, if the desired small business data were more complete. Local enterprises need to prepare for the impact of changing customer habits. An easy first step is to include your business in Internet Yellow Pages (IYP), along with the printed Yellow Page directory. That puts your enterprise on the radar screen. Learn how your business can make the most of Local Search by visiting http://www.yellowpagesage.com. You'll find reliable advice from experts in Yellow Pages and Local Search so you can get more mileage from your promotional dollars. Start by getting comfortable with search concepts, and improve your odds of being found when people search online for what you offer. You don't even need your own Web site to benefit from Internet Yellow Pages and Local Search. Learn the Relevant Terms Search Engine - method for locating the information available on the Internet; a program that searches Web pages for requested keywords, then returns a list of documents where the query terms were found Google and Yahoo, the major general search engines, have both shifted gears to make Local Search a priority when delivering relevant results. Spider (also called "crawler" or "bot") - goes to every page on every Web site and reads the information so it can be available to searchers; to "crawl" a site it collects and indexes information from it Specialized Search Engines - narrow focus of information crawled and indexed, like medical, business, or shopping sites Keywords - word or phrases used by search engines to locate relevant Web pages; words chosen to improve a site's search engine placement and ranking Search Query - search request, which the search engine compares to the spidered entries, then returns results to the searcher Search Results - compiled list of Web pages that a search engine delivers in response to a query; the number of items returned is usually overwhelming (in the millions), so searchers only bother to view results on the first pages Relevant Results - the test of a good search is whether the results obtained relate to what the person wanted to find, without a lot of irrelevant links Local Search - combining a geographic term in a search query to locate suitable providers in a specific area Pay per Click (PPC) - method of building traffic whereby site owners bid on search terms (keywords) that link to their site Geographic Terms - specific information about the local area that can be included in a local search: zip code, town, county, geographic region, state Top Ranking - sites shown on the first page(s) of search results Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - fine-tuning keywords and page content so the Web site rates high in search engine results Tags and Titles (on Web Pages) - provide site keywords and information to search engine spiders for indexing a site Internet Yellow Pages (IYP) - directory of business phone numbers and locations in a geographic area, organized by category; searchable data base accessed on the Internet Make your business easy for searchers to find The public is embracing the convenience of searching on the Internet to find information about local businesses. However, their searches for desired information are compromised because so many local enterprises don't show up in the databases as yet. Those that do have an edge in their local market. Climb aboard! Make sure searchers can find you. For little or no money, you can expose your enterprise to the whole world. Whether or not your business has a Web site, you need to provide the information people are looking for in the places that they look for it. Local Search and Internet Yellow Pages open new avenues to buyers ready to spend. Best of all, they support and compliment your traditional methods of finding new business. So you cover all your bases. (c)2004, Lynella Grant
A Portable Trade Show Exhibit Makes for an Easier Show
You can make your trade show experience much easier by using a portable exhibit. Since you control everything related to transporting it and setting it up, you won't have to hire firms to for those things for you.
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