Small businesses don’t always have the time or resources to develop comprehensive marketing plans on their own, but students in Alverno College
’s marketing program are looking to give them a boost.
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Alverno marketing students working on plans for area small businesses.[/caption]
Undergraduate students in the marketing principals and management class worked with five businesses last semester and are working with four more this semester. The program starts with the students looking at the businesses strengths and weaknesses and making some initial recommendations. Those recommendations have included name changes and revamped websites. By the end of the semester businesses have a step-by-step marketing plan.
“The students’ enthusiasm is off the charts,” said Stephanie Gregory, instructor for the class and outreach director for Alverno’s MBA program. “They’re realizing they can use their education to influence someone’s life and business, and they’re very passionate about it.”
The program was the result of a meeting between Alverno business faculty and staff from the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.
Businesses that students have worked with include Camino, Coffee With a Conscience, Divine Scents, In Home Personal Care Services, Tu Casa, Retro Café, Dances With Dogs, House of Fashion and Bobby Drake. WWBIC currently has more than 30 businesses on its waiting list for the program.
“Their ideas about changing the website, fun ideas for each day, and stickers for the cafe have increased my traffic flow both on my website and in-store,” said Aalia Scott, Retro Café owner. “Since these have been implemented, our café is on top of search criteria on Google.”
Jordan Mackin, an international student from Northern Ireland, said she is enjoying the opportunity to work with companies instead of focusing only on theory and research.
“Getting the chance to collaborate with business owners is incredibly fulfilling and an opportunity which I wouldn't get at my university back home,” she said.