Several years ago, Anita Campbell, the CEO and Editor in Chief of Small Business Trends, put out a call for small business experts. Her website was starting to gain some traction, and was getting known as the place to go for small business news, trends, and updates. Anita knew of me; I had started writing about franchising, and the blog you’re reading from right now was one of the first focused specifically on the franchise business.
Well, I didn’t respond to her request for experts. So, she dropped me an email. She told me that I should really consider writing about franchising for smallbiztrends.com. When I told her, (via phone) that I didn’t feel that I was ready to write for her then-up and coming website/blog, she said that she’d help me become a better writer. I told her that I’d “think about it.”
I’ve been the Small Business Trends “Franchise Expert in Residence” ever since. My annual Top Franchise Trends post has become the most-read post related to trends in the world of franchising for a couple of years now. Business writers and reporters contact me for even more in-depth coverage on what I’ve suggested as being the current and upcoming trends, for months after I’ve written the post. It’s a great feeling to be one of their “go-to” sources for franchise industry-related trends, news, and opinion. Anita, thanks for staying on me to become part of the Small Business Trends editorial team. I’m grateful to you for giving me a shot. (I can’t wait for Anita to read what I wrote about her in the “acknowledgement” section of my almost-ready to be released book on becoming a franchise owner.)
Speaking of Books…
Anita, (along with David Langton) just wrote a book, too; Visual Marketing (John Wiley & Sons, Publisher.)
In this cutting-edge book, Anita and David, (I just met David in-person at the New York Small Business Expo) offer, “99 Ways for Small Businesses to Market with Images and Design.” And they really do….
If you’re a small business owner, and would like to see examples and get ideas on;
- Using images from your local community to set yourself apart
- Combining modern logos that reflect old-world values
- Incorporating your unique personality into your business website
- Interesting ways to use word clouds
- Using the proper images for your “cause”
And much, much, more, than this book is worth the investment.
Print Media is Still Kicking
Anita and David have an entire chapter focused on print, called, “Power to the Print Item!”
The internet has certainly changed print; how it’s being used, and how it’s not. Do you still see posters around? So do I. This chapter shows several examples of how to use posters in a business setting.
In the franchise industry, lots of franchisors are using web-based brochures to entice would-be franchisees. But not all of them; some still use printed versions to send out to their franchise candidates. Some people really like the look and feel of printed materials, whether they’re brochures, or postcards. You may find it hard to believe, but today’s consumers and business customers still like to get mail. Real mail. Delivered by their local postal carrier. You just have to find a way to make it stand out.
This book on visual marketing, (brilliantly titled, “Visual Marketing“) offers one stunning example after another of how to do it….how to make your small business stand out by using pictures…colors, and even the right fonts. Reading this book serves a reminder to all of us on the importance of first impressions in our businesses. Great visuals can provide them.
Stop by visualmarketingbook.com and “see” for yourself.
How to Use a Franchise Opportunity Website
The 10 Commandments of Franchise Research
What You Need To Know About Franchise Consultants/Brokers