When attempting to start a new venture, the novice entrepreneur must consider one of the most important components of the start-up. How will the business be funded? While the entrepreneur can absolutely obtain bank/institutional loans (if his/her credit is satisfactory), locate an angel investor, or solicit venture capital investors amongst many other options available to them; many entrepreneurs utilize their close network of family and friends initially to amass the capital needed.

 

     Friends and family members seem like the obvious first choice when soliciting a funder since well, they already know you intimately. It’s not like with a bank where an application for the monies is required, the individual’s credit history or credit worthiness is examined; and there’s still a chance for denial. Conversely, mom and dad or your best friend from middle school are far less likely to turn you down and, unlike the bank, will require very little hurdles (i.e. applications), since understandably they want to see you succeed in life. This was certainly the case with Jeff Bezos, the owner and operator of Amazon and currently dubbed the, “richest man in modern history.” Bezos started his company with an initial cash investment of $300k from his parents. Although he warned his parents and other financiers of the risks associated with investing, he was able to turn his organization into the largest online shopping retailer in the world and make substantial returns on their investments!

 

     But what if things had gone dreadfully wrong and Bezos had not turned such a magnificent profit? He would then be indebted to each investor (including mom and dad) and may not ever recoup the funds to pay them all back! This brings us to the idea of why friends and family members are oftentimes not the best choices when it comes to funding the startup. While friends and family members may be delighted to facilitate the entrepreneur’s dreams, their moods will quickly change when they are not able to fully comprehend that the business is no longer in operation and you have essentially exhausted their funds, with no way in the near future to pay them back! Because these individuals know the entrepreneur intimately, it can create an irrevocable strain on the relationship that can effortlessly dissolve the bonds that took years to build.

 

     So, is it worth it? Well, that’s for you to decide. If the entrepreneur should choose to use a friend or family member for funding their venture, they will undoubtedly need to assess the importance of the relationship and the pros and cons associated with accepting the funds. If the relationship is too valuable to be tainted, the entrepreneur should try to locate other sources. Banks, the SBA, angel investors, and a multitude of others resources exist solely to assist small business owners with bringing their ventures to fruition; and that’s without running the risk of losing your favorite Aunt May’s life savings and being uninvited from all future family dinners at her place!

 

References

The Ins and Outs of Raising Money From Friends and Family. (2013, September 09). Retrieved October 2nd, 2020, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228103

Jeff Bezos. (2020, September 29). Retrieved October 02, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Bezos

“Hey Shantell, that man of yours treating you good?”

Description: In the ad selected, Steve Harvey smoothly breaks the monotony of radio ads by asking the Shantell’s of the world if their partners are treating them well. The ad is surprising because he specifically speaks to “Shantell” as he asks about her personal life and then segues to discuss the advantages of State Farm Insurance with “Shantell” and other listeners. The ad is special to me because one of my dearest friends is named Shantell! I have even asked her about the ad which she maintains “catches her off guard” every single time it is played on the radio!

Objectives: Since Steve Harvey is an admirable and reputable celebrity, I believe that the objective of the ad is to engage the audience so that they can think about how beneficial State Farm Insurance could be for them and their family members. The objectives are certainly attainable and could be measured by having new members take a survey that denotes how or why they joined State Farm. Those researching or selecting insurance products specifically after hearing this commercial would show how influential it is. *there are no time-sensitive guidelines mentioned.

Target Market: While living in New Bern, NC I typically listened to 101.9 Kiss FM which is an urban radio station owned by Curtis Media Group that reaches those in New Bern, Jacksonville, and Greenville, North Carolina (this is where my friend Shantell resides and has heard the ad as well). This radio station characteristically plays Hip Hop and R&B. Steve Harvey’s morning show is on daily and this radio ad normally plays during that time period. I think that the ad is meant to reach young African-American female viewers as well as those who enjoy listening to his morning show and the particular type of music played on the station.

Action of Viewers: Since Steve Harvey is reputable amongst a variety of individuals, he is encouraging listeners to utilize State Farm Insurance products to protect their possessions as well as their family. If indeed the action is taken, these individuals can exploit a variety of options including life insurance, auto insurance and other products that will protect them in times of turmoil.

Value Proposition: Since State Farm’s motto is, “Like a Good Neighbor….” they encourage individuals to buy their products because they will constantly “watch their backs.” They promise the ability to take care of your family and your belongings with their unparalleled products and service, which is something that everyone can understand and ultimately wants!

Moreover, State Farm reminds customers of the day to day atrocities that can affect anyone and everyone; and, then promotes their products as the paramount services to guard against any untimely calamities. Additionally, they place priority on their ability to be, “like a good neighbor.” Not a bad neighbor…a good neighbor! And, this in turn helps to differentiate their services from their competition.

 

“The Very First Tuesday, Tuesday…. The Very First Tuesdaaaaayyyyy…Yeaaaahhhh!” (lots of scatting)

Description: In the ad selected, NC lottery advertises their new scratch off games with a humorous and catchy song aptly named, “The Very First Tuesday.” This ad informs listeners that the very first Tuesday of the month is the day that the new games will be released. Because the tune is captivating it is easy to remember and thus will remind customers to purchase these tickets on the “first Tuesday” when they are released to have the best chances at obtaining a winning ticket.

Objectives: The objectives are to inform the public of new games and sell more scratch offs when they are initially released. The objectives are both attainable and measurable since customers will want the new tickets ASAP to ensure (in their minds) that they get a better chance at winning the prizes. This objective is measurable since officials can assess how many new game tickets are purchased on the very first Tuesday of the month around the state. This objective is time-specific since it informs consumers that these new games will only be released on the very first Tuesday of the month.

Target Market: The target market for this ad is anyone who is interested in playing the lottery. According to the NC Lottery website, https://nclottery.com/NewsBlogDetails/2018/9/27/Who-plays-the-lottery lottery players come from all walks of life and range in age.

Action of Viewers: The ad encourages viewers to purchase their tickets when the first Tuesday of the month comes around to improve their chances of winning a prize. If the action is taken, consumers should have a better pick of the new games released and may have better probabilities of winning on their initial attempt versus purchasing a ticket that has been previously released.

Value Proposition: If individuals are playing the lottery, they are encouraged to increase their possibilities of winning by purchasing tickets to scratch-off games that have been recently released. By making these purchases when the games become available, customers “increase” the likelihood of buying a winning ticket instead of purchasing the ticket to a game that has already been released. And, since that is what most customers strive for, NC Lottery encourages these individuals to make the purchase when these games are released! If you’ve ever played the lottery, most retailers who sell these tickets to do NOT keep up with the release dates of the games. Many tickets are still viable (meaning they can still produce prizes), but if they have been released 6 mos-1 year ago, these games may already have most of their prizes claimed. Games typically stick around until all the prizes have been claimed or until the game is discontinued.

 

Description: The Culver’s Butterburger radio ad begins with a gentleman describing the Culver’s Butterburger in detail. As the individual is describing how the burger is made with the purest ingredients (Cheese from Wisconsin….yes, please!), simultaneously the sizzling sounds of a griddle can be heard in the background to inform listeners that the burgers are made-to-order all day, every day and can be topped with a plethora of options offered to dress up (or down) your burger just the way you like it.

Objectives: This ad was obviously created to elicit several responses from the listener. The gentleman narrating the ad has a velvety voice and gives an awesome description of what customers can expect when they come to a Culver’s location. Additionally, the sizzle from the griddle is difficult to ignore and stimulates the senses to join in on the experience. The ad is created to inform customers about what exactly the Culver’s experience entails and to generate further business for the establishment. The objectives are certainly attainable and could be measured by seeing how much business is created due to their radio advertisements. A simple survey at the end of a meal would be a good way to denote how customers have found out about the restaurant (i.e. word of mouth, radio, television, etc.). *the objectives are NOT time specific.

Target Market: Since the ad doesn’t imply that there are other meat alternatives at this location, the target market is anyone who enjoys meat or animal products!

Action of Viewers: The ad encourages listeners to go to their nearest Culver’s to experience the ButterBurgers for themselves! Once there, they are promised to not be disappointed by the exceptional taste of the burgers as well as other options that they offer at the location (i.e. various daily custards with mix-ins, sides, etc.)

Value Proposition: Culver’s makes it clear that their quality of beef, as well as the way in which they cook the burgers on the griddle (hence the name Butterburger) and ONLY when they are ordered sets them apart from their competition. The idea of a fresh, made-to-order burger differentiates them from signature burger joints like Wendy’s, MacDonald’s, or Burger King, where the burgers are made previously to ensure service is timely. Culver’s reminds customers about how a made-to-order burger, pressed and seared to seal in flavor, with any toppings the customer desires is the ultimate choice for those looking to have the absolute BEST.

 

Description: The mayhem ads are some of my favorites! These ads depict Dean Gerard Winters in a series of events where he is “mayhem” itself. In one of my favorite mayhem radio ads, Winters represents a raccoon that has been in an attic for over a week. He narrates as if he is the raccoon himself and says, “I’m digging, I’m playing in all this fluffy stuff (presumably insulation). I’ve already had like 4 babies, I’m the smartest raccoon I know.” As Winters illustrates this scene, banging, crashing and clashing noises as well as electrical explosions denote that this raccoon is causing complete mayhem in the house.

Objectives: The objectives of the ad are to get individuals to genuinely think about what their insurance products offer. Moreover, if they do not cover these specific instances of “mayhem”, individuals are encouraged to purchase Allstate products to combat the costs associated with accidents. This particular ad focuses on home insurance and urges future customers to look into the products they have already purchased because they may not offer coverage for specific misfortunes. This ad is meant to sell more insurance and the objectives are certainly attainable. These objectives can be measured through surveys or simply by asking new customers show/why they’ve decided to purchase Allstate products. *While the objectives are NOT time specific, Allstate does have promotional products exclusively tied to these “mayhem” advertisements.

Target Market: The target market is anyone who owns a home, potentially thinking about purchasing a home, or those who already have homeowner’s insurance that may not cover ALL the potential disasters that can befell a home.

Action of Viewers: The ad wants the viewer to look into Allstate’s homeowner’s insurance products to see if Allstate can provide more coverage for their homes than their current providers. It also encourages those without insurance to be vigilant about potential disasters that could be costly to repair. If this action is taken, Allstate promises that their services will save you money and leave you better protected.

Value Proposition: During the ad, “mayhem” makes fun of insurance companies who offer products in fifteen minutes and urges customers to look into these products to ensure that they cover all of the possible circumstances that could transpire during the ownership of your possessions. Their motto, “Dollar for dollar, no one protects you from mayhem like Allstate,” is the epitome of what the “Mayhem” character is expressing and ensures consumers that if they purchase Allstate products they will be covered 100% without any regard to what the circumstances are. Many times, when purchasing insurance, individuals have to read the fine print to know exactly what is being offered (and, what is not!). Allstate is taking the ambiguity out of the insurance product by assuring customers that they will make sure that all mishaps are covered at a rate that is sure to beat their competitors such as State Farm Insurance, Geico, and even Progressive.

 

Description: This comical advertisement is for Jimmy John’s sandwiches and expresses what it means to order a delivery from the popular sandwich chain. The ad begins with a fast-talking gentleman ordering “any kind of sub” to be sent to his home on Elm Street. Almost immediately, he greets an individual at the door who has brought the sub and noticed that the man’s house is on fire. The man apparently already knows this as well (flames can be heard in the background roaring) and proceeds to tell the individual to grab a bucket. His doorbell then rings (4) more times consecutively with each individual informing him they are from “Jimmy John’s.” With each new doorbell ring, the deliverer asks if the man knows his house is on fire. To this he replies, “Yes, grab a bucket.” The 5th doorbell ring is from the Fire Department Chief himself, who also asks if the man knows his house is on fire. The gentleman replies, “Captain we’ve got it handled, care for a sandwich?” The Chief counters, “Why didn’t you call the Fire Department first?” The gentleman responds, “I did.”

Objectives: The objective is to sell more sandwiches by informing the public that Jimmy John’s is a quick delivery service that provides gourmet subs almost in an instant! The objectives are attainable because many people enjoy the luxury of having food delivered. Knowing that it will be there quickly motivates the audience to order food the next time they are looking to partake in this experience. The objectives can be measured by calculating how many delivery orders are placed in areas that run this ad. Going a step further, surveys can be added to see if the delivery is specifically a result of the radio advertisement. *The objectives are NOT time specific.

Target Market: The target market is anyone looking to eat gourmet sandwiches and enjoy the convenience of having the subs delivered quickly. This could be working individuals who may be too busy to leave the office, a college student with no access to transportation, or even an elderly individual who can no longer drive to purchase their goods.

Action of Viewers: The ad wants the viewers to buy Jimmy John’s sandwiches and utilize their speedy delivery service to make the experience as opportune as possible.

Value Proposition: Not only does Jimmy John’s make the claim of selling gourmet sandwiches with only the finest ingredients, it also boasts about its expedient delivery service that is unrivaled by the competition. Out of the other leading sub/sandwich establishments (Jersey Mike’s and Subway), Jimmy John’s is the only business that provides delivery. Furthermore, their delivery is known to be “freakishly fast” which entices individuals to order so that they can get their food as soon as possible. Fast food was essentially created to appease those not wanting to wait for their food. Jimmy John’s takes this idea a step further by not only delivering (and doing it expeditiously) but also, by providing a gourmet experience to their customers since they only use “the highest quality” ingredients.