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5.3 Advertising Strategy Questionnaire

Why does a small business like Lights On Electrical, Inc. need to advertise?

As the popular saying goes in business circles, half of all the money spent on advertising is useful and the other half is wasted but the problem is we don't which half is useful - that is the exactly the dilemma of a small business owner like Andy Powell looking to spend money on advertising. We all know that advertising works but are not sure quite how to measure the return on our advertising dollars. Although with modern technology in the online world, with pay per click we are able to greatly improve our measurement of the returns on our advertising dollars. A small business like Lights On Electrical, Inc. of Cuyahoga, Ohio can choose not to advertise at all but run the risk of not getting enough exposure for their products and services. Competitors who offer weaker products and services may be able to gain market share from you because the target market is hearing more from them and does not enough about you and the products you offer.

What forms of advertising are there for a small business owner like Andy Powell to choose from?

The great news for small businesses like Lights On Electrical, Inc. is that they now have access to different forms of advertising that may be more affordable and give them a much wider audience than in the past. There is print, television, radio, online or a combination of them all. We have seen clients can get significant returns on all three forms of advertising and recommend that your advertising strategy consider taking advantage of every possible venue to advertise.

Print advertising of course is the most traditional form of advertising - you can use direct mail by sending postcards, letters or other material via the mail to your prospects. You can also advertise in local, regional and national print media like newspapers, circulars, magazines etc and local bulk mailers to get you exposure and market your products and services. A small business like Lights On Electrical, Inc. can easily tap into this form of advertising and get a decent return on their advertising dollars especially if their market is very local in nature. Small businesses also have the added advantage of everyone in the community knowing where they are located and this is of course a great advantage for all local clients.

A small business like Lights On Electrical, Inc. can also combine local print advertising with sponsorships and charity events that your business supports and help, to get the name of the business our in the community. Many small and medium sized businesses also get a lot of business from advertising in trade and industry publications.

Radio advertising is often a very good form of getting the word out to local businesses but many small business owners don't know about it and tend not to take advantage of the possibilities it offers. Buying local spots in local radio stations can give a small business a decent amount of exposure to the local market place and the spots don't cost as much either.

Television advertising is yet another effective way to market your services. The world of television advertising is fairly complicated and we recommend that you partner up with a local advertising agency that will help you produce commercials that will be broadcast on local television stations. Advertising to a national audience is a very expensive preposition and we have not seen too many instances of that being done by small businesses.

Online advertising is a brave new world and in our opinion it was built for small businesses - using the pay per click or even affiliate marketing models, a small business like Lights On Electrical, Inc. is able to get a direct benefit from the visitor actually taking the action of clicking on their banner advertisements or buying a product that is advertised on the web. The business only pays when the prospect takes a specific action and thus the results are very measureable as opposed to the offline world where it is often hard to get a handle on the real returns on advertising. Another major advantage of online advertising is that you can market your services locally to folks looking for your products or services in their own local markets like Cuyahoga, Ohio, as well as nationally.

Why does a wholesale business need to advertise?

Advertisement is a way for any business to promote its products. This product may be promoted at the wholesale level or at the retail level. Thus if you are a manufacturer that only sells to the wholesale community, you still need to be able to get the word out there to the rest of the wholesale community. You may want to advertise in your industry trade publications to create more awareness about your brand. You can be sure that competitors will be doing just that.

Can a small business like Lights On Electrical, Inc. alter its image by advertising?

Yes. Lets say you are a small business that stumbled and your competitors are running advertisements to malign you. In order to prevent the negative publicity and mis-information that is spread through negative advertising, a small business can turn to advertising and put out a very positive image of itself to counter balance the negativity brought on by the competitors actions. This is very common in the world of politics.

Quick Links:

  1. Go to the Corresponding Business Plan section for this industry.

Small Business Owner Resource Center


Articles on the Small Business Financing Sources, the Small Business Loan Basics, small business loans Checklist and SBA Loans are incredible sources of knowledge for the small business owner.



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The Foundation Grant Directory is a free listing of sources for grants by state. Why not look if there is some free money out there for your business. Hey - you never know!



The Business Loan Application covers every item you will need in your loan package and tells you how to get approved for business loans.



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