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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Home Business Advertising Formula

By Scott Sharp

I am certain that, as a business owner, you have often
entertained the question as to how much to spend and where to
spend your advertising dollars. For most small business owners,
these questions can add to the headaches suffered in the course
of normal everyday operations of their business. The how much to
spend and where to spend it questions have no easy answers.

Depending on your type of business, many people suggest that
the *how much* should be equal to anywhere from 4% to 10% of
your gross receipts. The quandary is that a business cannot
survive without a fresh flow of incoming customers. But, a
business can seldom generate a fresh stream of customers without
spending money to get the word out about their business.

paid for advertising and sat back to await the fresh flow of
customers, only to find yourself sitting and sitting and then
sitting some more? Don't feel bad about that. It has happened to
many of us before. See, knowing where to spend the advertising
money is not enough to get the job done.

If all that was need was to spend money, your only limitation
would be your wallet size. Unfortunately that is not the case.
Try to follow these steps to create a healthy, streamlined
marketing portfolio.

• Marketing Plan
• Advertising Strategy
• Headlines, Ad Copy and Visual Presentation
• Tracking the Success of Your Advertising Campaigns

The Marketing Plan is used primarily to identify your own
products and services, costs, strengths, weaknesses and the
strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. It's also a good
idea to come up with a target for you geographic profile.

Developing an advertising strategy is crucial so you know what
to expect to gain from your advertising. Do you simply wish to
get your name known so that when your customer will need you,
they will think of you first? Or, do you wish to get your
customers in your front door on Saturday? Do you want your
customers to come in and take a look around to discover the next
object that they cannot live without? Or, do you want them to
come in and buy a specific widget? Do you hope that enough
people will come in to buy enough products or services to pay
for your single ad? Or, do you expect to gain a lifelong
customer who will help pay for your advertising over the course
of several years? When you know what you want, then you will
better understand just how to do it.

You might be surprised how many business owners put out
advertising without regard for the quality of the sales pitch or
presentation. The quality of your distribution outlet or the
amount of money you spent to get there will do little for you if
the advertising vehicle is a junker. Trying out different
advertising mediums such as headlines, ad copy, video, or even
print advertising is essential to a winning ad campaign. Most
advertising does not work in a crossover environment, which
means if it was a hot motivator with an online ad that doesn't
necessarily mean it will perform in a hard copy print ad. Test
all of your advertising materials in smaller markets before
blowing your advertising bank roll on it. You must absolutely
know the value of your advertising before putting large sums of
money behind it.

Tell your customers to save another 10% when they tell you they
heard or saw your ad in such-and-such location. Suggest that
they can register to win a free widget if they fill out a form
and have them to tell you how they heard of your business.
Advertise a specific widget in your ad and track the sales of
that widget. There are many available programs for tracking
online, some are free and others are monthly memberships, the
old adage of getting what you pay for really takes place here
though, so be sure to do some research before signing up! It
does not matter how you track your advertising --- just make
sure you do it!

The ideal way to spend your advertising budget is to buy a
rifle with a high-powered scope and to only shoot your targets
in the light of day. If you are not tracking your advertising,
then you are shooting a pellet gun without an attached scope,
with blinders on, and shooting in the dead darkness of night.
Even with a bigger gun, the blinders in the dark constitute the
single largest mistake made by advertisers. If you are unable to
track your advertising to learn what is working well, what is
working somewhat, and what is a money pit, then you are
condemned to repeat your mistakes over and again. By relying
only on gut instinct, you may be choosing to spend more money in
the money pit and to lose all of your money in the process. When
you get down to the nuts and bolts of making money from your
advertising, you should plan, prepare, track and study your
results. You must have factual information on which to base your
advertising decisions. When you are making the right advertising
decisions, then making money from your business might just come

About The Author: Scott Sharp is owner of http://BizzOps.org
and writes on a variety of subjects. Scott invites you to email
him for question anytime at bizzops66@gmail.com or visit his
website at http://www.bizzops.org

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