Kick Start Your Business
by Debbie Solomon
Do you know where or how to start planning this years
The fact is, SUCCESSFUL advertising MUST be planned and
strategized or the effect on your business will not be something
you can take to the bank.
But where should you start? The most obvious place is your
Marketing Plan, which forms part of your Business Plan.
But, since more than 90% of small business people have
neither, here's a useful place to begin
- Your Promotional Calendar.
This is one of the most important selling tools you can
have. Done properly, it can maximize your budget,
save you lots of money and avoid potential mistakes
Plus it gives you a basis for long-term
cash flow projections. A Promotional Calendar is simply a
list of events happening in your market place during the
coming year that may offer opportunities for promotion
or perhaps highlight times not to promote, or to advertise
differently. It helps you to plan a coordinated
advertising campaign for your business, well in advance.
You can even make it simple by doing a Quarterly
Promotional Calender, if projections for the full year
are not fully secured. It is easier to manage your
advertising budget this way.
It's simple, it's easy, it's obvious - and most people in
small business don't do it! Don't be one of them. Here's a
quick run-down on how to create your own Promotional
Report No. 1
1: Setting Up:
Take a sheet of lined paper and divide it
into three vertical columns: Date, Events, Promotional
2: Dates and Events:
List all holidays and events (local,
state and national). Now, here is alittle suggestion
to give you an idea of when it is BEST to advertise,
spending a larger amount of your advertising dollar, and
when to minimize your advertising dollar.
Start A LARGE advertising Campaign 8 weeks prior for
business opporunities,services, etc... That is when most
people are LOOKING around.
Spend a minimal amount of your advertising dollars one week
prior to the specified holiday through one week after the specified holiday.
3: Promotion Ideas:
List any bright ideas for related
promotions. Brainstorm various ideas. List absolutely
everything. Some suggestions, such as Free Giveaways,
Free E-Books, Free Ideas and Suggestions. FREE
Information is always a Plus.
4: Fine-tuning :
Begin sifting your ideas for worthwhile
promotions to drive your advertising and getting
the leading edge.
This will help get you get started toward achieving the
level of profit you have in mind for your business and
help you get a head start on the competition.
After examining the best times to advertise so
that you will not be wasting your money and efforts, now
you need to focus on squeezing the most out of your
hard-earned advertising dollar. The best way to go about
doing that is to create an advertising budget for the
Report No. 2
This essential business tool goes overlooked by most small
business advertisers. Perhaps you are not sure how to even
go about setting an advertising budget. There are three
commonly used methods. The question is not "how much will
I spend this year, or this quarter?" but "how much should I spend?"
1: Percentage% of Sales
The most commonly used method because it seems safe:
You can't spend more than you make in relation to your sales
results. You need to allow for three extras when you use
Take your Sales from previous quarters, deduct all
expenditures to get your profits. Take 20% of your
profits in order to budget that for your Advertising
If you are NEW to the Business industry, you need to use
your own discretion on what you can afford each month.
It is imperative to remember to maintain records of all
advertising expenditures, and what each profit turnaround
This will help you for your Quarterly Promotional Calender.
No. 3: Goal/Task
This is the most accurate method and the one most used by
professionals. It requires:
Specific goals for each promotion or ad.
Accurate cost estimates.
Add individual goal/task totals to calculate annual/quarterly
advertising budget. Beware of wishful thinking,
Over-optimism and self-indulgence when setting your
advertising budget. It's a good idea to keep aside a 5% to
10% reserve fund for emergencies, too, such as new
competitors. Strike a balance between what you should
spend and what you can realistically afford, using past
results as a guide, plus the incentive to do a little
better this year.
With these marketing tools, (your Promotional Calendar
& Advertising Budget for 2000) in hand, you will be able
to examine your businesses weaknesses and set the bar a
little higher to start Your Next Quarterly Advertising
Campaogn out right.
TO YOUR PROFIT!
Sara Hardy & Debbie Solomon are the creators
of the world renowned Marketing Trendz Workshop
devised for small and home businesses in learning all the
various marketing tools and techniques that are
required for success online.
They are also the author of "Mind Your Own Business"
E-Book, and The Online Exchange Ezine.
Please visit their site at: http://www.marketingtrendz.com mailto:email@example.com
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