Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

May Daze

Revenue generating ideas for the month of May
Spring, May in particular, is a time of rebirth and re-growth. Take a hint from Mother Nature and re-create your classified advertising sales. From training and coaching your staff to growing your readership, a few techniques this month will surely raise your revenue generation.

As the April showers turn to May flowers, rejuvenate your sales department! Spring, May in particular, is a time of rebirth and re-growth. Take a hint from Mother Nature and re-create your classified advertising sales. From training and coaching your staff to growing your readership, a few techniques this month will surely raise your revenue generation. In April, we suggested focusing your attention on training and coaching your staff. This month, concentrate on time management and prioritizing; both your schedule and your staff’s. With the end of the school year approaching, many of your sales reps will be looking to have their children home in a scholastic hiatus. Prioritizing tasks and managing the time they spend on sales calls will help them leave their work at work and their home life, appropriately, at home.

Also, as the school year ends, your readers are attempting to readjust their priorities, too. Increase your readership by offering sponsored tips in the form of advertorials. These tips can read as an article, or can be listed weekly, or more frequently, on a rotating schedule for sponsored marketers. These advertorials can also offer discounts or coupons if the advertiser so desires, but simply remaining prevalent in the consumer’s top-of-the-mind awareness is quintessential for increased sales.

Below we’ve outlined a few other ideas to help inspire new revenue generation and increased profit margins. To think of more, use our Business Building Calendar, or challenge your staff using contests and competitions to create new campaigns for all to use.

International Business Image Improvement Month

What it is:

May is International Business Image Improvement Month. Although it’s a mouthful, the concept of this annual program is actually quite simple: can you, or your advertisers, improve your business image during this month? Most companies can, and should answer yes, even if they’re tentative on the specifics on how to improve their imagery. For most businesses, it’s likely that reputation or image can be improved with less effort than what you may think.

Some companies regard image improvement solely as a task for new businesses, especially as they make their first impression on customers. While a great first impression is particularly important for newer businesses, companies that have a rich history in the community should also take note on improving their image. Just because they’ve been around for a while does not mean they exude the image that they think they do or should on the community. It’s likely that while many community members do support their business, many don’t based on a bad first impression, lackluster attitude or a poor sense of community. While the companies you’re selling advertising to may not realize they’re showing these images, having an outsider’s knowledge of the community helps you help them.

International Business Image Improvement Month is a time to accurately assess how people in your community view your local worth and viability. It’s a time to ask your customers what and how they think about your company. Questionnaires detailing how they view you and what they think needs improvement are beneficial during this month.

For companies with a storefront, it’s important to view the physical business. Is it clean? Do you need a navigational system to find items? Are the aisles cluttered? Can customers see the product (is the area well lit)? Next, look at the staff. Are they dressed appropriately? Do they exude professionalism when approached? What is their attitude and work ethic? Look at the company’s advertising. You can have major influences in this department, so make sure their ads are professional and easy to read. Be sure they entice customers to come into the store.

One of the best ways you or your advertisers can improve your image is by participating in your community. Volunteer, donate, host special events, participate in events hosted by other companies in the area and communicate with the community. Allow your staff (or encourage your advertiser to allow their staff) to participate in their own types of volunteer work. Many people already do volunteer work outside of their employment, by promoting that you support this can influence your imagery on the community.

Improving your image needn’t be a high cost venture. Rather, it should inspire you (or your advertiser) to make minor improvements that have a major effect.

How to make money:

Offer a section for businesses to actively communicate with your readers this month. Encourage your advertisers to not only offer deals and specials, but also to note popular topics relevant to your area. Have a weekly or daily topic, depending on the amount of advertisers you receive and the frequency of which you run the section, and allow your advertisers to elaborate with a specific focus. This section can be either online or in print.

For each advertiser you gain in the section, create a guide to help them improve their image this month. Offer tips and advice as mentioned above, and give them sample questionnaires for their customers to fill out, either online or in print.

No Diet Day

What it is:

International No Diet Day, which falls annually on May 6, was created by Mary Evans Young in 1992. After a personal battle with anorexia, she made it her goal to help people appreciate themselves for what they are, and to love whatever body they have. Evans Young, a London native, says, “I started INDD in the spring of ’92 following two things. The first was seeing a television programme where women were having their stomachs stapled. One woman had split the staples and was in for her third op[eration]. And then a young girl of 15 committed suicide because ‘she couldn’t cope being fat.’ She was a size 14 (a size 12 in the US).” She states later that she “decided somebody had to stand up and try to stop this bloody madness and in the absence of anybody else, I decided it would be me.”

How to make money:

Approach grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries, delis and cafes to advertise in a special directory online leading up to No Diet Day. Or, host a picnic in the park with vendors and sponsors for men and women alike to throw away the diets at least for one day and to seriously indulge.