|Counting (Photo credit: recurrence)|
Promotion can cost not only money, but time. Your time is worth something. It's not a bad idea to keep track of how much time you are spending on your promotional endeavors to get a concept of what you're laying out to do your promotions. Consider how much it might cost you to hire someone to do the work necessary to promote for you. Can you do the promotion yourself in an equally effective way and do it for less money?
There are many considerations regarding value in the promotional work. Think about every possible cost to you from printed materials to office supplies. Don't forget all of the hidden incidentals like toner or print cartridges. There's the wear and tear on your vehicle and nice looking clothes for personal appearances. You might even want to consider the estimated percentage amounts of expenses like your utility or phone bills that might be related to your promotional activity.
If you are out and about promoting and eating out when you normally wouldn't, then factor in those costs. Same if you take someone out or are entertaining for promotional purposes. If you pay for refreshments at a promotional event or have a bowl of candy set out for potential customers, then that's an expense you don't want to forget.
Keep a good detailed record of every cent you lay out for your promotional activity whether it's something you're doing at home or out on the road. It's often amazing to realize how much we spend on the things we do especially when it's cash out of pocket. If you don't write it all down or keep receipts you may wonder where all your money went at the end of the day.
The advice given here is not intended for actual business purposes. This is mostly just a fun calculation and you'd want to be careful about what you use for tax deductions. There are definite ramifications regarding expenses and taxes that can make a big difference when you file your returns. You want to take advantage of everything you can in order to increase your profit margin. Consult the tax experts on that aspect of valuating your assets and liabilities.
Before you delve into serious promotional and marketing efforts, you might want to grab a pencil and paper and start writing out lists and playing with figures. A lot of this activity might be based on guessing. The more you consider ahead of time, the better prepared you'll be when you start acting.
Do you watch your pennies carefully? When you consider the cost of your promotional activities do you consider the costs that are not most immediate to what you are doing? Do you hire a tax expert to assist you in filing your taxes?