Pricing Strategies for Small Business Owners: A Comprehensive Guide

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Pricing is a crucial aspect of any business, and small business owners need to get it right to stay competitive and profitable.
With various pricing strategies to choose from, it can be overwhelming to determine the best approach for your products or services. In this post, we’ll explore nine common pricing strategies, their advantages, and how to combine them effectively.

1. Cost-Based Pricing

This method involves calculating the cost of production (including materials, labor, and overheads) and adding a markup to determine the selling price. The markup can be a fixed percentage or a specific amount.
Example: A t-shirt manufacturer calculates the cost of production at $5 per unit and adds a 50% markup, setting the selling price at $7.50.

2. Market-Based Pricing

In this approach, businesses analyze the prices charged by competitors for similar products or services. They may set their prices slightly above, below, or equal to competitors’ prices based on factors like quality, brand positioning, or unique selling points.
Example: A coffee shop sets its prices similar to those of nearby competitors, but offers a loyalty program to attract and retain customers.

3. Value-Based Pricing

This strategy focuses on the perceived value of the product or service to the customer. Business owners assess the benefits and advantages their offerings provide to customers and set prices accordingly. This method often allows for higher prices if the perceived value is high.
Example: A software company sets its prices based on the value its product brings to customers, such as increased productivity and efficiency.

4. Demand-Based Pricing

With this approach, businesses adjust prices based on demand. They may lower prices during slow periods to stimulate demand or raise prices when demand is high to maximize profits.
Example: An airline adjusts its prices according to seasonal demand, increasing prices during peak travel seasons and decreasing them during off-peak seasons.

5. Psychological Pricing

This tactic involves setting prices to influence customers’ perception of the product’s value. For example, pricing products at $9.99 instead of $10 creates the
perception of a lower price, even though the difference is minimal.
Example: A retailer prices its products at $9.99, $19.99, or $29.99 to make them appear more affordable.

6. Penetration Pricing

This strategy involves setting initial prices lower than competitors’ prices to gain market share rapidly. Once the business establishes itself, prices may be gradually increased.
Example: A new restaurant sets its prices lower than competitors to attract customers and build a loyal customer base.

7. Skimming Pricing

In contrast to penetration pricing, skimming involves setting high initial prices to target early adopters or customers willing to pay a premium. Prices are later lowered as competition increases or as the product reaches a broader market.
Example: A tech company sets a high initial price for its new product, targeting early adopters and then lowering the price as the product becomes more widely available.

8. Dynamic Pricing

This method involves adjusting prices in real-time based on various factors such as demand, seasonality, time of day, or customer demographics. It’s commonly used in e-commerce and hospitality industries.
Example: An online retailer adjusts its prices based on customer location, offering discounts to customers in certain regions.

9. Bundle Pricing

This strategy involves offering multiple products or services together at a lower price than if purchased separately. It encourages customers to buy more and can increase overall revenue.
Example: A software company offers a bundle of its products at a discounted price, increasing the average order value.

Combining Pricing Strategies

Small business owners often need to combine pricing strategies to achieve the best results. For example, a company might use cost-based pricing as a base and adjust prices based on market conditions and customer demand.
Pricing is a complex and ongoing process, and small business owners need to be flexible and adaptable to stay competitive.
By understanding and combining these pricing strategies, you can find the perfect balance for your business and drive growth and profitability.
For strategic help with pricing, please reach out to our team of experts at the Laurel Ridge SBDC.  We’re here to help you at no charge, EVER!
For additional idea about pricing, check out America’s SBDC.

Revving Up My Business: A Solopreneur’s Take on the Shenandoah County Business Summit

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Author: Jeanne Ellen Russell, www.fengshuimandalas.com
Date: April 19, 2024
As a solopreneur, I wear many hats, and it can be overwhelming at times. But attending the Revup Shenandoah County Business Summit was a game-changer for me!
I was hesitant to give up a whole day, but it was worth it.
The summit offered valuable sessions on various topics, and I was impressed by the quality of the speakers. I was particularly surprised by how much I enjoyed the Artificial Intelligence (AI) segment taught by A.D. Carter of Retail VR, LLC. I never thought AI was relevant to my business, but now I’m hooked! I’ve already used AI to write social media posts and blog content, and I see huge potential for it to save me time and streamline my workflow.
Other standout sessions for me included marketing advice from Janel Laramie, pricing strategies from John Fogle, and a presentation on becoming a destination business by Katie Mercer and Amber Smoot. I even learned some valuable time management tips from Becky Stickley’s segment on conquering procrastination.
What struck me most was the value I gained from every single session. The summit was a well-rounded and informative event that exceeded my expectations. I’m grateful to the organizers, including the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce, for putting together such a fantastic program.
If you’re a solopreneur or small business owner looking to rev up your business, I highly recommend attending future events like this. You never know what new ideas, strategies, and tools you might discover!
Stay tuned for upcoming events and resources from the Laurel Ridge SBDC and Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce to help your business thrive!

Crafting A Compelling Small Business Brand Story

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A Step-by-Step Guide for Northern Shenandoah Valley Businesses

As a small business owner or solopreneur in the Northern Shenandoah Valley, you know how important it is to stand out in a crowded market. One effective way to do this is by crafting a compelling brand story that resonates with your target audience.
In this post, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to create a brand story that sets your business apart and attracts loyal customers.

Step 1: Reflect on Your Business (Winchester, VA Small Business Owners, Take Note!)

Take a moment to think about your business, its history, and your experiences.
Ask yourself questions like:
  • What inspired you to start your business?
  • What problems do you solve for your customers?
  • What sets your business apart from others in Winchester, VA, and the surrounding areas?

Step 2: Identify Your Core Values (Let Your Values Shine in the Northern Shenandoah Valley!)

Write down the values that are most important to you and your business. Consider what drives your decisions and actions. Narrow it down to 3-5 core values that define your business and make you unique in the Northern Shenandoah Valley market.

Some examples of core values include:
  • Customer service
  • Quality products
  • Community involvement
  • Sustainability
  • Innovation

Step 3: Define Your Purpose (Make a Meaningful Impact in Your Community!)

Based on your reflections, identify the purpose behind your business. What impact do you want to make on your customers, community, or industry? Craft a purpose statement that summarizes your why and inspires others to support your mission.
Some examples of purpose statements include:
  • Disney – “To entertain, inform and inspire people around the world through the power of unparalleled storytelling.”
    Purpose: Timeless storytelling and family entertainment.
  • Coca-Cola – “To refresh the world and make a difference.”
    Purpose: Spreading joy and happiness through refreshing beverages.
  • Patagonia – “We’re in business to save our home planet.”
    Purpose: Environmental responsibility and sustainability.

Step 4: Develop Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) (Stand Out in the Winchester, VA Market!)

Clearly define what sets your business apart from competitors. What unique benefits do you offer to your customers? Craft a concise UVP statement that summarizes your unique value and resonates with your target audience.
Some examples of UVP statements include:
  • McDonald’s – “I’m Lovin’ It”
    UVP: Convenient, affordable, and enjoyable food for every occasion.
  • Visa – “It’s Everywhere You Want to Be”
    UVP: Reliable, secure, and widely accepted payment solutions for your global lifestyle.
  • American Express – “Don’t Leave Home Without It”
    UVP: Secure, flexible, and rewarding payment solutions for your global travels and purchases.

Step 5: Craft Your Brand Narrative (Share Your Story with the World!)

Use your reflections, values, purpose, and UVP to craft a compelling brand story. Share your story in a way that resonates with your target audience. Highlight your struggles, triumphs, and lessons learned, and make sure to showcase your unique personality and voice.
Some examples of familiar brand narratives include:
  • Starbucks – “Third Place Experience”
    Starbucks’ narrative focuses on creating a welcoming, inclusive environment that’s neither home nor work. Their brand story has resonated with customers who value community, comfort, and high-quality coffee.
  • Disney – “The Happiest Place On Earth”
    Disney’s narrative is centered around magic, wonder, and timeless storytelling. Their brand story has become synonymous with family, entertainment, and unforgettable experiences.
  • Nike – “Just Do It”
    Nike’s narrative is built around empowerment, motivation, and pushing boundaries. Their brand story encourages customers to take action, pursue their passions, and overcome obstacles.

Step 6: Define Your Brand Voice and Tone (Be Authentic and Consistent!)

Determine the tone and language that best represents your brand. Consider how you want to come across to your audience. Develop a consistent voice and tone across all communications, from social media to customer interactions.
Some examples of brand voices and tones include:
  • Friendly and approachable
  • Professional and expert
  • Fun and playful
  • Serious and authoritative

Step 7: Visualize Your Brand (Make a Lasting Impression in the Northern Shenandoah Valley!)

Develop a visual identity that reflects your brand story and values. Create a logo, color palette, typography, and imagery that resonates with your audience and makes your brand recognizable in the Northern Shenandoah Valley market.
Some examples of visual identities include:
  • A logo that incorporates your brand’s colors and values
  • A consistent typography and font style
  • Imagery that reflects your brand’s personality and tone

Step 8: Share Your Brand Story (Get the Word Out and Attract Loyal Customers!)

Share your brand story across all platforms, including your website, social media, marketing materials, and customer interactions.
Ensure consistency in your messaging and visual identity, and watch as your brand attracts loyal customers and sets you apart from the competition.
Disney chose the following platforms to get their brand story out to the world.
  1. Theme Parks and Resorts: Immersive experiences that bring the brand story to life through attractions, shows, and character interactions.
  2. Film and Television: Producing iconic movies, TV shows, and documentaries that showcase their storytelling prowess and beloved characters.
  3. Merchandise: Offering a wide range of products, from toys and apparel to home goods and collectibles, that feature Disney characters and themes.
  4. Marketing Campaigns: Launching targeted advertising and promotional initiatives that highlight specific aspects of the brand story, such as nostalgia, innovation, or family entertainment.
  5. Digital Media: Utilizing social media platforms, online content, and interactive experiences to engage audiences and share the brand story.
  6. Partnerships and Collaborations: Partnering with other brands, organizations, and influencers to expand reach and create new storytelling opportunities.
  7. Events and Experiences: Hosting events like movie premieres, fan conventions, and live shows that foster a sense of community and celebrate the brand story.
  8. Storytelling Platforms: Creating dedicated platforms like Disney+ and ESPN+ to share a wide range of stories, both old and new, with global audiences.
  9. Employee Ambassadors: Encouraging and empowering Disney employees to share their own brand story experiences and become ambassadors for the company.
  10. Philanthropy and Social Responsibility: Highlighting Disney’s commitment to social causes, environmental sustainability, and community outreach through various initiatives and campaigns.
When you need help with any of these steps, please reach out to our experienced team of Small Business Experts.
We can help you craft a brand story that creates a strong emotional connection with your idea customers, differentiates your business in crowded spaces, and sets you up for long term business success.
We look forward to being part of your small business success!

A Small Business Guide to Increasing Social Media Engagement

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Using US national days can help small businesses increase social media interaction. National days cover a lot of topics, many that matter to your audience.

National day posts can grab people’s attention, start online conversations, and create real interactions.

And this is key for small businesses because it can grow your brand and build customer loyalty which translates into sales.

Participating in national day conversations can work wonders.

Understanding US National Days

Because national days spark so many online conversations, they actually shape social media and google daily trends. 

Small businesses can use these days to their advantage. But planning is required.

Let’s make National days fun and creative for us all.

March 2024 US National Days Calendar: Daily Post Ideas for Engaging Content

Week 1:

March 1, 2024 – Zero Discrimination Day

    • Advocate for diversity and inclusivity within the workplace or community.
    • Share inspiring stories of individuals who have overcome discrimination.
    • Offer promotions or special events that celebrate diversity and equality.
    • Hashtags to consider: #zerodiscriminationday, #nodiscrimination, #antidiscrimination, #equality

March 3, 2024 – World Hearing Day

    • Raise awareness about hearing health and the impact of hearing loss.
    • Share tips for maintaining healthy hearing and emphasize the importance of regular check-ups.
    • Partner with local audiology professionals to offer educational resources or services.
    • Hashtags to consider: #worldhearingday, #hearingcare, #hearingawareness, #deafawareness

March 6, 2024 – National Oreo Cookie Day

    • Share nostalgic Oreo moments and encourage followers to share their favorite Oreo memories.
    • Host a “twist, lick, and dunk” challenge where followers can showcase creative ways of enjoying Oreos.
    • Collaborate with local bakeries to feature unique Oreo-inspired treats.
    • Hashtags to consider: #nationaloreocookieday, #oreo, #cookielove

March 8, 2024 – International Women’s Day

    • Highlight influential women in history or within the company and initiate discussions on women’s achievements.
    • Showcase products or services that celebrate and empower women.
    • Support a women-focused charity and encourage donations or volunteerism.
    • Hashtags to consider:  #internationalwomensday, #iwd, #womenempowerment, #breakthebias, #celebratewomen

March 10, 2024 – National Pack Your Lunch Day

    • Share easy and healthy lunch recipes or tips for packing nutritious meals.
    • Run a lunchbox photo contest and award the most creative or practical entries.
    • Discuss workplace wellness and the importance of mindful eating.
    • Hashtags to consider:  #nationalpackyourlunchday, #lunchideas, #healthylunch, #lunchbox

Week 2:

March 14, 2024 – National Potato Chip Day

    • Explore unique potato chip flavors and encourage followers to try unusual combinations.
    • Host a “perfect dip pairing” challenge where followers can share their favorite dip and chip combos or their most creative way of eating chips:  IE:  On a sandwich, in soup, or as a salad topper.  Who knows what you might learn.
    • Create lighthearted polls to determine the ultimate potato chip flavor.
    • Hashtags to consider:  #nationalpotatochipday, #potatochips, #crispygoodness, #chipslover, #snackattack

March 16, 2024 – National Panda Day

    • Share fascinating facts about pandas and their conservation efforts.
    • Organize a panda-themed art contest or feature panda-themed products.
    • Partner with wildlife organizations to raise awareness about panda preservation.
    • Hashtags to consider:  #nationalpandaday, #pandabear, #endangeredspecies, #pandalove, #wildlifeconservation

March 17, 2024 – St. Patrick’s Day

    • Host a virtual St. Patrick’s Day party with themed games and activities.
    • Share St. Patrick’s Day traditions or folklore and invite followers to share their own.
    • Offer exclusive St. Patrick’s Day discounts or promotions.
    • Hashtags to consider:  #stpatricksday, #stpattysday, #luckoftheirish, #stpaddysday, #shamrock, #happystpatricksday

Week 3:

March 22, 2024 – National Goof Off Day

    • Share lighthearted content or behind-the-scenes glimpses of the team having fun.
    • Encourage followers to share their favorite ways to unwind or “goof off.”
    • Host a caption contest featuring a humorous image related to your industry.
    • Hashtags to consider:  #nationalgoofoffday, #havefun, #relaxationday, #enjoylife, #unwind

March 23, 2024 – National Puppy Day

    • Share heartwarming stories of rescued or adopted puppies.
    • Host a “paws-itively adorable” photo contest showcasing followers’ beloved pups.
    • Partner with local animal shelters for a virtual adoption event.
    • Hashtags to consider:  #nationalpuppyday, #puppylove, #adoptdontshop, #puppykisses

Week 4:

March 25, 2024 – International Waffle Day

    • Spotlight unique waffle recipes, including international variations.
    • Create a “Waffle Day Challenge” where followers can invent their own waffle creations.
    • Partner with a local café or bakery for a waffle-themed giveaway.
    • Hashtags to consider:  #internationalwaffleday, #waffles, #breakfastofchampions, #wafflelover, #homemadewaffles

March 31, 2024 – Easter Sunday

  • Share useful Easter tips and advice. These could include DIY decoration ideas, Easter meal cooking tips, or family activity suggestions. 
    • Consider running Easter-themed contests or giveaways. You could ask followers to submit their best Easter recipes, crafts, or stories to win a prize. This boosts engagement and participation. Remember to follow the platform’s contest rules closely.
    • Give followers behind-the-scenes peeks of your Easter prep. This could be decoration of your premises, creating Easter-themed products, or setting up promotions.
    • Think about sharing images from Easter events. These could be church services, egg hunts, community events, or team participation. It helps humanize your brand.
    • Consider these hashtags: #eastersunday, #eastercelebration, #easterjoy, #eastereggs, #easterbunny, #happyeaster.

Create Engaging Content

Boost your small business by using national days in your content creation. Here’s how:

1. Match your content with the theme of the day. Use fun graphics, engaging stories, special events, or special offers.

2. Include content from your followers. Ask them to share their thoughts or stories about the day. This builds community.

3. Add interactive elements like polls, quizzes, or challenges. This encourages audience participation and strengthens relationships with your customers.

These tips help small businesses create eye-catching content that starts conversations and boosts social media engagement.

Maximizing Reach and Impact

Another way to increase reach on national days is to use hashtags and trends wisely. This will boost your visibility and engagement. 

Think about using trending topics in your posts to naturally increase visibility and attract more people. 

Then consider teaming up with influencers and local businesses who can help broaden your reach. It can make your content seem more authentic while creating opportunities for cross-promotional opportunities for both of you.

To measure success, look at things like audience engagement, brand visibility, and sales. Also consider things like reach, impressions, clicks, and user participation are also useful.

By understanding what content works and what your audience likes, you can fine-tune your approach for the future. Whatever changes yo make, base them on data insights so you learn how to build stronger connections with your audience over time.


Utilizing national days for social media can effectively help businesses connect with their audience in innovative ways. By aligning content with these days, small businesses can join existing conversations and foster deeper relationships. 

Further, creating content for specific national days can significantly boost engagement. Incorporating user-generated content and interactive strategies can also drive more meaningful interactions. 

Lastly, measuring success through key metrics makes it easier to refine your strategy in the future.

Welcome to March!   Now is an great time for small businesses to plan their social media calendar, making engagement and brand awareness a priority.

Setting Up an LLC and Fictitious Name

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Registering an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Virginia and obtaining a fictitious name, also known as a trade name or a Doing Business As (DBA) name, involves several steps. You must renew your LLC license each year with the Virginia SCC. Following is a general guide to help you through the process for registering online.  Should you have any questions please reach out to the Laurel Ridge SBDC office at 540-868-7094 or mailto:email [email protected]

  • Choose a Name for Your LLC:
  • Register Your LLC with the Virginia SCC:
    • You will need to set up an account on the Virginia SCC website (https://cis.scc.virginia.gov/). Once your account is set up, please login.
    • Once logged in please select “Online Services.”
    • Select “New Businesses” from menu list.
    • Click on arrow next to “Business Entity Type” and click on “Limited Liability Corporation.”
    • Click on the arrow next to Filing Type and choose “Articles of Organization” then click continue.
    • You must choose the name for you LLC. Your LLC’s name must be unique and distinguishable from existing businesses registered in Virginia. In the space next to “Entity Name” type in your desired name and hit enter.
      1. If the message you get says that “name is not distinguishable,” you must choose a different name.
      2. If the message you get states “name not allowable,” you must type a comma after the name and add LLC.

Once you get a message that states “name is allowable”, please click on “Next” in the bottom right corner.

  • On the Articles of Organization page, please enter the contact information requested, selecting “perpetual” for time period and hit next in the bottom right of screen.


  • Designate a Registered Agent:
    • You will need to designate a registered agent for your LLC in Virginia. A registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents and official mail on behalf of the LLC.
    • In Virginia, a registered agent can be any one of the following:
      1. An individual who is a resident of the Commonwealth and is (i) a member or manager of the limited liability company,
      2. a member or manager of a limited liability company that is a member or manager of the limited liability company,
      3. an officer or director of a corporation that is a member or manager of the limited liability company,
      4. a general partner of a general or limited partnership that is a member or manager of the limited liability company,
      5. a trustee of a trust that is a member or manager of the limited liability company, or
      6. a member of the Virginia State Bar, and whose business office is identical with the registered office.
    • On the registered agent screen, type in the contact information of your registered agent and click on “Create Individual RA”
      1. On RA capacity select appropriate title from pull down menu. Most will be “Member or Manager of LLC.” Once all contact information is entered, click on “Done”  On the next page you must check the box to select that the registered agent is a resident of Virginia.  When complete with appropriate information select “Next” at bottom right of screen.
    • On the Principle Office Location page enter the information of your company office. This is the official location for mail to be delivered. When complete hit “next” at bottom right of page.
    • On the Principle information page, most LLCs will be member managed. Select appropriate and click next at bottom right of page.
    • On the Supporting Documentation page, you may not be required to upload additional information. Please click “next” at bottom right of page.
    • On the Signatures page please type in appropriate information and hit “add” and then scroll down to select “next” at bottom right of page.
    • Review the information on the Articles of Organization page and then select “Add to shopping cart” at bottom right of page.
    • The fee as of October 2023, is $100. Select “checkout” and pay fee online. After you have paid the fee, you will want to print and download your Articles of Organization.
  • Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN):
  • Create an Operating Agreement (Optional):
    • Although not required by Virginia law, it is a good practice to create an operating agreement for your LLC. This document outlines the internal management and operating procedures of your LLC. Should you need an Operating Agreement template to help you get started, please reach out to your local SBDC.
  • Comply with State and Local Business Licenses and Permits:
    • Depending on your business type and location, you may need additional licenses and permits. Check with your local government and the Virginia Department of Taxation to ensure compliance.
  • File Annual Reports:
    • LLCs in Virginia are required to file an annual report with the State Corporation Commission. This report typically includes updated contact information and is due by the anniversary date of your LLC’s formation.
  • Pay Taxes:
    • Ensure you understand your tax obligations, including state and federal taxes. You may also need to register for Virginia state sales tax if applicable to your business.
  • Maintain Records:
    • Keep accurate records of all business activities, financial transactions, and legal documents related to your LLC.

It is advisable to consult with a business attorney or an SBDC that specializes in business formation to ensure you complete all the necessary steps correctly and efficiently. Additionally, specific requirements and fees may change over time, so it is essential to check the most up-to-date information on the Virginia SCC website and consult with local authorities when registering.


What is a Fictitious Name?

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Sole proprietors in Virginia who want to operate their business under a name other than their own legal name need to understand the requirements and process for using a fictitious name, also known as a “trade name” or “doing business as” (DBA) name. Here are some key points for sole proprietors to know about fictitious names in Virginia:

  1. Registration Requirement:
    • In Virginia, sole proprietors must register their fictitious name with the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) before using it for business purposes. This is done to provide transparency to consumers and protect the public from fraud.
  2. Business Entity Type:
    • Fictitious names are typically associated with sole proprietorships, partnerships, or LLCs, as they allow these business structures to operate under a name that is different from the owner’s legal name.
  3. Name Availability:
    • Before registering a fictitious name, sole proprietors should check the SCC’s online database to ensure that the desired name is available and not already in use by another business entity.
  4. Registration Process:
    • To register a fictitious name, sole proprietors must complete and submit the “Fictitious Name Certificate” (Form CN-01) to the SCC. This form can be filed online or by mail. There is a filing fee associated with this registration.
  5. Registration Renewal:
    • Fictitious name registrations in Virginia are valid for five years. Sole proprietors must renew their fictitious name registration with the SCC within 60 days prior to the expiration date. Failure to renew can result in the name becoming available for others to use.
  6. Business Bank Account:
    • Once the fictitious name is registered, sole proprietors can open a business bank account under that name. This is important for separating personal and business finances.
  7. Legal Protections:
    • Registering a fictitious name does not provide legal protection for the name itself. If you want exclusive rights to the name, you may need to consider trademark registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
  8. Business Licenses and Permits:
    • Depending on the type of business you operate, you may need to obtain specific licenses or permits from local or state authorities in addition to registering the fictitious name.
  9. Compliance:
    • Sole proprietors using a fictitious name must comply with all applicable state and local laws and regulations related to their business activities.
  • Public Disclosure:
    • Information about the registered fictitious name, including the owner’s name and address, is publicly available through the SCC’s database.

It’s essential for sole proprietors in Virginia to follow the proper registration process for their fictitious name to ensure legal compliance and establish a distinct business identity. Consulting with a legal or Laurel Ridge SBDC professional can help navigate the registration process and understand any specific requirements related to your business activities.



Power Up Your Business Conference

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Are you ready to take your small business to new heights of success? Join us on October 20, 2023, at the Power Up Your Business Conference, where an extraordinary opportunity awaits you.

Why Attend?

Diverse Learning Opportunities: With over 20 engaging breakout sessions, we’ve tailored our conference to address the most pressing challenges faced by small business owners. Whether you’re interested in government contracts, securing tourism grants, financial strategies, or starting a small business from scratch, we’ve got you covered.

🚀 Main Session with Tammy Bjelland: The dynamic Tammy Bjelland will headline the event, sharing invaluable insights on making your business more efficient. Her custom business tools and expertise is a game-changer for any small business owner.

🎥 Recording Access: Can’t make it to every session? No worries! We’ll be recording all the breakout sessions, ensuring you have access to this wealth of knowledge even after the conference.

🌟 Special Tracks: Explore tracks on social media, hiring and retaining talent, and more. Gain insights from seasoned local business owners and experts Bill and Sandy Long, Patti Sollenberger, Patrick Barker, Jenna Finch, Vanessa Santiago, Michelle Brown and Justin Kerns.

🍳 Complimentary Meals: Enjoy a day filled with learning and networking, with breakfast, lunch, and snacks included in your registration.

This isn’t just another conference; it’s the small business event of the year. Don’t miss your chance to elevate your business and connect with fellow business owners. Secure your spot today and let’s power up your business together! 💼🌟 

Register here.

Listen in as our director Christine Kriz shares the details about our Power Up Your Business Conference.  We look forward to seeing you at the conference!


Successfully Hiring and Retaining Great Team Members

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In the world of small business, where challenges abound, Bill and Sandy Long, the vision and passion behind the Auto Care Clinic in Front Royal, VA, stand as shining examples of how to build a thriving business. Their journey is marked by a few key principles that have propelled them to success and can do the same for you.

Motivating Employees: Bill and Sandy understand that motivated employees are the heart of any successful business. They’ve cultivated a work environment where their team members feel valued and inspired to excel, creating a workplace that radiates positivity.

Continuous Learning: In an ever-evolving industry, Bill and Sandy have made continuous learning a cornerstone of their success. They seek opportunities to expand their knowledge and ensure that their team is always ahead of the curve.

Problem-Solving Prowess: Instead of just identifying problems, Bill and Sandy actively engage with their team to find innovative solutions. This collaborative approach has fostered a culture of creativity, resilience and ownership.  Their employees are proud to be part of the team.

Leadership, Not Supervision: One of their standout qualities is their ability to lead, not just supervise. They trust their team to excel without the need for micromanagement, empowering them to take ownership and perform at their best.

But here’s the exciting part: You have the chance to learn directly from Bill and Sandy Long!

They will be sharing their invaluable insights at our upcoming Power Up Your Business Conference. This is your opportunity to get firsthand advice from true small business leaders.

Don’t miss out!

Register for the conference  and embark on a journey toward a more successful and motivated team.

Bill and Sandy look forward to answering your questions and showing you the path to small business success.

Join us on Friday, October 20, 2023 at 7:30am and let’s power up your business together!

Tips for Busy Small Business Owners to Increase Sales

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Running a small business can be a whirlwind of tasks and responsibilities, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stretched thin. But what if I told you that there’s a powerful tool right at your fingertips that can help you increase sales and grow your business without adding a ton of extra time to your workload?

Facebook Groups may just be your secret weapon. In this guide, we’ll show you how to effectively utilize Facebook Groups to boost sales while keeping your busy schedule in check.

1. The Untapped Potential of Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are online communities where like-minded individuals come together to share knowledge, interests, and experiences. They can be a goldmine for small business owners looking to connect with potential customers and drive sales.

2. Finding the Right Groups

The key to successful Facebook Group marketing is finding the right groups to join. Start by searching for groups related to your industry, niche, or target audience. Join a few that resonate with your business goals.

A great place to personally connect with businesses in your industry and target audience will be at our “Power Up Your Business” Conference on October 20, 2023. 

Make sure you arrive prepared to connect personally then follow up on social media with business leaders who you can help and who can help you grow your business.

3. Establishing Your Presence

Once you’re in the right groups, it’s essential to establish your presence as a valuable member before diving into sales tactics. Here’s how:

  • Complete Your Profile: Ensure your Facebook profile is professional and includes information about your business.

  • Participate Actively: Engage in group discussions, answer questions, and provide helpful insights related to your industry.

  • Build Relationships: Take the time to connect with group members, network, and genuinely contribute to the community.

Remember that social media is a long-term game that takes time, just like building relationships in person…it all takes time, respect, and social skills.

4. Sharing Value-Driven Content

As a busy small business owner, your time is precious, so make the most of it by sharing valuable content that showcases your expertise:

  • Educational Posts: Share informative articles, how-to guides, and tips relevant to your industry.  If you need help coming up with great post ideas, message us because we have a ton a resources to help you excel at creating posts.

  • Behind-the-Scenes: Offer a peek behind the curtain with posts showcasing your business’s inner workings.

  • Customer Stories: Share success stories and testimonials from satisfied customers.

5. Thoughtful Promotion

When it’s time to promote your products or services, do so thoughtfully and strategically:

  • Highlight Benefits: Craft persuasive posts that emphasize the benefits of your offerings.  Consider the possibility of using AI technology to help you save time while creating posts that will increase engagement. 

  • Exclusive Deals: Offer special discounts or promotions exclusively for group members to create a sense of belonging.

  • Ask for Feedback: Seek input from the community on product ideas or improvements to involve them in your business.

6. Running Engaging Contests and Giveaways

People love contests and giveaways. Organize interactive contests within the group and offer your products or services as prizes. This can generate excitement and word-of-mouth promotion.  Please note that when running contests on social media, you must play by the rules of each platform or run the risk of being warned before having your page closed down completely.  We have seen pages closed for not complying with the platform guidelines.  Here is a link to Facebook’s Contest Guidelines.

7. Leveraging Group Admins

Build a positive relationship with group admins as they can help you navigate the group’s dynamics and potentially promote your offerings.

8. Analyzing and Adjusting

Regularly assess the effectiveness of your Facebook Group efforts:

  • Use Facebook Insights: Track engagement, reach, and sales generated from group activities.

  • Adapt Your Strategy: Based on data, adjust your approach to maximize results.


Facebook Groups offer a unique opportunity for busy small business owners to increase sales and build lasting customer relationships. By finding the right groups, establishing your presence, sharing valuable content, and promoting your offerings thoughtfully, you can turn these online communities into a valuable sales channel. Remember, it’s not just about making sales; it’s about building trust, authority, and a loyal customer base in the process. So, roll up your sleeves, get started, and watch your small business thrive overtime, in the world of Facebook Groups.

How To Maximize Your Expo Booth Impact

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Are you a solo small business owner gearing up for an upcoming business expo?

Participating in such events can be a game-changer for your business, offering opportunities for networking, lead generation, and brand exposure. However, to make the most of your investment, it’s crucial to have a well-thought-out strategy. In this blog post, we’ll explore effective tips to help you maximize the impact of your expo booth as a solo entrepreneur.

1. Set Clear Objectives

Before you dive into the whirlwind of an expo, take a step back and define your goals. What do you want to achieve? Are you primarily looking to generate leads, make sales, or increase brand awareness? Having clear objectives will guide your booth setup, engagement strategy, and post-expo follow-up.

2. Plan and Budget Wisely

Expo participation comes with costs, including booth rental, marketing materials, travel, and accommodation. Create a detailed budget that covers all expenses, and stick to it. Allocate resources strategically, focusing on areas that will have the most impact on your goals.

3. Booth Design Matters

Your booth is your business’s physical representation at the expo. Invest in an eye-catching booth design that reflects your brand’s identity and values. Ensure your signage and graphics are professional and enticing, drawing attendees in.

4. Create Engaging Materials

Prepare promotional materials like brochures, business cards, and giveaways. Make sure they’re not only visually appealing but also informative and memorable. Quality materials can leave a lasting impression on expo attendees.

5. Elevator Pitch Perfection

You’ll have limited time to capture attendees’ attention, so craft a compelling elevator pitch. Clearly and concisely communicate what your business offers and why it’s valuable. Practice until you can deliver it confidently and persuasively.

6. Staffing Strategy

As a solo entrepreneur, you may not have a large team, but that’s no excuse for not having the right people in your booth. Ensure you or your staff are knowledgeable about your products or services and can engage with attendees effectively.

7. Interactive Elements

Consider incorporating interactive elements into your booth. Live product demonstrations, engaging presentations, or hands-on activities can create memorable experiences and draw a crowd.

8. Lead Generation

Implement a lead capture system to collect attendee contact information. Use technology like tablets or mobile apps to streamline this process, allowing you to focus on engaging with prospects.

9. Networking Opportunities

Don’t just stay confined to your booth. Attend seminars, workshops, and networking events within the expo to connect with other exhibitors and potential partners. Building relationships can lead to valuable collaborations.  For networking opportunities beyond the expo, check with your local Chamber of Commerce.

10. Follow-Up with Finesse

After the expo, promptly follow up with the leads you’ve gathered. Send personalized messages and offers that align with attendees’ needs and preferences. The follow-up is where many opportunities are lost or won.

11. Evaluate and Adapt

Take time to evaluate the success of your expo participation. Measure your return on investment (ROI) by analyzing sales generated, partnerships formed, and other key metrics. Document what worked and what didn’t so you can improve for the next expo.

12. Stay Consistent

Consistency is key in marketing. Maintain the momentum generated at the expo by continuing to market your business through various channels, such as social media, email, and content marketing.

In conclusion, solo small business owners can maximize the impact of their expo booth by setting clear objectives, careful planning, and strategic execution. Remember that expo participation is an ongoing learning process. Each event provides valuable insights that can help you refine your approach for future expos. So, go out there, make an impact, and watch your business grow!