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Play With The Big Boys

Great business tutoring at affordable prices--sound too good to be true? Not anymore.

Calling itself a combination of "high-tech and high-touch," http://www.digitalwork.com is an online site that offers big-business advice at small-business prices.

Partnered with companies like IBM, Dun & Bradstreet, Business Wire and My Software, DigitalWork.com offers private "tutoring" and classes in a wide range of topics, including marketing, sales and public relations-often at less than $100. Through a variety of online workshops and a simple question-and-answer forum, you can get hands-on help from Business Wire experts on writing an effective press release as well as choosing the right media for exposure. Or you can consult with specialists from Flycast, the nation's largest online banner advertising company, for tips on how to advertise effectively on the Internet. From other experts, you can also learn how to compose a direct-mail piece, select an effective advertising list and purchase spot radio advertising. For $20, you even get a Dun & Bradstreet report.

"We understand the small-business owner often has to wear a lot of hats, so we're trying to level the playing field and revolutionize the way they work," explains Randy Grudzinski, vice president of marketing for digitalwork.com. "Ninety percent of small businesses can't afford the services of a big PR firm, which is why we offer the expertise of an industry leader like Business Wire."

According to Grudzinski, companies like IBM also view today's entrepreneur as the "next big frontier," particularly when it comes to the Internet and e-mail marketing. Through partnerships with companies like Postmaster Direct, entrepreneurs can (for about 20 cents) have a mass, press- release-like e-mail sent to those targets who might be interested in their products and services.

"The bottom line," says Grudzinski, "is that a small-business owner should be able to do everything IBM can do."

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