The IRS says you can deduct “reasonable advertising expenses that are directly related to your business activities.” In most cases, as long as you show a real business purpose for it, such as reaching customers, managing your brand, providing information about your products and services, etc., it can be counted.
Some examples of marketing expenses may include:
Logo and branding
Print advertising – brochures, business cards, banners, billboards, newsletters, magazine ads, mailers, thank you cards, etc. (However, certain ‘permanent’ signs may have to be spread out over time.)
Online and digital advertising – radio, TV, online and social media ads, digital billboards, website design, hosting, SEO, videos and more.
You can even deduct social media upkeep if you are paying someone outside your company.
Giveaways, prizes and sponsorship
These are just a few things to consider when working on your taxes.
So don’t be afraid to spend a little money to help promote and boost your business. In the end, it is very likely that you can use it as a deduction to help ease your tax load.
Oh, and also be sure to ask your designer or adverting agency to provide receipts.
Disclaimer: I am no tax expert, and this information was gathered from multiple sources. I highly recommend speaking with your accountant and tax advisor to make sure your expenses qualify.
As a business, a printed piece is something important to have. It gives you a quick way to present your purpose or services to potential clients and customers. Printed pieces also provide legitimacy to small businesses, individuals and start-ups. By producing print collateral, you demonstrate to potential clients, colleagues and business partners that you are willing to invest in your business.*
But does printed piece of information really need to come in TRIFOLD format? No!
Paper can be printed, cut, folded and bound in endless ways.
Here are just a few basic folds used in the brochure world.
Yes, there are times where the tri-fold is the best option…
However, here are some things to consider when it comes to producing a brochure:
Content: How much content do you have? How much content do you really need? Not a lot? Maybe a nice horizontal half fold, or two-sided rack card would work. Got a lot of content? Maybe you need a double gate fold (see above – bottom row, first one).
How will this be delivered to your audience? If it will be delivered to the masses or has to fit in the ‘standard’ brochure holder – a well laid out trifold brochure may be the most effective way to go. If it will simply be used to email or placed online – does it even need to be a brochure at all? Or should it even have folds, since it will be viewed as a flat document and with ‘folds’ the flow of information could be a little confusing.
Who is your audience? Are they doctors or CEOs? If so, you should have a piece that provides more of a high quality look and feel than your average trifold. Perhaps the best solutions would be a special die-cut or embossed booklet, or presentation folder with inserts rather than a brochure at all.
Or are they college students who may use your brochure as more of a reminder to look into your business or schedule an appointment, and then it will be tossed? If so, maybe a ‘rack card’ or two sided panel is all you need.
Client acquisition costs: How much money will this brochure bring in? Or how much money does a potential customer view your service or products worth? If you are wanting to sell thousands of dollars worth of flooring or a new sports car – it may be worth spending a little more on your brochure.
How you want to be perceived? Do you want potential clients to know or think that you are high-end, a large corporation, or cutting edge? Creating that first impression from a ‘fancy’ brochure can sometimes say more than what the actual content says. You can usually tell if the business tried to create and print the brochure themselves, or if they had it professionally design and printed… right? Right? And just ask yourself – which are you attracted to or do you view as a more viable company?
So what else is out there?
Here’s just a few examples of unique brochure designs to get your wheels turning.
Someone asked me the other day ‘how it was going’, and I just gave the typical response – being modest at first – “oh, I’m good”, in a sort of hee-haw type manner. (But really I was thinking – I’m doing great! I have my own business which is going well, I have a healthy six month baby, an awesome, supportive husband, a warm house and good health.) Their response was sort of a yah, yah I know “just surviving”… and I stopped quick and said– na, “I’m actually more like THRIVING!”.
thrive: (v) to grow or develop well or vigorously;prosper; flourish; to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.
So ask yourself, are you thriving or surviving? Is your business thriving or surviving?
If you are only surviving, what can you do differently in this new year to thrive? What will make you or your business prosper or flourish. Just like you have to invest in yourself, it is important to invest time and money in your business. Sometimes that means taking less of your time to try to do it all (like marketing and design) and investing some of that into doing what you know how to do best – run your business and share this passion with others. Then, in turn, that extra time that you also saved by investing a little more in your business, you can now use it to help you maybe progress towards a personal goal – like, do I dare say, the gym or just time for yourself of your family.
I can help you THRIVE. Let me take some of the marketing work off your shoulders. Sometimes a fresh look from the outside can be just the boost you need as well to help your business grow. (Then you may even be able to use that time to help yourself to thrive…)