Monday, April 30, 2012

You may be a hoarder.

Are you a hoarder?
Between reality TV shows, articles in magazines, newspaper headlines about the latest cat lady--one would think that there is an epidemic of hoarding behavior in our country.

So . . . are YOU a hoarder?  Let's take a quick quiz to find out.

1. At networking events do you collect business cards?
If you answered YES
Surely you know that collecting things without thinking about the purpose and usefulness of the item can be an early sign of hoarding.
If you answered NO
Why are you going to networking events?  When you leave a networking event without any cards, either you already knew everybody in the room or you were just there for the coffee.  And I ask you--is that effective networking?

2. If you are collecting business cards--the key is what you do with the cards, are they in a drawer or box on your desk? 
If you answered YES
Not only do you need to worry about hoarding behavior, I would like to point out that these business cards become  Schrodinger's Cat.  When you open the box--maybe there's business in there or maybe the business is dead.
In any case--the point is . . . well . . what IS the point.  So you have a nice collection of business cards.  Are you expecting them to go out and do business for you?
If you answered NO
I'm intrigued . . . what are you doing with your cards?

3. Do you scan all of them into your database?
If you answered YES
Are you also making quick notes of how you met the person, or their business, to trigger your memory?  And are you throwing the cards out (or recycling) when you're done?  Or better yet--are you selecting a few key cards and passing them on to your network?
If you answered NO
Okay, seriously, I'm intrigued--WHAT are you doing with your cards?
Do you display your business cards as part of a collection--bragging about your latest acquisitions?  I'll grant you, some business cards ARE very creative.

Business cards can be the mulch that help you grow your business.  But NOT if you're storing the mulch in your office and not cultivating anything with them.

You're a hoarder if your piles of business cards are negatively affecting your quality of life.
You're an ineffective networker if all you have are a handful of cards from people you don't know.

Be an amazing networking and stifle the hoarding instinct.

Use the networking events to get to know people.
Use business cards to quickly gather contact information that you follow up on.  Put the information in your data base within 48 hours of a networking event.  If you don't do it right away--you will forget who the people are behind the cards.

Connect with your contacts on Linked In.  Check out their Facebook page.

Spend time thinking about how you can help THEM--and not just about how they can help you.

These are the keys to growing your business AND keeping the clutter out of your office.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Insider Tips for getting the most out of your Chamber membership

At a recent event, we asked Chamber members to give us their "Insider Tips" for getting the most value out of their Chamber membership.  Here's what they said.

"Attend as many events and activities as possible.  People need to get to know you, like you and trust you before doing business with you or better yet--sending you referrals."
Donna Bullard, Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union.

"We're all here hoping to share and learn from one another.  It's amazing how quickly you make new friends with a common goal."
Denise Poniatowski, Divine Nutrition

"The more you get involved with the Chamber, the more benefits you will receive."
Ron DeLorme, Manage Max Performance Improvement

"Be patient.  Attend, watch and learn from others."
Nathan Sealy, Brass Ring Wealth Management

"Watch for visits from Teri Robinson, Membership consultant at the Chamber.  Her smiling face and current info on what's happening in the Chamber are great!"
Kimberly Dunahay, Divine Nutrition

"It's not just business you find at Chamber events.  We found Katie Marietta (Fitness and Aquatics Director) at the Taste of Clarkston!"
Tammie White, Deer Lake Athletic Club

"Use the membership list to make contact and introduce yourself.  Find out who handles decisions on your product/services and get connected with them."
Patty Gelsomino, Toshiba Business Services

and from the Chamber staff we have these additional tips:

Attend a Member Orientation meeting (held every 4-6 weeks).  You'll learn what programs, services and values you can access immediately to jump start your involvement in the Chamber.

Don't try to do it all.  Be strategic and selective about when and where you can participate in Chamber events, programs and projects.

Use your membership.  Like a gym membership, if you don't use it--you don't see the results.  

Involvement can mean reading your Advertising Advantage, checking out the website, following the Chamber on Twitter or Facebook, connecting on Linked in.  It's not just attending BOBs, Mixers and Women in Business events.

Write your business goals down.  Then think about why you joined the Chamber, what the Chamber can offer and what you can participate in.  Write down your goals for your Chamber membership and three things you will do in the next 30 days to help achieve those goals.  Make an appointment with yourself to review these goals and actions in 30 days--find out what works for you and do more of it.

Visit the website--you'll find lots of information on what's happening, business resources, information about other members.

Send information, press releases, photos, announcements to  She will help promote you through the website, eBlasts and social media outlets.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Time Saving Tips from our Members

"Combine your place for fitness and entertainment.  Find  a third place. Home, work and add a place for the whole family."
Katie Marietta, Deer Lake Athletic Club

"Pick 6 activities that you want to do during the day.  Prioritize them, then start on the 1st one."
Nick Hamp, Total Benefits System Inc.

"Instead of making breakfast or lunch, stop in and have us provide you with a quick delicious healthy "meal" smoothie."
Kimberly Dunahay, Divine Nutrition

"Return calls while on the road (Hands free Blue Tooth only.)"
Nathan Sealey, Brass Ring Wealth Management

"Always have a plan for your day.  When you have your own business it's easy to get caught up in time wasters.  Make a plan and stick to it!"
Denise Poniatowski, Divine Nutrition

And here are some tips from the Chamber Staff

Sign up for auto-bill with the Chamber.  If you regularly attend BOBs, Mixers or WIB events, we can have you pre-registered for all these events.  You'll get a reminder email for the event so you can confirm you're still planning to attend.  If necessary, you can cancel that registration at that time, without penalty.  It's a great way to make sure we've saved you a seat at our events.

Eat that Frog.

Set goals weekly.  Assess them at the end of each week.  Evaluate what obstacles kept you from meeting your goals and what opportunities helped you reach your goals faster.

Be realistic about how much time it takes to do something.

Don't check your email every minute.  Set times at the top or bottom of the hour--or at a set point in the morning or afternoon--and then walk away from the inbox.  Don't let an incoming email of low urgency jump the queue for important things you have to do today.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Best Advice a Mentor Gave You

At a recent Chamber event, we asked our members to share with us, the best advice a mentor every gave them.

"Lead by example.  Your staff with follow you."
Donna Clancy, Clarkston SCAMP

"It takes 21 days for something to become a habit."
Patty Gelsomino, Toshiba

"Never come back from a request empty handed."
Nathan Sealey, Brass Ring Wealth Management

"There are 3 things you need to do: See the people, See the people, See the people!"
Nick Hamp, Total Benefit Systems, Inc.

"When you have confidence in your employees capabilities you will seldom be disappointed."
Donna Bullard, Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union

"What' easy to do is just as easy not to do."
Denise Poniatowski, Divine Nutrition

The Chamber staff had some additional tips:

"Don't post anything on Facebook that you wouldn't want your mom to see, because chances are, your mom's on Facebook too."

"Pay it forward."

"When setting goals, always include one that's a bit of a stretch--something you have only a 1 in 10 chance of achieving.  You never know what you can do until you stretch."

"Change is uncomfortable.  Lean into the discomfort--it means you're growing and learning."

"When listening to an unhappy customer--Remember to W.A.I.T.  Which means Why Am I Talking?  If you're listening .  . . you're not talking."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Insider Tips for the Clarkston Area

At a recent event, we asked Chamber members to share their insider tips for the Clarkston area.

"Use Pine Knob Road to get to DTE Energy Music Theatre."
Nathan Sealey, Brass Ring Wealth Management

"Check out the Back Court restaurant at Deer Lake Athletic Club.  It's open to the public and has great food!"
Tammie White, Deer Lake Banquet Center

"It's a small community.  Everybody knows everybody!"
Jason Ryan, Groupon

"When you network with good people, your business grows."
Denise Poniatowski, Divine Nutrition

Chamber Staff have a few recommendations too:

Downtown is very walkable.  It's the perfect after work or weekend route for meeting friends, taking the dog for a walk or exploring with your kids.

If you want a good seat at Concerts in the Park, come early (by 6:00).  As an added bonus, you get to hear the local talent pre-show.

The biggest parade on Main Street with the July 4th parade.  If you want a seat on the curb in the downtown area, you'll need to stake out your spot by 8:30.  However, you can find great spots at the start of end of the parade route up until the start time of the parade (10 am).

Look around.  Hidden gems like Via Bologna are tucked away--but they are well worth hunting out.

We love to dine outside. Now that the weather is nice, we look forward to eating outside.  Check out Mr. B's Roadhouse, Mesquite Creek, Clarkston Union, Union Woodshop, Dairy Queen, Via Bologna and more!

The Clarkston Historical Museum is located at the Independence Township Library.  Beautiful visual displays change on a regular basis.  It's well worth a stop by while you're checking out the latest audio book collections or DVDs.

The Spraypark at Clintonwood Park is a great place to take the kids.

We have a LOT of recreational options in the Clarkston area.  Between beaches, golf courses, the ski hill, cross country skiing, hiking, fishing, fitness trails and bike paths--our area also hosts a variety of fitness race events, 5Ks, fun runs and walk-a-thons.

Go ahead . . . show off!  Invite your friends and family to come see Clarkston.  Show off your own "insider tips" as you give them a tour.  We have lots to offer!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Finding and Keeping Quality Employees--tips from our members

At a recent Business over Breakfast, we asked our members to share tips on how to find and keep quality employees.  Here's what they said:

"Compensation. Incentives. Benefits. Encouragement."
--Joy Vander Weel, All Saints Cemetery

"Make employee feel appreciated. Offer sales incentives.  Thank them often. Give encouragement.  Great benefits include: health, 401k match, excellent vacation time.  Genisys Credit Union is Hiring!  Full and part time.  Apply online at"
--Hollie Sayles, Genisys Credit Union

"The greatest way to attract and keep employees is how you treat them."
--Ron DeLorme, Manage Max Performance Improvement

"Involve the employees in the decision making."
--Carol Peters, Lafontaine Automotive Group

"Offer incentives like tuition reimbursement."
--Fred Ritter, Clarkston Autowash Co.

"Feed them."
--Chris Collins, Planet Kids Premier Academy

"Use 4 hour working interviews and ask staff opinions."
--Dr. Bryan Cornwall, Advanced Petcare of Oakland

"Invest in them!  Spend time getting to know their dreams.  Love them (in the right way)."
--Janet Tait, Wellness Enhancement LLC

"Work for your wife.  Divorce is expensive."
--David Jackson, Ideas for You

"Define jobs specifically.  Recruit widely.  design interview questions to reveal job skills.  Do not SETTLE for warm body!  Lots of talent available in Michigan."
--Ron DeLorme, Manage Max Performance Improvement

"Casual Friday."
--Fritz Jackson, Ideas for You

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Social Media Tips--What's working for our members

At a recent BOB, we asked our Chamber members, "What's working for you with Social Media?"

"Keep tweets limited to 120 characters so others can retweet.  (RT)"
Jason T. Ryan, Vision Fuel Media

"Facebook is working!  I spend 10 minutes a day.  I respond to other's posts.  One in 20 of my posts is about my business, the rest is about my life."
Laura Jasurda, Rodan and Fields

"I'm a fan.  Linked in helps you think strategically about your contacts.  You can use it to send a thank you for connecting--it leads to conversations."
Larry Ribits, Keaton Publications

"I use Constant Contact--it helps me stay in touch and in front of customers and clients, even in the busy times."
Tom Lowrie, Lowrie's Landscape

"Having information about our natural burial area The Preserve, is bringing great interest to our website."
Russ Burns, All Saints Cemetery

Cross links from Twitter to Facebook to Linked in etc and to your website will help you come up higher in Google and other search engines."
Tom Kiihr, Signs Now Waterford

From the Chamber staff
There are a lot of online social media marketing outlets and tools out there
Invest a little time learning about what each has to offer
Go to where your target audience (and prospective audience) spends their time

TWITTER, the Chamber utilizes Social Oomph to pre-schedule tweets.
Look for content that's easy and interesting to tweet for these pre-scheduled tweets.
We use motivational and inspiration quotes
DTE Energy music theater concert announcements
Local blood drives and community events and activities.
Along with general Chamber information, trivia and tips.
We also use Tweetdeck to "listen".  We've set up columns to capture keywords and phrases of interest to our community.  When people tweet about Clarkston--we want to hear what they're saying.

CROSS LINK We've connected Twitter and Linked In to our Facebook page.  When we post once--it shows up on all 3 Social media outlets.

FACEBOOK--photos and weblinks grab the eye and engage the audience.
Asking questions--even simple ones like "What's your favorite flavor ice cream" can engage the readers.  Let them tell you what they like.

What else is out there?  
Have videos of your business, events, activities, products, testimonials and staff?  Upload them to YouTube and link to them from Facebook and Twitter
Have photos of your business, events, activities, products and staff?  Use Flickr to post them online.
Sign up for Pinterest and learn how to "pin" photos to your public bulletin boards.  You'll find out what people respond to when they Like or Repin your photos and videos.
If you've posted photos or videos on your website, Flickr or YouTube, you can PIN them to your Pinterest boards.  (Facebook photos and videos don't pin . . .yet)

If you have a retail business, you might want to investigate FOURSQUARE.  This social media, location based smart phone app encourages users to announce where they are by "checking in" with their phone.  Retailers and restaurants can capitalize on this by finding out who visits them on a regular basis.  You can also encourage users who are nearby to come on in and check your business out, by posting a special offer on FOURSQUARE.  When a user is in the area, their phone will tell them what special offers are nearby.

There's a lot of social media tools that are out there--free of charge--but needing an investment of your time to learn and keep current your online presence.

There are also a lot of tools out there for additional charges (many of these are nominal annual fees) to upgrade your accounts, give you access to more features or even monitor and manage your online presence for you.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Marketing Tips

At a recent BOB, we asked our members to share tips, ideas and strategies for marketing.

"A millionaire once told me--To be a success you need to talk to 15 people per day.  Track how many people you talk to each day."
Laura Jasurda, Rodan and Fields

"Take advantage of being feature on Groupon.  Exposure to 700,000 people in SE Michigan and no out of pocket cost."
Jason T. Ryan, Groupon

"Run a Testimonial Ad in the local paper.  People always like to know what your customers think."
Russ Burns, All Saints Cemetery

"Advertise in the local paper."
Jill Dixon, Heather Pines

"Track where your leads come from.  Give and get referrals."
Lenny Dicks, MAACO

"Join local networking groups and form relationships."
Jason T. Ryan, Vision Fuel Media

"Get referrals from your existing customers, on their business letterhead.  If necessary, offer them a sample letter to show them what you're looking for."
Don Souden, Coffee Break Service

"Develop strategic referral partnerships."
Larry Ribits, Keaton Publishing

"Follow up! The fortune is in the follow up.  Read No More Cold Calling by Joanne Black."
Nick Shone, Legal Sheild

"Attend ribbon cuttings, grand openings and open houses."
Ginny Hechinger, Costco

"Pass out promotional items with your company name, logo, slogan or branding."
Fritz and David Jackson, Ideas for You

From the Chamber we add the following tips:

  • Know who your target audience is and where to find them
  • Partner with other chamber members who have a similar customer base to give referrals back and forth
  • Ask questions of the advertising representatives for newspapers, mailers, radio and TV--advertising may be more affordable than you realize.
  • Running 1 ad isn't going to do much--be consistent.  Build your marketing plan so it sustains consistent and multi-platform (Social Media, Print advertising etc.) based.
  • Consider participating in service clubs and volunteer organizations.  You'll build friendships and camaraderie, but you're also building your personal and company brand.  People do business with people they know, like and trust.
  • Show up.  Attending a Business Over Breakfast is an easy way to meet new people and grow existing relationships.
  • Sit with somebody new at lunch.  If you always talk to the same people, you will get the same information.  Reach out and meet someone new.
  • Sponsoring an event like Women in Business, allows you the opportunity for a table display and presentation time in front of the group.
  • Co-brand with excellence. Sponsoring an event like Concerts in the Park or Taste of Clarkston, gets your name in front of a lot of local eyeballs--while being aligned with well-loved, smooth running events.
  • Put your flyer in Advertising Advantage, the Chamber's direct mailing to 1000 area business.  ($150 per month)
  • Take advantage of Independence Township library business resources and databases.
  • Remember that excellent customer service at every touchpoint is fabulous marketing that will keep you in front of return customers and clients!
We've told you a few of ours, now share with us some of your best marketing tips, ideas and secrets!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tips for Saving Money

At a recent BOB, we asked attendees to share with us their ideas, tips and secrets.

"Pay yourself first.  Set aside 10-20% in savings and don't touch it!"
--Laura Jasurda, Rodan and Fields

"Review every contract and vendor annually."
--Donna Bullard, Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union

" Don't print unless absolutely necessary.  You'd be surprised how this small thing adds up."
--Holly Sayles, Genisys Credit Union

"Switch to CFL light bulbs."
--Joanne Kent, Batteries Plus

"Take advantage of FREE interns through Michigan Works, Oakland University, Baker College and more!"
--Jason T. Ryan, Vision Fuel Media and Groupon

"Create a budget and stick to it."
--Carol Peters, LaFontaine Automotive Group

"Take advantage of discount savings through your company."
--Liza Shone, Legal Shield

"Track your spending.  Manage your facilities maintenance and equipment carefully."
--Russ Burns, All Saints Cemetery

From the Chamber's side, I know of a few more tips that you want to keep in mind.

  • Be a member.  Members save money on most event registrations.  
  • Check with your tax advisor.  Chamber membership dues may be a business deduction
  • Utilize early bird sign ups.  You'll save $5 on BOBs and Mixer registrations and $25-$50 on Golf, Business Bootcamps and EXPO registrations.
  • Get and use your free Office Depot discount card.
  • Price our your health insurance options utilizing
  • Participate in Advertising Advantage and reach 1,000 area businesses for just $150
  • Use Chamber members--and check the chamber's website directory at to see if they offer a chamber member to member discount.
  • Check out Chamber programs with Comcast Business Services
  • Sign up for a year's advertising on the Chamber page with the Clarkston News and get a FREE Advertising Advantage
These are just a few of the ideas and tips our members shared with us.  Do you know of other good ways to save money? Tell us!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Networking tips from the Ultimate Networker--NPR interview

This morning, like most mornings, I turn on the radio and listen to NPR while I have my coffee, check emails and start the debate about when I NEED to get my running shoes on and still have time for a shower before heading to work.

Today's broadcast included an interview with Reid Hoffman is the co-founder and executive chairman of the professional networking website LinkedIn.

Don't sit with the same people at lunch all the time.  (Good point!  That's why we do reserve seating at our mixers.  So you have the opportunity to meet new people and connect.)

Get out of your comfort zone and connect with another department, another business, another vendor, supplier or customer.  (Not everyone you meet at a mixer is your ideal customer, client or referral partner--but they are someone who could have valuable experiences, ideas and knowledge that can help you.)

Find out what's going on in their lives.  What are they look for right now? What do they see as a trend, challenge, opportunity or obstacle?  (How often do we get stuck looking through our own microscope?  So familiar with our own jobs, territories, responsibilities and routines, that we miss the chance to put together a bigger picture.)

Be curious about other people's jobs, experiences, ideas.

The entire interview had more great tips from the ultimate networker--you can check it out here:

About that time, the clock dinged and I could procrastinate no longer.  Time to hit the treadmill.  The 3 miles went quickly as I thought about the interview and considered how it applies to me--my job--and the Chamber.

There is a wealth of information and opportunity in our community.  The Chamber helps businesses get connected and stay connected. But how can we do it better?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Send all the Right Messages

Networking doesn't suck.  Desperation does.
--Shawne Duperon, Top 20 Networking Nuggets

This month, Clarkston Area Chamber is offering a business bootcamp that can help you get your elevator speech (and more) into shape.  Don't dread networking for another day!

Send all the Right Messages

Elevator Speeches and more
Communication is about what you say and how you say it.
2 hour interactive boot camp/workshop 

Does your Business Elevator Speech make a great 1st impression?

What “messages” are you really sending to prospects and customers when Networking, Selling or providing Service?  

Attend this fun and interactive boot camp and make sure that your ELEVATOR SPEECH is Sending All the Right Messages!

Bring some friends and make the most of this great opportunity
Space is limited

February 29
7:45 AM registration check in
8:00-10:00 AM  Presentation

 Colombiere Conference Center
9075 Big Lake Rd.
Clarkston, MI 48346
Coffee & continental breakfast provided
REGISTRATION$49 Chamber member early bird rate
$89/per person non-members and at the door registrations

Ron DeLorme
Manage Max Performance Improvement

Program Goals:
· Focus on YOUR Elevator Speech and YOUR needs
· To provide useful information and give YOU time to refine your Elevator Speech!
· Help YOU be more effective, and feel more comfortable, when giving YOUR Elevator Speech.
· Help YOU build a Support Group that can help each other in the future!
· Help YOU build your business!
Program Activities:   
· Review a helpful Verbal and Non-verbal Dos and Don’ts, then, apply simple rules and guidelines that will improve your Elevator Speech immediately!
· Bring your best “Elevator Speech” and find out what a “friendly coach” really thinks about YOUR Business Elevator Speech and delivery!
· See how you score on an Elevator Speech Checklist!
· Tweak your delivery and Elevator Speech so that everything is more Clear, more Positive and more Powerful!  And these improvements may lead to greater Customer Loyalty, more Customer Referrals and more business!
· Ensure that, in the future, you are sending only the RIGHT Verbal and Non-Verbal MESSAGES!
· Create your own Business Excellence Support Team (BEST) – they will help you excel in the future!
· Have fun!  Learn new skills!  Make new friends!  Find new customers!

This event is co-hosted by 5 Chambers of Commerce in North Oakland County:
Clarkston, Orion, Auburn Hills, Ortonville and Oxford.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Networking, Expectations, Goofus and Gallant

Recently a chamber member brought a concern to my attention.

This person is what I would refer to as a "Great Networker." They noted that there are people out there that think just because you've been introduced and exchanged business cards that you're now obligated to purchase their services or send a referral. The member with Great Expectations may (or more likely may not) have done the same as they're expecting, but the expectation is there.

Now stop and think about this for a minute. Is everyone you meet a prospective customer or client? Is it possible to give business to everyone you meet for the first time WHEN you meet them for the first time? (We have nearly 600 members in our Chamber alone--and many of our members belong to multiple networking groups.)

Yes, networking can pay off with valuable referrals--but there's a difference between being a Great Networker and getting those referrals and being a "Great Expectations" kind of networker. Which one are you?

Great Networker
People do business with people they know.
Great Expectations
I gave you my business card--so now we know each other--give me business.

Great Networker
People do business with people they like and trust.
Great Expectations
I'll like you better when you give me business.

Great Networker
Relationships are about the lifetime value of a connection--not a flash in the pan.
Great Expectations
If you're not giving me business--there's no lifetime value.

Great Networker

It's not just the person I'm meeting and getting to know--it's about all of their connections too. Maybe you aren't a good prospect for my goods or services--but I'll bet you know someone who is. I treat our relationship with respect and care--it's an example of how I treat customers and clients. So even if you don't use my services or products--you know I have high integrity and value. Hopefully that makes it easy for you to think of me when a referral opportunity crops up.

Great Expectations
I'll give you some more business cards you can give your friends.

Great Networker
I ask questions about your business, learning more about you, your goals, how things are going.
Great Expectations
Why are you asking me all of these questions about my business? If you're not a potential customer or client, stop wasting my time.

Great Networker
After learning about your business, I often am asked similar questions about my own business.
Great Expecations
Well I told you all about my business--time to move on.

Rereading this before posting, I am reminded of the old Highlights Magazine cartoon strip "Goofus and Gallant." Yes, I'm a baby boomer--this was long before the days of Dilbert or Calvin & Hobbs.

Basically these are classic themes about having good manners. I strongly urge you to NOT be a Goofus.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Women in Business series 2012 begins today!

Women in Business series 2012 begins today!
One of the things that gets us through the winter months is the 4 part Women in Business series.  Once a month, January through April, Clarkston Area Chamber hosts a WiB (Women in Business) event.
These events are designed for women business leaders, but are open to everyone--you don't have to be a business leader, chamber member, or female to attend these events.

What exactly do we mean by "Designed for Women Business leaders?"

Our topics and speakers are motivational, inspirational--presenting 45 minute keynote addresses of high quality information and energy. 

WiB events include extra time for networking and relationship building.  I've observed over the years that when you put Clarkston's women business leaders together at a networking event, they prefer time to build friendships and advisory partners that lead to strategic referral partnerships.  They don't like to be rushed.

They DO like for events to start on time and end on time.  They enjoy surprises and are game to participate in activities.  

All that in mind--I know that today's event with Terry Bean and his presentation 6 Degrees of Connectedness will be rewarding, enriching--and fun!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Get Connected and Stay Connected

This month, the Chamber will host a member orientation on Wednesday January 25, 2012  9-10 a.m. at the Chamber office.

We've been holding these events every other month for almost three years.  They've been targeted for our newest members to help them jump start their participation in the Chamber value offerings.

We cover the basics:
Where do you go for information and updates?
How can you promote your business within the Chamber network?
What are the best fit for marketing opportunities within the Chamber?
What kind of savings and discounts are available for Chamber members?

We also bring in a member from the Ambassadors and the Board of Directors to share their experiences on what's worked for them, what tips they suggest for getting the most out of your membership and more.

Beginning in 2012, we are now publicizing these orientation dates and opening them up to all Chamber members.  We only ask that you RSVP so we are sure to have enough materials printed and on hand for the meeting.

If you're not sure what's new, what's the best fit, or how to ramp up the value you're getting from your Chamber membership, then plan to attend an orientation.  

WEDS January 25, 2012  9-10 a.m. at the Chamber

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In a short while, the Chamber Ambassadors will descend upon the Chamber office.  There will be laughter and loud voices--but more than that, there will be a wave of positive energy and excitement. It's like a high tide of opportunity and "can-do!" that fills the office.

Our Ambassadors serve as volunteers.  They do what they do, because they LOVE it!  Each year, it's hard to believe, but the pool of Ambassadors gets better and better and better.

While an Ambassadors act as hosts as events, greet new members and facilitate networking--what they really do (and do so very well) is set the "temperature."

Are you comfortable?
Do you feel welcomed?

Thank the Ambassadors.

Are you able to talk, as well as listen while you network? Do you find that Chamber members you meet touch base, talk with you, send referrals in an ongoing fashion?

Thank the Ambassadors.

Do you laugh, have fun and look forward to Chamber events?

Thank the Ambassadors!

Our Chamber Networking Brand is well known, positive and copied by many surrounding groups.  It's that good, because our Ambassadors are that good!

Thank you Ambassadors!  You totally Rock!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What do you resolve to do?

Happy New Year!

Yes, I am one of those people who enjoy looking at January 1 as a lightswitch opportunity. I'm full of hope, anticipation and ambition as I approach the fresh new calendar pages.

This is an opportunity to assess, align and repurpose yourself to be the best you can be.

This year, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of some of the great talent in our area. The Chamber is deploying our secret weapon--YOU!

Sharpen the Saw
Stephen Covey talks about Shapening the Saw (you'll cut down trees faster if you take time to sharpen your saw)--and we're going to help you. Throughout the year you'll find Business Bootcamps scheduled--beginning with January 11, 2012 with the Microsoft Office 365 Cloud bootcamp.

Bootcamps will be held at different times of the day, different days of the week and offer different themes, topics, presenters and price points. While we don't expect members to attend every bootcamp, we do encourage you to attend as many as you can.

The skills, tips and connections you'll make at these events will be well worth the investment of your time and dollars.

Get connected and stay connected with your Chamber peers.
The best investment to grow your business is finding and aligning with strategic referral partners.

Measure your success
Start thinking now about how you'll track and measure your success. How many referrals do you get from other Chamber members? What dollar amount does that bring in for you?

And for my part . . . I'm renewing my commitment to keep this blog updated. It's easy to fall back and let time zip by as you race from deadline to deadline. It's IMPORTANT to follow through on what you start.

This WILL be a prosperous New Year!