As America’s small businesses are faced with low consumer confidence and a struggling economy all round, Deluxe Corporation has selected 10 small business owners and entrepreneurs to receive marketing advice and tools that will enable them to find more customers through Project REV 2012.
According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) October Optimism Index, getting new customers is a major problem for small businesses, with 26 percent of the owners indicating “poor sales” is their No. 1 business problem.
To combat this, with Project REV 2012, Deluxe is helping 10 small business owners find ways to grow sales through a combined $150,000 in marketing support and yearlong access to marketing advisors, mentors, products and services. Deluxe has partnered with SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow and succeed. The companies selected to participate in Project REV, now in its second year, represent a diverse group of American small businesses, including a brewery, engineering firm, landscaping company and sausage manufacturer.
“Last year’s Project REV participants collectively doubled their sales despite very tough economic times,” said Laura Radewald, vice president of brand and media relations with Deluxe. “It’s very important for small businesses to learn how to select the marketing tools that will work for them. We were thrilled to share our expertise and see these kinds of results.”
Small Businesses Key to Economic Recovery
Economic experts agree that small business growth is critical to an economic recovery. In the United States, small businesses represent 98 percent of businesses, employ over half of the workers and produce over half of the gross domestic product.1
At the Federal Reserve’s Nov. 9 conference on small business and entrepreneurship, Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said, “Small businesses have played an important role in fueling past economic recoveries,” and encouraged our nation to, “provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with the support they need.”
“Many small business owners shy away from marketing because it’s not their area of expertise or past results did not meet their expectations,” said Radewald. “Project REV is here to show small businesses across America that developing a plan and choosing the right tools can significantly impact their business and sales.”
Project REV Goes Beyond Marketing Support
Project REV participants begin their 12-month journey at the Project REV 2012 Welcome Event in Kansas City, Missouri on Nov. 30, 2011. They’ll learn to better market their businesses, increase sales, implement social media and other business essentials. Participants will receive $15,000 each for Deluxe products and services, such as logo design, website design and hosting, search engine marketing, email marketing, personalized promotional products, printed materials and direct marketing services.
To best position Project REV participants for long-term success, SCORE counselors complement Deluxe’s expertise in marketing by supporting the participants with finance, accounting, cash flow, training, new product development, hiring and resource planning.
Participants will also meet and learn from Chris Brogan, author, business consultant and columnist; Gene Marks, small business expert and entrepreneur; and Brian Dumaine, editor at Fortune Magazine.
Participants Represent Diversity of America’s Small Businesses
Spread from coast to coast, Project REVSM 2012 participants are as diverse as the U.S. small business landscape:
- 50 Back Brewing Company, Pepperell, MA: a small independent brewing company contributing profits to organizations that support the U.S. military and its veterans
- Big River Running Company, St. Louis, MO: a running and walking specialty store with strong community involvement
- Blueline Security Services, Dunkirk, MD: a security services provider addressing physical security needs
- Gardens Are, Inc., Marlborough, MA: an eco-friendly landscaping company serving New England homes and businesses
- Kodiak Coffee, Forest Lake, MN: a local, one-of-a-kind coffee shop that makes hand-crafted beverages
- Paisano Sausage Company, Denver, CO: a company that manufactures and retails fine Italian sausage
- Robin A Driscoll Photography, Los Angeles, CA: area Navy veteran with a passion for shooting high school and youth action sports
- Trigon Associates, LLC, New Orleans, LA: woman-owned business providing engineering consulting and management services to both public and private sector clients
- Two Fat Guys Gourmet Sauces, McHenry, IL: two friends bringing to market a barbecue sauce they’ve shared with friends and family for 30 years
- West Metal Works, Inc., Buffalo, NY: a custom fabrication company located in Western New York seeking to expand its markets
For more information on the Project REV 2012 participants, please visit www.projectrev2012.com.