Dr. Boozman's Check-up

If you are a small business owner in the Fort Smith area, you may want to check out this free workshop offered by the Arkansas Small Business & Technology Development Center, a cooperative program of the Small Business Administration and the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. The two workshops will focus on online marketing and start Thursday at 10 am at the Fort Smith Public Library Main Branch. 

Here's the details:

Workshops will help small businesses with online marketing

(Jan. 10, 2013) – Small businesses interested in learning new marketing techniques for the new year can take advantage of free training Jan. 31 in Fort Smith.

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center will present two programs that day at the Fort Smith Public Library Main Branch –  “Get the Real Deal on Daily Deals” from 10 a.m. to noon and “Boost Your Business with Great Customer Reviews” from 1-3 p.m.

ASBTDC is offering the workshops at no charge, thanks to special funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Daily deals – email, print or mobile offers for discounted local services and products – can build awareness of a business and get new and existing customers in the door. However, small businesses can easily create more demand than they can fulfill or wind up with an unprofitable promotion.

“Get the Real Deal on Daily Deals” will cover the good, the bad and the ugly of daily offers and help business owners decide if a daily deal is right for them. The seminar will also share best practices for daily-deal offers.

Small businesses of all types, particularly restaurants and other hospitality businesses, can benefit or suffer due to online customer reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Places and other sites. According to a Nielsen report, 70 percent of consumers trust strangers’ opinions posted online, second only to recommendations from friends and family.

“Boost Your Business with Great Customer Reviews” will offer tips for getting positive reviews from customers and discuss important information businesses should include in their listings on the most popular review sites.

Each interactive session will utilize iPads.

Space is limited, and advance registration is required to participate. To reserve your seat for either or both sessions, please call the Arkansas Tech University ASBTDC office at (479) 356-2067 or email Ronda Hawkins at rhawkins2@atu.edu.

The seminars are among 16 free small business training programs ASBTDC is hosting in Sebastian County. Contact the ASBTDC office at Arkansas Tech for more information.

Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested in advance. Contact Hawkins at (479) 356-2067 or 106 West O St., Russellville, AR 72801.

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is a university-based economic development program serving start-ups, existing businesses, expanding businesses and technology businesses. ASBTDC is a partnership of the SBA and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business and other institutions of higher education. The center at ATU serves nine counties in the River Valley region. Call (479) 356-2067 or visit asbtdc.org to learn more.