Warning: Small Business Owners-Before You Advertise, Read This Simple Checklist

If you’re writing advertisements for your business follow these 23 principles to ensure you get maximum return for your advertising dollar.

These 23 advertising ‘rules’ are based on direct response advertising principles from books like ‘Tested Advertising Methods’ by John Caples and ‘Scientific Advertising’ by Claude Hopkins.

1. Have you clearly researched and defined your ideal target market?

2. Have you written your advertisement directed solely to your ‘ideal target market’?

3. Is the marketing piece being placed/sent/posted where your ideal target market will easily see it?

4. Have you calculated how many sales you need to make to make a profit on this advertisement?

5. Have you considered any other ways that you can reach your target market that may be more cost effective for you?

6. Have you made an offer that’s easy for your reader to understand, and irrisistable for them to refuse?

7. Does your headline ‘sing out’ your ‘ideal target market’ so that they know, that your advertisement is written especially for them?

8. Does your headline ‘grab’ your ideal target market’s attention and excite them?

9. Does your headline offer or describe to your target market a major benefit that’s important to them?

10. Have you written your advertisement so that your headline is approximately 5 sizes larger than the body copy font size?

11. Does the body copy of your advertisement naturally continue on from what the headline suggests/says?

12. Through out the body copy, have you continued on with the benefits suggested in your headline, and described more benefits to your target market of using/owning your product/service?

13. Have you focused your writing on what your product/service will do for your target market, rather than just mentioning how good your business is?

14. Have you used ‘sub-headings’ above some paragraphs to allow ‘skim readers’ to get the main thrust of your advertisement, just by reading the sub-headings?

15. If you have included a picture of a person, is the person (or people) positioned so that their shoulders are facing into the body of the advertisement?

16. Have you included a picture that shows the reader what the benefit(s) of buying and using your product/service will be?

17. Have you taken the ‘buying risk’ away from your ideal target market by letting people know that they are safe to buy from you by either including a guarantee and/or using testimonials?

18. Have you used specifics like 5, 7 and 11 in your copy, rather than using generalizations like large, limited or top quality?

19. Have specifically asked your ideal target market to call, buy, or in some way take action to contact you in a hurry?

20. Have you included your contact details on your advertisement so it’s clear and easy for readers to contact you, or take action effortlessly?

21. Have you communicated with your staff so that they know when, why and how the advertisement is being published?

22. Have you trained your staff so that they know how to handle incoming calls, e-mails and shoppers when they contact/visit your business?

23. Have you communicated with your staff on how they are to record the results of the advertisement so you can track whether it’s profitable or not?

The above 23 points are pretty comprehensive, and will help you make your advertisements comply with sound direct response advertising principles.

By following them, you can ensure you’ll be closer to creating profitable advertisements for your small business growth.

Small Business Online? Using Affiliate Programs to Make Money Online

Small businesses online are the future of the economy and will most likely play a large part in getting it out of the current recession. With the world going virtual and more of the economy shifting to the internet, each new online small business creates more competition and the possibility of helping the economy get out of the current recession. The shape of the financial world is changing and the ‘nobodies’ of yesteryear are leveling the playing field online.

What exactly is a small business online? Is it the cottage industry of the past or is it the local businesses that go online to create a ‘store front’ on the internet? The answer is neither. An online small business, today, includes the hundreds of thousands of web owners who have blogs, forums, and websites and make money online using their talents, providing their services, and using the various affiliate programs to capture a share of the market.

Online Marketers-? While the traditional small business owner provided only a service; today, a small business owner can market various services and make money online. The service providers have realized the competition online is simply too much. No one company can easily capture a large slice of the market., which is why the service providers work with many affiliate programs simultaneously, providing lucrative percentages to individuals and companies who act as ‘resellers’. This way they are able to capture a large portion of the market without geographical limitations or increasing overheads.

Through becoming an online marketer, any person can become a ‘small business’ owner and create a small business online.

The virtual world provides tens of thousands of opportunities online. Some are scams, some are genuine; and while every article read online has to be taken with a grain of salt, if you read enough and research enough, the best affiliate programs in the business will get your attention. There are names like ClickBank and Commission Junction, which will be repeated over and over again, proving within the realm of fantasy, some reality remains to make money online.

There is no guarantee of success and there are too many variables in the whole scheme of things to allow even the best financial wizards to create predictors of success. Yet, there is so much scope, so much vision, and simply so much opportunity for growth that anyone who does not take advantage lacks the foresight to capitalize.

Business Growth – Are You Choosing the Best Way?

One of the best and least expensive approaches to business growth is through your current customer base. It is far easier to sell more to customers who are already buying from you. You don’t have to spend a huge amount on marketing because the relationship is already established.

What you do need to do is to find creative ways to sell them more of what they are already purchasing from you or introduce them to other products or services in your range.

Study your existing customers’ profiles to gain insight into the type of customers you attract and use that information to find more of the same. Look for potentials whose needs are similar and who tend to make purchases in the same way. You should see quick and significant growth to your business with both of the above approaches.

Business growth could come through investigating new markets for your existing products or services. For example, you may manufacture a piece of technology that is sought after by the transport industry.

With research, you may find that it would be equally useful for the aerospace industry, albeit for a slightly different purpose.

Developing new products or services could be the key to business growth. They could be in addition to what you already offer or to replace existing ones that are becoming uncompetitive or obsolete. You should offer these to your existing customers first. In this way you can test and fine-tune your approach before going large-scale.

If your business is small, business growth through diversification is not really for you. It is a high risk approach. It should only be considered if:

o You cannot meet your goals for business growth through the other approaches

o You have the capital to invest and the resources to carry the work through