The Annual Business Meeting for the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for Thursday, November 19, at Staybridge Suites. In addition to voting for Board positions, we will be recognizing a Business of the Year and Ambassador of the Year. Our members and guests will enjoy a lovely breakfast and time with colleagues and friends. There will be fun giveaways and special prizes. To pre–pay click here.
October 29, 2015: EMV Basics Important For Small Business
Beginning October 1 merchants became liable for certain kinds of fraudulent credit card transactions if they didn’t upgrade their point of sale systems to EMV, the new chip technology that makes in-person purchases more secure. The new chip creates new payment credentials for each transaction. Thus cards are difficult to counterfeit compared with regular magnetic stripe cards that have static payment information.
Conversely, EMV cards for online sales are not bulletproof. The chip has to physically be inserted into a payment terminal. As a small business you will need to decide if it’s worth the cost of the upgrade. However all businesses are susceptible to “card-present” fraud, so upgrading may off in the long run. For an on-line resource, click here.
October 12, 2015: China Bound
This week, 25 travelers will be headed for China. In 2015, the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce added a travel program as one of the many benefits they offer their members. Chamber members were offered the opportunity to visit China for 10 days, a true chance of a lifetime. Travelers will visit the Great Wall, a 4,000 mile long, 2,000 year old structure. In addition, touring the Forbidden City, Tian An Men Square, The Summer Palace and the Ming Tombs are just some of the incredible places they will experience.
Next year, the Chamber plans to travel to the Tuscan region of Italy. If you didn’t get the chance to join this year’s travel trip, be thinking of next year’s premier trip opportunity.
City Council Candidate Forum
Re-broadcast of the City Council Candidate Forum. Watch to hear what the local candidates had to say about the top issues facing Mukilteo.
September 1, 015: Candidate Forum
On Thursday, October 1, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the Mukilteo Chamber will present the City Council Candidate Forum at Rosehill Community Center. Given that in years past there have been a paucity of contenders running for office, this election cycle deserves some notice. This fall residents will choose between eight political contenders to fill four slots on the City Council. Two council seats are being vacated due to incumbents who are choosing to retire. Additionally, two councilors are up for re-election, so local voters will need to do their homework.
What this means to us is that residents must be encouraged to attend, find out who is running and what their positions are. There are important issues facing Mukilteo, both now and in the future. As a business community, it is crucial that we have councilors who are making economically sound decisions regarding commercial growth and viability in our area. As a resident, our councilors represent us on a local level and it is important that they be responsive to us as constituents.
In Position 4, Nicole Thomsen will challenge incumbent Steve Schmaltz. Scott Whelpley and Mohammed Riaz Khan will contend for Position 5, a seat to be vacated by Emily Vanderwielen who will not seek re-election. Linda Grafer’s Position 6 will also be vacated, and Richard Emery, and Jon Boyce will vie for the seat. Challenger Charlie Eakins will face off with incumbent Christine Cook.
Each candidate brings strengths and ideas to the table. Each has a platform upon which he/she feels will add depth to the City Council. It then behooves the community to thoughtfully and carefully study the issues that our city faces, balance out the personalities and characteristics that make up the governing body of Mukilteo and make an informed choice. We then, are tasked with and encouraged to scrutinize these candidates’ positions and actions so that as a community we are skillfully and competently represented.
As a nation that values and advocates our right to vote, we as a democratic society find it a privilege to cast our ballot. Let’s do it!
For more information about the Candidate Forum, interested persons may call: 425-347-1456, email: Julie@mukiltechamber.org or stop by our office: 4902 – 76th St. SW, Mukilteo (across from Olympic View Middle School).
September 16, 2015: Thank You, Gracias, Danke, Merci…
The Mukilteo Chamber just wrapped up their most rigorous event of the year. Planning, implementing and running a Beer Garden for three days is arduous work, but with the many willing volunteers that signed up to assist Team Chamber, it was a fun and enjoyable weekend. With nearly 80 slots to fill, we began sign-ups several weeks ago.
We could not have successfully managed our Garden without the assistance of servers, cashiers, set-up/take-down staff, gate managers, rovers and more. So…One Thousand Thank Yous to our volunteers!
September 9, 2015: Avoiding Life’s Ruts
Early pioneers who helped settle and tame the Wild West had to overcome many challenges as they made progress toward success. Planning enough food and water, avoiding wild animals, maneuvering through Indian territory, overcoming disease, and arriving safely and successfully before inclement weather hindered their progress, were just a few of the factors to consider before loading up the wagons and heading out. Those who headed west were driven by the desire for opportunity and were inspired by the dream of land ownership, farming and freedom.
Helping to spur the migration west was a newspaper editor by the name of John O’Sullivan who wrote, “…the right of our manifest destiny to over spread and possess the whole (land) of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative development of self-government entrusted to us.”
From the mid 1830s to the late 1860s, hundreds of thousands of settlers, ranchers, farmers, miners, fur traders, missionaries, businessmen and their families made their way through a network of emigrant trails. Following trails blazed by others was beneficial to those pioneers who traveled from the mid-west, however, they also had to avoid the ruts that were cut into the trails by the thousands of wagons before them. It’s been said that at the entrance to one trail a sign was posted that read, “Avoid this rut if you don’t want to be stuck for the next 25 miles.”
Much like pioneers of old who had to carefully avoid the ruts in emigrant trails, today’s business professionals must avoid ruts in life’s paths if they hope to achieve their goals.
Develop a Routine Not a Rut
Some people begin each work day by planning and listing the priorities that need to be done while others plan their day the night before. Some will take the time to review their day’s work and see what was accomplished and how well it was done. Some take notes, make adjustments and look to see how they can improve. At the age of 20, Benjamin Franklin developed a list of 13 virtues (which can be found online) in order to continually improve his character. Regarding his work, Franklin wrote, “Industry. Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.”
A daily routine will help you to be more focused, waste less time and be far more productive.
Develop Goals and Stay Focused on Them
It’s good to have goals. What do you want to accomplish by the end of the year? How many sales calls do you want to make each week? How much money do want to have for retirement? When do you want to pay off a certain debt? Which musical instrument would you like to learn?
Setting goals increases one’s motivation, drive and achievement. Those who set goals have a tendency to demonstrate greater persistence and creativity in pursuit of those goals as well. Zig Ziglar once said, “I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.”
Developing, focusing, and working toward goals is one way to avoid falling into a rut.
Develop an Accountability System
From Bible studies to CEO peer groups and everything in between, accountability keeps people accountable. Inviting trusted individuals into your life for the purpose of accountability increases a sense of personal responsibility, improves performance, and helps to achieve potential. When a family in a covered wagon found themselves stuck in a rut, others came along side and assisted in the effort to help them out. Allow others to assist you in your effort to avoid falling into a rut, limiting and delaying your success. Trusted relationships are important in the advancement of one’s career and the development of their character. As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You will be the same person in 5 years as you are now, except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
In the diaries of the pioneers who traveled the emigrant trails, they often referred to those trails as, the dusty road, steep road, rocky road, long road, endless road, tiresome road, and winding road. You can’t help but to get an image in your mind of the difficulties and challenges those early pioneers faced in their effort to reach their goals. In making your way through life, your professional career, and in your effort to avoid life’s ruts, remember to always take the high road.
Mark Turner is President/CEO of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce. After 20 years of sales and marketing, he left the corporate world and served 12 years in the ministry as an Associate Pastor before accepting his current position with the Chamber of Commerce.
August 28, 2015: Unlock Your Potential
If you are a leader, how are people describing you? Personal characteristics and expressive words such as intelligent, adaptable, strong role model, and communicator are admirable descriptors. Indeed they are qualities every leader should aspire to. Equally important, comes the ability to empower others, to develop strengths and skills that enhance overall performance, and to guide others in the notion that being a leader is not noun, but a full-fledged verb.
A revolutionary leader means you have enthusiastic, energized followers. By modeling a team-play configuration, you tell others that you value their contribution, that you are open to honest and authentic dialogue and negotiation, and that you are actively fostering their self-confidence and success.
An effective leader presents challenges as a learning tool so followers may hone and refine their skill sets and abilities. This strategy fosters in them a belief that they can step out of their comfort zone even at the risk of failure. Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Challenges strengthen their resolve to not only meet a goal but to exceed even their own expectations.
True leaders work to bolster effective, clear communication. Whether it is verbal discourse, or a non-verbal message, personal connection is crucial in encouraging followers to be passionate about goals, to feel included and to meet the call to action. One of the best ways a leader can boost a person’s confidence is a simple, “job well done.” Remember, if you aren’t a good leader, you won’t have followers.
Starting September 29 and running until December 8, the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce will be introducing a 10-week series called LEADERSHIP: Learn it – Live it- Lead it. Anna Rohrbough a certified coach, speaker and teacher with the #1 Leadership Guru in the world, John C. Maxwell, will instruct attendees in a once a week [Tuesday] morning class, 8:30am – 10:00 am – except Thanksgiving week. The Maxwell philosophy believes leadership is a privilege and a responsibility. This series will equip attendees with tools and teachings that enhance their leadership qualities, both personally and professionally. A focus of the John Maxwell Company is to “live out” or practice the principals of leadership every day.
Class space is limited so early registration is strongly recommended. Registrants may sign up at www.mukilteochamber.org/leadership/. Chamber Members: $497 and Non-Members: $597 by August 31; an additional $53 starting September 1. Participants will received a John Maxwell Leadership Certificate upon completion.
For more information interested persons may stop by the office, 4902 – 76th St SW, Mukilteo or call: 425-347-1456.
August 24, 2015: It’s Your Turn Mukilteo
“I am alone, 16 years old and pregnant. What do I do with my life?” Meet Jody Harris, named by Forbes “the 2015 Virtual Trendsetter of the Year, who will share her story from scared teenager to award winning inventor, best selling author and motivational speaker.
Meet image stylist and author Lisa Fischer, who helps her clients create a personal brand through style, and will take attendees through the process of wardrobe management and outfit styling. Never again will you say, “I have nothing to wear.”
Meet Jen Duchene, speaker, author and Akashic healer who helps people uncover their abilities, release emotional weight and change life patterns. She and Sherill Calhoun a 45 year veteran in corporate America who mentors women seeking financial stability through a strategic process, will both lead sessions that focus on empowerment and authenticity.
Meet Kerstin O’Shields, whose skills in nonverbal communication through body posture, facial expression and body gesturing will help to enhance your personal message, performance and business abilities. A native of Seattle, Kerstin is engaging and has a great sense of connection.
Joie Gharrity has worked in the Hollywood entertainment industry for more than 15 years with companies such as The Walt Disney Company and Sony Pictures. Now in the Bay Area, Joie focuses on techniques and strategies that help to brand your business and bring greater visibility in the marketplace.
Finally, Lisa Lamont, speaker and author of Boot Camp for the Soul will share insights on what might hold her clients back from success. She has been a guest on New Day NW in Seattle, several national radio shows and hosts two weekly radio shows featured on Blog Talk Radio.
To register for the September 10 (8:30 am to 3:00 pm) workshop, held at Staybridge Suites in Mukilteo, log on to: www.mukilteo.org/itsyourturn.
August 3, 2015: Kuni Westside Infiniti
In November of 2005 following a several-decades long philanthropy, Wayne D. Kuni and Joan E. Kuni started their private Foundation. As an important part of their personal philosophy, they have striven to provide services and funding to a number of non-profits, businesses and individuals that focus on committed community involvement.
Recently Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) announced they’d met the Knight Cancer Challenge parameters by raising $500 million for cancer research. Since cancer research is one of the two matters particularly dear to the Foundation’s focus, just two weeks ago the Kuni Foundation confirmed that they’d contributed $5 million toward the Challenge. This partnership is not new, since the Foundation has been instrumental in providing scholarships to students attending OHSU over the past several years.
The Kuni Foundation has not limited their charitable patronage to large projects such as OHSU’s research landscape. Their goodwill has enhanced projects and events in communities around California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado where they have automotive dealerships.
Starting in 2011, Kuni Westside Infiniti in Lynnwood has partnered with the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce as their Title Sponsor for the Lighthouse Festival Beer Garden Sound Stage. Noted General Manager Brian Nicholson, “I am glad to work for a company that is dedicated to giving back and making a difference in the community.”
Once again, they will assume the mantle and underwrite a healthy portion of the stage and music costs for the Lighthouse Festival Weekend. As a non-profit, the Chamber relies upon the support and backing of collaborative businesses such as Kuni Westside Infiniti in our area.
Now in its 50th year, the Lighthouse Festival will open its proverbial gates starting on Friday, September 11, at 3:00 pm. Attendees will enjoy family fun, a children’s area, juried artists’ booths, food vendors and the first of two fireworks displays. The Staybridge Suites, Friday Night’s Stage Sponsor in the Beer Garden once again stepped up and helped to underwrite the event. Cover charges will be waived on this day for attendees wearing Seahawks, Mariners or Sounders gear. To honor first responders and the military on this historic day, respects will be paid on the anniversary of September 11, 2001.
Saturday’s and Sunday’s schedule are varied and includes many offerings for festival guests. New this year, the Beer Garden will be open on Sunday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm with a Bloody Mary Bar and live music. Families are welcome to enjoy the Garden with limited space set aside for the Bloody Mar Bar. The final day of the Festival will run from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm with continued activities as in previous days. A full schedule can be viewed: www.mukfest.com.
During the entire weekend, free shuttles will be running from various parking lots around town. Mark your calendars and Save The Date for Mukilteo’s biggest annual party!
(reprinted from the Mukilteo Beacon)
July 30, 2015: It’s Your Turn Mukilteo
Seven influential speakers from across the United States will be joining us as the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce presents It’s Your Turn Mukilteo. Participants will hear about the speakers’ experiences, how to be influential business owners, implement effective strategies and find new opportunities. A catered lunch is included in the registration. Giveaways and swag will be given away throughout the day.
Location: Staybridge Suites, Mukilteo
September 10, 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
July 24, 2015: Develop Your Leadership
The Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce is offering a Leadership course starting September 29, 8:30 am to 10:00 at the Chamber office, and running for ten weeks (not Thanksgiving week). Anna Rohrbough a certified leader, speaker, and trainer of John Maxwell will lead the class through topics such as Connecting vs. Communicating, Great Leaders Trust Their Intuition and much more. This is an excellent opportunity for businesses and individuals to learn valuable skills that will enhance their personal and professional environments.
For more information call: 425-347-1456 or to register online click here.
July 13, 2015: National Night Out
In 1984, National Association of Town Watch began as a premiere non-profit crime prevention organization working to develop and promote crime prevention in communities nationwide. It was a network of neighborhood watch groups, law enforcement, civic groups and concerned citizens that provided the base, and eventually the National Night Out campaign was launched.
National Night Out (NNO) is now an annual community-building campaign that encourages and promotes camaraderie within a neighborhood. Picnics, barbeques and block parties began springing up, creating a sense of connectedness, not only with neighbors, but with law enforcement. Communities began “taking back their neighborhoods.”
This year in Mukilteo, our NNO is scheduled for August 4, from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the YMCA (10601 – 47th Place West). There will be several booths on site, with fun, interactive things for attendees of all ages. Last year there was a small putting course, a Velcro inflatable jumping wall for kids, live band, bicycle rodeo and more. We expect even more this year, including a dunk tank with a chance to “soak” your favorite Police Chief, two of our City Councillors and State Farm agent/owner Matt Martin (also the Chamber’s Board President).
NOTE: In connection with National Night Out (Aug 4), the Mukilteo Police Department in cooperation with the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce will be hosting Movie Night at Bella Terra in Harbour Pointe on Friday, July 31. The popular movie “Planes” will be featured at 9:00 pm. All are invited to attend. Bring your low back lawn chairs, blankets, and enjoy this family friendly event.
July 2, 2015: July 4th Closures
The Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce Office will be closed July 2-5, re-opening on Monday, July 6th. Other businesses closed July 3-4 include but are not limited to:
City of Mukilteo, Mukilteo Water and Wastewater District, Rosehill Community Center and all City facilities, County offices, US Post Office.
Have a happy and safe 4th of July.
June 24, 2015: Gearing Up For The Car Show
The Mukilteo Community Car Show is just around the corner, and we are ready to go! More than 225 cars are expected to be front and center at this 6th annual event. A wide range of cars including classic and antique cars, muscle cars, hot rods, pickups and motorcycles will be displayed at the Historic Flight Foundation site just off Paine Field Airport, giving visitors the unique opportunity to view some of this region’s most amazing cars as well as wandering through John Session’s collection of vintage aircraft free of charge. Car collectors, fans and spectators find this Car Show a favorite, with a selection of food and beverage vendors, general vendors, and children’s activities to round out the day. Raffle prizes are offered, including the rare opportunity to enter to win a ride on “Grumpy” a B25 vintage aircraft.
This summer’s happening is family friendly and offers a relaxed atmosphere for Car Show attendees of all ages. A cautionary note though; due to airport regulations, pets will not be allowed at the Show. With the increase of entries each year, Event organizers moved the car viewing location onto Kilo 6, a taxi-way behind the Historic Flight Foundation’s building.
New this year is the Saturday Cruise-In, featuring a catered dinner by Alexa’s Catering, an Elvis impersonator, live music by Grace & DeGroot, and a Memphis themed evening. Car Show entrants have the opportunity to bring their car in on Saturday for optimum parking options, enjoy the evening’s dinner and events and then avoid the long line on Sunday morning.
On June 28, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, attendees will enjoy this free to the public offering. Judging this year will include The People’s Choice, Police Chief’s Choice, and Best of Show. Also in the running, will be first and second place awards for Favorite Muscle Car, Pickup, Motorcycle, Original Stock Vehicle, Sports Car, Convertible, Custom/Special Interest, Street Rod, Cool Cruiser and Paint Job. Raffle prizes will be drawn and awards given out at 2:30 pm. The Best of Show winner will have the option of participating in the 2015 Lighthouse Festival Parade in September.
This year several local businesses partnered with the Chamber to help produce the Community Car Show. Staybridge Suites sponsored the Saturday Cruise-In, while Karmichael’s Auto Salon, Dwayne Lane’s Family of Auto Centers, and Les Schwab – Mukilteo stepped up to support the Muscle Car Sponsor levels. Several other businesses sponsored the trophies and we value the level of commitment that our local businesses offer to both the Chamber and to our community.
The Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce will continue to accept applications for showing a vehicle in the car show until the day of the event. However, day of show pricing increases to $25 per vehicle. For more information call 425-347-1456.
(reprinted from the Mukilteo Beacon)
June 4, 2015: Food For Thought: Assess Your Business
Take it from a person who lived on an island in Alaska for 30 years; going to a bona fide Farmers Market is awesome! Don’t misunderstand me, living in a 17 million acre National Forest has its culinary benefits: fresh seafood abounds, wildlife is abundant, and native berries thrive. Corn on the cob, lovely, ripe peaches, plump tomatoes…not so much. My “Farmers Market” came in the form of ordering on-line to an organic farm out of Carnation, Washington. They shipped crates of fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables via Alaska Airlines to like-minded families in our community. Harvested in the morning; eaten for dinner. Fresh!
What does that have to do with a business-related newspaper column? More than you realize. Farmers, whether they manage holdings that produce fruits, vegetables, dairy, or meat, must have the same basic game plan as a business that offers clothing, insurance or any other commodity. They must evaluate the strength of the service or product they are offering, mitigate the weakness that any business struggles with, build on an opportunity, and finally, cultivate and nurture the positive outcome.
Full Circle Farms did just that. They had a much coveted product (fresh, organic fruits and vegetables) whose appeal would have been ample in the Seattle area. However, they chose to assess the value-added benefits of sending it to a community with NO farmland, and their product substantially increased in worth. Then building on this opportunity, they partnered with Alaska Airlines to facilitate transporting the product to a remote location. Finally, their personal interaction with customers, including a user friendly website, resulted in a win-win for all concerned. Successful commercial establishment and happy customer; isn’t that what every business is looking for?
May 10th marked the beginning of our region’s Farmers Markets. Everett’s market in the marina opened on Mother’s Day and one by one other markets are starting to launch their summer season. Mukilteo’s Farmers Market opens in June, every Wednesday, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Lighthouse Park. Free shuttles will be running from 3rd Street and Lincoln (look for shuttle sign) every half hour. As you wander through one or more of these markets available throughout the county, recognize that each of these booths represents a small business. Assess your business: where are you on the “evaluate, mitigate, build, cultivate and nurture” spectrum? How can you move forward?
As a community we have many individual small businesses. As a collective body of businesses, under the umbrella of the Chamber, we become a stronger, unified voice in our economy, whether locally, regionally or beyond. Stop by our office: 4902 – 76th St SW, Mukilteo or call: 425-347-1456 and see how these connections can benefit your business.
(reprinted from the Mukilteo Beacon)
May 11, 2015: Tips For Starting A Business
“I hear that all the time, and I get excited when someone wants to invest in the community. So here’s my best advice on starting a business.
Location, location, location. First you need to consider a location. I remember reading that the three most important things in opening a business are location, location, location. Make sure you do your homework and pick the best spot. Years ago, I was a part owner in a men’s store on Main Street, and it was a perfect location, plenty of foot traffic, high visibility, in the center of it all.
Next is a business plan. This is very important to being successful. With all the information available on the internet you should be able to get all the data that you need to put together a plan, or you can contact the Small Business Development Center at your local college or university. Most are happy to assist you in putting together a business plan.
If your community has a small business or economic development organization, visit their website and check out their resources. Some offer classes as well.
Next, and I think this is the most important, is hiring the right people and teaching them great customer service.
I talk a lot about taking care of your customers. There was a video store on Main Street that only hired people who smiled. That’s the right approach – pick people with a positive attitude, and they will make you successful.
I love to tell stories because they’re memorable. This is one of my favorites. A business woman went into a restaurant in New York City, and a young male waiter waited on her. When he asked what she would like drink, she said, “I know you don’t have RC Cola, so I will just have a Pepsi or Coke.” She also ordered her meal at the same time. The young man went back to the kitchen and gave the order to the cook, and said he had to run out to the grocery store next to the restaurant and he would be right back. He proudly had the RC Cola on the tray with a glass of ice, and the customer was very surprised. She asked him where he had gotten it, and he told her the story. Every time she came back to the city, she went to that restaurant and asked for the young man to wait on her. A few months later, she was in New York again but her favorite waiter was gone – he had gotten his own restaurant! And you can be sure she became a patron of that one too.
Good customer service makes you stand out. People want to do business with you and you can parlay that customer loyalty into a million different opportunities.
Isn’t that a great story? Those are the kind of things you should be doing for your customers.
Ron Orris is the Executive Director of the Bradford Chamber of Commerce,
April 29, 2015: Which Marketing Strategy Works For You?
Gone are the days when an advertising team could brainstorm and pitch an idea for a seasonal marketing campaign. That involved profiling a target market, finding preferences, measuring impact and so forth. These pitches would successfully identify objectives for the campaign and how to deliver results. Selling the idea to the client would be the next step and that could be challenging given budget constraints, forecast comparisons and overall value added marketing strategies.
In very simple terms, content marketing is for the business with the “I’m in it for the long-haul” philosophy. This business markets their product and services via relational methods. In other words, they will offer strong, compelling reasons to buy their product but it may be through relevant websites with product information. They are selling the idea, not necessarily the inventory. Content marketing draws and keeps customers because the level of communication to its consumers means you are not “pitching” you are “updating and educating” and that allows the buyer to make an informed choice.
On the other hand, effective frequency marketing puts an item in front of the consumer a number of times which hopefully resonates with the shopper, thereby eliciting a positive response (a purchase). Here’s an example, think how many times you see the same auto insurance ad on television, in a given three hour period of time. After a while, Mayhem, the Allstate nemesis begins to become familiar and the insurance that helps you avoid his chaos, ultimately cultivates a level of trust. All this “effective frequency”, has you seeing a replication of something (everyone needs insurance) and because of its familiarity, influences your choices. Brilliant.
Upon reflection, how you market your business boils down to a “buying or renting” attitude. Both strategies work as long as you recognize that your target audience may differ, your budget may be a factor, and how much time you have before you need real results may influence your choice. Fortunately, most businesses have the luxury of using a combination of marketing techniques. In today’s marketplace, consumers and clients are more savvy, informed and expectant. It is the shrewd business person that recognizes and keeps current with trends and marketing developments. Then they can make adjustments accordingly.
Savvy businesses evaluate what they are selling, whom they are selling their product to, and how they can reach their target audience. There are no tidy answers, and what works this year may not adequately measure up the next. But that is what keeps our business community from becoming static…the ebb and flow. Gotta go with it!
(reprinted from the Mukilteo Beacon)
April 21, 2015: 7 OF THE BEST TED TALKS FOR BUSINESS
One of the hardest things about running a business is finding the resources you need – be it human resources, financial resources, or educational resources. There’s no question you know your product, service or industry but what do you know about running a business or social media, or marketing, or sales? And how has it changed since you last learned it all?
Finding good quality (inexpensive) learning resources to keep you at the top of your industry can mean the difference between success and struggle. A chamber membership is a great investment for your professional and business development as is some time spent absorbing the innovative ideas of others. TED talks are an amazing opportunity to learn (on your schedule) from a few of the brightest minds in our world. Best of all, the talks are free.
Here is a list of some of the best TED talks for small business owners:
Got a Wicked Problem? First Let Me Tell You How to Make Toast
This 10-minute video from Tom Wujec presents a basic activity with interesting insights into business teams and processes, asking people to visually represent how they make toast. He discusses how different teams approach the activity from their own center – people, process or technology. The video provides some nice insight into people’s thinking and what they consider to be the most important part of the toast-making process.
How Great Leaders Inspire Action
If you’ve never watched this powerful 20-minute video by Simon Sinek, turn off your email, let your calls go to voicemail, and watch. Now. In it he talks about how people don’t buy your product, they buy the “why” behind what you do. Do you know your why? You’ll be thinking about it after watching this.
How to Make a Splash in Social Media
If you don’t have a lot of time, here’s a 4-minute gem from Alexis Ohanian (Reddit) on becoming a hit in social media. Even though it’s from 2009, it’s still a funny story.
What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?
The 20-minute talk from Dan Ariely provides good insight into what satisfies us, and it’s not money. Knowing the secret to inspiring work is something most small business owners understand but if you need an encouraging boost, check this out.
3 Ways to (Usefully) Lose Control of Your Brand
If you think you own your company’s brand, think again. With social media and public access to broad audiences, it’s the customer who controls the brand now. This six and a half minute video by Tim Leberecht reminds us of this and shows us how to gracefully accept it.
Looking Past Limitations
This video isn’t about business, per se, but Caroline Casey’s ability to get past her own limitations are sure to inspire you. It’s worth a watch just to hear about her interesting childhood.
This is Broken
Marketing genius Seth Godin talks about what works in business and what’s broken, in his unusual, funny way. His commentary will make you look at your business, and customer experience, from a different lens.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks.
She’s just a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.
March, 2015: How Socially Inept Am I?
Newton said, “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Might I add….”plus a Social Media over-reaction?” Social Media is an interesting marketing and advertising tool. As a business community, we all use a variety of media choices to promote ourselves: Print Media, Broadcast Media, Signage and Social Media to name a few. As one of the new kids on the block, Social Media has emerged as a powerhouse option because of its immediate, varied, and in many cases, lower price point. In an upcoming session, Matt Cail from Super Charge Marketing will detail ways to effectively utilize Pay Per Click Advertising in his “Generate Business And Not Lose A Fortune” lecture.
So, how can a business leverage what was once labelled “banal internet exchanges” into an actual advertising and marketing option? Trends tell us that Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials have all climbed on the Social Media train. The reason is clear. Each media choice has strengths and weaknesses. For example Broadcast Media has great visual impact, and Print Media has the ability to be more detailed. In each case they offer sound communication methods but are not always readily available. For the device carrying individual who seeks quick, minute-by-minute interactive exchanges, Social Media is the top choice. Social Media is literally at everyone’s fingertips, day or night. Case in point was the recent Wine Tasting & Showcase, where I noticed a number of attendees texting friends and colleagues to “come on down and join the fun.” Instant advertising!
A few months ago the Chamber sent out a survey asking the membership what topics they wanted our office to incorporate into the Lunch & Learn educational component of their benefits. The overwhelming response was for more information and tutoring on various Social Media platforms. Thus we centered this year’s curriculum around that theme. So far we’ve learned how to be LinkedIn, found our “voice” on Facebook, and discussed the merits of creating a good website. Our April session will feature Talk Media, one of our newer members. Mike Talkington, founder of Talk Media will present To Tweet Or Not To Tweet. As a Social Media consultant and manager to several small local businesses, Mike offers sharp, effective strategies for enhancing and building a business’s reach, how to target audiences, and ways to increase business presence. He offers expertise in all Social Media mediums but will focus on Twitter since many feel that tweeting is primarily a social interaction, rather than a business conduit between buyer and seller.
The education based Lunch & Learn sessions offered by the Chamber still remain one of our most popular member benefits. We are currently taking RSVPs for the April Luncheon (limited space) and interested persons may email: email@example.com or call: 425-347-1456. $10 members and $15 non-members.
(reprinted from the Mukilteo Beacon)
February, 2015: The Showcase Celebrates 10 Years!
The Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce proudly announces that their 10th annual Mukilteo Community Wine Tasting & Showcase, a premier business networking event is geared up and ready to go. With over 65 exhibitor spaces (including wineries and distilleries), there is something for every consumer, from retail businesses displaying store offerings, therapeutic offices presenting unique and distinctive treatments, and various non-profit organizations on hand to share information on community endeavors in the area.
“If I go to the Showcase, what’s in it for me?” Whether you are a newcomer or an established resident or business, the Showcase offers many things. Businesses will be front and center, ready to share what’s new and innovative for their field of interest. There are many new products and services offered by both new and established companies so guests will be able to see first-hand what 2015 will be offering. Are you in the market for website assistance? How about competitive insurance or chiropractic care? Have you been looking for ways to involve yourself in the community? One-stop shopping has never been easier. And to top off the evening with urban flair in a relaxed setting, consumers may indulge in a bit of wine tasting (or distilled spirits, depending on predilection) paired with a remarkable selection of small plate offerings from local catering companies.
In addition to their traditional Silent Auction, the Mukilteo Chamber in partnership with Anywhere But Here Travel, will raffle off a Mexican Trip for two (airfare not included). It will be three nights/four days, all inclusive at the luxurious oceanfront Melia Puerto Vallarta (ocean view). Raffle tickets may be purchased for $5 per ticket or six tickets for $25. Purchase of tickets must be made at the event, but need not be present to win.
Each year, the Chamber works with key sponsors to promote and support this event. Their efforts help us provide marketing exposure for members of the business community, and offer valuable support to this region’s economic health. Thank you, Paine Field Snohomish County, Electronic Business Machines, Anywhere But Here Travel, and Diamond Knot Brewing Co. Your partnership is greatly appreciated.
For entry into the Showcase: www.mukilteochamber.org/tickets. You may also log on to Facebook (Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce) and click on Events to purchase tickets. $20 online/$25 at the door.
By Julie Martin, Executive Director
(reprinted from the Mukilteo Beacon)
January, 2015: WHAT BUSINESS CAN LEARN FROM FOOTBALL
One thing that the NFC Championship game between the Seahawks and the Packers showed us was that perseverance pays off. The Seahawks were looking for a light at the end of their tunnel, and unfortunately, until the last two minutes of regulation time, the light was a train. So what did they do to change the course of their history? A change of strategy and a realization that they needed to adapt their game plan were “must do’s” in order to be successful. And it worked!
As many businesses know, these same tactics are put into play each day, in order to keep their companies fresh and responsive to their customers and clients. It’s a process of evaluating performance, building a consistent community base, and ramping up their work team’s motivation.
Sometimes taking a business in a 180 degree opposite direction requires not only a revised game plan, but equally important, vision and courage. After all, small businesses do not have the leeway or the economic cushion to survive a loss, like a government entity or large corporation. “Do or Die” is not a comfortable place to be.
Small business in America is a potent and viable business structure, but how does it compare internationally? This October, the Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce plans to take a tour group to China to not only explore the wonders of a culture and country that dates back nearly 4,000 years, but to also have the chance to explore business practices in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
Although China suffered for decades under various political rules, the China of today is arguably the world’s fastest growing economy, undergoing what some would call a revolution. As an apolitical organization, the Chamber is not making observations one way or another about Chinese commerce or practices. They are simply offering members and guests the rare opportunity to visit an international locale and see firsthand, how a few businesses and trade sites operate, in China. The Chamber tour will have an English speaking guide and all business appointments will be done through a reputable travel company that works specifically with and only for Chambers of Commerce.
The October 17-26, 2015 tour encompasses far more than business related ventures, however. For the traveler that seeks cultural and ethnic traditions, we will be visiting the Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Ming Tombs and much, much. Shoppers will delight in visiting a jade factory, silk factory, and shops for lacquer ware, embroidery and more.
The next informational meeting about Travel China will be on February 24, 5:30 pm at the Chamber Office. The price for this tour is $2199.00 for members/$2499 for non-members. Included: roundtrip airfare, all 4-5 star hotel accommodations, 3 meals/day, entry into tour activities, and land transportation between cities. Detailed information will be given at the meeting, or call interested persons may call the chamber office 425-347-1456. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kuaile de lucheng, or in English…Happy Journey.
(reprinted from the Mukilteo Beacon)
December, 2014: A LOOK BACK…
2014 is drawing to a close and even though they’re working their way through the Holiday frenzy, businesses should step back and look at what worked, what backfired, and what it will take to improve in the New Year. After all, a fourth quarter review is key, to ensuring that the door will remain open year after year.
Economists tell us we’re rebounding, but for small business owners that may seem a little vague. There are many components tied up in that statement, e.g., is the boost in the marketplace a result of a recovering housing market? Or is it because of better accessibility to small business loans? In any case, according to the Small Business Administration, for the past 15 quarters, small businesses have led the charge in regard to employment growth, nearly 80% in job gains. Those are impressive statistics, indeed.
On a local level small businesses may take an optimistic breath, but at the same time they should define goals that are measurable, attainable and relevant. That may include making tough decisions like reducing staff size, cutting expenses and changing suppliers and agents. It may also be as simple as re-vamping an existing marketing plan to dovetail with prevailing advertising trends. The upside can be a company that offers its clients or customers, a product that is germane. And what better way to gain a clearer picture of overall company performance and health, than a satisfied customer?
Many of Mukilteo’s small businesses have found a way to redefine themselves, focusing on ways that they can continue to provide value of services:
The Scotsman Bistro is a good case in point. Formerly Wine 101, this establishment has unabashedly taken on the flare of its owners George Black and Marvella McCammond-Black. With George’s management experience in both Europe and the United States, and Marvella’s extensive background in the hospitality industry, it is no wonder that The Scotsman Bistro holds a two-year-in-a-row rating of Top 5 Best Wine Bars in Western Washington. Mukilteo’s hidden gem offers an intimate but lively atmosphere for guests who come to partake of hearty meals and flights of beer or wine, and stay for the live music and “everybody knows your name” atmosphere. The Scotsman Bistro has three clubs (wine, beer, and scotch) and if you are 21 or older and would like to periodically join in a tasting, membership is free and interested persons may sign up: www.mukilteorestaurant.com.
Strong successful businesses know that they need to be responsive to their customers, provide quality services and products, and when necessary, evolve and reinvent. In what many would call a fickle environment, it is a fact that businesses, (small businesses in particular) must continually find ways to creatively and productively meet the needs and wishes of those passing through their doors.
As we move into the New Year, the Mukilteo Chamber remains committed and responsive to its business members, and the area at large. We are looking forward to an ongoing and successful partnership with our business community.
By Kim Voetberg, Marketing Manager
(reprinted from the Mukilteo Beacon)
November, 2014: SMALL BUSINESSES ENHANCE OVERALL ECONOMY
Many would say the backbone of America’s economy rests on small businesses. Their success is attributed to a number of reasons, some are intangible, some substantive. For Mukilteo’s small business community, one vital component of their success is the circle of support from local residents. The continued growth and economic balance to these smaller enterprises is a result of patrons who value the personal interaction, unique ideas and selection of services.
Mukilteo has had a recent influx of businesses entering their professional community. What draws emerging companies to explore and ultimately decide to choose a smaller environment to set up shop here versus electing to settle in a large city? This area abounds with smaller businesses that thrive on the sense of entrepreneurial exploration. Here are two of those new businesses:
A visit to Natural Elements Studio is a personal treat for the soul. Linda Nogales, owner of this retreat notes, “…this is an opportunity that clients may carve out rejuvenation time for the spirit as well as the body.” Nogales recently relocated back to the Northwest, after spending 11 years in the Virgin Islands operating a similar business. Her award winning facials were sought after primarily by residents rather than visitors. That’s what small businesses are all about. It’s local support that enhances business stability, more than transitional clientele.
As a small operation, Natural Elements Studio has the luxury of offering one-on-one services, with authentic, personalized treatments. Visits are by appointment only with flexibility of times (with the exception of Small Business Saturday – November 29, open all day). Location: 631 – 5th St. #202, Mukilteo.
A second small business that recently joined our professional community is Sound Family and Sports Chiropractic, PLLC. Dr. Monte Alton, a past resident of Maltby, Washington, recognized the value of opening a chiropractic office in a medium sized community. After finishing residency and internships, in larger facilities, with multiple workstations and staff, he moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Mukilteo and opened his own private practice.
As a small chiropractic office, Sound Family and Sports Chiropractic, PLLC specializes in health benefits for the entire body. Dr. Alton focuses on relaxed, personalized treatments that enhance a patient’s overall wellbeing. Added benefits to this one-man practice are the individual, customized health treatments and consultations that patients receive each visit. Location: 8004 Mukilteo Speedway #1, Mukilteo (behind Gold’s Gym).
In recognition of the substantial financial impact that small businesses play on our national economic landscape, the U.S. Small Business Administration along with other organizations support Small Business Saturday®. This year, Saturday, November 29, several small businesses in our area will be participating and everyone is encouraged to visit these local establishments and enjoy shopping and supporting their community. Not only does this strengthen our commercial base it spurs continued economic growth in our region. Shop Small, Shop Local.
(reprinted from the Mukilteo Beacon)