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Pat Monacelli

Letter from CEO Sam Taylor

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“For nearly five years I have had one of the most exciting and rewarding careers that a person could ask for. As President and CEO of the Broomfield Chamber I was able to help organizations thrive in the north metro area by introducing them to potential customers and vendors, elected officials both local and state levels, and even helped them make new friends. During the pandemic the chamber was there for our businesses to promote them, let people know what was open and how to support local businesses, and even helped companies navigate the various funds that came from the federal government as well as state and local governments.

I’m proud of the work I was able to accomplish, and now it is time to move on to the next chapter in my life. My last day as CEO of the Chamber is May 6th, and I leave behind an amazing staff that won’t miss a beat in supporting our businesses, nonprofits, and the entire community. I appreciate all the support I have received from all aspects of community, and it really made a difference in my recovery over the last few weeks. There are a few last events I will attend as CEO: the After Hours tomorrow at the Hilton, Suds with Sam on Friday, and the Coffee and Conversation on April 26th. I hope to see many faces that have thought about going to one of them but need an extra reason. Now you have one!

My last request of all of our members? Support your local chamber and make a difference in your community! Thank you for your personal support, and of the chamber over the years.”

Sam Taylor

4 Ways to Attack (and Attain) Your Business Goals

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by Christina R. Metcalf

When you run your own business, you’re the person deciding on the direction. You’re in control of start dates and marketing promos. You’re the one who must hold yourself back from the shiny object syndrome.

And yet, so many of us fail on that last one and it’s easy to understand why.

Open your social media feeds or search on the internet for business advice and you’ll find dozens of articles that tell you what you need to be doing for your business this year—things you need to implement, apps you need to download, widgets needed on your website, and a host of other projects you would be remiss not to implement immediately.

And they all sound so wonderful. Things your audience will love, will drive more sales, help you become better known.

But if you take off in hot pursuit of them all, you won’t accomplish any of them.

Pick a Goal, Pick a Timeframe
Yes, there may be many things you need or want to do for your business, but you have a better chance of completing them if you concentrate on 1-3 goals at a time. If you have more than three things you want to institute in your business this year, you can still do them after you complete the first three. Some professionals have new goals each month, quarter, or every six months.

Treat business goal setting the way you do eating. Don’t pile mounds on your plate just because it looks delicious. Take one helping first and when you’re finished with that, come back for more.

Cluster Your Goals
If you have an auspicious agenda this year, cluster the goals that naturally fit together. For instance, if your goals are more followers on social media, being consistent in your blog posting, and implementing a new training program for your employees, know that the first two can easily be stitched together as good blog content gives you something valuable to post to social media (and thus, get more followers). The third goal is better as a standalone.

Select a Quarter for New Launches
My writing business has two facets—business marketing writing and fiction writing. My business writing trumps my fiction writing because it pays the bills. But my fiction will never have a chance to pay the bills if I don’t give it the attention it needs to take off. The same may be true for an area of your business. For instance, perhaps you own a food truck, and you’ve considered adding a brick-and-mortar location. If those thoughts are just thoughts, your café will never take shape. You must open to see if your business idea will work.

But there’s a lot of planning involved before you can do so. Pick a quarter (or season or even a month) and dedicate your free time during that period to work the pieces you need to get closer to your launch goal.

Which brings us to…

Schedule Time and Purpose
It’s great to use free time to explore ideas for your business but your free time is likely limited, and it can be frustrating to save something for your free time only to be discouraged when your free time is usurped by something else. That’s why you also need to set aside time in your schedule each week for goal attainment.

This is not an hour set aside to think about your idea, although that is a necessary thing early on. But if you want to be successful in meeting your goal, you need to map out what it will take and break that up into smaller, attainable pieces that you can schedule. In our restaurant example, a task might be listing all the restaurants in an area of town you’re considering for your café. It might be reaching out to the local chamber to find out what development projects are in the works. Whatever you assign for this time should be measurable. At the end of your time block you should know whether you accomplished it or not. If your goal was thinking about opening your restaurant, you may have done that but there is no end point. You could “think” about it for the next decade. However, if your task was to call three landlords for potential spots, you know definitively whether that was completed or not.

This year don’t try to do it all. Pick 1-3 things that will advance your business and map out how you will get there. Then assign time to make it happen. We all get excited about ideas, but the real excitement should lie in your ability to accomplish them. That starts with making the most important ones a priority. Just like in your personal life, you make things a priority by giving them your undivided attention.

New Year, New You, New Biz: Find Your Motivation in 2022

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by Christina R. Metcalf

If you’re like me—and almost everyone else in this country—the end of the year is a time to look back and assess. I enjoy the nostalgia and reminiscing that occurs at this time of year, but it can also be a time of dread. It’s a time to realize you either hit the mark or you didn’t. And if you did, you may be apprehensive about being able to do it again in the new year.

So, we make resolutions.

We tell ourselves we’re going to do X differently this year. And most of us fall short of X because we forget about it, or we fall back into old routines because they are easy and we know how they work.

But this year, if you’re going to take on a resolution, we have some tips for you. The goal is to make resolutions more intuitive and doable. Here are a couple of ways to do that.

Make It a Team Effort in Business
Create improvement goals you have for your business and assign each of them to a person or department. If your company is large enough you could assign the task to an interdepartmental team. In the case of smaller companies, give it to someone you think would enjoy the task and be good at it. For instance, maybe you have been threatening to do live-stream videos but can never find the time. Maybe someone on your staff loves making TikToks. Enlist their help to either do it or act as your mentor or accountability coach. The reversal of roles can be fun.

Tell Everyone
The more people you announce your intentions to, the more embarrassed you will be if you don’t succeed. Risk of embarrassment can be a powerful motivator.

An announcement should never be just a tweet. Instead, use multiple formats/mediums to announce your intentions too. Video, blog posts, social media posts, and/or live streaming can be entertaining ways to stay true to your commitments.

Derive Your Why
Just as it is important for your employees to understand the why behind your business, it’s smart to make sure you fully understand the why behind your resolution. Digging down to the most motivating reason can help you stay the course. You may find that tying someone else into your reasoning is a more effective motivation than your own.

For instance, did you resolve to lose weight in 2022? Why? Because you hate that your pants don’t fit? Or is there something more motivating? After all, non-fitting pants can be remedied by drawstring sweatpants (trust me on that). Try for something more motivating. Maybe deep down it’s not about the number on the scale but that you’re worried that because your parent had heart disease at a young age, you will too. Health is motivating but burgers and fries are delicious, so tie it into something larger than you. Maybe you don’t want your children to experience the same grief that you did with the loss of your parent at a young age. Sticking to a resolution for someone else can be a lot more motivating.

Choose a Resolution That Matters with Quick Measurable Results
If you want to be successful in attaining your resolution or goal, you must choose wisely. We tend to fall into ruts and assign ourselves little. If you view yourself as a winner and someone who always attains their goals, you will be motivated to take on harder ones. If, on the other hand, you see yourself as someone who gives up, guess what will happen when things get hard? You’ll revert to what you know (or think you know) about yourself, and you’ll give up.

If you want to change that scenario, you must change how you view yourself. That takes more than just positive talk. Your brain wants examples of how you followed through or what you successfully completed. That’s why you should start with a resolution to do something that you can see quick, measurable improvement almost immediately. After you accomplish that smaller goal, with that “win” in hand, you can tell your brain you do complete things. Then tackle the more difficult one.

If you’re considering taking on a resolution or making some big changes in your business or yourself, consider these motivational suggestions. They’ll help you make effective use of your time and direction and assist you in building confidence in your skills in 2022.

Move Your Business Story Beyond the About Page

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by Christina R. Metcalf

If you spend any time speaking with copywriters or website writers, they will tell you a lot of businesses understand the importance of an effective About Us page on their website. As there’s been a lot of information written about telling your business story over the last decade and how customers want to do business with people they know, like and trust, many realize the value. You likely know that the About Page has the potential to become one of the most heavily visited pages on your website.

However, that’s where most businesses miss an opportunity.

They stop at the About Us page. Their business story never moves beyond it. But for the story to be believable, understood, and remembered—and thus effective—it has to spring off the About Us page and into these other places.

4 Places You Should Be Telling Your Business Story

Stories are more memorable than marketing or sales copy. But if you’re keeping your business story imprisoned in your About Us page, you’re losing an opportunity for a larger, more loyal audience. If you’re hoping that telling your business story will create more sales, you need to use it everywhere including:

Your Onboarding
Every new employee should hear your business story. Employees should experience the story as part of their onboarding training or first day on the job. It’s a great way to get them excited about where they work. Plus, you want to encourage them to tell your business story in the future so sharing it with them right away will highlight its importance.

Your Social Media Channels
Since you also want to ensure your new customers know your story, you want to tell it on social media. There are several ways to do this. You can create a video, use image quotes, write it in a social media post, write a blog post, and tell your story through images. You can also tease your social media audience by telling part of it on the page and directing the audience back to your website for the remainder of it.

Donations or Growth That Corresponds with Your Story
Your business story cannot exist on “an island,” meaning it must be exhibited in other spots besides your About Us page and be part of your culture. You achieve that by continuing to exhibit and embody the spirit of your business story. That can mean supporting nonprofits that reflect your business vision and story or volunteering with groups that share your vision. You can also partner with like-minded businesses that share a similar story.

By helping to bring your business story to life and continuing it through your culture, people will begin to understand it better and it will resonate with them on a higher level. After all, people remember actions far more often than words.

Emails
Your business story should be fresh in every employee’s mind and so it should flavor all of your business communications, even emails. However, that doesn’t mean you repeat it word for word. People will grow tired of it. Instead, think about your favorite musical group or singer. Often, without even knowing a song, you can pick out your favorite just by their “sound.” Think of your story the same way. Your audience should be able to hear undertones of your story in all of your communications.

If your story isn’t told in these spaces consistently, there will be a disconnect with your customers. They need to hear your story and see it on a regular basis to believe it, and thus, become emotionally invested in it. Once they do, you’ll see it in your sales and your repeat business.

Money-Making Email Subject Lines for Small Business Season

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

There are just a few days left before Christmas, and it’s one of the busiest shopping weeks all year. Sure, Black Friday and the Saturday before Christmas are the busiest days (spots 1 and 2 according to Sensormatic), but many of the other top 10 busiest shopping days in the U.S. are still on the horizon such as:

• #3 – Thursday, December 23 – Thursday before Christmas
• #5 – Sunday, December 26 – Day after Christmas, aka “Boxing Day”
• #6 – Wednesday, December 22 – Wednesday before Christmas
• #9 – Tuesday, December 21 – Tuesday before Christmas

If your small business is ramping up for those last-minute shoppers, don’t forget email. Email marketing is an effective way to reach your ideal audience and help them come up with ideas for last-minute and/or hostess gifts. This can be a frantic time of year so any assistance you can give those struggling for the perfect gift will likely result in more sales.

Email recipients can’t respond to your call to action if they don’t open the email. The easiest ways to get them to do that is by creating subject lines that inspire action.

Here are a few tips on how to write effective subject lines to win over last-minute shoppers. The examples below are all basic ideas. Add your own flair to fit the tone of your business.

Free
If you’re giving something away for free with a certain purchase, make sure your audience knows about it. Lead with the item in your subject line. For instance:

Free Dessert with Meal Purchase

Or use a discount instead like:

40% off perfect last-minute gifts

The word free (or mention of the discount) will get their attention, while the rest of the subject line tells them what’s required to receive the free item or discount. You don’t want them to assume they can walk in and demand a free dessert or think the entire store is discounted. Always be as clear as possible.

Sound Like a Friend
You’re not the only one using email to drive business this holiday. People are receiving tons of deals via email right now. You want to stand out. Using congenial language can help you do that. For instance:

Pizza sounds awesome tonight, right?

This could easily be an email from a friend. It’s warm and casual and puts an idea in their mind that is hard to shake. Mmm, pizza.

Solve a Problem
Busy times call for easy solutions. If there’s a way your business can make someone’s life easier, tell them. For instance:

Less mess, less stress. Order in.

Not only does this subject line provide a solution it lures the reader in. After all, most people would love less mess and less stress this time of year especially.

Create Excitement
People who wait until the last minute will often feel overwhelmed by all they have to do. A positive message that creates excitement can be very uplifting and stand out in their inbox. For instance:

Congratulations super smart, last-minute shopper!

The subject line is positive, creates excitement, and drives curiosity. The recipient will want to know why they are being congratulated and they’ll click.

If you want to capture those last-minute sales, don’t forget to reach out to your email list. Email marketing is a strong way to connect with your audience while they are out and about. Getting opens on those emails is essential to shoppers following your call to action. Never disregard the importance of great subject lines.