Confusion about commercial loans and working capital financing seems to be increasing despite efforts by the federal government and commercial lenders to suggest that there is ample business loan funding. As a result, the actual availability of business financing for commercial finance programs such as commercial mortgages and business cash advances is unclear to most business owners.It seems apparent that there have been many reports suggesting that normal commercial finance channels are either frozen or extremely sluggish. In reality there are probably more opportunities for commercial loan needs than suggested by such reports. However, increasing uncertainties in financial and credit markets have produced conflicting and misleading information about the availability of commercial financing. For most business owners, it is probably not clear if business finance funding is realistically available to them or not.In spite of some admittedly bad news, there continue to be to reliable funding sources for commercial real estate loans, working capital loans and especially for business cash advances. At the same time, the current negative economic conditions will prove to be difficult for most businesses. Commercial borrowers should expect that extra efforts will be required to successfully arrange commercial financing. An especially harsh reality for business financing is that many banks have discontinued all or most of their business lending activities, often with very little advance notice.One common example of commercial finance misinformation distorting what is actually feasible is that some kinds of commercial financing have been more disrupted than others by recent events. Commercial borrowers might be unnecessarily confused by reports that do not refer to all commercial loan situations but rather primarily apply to a very specialized form of business financing. For example, by most accounts commercial construction loans are in short supply currently. Such specialized business loans are not as easily available as they were just a few months ago, and a more accurate accounting would reflect that the number of commercial lenders currently active in construction financing has shrunk dramatically. At the same time, most commercial real estate loans without new construction have not been as severely impacted as funding requests which do involve construction financing.Several publications have reported that most new business financing requests are on hold or have simply been rejected due to recent financial market uncertainties, and this is another example of how business finance funding reports might confuse small business owners. While the sources for this information might have been honestly told by one or more lending institutions that they are in fact deferring new commercial loan funding, this does not mean that is the case for the entire country. If the discussion involved automobile sales, it would be comparable to concluding that nobody is selling cars anywhere after learning that several major dealers and two manufacturers announced that they were going out of business due to lack of adequate sales. Just because one or more banks fail or stop making business loans, it does not mean that there are not commercial loans available from other sources.Commercial borrowers would be wise to maintain a cautious perspective in determining how to refinance or obtain small business loans simply because the banking industry has been involved in financial disruptions of an epic proportion. Many banks are sounding and acting like they have been through the equivalent of a train wreck. In such a natural disaster, it might not be prudent for business owners to seek the advice of banks which effectively caused the train to derail in the first place.Despite reports about limited availability of business financing, some commercial lending activities such as business cash advance programs are actually as active as they have ever been. In the current commercial funding crisis, small business owners should seek a commercial loans expert for a realistic assessment and candid discussion about working capital loans and business finance programs.
Working in research and development for a large infomercial company, I had many opportunities to do large advertising campaigns with lots of different online advertising agencies and Internet marketing companies. I would literally go online for days researching companies and the types of advertising they offered to find just the right ones to meet the needs of our company.We spent thousands of dollars before we were able to come up with accurate measures of which campaigns were actually converting prospects into customers. But after much testing, I came to an interesting conclusion about online advertising.Many advertisers have a large emphasis on the amount of exposure you get to your web site, but after running many expensive campaigns, I have learned that this is not what matters at all. The things that matters most in web marketing usually boil down to how many qualified, targeted click thrus you can generate to your site.Click thrus are the main thing you need to focus on when creating an advertising campaign. For our company, it has been the most accurate measure of the quality of any type of advertising we bought, whether it was banner ads, email campaigns, popunders, search engine, pay per click or any other type of advertising you do on the web.Click thrus represent an Internet user who has been motivated to visit your site by clicking on an email or online advertisement of any type. It is the highest quality traffic you can have coming to your site.Once you get this type of high quality traffic to your site, you can then focus on trying to convert your visitors to customers and sales. If you have a tracking method or software, you can then determine your conversion ratio. The conversion ration will tell you how many visitors you will need to get to your site to convert a sale.If you can figure out how many click thrus it takes to make a sale and you know now much it cost to get clicks to your web site, you can then use that information to predict the results of some of your advertising campaigns. Armed with this information, you will then have a lot more confidence when spending money or time on any type of online advertising.If you are looking to generate high quality click through’s to your web site, you will find that this is not the easiest thing to do. You will find many types of online advertising and lots of companies making outrageous claims on how much exposure you get. But when it comes down to it, exposure means nothing if you don’t generate click thrus to your web site. If you want to generate true targeted traffic to your web site, you should definitely take a good look at these types of advertising.Email Marketing – Email marketing is probably the most direct way to generate click thrus to your web site. You can either hire a third party company to mail to their lists or you can build a list of your own.Email is great because you can instantly reach large numbers of interested prospect and start to generate click through’s within hours of sending your message out.This method of marketing does have its drawbacks. It is getting more and more difficult to send email, because of SPAM regulations and extensive filtering by ISP’s. Fortunately, many marketing tools are coming out to help the average person start and maintain a list without knowing a lot of technical knowledge.The best way to use email marketing is to build an opt-in list of prospects that you can mail to over and over again. Using a third party list or company to email will cost you a fortune if you do it over and over without building a list of your own. This is why it is important to concentrate on building your opt in list. Many of the people who opt in to your list will eventually become your customers if you have a solution to their problem.Coregistration – This is powerful list building method many Internet marketers have been using for about 3 years now. Coregistration advertising is the process of generating opt-in email leads to add to your mailing list or autoresponder for marketing purposes. Using this form of advertising, you can build a large list of qualified prospects in little time.The quality of coregistration leads can vary from company to company so it really pays to understand how they are generated and how old the leads are. The best types of leads to buy are called Opt-In coregistrations where individuals have specifically responded to your ad for more information.You can also get other type of leads that are cheaper, but they are not as high quality as the leads generated specifically for your business. In addition, these cheaper leads are harder to deal with when mailing your messages.Once you have these leads in your email system, they become a source of targeted click thrus every time you mail out to your lists. In addition, you are basically getting free advertising once you have your own list. Coregistration helps you get to that point quickly if you use it correctly and if you find some solid lead sources.Search Engines – Search engines have long been a source of rich, targeted traffic, but competition and strict search engine rules make it difficult to simply put up a web site and take advantage of this type of traffic.You could hire a search engine optimization company (often called SEO’s) to help you get your site placed, but this usually costs a minimum of $1000 up to $5000 or more and a significant amount of time to get results. Most web site owners would be better off applying basic search engine optimization techniques themselves and saving their money. These techniques can include gaining link partners, frequently adding fresh content, and utilizing relevant keywords. The results of these efforts can be just as rewarding as using an SEO company in many cases.Once you get listed, you will start to receive targeted click thrus to your web site from people specifically searching for what you offer.Pay Per Click Search Engines – If you are frustrated with other types of traditional advertising and you want a direct relationship between what you spend and the amount of advertising you get, you need to look into pay per click search engine advertising.You can sometimes get traffic to your web site for as little as $0.10 per click. Once you try to advertise using pay per click search engines, you will find that many of the best keywords will cost you much more than this (sometimes $1 to $5 or even more)! The key to this type of advertising is to do research to uncover low cost keywords so you can bid on them get traffic to your site.Using this strategy, you should be able to use pay per click search engines to easily produce targeted clicks to your web site.PR and Media – If you are looking for massive exposure at a very low cost, pr and media could be your ticket. A solid pr campaign could easily bring hundreds to thousands of targeted click thrus to your web site.Getting your business in the news can be a difficult task and you need to either hire a solid pr company that promotes from a marketing standpoint or you need to learn how to do some basic PR yourself. Hiring a PR company can be expensive, so it may pay to simply find an experienced freelance writer who will help you.PR/media can be hit or miss and it can take some persistence to start getting stories published and to start driving traffic to your web site. But for the amount of time and effort you spend doing PR, it can really pay off in the long run in the form of hundreds, thousands to even millions of dollars in free advertising.EBay, Amazon and Other Large Sites – Large traffic sites that allow visitors to participate, open accounts and create profiles are great places to get free exposure for your web site. There is a lot of traffic generated by sites such as Amazon and eBay which gives you the opportunity to harvest some of it through creating user profiles and participating with their communities.This is a simple, low cost way to generate traffic to your site since it does not really cost anything to setup accounts with these sites.Banner Ads – Many people say banner advertising is dead, but it still continues to be a great source of Internet traffic for many web site owners. The best part about banner advertising is that the prices have gone down significantly, so if you can create a banner that works, you can get a lot more quality exposure in comparison to other types of advertising.The quality of your banner ad and your target audience will determine how many click thrus you get from your banner campaign, but many banner campaigns range anywhere from 1% click thrus to 8% click thrus, or sometimes as high as 20%. So if you are planning on doing any banner advertising, test a banner on a small level, and see how well it converts, and this will give you an indication of how well it converts on a larger level.Affiliate Marketing/Joint Ventures – Affiliate markting and jv advertising are both similar in nature and. Most professional web marketers would say that it delivers the highest quality click thrus available on the web today. This is because these types of marketing are “endorsement” marketing where you have a particular person with certain credentials promoting your product. This personal referral often generates visitors who are hungry to see what you offer.You can use this type of marketing by writing a letter to a potential partner who has a large customer base or by installing affiliate software on your web site and advertise for affiliate partners. Using an online affiliate program is very cost effective because you reach targeted visitors online and you only pay for leads or sales (usually a percentage of your sale or a set dollar amount).Popunders/Guaranteed Visitors/Expired Domains – These traffic sources have been around for a while now and are all heavily promoted forms of advertising. But in comparison to the other forms of advertising, it does not perform as well. Personally, I have experienced sending millions of visitors from this type of traffic with hardly recognizable results.Most of this traffic is not very targeted because the web site visitors did not get to the site by choice. Instead, they were solicited from third party advertisers using popunders or tricky web pages, which does not make that person a qualified visitor to your web site. There are some networks of advertisers who can provide quality popunders at a reasonable price.Click thrus are a way to measure the quality of advertising because you can usually figure out how those clicks relate to your sales. That is why it is important to focus on how many click thrus you can produce when creating, marketing and advertising your web site. So next time you by any type of web advertising, try to get some indication of how many targeted click thrus you can expect to generate from that particular campaign, and you can get a good idea of how many sales you can generate.Copyright 2005 Rod Davis