Monday, June 13, 2016

Healthy Options Come to the Fort


Arthur Green (pictured) and Cody Barnes are the people behind The Meal Prep Pros. Early this year Cody had the idea to start a business whose goal is to offer healthy foods to people at an affordable price. With the help of Arthur to create the menu items, they started TMPP delivery services.

By mid-May they had a brick and mortar location in the old Skinny's White Spot Cafe on Rogers Avenue and started offering the option of dining-in. The Meal Prep Pros wanted to bring something new to the area. Their menu offers healthy options, like chicken stuffed zucchini, and quinoa stuffed peppers, which are their best sellers.  They also serve staple comfort food, like burgers. There are already a lot of low-sodium, gluten-free and vegan options on the menu, with more in the making!

Arthur and Cody keep their ingredients as organic and locally grown as possible by using vendors with farm to table beef, chicken and produce. They also go to the Fort Smith Farmer's Market during the season where local produce and meat are plentiful. It wasn't hard for them to find a good vendor as Northwest Arkansas is setting the pace for healthier eating, forcing Fort Smith suppliers to keep up with demand. 

While they service a solid number of dine-in patrons, 65-70% of their business is delivery to Fort Smith and Roland, they also deliver to Van Buren. Some customers will order a larger amount of food on Monday night to reheat throughout the week. Give The Meal Prep Pros a try today!

A Day at the Farmers Market


For thousands of years farming has been one of the most important, life-preserving, activities. Since Ancient Egypt, farming has been based around large, often-flooding rivers which provided fertile soil for the local community. Thousands of years later, we see the same models used for farming all over the world.

Fort Smith is a great example of this. The area is full of farmers and ranchers that take advantage of the fertile grounds. Located on the outskirts of the Arkansas River, Fort Smith’s Farmers Market on Garrison Avenue is attended by many of these local farmers. There you can find fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, homemade baked goods, and everything in between, including craftsmen.

The Fort Smith Farmers Market is not the biggest one you’ll see, but it sure has a soul. These farmers have been coming here for years and will continue coming back as long as the market is there. Loyal customers from the community visit between 7am and noon on Tuesdays and Saturdays to come buy fresh, homegrown food from the trustworthy farmers of the River Valley.

Google Announces Major Changes to Adwords


Stephanie Nugent is the President of CyberSpyder Marketing Service, a local web design and internet marketing firm.  In 2000, she had a dream: to use her talents to help small and medium-sized businesses claim their place on the world wide web.  She and her team work hard to do just that for over 200 local clients.

Last week, Google announced major changes to Adwords.  These are not tweaks, but a fundamental change of direction. They have shifted their thinking, and mobile first is the focus.  Previously, desktop was the focus, with configuration changes available to account for mobile. This is an exciting change that will allow advertisers to interact with their audience in a more timely manner.
This is big! One of the changes announced is a new opportunity for local businesses to advertise on and Google Maps. Now, if you are a local advertisers using location extensions, you get more prominent exposure, including browsing inventory, right on Google maps and when people search for specific products or services.  

You can watch the full video (one hour) here:

If you build it, will they come?


With over 30 years of experience in the advertising and design industry, Fitzgerald currently owns and operates Four Leaf Creative, Inc. (FLC) in Fort Smith, AR. Since 2006 FLC has been serving a wide variety of clients locally and nationally.

Unfortunately we’ve all witnessed the downfall of one business or another. Maybe it was your own, maybe someone else’s. Either way it’s difficult to watch. Even if not directly involved each of us inwardly cheer for those start-ups. We share in other people’s success vicariously because it gives us hope.

We all know there are no guarantees but many times entrepreneurs put themselves at a disadvantage from the start by believing that success will find them just because their doors are open for business. That classic line from the movie The Field of Dreams, “If we build it, they will come”, rarely works in reality.

The reasons for business failure are many, but not promoting shouldn’t be one of them. When starting a new business or service agency always remember to budget for promotional efforts. You’ve worked too hard to reach the batters box so make sure that you don’t take a fastball to the head without your helmet. It’s one thing to strike out and quite another to receive a devastating blow because of unpreparedness.

Word of mouth promotion is fine but the results may take longer than your pockets are deep, so seriously consider your marketing strategy and budget accordingly in advance. Promote your field of dreams, we all want you to succeed!