Archive for the ‘Small Business’ Category

Natachee’s Sometimes Leaves Me Guessing

steveparkhurst | August 14, 2014 in Advertising,Promotional,Small Business | Comments (0)

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I have to admit, I have no idea what this is about.

Natachee's 8-14-14 Houston


Record Store Day 2014

steveparkhurst | March 29, 2014 in Marketing,Music,Promotional,Small Business | Comments (0)

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Save the date, Record Store Day 2014 is taking place across America on Saturday, April 19. I am a big fan of Record Store Day, read my post from last year leading up to Record Store Day 2013. Not much has changed, so I can keep this post short as well.

There is always fresh new music being released on Record Store Day. But, a lot of the places that hold events for Record Store Day, they offer live music performances. Anyway, it’s a great way to show some support for you local independent music store(s). So, get out there on April 19th and report back on your adventures.

Check out their nifty countdown clock.

 


Shop Small Saturday 2013

steveparkhurst | November 28, 2013 in Advertising,Promotional,Small Business | Comments (0)

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Small Business Saturday

This graphic is from the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce

It’s back! Shop Small Saturday is back and it’s a great chance to show your support to local businesses that work in and around communities. This Saturday, November 30, head out to the local businesses in your community and patronize them any way you can. If you’re out and about, use the hashtag #ShopSmall – we’ll be retweeting many of the Shop Small tweets on Saturday from @ParkhurstGroup.


B.Y.O.Vinyl Night at Mom’s Bar in Los Angeles

steveparkhurst | June 1, 2013 in Advertising,Marketing,Music,Promotional,Small Business | Comments (0)

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Mom’s Bar, located in Los Angeles, is doing something that I like, and I think it is creative at the same time. As the flier below clearly shows, Mom’s Bar is about to start having customers bring in their own vinyl records for playing in the bar on Tuesday nights.

This is a really good way to get business in the door on what is probably a pretty slow night of the week. This is also good advertising for the bar’s marketing partner Touch Vinyl. The promotional idea of also including a free drink if your vinyl is chosen for play, that is also pretty cool.

As some who still listens to vinyl, I am always glad to see vinyl getting attention, this encourages the small music shops to still carry vinyl, it encourages producers to continue to produce vinyl and if vinyl becomes hip again, well that’s just groovy.

B.Y.O. Vinyl Mom's Bar The Parkhurst group

Have you seen anyone else offer a vinyl night? Have you seen other really good partner marketing ideas?


Small Business Marketing Plans For 2013

steveparkhurst | January 9, 2013 in Marketing,Promotional,Small Business | Comments (0)

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AWeber, an email marketing solutions provider, recently polled over 3,000 small business owners and entrepreneurs. You can view the raw data from the polling here. A couple of three really telling questions revealed interesting answers to me. If you are a small business owner looking at 2013, these questions should grab your attention as well.

This first question is not a huge surprise, but sometimes the visual really helps:

AWeber Small Business Survey 2013

As you can see, 68% of your competition is planning to spend more on marketing in 2013. Now we all know that spending more does not mean selling more. All marketing is an investment though, and perhaps these businesses are positioning themselves for a move in the future, or possibly expansion. Do you know what they are up to? Can you afford to sit back and wait?

You can certainly spend foolishly and invest poorly. But you can also make some really good investments, maybe in social media or online advertising. There is no dollar figure attached to these percentages, for a small business owner an “increase” answer to the poll could mean spending $11,000 in 2013 as opposed to $10,000 in 2012.

The next two questions deal with particular outlets (or channels) for marketing:

AWeber Small Business Survey

These numbers are again worth analyzing. I would suggest not looking at these numbers and focusing on just the increases. I find myself intrigued by the “I don’t use this channel” answers. If you will notice on the bottom question, with regard to “print advertising” 61.9% say they don’t use that channel, just as 72.1% say they don’t use “tradeshows”. Those are both sizable numbers, and I think both numbers seem like a drop off, or a decrease in that sort of marketing. This might be the time to ask if “print advertising” or “tradeshows” might be right for you. With both of these channels, you can dominate the market with your marketing.

On the print side, there are now numerous specialty print publications. For instance, many cities have publications that are weekly entertainment and dining listings. If you own a restaurant or bar, these publications may be a great place to run weekly print ads with your upcoming features, great deals or special events. As for trade shows, these can range from gun shows to wedding or floral expos to quilting conventions. Depending on your business, no matter how niche or general you may be, these tradeshows offer you a unique opportunity to interact with a proven target market. Your display needs to be smart and your possible giveaways need to be effective, even if these are just refrigerator magnets or writing pens.

Conversely, hardly anyone does not use email marketing or does not have a business website. If you are using those channels, this is not the time to quit, but it is time to ask what you are doing to rise above the crowd, to really make your business stand out.

We are always here to help, even if it is just offering some advice or guidance. You can engage us here on the blog, tweet us @ParkhurstGroup or fill out our contact form.


Houston’s Winetopia Does It Differently

steveparkhurst | December 29, 2012 in Branding,Small Business,Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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If you are in Houston anytime soon, you must check out Winetopia. There are wine bars, and then there are wine bars. And then there is, A Vino Paradise.

Winetopia - The Parkhurst Group

The owners of Winetopia have separated themselves from the other servers of wine by having limited, selected offerings. You would have to stop in to get the full skinny, but their approach is quite different than the typical wine bars I have been in before.

To start with, the owner told me that his most expensive glass of wine is $13. I’ve been in some wine bars where $13 was about the minimum for a glass of wine. They acquire rare wines, typically limited or seasonal productions, from various parts of the world. Their wine selection won’t likely be found in a local liquor store, those places go for the popular, known, requested wines because they deal in volume. If you’re looking for something special, something rare, maybe as a gift to give, these guys can set you up without emptying your wallet.

If you are with a group of friends or colleagues and each person has different tastes, no problem. At Winetopia each person can have what they want, without having to commit to a full bottle of any one wine. And the experts pouring your wine, they want you to enjoy your experience and find what you like.

There’s also a great beer selection for those of you not inclined toward wine, Winetopia has a plentiful beer selection. When I heard how many different bottled beers they have (I forget that number now), I was somewhat shocked, some sports bars don’t have that many beers to choose from. Only places like Flying Saucer, places that pride themselves on having more beers than you could ever attempt to drink, have more available beers in the bottle.

Winetopia is daring to be a little different, and they take advantage of repeat business and word of mouth. Remember the rule that it costs most to get a new customer than it does to keep a current customer. Winetopia is doing many things to keep their customers happy, and keep them coming back.

Anyway, Winetopia is a neat spot. Take some time to check it out next time you need to choose a destination in Houston. Oh, and don’t feel as if you need a suit and tie to visit Winetopia. They welcome all patrons, whether dressed casual, for sport or for work, everyone is equally welcome. Follow them on twitter @WinetopiaTX and watch for their mobile app very soon.

Are you daring to be different? Are you going your own direction? Are you doing the best you can at what you do best? If so, and if you feel the need for some guidance from someone that understands and appreciates your commitment and wants you to succeed, we should talk. Email Steve @ this domain and let’s begin. You can also engage us at @ParkhurstGroup on twitter.


Family Bookstore Thrives By Bucking Trend

steveparkhurst | December 15, 2012 in Earned Media,Small Business | Comments (0)

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It is great to see Becker’s Books featured on the front page of the Houston Chronicle’s Ultimate Memorial edition. The bookstore website is one of the best around for older and out-of-print books. If you’ve had trouble finding something in the past, be sure to search their website and see if they can deliver for you. If you’re in Houston, stop in to the Spring Branch area bookstore and spend some time with a cup of coffee and a treasure trove of great books.

Becker's Books 12-13-12 - The Parkhurst Group

You might even take a few pics while you’re there, if you do, tweet them to us @ParkhurstGroup or pin them on Pinterest.

 

Becker's Books sign - The Parkhurst Group     Becker's Books in store - The Parkhurst Group

Two pictures, taken by me on my most recent visit to Becker’s Books.


End of the Year Marketing Budget Redux

steveparkhurst | December 1, 2012 in Advertising,Marketing,Promotional,Small Business | Comments (0)

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Last year, I wrote about end of the year marketing budgets. I figured I would link to that article again as December begins and many businesses or individuals face the same year-end questions they faced last year.

Read, End of the Year Marketing Budget.

This year, just as last year, we are here if you need us. If you need to be creative or want some fresh ideas, contact us.


Small Business Saturday 2012

steveparkhurst | November 19, 2012 in Promotional,Small Business | Comments (0)

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Saturday, November 24th is Small Business Saturday, where Americans are encouraged to “Shop Small”. American Express is behind the concept which encourages consumers to support smaller businesses. This is an economy boosting idea. Small businesses are great for the economy and this helps to show them support, and the deals some small businesses are offering is a way to remind consumers that they can often do better than the big box stores.

Small Business Saturday - The Parkhurst Group

You can follow @ShopSmall on Twitter, and if you do any shopping, be sure to use the hashtag #SmallBizSat on Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Facebook, Pinterest and anywhere else you might talk about your Small Business Saturday activity. For business tools, maps to participating stores and all the other information you will need to be effective on Small Business Saturday, check visit Shop Small.


End of the Year Marketing Budget

steveparkhurst | December 1, 2011 in Advertising,Marketing,Small Business | Comments (0)

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Toward the end of every calendar year, people and businesses start looking at their end of year marketing budgets. Often, marketing budgets for the next year are based on a bottom line increase from the current year.

So, let’s say your 2011 marketing budget was $10,000. It stands to reason in 2012, you want to raise it to $12,000. But, as 2011 comes to a close, you’ve only spent $8,000 of your allotted $10,000, so you want to find a way to spend that extra $2,000, without throwing it away, that way you can justify that $2,000 increase request from the 2011 budget.

There are good deals to be found at the end of the year. Marketing agencies know of good deals with print outlets or where to run some less expensive radio in various markets. Some marketing agencies are good to consult with and find great bang for the buck. You can certainly waste that final $2,000, or you can get a little creative and invest wisely, rather than quickly.

As December begins, you have 30 days left in the month, and with the holidays, you have fewer days to work with than you might think. We are here to talk if you need some help or have any questions. We always have ideas and we are always willing to help you. In a down economy, every dollar counts. Email us at Steve @ this domain or post a comment here on the blog.