The Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers (MO SBTDC), with the assistance of the Edward Lowe Foundation and the City of Littleton, CO, director of business and industry affairs Chris Gibbons, announces the Business Growth Services program (BGS), a new statewide service that offers companies the information they need to expand markets, increase revenue and grow strategically.
The BGS team is composed of MO SBTDC counselors who have been uniquely trained in providing Fortune 500-level research to businesses positioned to grow.
"We are now offering something unique in Missouri, although it is a process that is being used in many other states with great success," says Paul Bateson, team leader for the BGS group, and MO SBTDC counselor with the University of Missouri in Columbia. "This is the kind of research that most companies would never be able to conduct by themselves due to the prohibitive cost of the databases and other research resources we use.
"The beauty of this program is its customization to the specific needs of each company," Bateson adds. "And it's delivered virtually through phone conferences, email and the web, which cuts down on the company's time investment. We know that's crucial for growing companies."
The BGS team provides research individualized to each company in three major areas:
Geographic information systems: BGS specialists use powerful mapping programs from the ESRI online program to help businesses visualize their markets and customers. This can be utilized to find new customers, analyze the competition, identify new business locations, investigate new markets and improve the effectiveness of promotional activities.
Social media marketing and website optimization: This information focuses on web page optimization and social media strategies using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other emerging social media. Common benefits of social media marketing include reducing promotional expenses, increasing traffic to websites, expanding a company's reach to targeted customers and identifying when and from where potential customers search for products and services.
Market research: Common uses for this kind of research include analyzing competition and customers, uncovering emerging trends and determining the size of potential markets. It can also provide powerful information on emerging trends.
Companies interested in participating in this new SBTDC program must meet certain criteria at the time of selection:
Companies interested in the BGS program must apply for services. The application includes basic information about the company, its products/services, employees, firm history and growth. Applicants are then asked to identify three basic research questions for the BGS team to explore for the company. The application system is designed to capture information about the company quickly and securely and allows the company to have continuous access via a login and password process. The information on the application will only be seen by the BGS team and members of the research team assigned to the case.
Make application to the program at https://missouri.nationalcentereg.org/.
More information is available from Bateson at 573-882-9976 or by emailing him at email@example.com.
This story was featured in the May 2012 newsletter