Amanda Brinkman: Champion for Small Business Owners
by Tim Healy
Small businesses are as American as apple pie. When the pandemic began in 2020, Main Streets in towns and cities everywhere began to experience challenges like never before. My guest today has seen firsthand the effects of COVID-19 on small business owners.
My guest today is Amanda Brinkman, the Chief Brand and Communications Officer behind Deluxe Corporation. She is also a creator, producer, and host of Small Business Revolution, a popular series on Hulu and Amazon Prime, now entering its 6th season. Amanda is here to discuss the impact of the pandemic on small businesses, and how small business owners can set themselves up for success in the future.
This week’s episode of The Profit Express is brought to you by Corbett Public Relations, Promoting and Protecting Businesses and Brands for over 30 years.
Contributing to the World
Gone are the days when all you needed was a great product or service to succeed. Today, consumers demand that you practice what you preach. At 3:47, Amanda discusses how the pandemic and other events of 2020 helped show just how drastic the division of wealth is in the United States. Does your brand purpose match the actions you take? If not, what steps can you take to start doing good and contributing to the world?
A Focus on Authenticity
How did Small Business Revolution come about? Listen at 8:05 as Amanda speaks about how a special anniversary led to the start of this journey around the country. Deluxe Corporation was celebrating its 100th anniversary and grappling with the problem of having less than 1% brand awareness with small business owners. To kill two birds with one stone, they went around the country to tell the story of 100 small businesses, dubbing them Small Business Champions.
The result? By focusing on authenticity and a true love for small businesses, Deluxe had 1,000 news stories written about their campaign, giving both the companies and Deluxe itself more attention than they ever could have dreamed.
Thinking in a Business Sense
You likely started your business because you had a passion for flowers, accounting, or whatever service your company falls under. You likely did not start your business because you wanted to build a website or spend time learning marketing.
Listen at 18:05 as Amanda speaks about how gets business owners to think about the actual business needs they have. The internet is a great equalizer and has leveled the playing field when it comes to marketing. However, it is now expected that businesses have a digital footprint. Amanda offers some advice: even a small investment in graphics and fonts for your website can have a major impact on your branding.
Stop Wearing Every Hat
As a small business owner, your time is always in demand. As Amanda discusses at 21:00, it is vital that you be honest with yourself about where your time is best spent. You simply cannot take on every role, and you should not be afraid to hire someone to help you with the hard parts of your job.
The 2020 Effect
It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on us all. But for small business owners everywhere, the results of the pandemic and related lockdowns have been devastating.
Listen at 34:50 as Amanda speaks about what she saw while filming Season 6 of Small Business Revolution. Many business owners have begun to see the importance of basic marketing ideas. It is now more important than ever before to have a website and a strong online presence. Make it as easy as possible for customers to find you and know what policies you are enforcing.
Your Story is Powerful
Behind every business is an owner. And behind every owner is the reason why he or she began a company. At 40:00, Amanda discusses just how important it is to put your story out there, even if you don’t think anyone will care. Now more than ever, consumers want to know that you are passionate about your business.