Bonitamedia’s Weblog

Creating a lasting impression for small business

Saving money in tough times….

It always puzzles me when sitting down with potential clients when I hear “times are tough, so we cut our marketing budget to save money.”  It’s obvious from my last post and my line of business I disagree with that comment.  But let’s take a look at a couple of different ways to optimize your business without losing any service, without laying anyone off, without changing your bottom-line, all the while increasing your brand awareness and probably even growing your sales!

 

The first area to look is pretty easy – utilities.  Set your A/C 1-2 degrees higher.  According to Progress Energy, for each degree you raise your thermostat, you save 3-5% on your annual cooling bill.  Next is your communication costs.  Still paying long-distance charges?  Do you have an all-inclusive cell package?  Do you even need a land-line?  Just by re-evaluating these aspects of your business you could be looking at hundreds of dollars per month in savings.

 

Now let’s look at something that is real significant, and often overlooked – credit card processing.  Did you know the credit card processing companies are struggling as well?  (Let’s face it, if consumers aren’t using their cards, they aren’t getting paid…)  Because of this, many processors have cut their fees for new customers (not necessarily for existing customers).  Recently I spoke with a local restauranteur who told be in a typical year, 65% of his business is credit card driven.  This year it has jumped to 90-95%!  Think of your annual sales, and the fact you are paying 2-4% or more for credit cards.  They are a must to do business, but you certainly don’t need to pay too much for it. 

How much money would you save each month by implimenting a few changes?  Many businesses would see $1000 or more in monthly savings.  What if you were to apply those savings to your marketing plan?  How would your business look?  How many new, repeat customers can you generate?  Would that allow you to spend more time with your family?  Golfing?  Fishing?  Working?

Remember – we all are in business for different reasons, but very few of us are in business because we need a job.  In difficult times you need to think creatively about your finances, your marketing, heck – even your survival!

Next post I’ll touch on lifetime-value of a client.  If you don’t already know how much your existing clients are worth, you’ll learn – and hopefully be pleasantly surprised!

 

Jon

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Marketing in SWFL | , , , | 5 Comments

Marketing 101

Advertising 101

 

Two of the largest obstacles that businesses need to overcome are “How to get the consumer to know you are there” and “Why they need your product or service”.  The solution is simple, advertising.

 

No Customers, No Money

 

One of the biggest mistakes that a company can make, when business slows down, is to cut back on advertising.  I am not saying this because I am in the advertising business but if you just take a minute to think about it, you will see how BIG of a mistake this could be.  If you are not getting enough customers, why would you cut back on the one thing that brings the customers to your door?  It may be easy to say, “It is the economy and no one is making money now”.  However, take the time to check it out and you may be surprised in what you see.

 

Advertising in a slow economy can give you the edge on your competition.  There may be fewer buyers, but the ones out there are going to the businesses that are reaching out to them.

 

There is no question that times have changed and it is not as easy as it once was.  This does not mean that it is “over” for your industry; you may just need a new approach.  I hear it all the time, “I have been marketing my company the same way for over 10 years”.  My question is, “How is business doing?” I usually hear, “Business is slow but everyone is slow now.”  My reply is, “Why has your competition had a great year so far? Could it possibly be that they have taken your customers?”  I apologize for being so forward, but let’s get real, if you have been doing the same thing for 10 years and are not getting the response you want; don’t you think it is time for a change?  Stop blaming the economy or too much competition – start doing something about it.

 

Make Smart Investments

 

Not every form of advertising is right for you.  Take your time and see what you want to accomplish. Who is your target, what incentives do you have, and what is the best way to get this message to the people?

 

This brings me to my next point – cheaper is not always better.  Sometimes spending less money is worse then spending no money.  Keep in mind that old saying, “you get what you pay for”.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t look for a good deal.  I just want you to be careful for those who say they can save you lots of money on advertising.  This usually ends up costing you more in the end, the response.  The whole point on investing in advertising is getting your name out and getting people to come to you.  So make sure you find out why you are getting such a good deal and at what cost.

 

When it comes to advertising, there are two things that may cause it not to work; using the wrong type of advertising and putting out the wrong message.  Before you make a decision, take your time and ask a lot of questions.

 

 

Sum It Up

 

In closing, everyone may have a different idea on the best way to market their company.  Yet, everyone will agree that you need to keep your name and message out there in order for your business to stay on top.  The only way to accomplish this is by advertising.

 

Jon McLeod

Mobile Exposure

(239)405-7814

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Marketing in SWFL | | 2 Comments