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Virginia's Growth Alliance provides advice to entrepreneurs and helps guide them to the right resources.

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Mind your own business

Posted in Marketing

Free Programs To Help Entrepreneurs Use Their Minds In Their Business

Virginia's Growth Alliance economic development region has developed an innovative entrepreneurial initiative called Think Bigger, and businesses who participate in the following programs will automatically earn bonus points to qualify for funding from VGA's new revolving loan fund.

The failure to plan is at the root of most small business failures, where the old adage, “fail to plan, plan to fail,” couldn't be truer. VGA is here to help.

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Free worksheets to plan your blog

Posted in Marketing

Did you know that writing regular blog posts on your website is the #1 way to drive traffic to your site?

There are several reasons:

  • Search engines love fresh content and when you post regularly to your blog, they'll return to crawl your site more frequently. This means your content will be indexed more quickly.
  • With each new blog post you'll have more content indexed for possible search matches. Think of each post as having an extra raffle ticket.
  • Blog posts are by nature usually rich in relevant keywords.

Read on to download these free blog calendar planning worksheets and learn how to use them.

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Sandwich Marketing™- create your perfect combo

Posted in Marketing

There are innumerable ways to market but that doesn't mean that you can or should try to use all of them.

Like making or ordering a sandwich, you need to pick what's right for you at that point in time and in that situation.

Sandwich Marketing™ is a concept developed by Glerin Business Resources to help clients combine marketing resources in an effective manner. Your choices should vary according to considerations like target market, cost, and what you have the resources to execute.

Say you like hamburgers. One day you may want a ½ pound monster burger fully loaded, and another you may want a small child-sized burger with only ketchup, mustard and onions. You can have many reasons for making the choice you do at any given time: how hungry you are, how much money you can or want to spend, who you're eating with, or even what's available.

Consider the following analogies:

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What is a Target Market?

Posted in Marketing

Before you can market any product or service effectively, you must know who your target market is.

A target market is simply a group of customers that you have decided to aim your marketing efforts and product or service development at.

Take cars, for example. Mercedes-Benz obviously has a different target market than Kia. Target markets aren't built just on price, though. While Mercedes-Benz targets affluent buyers, there are other luxury brands that target different subsets of affluent buyers: Porsche, Jaguar, BMW, and Lexus, for example. Each of these targets a different customer at different price points.

Target markets are groups of people who can be separated by some distinguishable characteristic: income, gender, age, interests, values, attitudes, education, stage in life, etc. Distinguishing by characteristics is not discrimination. It's basic common sense in business that you target your efforts at the people who are most likely to buy your product.

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The win-win of cause marketing

Posted in Marketing

How do you increase your company's bottom line? One way may be through cause marketing.

More companies realize spending money on doing good is a great way to increase your business.

According to Cone Cause Evolution Survey, the number of consumers who say they would switch from one brand to another if the other brand was aligned with a good cause has climbed to 87 percent.

Biz Stone, founder of Twitter, speaking at the small-business conference Sage Summit in Las Vegas, discussed the how the future of marketing is philanthropy and that consumers are attracted to companies that utilize "Cause Marketing" as their marketing campaign.

The challenge is to make your efforts effective by choosing the right nonprofit group to support, one that works well with your community and your business. You can achieve this marketing challenge by recognizing these four principles.

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