Attract Sponsors and Advertisers

This article examines sponsorships and advertising as methods for making cost breakthroughs and generating extra revenues. Let’s start with sponsorships.What do I mean by a sponsorship? It is any way to combine recognition with providing access to desirable prospects and customers for someone who, or an organization that, makes a payment or otherwise subsidizes an activity. Sponsorships are more important than ever because they help marketers avoid being lost in advertising clutter by providing higher visibility and prestige to the sponsor. When a sponsor pays you, that’s income to offset costs you cannot otherwise reduce. The effect is similar to simply reducing costs.As the primary benefit, sponsors are usually looking for access to attractive prospects for their offerings. In many cases, your prospects and customers are also highly appealing for other companies and nonprofit organizations, making them interested in sponsoring your activities.You may have observed some of the ways such access is provided while attending a sponsored conference or seminar. Typically, the sponsors have a chance to speak briefly to the assembled group and to have lots of marketing people present for mingling during meals and breaks. There may also be banners on the walls and notices in the printed program carrying sponsors’ names and logos. On the event invitations, there are probably mentions of the sponsors. Publicity for the activity probably includes listing sponsors by name, as well.Under such circumstances, it’s not unusual for the sponsors’ fees to cover more than the total costs of the conference or seminar so that all attendance fees contribute profits for the conference or seminar organizer.You may not be holding conferences or seminars. How, then, can sponsorships cover some or all of your costs? Well, you can provide online services or material that can be downloaded for little or no cost from the Internet. Such an online site can also have sponsors whose identities are prominently displayed.You can also develop offerings that sponsors purchase. As an example, a sponsor might provide your offering as a gift to those who buy their products or services. During times of high gasoline prices, for instance, some dealers in the United States have offered hundreds of gallons of free gas for people who bought new vehicles that didn’t get very good mileage.A sponsor might also provide marketing access for other organizations. In our community, some charities play this role by selling inexpensive books of discount coupons. The charities keep the proceeds from the book sales, after obtaining the books for free from the publishers. The companies providing the coupons pay the publisher to appear in the book. Those who buy the books save lots of money by using the discount coupons. Through the coupons, coupon providers introduce new prospects to their offerings and bring some customers back more often.In other cases, almost all offerings will be sold to sponsors who, in turn, directly provide the offerings to their prospects and customers. For instance, golf tournaments are often staged to provide funds for charity. Sponsors are given access to special venues at the tournaments and provided with most of the tickets for the events to distribute to customers and prospects. Sponsors also receive lots of visibility in the event’s promotions. The prestige of sponsorship is increased over the company conducting such an event just for itself by improving the quality of the competing golfers, the amount of media coverage, and the number of attendees.In another variation, a sponsor may be a supplier seeking recognition that provides a lower price for its offerings in exchange for the sponsorship. An example can be found on the computer I am using to prepare this lesson. The machine has a seal on it that says “Intel Core™ Duo inside™,” indicating what brand and kind of microprocessor I have. In exchange for this recognition, Intel slices its microprocessor prices by about 5 percent to its computer-manufacturer customers.Another way sponsorships are structured is through paying for “objective” measurements and rankings. Those who want to be evaluated pay a fee, which pays for the ranking process. The organization making the rankings distributes awards among those who sponsored the contest. The winners use the results to tout their superiority over competitors in press releases, interviews, and advertising.You may not have thought much about how your marketing activities and offerings could benefit from encouraging sponsorships. Now is a good time to remove such blinders. Companies are more interested than ever before in sponsorships to replace more expensive and less productive marketing programs. You can cash in to make cost breakthroughs when you help such organizations to meet their needs through helpful sponsorships of your high-quality activities and offerings.Now, how is advertising different from a sponsorship? Where a sponsor obtains recognition for making an activity or offering possible along with privileged access to prospects and customers in exchange for a payment, advertisers are solely purchasing the right to put their commercial messages in front of prospects through some form of media that you provide.We’ve all seen television advertising. At regular intervals in the regular programming, short commercial messages are inserted. Companies pay large fees for such time slots in addition to covering their own costs for producing the messages. The fee paid relates to the number of people who will see the message and their potential value as customers for the advertiser.The same concept generally applies to magazines and newspapers. All or part of a printed page offers the opportunity to attract the eyes of readers. Because the whole publication may not be read, the assumed benefit is considered to be less than the overall readership. In addition, television advertising provides the opportunity to create more emotion… which, in turn, can be translated into making a bigger and more lasting impression with more people.Advertising is also sold for placement on commercial vehicles such as taxis and trucks. More recently, some companies have been paying to display advertising on personal vehicles. Such exposure is often cheaper than renting billboard space and may offend fewer people who are concerned about cluttering the sides of roads.With the advent of the Internet, advertising possibilities expanded. Initially, advertisers were encouraged to buy so-called banner ads that took up a big space near the top of the screen and said little. Most advertisers found that such ads weren’t worth much in terms of adding profitable sales.Yahoo, Google, and others found that carrying commercial messages with some relevance to those reading the online page worked better for encouraging purchases from advertisers. Rather than advertisers paying to reach people who merely see the ad, payments for such ads are tied to how many people click on the ad to reach a site where there is a more extensive commercial message or an offering can be purchased. This media approach was intended to be similar to paying for attracting someone to a store where he or she could buy an offering. Accomplishing the latter was worth quite a lot more than simply exposing the name and offering of the advertiser to more eyeballs.Through Web 2.0, Web sites can become communities where people spend many hours a day. On such sites, the advertising revenues can be a vast multiple of the cost of providing the site… assuming that enough visitors are attracted who post and view videos and photos, exchange opinions, share ideas, and interact in other ways. As an example, a student of mine developed a very sophisticated social networking site of this sort for families at a software cost of less than $3,000, yet the advertising potential of her site was several million dollars a year.If you don’t have such a site now, you can inexpensively develop one that can become a major source of cost-reducing advertising revenue by using software designers and programmers who are based where pay rates are inexpensive. While working on the site, you can speak with your developers at no cost over Skype or another Voice-over-Internet-Protocol service. Naturally, you can have as many sites as you want… as long as each one serves a different purpose and attracts enough visitors to more than cover its costs through advertising revenues.If you hold gatherings of customers and prospects and don’t have sponsors for such gatherings, you can also sell advertising to place on the materials that you share with attendees. In many cases, your advertisers will also market your gathering to their prospects and customers, and you may attract a lot more potential customers to attend. When that happens, you gain direct cost savings for your marketing in addition to the advertising subsidy.You can provide videos on your Web site as well and sell time slots on such videos to advertisers. Such online advertising opportunities have become popular with truck and automobile manufacturers.You can also put advertising on your buildings, your packages, and anyplace else where customers and prospects may see the messages. Your suppliers, for instance, may want to be recognized on your final offering in some way (even placing their logos on a Web page may be of interest) as Intel does with its “Intel inside™” stickers on personal computers and laptops.The sky’s the limit for attracting advertisers. You should realize that when print media were more popular, publishers regularly earned a profit on their entire operations just from the advertising revenues. The subscription revenues, by comparison, were usually quite small… just a tiny fraction of total profits.Can you provide both sponsorships and advertising? Yes, as long as you keep them separate. A sponsored event usually shouldn’t include advertising from those who aren’t sponsors, but Web sites can offer a combination of sponsor recognition and pay-per-click ads from organizations that don’t compete with sponsors. Some magazines have been following this dual course for a long time. Fortune, BusinessWeek, and Forbes, for instance, carry lots of ads for offerings and sell sponsorships to gatherings that senior executives pay to attend. Such gatherings are potentially quite profitable.What’s the key cost-reducing point about sponsorships and advertising? You can use zero-based analysis to create 2,000 percent cost-reduction solutions that allow you to gain new sources of revenue from sponsorships and advertising to support the minimum core offering by offsetting costs for you and your stakeholders in ways that will almost instantly expand profits after implementation to help reduce costs by more than 96 percent or increase social benefits by more than twenty times what you will be spending.

SBA Small Business Loans – A Huge Benefit to Start-Up Businesses

Setting up a new business is never easy. There are innumerable details that need to be taken care of. Start-up businesses are mainly dependent on loans for almost all their business requirements. It is therefore extremely important to find an appropriate and reliable lending source to cater to their financial needs. However, since most conventional lenders and banks are not keen on providing loans to new business owners due to various security reasons, opting for SBA small business loans can be an excellent idea.Small businesses can contribute immensely in developing and enhancing the nation’s economy. The Small Business Administration (SBA), which is a United States government agency that provides loans to small businesses with the aim of improving the country’s financial condition. These loans are meant to support the establishment of small businesses by providing through adequate financial assistance. These loans cannot be obtained directly from SBA, but through a number of their lending partners working in accordance with the SBA rules and regulations.The SBA offers a wide variety of loans that demand different qualifications of the borrowers. The various financial programs offered by SBA such as surety bonds, debt financing and equity financing are designed to cater to the different financial requirements of borrowers. In order to avail a loan from them, it is extremely important to understand how the SBA works. Let us discuss some basic rules and regulations of the SBA:
The SBA loans are provided to business owners at a lower interest rate than banks and other conventional lending sources owing to the fact that start-up business owners do not have adequate capital to opt for loans with high interest rates.
SBA does not provide loans to small business owners directly. Instead, they merely set certain rules and regulations that are strictly followed by their partners, including private-sector lenders, micro-lending institutions and community development organizations, who are authorized by the SBA to provide loans to start-up businesses.
The loans are provided to the business owners under an SBA guarantee to ensure that the loan is repaid on time to the lending partners. Business owners cannot avail SBA small business loans in case they have the eligibility to obtain loans from other lending sources on affordable and reasonable terms.
You can obtain SBA loans fast and without any kind of hassles. They can be acquired on an immediate basis as soon as they are applied for. This can be immensely beneficial for start-up businesses that need financial assistance for all their business needs. Delay in acquiring loans can create problems for them in setting up the business.
One of the most beneficial aspects of SBA loans is that they can be availed even if you have a poor credit record including bankruptcy, insolvency, IVA etc. It can be an excellent way to improve your credit records.
SBA offers various kinds of loans, including 504 for purchasing real estate and equipment, 7 (a) for common small business loans, disaster loans and microloans. Not all banks issuing SBA loans offer the same loan programs. Moreover, in accordance with individual bank policies, the loan requirements for a particular program can differ from bank to bank.
The SBA rules and regulations for small business loans are designed to help start-up business owners and can be extremely beneficial for them.

4 Online Business Ideas With Low Start-Up Cost

Are you interested in starting your own business, but you have a very small budget to start with? The idea of starting a business has long been viewed as a very expensive venture and is only a common practice among a small group of people. Thankfully, the technology era has leveled the playing field for starting a business. It is now possible to get started with very little cash. And by gaining the right knowledge and skills, you can own a very lucrative business. In this article, I have compiled a list of 4 profitable online business ideas that you can start, with just a laptop and internet access.1. Become A Website Developer.Website development has created many business opportunities over the past couple of decades. Now that there are open source platforms like WordPress, it is quite possible for anyone with a computer/laptop and an internet connection can become a website developer, even if you have basic technical skills. If you are uncertain of whether or not you are able to start a business, creating websites for clients, then a short, informal online course in WordPress can fill in the blanks and give you the confidence to offer your service to potential clients.In addition to, website development, you can offer hosting services to your clients. And no, you don’t have to own a server. You can get hosting services for very little money. You can then offer the service as part of your package for website development. This price is usually set a bit higher than what you pay for the hosting.Online business ideas like website development, don’t require that you have a business space, so if you are strapped for cash and don’t want to incur the monthly cost of an internet bill, then this is the kind of business for you. You can take your laptop to your favorite cafe shop, and make use of their free internet service. Make sure you buy something from the shop, as this will keep you and the business owner happy.2. Start An Online Store.This is one of the most lucrative online business ideas I know of. You can start a business online, selling your own products, or selling other people’s products. The clear advantage of this business model is that you are not restricted by creativity, or location. If you do not have a product, and don’t have the slightest idea how to come up with one, then you can earn huge commissions from selling other people’s product. This is one of the few online business ideas that you can start with no money.If you don’t have an online store, it would cost very little for you to set one up for yourself, or have someone set one up for you. As mentioned before, open source platforms like WordPress and Joomla makes it possible for anyone to create a website. WordPress has great support along with free plugins that can make it very easy for you to create an online store with a shopping cart and an automated checkout system.However, if the monthly cost of hosting is still above your budget, then you can make use of free e-Commerce platforms like eBay, Etsy and Amazon. There is no monthly fee to sell your products, and you only pay a small fee for listing your product.3. Become a Social Media Manager.New social media platforms are springing up all over the internet. These social media platforms have huge audiences at any given time of the day. This makes it important for businesses to create and maintain a social presence on these social media platforms if they want to be visible to potential customers.This need for a social media presence has created a new and unique business opportunity. It is very tedious to spend time creating content to add to the social media platforms. And with so many platforms to have to keep track of, it can be a full-time job.Many companies are in need of a social media manager, and you can help. This is one of the online business ideas that will not become saturated. New companies are emerging every day and need to maintain a social media presence. So you will never run short of a potential client list.It is very easy to create content and maintain a several social media accounts. You can use platforms like Hootsuite to manage several social media accounts simultaneously.You can schedule posts and content for several weeks in advance. You can then charge clients a monthly fee for managing these accounts, which will be a lot less than having to hire an employee to provide this service full-time.4. Become a Mobile App Developer.Before you decide that mobile app development is only for those individuals who have spent years or more pursuing a formal education in coding, you might want to read this.It is possible for non-techs to create mobile apps for clients with no coding skills. You can use mobile content management platforms like MAPS – Mobile Apps Productions Software.These platforms allow you to create mobile apps and publish them to the Google Play and Apple app stores. In addition to publishing the apps on the app stores, the content management platforms allow you to provide back-end access to clients so that they can manage and update their mobile apps. You can also maintain the apps on the client’s behalf and charge an additional monthly fee for management and hosting of the mobile app.More than 91% of the world’s population have a cell phone or mobile device. And as consumers become more attached to their mobile devices and more demanding of what it can provide and provide quickly, the demand for mobile apps will be even greater. More than 95% of businesses do not have a mobile app for their business. You can create a mobile app for these businesses at a price that they can afford. This is one of the online business ideas that has very little competition and huge earning potentials.Looking for More Online Business Ideas?While you may find lots of online business ideas on the internet, it is important to note that being successful in any business requires that you acquire the skills and knowledge of creating the business or service.