Your Marketing Bang: Make it Worth the Bucks
When it comes to getting
a bang for marketing bucks, too many business
close their eyes, throw up their hands and resign
themselves to guess work. "In today's business
climate, we won't even propose a marketing strategy
our clients unless we can easily measure and track
its success," states Mark Hartsell, President of
CEO Advisor, Inc.
Here are seven ways to benchmark your marketing
campaigns without breaking the bank or
overburdening your staff:
Create a Focused Marketing Plan and
Budget. A critical part of your Business Plan and
Forecast is a
well thought out Marketing Plan and Budget. Do not
initiate spending your marketing dollars if a plan is not
in place to track the results and Return on
Get a Handle on Costs and Customers.
Sometimes the more you sell the more you lose.
Keep track of gross profits, gross profit margin and
net profit, not just sales. For instance,
know how much it costs to acquire each new
customer and monitor gross profit margins
Set Clear Goals and Define Success.
a marketing strategy that articulates a set of
outcomes has to be the starting point. Track results
and ROI for every marketing program and
Stay Disciplined, Focused and Target Your
Before implementing any marketing strategy, it is
paramount to clearly understand who you are
targeting. Without this focus and knowledge, even the
creative and powerful marketing campaign will miss
your target and go unnoticed for the most
Survey Customers by Offering a Benefit.
input and opinion is invaluable when building your
business. Entice customers to open up to you about
their likes and dislikes by offering them some type of
reward for their time. A well designed and tallied
survey will reap
Monitor Customer Responses Throughout the
Sales Process. At any given time throughout the
process, your customers' needs or attitude towards
your product or service may change. You need to
constantly be in-tune with your customers'
and do whatever you can to meet them.
Execute and Keep Testing. Don't
a campaign into place and move on. Instead, keep
measuring results. Try low-cost tests and
then put resources behind what works and eliminate
the low ROI programs.
Besides the details you gain from tracking and
real test of marketing is very straightforward. If your
marketing is not increasing business, change your
To learn how to more effectively reach your target
market, call Mark Hartsell, President of CEO Advisor,
Inc. at (949) 759-8676.
Happy New Year!!
Our mission is to provide
CEO's and business owners of small to mid-size
needed focus and expertise, coupled with hands-on
advice to grow
your business. To take your business to the next
level, call Mark Hartsell, MBA, President at (949)
759-8676 or visit us at
www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
|How to Manage Your Cash Flow
ven profitable companies
can go broke. That's a difficult truth for start-up, early
stage and mature
business owners to swallow. But when you're
operating at a negative cash flow your
risk of business failure increases tremendously by the
Profit is an accounting principle. You need cash, not
profit, to pay bills or loans. If you must pay bills each
week - but your customers don't pay you for 30, 60 or
90 days - your business has a cash-flow lapse for
which you must plan. Otherwise, the company will
hurt its credit rating, become insolvent and
eventually go bankrupt.
Want to take control of your cash flow to protect your
company's short-term viability and position it for
long-term success? Here's how:
- Have Three Forecasts/Budgets. The first
is the Aggressive Profit/Loss Forecast
which forecasts high sales, low expenses and things
better than expected. The second is the Most Likely
Profit/Loss Forecast, which is based on
achievable sales and honest expenses. The third is
the Worst Case Profit/Loss Forecast, which
specifies the worst possible scenario and should
trigger alternate plans of action.
- Do Cash Flow Forecasting. Business
plan for how much cash the business needs
throughout the year. Also, business owners must
forecast expenses that aren't due monthly, such as
annual insurance premiums. Forecast monthly cash
needs for the next twelve months at a minimum.
- Control Spending. Keep an eye on
spending and use Purchase Orders to approve
expenditures. Practice cost cutting strategies
such as soliciting price quotes from several vendors
find the best value, stop selling products that are
low gross profit margin or losing money and avoid
buying assets that require
substantial cash outlays. Also, manage
projects within estimates by tracking hours of all direct
labor and project management.
- Accelerate Receipts. One of the simplest
improve cash flow is to get customers to pay your
more quickly. You might offer a discount if they pay
sooner (2/10, Net 30) or charge a late fee if they're
past 30 days.
- Monitor Salaries. If necessary to
positive cash flow, you may have to go without a
salary temporarily or cut excess personnel.
- Keep Inventories Lean. Do not buy
based on hopes and dreams. Buy what you can
realistically sell based on Number 1 above (Most
Likely Forecast). Keep your inventory as low as
possible to conserve cash.
- Add Employees Cautiously. Delay hiring
as long as you can. Instead, look for ways to
your own productivity and that of any existing
employees or consider outsourcing to independent
- Lease Rather Than Buy. Equipment such
computers can increase productivity, however, lease
rather than buy to conserve cash.
- Sell Unnecessary Assets. This "garage
include company cars, inventory or equipment.
- Recycle and Reuse. Never throw away
you'll need again. Reuse items and keep within your
If you want to be successful, you need to exercise
management discipline and utilize your financials to
stay within your budget. A lot of small business
financial knowledge or discipline and get into trouble
road. CEO Advisor, Inc. provides extensive
and services to strategize, plan and forecast for the
Visit us at
for more information, or
Hartsell at (949) 759-8676 for a free consultation.
"I want to start by telling you that I am very
with what we've accomplished. Although, it would
probably be more accurate to say that I'm pleased with
what YOU have accomplished. You have done what
you said you would; actually DOING things instead of
just telling me what I needed to do. This is always my
big concern when working with consultants. So many
times they offer sage advice but fail to actually do
anything more than talk. You have produced a good
volume of tangible work that will be useful to me and
my management team as we work hard to build the
company in 2008 and beyond. Thanks for driving
CEO, Media Services Company
|Words of Wisdom
"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over
if you just sit there."
- Will Rogers
|CEO Advisor, Inc. - Member of Accredited Organizations
- Tech Coast Venture Network
- Technology Council of So. Cal.
- Orange County Venture Group
- Irvine Chamber of Commerce
- Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce
- Institute for Independent Business