You hire a marketing firm and expect to get results. They insist the results take time, but in the meantime, you’re still paying out money wondering when the results will start to show. Isn’t there a better way to know? If you feel that your marketing firm may not be doing the best job for you, then these tips will help you evaluate their efforts.

What Is My Return on Investment?

(ROI) is used to assess investment efficiency In this case, the investment is the money spent with your marketing firm. It is computed by taking a division of the profits by the cost invested and is usually expressed as a percentage or ratio. If the number is positive (the higher the number, the better), then you’re getting your money’s worth. If the number is negative, then your company is losing money on this venture.

This all sounds good, and in a simplistic world, it would be great. Unfortunately, we live in a much more complicated environment. The results of a marketing plan can be very difficult to determine. You may be able to count the number of hits on a website, but determining how much new business was actually created as a result is much more difficult.

In an effort to show their performance, your marketing company will most likely look at the difference in gross sales between two specific time periods to get an idea about whether their campaign is working or not. There may be some growth shown that is the result of other efforts and not directly attributable to the new marketing efforts, but it will give you a basic idea of what type of ROI your company is receiving.

Define Your Marketing Plan

A marketing plan can be simple or complex, often determined by the relationship you have with your marketing firm. Regardless of which type of plan you have, you expect results and the best way to get results is with an overall marketing strategy that has a combination of integrated marketing parts seamlessly working together to promote your business.

If your marketing firm is not offering integrated marketing strategies for your company, then you may have reason to wonder why it’s taking so long for the marketing efforts to show up in the bottom line. It may be simply a lack of experience or a lack of specific skills that keep the firm from performing like a top-notch marketing company. If you suspect this is the case with your company, you may want to explore your options or simply move to a different company with a proven track record.

On the other hand, if you are working with a marketing company that is new and perhaps doesn’t have the proven track record to back up their claims, you may have to worry that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most cost-efficient manner. If this is the case, then switch to a more reliable marketing services company.

A critical question that comes up with most new businesses is “How to finance my business?” It has never been an easy task to find adequate funding for a new business. In tough economic times that task becomes even more difficult. At time it may seem like an insurmountable hurdle that you will never get over.
If you have a pre-existing business, The “how to finance my business” question is easier to answer. There are some avenues that may be open to you that are not available to new businesses. If your business has an established track record of profitability, banks and lending institutions will at least be willing to talk to you about opening a line of credit. Because you have business assets that can be used as collateral these banks are more willing to consider loaning you money,
With new businesses, however, you having nothing but an idea to offer the banks and lending institutions. Based on the failure percentages of new business even in the best of times, most lenders will not be willing to offer you any solutions.
The exception to this is if you can raise enough capital on your own that will reduce the risk of the lending institutions. As long as lenders are reasonably assured that they will be able to recoup their investment, they may be willing to consider offering you financing for your business.
Another route that you may be able to consider is to find private investors that are willing to put money into your venture. While there are many people that are willing to invest in new businesses, it is not always so easy to locate an investor that will be willing to put money into your business.
The first step in the process is to locate investors. Your local Chamber of Commerce may be able to point you in the right direction. You may also want to check with the Small Business Association. If those do not yield any results, you could also try searching on the internet for investors.
If you do decide to try for investor money you are going to need to have a strong business plan. This should be a full business plan, and not just some ideas that you jotted down in a notebook. You need to be able to show any potential investors that you are trying to open up a legitimate business, and that you have really thought through how you plan on making your business work.
You also need to be aware that investors will want something back for the money they invested. This means that you will probably have to pay back the investment with interest. This could be a set interest rate, or it could be a percentage of profits during the duration of the investment.
If you have personal assets you will need to be able to invest as much as you can afford. Other lenders will not be very willing to consider giving you money if you are not willing to show your belief in your business by investing your own personal assets.
You might also want to consider going to family and friends for money for your business. You could offer similar paybacks as investors would expect. Make sure they know that this I a business investment, and that you intend on getting their money back to them.
The more money you are able to raise on your own, the more likely that banks or investors will be willing to talk with you about your investment needs. Once you find an answer to the question of “how to finance my business,” make sure that you finance enough to keep your business afloat for however long it takes to get established. The biggest reason new businesses fail is that they did not have enough money to survive the costs of opening. Don’t let that happen to your business.

Is leasing a car right for your business?

The leasing marketing is booming for automobiles. It’s an attractive option for consumers to lease a car due to lower monthly costs, and the ability to swap out cars frequently to keep up with current technology and safety features. The question becomes:

Is leasing a car right for your business?

Here are some things to consider when deciding whether to lease a car for your business, or outright buy a car.

  1. Length of ownership. Ask yourself: How long do you think you’ll have the car. The majority of business owners and their employees drive the car a lot. Read: they put a lot of miles on the car, and quick! This makes leasing more attractive in that respect
  2. Mileage is an extremely important data point to think about and it must get factored in
  3. Take into consideration the total cost of the car over the time you have it. You should calculate both buying and leasing options , including the expected miles to be driven, maintenance and routine upkeep on your vehicle. Lastly, consider the cars value at the end of the lease vs. the ownership period…and don’t neglect to add in those pesky taxes!

Here is a resource we like, it’s a car lease calculator from

When you start negotiations a lease for your company car with car dealerships in Wilmington NC , you will more than likely get offered two options:
1) An open lease
2) A closed lease

Open lease vs closed lease

Usually, an open lease contract is used for commercial business vehicle leases. The lessee pays the difference between the residual value and the actual resale value at the end of the lease. If the vehicle is driven more than estimated, the actual resale can be low, and increase costs to the lessee. On the flip side, at the end of closed lease, the lessee pays only extra mileage and extraordinary damages.

The value of the car at the end of the lease, known as residual value, is also used to describe the amount a business expects to sell at the end of its usefulness.

The residual value has a relationship to the payments. So a higher residual value at the end of the lease can lead to lower payments. The exact opposite happens with a lower residual value.

Leased Company Cars and Tax implications

As always is the case in business financial matters, taxes must be considered, and maximizing deductions is most important.

Income taxes. Leased vehicles are not depreciated, but business driving costs for a leased car may be deducted, under certain circumstances and with limits.

First, the car must be driven 50% or more for business purposes (and you must be able to prove the amount of business driving each year). Only the business driving portion of the costs can be deducted.

Then, you must use the actual cost method (not the standard deduction) to calculate driving deductions, in order to deduct the cost of the lease payment.

Finally, a higher value leased vehicle may be subject to what the IRS calls an “inclusion amount,” which is actually a reduction in the deduction for the lease cost. You can read more about this inclusion amount in IRS Publication 463, under “Leasing a Car.”

Sales taxes. You can’t get out of paying state sales taxes on a lease, so keeping the price low will help you pay less on sales tax. (source:

So the next time you’re looking at cars for sale in Wilmington NC , make sure you have thought out the aforementioned “things to think about”, and you will be much more prepared to get a better deal, that fits your companies needs.

Your IT infrastructure is paramount to your business’s success. We use e-mail, leads come in from our websites, we need word processing and PDF documents, we need e-mails with our business name in them, we need someone constantly monitoring for hacking attempts. Sorry I rambled, but you get the point. The list goes on and on and on. What happens if a pesky virus enters your network? Hopefully you have a good computer tech support company who specializes in business IT solutions….because you can really get screwed if not. You can lose important files, leak financial information, have the identities of all of your customers stolen. Make sure you due your research and find someone who will monitor your network 24/7 and offer onsite support! You may need more than just a computer repair company , you may need a network support manager.

The port equipment industry is booming. If you’ve ever seen the price of a container handler , then you know it doesn’t take to many sales to generate big revenue numbers. This is such a small market of potential customers, with big pockets. Have you ever thought of targeting their the IANA? That is the biggest association in the industry. You could simply look at the list of members, visit their website and then contact them! It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to move a reach stacker or an empty container, that’s who you want to target.  Another way is to visit the upcoming expo in L.A. . Mingling with your industry vendors is always a highly recommended tactic!

Did you know you can monitor what your website traffic does? Working for a web design firm wilmington nc , one of the first things you should do to show your worth is install heatmaps. Heatmaps show what your visitors are doing when they land on your website. Maybe you notice they seem to click 1 tab or 1 service more than any other place on the website. You know what you should do then right? Optimize that page to increase your leads and ultimately your sales! Using a software like crazy egg is super cheap, and you will get your ROI back within the first weeks of using it. Just install the software and monitor your website traffic, and then edit the part of your site you’re getting the most attention too. You’ll look like a stud at your website design agency!

To have a really successful business you will need a really good marketing strategy. You will need to be able to have the best successful marketing skills to get your business out there. To get your business out there you will need two things.You will need a website so your company can be found more easily. Also you will need to market that website. Marketing a website is called SEO. To start making a website you will first need to find the best website company. Finding web design wilmington nc is a hard choice. You will need to research wilmington nc web design to get the best results. Also find an seo company with the best expertise for your company.