You do promote, don't you?

March 22, 2006 by Diane Vigil in

For many companies, business promotion is sometimes relegated to a secondary status. That is, in the rush to establish a business, many companies omit effective promotion as their time and resources are swallowed up in administrative tasks, production, and the process of bringing the product or service to market. Promotion of the business itself becomes a "lesser priority" due to time and budget constraints. This can be particularly true for new businesses, but affects all companies.

The problem is that lack of promotion can be financial suicide.

The problem, albeit a solvable one, is that companies must promote.

What is promotion?

Promotion is simply the act of getting the word out there. Advertising. Attracting new customers. Attracting old customers and new ones to new products and services.

The omission of this vital marketing step will affect your future success and income, both short- and long-term.

Example: the opening of your widget-making company has eaten up your budget, your time and your energy, and, eyeing your upcoming bills — rent, utilities, widget-making materials, employee wages, taxes — and you're scrambling to get some sales in.

Lacking funds for advertising, or perhaps wanting to "save on promotional costs," you tell your friends, relatives and the man down the street, hoping for sales miracles from parts unknown. They, of course, promise to help.

Time passes. A couple of sales trickle in from your associates.

Trying not to appear desperate, you pester them and tack up a bunch of ads in your store window.

More time passes. A couple of sales trickle in from passers-by. Uncle Charlie says he "might" send in someone who "might" be interested in a widget.

You pay the rent, wages, etc., hoping to get enough sales to cover the utilities.

Desperate, you turn to other means. You borrow money from relatives and friends and plunge on, all the while experiencing a certain sense of dread. The passing of time weighs on you and the "future" does not feel so bright.

Okay. Not to drum this in too much, but this recognizable scenario could have been avoided. The solution is to promote — to get the word out there.

Promotion = future income

Here's our alternate scenario, whether you are just starting a company or are trying to boost sales in an existing company.

Let's say you've started your company. You've set aside funds for promotion, getting your advertising into play to "announce" your upcoming grand opening and, perhaps, a small discount for early customers. You hang a huge "grand opening" flag over your front windows. And you announce on the Web with perhaps a small but effective website, and take some steps to promote the website on the Internet. =

Or, if you're a larger company, you get some promotional funding by obtaining a loan, bringing on partners, or selling stock. There are any number of ways to obtain funds.

Opening day comes, and your promotion brings in not only Uncle Charlie's couple of friends but a slew of people from around town, all of whom are looking for widgets and are glad to have learned that they can get them so close to home. And the website promotion has taken off as well, bringing in even more inquiries and sales.

Your income from your first week is enough to pay the bills and have some left over to … promote some more!

Different? You betcha.

Whether you're small or you're large, promotion works.

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