This article is by guest poster, Allan Younger. Allan is the Director of the Small Business Center at Forsyth Technical Community College, owner of GRACE Consulting, and teaches business classes to undergrad students at Winston Salem State University and Salem College. He has written more than 30 locally published magazine articles about business development. Allan’s wife is also an entrepreneur of a dance apparel store. He serves as her marketing consultant. Allan strongly believes that business leaders must be actively engaged in their communities.
In my previous article, I discussed the three main reasons why people establish and maintain relationships with the Small Business Center. These reasons include starting a business, enhancing an existing business, and problem resolution. This month, I want to discuss the state of small business as it relates to marketing. I regularly read articles about small business success (and the lack of it) in order to position the Small Business Center to meet needs in the market place. I also attend conferences with this objective in mind. I came across some interesting statistics related to marketing. Marketing continues to be a big challenge for businesses of all sizes and types. I was pleased to learn that roughly 54% of small businesses invest 4% or more of their revenue in marketing. Here are some of the things that I learned: Digital Marketing: Use of LinkedIn and Instagram has increased. Use of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube has decreased. Although use has declined, Facebook remains the most used platform.
37% use designated business accounts.
Top Marketing Tools: 56% website
48% social media
48% word of mouth
37% print collateral
34% internet advertising
33% direct mail
29% TV, radio, and/or print ads
28% Search Engine Optimization
23% trade shows/conferences
For these reasons and many others, we offer a variety of business education events. In January 2018, we started a Marketing Excellence series. Each month we will discuss ways to strengthen our marketing efforts. It is essential that we determine the best ways to connect with our potential (and existing) customers. You will be encouraged to leave each session with new ideas and strategies for implementation.
We also have a team of business mentors who meet with business owners on a one-on-one basis to work through various ventures, challenges, and enhancement opportunities. Some of our mentors have marketing as a specialty. We are confident that we can help you to stay (or get back) on the road to success. We look forward to supporting you. You may learn about our services at www.forsythtech.edu. Feel free to stop by our office at 525@Vine in Wake Forest Innovation Quarter just east of the heart of downtown Winston- Salem. You may also contact us at SBC@forsythtech.edu or by calling (336) 757-3810. The objective of the Small Business Center at Forsyth Tech is to help small businesses succeed by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing business owners in Forsyth and Stokes counties. Our motto is “Increasing Business Success,” which describes our commitment to clients. The N.C. Community College’s Small Business Center Network assists in starting an average of more than 800 businesses each year and the centers have an economic impact in 90 percent of all N.C. counties each year, helping to create and retain over 2,800 jobs annually.
If you are an entrepreneurial thinker and would like more information about starting or expanding a business, contact the Forsyth Tech Small Business Center for free information, including small business seminars and one-on-one counseling. 336-757-3810 SBC@forsythtech.edu 525@Vine Street Winston-Salem, NC 27101