Small business owners completing paperwork.

Community-Powered Small Business Development

Community-Powered Small Business Development

CASE STUDY: Longwood University SBDC

A story-based marketing approach to revitalizing rural communities through small business development.

Small business owners completing paperwork.

The Challenge

Increasing awareness of the Longwood Small Business Development Center’s (SBDC’s) free classes and consulting services for aspiring, new and experienced small business owners.

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The Growth

%
increase in consulting requests
%
increase in minority clients
%
increase in newsletter signups
%
increase in Facebook reach

The Approach

With an integrated retainer, Letterpress worked to raise awareness of regional small business success and economic impact made possible by the Longwood SBDC. Strategies included a campaign creation for social media, website management, press releases, an annual report, and client success stories shared through blog and video.

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The Team

Letterpress believes in engaging input and buy-in from the community surrounding any effort. For the SBDC this included:

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The Stories

We believe storytelling is key in building relationships and success. With the Longwood SBDC team, we worked to:

  • Tell the stories of entrepreneurs who received support and advice from the SBDC.
  • Share the impact the SBDC has had on small business growth by highlighting numbers such as jobs created, funding received and profit increases.
  • Feature stories about the growth and economic development in the area supported by the SBDC.

We are a mission-driven company. We only work with organizations that we believe have a positive impact in their communities. The SBDC has supported entrepreneurial growth and economic development in Southside Virginia. In 2021, the SBDC:

Consulted with
entrepreneurs.
Had a regional economic impact of
$
in new capital.
Served a diverse clientele of
%
minorities.
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The Good

The Learnings

 

Highlight your audience’s success.
When your audience helps tell your story, it leads to engagement and exposure for you! By highlighting small business owners who have worked with Longwood SBDC, we not only give them a platform for promoting their businesses, but we advertise the SBDC’s resources, encouraging others to sign up for classes and one-on-one consultations.

Emphasize quantitative impact.
Pointing to tangible evidence of success small business owners achieved with the support of SBDC attracts buy-in for stakeholders who support the SBDC financially.

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Letterpress has helped Longwood SBDC creatively tell our client stories with more depth and greater appeal to the broader community.

Sheri McGuire, Executive Director, Longwood Small Business Development Center

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