Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"MasterCard Marketing"

New Neon "OPEN" Sign....$75.00
1000 Glossy Business Cards....$295.00
1/4 Page Print Ad....$695.00

Membership in the Chamber of Commerce.....PRICELESS!

It's true. Sometimes you DO get more than you pay for. I think membership in the Chamber is one of those times.

Oh sure, you can just stick to the basics when it comes to growing your business. Produce a bunch of flyers, pass out business cards, maybe even run some TV and radio spots. Nothing wrong with that strategy. In fact all of those activities are great ways to market your business.

But standard marketing isn't everything.

What if you bump into a problem that takes you completely by surprise? What if you have trouble getting a permit you need from a government agency? What if you want to connect with other business owners and pick their brains? What if you want to try to break into the new social networking scene? What if...What if...What if...?

Every business owner runs into an issue or two sometime in their career that stumps them. (Okay, maybe not Donald Trump, but most everybody else!) Where can you turn when this happens to you? How about your friends, associates, peers (and yes even competitors) within the broad umbrella of the Chamber of Commerce.

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have all the answers you'll ever need run and grow your business. But it's a pretty good bet that I know somebody who does! That's the beauty of a business association like the Chamber of Commerce. With over 950 members, we surely know somebody who can help you out. And the great thing is, most everybody DOES want to help. Especially now.

So what's the real benefit of Chamber membership? Building relationships with other business leaders who've "been there and done that". It's the relationship part that's priceless.....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Can you recommend a good Ventriloquist?"

"I need a ride to Texas. Do you know anybody going to Texas?"

"Do you know anybody who wants to buy a rusty hay crimper?"

"Where in Chico can I buys pants that have a crease that won't fall out?"


Seriously. These are some of the questions we've been asked over the years at the Chamber office. NO KIDDING! We've kept a list of the funny questions people phone in. It's hysterical!

What this really tells me though is there is a lot of confusion about what the Chamber of Commerce really does. So in case you don't know...here goes!

The Chamber is the collective voice of business in the community. We advocate on behalf of the business community at the City, County and State level. We're watching your back when it comes to business issues.

We share business news. We give members an opportunity to promote their own business. We plan events as networking opportunities. We offer training. And now....we BLOG!

It is somewhat challenging to lists all the things we do, but to sum it all up, we're here to help. If you have a particular need, and don't see it listed above (0ther than selling a hay crimper or renting a camel) give us a call. We'll help find a solution for you.

And to answer just two of the funky questions we've received over the years.....Robert E. Lee's Birthday is January 19, 1807, and NO, the Chico Airshow will not be at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds. Hope that helps!

Friday, February 13, 2009

If you LOVE Friday's, shout YAHOO!

Don't you just love the Friday before a holiday weekend? I do! That last minute push to get everything done that you really need to finish before you can cut looseand relax with your family is a real rush. These can be the most effective days of the entire month!

"Effective". That's one of my favorite words. I think it's so much more important than being "efficient". You can be "efficient" all day long, and still not do a single thing that is "effective". I'd much rather be "effective". You'll have more to show for it at the end of the day.

My goal is to move the Chamber more toward being truly effective for members. I'd really like to hear your ideas on how we can be effective for you! Post a comment, or give me a call. And in the meantime...have a fabulously long weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Focus, Focus, Focus

This will be another great day of information gathering as I host about 20 Chamber members (and former members) in two Focus Groups. So far the information I've gathered is quite interesting, some unexpected, but all very USEFUL!

My goal is to determine what we're doing well, what we're doing poorly, what we're not doing that we should be, and finally the ONE BIG THING...what is most important to business in this new economy.

This information will be used to move us forward in the direction that is relevant to our members and our community. I can't wait to see how it all shakes out. What an adventure!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Focusing on Members

Things are changing all over. The Chamber is no different. We're taking a look at how we serve our members. What we're doing well, and what we're NOT doing well. It's an interesting journey of discovery.

I'm meeting with members every day, in just about every way imaginable. We meet in my office, their office, at lunch, at coffee, on the street and on the phone. Just about everyone has a story to share with me, and I appreciate every one of them! This feedback is the most efficient way for me to determine a direction for the Chamber in this new generation of leadership. Please keep the information coming!

Yep....things are changing around here. Thanks to all of you we're developing renewed focus on our members and volunteers. I can hardly wait to see what comes next, but I can guarantee it will revolve around YOU!