NEW YORK -- Small business owners who are in the dark about how to market their companies can get help and training, some of it at low or no cost. Here are some options:
— Marketing consultants, including some who specialize in working in small businesses, can create plans or advise owners in formulating their own. Some consultants specialize in social media or digital marketing. The cost can vary widely; asking other owners for referrals is a good way to start searching for a consultant.
— SCORE, the organization that offers free counseling to small businesses, has mentors who are current or former marketing executives, and many have expertise in strategies like social media or in specific industries. SCORE also holds local events, some of which are about marketing. You can find a SCORE counselor and learn more about the organization's other services at www.score.org .
— Small Business Development Centers sponsored by the Small Business Administration also offer free help and classes including some that deal with social media and other forms of marketing. Many SBDCs are on college and university campuses. You can locate one at https://americassbdc.org .
— Some colleges and universities offer non-degree classes, either online or in person.
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