Getting a Small Business Boost

Last week was a funny week for me.  An opportunity arose business-wise and ended up occupying most of my week.  I wasn't sure if it was blog-worthy or not and wasn't sure if I would be sharing the experience with all of you.  But, since blogging is about life and the life of the blogger, I decided  writing about it was OK.

 Of course, since I am from New England, I had other things on my mind last week, as well...that being the Super Bowl!!!   No bragging here but, the weekend turned out to be awesome!!  But, before this great thing happened...

From the Lowell Sun newspaper

I had to get working on my great opportunity.  The bank at which I do my business banking was kind enough to offer me an opportunity to advertise my business in their lobby. They explained that they like to encourage and support  businesses that have accounts at their bank. I could create a display and leave it exhibited for a whole month.  It was an offer I just couldn't refuse!  How awesome is that?  Free advertising!  Middlesex Savings Bank definitely supports small business.  All I had to do was show up with a display.  They even supplied the table!

For the last few weeks I have been designing my display.  Believe it or not, that turned out to be more work than you might think.  First of all, I sketched a display design on paper.  Then, I made a supply list and started ordering materials.  I would need a tablecloth, table runner, flowers, photos of my past work, frames, easels, business cards and marketing materials.  Luckily, I already had business cards and some of the marketing materials. The rest I had to order or make myself [or have hubby make it :).]

 I worked on getting some of my wedding photos printed and then made markers which paired the photo with its wedding or event venue.  I also made markers listing some of my services.  My husband made me an easel to display my company sign and some wooden cubes to elevate the marker holders.

I created two floral arrangements to sit on the display table, as well.  Here they are before being placed in my car for delivery.  Originally, I was going to make three of these to line the center of the table but, as I was working I decided that would have been overkill.  Two seemed to work out best.

Although this was an awesome opportunity, by nature I am nervous about putting myself out there. I was also worried about setting up the display.  I wasn't sure how the whole process was going to go or what the finished product would look like.  After all, I had only sketched it.  It was not a reality yet!  I also wasn't sure how welcoming the bank would be.

 As it turned out, everyone at the bank could not have been nicer.  Neptali, the bank manager, was very, very uplifting and all the tellers told me how nice the display looked.  I was very relieved.

I was happy with how the display turned out.

The only minor problem I had was keeping the flowers fresh for the week.  They didn't seem to last as long as usual so, I had to replace a few flowers as the week went on.  Since originally I thought I would only be able to have the display for a week, I thought fresh flowers would be the best way to show my work. Keeping that going week after week would be difficult and costly.  For this week, I simply made a living table runner out of greens and scattered votives down the center of the table.  That seemed to be a good choice for this week.  We'll see what happens next week :).

 All week long I got nice feedback from Neptali and the tellers, which was wonderful.

Of course, like any other advertising program, the proof is in whether or not new business comes from it.  Time will tell.

I did, however, receive a very nice Facebook message from a customer of the bank telling me how pretty she thought my floral designs were.  That was great to hear!

Any which way it turns out, it was certainly very nice of my bank to give me this opportunity.  I guess when they say to "shop local" that has to include your neighborhood bank, as well :).  The support of community is key to small businesses.

All in all, the week turned out pretty well :)!!

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