Shop Talk: Practical answers for tough business questions.

by : 
Kim Perkins
December 1, 2012

Question: The free local magazine in our area has folded and this was our main source for advertising. I am exploring different options and wonder about TV ads. Has TV advertising really helped you? Would you recommend it to a small store with 900 sq. ft. of sales space?

Answer: TV advertising has been great for us. We have advertised on TV since 1995 and I credit it with saving our business after we moved to a new location and experienced a drastic drop in revenue. We started by spending about $500 a month to run the ads and increased that amount as our sales increased, and our 30-second commercial cost us $350 to create.

No matter what ad venue you choose, stay true to your store’s brand identity. If your store has a calm atmosphere, you don’t want an ad that looks and sounds like an ad for a car dealership. The TV station should have someone on staff to help you write an appropriate script and shoot quality video of your products.

Kim Perkins is co-owner of Elysian Fields Books & Gifts for Conscious Living (, an award-winning store in Sarasota, Fla. Send your retail questions to