Some small business owners are calling a group of Cincinnati students the secret key to unlocking the door to more money.
"It's effective. It's a powerful resource. These guys are trustworthy, and, more than anything, they have a passion to do it,” said Donny Harper.
Harper owns GO(O)D Company Apparel in Over-The-Rhine, a clothing store that had just opened in March 2020, as shutdowns at the start of the pandemic began.
“I didn’t even have a chance to do my grand opening,” said Harper.
Then, he said, he found out about Neo Cincy. It is a group of 30 University of Cincinnati students who know how to translate business data into efficient marketing.
"We want to come in and deliver actual, tangible results," said Daniel Posmik.
Posmik founded the consulting group last year. He said Neo Cincy can trace company spending, customer demographics and habits -- like age, where they shop, when, what they’re looking for online. They then use that data to help owners advertise to certain groups.
"We are focusing our services on minority-owned business," he said.
Posmik says he came up with the idea after witnessing COVID-19 shutdowns and social justice demonstrations nationwide.
"We saw the despair in the community here in Cincinnati,” said Posmik. “The idea behind Neo is to power small businesses that are marginalized directly through data science consulting.”
This type of work can cost hundreds of dollars an hour, according to Glassdoor salary tracker.
"Oh, thousands of dollars,” said Harper. “Especially with time. Time is money. So, you'll spend a whole lot of time researching and investigating and, you know, trying to figure out the details of this thing when they already have it pretty much figured it out."
Neo has helped four local businesses so far: Mortar, Davis Cookie Collection, Natural Shea Care and GO(O)D Company Apparel.
"It shouldn't just be the Fortune 500 companies that have data scientists to make decisions for them,” said Posmik. “It should also be the businesses, the small businesses that are the faces of this community."
The team says their work with Natural Shea Care helped catapult the company into major retail stores like Target.
GO(O)D Company Apparel says sales increased 10 to 15 percent in a matter of months.
“It helped me a great deal because, instead of just shooting darts in the air, you have a goal. You have a specific target,” said Harper.
The group is searching for three more local, minority-owned businesses to help. You can contact them via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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