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Chamber Insights: Complete Issue, June 2009

In the June 2009 Issue
  • Thought for the month
  • President's Message from Donna Stotts
  • Corporate Sponsore: Bank of Columbia
  • Looking ahead: Next meeting July 21, 2009, Cranmer Dining Center, 430 Helen Flatt Drive, Columbia, KY
  • New Member Hi-Lights
  • Tap the power of positive reminders
  • Problem Solving...Unlock Your Creativity: Salute to Adair Co. Middle School Problem Solvers. 4th Place in the World Champions
  • "A Creative Marketing Opportunity by Ron Heath
  • Tips on Customer Service
  • Gone Phishing: Column by Ramie Hutchison, Duo-County Telecom

Welcome to Chamber Insights - June 2009

The monthly newsletter of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce.
  • Editor and feature writer: Sue Stivers
  • President's Message: Donna Stotts
  • Feature Writers: Ramie Hutchison, Ron Heath

The Purpose of the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce is to promote and enhance the Business, Cultural, Educational and Civic Well Being of Columbia and Adair County
"Thought of the Month"

"Work is either fun or drudgery; it depends on your attitude".

President's Message

What a month June has been for the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber picnic was held on the 16th with a great crowd. Once again great weather (after the afternoon storm), good company and enjoyable entertainment by Ricardo Hughes, along with a great meal sponsored by the Bank of Columbia. If you didn't attend, keep it in mind for June 2010.

The Chamber of Commerce was happy to recognize the Adair County Middle School Future Problem Solving Team, along with Coach Brett Reliford. They were presented awards as the President's Guest and also from Mayor Pat Bell and Kentucky Colonel's from Governor Steve Brashear's office.

L.E.A.D. Adair County had a very motivated group to graduate and they captivated the crowd as they gave new ideas for Columbia and Adair County to grow.

Thanks to Barbara Armitage and the Garden Club for providing recycling at the picnic.

The 7th Annual Chamber Golf Tournament was held on the 18th at "The Pines at Lindsey Wilson College". Great weather, once again after the storm blew over, and many golfers made this event another success for co-chairs Stephen Keen and Arlinda Kessler. Special thanks to Dr. Ronald Rogers, Mike Curry, Amy Thompson, Pam Smith, and Angela Dean for volunteering your time to help with this event.

Thanks to everyone who works so hard to make "Columbia, Kentucky; A Great Place To Call Home".

Corporate Sponsor of the Month

A special "Thank You" to the Bank of Columbia for being the Corporate Sponsor of the Month. For the past two years the bank has been the Corporate Sponsor for the annual "Picnic in the Park". Robert Flowers, President and CEO of the Bank of Columbia is to be commended for giving his employees time to be of service to the Chamber and the Community. They always do an outstanding job and the picnic was no exception. Just ask anyone that attended.

Chamber President Donna Stotts, a loan officer at the Bank of Columbia introduced Angela Dean and Pam Smith who gave information on the Bank, recognized those who prepared the meal, etc. Those attending were encouraged to give $5.00 each to the Chamber Roadside Park fund, to be used in maintenance of the Park. The Chamber Board says...Thank You...Thank You...!

Here's a summary of some of the facts given about the Bank of Columbia at times when they have served as corporate sponsor:

For over 140 years, the Bank of Columbia has relied on two simple, yet solid, principles: Serve our customers and serve our community. Like a reliable friend you can trust, we are here to meet your needs and expectations. Providing you with services ranging from opening a checking account to financing your dream home or business, we offer the best in banking.

When you bank with us, you are more than a client; you are a member of our extensive bank family. At the Bank of Columbia, we pride ourselves on knowing more about you than you checking account number; we know your personal needs. Through thick and thin, we have been here and will continue to be here to provide our community with premium banking and customer services. The next time you have a moment, stop in and see why the Bank of Columbia has been in business since 1866; like the clock on our building, we always have time for you!!

Looking Ahead...Monthly Chamber Meeting

Tuesday - July 21, 11:45 am @Lindsey Wilson College

Speaker: Tom Underwood, State Director - National Federation of Independent Businesses.

All business people are encouraged to attend. National Federation of Independent Business is the small business voice in Frankfort and Washington. This is one of the avenues where the Chamber of Commerce works to help the small independent business in Columbia and Adair County.

New Member Highlights

The Chamber is extremely happy to have 3 new members to the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce.

Please Welcome:
  • SimNaj Real Estate Solutions: David Simpson, Agent - 2418 Knifley Road - Toll free 888-385-9040. Buying - Rehabbing - Selling & Renting Homes in Columbia/Adair County.
  • Hello Gorgeous Salon & Spa: Owners Emily Gonzalez & Holly Quinn - 1004 Jamestown St., Suite 95 - 270-384-0009 .For All Your Beauty Needs
  • Green River Lake: Crappie Trips - Owner/Guide David Jones - 90 Parnell Road (270) 634-2675. Guided Crappie Trips
By joining the Chamber, you become a part of an organization that is dedicated to the economic growth and prosperity of Columbia and Adair County. Your investment in the Chamber means an "investment" in "your community". This is your Chamber... your voice in our community...helping to make "Columbia-Adair County "A Good Place To Call Home".

Tap the Power of Positive Reminders

Here's proof that it's important to surround ourselves with positive reminders. Studies show that 83% of what we think about is negative.

The result: reduced productivity and lower morale. Work on developing a positive'll see many positive results.

To improve your outlook, trip this tip: Write down one positive thing you've learned each day. Have the list where you can see it to remind you of your accomplishments.

Problem Solving...Unlock Your Creativity

When you simply can't come up with a solution for a nagging problem, remember these rules about creativity:
  • Accept that creativity is a struggle. Often the solutions you find aren't the ones you expected. Don't automatically reject spontaneous solutions. Be receptive to off-the-wall ideas, even if it means discarding approaches you're comfortable with.
  • Set reasonable goals. Don't expect the first idea you come up with to be the best one. Formulate reasonable goals, but do set them.
  • Don't panic.
  • The creative process has a natural rhythm. Sometimes ideas gush, and sometimes they barely trickle. When the panic associated with creative block strikes, realize that it's temporary and the creative process will begin to flow again.
The Adair County Middle School Future Problem Solvers Team and Coach Reliford have demonstrated how to unlock your creativity...that is the reason they came back home, from the International Competition, to Adair County being Champions...4th in the World. What a fantastic honor!!! The Chamber is proud of you!

A Creative Marketing Opportunity

By Ron Heath, Chairman of Wares Fair

On Wednesday evening August 19, the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce and Lindsey Wilson College will again partner to host the fourth Annual Wares Fair. This event creates a unique opportunity for area businesses to market their product or service to a specific target audience. Businesses looking to attract Lindsey Wilson students, faculty, and staff can use the Wares Fair to get their name out to the entire campus community in one evening.

Some "creative" marketing can bring these individuals into your place of business and keep them coming back. There are three opportunities to market your business the night of the Wares Fair - with your door prize, with a drawing at your table, and promotional materials you hand out to people who stop by your table. Let's look at what might be done with each marketing opportunity:

Door Prize: Each participating business is asked to donate a door prize with a retail value of at least $25.00. In the past many businesses have provided a $25 gift certificate to get the winner to come to the business to redeem the certificate, but the goal is to keep the winner coming back again and again. Here are some ideas that have been used in past Wares Fairs:
  • A free large drink a week for the school year
  • A free pizza a month for the school year
  • A free large hamburger, fries, and drink each month for the school year
  • A free DVD or game rental a week for the school year
  • $5 worth of groceries a month for the school year
The common thread with each of these is that the winner has to come back again and again to claim part of the prize. Chances are he/she will buy something else while there and they may even bring friends with them who will spend their money too. Use a gift certificate as a last resort.

Drawing at Your Table: If your business depends on you finding and following up on leads, a simple way to generate lots of names is to have a drawing at your table. The larger and more interesting the prize, the more people will register with their name, address, and telephone number. Since the Wares Fair takes place at the beginning of the school year, banks and businesses that offer services often find this a good way to make and initial contact. Remember though that if you have a drawing at your table, you will need to also contact the winner. This gives you a chance to get the winner to your business to pick up the prize.

Promotional Materials: Every student needs pens, pencils, etc. If the pens and pencils they use have your name on it all the better. Consider what other items you might distribute with your name on it that would be of interest to a college student. As students go by tables they will pick up any printed materials and look at them later in their rooms. It's important to remember that if you want to distribute some item at your table that you place your order early enough in the summer that the supply will arrive on time. For planning purposes, usual attendance is in excess of 600 during the evening.

The point of marketing is to maximize exposure of your business to as many potential customers as possible, but you ust tailor your appeal to fit your audience. The Wares Fair targets a specific population. Whatever you do should appeal to young people in the 18-24 year old age group.

If you plan to participate in the Wares Fair and would like some ideas about the best way to "market" your business that evening, contact the Chamber of Commerce office for help and advice.

The Customer

Remember Me?
  • I'm the person who goes into a restaurant, sits down and patiently waits while the service staff does everything but take my order.

  • I'm the person who goes into the store and stands quietly while clerks finish their conversation.

  • I'm the person who phones a company and waits and waits for the receptionist to come back on the phone and tell me whether the person I'm calling is in or not.
Yes, you might say I'm a good person...but do you know who else I am? I'm the person who never comes back!! And it amuses me to see businesses spending thousands of dollars every year trying to get me back, when I was there in the first place. All you had to do to keep me was give me a little service and show me a little courtesy.

Deliver Better Customer Service by Having Fun

One of the biggest reasons customers do not return is they have no reason to. Sure they might get what they want but they often get it with "no" personality, "no" sparkle and "no" sizzle. Their experience is a dude. There is nothing memorable about the experience.

Are you leaving the fun and playful part of your personality at the front door each day? For many, work is a place to be serious - fun happens on vacation and away from work. We need to accept fun as another element of the workplace.

Companies that enjoy tremendous customer loyalty offer their customers something they can't get anywhere else - FUN.

They provide an unexpected, positive experience. The employees enjoy their work, each other and their customers. They find ways to bring fun and joy into their work and they bring their customers along for the ride.

Have Fun at Work
  • Fun increases productivity. Laughter is a natural stress buster and fun is meant to be part of your life. Learn how to comfortably blend work and fun.

  • Acting silly requires maturity. When you think of great leaders, they all had a great sense of humor. A person who can do a serious job and not take themselves too seriously is very mature.

  • Fun is a "natural social glue".Groups that can have fun together are more relaxed, interact better and are more comfortable with each other when problems need to be worked out.

  • Having fun gets the job done.Fun is not the reward; it's the lubricant that gets things done easily and effectively. Make fun a regular part of your daily routine.

  • Have fun with your customers. Your customers will have fun shopping with you and will return more often. Notice that all the new and successful retail concepts are centered around interaction and fun.
With the tourism season here, tourists are visiting Columbia and Adair County. Help them have a pleasant experience when they come to your business. Put on your best smile, greet them and give each person the "Best Customer Service" ever. If they have a good experience at your business, they will return.

Gone Phishing: The Scoop on Phishing Scams

By Ramie Hutchison, Duo-County Telecom

Most modern day pirates are not perusing the high seas looking for buried treasure; they are now phishing in your inbox.

Have you ever received an email saying you are the lucky winner of a new iPod or laptop? Although it may seem as such, these emails do not appear out of thin air. Sophisticated cyber criminals develop such emails to "fish" for your personal information, hoping you will bite.

Phishing scams are dangerous for many reasons: theft of your credit card numbers, passwords, account data, your identity, or other information.

How to detect a phishing scam

The most sophisticated phishing scams are usually sent via email. Fraud emails often include official-looking logos from real organizations and other identifying information taken from valid websites. Often times there are deceptive web addresses linked to a scam website posted on these emails.

Another aspect of a fraudulent email is how the sender addresses you. If the introduction is something impersonal such as "Dear valued customer," you will want to check with the business to be sure the email was from them.

Another important piece of information to keep in mind is that businesses should not ask you to send passwords, login names, Social Security numbers, and credit card numbers through email. If you do receive an email asking for these things, call the actual company and ask if they truly need this information. Businesses will more than likely be grateful to hear of a phishing scam in order to prevent future identity theft.

To prevent phishing, do not give personal info to any business via email and report possible fishing emails addresses as spam.

This story was posted on 2009-06-24 09:00:02
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