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Welcome to Chamber Insights -July 2011
In this month's issue
The monthly newsletter of the
Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce
201 Burkesville Street, Columbia, Kentucky 42718
(270) 384-6020 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.columbia-adaircounty.com
Editor: Sue StiversThe 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 For the Month" A volunteer is a person who believes that people can make a difference - and is willing to prove it. Chamber members are volunteers who are helping make the future of our community a matter of CHOICE not chance.
When I travel, I'm always on the lookout for ideas I can bring back to Adair County to share with others in the community. On a recent trip to Ohio, I read an article by Verne Harnish that was published in Fortune magazine. Mr. Harnish, CEO of Gazelles Inc. (an executive educational firm), wrote about the process of updating your business strategy to be able to compete in the years ahead. The article focused on the importance of creating a strategic plan and taking the proper steps to implement it. As he stressed in the article, by creating a strategic plan and then working to achieve the goals you set, "you are betting on your company's future. "
Without a business plan you can't really focus your efforts on the things that are really important to making your business a success. A bad or unrealistic business plan isn't any better. It could even make things worse.
Some of the "tips" shared by Mr. Harnish in the article may help you get a clearer perspective of what you need to do to compete successfully. His first suggestion is that when business is down (as it is during this recession for many businesses), you shouldn't pull back on what you're doing to promote your business. Now is the time to put more dollars into advertising and maybe even consider hiring new salespeople. The more aggressive you become the better your chances of success. Any of the media people in our area can help you put together a comprehensive ad campaign that will help develop name recognition for your business products or services.
His second suggestion is to contact your customers to see what ideas or suggestions they might have on how to improve the service or products you offer. After all they are the people who count. You may be surprised at some of the responses you get. This information may help you focus more on what's important to your customers. Nobody is in a better position to tell you what you're doing right or wrong than your customers.
Mr. Harnish goes on to say that as a business person you need to know which ideas are good and which ones are not feasible. You won't be able implement all or maybe even many of the ideas suggested. A good business person will be able to tell the difference.
On January 1 each year many people set New Year's resolutions, but by February most are long forgotten. For an individual this may be OK, but businesses need to set goals so progress can be measured throughout the year. Mr. Harnish suggests some businesses set too many priorities..This can confuse employees as to what's most important for the business. Having fewer goals allows employees to focus their attention on the things that are most important to the success of the business.
While all of these "tips" may not be applicable to your particular business there are seeds in each that you can adopt and adapt to fit your needs. During these difficult economic times it's more important than ever to encourage people to shop locally so the money spent stays and circulates over and over throughout the community. Owning or starting your own business involves a big investment of your time, your talent, and your financial resources. You want to make every effort to have it be successful. The Chamber of Commerce is here to work with you.
If you have "tips" you'd like to share with others or if you have ideas or suggestions for programs the Chamber might sponsor to help the business community, we'd like to hear from you. You can contact the Chamber office at 270-384-6020 or e-mail us at email@example.com
Corporate Sponsor of the Month
Cafe on The Square
By: David Simpson, Owner/Operator
Cafe on the Square would like to thank the Chamber for the opportunity to participate as the corporate sponsor this month.
This past year has been an amazing journey for us here at Cafe on the Square. As with many businesses in our community and around the country we incurred several periods of financial hardship due to the economy. A few of which nearly resulted in our closing the doors.
However, thanks to the community, the Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce, Lindsey Wilson College and above all God's blessing we are still here and thriving. In fact we are laying the foundation to make sure Cafe on the Square will be around for a long-time to come.
Per our previous discussions we are extremely excited about the upcoming "Mystery Business!" We want to thank you personally for allowing us to come along-side the Chamber to reward its members for supporting our community. Each week we will, in coordination with the Chamber, draw one local business and honor/thank that business with a surprise treat for their employees.
Please pass-on our sincerest thanks to the Chamber members as well as the community for their support. As you know our vision for the Cafe is not about being a great place to grab a gourmet sandwich, but to reach this community and specifically the students of Lindsey Wilson College for Jesus Christ. This ministry is mad epossible by our amazing customers and the support of this community, which we are blessed to be able to call home.
Cafe on the Square
Welcome New Members
The Columbia-Adair County Chamber of Commerce welcomes:
Farm Credit Services, 180 W. First Street, Campbellsville, KY 42718.270-763-7824 Contact: Matthew SextonBy 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 business voice in our community...helping to make Columbia-Adair County "A Great Place to Call Home". Remember, what you get out of a membership association is what you put into it. You are encouraged to get involved today!
Looking Ahead - Chamber Activities & Events
August 16 - Monthly Chamber Meeting - 11:45 am at The Pines at Lindsey Wilson Speaker: Steve M. Vest, Editor & Publisher of Kentucky Monthly MagazineTopic: Traveling Across Kentucky -Making tourists want to come to your Community. Corporate Sponsor: United Citizens Bank.
August 18 Wares Fair. 6:00 to 8:00 PM-Lindsey Wilson College Wellness Center
September 5 (Labor Day) Annual Buy, Swap, Sell, Trade Day - Public Square, Charles Grimsley, Chairman
Labor Day Weekend City/County Wide Yard Sales
October - Ronald McDonald House Wish List - Date to be announced. Donna Stotts, Chairman - Norma Scott, Co-Chairman
Saturday, December 3rd. Christmas Parade "Under the Lights" theme. "The Spirit of Christmas"
9th Annual Columbia-Adair Co. Chamber of Commerce Golf Scramble
Wes Bryant, Board Member & Chairman
On June 23rd, 2011, the Columbia-Adair Co. Chamber of Commerce held its 9th Annual golf scramble to fundraise for the Chamber at the Pines at Lindsey Wilson. 28 golfers showed up to support their local chamber & compete for team & contest prizes. Teams were divided into 7 teams of 4, 3 were blind drawn & one "A" player. After 18 holes, we had two teams tie for first with scores of 17 under. Under contest rules, the tie would be broken with a playoff system. On the first hole, both teams halved with birdies. The second playoff hole eventually determined the winner with the team of Chris Lewis, Mark Henry, Ron Heath, & Richard Stephens coming out on top.
Finishing second was the team of Eric West, Roger Meadows, Matt Loy, & Bryan Pearl. Coming in third with a score of 16 under was the team of Corey Rogers, Brian Popplewell, Doyle Lloyd, & Joe Collins.
The contest winners were: Our closest to the pin winners were: Shaun Cozart No.3, Wes Bryant No. 8, Stacy Popplewell No. 11, and Chris Lewis No. 13. Longest Drive winners were: Shaun Cozart No. 1 & Chaz Giles No. 4. Longest putt contest winner on No. 5 went to Wes Bryant, and our closest to the pin 2nd shot on No. 16 went to Brandon Spires.
The Chamber would like to thank all the golfers who came out & participated this year. We also want to thank the over 40 businesses & individuals who supported our event this year. Without your generous donations, there is no way the Chamber would have been able to have this event year in & year out. Our golf scramble is always one of the largest if not the largest fundraiser for the Chamber. We would also like to thank those who took time to volunteer to help make the golf scramble the success it was. If not for the giving of your time, we would have not been able to host the type of event that we did. Again, thanks to anyone & everyone who participated in some way. It did not go unnoticed.
How To Bypass Windows Login
Referenced from Christopher Null, PCWorld
By: Ramie Hutchinson
Does it bother you logging into your PC every time you boot it up, even if there is no one else using your computer? Here's how to disable your Windows login so you can boot-up and get going with out the hassle of logging in.
Editorial of the Month - Sue C. Stivers, Executive Director
How would a "Secret Shopper" respond to Columbia and Adair County?
I recently read an article from Jim Walton, CEO with Brand Acceleration, Inc. Brand Acceleration is a full service advertising, brand management and public relations firm operating from Indianapolis, Indiana and Charlotte, North Carolina. The agency's focus is on economic development, architecture/engineering/construction and real estate. The article was based on "Protecting a Community's Brand. How would a secret shopper respond?
It's a good reminder on how a community can reflect itself to our outside visitors and those looking to invest.
He read the article on a newspaper web site and, as is often the case, it offered an opportunity for readers to voice an opinion about the article. He said, "I have mixed feelings about such forums". Some of the responders offer positive or constructive comments while a few others are folks who just love to stir the pot with negativity. You know them, they're Cavemen. Citizens Against Virtually Everything. They're never happy and they want the world to know it, I was having coffee recently with a site selection consultant friend and asked him if he ever looks at such forums while in the process of evaluating communities for prospective jobs projects. "I sure do," he said, "and I sometimes find alarming information." He told me that once he has narrowed his list of communities to a handful, maybe three to five, he'll visit media web sites, looking for stories for forums that might reveal issues that could present challenges to his client. He said he will also listen to streaming television or radio broadcasts to hear which issues are being discussed. "Election seasons can be very revealing," he said, "all of the dirt is in plain sight." He also said that he'll go to the city or county website and read the minutes of council meetings. In addition to learning how elected officials handle incentives and other issues, he finds out how they interact with the business community and one another. Do they work together in a positive, community-building manner or do the minutes reveal a tone of incivility that he might choose to avoid? In these days of internet connectivity, your community's brand reputation is out there for the world, including prospective employers, to see.
Secret Shopper site visits
Have you heard of secret shoppers? That's when a company hires some one to go into a retail establishment, posing as a customer, in order to report back about their experience. Were the employees friendly and helpful or were they rude? Did they offer assistance or were you ignored? How as the food?
Site selection consultants, under contract to find a new home for a prospective employer, sometimes do the same thing. Without knowledge of the economic developer or elected officials, a person or team of people will show up, blend in, and observe. They'll eat in your restaurants, stay in your hotels, visit your retail establishments, and interact with your citizens. Are they polite, friendly, and positive about the community or just the opposite? A site selection consultant once told me about a secret shopper visit when he asked a young man, "what's the one thing I should see while I am Here?" Without hesitation the young man said, "The Town in your rear view mirror." OUCH! OUCH!
While on a secret shopper mission, the team will report on any number of things, such as road conditions, your industrial park, schools, community entryways, the downtown area, and much, much more. Based on their findings, your community can advance to the next level of consideration or be cut from the list if they don't like what they see and hear. And, here's the shocker....You may never know they were there.
So, who is responsible for a community's brand? Everyone! It's not just the job of the county council, the Mayor, the County Judge, or the Economic Developer. The hotel clerk, waitress, school teacher, store owner, and any citizen can make or break a major jobs deal. Any of the communities on the "short list" would work. Now they're looking at the little nuances, any reason to take you off the list. It doesn't take much.
Each person in a community is a keeper of the local brand. If such an effort results in one positive comment to just the right person, it could help result in the attraction of hundreds of jobs and a thriving economy.
Sue Stivers, Executive Director for Chamber and Economic Development said..."What Jim has said in this article serves as a great reminder to each and every person in Adair County. When you see a stranger in our community, have a positive attitude and do a great job of selling our community as a wonderful place to live, work and rear a family. As always, contact the Chamber/Economic Development/Tourism office at 201 Burkesville Street in Columbia if we can be of help to you. Pick up free brochures and learn what Adair County has to offer...Things you can see and do right here in Columbia/Adair County.
This story was posted on 2011-07-27 10:37:44
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Welcome Back, Lindsey Wilson College Students!!!
Columbia/Adair County has missed you. You've come home to a warm, welcoming community for your Fall Semester. The community wishes you the greatest Success. We hope you'll find a college hometown as wonderful as the one you left. (Suggestion homework this weekend recommended by JIM: Encore Classic: Gordon Crump - 'How I discovered Columbia . . . ')
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