Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Marty Buckholt, president and founder of Air Ad Promotions in Dallas, Texas. For more than 25 years, this company has worked with large and small clients all over the world to attract customers through inflatable advertising. The journey this business has gone through, and where it are headed in the future, is something that dreams are made of ….
Air Ad is changing the game when it comes to innovative advertising and it is powered by QuickBooks® Online. I will let Marty tell you more about their business, how QuickBooks has helped him balance the books, and the advice he has for other business owners and entrepreneurs. Enjoy the interview.
Troy Marcyes: Tell me about your business.
Marty Buckholt: You know the giant inflatable advertising balloon positioned on the roof or near the entrance of a business? You couldn’t miss it, right? Well, that’s what we do. Air Ad Promotions brings more visibility, foot traffic and sales to businesses through the power of on-site advertising with giant advertising flags, tents, sidewalk signs and pennant strings – all visual efforts to let customers know you are there.
We call it decision point marketing because it’s right there when your target customers are at their purchase decision point: where to eat lunch, buy dog food, get their car’s oil changed and where to find a deal on cellphone repair. Our tag line is, “We Get You Noticed,” and it’s pretty fitting for what we do!
TM: What is the most interesting part of your business?
MB: You never get tired of looking at a 20-foot advertising balloon! The design capabilities of our graphics team always amazes me. To make a giant cup, or even a hamburger, look like it’s the real deal is fun and brings out the kid in all of us.
TM: What is a major goal for your business?
MB: First and foremost, our goal is to bring your business more foot traffic, with more customers and sales than you ever thought possible. We help single-unit operators, regional chains and Fortune 500 companies immediately get customers in their front door.
TM: How long have you been using QuickBooks Online?
MB: We’ve been using QuickBooks to run our business since 1998 and we wouldn’t have it any other way. QuickBooks has allowed us to see where our accounts stand, keep an eye on cash flow and just keep us moving in the right direction. It makes our life easier, for sure.
TM: What keeps you up at night being a business owner?
MB: How is my business doing in terms of cash flow, accounts receivable, accounts payable and overall profitability? Like any small business, we depend on a system to provide an accurate, real-time snapshot of important decisions to help us better forecast and grow our business. QuickBooks helps us accomplish that.
TM: What do you like most about QuickBooks?
MB: I think our team would agree that having a common environment for all staff to use ranks near the top. The ability to track history and transactions, and pull custom reports, are incredibly powerful features, too. The QuickBooks training and conferences are top notch and excellent resources for development, sharing best practices and solving challenges.
TM: What were some of these challenges QuickBooks helped you solve?
MB: Without a doubt, one of our biggest challenges was having information scattered in various locations. QuickBooks allowed us to bring all of this under one roof. Now, we can easily find any inventory discrepancies or errors, get order information, and even extensive customer history, all in one place.
TM: Would you recommend QuickBooks to other business owners?
MB: Absolutely, because it’s an efficient system. As a business owner, it is essential to have something that connects all aspects of our accounts receivable and payables. It makes researching and reporting a much easier task. I can’t imagine where we’d be without QuickBooks. It’s not even an option not to use it.
TM: What advice do you have for other people looking to start a business?
MB: You have got to watch your profitability like a hawk. In light of the current situation with the economy, monitoring cash flow is absolutely critical. Be a risk taker, but also be paranoid. Make sure you have something in place from the very beginning to help you monitor your numbers. As a new business owner, you have to spend time getting sales, but you’ve also got to watch your numbers. Be vigilant on monitoring fixed cost increases.
Quite the story and journey right? It’s innovative businesses like this that keep the economy growing and customers coming back for more – and they are always giving back to the communities they serve. From working with the Ronald McDonald house and supporting Multiple Sclerosis to sponsoring SPCA adoptions, the impact our customers make is something employees and clients can be proud of.
I hope you enjoyed this company story as much as I did, and if you are looking to increase sales at your store, don’t hesitate to reach out and see how Ad Air Promotions can help. You won’t be sorry!