Our 2021 Waco Bank & Brews event series kicked off in March with a very timely topic for small business owners– Marketing. Our event was hosted by Startup Waco’s Jon Passavant and Michelle Dean who presented the Marketing Skills Toolkit packet to the group. This toolkit was created by Startup Waco in collaboration with the Downtown Waco Public Improvement District to help local business owners build a strong marketing foundation.
The toolkit was designed to be a practical guide to basic marketing strategies that help businesses drive sales and increase traffic. Our Bank & Brews 3-part marketing series will cover all three sections of the toolkit, Building a Strong Foundation, Leveling the Playing Field, and Keeping Things on Track. Startup Waco will also be offering a free course called, Business Blueprints, that will include this kit as well as one-on-one mentorship and advising.
In our first session, Michelle began by sharing what so many local business owners have said to her– “I need help.” This phrase can often easily be translated to, “I need help with sales.” Where should a business owner begin? Michelle and Jon advise to start at the very basics. Businesses must determine the very core of why they are operating and who they are.
First, you’ll need to establish your brand identity. Brand identity can be often considered an extension of the entrepreneur’s identity. Ultimately, business owners need to answer the question of why exactly they are here. This can be done by answering three key questions:
- What drives you?
- What problem are you trying to solve?
- What need are you hoping to fill?
- What ‘lights you up’ about your business?
- When do you feel the most ‘alive’ at work?
- What makes you uniquely qualified to do what you do?
- What impact are you hoping to make?
Often businesses skim over these core questions before heading directly into operations. Jon and Michelle stress the importance of taking time to answer these questions and analyze your responses. It will guide the decisions made moving forward and the business owner should always be able to ask, “Does this decision align with my business’ core identity?”.
Once these core questions have been answered, you can move on to the following parts of a solid marketing foundation including: Brand Purpose, Brand Attributes, Key Differentiators, Ideal Customers, and Brand Positioning/Value Proposition.
To learn more about these topics and more from the Marketing Skills Toolkit, join Extraco Banks and Startup Waco for the next two Bank & Brews sessions as well as the Business Blueprint course. The course will provide you with one-on-one assistance and mentorship through the marketing process.
Information about Bank & Brews
In partnership with Startup Waco, Bank & Brews is designed for anybody who wants to learn more about starting or growing a business! These monthly events are free and are now hosted in person and virtually. Visit Extraco's Facebook page to learn more about upcoming Bank & Brews!
About Extraco Banks
Extraco Banks and its affiliate companies are dedicated to building people, businesses and communities. Since the Great Recession, Extraco has extended over $2.5 billion in loans to 25,000 customers, while financially supporting over 1,275 community organizations working to create economic vibrancy, job growth and overall quality of life to our communities across central Texas. Founded as a cotton warehousing company, Extraco, at $1.5 billion in assets, is the largest and most comprehensive locally owned bank between Dallas and Austin, serving over 120,000 customers banking, mortgage, insurance and wealth & trust needs with creative and innovative excellence.
Learn more at: https://www.extracobanks.com/.