GARDINER — Gardiner Main Street and Maine Small Business Development Centers are sponsoring workshop sessions in the next month for small business owners.

Patrick Wright, executive director of Gardiner Main Street, said the sessions will be hosted at the Bank of Maine’s executive board room, at 190 Water St.

Wright said in order to survive and thrive, successful businesses are always re-evaluating their market positioning and implementation of their marketing strategy.

“These workshops are geared toward exposing small business owners to fresh ideas, and to help them look at the entire marketing cycle,” Wright said.

The weekly workshops will take place from 7:30 to 9 a.m. today, as well as Nov. 9 and 16.

Today’s session, “Market Positioning: Getting the Right Message to the Right People,” will focus on how to attract and hold customers. Wright said a business must craft a clear message and communicate it in all of its advertising so customers know how the business can meet their needs better than the competition.

“This is called market positioning, and it is a critical component of small business marketing success,” he said. “Mary Kate Reny of Reny’s will talk about her company’s approach to successfully developing its market position, and the lessons all business can learn from their success.”

On Nov. 9, James McConnon Jr., extension specialist and professor of economics at the University of Maine, will lead “Customer Service Makes Great Business Sense.”

Wright said customers expect something more than traditional customer service; they demand exceptional customer service.

“This interactive workshop is designed to help small businesses create sales and profits through improved customer service,” he said.

The series wraps up Nov. 16 with Brad Swanson of Maine Small Business Development Centers and Coastal Enterprises, Inc. The workshop is entitled “Increasing Your Sales by Getting Customers to say YES.”

“Why do people buy certain products and services?” Wright said. “How can the small business owner help their customer to say yes? In this 90-minute workshop, participants will learn some keys to why people buy what they do and how the small-business owner can help them make their buying decisions.”

The cost for individual sessions is $25, or $60 for all three. Gardiner Main Street business supporters may enroll in an individual session for $20. Light refreshments will be provided.

A link to register can be found at or call 582-3100.


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