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boiMAG.com Business Marketing Q&A

Dear Chad, Are coupons and / or contests a good idea for a small business promotion, if not, what are?  From- Eric

Hello Eric,

Incentives such as coupons or contests can often entice consumers to try your products, or services for the first time. Knowing when and when-not to do these is critical to your businesses ongoing success, and helps ensure you are not cutting into your profit margin anymore than you have to. Keep in mind that you only want to highlight your business, not cheapen it. Look at what your competitors are doing so that you can have a better idea as to what might actually work to draw in new customers. Have a plan in place that is enticing and sustainable to get the most out of your promotion.

Dear Chad, How important is joining our local Chamber of Commerce? Is it good idea to join more than one?  -From, Bonnie

Hello Bonnie,

When you are apart of any local chamber it can be beneficial when It comes to running a business. It gives you an additional opportunity to expand your network with other business owners that might know of clients in addition to themselves that could use your services or products. It can give you great exposure and an opportunity to appeal in a totally different way from that of normal advertising. It allows you to put a face to the company and tell your story, which gives you a leg up on your competition. It can also give you an opportunity to get involved with what is going on in your community, such as sponsoring an event or local sports team. This also gives you a chance to connect with those that want to support local business. While you can join as many chambers as you feel you need to, make sure you have the time and not overbook yourself.

Dear Chad, What do you base your annual advertising budget on? Is it your annual income, projected income or is it something else? - From James

Hello James,

Ideally you would look at your past 3 quarters and average out about 20-25% of your net income to determine a successful advertising budget that won’t get you in financial trouble. You can always spend a little less or a little more dependent on what you have coming in.

To figure this annually if you feel confident in your specific industry and see things either holding steady or improving you can look at LY from an annual perspective and take 20% of the net income to disperse over the year. Averaging out a quarter can be a more realistic way to not get yourself in a bind, but might also limit you. You can always add more or take away as needed to ensure your continued success.

To submit your question to Ask Chad, email him at: AskChad@boiMAG.com