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Deluxe Summit Reveals How Entrepreneurs Overcame a Tough Economy to Launch and Grow Businesses

June 16, 2011 by  

Webmaster ToolboxST. PAUL, Minn. – Out of the approximately 27 million small businesses in America1, Deluxe Corporation (NYSE: DLX) selected nine to be a part of the Project REV marketing lab created to help small businesses market more effectively. Today, one year later, these entrepreneurs will unveil their year-to-date business results that show how a little marketing expertise can go a long way, even in a tough economy. The results will be shared and discussed at a Small Business Insight and Innovation summit for Deluxe employees in Minneapolis beginning today. The company also announces the results of a new small business survey, revealing a glimpse into the minds of the modern small business owner.

“By listening to small business owners, we realized that marketing is a major frustration for most of them. We developed Project REV to help our participants discover how they can make marketing work and it’s been gratifying to witness the results achieved,” said Laura Radewald, Deluxe vice president of enterprise brand. “We are happy to say that all of our Project REV participants weathered the storm of this tough economy and are optimistic about their future prospects.”


Project REV participants received $5000 in Deluxe marketing services such as logo design and web site development. They were assigned a marketing advisor from Deluxe who coached them throughout the year. They were also assigned a SCORE counselor to provide guidance on the non-marketing aspects of their businesses. As a group, their sales more than doubled during Project REV versus the prior 12 months.

Here are some highlights of the participants’ results:
– Increased Sales: Mary Helton, a former Fortune 500 employment law paralegal, found herself with few inspiring job prospects during the economic downturn. She and her sister, who is an optometrist, decided to open Fenton Family Eyecare together. With a newly designed web site, Facebook site, logo and business cards and a focus on events, tradeshows and publicity, they’ve nearly doubled the size of their patient and retail customer base. “We really understand now how important it is to set aside time for marketing. When we focus on it, we get to meet many new customers,” says Helton.
– Amplified Online Traffic: Amy Sandoz, a former volunteer for the American Red Cross, saw firsthand how difficult it is for busy families to prepare for emergencies. In response, she launched Ready Set Go Kits to help families prepare quickly, easily and affordably for emergencies and disasters. With the help of Deluxe advisors, Amy received a new logo design and focused on publicity. She also shifted her strategic focus to institutional versus consumer sales and now employs SEM after natural disasters. As a result, her sales have almost quadrupled and the web site activity has moved from hundreds to thousands of visitors per month. “Now I understand how important it is to seek outside help and perspective. Being a part of Project REV has enabled me to look at my business in a whole new light, and I’m excited about its future growth,” says Sandoz.
– Expanded Capacity: Diane Presser, a teacher for 32 years, started Comfort Coach Transport, Inc. a non-emergency transport service for the elderly and disabled. Her website has played a major role in helping customers find her business. Her growing revenues and the increasing demand for her services made Diane confident enough to purchase a second transport van in May 2011. “Because of Project REV, I was invited to be on the Martha Stewart show. As a result, I’m already getting calls from people around the nation asking about how to franchise Comfort Coach in their own city. I never could have imagined that kind of call before being a part of Project REV,” says Presser.

And there are many more successful growth stories to share.

This summer Deluxe will begin recruiting for its next installment of Project REV. Interested small business owners can sign up at http://projectrev.com/about/ to find out more details on how to win a year’s worth of marketing mentorship and thousands of dollars in Deluxe marketing products and services.

About Deluxe Corporation
Deluxe Corporation is a growth engine for small businesses and financial institutions. Through its industry-leading businesses and brands, Deluxe helps small businesses and financial institutions attract and retain customers. The company employs a multi-channel strategy to provide a suite of lifecycle-driven solutions to its customers. In addition to its personalized printed products, Deluxe offers a growing suite of small business services, including logo design, payroll, web design and hosting, business networking and other web-based services to help small businesses grow. In the financial services industry, Deluxe sells check programs and fraud prevention, customer loyalty and retention programs to help banks build lasting relationships and grow core deposits. Deluxe also sells personalized checks, accessories and other services directly to consumers. For more information about Deluxe, visit www.deluxe.com.

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