The West Central MN SBDC Newsletter
West Central MN SBDC
We serve in Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse and Wilkin counties in West Central Minnesota, offering no fee one-on-one business consulting services to start-ups, existing and expanding businesses.

In order to protect our consultants, the Concordia College community and our West Central MN region, we are only meeting remotely at this time. Please contact us at sbdc@cord.edu or 218.299.3037 to see how you can meet with your consultant virtually. We appreciate your patience as we navigate changing conditions during the pandemic

You can register for consulting services by clicking the "Register" link on the home page of our website.
A crash course for Small Business Saturday prep
When is Small Business Saturday? Saturday, November 27th 2021.
What is Small Business Saturday? Small Business Saturday is an annual holiday started in 2010 started by American Express that encourages customers to shop locally at the start of the holiday shopping season. As Nicolas Straut phrases it in his article Small Business Saturday 2021: The Ultimate Guide for Small Business Owners, “It also helps customers who want access to unique products and experiences in their community, and local economies that benefit from successful small businesses.”
How do I have a successful Small Business Saturday?
There are various factors that come into play including the amount of space in your store and your customer base. You might want to host an event for your customers, offering a themed idea to draw the customers in and offering a special deal. These events should be advertised over social media, as well as spread by word of mouth.
Something else to consider when event planning for your holiday deal is making your customers feel safe. This could be making extra efforts to sanitize your brick-and-mortar location, limiting numbers of customers in the store at one time to enforce social distancing, posting signage about what health and safety precautions you are taking, and using systems like contactless payment.
Straut writes, “When choosing which strategies you want to employ, consider your bandwidth and limitations, whether an idea will increase sales or build customer loyalty, and if it will further your brand.
How do I create/be in an event?
You can always check in with your local chamber of commerce to see if they are already putting a Small Business Saturday themed event together. You can also organize your own event by reaching out to other local businesses to create a Small Business Saturday Map that encourages participants to follow a path during the day. Straut explains, “Starting with discounted meals at a local diner, followed by shopping at stores along main street, buy-one-get-one-free coffee at a local coffee shop, and finishing the day with half-price tickets at an independent movie theater.”
How should I market my Small Business Saturday Event?
The main goal with your marketing should be to let your regular customers, existing customers, and passersby know about the event. You can achieve this by making flyers and posters on a free program like Canva, as well as posting a couple times on social media before the event. Using hashtags like #SmallBusinessSaturday and #ShopSmall will help connect you to a larger community, while using location tagging to connect you to the community you’re in.
You will want to market the deal you plan on offering ahead of time. These deals could be discounts like buy-one-get-one-free, 15% off discounts, or more. You could also offer a free service for customers from that week or hand out a special $5 gift card to customers who purchase over $35, to bring them back once the holiday is over, or offer a bundle that will be raffled off at the end of the event.
      Extra Marketing tips:
·        Promote ads on Facebook
·        Send marketing emails out prior to the event
·        Offer an exclusive deal- something that is only available on Small Business Saturday
·        Add value in personalized ways (like adding a card, picture, and bio of the creator to the item that is being sold)
To read more go to:
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WC MN SBDC Workshops and Events
Adapting to the current labor shortage will take a multi-pronged approach utilizing both short term and long term strategies. Our team has cultivated our fall webinar series to give you strategies to get you through our current labor shortage. All webinars are free of charge this fall
 
Webinar registration links can also be found on the Events page of our website.
  
Labor Shortage - Creating Efficiency
Learn how to prioritize and align tasks to increase work efficiency and gain capacity. Presented by WC MN SBDC Consultant, Bill Schalow
Wednesday, October 6, 11:00 am - Noon
 
Labor Shortage – Retention 
Develop a workplace culture that encourages employee retention. Presented by Concordia College Assistant Professor of Management, Dr. Shontarius Aikens
Wednesday, October 20, 11:00 am - Noon
 
Labor Shortage - Resources from MN DEED
Learn about resources that MN Department of Employment and Economic Development has for Employers. Presented by MN DEED Regional Labor Market Analyst in Northwestern Minnesota, Chet Bodin.
Wednesday, November 12, 11:00 am - Noon

Labor Shortage – Strategies 
Learn what you can do today to find relief from the labor shortage. Presented by MN SBDC Consultant, Deb McGregor.
Labor Shortage - Automation
Learn how automation can help your small business decrease menial activities in order to increase your labor capacity. Presented by WC MN SBDC Consultant, Shannon Berns.

#WCSBDCBusinessWorkshops #LiveWideOpenMN #MNSBDC #OnlyinMN
Business Builders Workshops
We've teamed up with our North Dakota SBA partners (ND SBA, ND SCORE, ND SBDC and ND WBC and VBOC of the Dakotas) to provide monthly Business Builders Webinars!

Maximizing the Value of Your Business
This workshop will provide an overview of the aspects of business operations to have in place in order to add the most value to your business and who can help with those processes. Whether looking to grow your business or getting things in place for eventual exit planning (retirement or sale of the business), learn how to get the most out of this organized approach. Presented by Mary Beth Votava, Minot Center Director with the ND SBDC.
**Note variation of date from our regular schedule (normally the 2nd Tuesday)
Oct 5, 2021, 3:30 - 4:30pm

Is your website ready for 2022?
No matter what type of business you run, you need to have a website. It doesn’t have to have ten tabs and have a billion words. As a matter of fact, the simpler the better. Due to the attention span and interests of your possible customers, your website needs to conform to their wants and needs. Learn about the top strategies you need to implement in order to make your website attract and retain customers, be found with google spiders, and more. Presented by Wendy Klug, VBOC of the Dakotas program director.
Nov 9, 2021, 3:30 - 4:30pm

Fueling Growth
Fueling Growth - through Cash Flow Management and Financing Forecasting.
In times of growth, businesses need cash to invest and fuel the growth. Cash Flow Management combined with forecast financing needs helps plan for the future.
Presented by: Tyler Demars with ND SBDC.
Dec 14, 2021, 3:30 - 4:30pm

#SBA #BusinessBuildersWorkshops #NorthofNormal #LiveWideOpenMN
WC MN SBDC Regional Supporters
We want to thank our supporters for their donation to our Matching Funds Campaign! Did you know that SBDC’s provide no-fee one-on-one business consulting services? We can do this because the SBA funds 50% of our costs. The State of MN matches some of those funds, but we are required to find local donations to match the rest of our operational costs.

  • Barnesville Economic Development Authority
  • Bell Bank
  • City of Moorhead
  • City of Perham EDA
  • Midwest Minnesota Community Development Corporation
  • Northwestern Bank
  • Offutt School of Business, Concordia
  • Roll-A-Ramp
  • Security State Bank, Fergus Falls
  • United Community Bank
  • West Central Initiative
  • West Tool & Design, LLC

Thank you! We couldn’t do this without you. 
West Central MN SBDC
901 8th St. S.
Moorhead, MN 56560
(218) 299-3037
Subscribe to the WC MN SBDC Newsletter
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and regional support partners. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the program sponsors. Programs are open to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance by calling 218.299.3037.