Two Farmington organizations will offer workshops to help businesses learn best practices for marketing

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FARMINGTON — San Juan College's Enterprise Center will offer several marketing presentations to help business owners get out the word about their products and ideas.

The center and WESST, a business development organization, will host a free "bring your lunch" presentation on Thursday entitled "Marketing: Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail."

Enterprise Center Director Judy Castleberry will present at the event, which is part of a series of 12 business-related presentations that will be offered this year.

Also, on Feb. 2, the Farmington Small Business Development Center will offer three workshops for small businesses that focus on internet marketing.

Castleberry said many of the questions the Enterprise Center —  an organization that provides services and resources to new and existing businesses — receives deal with marketing. She said businesses that don't plan for marketing end up spending money on other items and then run out of funds when it comes times to market themselves.

"It's more than just sticking up a sign and saying 'for sale.' It's about the entire message: branding, where do I want to advertise, what makes my business special and different in the marketplace and who is my target audience," she said.

Castleberry also plans to speak about how marketing has evolved, particularly as it has moved to the internet.

"Now consumers want conversation, they want to give comments," she said. "Marketing is now more about a dialogue than a monologue."

While Chris Hunter, director of Farmington’s WESST office, agreed social media is a crucial part of modern marketing, he said having a website is still important for many businesses. Websites allow owners to list more information about their products and post resources.

"A website also allows you to have permanency," he said.

Hunter said his organization helps businesses fine-tune their marketing by targeting customers.

"We have to find out who, ideally, will value what the business has to sell," he said. "We help them sharpen their product or service, help them place their product, help figure out pricing and how to promote the product, so customers can understand how their business is different, and why different can be better."

The Small Business Development Center's workshops next month will focus on social media, online marketing and building a website. The featured speaker will be Eric Spellmann, who developed a popular marketing video series.

"I don't believe (local business owners) are fully up on social media and the website aspect of business," said Carmen Martinez, director of the Small Business Development Center. "Websites are supposed to be a selling tool that help retailers reach out to others. We need to try to expand our selling base, especially since the economy isn't as great as it could be."

Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.

If you go

What: "Marketing: Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail" presentation

When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday 

Where: Room 5028, San Juan College's Quality Center for Business, 5101 College Blvd., Farmington

More info: No cost. Bring your lunch. Call Chris Hunter at 505-566-3715 or Judy Castleberry at 505-566-3699.

What: Farmington Small Business Development Center's marketing workshop series

When: All workshops are on Feb. 2. "The Art of Generating Quality Leaders using Social Media" is at 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. "A Retailer's Guide to Online Marketing" is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Bring your lunch. "5 Secrets to a Business-Building Website" is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Merrion Room, San Juan College's School of Energy, 5301 College Blvd., Farmington

More info: Cost is $20 per session or $50 for all three. Registration and payment required by Feb. 1. Call 505-566-3528 or email SBDC@sanjuancollege.edu to register.

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