What Makes a Radio Commercial Effective?

In one sentence – A clear and concise message that drives the listener to do what you ask of them makes a radio commercial effective. Vague: Yes, True: Very. Radio commercials are effective when this principal is put into play in a very targeted manner at a very targeted audience. Bottom line, one size does not fit all when it comes to radio commercials. You need to know what you want to offer, and who you are offering it to. If you think you will save money by showcasing “EVERYTHING” in one commercial, you will be in for an expensive surprise, your message will not be targeted and won’t move anyone to take action after hearing your radio commercials. Why? Because chances are your competition stated much more clearly than you, the benefits of a specific product or service that they too offer, in effect – it spoke directly to the consumer who needed it in their radio commercials. Where as the “Everything” approach got lost in the shuffle.Sure, you may have an array of services or products that are amazing! But chances are, the consumer who hears your message is only interested in one of those services or products. If you want their business, they need to be aware that you offer it, and offer the best. If you want to focus on more than one product or service, than create more than one commercial to effectively communicate this point. In a perfect world, every time your commercial plays the consumer will drop everything they are doing, stop talking to whoever they are talking to, and devote 110% of their attention to your radio commercial, every word in your radio commercial and the lovely background music you picked out. However, we don’t live in that world. They will catch the commercial in small “snack size” pieces. The piece they catch, better be what you wanted them to hear.For example: If you are an office supply store and want to let the public know about your sale on ink cartridges, 90% of your commercial better be about ink cartridges, the other part about where you are and how to contact you. However all too often when this hypothetical store wants to push ink cartridges they create a commercial that is 10% for ink cartridges, 10% for software, 10% for cell phones, 10% for office furniture, 10% for sharpies, etc…. Not only will the consumer (who could really take advantage of the ink cartridge sale) not have any clue about the sale, they also tuned out the rest of the message because they had no need for the other product blurbs in the radio commercial. Had the commercial focused on their goal of showcasing “ink cartridges”, they would have likely known about the sale and made a note to go to this store.Not only does the commercial need to be focused, it needs to be compelling. Just saying “We have ink cartridges on sale”, is not enough. Radio commercials needs it needs to be relatable. The consumer needs to be put in a mental situation where they say to themselves “Oh yea… I know what they are talking about, I really need Ink Cartridges too”. This can be done through humor, scripted situational acting, a offer that is too good to pass up or a strong call to action, or the announcer making a compelling ploy that does not sound like he’s “selling” a product. Don’t just rely on the radio stations “free” production services to get you the effective script you need (most times, you get what you pay for). Making a relatively small investment and hiring a professional radio commercial production company can pay off 10x in the long run as compared to having an unqualified “free” production service do your commercial for you. If you’re going to spend money on a radio schedule, wouldn’t you want to put the most effective message possible on the air?So to review – An effective radio commercial consists of a clear and concise message: targeted at exactly the person you want to reach for the product or service you are selling. The radio commercial also has to have a very narrow focus speaking directly to that persons needs and emotions. The radio commercial is also needs a strong call to action that they consumer won’t want to pass up.

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?

US Markets in green on Friday; Dow 30 up over 345 points, Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 up nearly 1%

US Markets were trading in the green on Friday with Dow 30 trading at 30,678.80, up by 1.14%. While S&P 500 was trading at 3,701.66, up by 0.98% and Nasdaq Composite 10,690.60 was also up by 0.71 per cent

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US Markets in green on Friday; Dow 30 up over 345 points, Nasdaq Composite, S&P 500 up nearly 1%
Earlier today, Indian stock markets ended the week on a winning note. It was the sixth straight gains for equity markets. Source: Reuters
US Markets were trading in the green on Friday with Dow 30 trading at 30,678.80, up by 345.25 points or1.14 per cent. While S&P 500 was trading at 3,701.66, up by 35.88 points or 0.98 per cent and Nasdaq Composite 10,690.60 was also up 75.75 points or 0.71 per cent. A Reuters report said that today’s strength was on the back of a report which said the Federal Reserve will likely debate on signaling plans for a smaller interest rate hike in December, reversing declines set off by social media firms after Snap Inc’s ad warning.

Source: Comex

Nasdaq Top Gainers and Losers

Source: Nasdaq

Earlier today, Indian stock markets ended the week on a winning note. It was the sixth straight gains for equity markets. The BSE Sensex ended at 59,307.15, up by 104.25 points or 0.18 per cent from the Thursday closing level. Meanwhile, the Nifty50 index closed at 17,590.00, higher by 26.05 points or 0.15 per cent. In the 30-share Sensex, 13 stocks gained while the remaining 17 ended on the losing side. In the 50-stock Nifty50, 21 stocks advanced while 29 declined.