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A large part of many business's administrative costs is advertising. Without it, most busineses cannot be competitive, and thus are forced to pay large fees to their local newspapers or local yellow pages to advertise.  While these ways do promote your business, they can be difficult to cancel.  The yellow pages is one of the most expensive ways to advertise, and with the laws regarding their policy with your account, you might not be able to cancel if you prefer to.  There is another way to advertise that many owners don't know exists. This is what's called Co-Op advdertising.  So let's define some aspects of Co-Op advertising to give you a better picture of this program below.

How does is work?

Co-Op advertising works in a number of way. For example, a retailer can buy goods from a manufacturer and accrue co-op funds based on the amount of purchase.  Those funds can be returned to the retailer in the form of a cash rebate, a credit to the retailer's account or in the products. Small businessses are encouraged to find out if their vendors or manufacturers have co-op programs.  You can ask the vendor or manufacturer to sponsor your ad. Don't be afraid to ask.  Many manufacturers and distributors would be open to participating.

How do I find companies that participate in Co-Op advertising?

The Co-Op Handbook, published twice per year by the Yellow Pages Association (YPPA), contains thousands and thousands of co-op program listings.  However, the handbook is not available to the general public. If you want to know about different co-op programs that are offered for your type of business, you should contact yor local Yellow Pages sales rep.

Significant cost savings

By advertising the co-op way, it can pay for half of your advertising costs.  With advertising costs often being a significant cost to a company, especially a small business, it is worth looking into.  Be aware however, that most of the time, you must advertise according to their giudelines. Despite this inconvenience, the cost involved in not pursing co-op advertising makes trying co-op advertising a positive choice.

How many companies actually use Co-Op advertising?

Actually, 9 out of 10 compaines send their customers information about using their co-op advertising programs, but so many don't understand co-op so they just disregard it and thus never try it. You can find out more information about YPPA listings by calling your Yellow Pages sales rep.  Also, find out if your supplier offers a co-op program, talk to your distributor, or contact the company yourself.

Copyright Jeanine Pfeiffer


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