Small Business Advertising Basics

HAdvertising on a truckow do you get the most out of your advertising dollars?

The following are a few key factors in a successful small business advertising campaign. I have worked with many small businesses over the years and the ones that were having trouble with there advertising efforts were missing a few  of these key factors.


Consistency is incredibly important in a long-term advertising campaign!  If all of your adds look different or are saying different things people will not recognize you.  Make sure all of your display advertising has the same look and feel; the more consistent your image is; the more recognizable you will become.


A common mistake small business owners make is not giving their advertising campaign enough time to see results. You should give a new campaign a minimum of 3 months before you decide to scrap it.  It takes hearing or seeing your offer over and over again before it really starts to sink in. If your budget is on the low side it may even take a bit longer. (Tip: spread the word about the campaign in-house, on your facebook page, and to your e-mail subscribers to boost buzz about your offer).


If you’re not tracking the return on your advertising dollars it’s pretty much a guessing game. Getting your staff and customers to participate can be challenging – one idea is to make it easy for your staff by offering a very small survey customers can fill out and then offer an incentive for doing so.. (get 15% off your next visit..) Do this for a month or so – a couple times a year depending on how often you change up you advertising.  The return you will make on each advertising dollar will be well worth the effort!

 Ad planning

Advertising your business on the fly is a very bad habit to get into. It’s random, it’s inconsistent and it’s too easy to spend too much money, or not enough.  The more time and effort you put into an advertising plan the better the results will be – BUT an advertising plan doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking – you can start by creating 2 or more campaigns to promote your business and then book your ads for the next 6 months to a year. (Don’t forget to track your results on new campaigns)

Advertising budget

You didn’t budget enough for advertising and your campaign is just simply not getting noticed.  A business card ad randomly placed in the newspaper once a month is just not going to cut it. Your advertising campaigns need to be consistent and frequent enough so that people will notice them.


Your advertising might be working just fine but if you offer a bad product of service you’re literally burning advertising dollars. The quality of your product and service has to be priority #1

 In Summary

  • Plan and test a couple campaigns and make sure you have enough money in the budget.
  • Don’t spread yourself too thin; stick to 2 or 3, or even 1 or 2 advertising mediums until you have enough money in the budget to get noticed in other mediums.
  • Make your image and message consistent! So people can learn to recognize you over time.
  • Be patient! Developing a name for yourself doesn’t happen overnight
  • Keep track of where people are seeing you so that you can improve your campaigns over time.

Remember; if you are not having fun marketing your business – it’s probably not working!

Have fun!  Get creative! 

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