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Monthly Archives: July 2016

Small Budget Advertising, Here Its Tips

In the event that there is one oversight residential community organizations make more frequently than some other it’s, “What ever is left over, we’ll use for publicizing.”

Showcasing and promoting is a speculation, not a cost. I know it beyond any doubt appears like a cost to me when I’m composing the check, yet believe me it’s definitely not.

Without enough cash set aside to advertise your deals can go down and you abruptly have less and less for advancement.

At the point when do you publicize the most? For most organizations it’s the principal day of business. Don’t you have a Grand Opening, inflatables, flyers, promotions, on location radio stations, challenges, and prizes? Did the wage from deals pay for that? No, it didn’t. You promote most when you require business. You promote progressively when you don’t.

A small-budget advertiser doesn’t have the ”deep pockets” to develop big advertising campaigns. Some time you need to break the rules to be noticed. Avis did it by admitting they were “Number 2” in the car rental business and that campaign took them from 6th place to second place. When they stopped that campaign they dropped back to 6th again. In the past year they have gone back to it.

Budget conscious advertisers must achieve top results for their advertising dollar. Expand your dollars by adopting some creative techniques.

  1. Radio, newspapers and magazine specialists will frequently give free help in developing an advertising strategy. Things like demographic information, money-saving ways to produce your ads etc.
  2. Place your ads in off hours or in unusual locations for less. Many times you can still reach your target market with these spots.
  3. Instead of a one-time big splash ad, be consistent with frequent small ads that work.
  4. Monthly magazines sometimes have unsold ad space at the end of the month they will sell at a discount.
  5. If you have an 800 number, put it in every ad for immediate response and feedback.
  6. Try advertising consistently in the classifieds. These ads may draw more customers than more expensive display ads.
  7. Can you barter for the cost of ad production? Maybe the newspaper needs painting in exchange for an ad about your paint store.
  8. Piggyback advertising are the ads you receive with your Mastercard bill. Is there someone in your town that sends out a lot of bills? Can you put a small flyer in with their bills and split the postage? Or pay a small fee?
  9. Split advertising costs with the people who sell to you. Vendors and manufactures are always looking for exposure. Let people know you carry their products and have the vendor pick up part of the ad cost.
  10. Are there up front advertising discounts for cash?
  11. Consider advertising in regional issues of national magazines. The costs are lower and you can still reach your target market. TV Guide is a good choice. It stays around for at least a week. Time, Newsweek, and US News and World Report may stay in local doctors offices for years.
  12. Share ad costs with neighbor business. Video stores and Pizza parlors are natural partners. Have coupons to each others stores or share the cost of flyers.
  13. Try reducing the size of your ad (not in the Yellow Pages) or length of your radio spots. A 60 second spot is not twice as much as a 30 second spot but you won’t get twice as many customers for a 60 over a 30. Going with small ads or shorter spots will allow you to do more ads which normally pulls more customers. It’s better to be there every day with small ads than every month with one big one.
  14. Develop tight production controls to minimize the need to reject finished ads. The message is more important than the messenger. Don’t try to produce ads that win awards, produce ads that sell.
  15. Who are your very best customers? Aim your ads to talk directly to people like them.
  16. What will suppliers give you in the way of point-of-purchase materials. Posters, stand ups, handouts, etc. Some have excellent display racks you can use.
  17. Some national chains like Coke and Pepsi provide outdoor signs for businesses. There are also indoor lighted signs you write on with special markers to advertise your special offers.
  18. Can you sponsor a community event? A fun-run, golf tournament, or other event that will be well publicized in the community. Your name may not be prominently displayed but sometimes the positive exposure in the community will bring in new customers.
  19. Small businesses can seldom afford saturation advertising. You must be selective in the media that reaches your customers. Pin your ad reps down and make them show you exactly how their media reaches your target audience.
  20. Exploit the media you choose to the fullest. If your message is verbal, you don’t need TV. Use radio, billboards and newspapers to the fullest.
  21. Consider direct mail. A letter and brochure before customer contact can increase business. An IBM study concluded that selling time can be reduced from 9.3 to 1.3 total hours with direct mail advertising. A Sales and Marketing Executives International Study showed salespeople went from eight orders per 100 cold calls to 38 orders per 100 when direct mail was used.
  22. Try an editorial style ad. These are ads that look like actual stories in the newspaper. They will have “advertisement” at the top of the article. Develop a good headline, and 50% more people will read the article than would read an ad of the same size.
  23. You can’t match larger competitors dollar-for-dollar but, you can use unusual approaches (like the Avis idea above), color, music, slogans, humor (be careful here), or media selection to win your market away from the big guys.
  24. Due to the high costs of conventional advertising on, radio, TV, newspapers, many cost conscious business have been forced to look for lower cost methods. Can you advertise on parking meters, taxi boards, balloons, blimps, and grocery shopping carts. Community bulletin boards, movie ads, and weekly newspaper shoppers.
  25. Key your ads. Put something in the ad that will let you know which media it came from. On coupons, put a code that will record the paper and date of the ad. In radio or TV, have them mention the ad to get the discount. Ask every customer how they found you.
  26. Plan for a rainy day. During the year put a small amount aside each month for emergencies. You never know when you’ll need to react quickly to whatever the competition is doing. You must be able to capitalize on breaking national events or news regarding your industry. If negative things happen in your industry you may need to respond quickly to make sure the right message is presented.
  27. Always give the customer more than you promised and more than they expected. This is tip number 27 of the 25 we advertised. Maybe this last one is the one you needed.

I hope these tips will help your business grow. Not all may be relevant to your particular situation. Hopefully, they will illustrate the importance to plan and control your advertising budget.

Secrets of Successful Company

At the point when Irene Gillespie initially fiddled with importing from her local South Africa in the mid 1990s, she depended on a fax machine in her lounge room and an enthusiasm for excellent things.

Today, she and her group look over the world for her handpicked line of items, extending from vases to plated casings and mixed drink cutlery, for her Vancouver Island wholesale organization—Indaba Trading Ltd., which takes into account homeware retailers.

Gillespie has possessed the capacity to keep her business fit as a fiddle with a thorough administration approach.

Reach out for advice

“When things were going well before the 2008 recession, I took the opportunity to trim costs and expenses,” Gillespie says. “When my sales figures then dropped by 20% during the peak of the recession, I was better prepared to take the hit. I had tight control of our operations and could handle it.”

In times past, when the company was “bleakly undercapitalized,” she went to BDC to take advantage of the bank’s flexible financing. As well, Gillespie has periodically sought the advice of a business coach to help her manage her company through rougher periods.

“I realized that my passion for my business wasn’t enough to sustain it. I had to get a better handle on the numbers. A part of that coaching was doing a crash course in reading financial statements. Now I understand cash flow and carefully watch my finances.”

Make the online transition

While a team of sales representatives continued to cover the national and U.S. territories, Gillespie’s company made the transition to selling online.

“We designed our website to be live and fully interactive. If retailers see a product on our site, it means it’s actually available. We upload data to our server every day to make sure that they are getting real-time information.”

As well, Indaba built up the company’s brand recognition by launching a dedicated Internet page for direct consumers.

Create a buying plan

With increasingly savvy and budget-conscious consumers, Gillespie also attributes much of Indaba’s staying power to focused buying strategies.

“Before we go on buying trips, we first develop ‘stories’ for our collections based on current themes, colours and trends,” says Gillespie, who buys in China, Vietnam, Thailand and India. “By doing this, we’re better able to identify exactly where we’re going and not waver from our buying plan.”

To better manage inventory, Indaba also pre-sells to retailers a season in advance. “That means we don’t invest in the inventory until we have gauged market response. That sales model has definitely enabled us to manage purchasing and inventories and free up cash in our business.”

Keep the focus on customer service

With high pressure from retailers to get products on shelves in time for seasonal sales, Indaba has also focused on keeping customer service at the top of its agenda.

“It’s not enough to just be personable. We also keep our promises. If we say we’re going to deliver, we do,” Gillespie says. “It may seem like a very basic premise, but I do take care of my customers and employees, and it shows in their loyalty to my company.”

To motivate her team, she offers annual bonuses to employees who meet their targets.

“They’re motivated to sell and our customers feel that positive energy.”

Gillespie is not actively planning her succession, but she is focused on the future of the company. “This business will definitely be my retirement. Right now, I’m working on building my company’s assets and value. When I do sell, I’ll get what I’ve worked all these years to build.”

Lessons learned

  1. Be proactive and get your company in financial shape when times are good
  2. Get a business coach to help strengthen your financial management skills
  3. Invest in your business
  4. Continually identify creative ways to reach your customers
  5. Make sure your business is inventory-light to maintain cash flow
  6. If you’re selling online, keep your website updated regularly
  7. Keep customer-service promises to reinforce your credibility with clients

Know More about Social Entrepreneurship

Numerous business people in Canada and around the world are taking another way to deal with business that puts the accentuation on having a constructive outcome on the planet.

These organizations have exercises that are socially or ecologically valuable as a vital piece of their plan of action. They as a rule measure results regarding a “twofold primary concern” or even a “triple main concern”— following benefits, social worth and/or ecological effects.

For instance, it could make employments for individuals with handicaps, collaborating with espresso cultivators in creating nations or encouraging the utilization of renewable vitality.

Idea catching on

Hard numbers for the sector are hard to come by partly because of differing definitions of what is social entrepreneurship. But the idea seems to be catching on.

“It’s a global movement that has real traction,” says Craig Ryan, BDC’s Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “Many social enterprises are for‑profit businesses, but the concept also encompasses non‑profits and co‑ops.”

“People are using these enterprises in creative ways to make more than just money. They’re competing to be the best, not just in the world, but for the world.”

Many seek B Corp status

Many for‑profit social enterprises seek certification as a B Corp, a rigorous standard for businesses in the sector. The number of B Corp businesses has reached nearly 1,300 in 41 countries, up from about 500 in 2012.

Companies that obtain B Corp certification (the “B” stands for beneficial) have demonstrated they meet exacting standards of accountability, transparency and social, workplace and environmental responsibility.

A non‑profit called B Lab, based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, grants the certification. (BDC became a certified B Corp in 2014, the first and only Canadian financial institution to do so.)

A growing phenomenon in Britain

In Britain, where social enterprises have grown rapidly in recent years, the sector represented 7% of all small and medium‑sized businesses in 2010—up from 4% four years before. Social enterprises were as likely as conventional businesses to turn a profit, a British government study found.

A PBS series on social entrepreneurship, hosted by actor Robert Redford, called the movement a “revolution” that “is fundamentally changing the way society organizes itself and the way we approach social problems.”

BDC lends to for‑profit social enterprises, including those that have obtained B Corp certification, Ryan says. BDC account managers treat them like any other business and don’t offer them preferential terms.

Creating solid businesses

“The companies in our portfolio are proof these are solid businesses,” Ryan says.

Examples of successful social purpose companies are multiplying. African Bronze Honey is an award‑winning B Corp that has trained 6,000 beekeepers in Zambia and uses fair‑trade principles to market their organic honey.

Started in Ottawa by Canadians with African roots, the business also partners with Canadian schools to educate children about development issues in Africa. The schools can also sell the honey to raise funds.

The company’s motto: “Changing the world… one bottle of honey at a time.”

Of the sector, Ryan said: “These are purpose‑driven, innovative entrepreneurs who use companies to improve the world. It’s exciting to see them succeed.”