SAN DIEGO, May 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Business is built on relationships, and for many small business owners, cultivating those connections is critical. According to a recent survey* conducted by The UPS Store, Inc., networking and marketing are two of the most important areas for growth for small business owners. Two-thirds of the small business owners surveyed agreed that it is important to form strong relationships with other small business owners and 75 percent revealed there are opportunities to expand their marketing efforts.
In celebration of National Small Business Week (May 1-7), The UPS Store is bringing together networking opportunities and marketing help through its annual Small Biz Salute, a month-long initiative providing entrepreneurs in several of the nation’s top small business cities special opportunities to make meaningful connections in their communities and gain valuable marketing advice from business experts.
“In the world of instant communication, we’re finding that small business owners value the traditional face time of in-person meetings where they can exchange ideas, share best practices and learn from their peers,” said Tim Davis, President of The UPS Store, Inc. “Small Biz Salute is our way of satisfying small business owners’ craving for connections while at the same time recognizing and celebrating them for their hard work and contributions to their local economies and communities.”
Throughout the month of May, The UPS Store will encourage people to “salute” their favorite local small business by giving them a shout out on social media with #SmallBizSalute. In four cities — Minneapolis, Nashville, Houston and Phoenix — The UPS Store will be hosting events to provide small business owners the opportunity to meet and network with other owners in their communities.
In addition to networking with peers, attendees will also have the opportunity to gain valuable business advice from experts like Marcus Lemonis, Host of CNBC’s The Profit, who is teaming up with The UPS Store to help small business owners and will also be the keynote speaker at the Small Biz Salute event in Minneapolis on May 4 and Phoenix on May 24.
“As someone who hears small business challenges on a daily basis, I’m excited to collaborate with The UPS Store to help reach more entrepreneurs and give them the inspiration to find success,” said Lemonis. “While entrepreneurs by definition are in business for themselves, it doesn’t mean they have to do it by themselves. Getting expert advice and best practices from peers is a brilliant way to learn and ultimately grow your business.”
The UPS Store is also using National Small Business Week as an opportunity to help start or grow small businesses through its Small Biz Pitch Competition**. For the Small Biz Salute events in Minneapolis, Nashville and Houston, eligible local small businesses can submit an application for the potential opportunity to pitch their business idea to a panel of judges. Four finalists will be selected to compete at each event for the grand price award of $5,000 while also getting the invaluable feedback on their idea from hundreds of local small business owners. Those interested can apply online prior to the event or arrive early the day of the event for the opportunity to compete.
With small business owners reporting that marketing is one of their biggest business challenges – coming in higher than finding time to manage their business and financial resources – The UPS Store will be offering marketing advice at each of the Small Biz Salute events and attendees can learn from business experts on ways to streamline their marketing efforts.
In addition to the Small Biz Salute events, small business owners across the country can take advantage of 4,500 UPS Store locations where they’ll find a suite of products and services that can help them better market their business, including:
- Marketing services. More than three-fourths of the small business owners surveyed (76 percent) agreed that there is room to expand their marketing efforts. The UPS Store provides tools and resources to help small business owners promote and market their business with email marketing, website design, social media and more.
- Print services. Business cards and print materials are a common tool amongst small business owners. Three-fourths of all respondents in the survey discussed above (75 percent) use business cards to promote their business, along with brochures (27 percent), flyers (22 percent) or direct mail pieces (22 percent). The UPS Store offers online and print services.
- Mentoring and business management. Each UPS Store location is locally owned and operated, and franchisees often take an innovative approach to providing unique customer consulting and solutions. The UPS Store also works with SCORE to help build awareness of business mentoring opportunities for small business owners across the country.
For more information about Small Biz Salute, visit theupsstore.com/smallbizsalute.
*The results of the survey are based on an online survey conducted March 25-30, 2016 by The UPS Store, Inc., franchisor of The UPS Store network, with small business owners. The methodology of the study was an online survey among a panel of 500 small business owners contacted through Research Now. All participants were 18 and older and residents of the United States. The UPS Store, Inc. strives to include accurate and up-to-date Information but makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information or survey results provided herein; the information is provided on an “as is” basis.
** Contest open only to qualifying small business entities in MN, TN, and TX. Finalists must be able to attend the pitch event to be eligible to win. Online applications must be received by 11:00 pm CT on May 13, 2016. See contest rules for eligibility terms, entry requirements and prize details. Full contest rules available on The UPS Store Website. Small Biz Pitch Competition will not be held at the Phoenix event.
About The UPS Store
With more than 4,500 locations, The UPS Store network comprises the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, print and business service centers. The UPS Store locations in the U.S. are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees of The UPS Store, Inc., a subsidiary of UPS (NYSE: UPS). Services, pricing and hours of operation may vary by location. For additional information on The UPS Store, including information on franchise opportunities for opening a The UPS Store location, visit www.theupsstore.com. Follow The UPS Store on Twitter at @TheUPSStore and like The UPS Store on Facebook at facebook.com/theupsstore.
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