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Q+A with Stephanie Majeran of DSM Craftmakers Collaborative on Local Business School Participation

Local Business School

September 18, 2023

This article includes an interview with Stephanie Majeran, Consultant at Baton Global, about the Local Business School: Master Your Small Business Marketing sessions.


Q: Why did you participate in Local Business School?

Stephanie Majeran: I had the idea for a new business that was going to need a lot more knowledge about marketing than I’ve needed previously. I thought about waiting since it was so new, but I wanted to take Local Business School when I knew Emily Steele would for sure be leading parts of it.

Q: What were your first impressions of the program?

SM: LBS offered great coverage of almost all things marketing related. It was awesome to have access to so many different local marketing experts.

Q: What level was your business (full time, part time, co-op) when you started Local Business School?

SM: Barely part-time. It was mostly just an idea that I had taken some steps … like getting an LLC and a website.

Q: What were the top 2 or 3 things that you learned during the Local Business School series?

SM: I was thankful to have access to a Shopify expert. I learned a lot about how to set up my website and was also able to reach out to him with specific questions when things weren’t working how I expected.

The exercises that forced me to think through specifics around who my customer is and how to talk about the business were very helpful.

Another was Meta business suite! I had no idea it existed until it was mentioned and what a great free tool it is for small businesses.

Q: What was something impactful that a Local Business School speaker said throughout the program that stuck out to you?

SM: If you don’t keep things simple and consistent, you will turn people away because they have to work too hard to understand your business/product.

Q: Which session did you find the most helpful for your business and why?

SM: E-commerce for sure since that was a totally new realm for me!

Q: How have you utilized the insight you received during the Local Business School program in your business?

SM: LBS helped me get Shopify to a point, though I have since stumbled upon more frustrations that may require more help or a switch to a new platform.

Q: Did you network with other business owners during the event? What did you learn from those discussions?

SM: Many sessions were small — it being the first cohort — but I did connect with two who were consistent about showing up like I was. I got the most value from the coaching sessions with Emily Steele!

Q: What can attendees expect from attending Local Business School?

SM: There may be some sessions that aren’t as relevant to your needs, but it’s still very useful to learn all the different aspects of marketing. You never know when having a tiny bit of knowledge about SEM etc. could come in handy!

I found the sessions way more valuable because they were local experts whom I could easily meet with or bump into in real life. I don’t think I would have gotten as much out of it if it was just some big marketing course with no connection to the presenters.

Q: What advice do you have for 2023 Local Business School participants?

SM: You need to carve out the time to show up. I don’t even know you, but I can tell you that you won’t watch the recordings. Plus, the real value is having time to ask questions to experts that would otherwise cost a lot of money to hire!

Looking for tools to help grow your startup or small business? Visit the Small Business Resources Hub to find the information you need, including connections through a Resource Compass and Business Counseling through the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s network.

Emily McLain

Emily McLain is the Regional Affiliates and Member Support Manager at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.