During Deluxe’s summer in Wabash, Indiana — winner of the Small Business Revolution – Main Street contest — we saw a lot of empty store fronts. Even though the town is making great strides toward revitalization, small business owners there are struggling just as they are all over the country. Main streets and downtowns in small towns want to remain relevant – no one wants to see closed up buildings and empty storefronts. But sustaining a small business is hard, especially for the owners who invest their time, talent and dollars into keeping them afloat.
When you’re starting a business, chances are every aspect of your budget is lean. From office expenses to marketing, you want to ensure you get the greatest return on investment for every dollar you spend. Even well-established small businesses can struggle to identify the marketing strategies that will give them the most bang for their buck. However, during your first year of business, three marketing strategies should take priority.
Establishing your brand, website, and email list are fundamental requirements. If you can do all three well, you’ll be laying a solid foundation on which you can base other marketing tactics in the future. It’s essential to get these three strategies right in the first 12 months of your business.
When it comes to craft beer or really just beer in general, Hunter S. Thompson put it simply: “Good people drink good beer.” That’s exactly what Amy Shindorf and Brad Bellinger, owners of Four Leaf Brewing in Clare, Michigan, set out to do with their craft brewery business: Make really good beer for everyday people to enjoy.
After 40 years, Carl Stoveland has become the person he was always meant to be. Bitten by the photography bug at a young age, Stoveland has since rekindled his passion, diving headfirst into the entrepreneurial world with two businesses, Artistic Balance Photography and Gallery Meraki.
We recently had a chance to catch up with Carl to find out how he’s balancing both businesses.
David Jenney always had a knack for electronics – but it wasn’t until he started tinkering with broken iPhones that he got the idea to start a phone repair business. “I started buying cracked phones off Craigslist, fixing and repairing them with the help of YouTube videos and my 10 years of electronic repair experience,” said Jenney.
I recently had a chance to connect with David about his startup, iFlyRepair, and the journey he’s been on since launching the business in 2013.
Deluxe is excited to introduce the Tarkenton Certificate in Entrepreneurship Mini Course – an elite educational experience developed in partnership by the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business and the Tarkenton Institute. The free Mini Course includes 7 essential lessons for small business owners, covering skills like business planning, funding, and digital marketing. Video lectures and hands-on practical assignments will prepare you for the world of entrepreneurship. We believe there’s nothing “small” about small business—and it matters more today than ever before.
To better understand how these seven lessons can impact your business, we asked Fran Tarkenton, NFL Hall of Famer and founder of Tarkenton Companies, what entrepreneurs should expect from the course.
Building on a decade of event planning experience, entrepreneur Brittany Maestas was ready to launch her own business. “I had been doing weddings and events for the hotel world for 13 years, which led to quite a few of my friends and clients looking to me to be their wedding planner,” said Maestas, owner of BK Event Design. “I finally thought I should make a business of this.”
Last fall, Brittany Maestas took the plunge into entrepreneurship after years of working in the event planning business. Like many new startups, her interest and passion were strong enough to finally lead to a business plan, where she would actually get paid for the work she was doing. We caught up with her recently to talk about Denver’s newest event planning company, BK Event Design.
Every passing year holds the promise of greater gains in life and business. If you want to grow your business you have to plan for growth, and that starts with crafting a comprehensive marketing plan. Though several companies offer paid marketing plan development software, many small businesses don’t need – or have time for – overcomplicated applications, especially when marketing funds are limited. In fact, you can create a formidable marketing strategy using the following five free tools for making your marketing plan.