As small business owners we are always looking for ways to maximize our business efforts. But I have discovered, like most of us, that the best investment is in the small business owner herself/himself. In that vein, learning from others is priceless.
Yellowbook, a 360-degree marketing company, has created a cool website, Yellowbook 360 Building Success, that shares marketing success stories from small business owners. There is nothing like a true and encouraging story to motivate and remind us that we can:
- improve on our services and products;
- solve that impossible problem that just won’t leave us alone until we tackle it; and
- successfully market ourselves with wisdom and purpose.
Take a look at the video interview titled “Maximizing Your ROI” with Serge and Carmen Sognonvi, owners of Urban Martial Arts in Brooklyn, New York. Serge discovered that after 10 years in corporate America, he was missing a “connection” with people there. He is much happier these days because he now feels that connection to people that he was once longing for. And Carmen credits their fast success and happiness to the fact that they had really great mentors:
“We were fortunate enough to know other martial arts school owners who were really successful at what they did. And so they were able to give us a lot of guidance and that really cut our learning curve by a great deal.”
To maximize their ROI, Serge and Carmen take a couple of different approaches that they’ve found work for them:
- Online Marketing (Facebook page and Twitter page)
- Offline Marketing (flyers and brochures)
Carmen reports that many students find out about the school through the flyers and that Facebook has also been very effective for them. She also believes that figuring out the best way to adapt is the key to successful marketing:
“We started with more of a shotgun approach and then have been narrowing it down from there. I don’t think that I would completely abandon anything. I think that, very often, just because something doesn’t work doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t good for your business. It could just mean that you’re not applying it in the right way.”
There are some upcoming videos to look out for, too. Our very own Anita Campbell, CEO of Small Business Trends, interviewed some small business owners on camera, as well. Anita speaks with Yehuda Klein, owner of Oh! Nuts, a Kosher candy store in Brooklyn, New York, about strengthening relationships. (You can find Oh! Nuts on Facebook and Twitter, too.) Anita also interviews Tom Roman, owner of Quality 1st Basement Systems in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, about acquiring new customers. (Quality 1st Basement Systems also has a Facebook page.)
We’ll let you know when the rest of the success stories and interviews are available at the Yellowbook 360 Building Success website. Or you can track the activity at Yellowbook’s Twitter page or Facebook page.
Jamillah, this is awesome. Thank you. I’m always reading and studying and engaging with local small business owners. I met Carmen online not too long ago, too! Small world! Anita is always at a cutting edge!
When will Anita’s interview with Yehuda Klein of Oh! Nuts be avaible? I am getting hungry! 🙂
Is “yellowbook” the old phone & address directory for businesses?
@TJ McCue – I am the same way about small businesses, they make the world “go round.” My most humble and unbiased opinion of course.
@Martin – Yes “yellowbook” is the old phone and address directory. Let’s us know that we can rebrand and reposition ourselves too. I love the site and video stories, so encouraging, but I am not sure the exact launch date for Anita’s Oh! Nuts interview. :-()
Hi Jamillah, I’m so thrilled to see Urban Martial Arts featured on this blog! I’m actually a huge fan of Small Business Trends – it’s always one of my first reads when I fire up Google Reader.
Thanks again, and I hope your readers enjoy hearing our story.
Hi Martin, I am not sure either of the launch date for the Oh Nuts! video. It was a ton of fun doing that video — absolutely loved the experience.
The store is very very busy because it’s so popular. The day we were there doing filming, we literally had to keep moving to stay out of the way of customers (who were surprisingly easygoing about all the lights and people in their way). So we’d film a few minutes, and then some little elderly lady would come along and elbow us out of the way so that she could create her nut tray or candy tray. 🙂
Then we started filming near the cash registers, and it turns out they had tweeted that customers would get a free bag of popcorn that day if they mentioned Twitter at the checkout counter. So every time a customer requested the free popcorn, the checkout clerks would signal the sound guy, and he would reach into a big bin and grab a bag of popcorn and hand it to the clerk. It was so funny! And I was amazed how many people asked for the free popcorn — apparently the store must have a lot of Twitter fans.
Jamillah Warner: Thanks for the information about the “yellow book”. Anita: I look forward to watch the “nutty” video! 🙂 I need to visit that place one day.