By Allan Younger, Guest Blogger – I work for Forsyth Technical Community College as the Director of the Small Business Center. Our commitment is to increase business success. I have written more than 30 locally published magazine articles about business development. I own GRACE Consulting, which provides business effectiveness consulting, leadership development, and community relations to several organizations. I also teach business classes to undergraduate students at Winston Salem State University and Salem College. I am pleased to serve as marketing consultant to my wife’s dance apparel store. I strongly believe that business leaders must be actively engaged in their communities. Join me as we make our community the best that it can be.

In my previous article, I discussed relationship marketing. Relationship marketing plays a key role in the success of the Small Business Center. When business owners discuss marketing, they focus on the various tools associated with advertising. Traditional marketing methods are important and should be used whenever they are deemed effective.

Additionally, relationship marketing involves connecting with others and building relationships. These relationships often lead to more repeat business and business from new clients. This month, I want to discuss the acronym SPEAK UP. This acronym was developed during a small group exercise at one of our educational events for public speaking and presentations. This event was facilitated by Ivey Ghee who is a motivational speaker that knows how to bring out the best in people. One of her suggestions when picking topics is to consider using acronyms to help people remember you and what you have to say.

My small group consisted of Denise Terry, Meko Lawson, KaySandra Best, and Promise Mangum. We accepted Ivey Ghee’s suggestion and came up with SPEAK UP: • S – Steady Voice…Be aware of tone. • P – Purpose…Know why we are here. • E – Engagement…Make connections with your audience. • A – Audience…Know them and meet their needs. • K – Keep it real…Be authentic. • U – Unique…Be memorable and tell your own story. • P – Personality…Let it show. We want to help you learn to SPEAK UP with confidence and clarity!!!

In additional to this educational event, we have other events that focus on communicating your value. We also have business mentors with whom you can meet one-on-one to help you to become a better speaker. You can learn about many opportunities to enhance your business by visiting our website or participating in our educational events. We want to help you to achieve your dream of starting a new business or realizing more success if you already own a business. Our team has the experience and expertise to help you to overcome most challenges that come your way.

You may learn about our services and clients at 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 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 700 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 3,800 jobs annually.

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