Providing Small Businesses with Marketing Support Since 1992

Cross-section of small business clients from 1992-2003, before publication of Marketing for Smarties Workbook:
Professional Services: diverse business consultants, accounts, architects, lawyers, and engineers
Information Technology Companies: PCs and mainframes; applications development, internet companies, packaged software, professional services, systems integrators, service bureaus, repair and maintenance, etc.
Financial Organizations: banking, brokerage, securities and commodities dealers, and real estate
Others: event management, graphics design, media relations, not-for-profits, consultants to not-for-profits, outsourcing, publishing, and retailing

Over the years, we learned that most small businesses owners have little marketing know-how while money for activities or professional assistance is scarce. Our task usually turned into helping owners market themselves, internally through staff (if they have any), or with inexpensive part-time assistants, or on their own.
To make owners self-sufficient, in 2003 we published Marketing for Smarties Workbook, 14 Steps to Sustained Growth, accompanied with Toolshed, electronic files of the worksheets from the workbook on a CD.

A how-to book, the methods had to be proven. We began field-testing, prototyping, and proving the program at U. S. Small Business Administration financed Small Business Development Centers in New Mexico. The program was introduced in New York City in the fall of 2005. (See Events Summary).

We found that few owners “get” marketing on their own. What really works is the workbook combined with coaching, tasking, or peer exchange. If possible it’s best if all the components are present in The Marketing for Smarties Challenge.

Do the methods work? In addition to diverse small business owners in services or manufacturing, commission-only sales representatives, college recruiters, community development officials, and others have been through the program. Here’s what many said: In The Owners’ Words.

In 2004, the Quality Center for Business at San Juan College in Farmington, NM started a Marketing for Smarties Train-the Coaches program for the Southwest region.

The United States Postal Service, one of the largest marketers to small businesses in the nation, has sponsored Marketing for Smarties Challenges from the beginning. JP Morgan Chase, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo have sponsored one or more events.

The Challenge was field-tested and prototyped through programs offered by the following hosts. While The Planned Growth Company expresses appreciation to the directors and staffs of each organization for the risks taken in offering a new and untried program, a special word of appreciation is given to Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, N.M. and Lehman College in the Bronx, N.Y. for being the first.

Small Business Development Center, Lehman College, Bronx
Beta Program, Summer 2003

Business Outreach Center Network, Brooklyn
Hosted by: Washington Mutual
7 DeKalb Avenue Branch

City of New York, Small Business Services,
Lower Manhattan Business Solution Center

Supported by: Small Business Development Center*, Pace University;
Sponsored by: Chase

York College, Jamaica, Queens
Adult & Continuing Education Center

Supported by: Small Business Development Center, York College;
City of New York, Small Business Services, Queens Business Solutions Center

Small Business Development Center, Farmington
Quality Center for Business, San Juan College

Small Business Development Center, Gallup
University of New Mexico

Small Business Development Center, Las Cruces
Doña Ana Community College

Small Business Development Center, Santa Fe
Santa Fe Community College, Santa Fe

Rio Rancho Chamber of Commerce, Rio Rancho

Train-the-Coaches Events
Quality Center for Business, San Juan College, Farmington
Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, Albuquerque

Wells Fargo sponsored the training events and a number of The Challenges.

The United States Postal Service sponsors Marketing for Smarties Challenges offered by the foregoing hosts.

*Small Business Development Centers are financed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and by state governments. Each center is located at an educational institution in its district. To find an SBDC in your community, click on

The Planned Growth Company frequently supplements The Marketing for Smarties Challenge one or more of the following events:

The Seven Deadly Sins of Small Business Owners
Positioning: The Ground Your Business Stands On
How to Listen to Customers and Prospects










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