Marketing, Branding, and Small Business: The Bartlett Farm Example

Bartlett Farm Merry Christmas – Used with Permission – Click here to go to video

Merry Christmas video

Merry Christmas from the Bartlett Farm – Used with permission

Small-business owners, like all other business owners, want people to know about their business. They also want to establish a reputation regarding their business and to build a brand.

There are many tools that owners can use to get this done. One such tool, the use of video, has been seeing increased use and is being encouraged by those who work with and support these owners.

Getting into video production is a scary idea though. When suggested, owners think of cameras, editing rooms, putting together a script, and, of course, cost.

Yet more and more often, owners are finding that they can do great video on their own without fancy tools.

An example of the latest video from the Bartlett Farm from northern North Dakota shows how one small business uses video in their marketing and branding campaign. Part of establishing your brand is providing some background of the people involved in the business. They also show that you can have some fun when making them. And they include a visual reference to one of their products.

To see more on how they use images and video, check out their website – Notice they even have a link to take you directly to their media page.

As you make plans for your next marketing campaign, think about all of the marketing tools you have available. Know where your audience is and how best to reach them.

Video is effective and growing in popularity and is something you can do it yourself. It can put a personality on your business, let your clients be your advocate, and tell your story.

Happy Holidays from Power of Business

Building a Successful Business – Is Passion Enough?

Photo (CC) Bruce Berrien, on Flickr

Photo (CC) Bruce Berrien, on Flickr

It probably goes without saying that people who start a business are looking to do so successfully.

Some suggest that success can mean different things. To me, and I could be wrong, a basic definition of success would include two things. First, it would be achieving some desire of the owner. That desire may be more time with family or working from home or being your own boss. And it could simply mean making money.

Making money is the second part of my definition. All businesses need to make some level of profit. Not just money, but a business should look to cover all its costs – direct, indirect, taxes, machinery replacement, etc. It also must pay the owner, and all others who may have to pitch in, a salary comparable to what they could earn elsewhere.

Beyond that, a strong business will pay the owner for the risk they are taking and reward them for developing and managing the company. Some may argue that some of this is not necessary, and partially I might agree. Yet, it is these items that say an owner is serious about having a successful business.

Based on these two factors of business success, it may be true that passion alone might not get the prospective business owner to that point. Jennifer Lewis, Small Food Business blogger, suggested this in her recent blog regarding passion and business success.

So how does an owner reach his or her goal of a successful business? You can find answers to that question in our Power of Business tips. More information on developing successful businesses can be found at:

Entrepreneurs and Their Communities, a national effort bringing university people together to provide information and answers to questions.
Some Extension programs offer support.
Small Business Administration,
Small business development centers,

Passion and perseverance, or whatever you call it, is without a doubt one key element of success. When the owner blends that with the other business tasks of planning, marketing, and management, he or she is best positioned to achieve the goals they desire.

Selecting a Business Structure

A startup question for business owners is deciding on the legal form of the business. Will the business be a simple sole proprietorship or will another form be used?

Selecting a business structure should be done based on aspects such as control, ease in business transfer, taxes, etc. The question should be answered with input from legal and tax advisors.

One possible structure is a “cooperative.” In this chat, held on Dec. 5th, Heidi Demars, Marketing Director, discusses cooperatives and how it fits with the goals of the BisMan Food Coop.

To learn more about cooperatives, check out: Basic Cooperative Principles from eXtension and Chose Your Business Structure from the Small Business Administration.

Friday 15 Live Chat – December 5 – 11:15 a.m. CT

Harnessing the cooperative business structure to launch a new enterprise
December 5th, 11:15 CT/10:15 MT

Heidi Demars, marketing director for the BisMan Community Food Coop in North Dakota, will discuss how cooperatives work as a small business structure. We’ll hear how the BisMan Coop idea started, and where it is at today. Of course, lessons learned along the way will be shared.

The BisMan coop is working to provide retail access to healthy and sustainable foods, stocked regularly by local farmers & ranchers, other regional producers, and a national supplier.


Click here to join the Chat – Talk to you soon!