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Small businesses should consider extracurricular marketing options

There are a number of effective ways for small business owners to run a successful marketing campaign without receiving formal training in the art of advertising or public relations. Promotional products, search engine optimization and simple internet research can all help companies gain an edge on their competition and expand their customer bases. However, that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t help companies even more to learn some formal rules about how to appeal to customers with concentrated, direct advertising campaigns. Here are some ways for small businesses to make this happen.

Take classes
Whether it’s concerning self-made business people or highly-educated college graduates, a little more knowledge can always help. The small business owner that continually educates herself will benefit immensely. This is certainly true for advertising and marketing classes, which are offered in many forms and are fairly convenient to attend. Local chambers of commerce may have workshops or seminars where company managers can network and learn about the PR environment of an area. Private, public and community colleges offer night classes on how to make consumers see the appeal of a company. Private companies also offer their services, whether it’s through employee training seminars that could be open to the public or community events for the benefit of all.

Hire a professional
The notion of taking on an employee who is well-versed in advertising might sound like a daunting task. After all – the stereotype of the marketing specialist is a slick, fast-talking success-case. However, it is important to realize that there are many marketing and PR specialists graduating from college every year in a depressed economy and unfavorable job market. In fact, the glut of aspiring advertisers is so heavy as of late that it may be relatively easy to hire a talented young employee while staying on budget. With a young person on board that’s fresh from school and eager to please, the information small business owners can glean from these hires will be worth the pay they receive.

Business leads organizations
Many communities have commercial clubs that are designed with networking and small business collaboration in mind. These groups, often called executives associations, will usually meet once every week or two and provide an opportunity for local companies to share their expertise with the appropriate colleagues. In this context, a plumber who is having trouble reaching many customers can exchange plumbing advice and services with the marketing firm owner, who is much better positioned to formulate this type of plan. Additionally, networking events also allow small business owners to commiserate about their advertising woes and share lessons that they may have learned the hard way.

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