Monthly Learning Tips from Rhode Island Small Business Owners: Lifelong Learning

Ronald G. Shapiro, PhD

This month’s learning tips come from Bob Salvas, a lifelong Rhode Islander, certified SCORE counselor, Seminar Coordinator for the Rhode Island chapter of SCORE, independent marketing consultant at Bob Salvas Consulting and owner of 4 th Monday Networking. Bob’s marketing career spans 30 years, initially as a marketing team member for the United States Post Office and more recently as an independent consultant helping small to medium sized businesses with their marketing initiatives.
Through his tenure in the profession Bob has observed a major change in the ways to most effectively market a business. At one time a business needed to simply provide information to customers. The customers would notice the information and call the business for more information. Today there is so much information out there that a business needs to focus on unique ways to communicate while also providing evidence that the business is credible. In Bob’s opinion, this can best be accomplished
through networking, email, direct (paper) mail, and social media. The most effective of these communications include testimonials supported by word-of- mouth recommendations from satisfied customers and others. Additionally, utilizing a novel way to communicate, such as hand writing direct mail, can’t hurt.

 

As a SCORE (an independent agency, originally established as the Service Corp of Retired Executives by the US Government Small Business Administration in the 1960s) volunteer Bob is dedicated to providing learning opportunities for business people because being a dedicated lifelong learner is absolutely critical for today’s successful business professional. All SCORE volunteers share Bob’s passion for learning and have been highly successful business owners or corporate executives. There are about 30 SCORE volunteers in Rhode Island. Some are currently active in their businesses. Others have retired. The volunteers offer seminars and 1:1 counseling at libraries, Chambers of Commerce offices and other public locations throughout the state. While most of the seminars focus on marketing, financials and productivity, SCORE aims to satisfy all business owner needs with unique seminars, bringing in outside experts and generally doing what is necessary to help business owners to be successful. The seminars and counseling are all free and highly recommended for business professionals. Bob recommends that
all small business owners:

 Utilize the free consulting, seminars and webinars offered by Rhode Island SCORE. To start go to the website for information and to register for opportunities: https://ri.score.org.
 Become familiar with the US Government Small Business Administration website (https://www.sba.gov), the services they offer, and the links to services offered by numerous other organizations.
 Include Face-2- Face networking as a significant part of their business marketing plan. Bob emphasizes that successful networking focuses on relationship building rather than making a quick sale. He emphasizes the importance in building both deep relationships, by getting to know selected people really well by attending some events very regularly and by broadening the scope of people one knows through attending new events as well. Bob states that you cannot build your business while hiding in the office.

Please contact Bob at 401.359.1602 or by email at Bob @BobSalvas.com for any questions you may have about marketing or SCORE. He considers it a privilege to help the small business professional to become more successful.

I would like to thank Industrial Consultant Dr. Margarita Posada Cossuto for helpful comments.

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