Promoting & Growing Your Business

Promoting & Growing Your Business


[ Music ]>>The U.S. Small Business Administration and the United States Postal
Service present Delivering Success. Growing and promoting your
business is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects
of small business ownership. These three entrepreneurs have found
success through innovative ways to promote, market, and grow their businesses. Brenda Reynold’s passion for
chocolate led to Sweet Success. Brenda started her business with assistance
from SBA’s resource partner Score. Counselors to America’s small business. Her unique promotion efforts
led to business growth.>>We started about two-and-a-half years ago at our first location making
chocolate confections. About a year ago we opened
our second location where we also retail our
chocolate confections. Initially, when we’re going
to start a promotion, I consult with my marketing consultant. And her and I usually discuss
what the promotion is going to be and then design the layout.>>Usually any time we’re introduced to
new chocolates we’re actually working on a new line of flavored
chocolates at this point. Once the line is completed, then we’ll
do a mailing, a direct mail campaign. We’ll also — any time
we’re updating our brochure, when we opened the second store
we did a direct mail campaign to let them know we’re at a second location. And probably one of our biggest,
most successful promotions that we do is our birthday celebration. Each year on our anniversary we
send out a post card announcing that it’s our first year,our second
year, or third year — anniversary. And we have a birthday celebration with free
cake and ice cream for all of our customers. We also incorporate a drawing
for 12 pounds of chock hate. The drawing is held on that day
from the post cards that we mail. We mail a post card to each of the customers.>>When we initially opened downtown, for
us we could acquire a zip code mailing list. Because we wanted to target
the people that are in the area and let them know that we were here. And that’s basically if we move
into a new area — we do that. When we opened the second
location we acquired mailing lists from the Blade, from our local newspaper. And it was by zip code. Those are the first people
that you want to target — I think — are the people in the area. Because they’re going to be your regulars.>>We’ve tried different forms
of advertising and marketing. We’ve tried radio. And really didn’t see a whole lot of results. We’ve done a lot of print
media and didn’t feel like we were really getting back
than we were putting into it. So we started doing actually more mailings.>>You get something in the mail, a coupon
or a promotion, normally you don’t toss it. You stick it on your fridgerator, you stick
it in your date book so you can remember — we have a drawing for 12 pounds of chocolate. It says in very big letters. Win 12 pounds of chocolate. It’s important for them to see something
simple and quick that they notice right away. That it’s not buried in a text that
we have the read the whole thing to find what you’re offering
or what you want them to know.>>We have a flower shop that we do
cross-promotions with that’s Sweetest Day. For a one-pound box of chocolates and
a dozen roses for a specific price. And we use their mailing list and our mailing
list so we know we’re reaching our customers, but we’re also reaching their customers. And they are now reaching our customers. The guys loved it. Because it was one stop. You could stop at the flower shop and
get your chocolate and your flowers, or you could stop at the chocolate shop
and get your chocolate and your flowers.>>It’s really important to measure any
time that you do any kind of direct mail or any other kind of promotion. You want to make sure that you
have a way to measure your results. You want to make sure it’s effective for you. One of the ways that we do that,
especially with the post cards, usually there’s a drawing or
a promotion that’s going on. So they have to bring the post
card actually back into the store. And if we mail out 500 of them
and we get 125 post cards back, then we know that it was
a successful promotion. If you don’t market to your customer and keep
your name in front of them, they forget you. And if you want to keep them
coming back I think you need to stay in front of them a lot.>>And now a quick point
from Kathleen Jennings. Owner of Blue Sky Spa Works and Gallery. SBA’s 2006 Rhode Island Small
Business Person of the Year. Who started her business
with an SBA guaranteed loan.>>I think our 20 to 25 percent growth
each year was attributed to the fact that we were doing services that
at that time no one else had done. And we were doing Vichy water massage. Which we were the first persons in the
state of Rhode Island to do water massage. So that unto itself was quite different. Also offering other times of spa services. We quickly became noted for good skin care
and massage services throughout the years. And the spa business really built up for us.>>Aaron Wolfson, owner of the Savvy
Gourmet in New Orleans has spent a lot of time writing a manual of operation
to explain how his business works. Aaron, who’s business was funded
through an SBA guaranteed loan, believes the manual will help
him plan for future growth.>>In order to grow the business
I have learned that it’s important to provide a certain level of support
and assistance to someone who wants to open a business, does the doesn’t want all
of the headaches of reinventing the wheel. So what we’ve been doing is we’ve been
spending our time manualizing our processes. Spending time documenting
how we do what we do. So that we can create a document, a manual,
that we can give to somebody in Kalamazoo and say, here’s how you run a Savvy. And then give them training,
and give them support, and be there for them as
they open their business. Because I feel as though we have
suffered through our own mistakes. And I’d like to spare others
from having to go through those same problems
as they open their businesses. We’ve almost completed the task of coming
up with a manual of how we run things. And that’s a changing document. It’s like a business plan. It’s always changing. It’s always being updated as we hire
new staff that come up with good ideas, we incorporate that into the manual. A suspect that it will continue
to change as we move forward. The most important thing, I think, is you
can’t expect to train someone else how to run a business if you can’t
articulate how you do it yourself. [ Music ]>>For more information from SBA on promoting and growing your business,
click on the provided links. And for business tips, log onto the United
States Postal Service at usps.com/smallbiz.  

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

5 Comments

  1. This is very inspirational. I am also trying to grow my business. Smart Graphics World.
    – Promoting is probably the hardest thing for me.

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