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Kick Start Your Business
By: Developer Shed
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    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.
    ie- Holidays:
    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
    this method:
    New business
    Competitive situations.

    2: Sales
    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.

    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:

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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