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Marketing Your Business - NEW DATE

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

If you're already a marketing expert, you have all the business you need, and you've tried every marketing tactic to your business advantage, then this workshop is probably not for you.  For EVERYONE ELSE???  You just may benefit from this "Marketing Your Business" workshop.

Think about it.  What entrepreneur has the time for this class?  You're busy, and the Small Business Development Center gets that, but let us have just three hours of your time.

What entrepreneur likes getting the word out about your unique service or product?  We have a marketing expert at the Aurora-South Metro SBDC who likes that, too.  Not only do you get three hours worth of marketing principles, concepts, strategies and tactics, but the follow-up one-on-one consulting appointment with the instructor will make you wonder why you've never spent this particular $45 on marketing tips before!

This workshop will present marketing principles, proven strategies and practical tactics; learn how to do market research through FREE electronic databases.

Let us help you help your business on Friday, September 30th, 9AM - 12PM, $45, at the Aurora Municipal Center (Alameda & Chambers).
Please pre-register at this link...  Payment of $45 may be made via PayPal upon registration confirmation, or, pay by cash or check at the door.

Intro to Market Research at Smoky Hill Library

Friday, September 09, 2016

Learn about navigating the Arapahoe Libraries' research databases to start and grow your business.  Arapahoe Library District's business librarian will present this valuable the workshop, at no charge, to help existing and new businesses utilize the library's business databases to research your industry and customer demographics.  Knowing how to these comprehensive databases to get the information you need is an invaluable resource--and this free service can help you grow your business!  How great is that?!

Don't miss it:

Introduction to Market Research
Saturday, September 17th, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Smoky Hill Library |5430 So. Biscay Cir. | Centennial, CO  80015 |
Map
Register here...

The best one and one-half hours you can spend on your business this month!  But hurry, registration ends 9/17/16, 9:30 AM.

LAST CHANCE: LEADING EDGE Begins Sept. 9th

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The LEADING EDGETM Strategic Planning Series is an intensive and hands-on course designed to help entrepreneurs complete a fully-realized business plan. The program includes:

  • Five day-long workshop sessions, plus a graduation luncheon
  • Five hours of one-on-one consulting and many group interactive exercises
  • Scheduled milestone and business planning assignments
  • A Funding Options Panel discussion

Your fully executed business plan will include:

  • Organizational Matters: Legal Entity, Management & H
  • Operations: Recordkeeping, Controls & Risk Management
  • Marketing: Market Research, Strategies, Tactics & Implementation
  • Financials: Sales Forecast, Cash Flow Projections & Financial Statements

Plan to attend Colorado's premier business planning program!

Course Dates:  Sept. 9, 23, Oct. 7, 21 and Nov. 4, 2016
Course Time:  Fridays, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Graduation on Friday, December 9, 3-5PM

Syllabus:  See page 2 of the announcement.  Click here...

Cost:  $495 | $50 off for Chamber members! (use code CM$50off)
Ask about available scholarships.  Call (303) 326-8686.

Register here for a free info session or the course itself...

Location:  Englewood Civic Center | 1000 Englewood Pkwy. | Englewood, CO  80110

         

Good Reads: SBDC Success Stories!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Aurora-South Metro SBDC's new Web site is taking on more character -- note the addition of our Success Stories under About Our Clients.  We trust that the stories will be inspirational and you, too, will become one of our success stories as you utilize the services of the SBDC to experience business growth.  Remember to peruse the pages of the new site -- there's always something educational and inspirational happening!

Petersen Custom Glass, LLC --

In October 2015, Petersen Glass moved out of the 1100 sq-ft garage into a brick and mortar retail space. Business expanded quickly as capacity grew to include showroom and workshop space.  "We feel that starting up slowly and receiving help from the SBDC along the way, we established a solid foundation from which to grow financially in the coming years."  With the consultants’ guidance and discussing the financial pros and cons of ‘taking the leap’, “we have been able to ‘crack the nut’ with an online presence and a new physical location”.  Read more...

Vintage Theatre Productions --

Starting out 15 years ago in a basement as a touring theatre group for small audiences, Vintage Theatre has grown from that “tiny” beginning to currently reaching over 20,000 patrons each production season.  “It has been amazing to see the growth,” beams Craig Bond, Founder.  Deborah Persoff, President of the Vintage Board of Directors...and Bond are participating in the City of Aurora’s and Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center’s “Nonprofit Capacity Building Series” designed for nonprofit leaders.  The Vintage Board is “laser-focused” on further growth.  Read more...

Grow Your Business This Summer – 7 Marketing Tips that Won’t Break the Bank

Monday, August 22, 2016
By Caron_Beesley, SBA Contributor

Looking for ideas to incorporate the summer season into your marketing plans this year? Whether it’s a busy or quiet time for your business, here are some things you can do to take advantage of the summer months!

Take Your Business Into the Fresh Air

Don’t wait for your customers to come to you; look for ways to get in front of them. Whether you run a retail store, restaurant or provide a service to customers, consider the following:

  • Host a Cookout – Invite your customers (past and present) to join your business for a celebration of summer. Use your parking lot or public park and plan on catering yourself (a grill, hot dogs, hamburgers, salad, and cold drinks are fine). Look for ways to make this a worthwhile event for folks to want to join – hire a magician, moon bounce, or give away prizes. Don’t forget to offer incentives (demos or special offers) to those who attend so that they have a good reason to keep frequenting your business over the summer.
  • Take Your Food Business on the Road - If you are in the food business, taking a concession stand on the road is a great way to earn money and give new customers a taste of what you’ve got to offer back at your restaurant or store. This article can help you understand how to start up a concession business: Starting a Mobile Food Concession Business.

Spoil Your Customers

I mentioned hosting a cookout above, but what about treating a select group of loyal customers to an appreciation event like an afternoon at a winery, a round of golf, or an afternoon of fishing? Don’t forget, as long as there is a business purpose for these activities—and substantial business discussions occur before, during or afterwards—you can claim the cost of customer entertainment expenses (including meals) as a tax deduction (typically up to 50 percent of the cost).

Hold a Themed Week or Day

Like restaurant week or Small Business Saturday, think of ways to really showcase what your business does for one week or one-day only. You might want to use some of the tips in this blog – events, community charity participation, promotions, and giveaways – or combine them to maximize visibility and interest in what you do. You could even partner up with complementary businesses or those in the same district as you and co-market each other’s products, services and specials with fliers, coupons and teasers. Try to come up with a theme, something like “ABC Town Small Business Week,” “Take a Staycation with Us,” or “Back to School Week” and weave it into all your marketing and advertising.

Give Back to the Community

Community projects are a great way to build your brand and give back to the community. Why not organize or sponsor a community service day or charitable event? Pick a cause that’s a good fit for your business and reach out to the media, in addition to your own marketing, to publicize it. You can also deduct certain expenses related to any volunteer work or charitable giving.

Summer-ize your Marketing Activities

From your website to your email newsletter, look for ways to incorporate summer themes and information that are relevant to your customers. Send out newsletters that showcase your summer specials, but mix it up with good content—summer fashion tips, recipes, or pet care in the heat.

Pre-order low-cost summer promotional items now. Branded goods such as Frisbees, beach balls and drink coolers will ensure your logo is in front of customers all summer long.

Drum Up Business with Promotions

If summer is a slow season for your business, consider offering financial incentives to increase foot traffic. Don’t just dive in with a wholesale across-the-board discount; instead, consider some of the following options:

  • Discount Certain Products and Services – Test the market to see if you can shift slower selling products with a limited-time discount (say, for the month of July). Promote your offer to a select segment of your email list, perhaps those who haven’t purchased from you for some time.  Monitor the results. If the offer works, then consider extending it to other products and consumers next month.
  • Package Promotions – Offer a discount if customers buy more than one product or service. For example, buy a coffee and a donut for $3.50 instead of $5.
  • Off-Peak Specials – Many people have more flexible schedules during the summer months. Consider ways to draw people in during your off-peak hours, whether it’s a time-bound discount or another incentive (free corkage, bring a friend for half price, or a free consultation).

Plan for Your High Season – Take the Pulse of your Market

Again, if summer is your slow season, use the time wisely and start planning your marketing activities for the rest of the year. Conduct market research to gauge what your customers think of your business and the products and services you offer. What could you do better/more of/change? Is there a certain product that they’d like to see you carry? Are there any market or demographic trends that might impact your business in the coming year? Market research doesn’t have to cost much money; this blog explains some free resources that can help: Conducting Market Research? Here are 5 Official Sources of Free Data That Can Help.

SBA’s SizeUp Tool can also help you benchmark your business against competitors, map your customers and locate the best places to advertise.

You can also use surveys to gauge customer buying and spending habits. Use this data to inform your product marketing strategy and any other changes you may need to make in your business before your high season starts.