LAWRENCEVILLE - Paula Bauer wants some marketing advice. She owns Fur Kids, a natural pet products business in Lawrenceville, and her husband is opening an electrical and consulting business.
"We want more information to move my business along and to increase volume," she said.
Bauer is one of an expected 150 small business people who will attend Wednesday's seminar, "Small Budget Marketing for Big Business Impact," at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by the Gwinnett Daily Post, Haynes Business Services and Discover Mills Mall.
The seminar is designed to teach small business owners how to get the most from their marketing dollar.
"I love retail and service-oriented small businesses because they give a town its personality and character, and it is so important to help them survive," said Lisa Dixon, seminar presenter. Dixon has owned AdWorks, a marketing company, since 1992 and has more than 20 years experience in marketing.
As big box retailers grow, so do the challenges for competing small business owners, she said, especially if they have a small marketing budget.
"A small budget doesn't mean small thinking," Dixon said. "In a slower market, you must look at maintaining current customers and developing programs around them that will attract new customers, like referral programs."
Pamela Reeves' business, Ambience Interiors, has been a fixture in Suwanee for 91/2 years. The company won a national marketing award in August, she said. Nevertheless, Reeves understands the value of continuing education.
"I signed up because I am interested in marketing. It was my major in college," she said. "I never go somewhere that I don't learn something new."
Attendees will learn marketing strategies employed by other small businesses and how to gain a competitive advantage. Participants will leave with a packet of handouts including a variety of ready-to-use marketing, advertising and promotional ideas.
Dixon has won several awards for her work in print, radio, TV, outdoor, direct mail and collateral materials and has taught marketing courses in conjunction with the Small Business Development Center. She conducts small business seminars nationwide and has worked with a variety of small businesses.
To register, call Eleanor Durden at 770-963-9205 ext. 1208 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: If You Go
What: Small Budget Marketing for Big Business Impact seminar sponsored by the Gwinnett Daily Post, Haynes Business Services and Discover Mills Mall
When: 7:45 to 9:45 a.m. Wednesday. Breakfast, courtesy of Chick-Fil-A, starts at 7 a.m.
Where: Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth
Cost: $10 includes breakfast. Registration ends Tuesday and space is limited to 150 attendees.