Advertising For Small Businesses

Advertising For Small Businesses by Neil BurnardWhile you always want to think big, small business owners also need to be realistic about their advertising campaigns.  You’ll typically be looking for effective, low-cost solutions, but often-times you can only have one or the other; you most likely won’t find a simultaneously effective and inexpensive channel for your ads.  That’s why it’s so important to budget and not just play around with left-over money.  By assigning the right amount of money to the right channels, you can achieve your desired results or at least improve what you already have.  Here are some great advertising strategies for smaller businesses, based off an article I found on the site entrepreneur.com:

Target your audience: The product you’re selling isn’t going to match everybody’s needs.  Create an accurate target customer profile based on data you’ve collected, and then use that to target similar demographics and psychographics with your campaigns.  Whether it’s online or offline, make sure your copy and imagery reflects what your customers want.

Measure and track your advertising: Online advertising platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook can provide you with plenty of stats that can help you determine what’s working.  This doesn’t mean that you won’t need to test and experiment, but it does mean you can make quicker decisions about what to try next.

Get your timing right: While spreading out your advertising equally year-round might seem like a common-sense approach at first glance, sustaining a similar marketing and advertising initiative throughout the year isn’t wise.  If you sell seasonal products, advertise during your highest-performing seasons.  Keep an eye on when your competitors launch their own promotions, and you can keep pace with or even outmaneuver them if you have an advertising budget set aside.

Brand well: Do your ads have signature colours, copy or imagery that make them instantly recogniseable?  Over time, your customers will identify with and respond to your specific ad layouts.

Use your resources well: You know how important it is to rank well in search, but you may not have the resources and time available to consistently create new, informative content for your website.  In such an instance, take advantage of services like Google AdWords to you can appear higher in SERP results without needing to optimise posts for your keywords.  If you only have a small advertising budget, then magazine ads might not be the way to go; opt instead for a Facebook ad campaign.

Show up where it counts: Making too many assumptions about your target customer is a bad idea.  If your advertising dollars are going to the wrong place, then all of your work is being sorely misplaced.  Get to know your customers; survey them, figure out where they like to hang out online, what they read and what podcasts they listen to.  This will help you attract more worthwhile leads to your business.

Is My Business Ready to Franchise?

Is My Business Ready to Franchise?

Franchising can seem like the perfect way to expand your business. In the franchise world, franchisees are the ones financially responsible for opening the locations and running them according to the franchisor’s regulations. Because franchisees make a big investment to get started, they are highly motivated to drive their businesses towards success. Sounds great, right?

Although it may sound like franchising your business would be an ideal plan, not all businesses are meant to be franchised. Here are four basic questions you can ask yourself before determining if your business is ready to be franchised:

1. Have you perfected your business model?

The first step to determining whether a business is ready for franchise is making sure the business model is both thorough and successful. You must be able to show and prove a successful business prototype that demonstrates a strong unit performance and consumer acceptance. Moreover, the business must be operated by an owner who shows great ability and leadership skills, ensuring that he or she will be able to take on the heavy responsibility entailed in any business expansion.

2. Can you sell it?

Not only does the business model need to work, it also must also be attractive to potential investors. Some of the typical factors that franchisees take into consideration before investing are business credibility, success rate, uniqueness, and how “hot” or innovative it will be in any given market.

3. Can you duplicate it?

One of the key factors in a franchisor’s success is being able to clone or replicate the business easily. If the original business only works because of an exceptional employee or a one of a kind location, franchising will not work. A franchise concept should be straightforward in order to guarantee it will work in different markets and will be simple to operate. When it comes to franchises, simpler is often better.

4. Can you provide franchisees with an adequate return?

Franchisees expect to get two kinds of returns: one, for the time they spend working at the actual business, and two, for the investment they made when they bought the franchise. So you need to ask yourself: will your business model be able to provide these kinds of returns to the franchisee while also providing you the royalty you’re supposed to collect as the franchisor? If your answer is “no,” you will have to go back to the drawing board. Research how you can improve your business model, so you can meet those returns. If you can’t, your business might be better off the way it is and not a great fit for a franchise.

Conclusion

Franchising your business can mean quick, lucrative expansion for your business, but not if your business isn’t fit to be a franchise. Ask yourself these questions to figure out if your business can fulfill these requirements.

Advantages of Franchising

UnknownMany entrepreneurs wrestle with the idea of starting a business from scratch, or enlisting the services of a franchise. There are definite advantages from purchasing a franchise and some of them can go well beyond the well known upside. Franchisees are in business for themselves but, of course are not alone as they have the support of their umbrella organizations. As it is well known, sole proprietorships are the most likely businesses to go close their doors in a given time frame. The support and guidance of a franchise significantly reduces those odds of failure. Being associated with a popular or established brand also helps the business owner as they reap benefits of advertising, and pre-exposure to their target market.

Franchising also offers pre-open support by way of a certain number of hours in training services. Depending on the type of franchise you are involved as a franchisee, you are offered a training program which has a certain amount of hours at your disposal in order to pick up the knowledge needed to run a company. Also a common add-on is a grand-opening program to assist owners in building hype for the first day of business. On an ongoing basis, franchises offer continued training for advertising campaigns, and operational consulting.

Such support allows entrepreneurs a framework of reference for all endeavors. It can be equated to having a very knowledgeable mentor throughout your ownership of the business. This type of helping hand can assist in the navigation of the rough waters the business environment can generate, which certainly will arise in your entrepreneurial endeavor. For more information regarding Master Franchise Connections please visit their website, or contact Neil Burnard for more information. For those entrepreneurs looking to become involved in an expense reduction franchise that has a proven track record of success, visit Neil’s ERA site.


To read the original article, please click here.