Business 201 – Paying Your Fair Share

There are costs associated with doing business. Those who are not willing to incur that cost, or worse yet, those who attempt to hang that cost on someone else, have no business being in business.

Advertising theft has become rife in today’s business world. Previously it was fairly difficult to steal advertising outright. The advent of the interent, however, has changed that. You don’t have to look far to find companies or persons who utilize various internet web mediums (forum, blogs, etc.) to interject mentions of their product, service, event, etc., without bothering to pay a fee in exchange for the benefit they are attempting to receive.

Sometimes this sort of thing is partly innocent – the perpetrator has simply not stopped to consider that the owners of the medium being used have bills of their own to pay.  But more and more often, unscrupulous types are wantonly marketing their products and/or services on internet mediums knowing full well that they’re stealing.

When confronted, these types always have an excuse. As the owner of www.rodbuilding.org I’ve heard all of them. Stuff like, “We do business with another advertiser of yours” or “We’re not making any money, we’re just trying to help the rod builders.” These and a hundred other excuses are nothing more than attempts to rationalize why their marketing and advertising costs should be borne by someone other than themselves.

I spent roughly $25,000 on advertising for the Expo this past year.  I believe it was money well spent. Not once did I attempt to steal advertising, anywhere. I expected to pay for every bit of it and did. On one occasion a forum owner told me it would be fine to mention the Expo on his website even though I wasn’t a paying sponsor. I refused and insisted he accept an advertising fee from me before mentioning the Expo on his medium. I did this because it was the right thing to do. He wasn’t getting a free ride and not in a million years would I expect him to provide me with one.

If you’re in business and wish to market a product, service, event, etc., do the right thing – respect those folks who have spent their time and money to produce effective marketing venues. Always pay your fair share when using those mediums. Good business ethics demand nothing less.

Tom Kirkman

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