Before starting your own business, learn how to get sponsors to ease the financial burden. Nothing pleases a business owner more than hearing they have the backing of sponsors. Sponsorship means that you have events which the sponsors fund in full, or in part. Sponsors are not hard to come by; you have to know how to attract them to your business or event. Imagine advertising on the radio or television and not paying a cent to do it, that’s what your sponsorship dollars can do for you. Don’t think for one moment that you are the only one benefiting from the relationship, the sponsor will gain exposure-which translates into revenue.
If you are new to sponsorship, there are a few things you need to know before you cast your net. Where are the sponsors? What do you offer the sponsor? What do sponsors want? How do you put a sponsorship package together? If this is a large event, or your first event, enlist the assistance of professionals; you don’t want to disappoint your sponsors. Here are tips to consider as you take your first steps towards getting sponsors.
- Plan Plan Plan, and then plan more. Your event has to be tight, seamless; and so does the plan that you present to sponsors.
- Put together a comprehensive sponsorship package. Include every detail of what the sponsor will receive-when, where, and how they will receive it and how much it will cost. Offer more than one package- three would be preferable- you don’t want to make the deal too complicated, but you do want to make one that is so affordable, it’s difficult to pass up. Highlight and focus on what the sponsor will receive- this is what he is paying for.
- Don’t over sell the package. You are including the client in your event- that’s all. You cannot predict how many sales, or how much revenue he will generate. Once you have some experience with sponsorship you can tell the customers about past events and the outcome for those clients.
- Deliver what you have promised. Your reputation is important, future events depend on how you manage your business. You don’t want the sponsors to perceive the deal as one-sided, in your favor. Make the event successful for the client as well. Be flexible enough to tweak the plan if it looks as though the client will not receive the exposure you negotiated.
- The easiest sponsor to find is one who already advertises; he understands the value of having exposure in the marketplace. This business already has an advertising budget, and is always looking for opportunities to explore new markets.
- Don’t be afraid to approach the virgin sponsor. You can show him the ropes and develop a profitable business relationship.
- Money is not the only thing a sponsor an offer you. Depending on the type of event, your sponsor can provide a give-away item. If your new sponsor owns an electronics store, he may trade a flat screen TV. in lieu of money. You, in turn offer him a package of comparable value, and use the give-away item as a drawing card for customers to come to the event.
- Services can be used in trade as well. One of your new sponsors may own a printing business; offer him a sponsorship deal, as well.
- Keep in mind however that all transactions are not created equal-cash is preferred over services and give-away items. If the sponsor is bringing less to the table than the value of the package, reduce what you offer the sponsor, or have the sponsor pay the difference in dollars.
Remember, sponsors are all around you. They get to have their business promoted at an event, while doing little or no work, often times for less than they would spend if advertising on their own. Some people look for the goose that laid the “golden egg”, that one sponsor who has deep pockets. If that’s your strategy, know that it has an up-side and a down-side. On the one hand, you have fewer sponsors to deal with, and on the other hand, you have fewer sponsors to deal with- which limits the number of possible business relationships.