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The money that a small business can afford to spend on advertising is usually pretty limited. Most types of advertising are expensive. Television commercials and full page newspaper ads are really out of the picture, budget-wise. Additionally, many people starting up a small business don't really believe in the effectiveness of advertising in the first place.

It would be very difficult for someone to design an advertising campaign that would work for all small businesses. There are too many factors that have to be considered dealing with the specific nature of each particular type of business, and also it's geographical location. It is also a fact that different types of advertising work for different kinds of businesses.

The first thing to consider about advertising is how much money your business can afford to budget for it. The way that most businessmen do this is to relate this number to a percentage of their cost of sales. What they are expecting is an increase in sales that will pay for the cost of advertising and also generate additional profits for their business. This is where an effective accounting system becomes a critical factor.

In most instances it would be undesirable to have advertising be more than about thiry percent of your cost of sales. If you don't have an accurate cost of sales figure you would have to "guesstimate". If this is the case you might want to consider switching your focus to establishing a more effective accounting system for the business before you proceed with your advertising campaign.

Once you've established a budget number for advertising, it will determine what type of advertising that your business can afford. Starting with small trial campaigns to determine the effectiveness of your ad campaign is the best way to go. Once you have found the "magic" of an effective method of advertising, you can increase your expenditures up to your budget limit. Start small and slow until you find something that works, and then use it. If it doesn't work, drop it. Don't let somebody tell you that advertising takes time to work... that is BS--take it from someone who has actually sold advertising. If it works, you will know it right away... and if it doesn't, you'll know that too.

The best way to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign is to offer a discount or special deal which requires either a coupon or for the customer to mention the particular advertisement that made the offer in order to take advantage of it. This gives you an easy way to measure how much business the ad campaign brings in.

Again it would seem that I have filled up a page before saying everything that ought to be said. It appears that more pages about this subject are in order, but you will have to wait a little while for them. Am in the process of going back and adding more pages on all of the topics here. Your patience and tolerance is appreciated. The first forum is now up and running. If you have a problem or a question, and need a helpful, straightforward answer for it... just click on the link below.

Small Business Helper Forum