Some factors to consider in advertising program

Tips For Small Business

August 03, 2008|By Stephen L. Rosenstein

Advertising is not merely a business expense - it is an investment in building sales.

The future of any business hinges on how well you plan and implement your advertising program. Yet many new small-business owners confess to not being experts in this subject. Relax. There is a lot you can do to create a sound budget.

It is common for a small business to base its advertising investment as a percentage of estimated sales. Industry trade journals are a great source of data on the average advertising expenditures for different types of businesses.

Advertising sales representatives will talk about rates, circulation, audience and coverage. Most rates are based on measuring the cost for reaching 1,000 people or homes. Don't buy ads based solely on cost. Consider how well the print, broadcast or online media will help you reach your target audience.

As a business owner, evaluate the sales that you might want to drive from your advertisements. Your tactics will differ if your goal is a short-run increase through a sales promotion instead of a longer-term push to increase sales. You also must take other factors into consideration, such as whether your goal is foot traffic, higher sales or a specific average dollar value per sale.

Stephen L. Rosenstein is co-chairman of the Greater Baltimore SCORE Chapter No. 3. Call 410-962-2233 to speak to a SCORE counselor or visit www.scorebaltimore.org. To send a question to SCORE, e-mail smallbiz@baltsun.com.

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