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Why Are You Wasting Free Advertising Money?

By Jeff D. Schuman
Posted Saturday, August 7, 2004

I am going to assume that you know how to promote your product. You know what works and does not work when it comes to advertising everything about your products and services.

Doesn't it stand to reason that if you could just get your message out to more people that you could increase your business in the coming months and years.

I've seen over and over that businesses don't advertise more because they just do not have the money to advertise more. We are all on a budget and it is no different when it comes to advertising and promotions.

But the other thing I have seen over and over is the wasting of money a small business has that is made available through Co-Op Advertising Funds from suppliers and manufacturers of the products you are selling.

Here are a few benefits of Co-Op Advertising!

You earn it just by purchasing products from your local distributor.

It is made available by the manufacturer to help get the word out about their products in your local market.

It is available in various amounts. I have seen co-op funds as high as 5-10% of your gross purchases. This translates into big money that you may as well use. Do the math. On $100,000 in purchases a year that could be as high as $10,000 you could be using to build your business.

It is generally available on a 50-50 basis. That means that for every dollar you spend it is matched by the manufacturer. But I have also recently seen that advertising co-op money is available on a 100% basis. This is Free Advertising for you!

Generally you can not have any competitor's product in your advertisement to qualify for the Co-Op Funds. If you sell Amana Heating & Cooling Products then you can not have any mention of Lennox or Carrier for example.

It is easy to qualify for because most maufacturers supply camera ready logos, pre-approved ad copy such as ad slicks or radio and television commercials. All you do is customize these with your company info and you are ready to go.

Claiming back for your Co-Op Funds is so easy to do I can't believe more companies don't do this. Depending on the requirements from the manufacturer you are working with it usually just involves submitting a copy of the bill for your ad, an original copy of the ad or notorized copy of the actual ad dates and times it ran if you are dealing with radio or t.v., and a claim form telling how you want to be paid.

Most co-op funds are reimbursed to you in the form of a credit to your account with the local distributor but some could come to you in the form of a check.

It is available on a use it or lose it basis. You can not carry it over form year to year, so you might as well include it in your yearly advertising plans and spend all of it during the course of the year. This is only smart because you are already advertising anyway. With a little planning on your part you could make that advertising co-op ready and get re-imbursed for money you are already spending.

Here's the bottom line on Co-Op Advertising. You are being foolish if you don't plan at least a portion of your yearly budget to promote products that give you back money just for advertising them.

This Is Free Money. In essence you can at the very least double your advertising budget when you promote a product that offers Co-Op Funds on a 50-50 basis.

Get ahold of your supplier and inquire about the co-op funds you have right now. If you have to join a co-op program to start accruing funds then do it. Then demand to see a monthly statement of your account. Any reputable supplier can make that available to you. After all they have the same goal as you. They need to sell more and you are helping them do that by spending money out of your advertising budget. It is only fair that you are paid back a portion of that money in the form of Co-Op Advertising Funds!

About the Author
Jeff Schuman is the co-owner of Sites-Plus.Com. They build affordable small business websites that any serious business can afford. He has made over $30 Million Dollars in sales in the past 10 years and is committed to helping small businesses around
the world increase their business in a planned profitable manner.


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