Infographic – Social Media Money Makers

Strategy Plan One

March 14, 2012 

Check out this interesting, colorful infographic from USBundles.com illustrating how social media sites make their piles of money.  To note, the ad-based revenue has been strong and is projected to continuing growing.

Infographic courtesy of USBundles.com

 

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© 2012 Strategy Plan One

 

Trade Show Event – Great Exposure for an Entrepreneur

Strategy Plan One

February 22, 2012 

Trade show event

You have almost completed your business plan, but you are still developing the marketing activities component.  One great avenue to include in your planning and to get exposure to your products and services is at a trade show event.

 

 

Trade Show Events

 

Trade show events give you the ability to showcase products and services to masses of potential customers, with colourful, interactive displays manned by representatives promoting the business.  Since the marketing product industry is so competitive, banner and pop-up displays are cost-effective and can be user-friendly in the set-up and take-down.  If designed right, your display can last for years and be used over and over again at trade show events.

 

If you have chosen the right trade show and right target participants, you may be able to convert a high rate of participants at a trade show event into buying customers.  You must consider that participants are there for a reason, and the fact that most pay to attend is a great sign that they are interested in the commercial aspects of the event.  Ensure you have the ability to track leads and to follow up on those leads.

 

Key factors you should be aware of when considering trade show events:

 

Trade show event- Ensure you target the appropriate venues and trade shows that will result in the highest volume of interested participants

- Be prepared – design the layout of your trade show space and pick the appropriate spot in the trade show event

- Design your trade show booth and display, interactive with models, samples, videos, and take home products

- Make sure you staff you booth appropriately and that at least 1 person is there at all times; an unmanned booth is a waste of money at an expensive trade show, and opportunities for new customers will be lost

- Interact with customers stopping by the booth but also with the pedestrians who are walking the aisles by invite them in with offers

- Make sure you have freebies and give-aways with branded logos and contact information for the potential customers; there needs to be a way for potential customers to contact you

- Track revenue and expenditures from trade show activities, and analyze the return on investment

 

Your marketing budget for a trade show event must include:

 

- Cost of trade show attendance and appropriate booth space

- Any advertising that will promote your attendance at the event

- Banners and printed materials

- Give-aways, samples and contest expenditures

- Human resource staffing costs

- Costs of transportation

- Any additional insurance costs

- The post event costs associated with customer and lead follow up

 

Consider trade show events as one of those key marketing, outreach activities for your business.  With added attention to your trade show participation, your booth will be the showcase of the trade show event, and will result in additional customers and revenue generation you deserve.

 

Strategy Plan One

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© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Super Bowl Advertising – Are Big Advertising Budgets Worth it?

Strategy Plan One

February 6, 2012 

The opinions on the value of advertising during Super Bowl are quite divided by the corporate world and consumers / viewers.  Most viewers that do like Super Bowl ads are appreciating the entertainment value of these ads.  On the other side, a consumer may see little value in some of these ads, as those ads may do very little to tell a story or promote a product or service.  Big advertising budgets obviously have pros and cons, with Super Bowl advertising at the top of the charts.

In this age of protests and occupy this and that, did any corporations get that message?  At $3.5 Million per crack, did anyone think it may be worthwhile promoting or supporting their side causes, instead of entertaining viewers?  I know that sounds boring and maybe not fits, but I can’t help to think of how many watching (the 99 %?) would focus on whether the corporate world was trying to do the right thing.  Of the “other 99%” that did watch, I am not sure they would agree with corporations spending this money on entertainment, when $3.5 Million could employ 70-100 mid-level, full-time positions.  The corporations may come back at us with the fact that $3.5 Million in advertising resulted in an additional $7.0 Million in revenue and 140-200 jobs created.  As you can see, positions are solidified on both sides.

At the end of the half time show, the crowd cheered to the “World Peace” message lit up on the field; I am sure the emotional response from most of the rest of the world viewers was the same.  And that’s the point – emotional connection with the viewers.  I am not sure that a vampire bush party did it, although with reference to the above, was entertaining (different type of connection with viewers).

A lot of things could be done on a $3.5 Million budget.  Most entrepreneurs and small businesses are not in this same league the corporate world is in.  I am sure that there will be some brand awareness or increased sales from these ads, but this only forms part of the multi-million budgets these corporations have.

On positive notes, many positions were created in the production of commercials, and with an estimated $11 Billion spent on food and retail around Super Bowl, many more.  I am sure the good people of Indianapolis benefited greatly with the ~$150 Million in direct spending in their community.  Fiat (LA Times) has reported that their ads during Super Bowl have resulted in a 138% increase in traffic to their website; logic would state this would lead to improved sales, improved company, and more employment.   All benefits from big budget advertising.

When advertising and dedicating resources, perception and optics should be key factors in your marketing budgets and should shape your own business’ or corporation’s messages to the consumer.  In tough economic times it is difficult to do anything else but to message around helping people, helping the consumer, and maybe not just to entertain.

Strategy Plan One

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Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

Super Bowl Infographic – Big Business and Opportunities for Entrepreneurs

Strategy Plan One

February 5, 2012 

NRF Infographic 2012 Super Bowl

You may have noticed the traffic around the internet on how much business is generated around Super Bowl, one of the biggest sporting events on the planet.

Not only does the event itself make massive amounts of money from TV and advertising, but bars, pubs, restaurants and retail outlets see their sales soar, in some cases up 200%.

The National Retail Federation (www.nrf.com) is estimating that around the US, Super Bowl Sunday will generate  $11 Billion spent in food services and retail.  NRF further estimates a whopping $1.02 Billion will be spent on snacks alone .  Host city Indianapolis, will benefit by around $150 Million is spending directly in their community.

If you are an entrepreneur, hopefully you will take notes on opportunities around sporting events such as this one.

Businesses and industries are built around these events.  Be careful to draw the line between ancillary businesses and ones that use the Super Bowl brand; the latter requires permission and agreements on use of trademarks.

Enjoy the stats and data in this infographic, courtesy of NRF.com

Strategy Plan One

© 2012 Strategy Plan One

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

Free: The Benefits of Free or Trial Samples

Strategy Plan One

February 2, 2012 

If you are in a goods or services business, you obviously have reviewed several possible, different marketing activities to build customers.  In this batch of activities, one of the most effective marketing outreach activities may include providing free or trial samples.

 

You may think or ask yourself, why provide free samples. Or you may be thinking “this is going to cost me a fortune”.  You may be surprised at the results.

 

The context and delivery is different whether there is a physical location or a location off the track.  Websites or software that offer trial periods, take on another dynamic as well.  All have similarities in terms of benefits that can result from these activities.

 

Here are some potential benefits in providing free samples:

 

- Drives traffic to your location, website, etc

- Gains initial interest in a part of you suite of products, goods or services

- Builds brand recognition

- Gains interest from non-customers in close proximity

- Builds a higher conversion rate from pedestrian or visitor to consumer

- Builds relationships

- Builds immediate awareness of product or service

- No investment, no risk on the consumer side

- Experience is the richest, as opposed to an ad in a newspaper (different purposes)

- Free sampler turning into a consumer is a repeat customer

- Free offers spread like wild fire, as one customer will broadcast to others quickly

- Less costly than other forms of marketing

- “Free” is a motivator to try, later converting to buy

- Builds a database of potential customers if asking for basic info (such as a website providing trial provided you give email address)

- Providing free samples is a non-intrusive method of marketing

- Staff generally like to provide give-aways (differing operational activity)

- You convert lag or down time in your business to productive time, eventually generating more customers, more revenues and a stronger business

 

TIPS

  1. Plan for this – write out a strategy, goals, operational issues, budget, method to capture data and results, etc.
  2. Remember to put your best foot, best product, best sample forward (i.e.: bakery sample of fresh bread, not liquidating days old bread)
  3. Ensure the free sample will be consistent with the paid product.  Do not mislead potential customers.
  4. Control your costs and scope on the offer (you know you will be able to budget for X number of free samples)
  5. Keep track of your data, results, and all important – how many new customers you gained out of this activity

 

You will be surprised at the Return on Investment with this marketing activity of free samples.  Keep track of the event or offering, provide a secondary offer and keep in communications with those clients, as you have created relationships.

 

Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

Make money as an entrepreneur, and a little business planning will help

Strategy Plan One

January 20, 2012 
You may have heard stories or know someone successful who has made a pile of money as an entrepreneur.  Others may also know of stories where the person has lost everything.  There is no sure-fire way of guaranteed piles of money as an entrepreneur but here are some tips that may assist you to become successful and make varying levels of income.

 


Characteristics and Traits

Do you have the personality and traits required to be a successful entrepreneur? This is an excellent question to ask yourself and good starting point for self-assessment.  A cross section of successful entrepreneurs exhibit characteristics such as motivation, determination, educated, experienced in operations and management, excellent partnership building and negotiation skills, and good people skills.  They have great instinct and have vision.   With goals in mind, successful entrepreneurs can see a pathway and plan to achieve those objectives.

Money and Financial Planning

Entrepreneurs need money to start a business.  Whether it’s a $500 or $1 million start up, self-starters will need owner equity requirements to start up a business.  That doesn’t mean you need to cover 100% of the costs, but that you need some of your own cash that can be leveraged to obtain a commercial loan and other sources of funding.

Astute entrepreneurs are good financial planners.  They can foresee the financial risks and plan to mitigate those risks.  Entrepreneurs undertake strong financial analysis to ensure goals can be met.  They analyze financial indicators such as return on investment, return on equity, profit margins, etc.  Business owners will develop a future financial plan for the utilization of profit, or potential investment plans for retained earnings.

Business Planning

A high percentage of all successful ventures have completed detailed business plans.  A business plan is your blueprint for business.  It incorporates everything you must plan for in your operations and management of the company.  Through research and due diligence you will identify the right markets for the right products and services at the right price at the right time.

Establishing goals and objectives is the essence of every plan.  The management, operational, financial and strategic plans are all built around end goals and objectives. With proper planning you will achieve your revenue goals and objectives.  The more effort you and your team put into planning, the closer actual results may be to your planned objectives.

Partnerships & Collaboration

To increase your chances of success, consider partnering with successful people or companies.  If you want to be successful as a new entrant in an industry or want to expand, you will most likely need to consider partnering and collaboration.  Partnerships bring new skills, new markets and new revenue streams to your existing base.  It is exciting to know that success usually breeds success.  Never underestimate the power of partnerships.

Revenue Generators and Opportunities

Analyze your revenue streams carefully.  Assessments of opportunities are extremely important.  Your role as a manager, executive and owner is to maximize benefits from existing resources, operations and new opportunities.  An opportunity may provide a low revenue level, but the profit margins may be huge.  Likewise, a huge revenue generator may result in a break-even or losing venture.  Once again, assessments and planning around these opportunities are critical steps to undertake.

Remember, nothing is guaranteed.  Money, income or revenue levels can never be guaranteed, but through your commitment, hard work, planning and perseverance, your chances of becoming successful and making a pile of money may increase like mad.

Go forth and plan well.

Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012

Business information, resources and tips for the entrepreneur

Detailed Steps for a Strategy Plan

Strategy Plan One

January 19, 2012

The Detailed Strategic Planning Process

A strategic plan can be a part of a business plan or a stand alone document to formulate a strategy for implementation.  In developing a Strategic Plan, our team recently undertook the steps and approach below with one of our clients.  The following may be helpful in planning out a process for development and implementation of your strategy:

  • Assessment of market and regulatory trends, globally and locally
  • Identification of key success factors in modern businesses (this industry and other industries)
  • Review of current sector physical assets and human resources
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis  of the competitive environment facing the business
  • Assessment of each product and/or service line , including:

Supply and demand,

Management,

Market,

Cost

Best Fit (alignment with the business’ values, ethics and goals)

  • Identification of goals and objectives for future industry participation
  • Constructive development of strategies (including options)
  • Development of priorities
  • Resource identification and requirements to achieve goals and objectives
  • Development of budgets and financial risk management
  • Implementation
  • Reviewing & measuring results, and revising as necessary

As highlighted in the steps, you will note the phases of the process, including review, analysis, development, implementation, measuring results, and revision of planning.

Strategy Plan One

© Strategy Plan One 2012