Resources

13 Important Things You Need To Hear As A Business Owner

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

Our metal has certainly been tested this year. Many are fatigued and stressed juggling responsibilities, worries, and fear like they were part of the job description.

But this is not sustainable.

You may feel crushed by the weight of the world right now. Maybe your friends and family don’t quite understand what you’re going through because they aren’t a business owner. Perhaps you’ve created the perfect life on social media, and no one knows the struggles that make up your day and eat away at your confidence and security.

But your chamber of commerce does. They’ve been there. They are business owners/business professionals, and they know what you’re going through. Most people think about the business resources and networking they provide but forget that they are always looking out for businesses and the struggles of businesspeople. Being the voice of business also means understanding the internal hardships of business owners. The chamber’s vast business experience may help you feel more part of a tribe.

The chamber is also here to remind you that as a business owner, your skills, drive, and knowledge are critical to your business but so is your health and wellness.

13 Things Every Business Owner Needs to Hear

All business owners need to hear these things, especially now:

1. It is okay to put yourself in time out. Use this time to recharge or think about the direction of your business. You can’t do either of these things under pressure. You are not a diamond. Schedule time away, off the grid, even if only for an hour. Focus on one area that’s not working and how you might improve things. Then create an action plan and schedule your tactics that will get you to your goal. Or better yet, take that time and decompress by doing absolutely nothing.

2. Trust your intuition but weigh all sides. Discuss it with people who have experience in the area or the things you are considering. That generally means not your spouse, nor your friends.

3. Take the calculated risks. No risk, no growth.

4. You can make a living doing anything if you take the right approach and the timing is right. Choose what you love, and you will have a more fulfilling career. Never choose safety as a career path because sometimes the safe path isn’t safe. And if that’s the only reason you chose it, you’re left with nothing.

5. If you need help, ask. But you’ll be more successful if you ask the people who are able to help.

6. “No” is an acceptable answer. No excuse (or reason) required.

7. Timing is important but persistence usually pays off. Hang in there.

8. You set your priorities. If you feel out of control, and someone else dictates everything for you, you have given them that power (that includes your kids and pets).

9. Schedule time for “oxygen” moments that provide the breath that fuels the fire in your soul. Recharge with the care that you give your cell phone.

10. Everyone is on their own path. If you don’t declare them as a dependent on your taxes or you can’t be held accountable for their actions in a court of law, respect their process and respect yours also.

11. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can exhaust yourself trying. Pick what you’re good at, who it serves well, and do that. Don’t be a salad at McDonalds.

12. You are always in control of how you respond to a situation even if you can’t control anything else.

13. If it’s important to you, find a way. If it’s not, be honest about that with others and with yourself. Admit that it’s not on your life’s “strategic plan” and move on.

Remember, mental health and wellness are not luxuries. You deserve them. Just as you take care of the tools you need to conduct business, you need to take care of yourself.

Keep this list and refer to it. There’s nothing on here that isn’t common sense but sometimes you just need to hear it from someone else.

How to Take Your Customer Relationship to the Next Level

150 150 Pat Monacelli

By Christina R. Metcalf

Do you want to wow your existing customers? Are you ready to take your “relationship” with them to the next level? Then it may be time to grab your data and do some personalized marketing.

What You Need
To get your customers’ attention, you need to have tools in place to measure things like buying frequency and purchase history. You’ll also want your customers’ email addresses.

If you don’t have that, start collecting it. If you do, let’s talk about how you can use it to drive additional sales.

Selling to existing, repeat customers is one of the easiest ways to increase sales. They already love you. But even people who love you and your products/services can forget to buy from you, especially if you sell a product or service that is want based, not need based, like a restaurant.

You will find it necessary at some point to remind your customers of their love for you. A personalized email is ideal for this.

Components of a Standout Personalized Reminder Email
When some business owners think about “personalized” emails, they think of form fields that insert names.

But we’re moving beyond that.

This type of reminder email speaks to your personalized relationship with your customer, making it a whole lot more effective in driving sales than simply referring to someone’s name. In addition to using their name, you want to include:

Purchase History
Don’t include everything they’ve ever bought. That may be overwhelming, and they may decide they’ve spent too much money with you. Instead, highlight what they bought most often.

“You sure do like our decadent chocolate shake, maybe almost as much as we like having you as a customer. Wouldn’t today be the perfect day to order one? Mmmmm. Chocolate.”

Drive those impulse buys.

Upsell Opportunities
Suggest other things they may love next time they’re buying from you. Point out how convenient, popular, or valuable your other offerings are.

“You know what one of our most popular services is? Eyebrow waxing. We tame most of the brows in town and that service is the perfect complement to the highlights you already love. In fact, the waxing can be done while your color cures. That way you leave with gorgeous hair and a refined look with no additional time out of your day. Just what you need, right?”

More Ways to Love You
In the email, suggest more ways to love your services or products. End the email with a call to action. This could be an invitation to stop in, coupon for their next visit, an invitation to try a new location, sharing ways to connect on social, or a picture of their favorite item or service and a “we miss you” invitation. This message will get them thinking about you again and drive more sales. Remember to use evocative imagery in your close so that they can’t help but come see you soon.

Remaining top of mind is critical to getting more sales from loyal customers. Giving them a little “friendly reminder” email is free and will help you stay connected.

Need Employees? Use Social Media

150 150 Pat Monacelli

By Christina R. Metcalf

For a while, marketers have been telling people how to build relationships with potential customers on social media. They’ve shown them how to nurture a potential customer through the sales cycle to make a buying decision.

And that’s what businesses have been focused on.

But your social networks need to be doing double duty now.

Yes, attracting new customers is important but there’s another great need right now—employees. You need to attract people to work with you and retain those you currently have.

Social media is an incredibly strong way to do this.

Consider the following types of posts to help you be seen as an employer of choice.

Social Media for Hiring and Retention
When it comes to writing posts to get people to work with you, you want to construct a story around what it’s like to work at your business. Keep in mind that every post should inspire, educate, or entertain while sharing interesting parts of your story.

1. A day in the life. Take a fun photo and tell a story about what you’re doing. If you can show how you are helping someone else live their best life, even better. That sort of post is contagious.
2. Showcase what your business does. That doesn’t mean that you post “we sell widgets.” Talk about how what you do helps others do something even more amazing. For instance, if you sell natural soaps talk about how you help people discover their beauty without all the harsh chemicals. That way they can feel as good about your products as they do about their exercise routines.
3. Compliment others. No one said your posts had to be about you. Sometimes telling others how amazing you think another business or person is can go a long way to making people feel good about your business.
4. Showcase your employees and why you are lucky to have them. Not only do people enjoy getting to know who you have working for you, this type of “bragging” about your awesome employees shows you are a good person to work for.
5. Slide in some perks. If you have cool perks at your job, find a way to post about them. Show your snack cart. Create a TikTok around a parody involving your business day. Use some creativity to showcase why someone would want to work for you.
6. Use hashtags. Use hashtags for areas and the types of jobs you’re hiring for.
7. Illustrate your unique culture. Take pictures and post about your unique culture. People will want to be a part of it.
8. Participate in conversation on places that matter. There are tons of Facebook groups and other places where people are talking on social media. Join in on the conversations and help people. Some will check out where you’re from and they’ll see your company. A community groups is also a good place to post that you’re hiring. But you’ll be more successful attracting a crowd if they already know you when you post.
9. Invite employees to post about you too. Give them the parameters of what you want them to address and the hashtags you want them to use. Then encourage them to spread your message.
10. Retweet or reshare what others are saying about you. Make image quotes out of reviews. Reply to people who talk about you. Others will see you’re involved in social media and responding. Check out GlassDoor and see what employees have said. Share that, if appropriate.

Social media is a wonderful way to get attention from a recruiting perspective. It helps you stand out and entices people to want to work for you. Remember these days retention and recruiting on social media are just as important as bringing in new customers.

Free (or Nearly Free) Training for Your Employees

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

Brownie Wise (the saleswoman behind the success of Tupperware) said, “If you want to build a business, build the people.” This is incredibly important but now more than ever. With the hiring shortage going on, you must do something to make your business stand out and helping potential employees understand they can have a career with you (or at least feel valued while they are there) can be the difference between going with you or deciding to work elsewhere.

But how do you “build the people”? Training can be costly and who has the time or money for that? Believe it or not, there are a lot of free resources out there. Here are just a few:

7 Avenues for Free (or almost free) Training for Employees

To the best of our knowledge, each of these options is free. However, there may be a minimal cost with some specialized trainings.

If you want to check out a subscription course offering, there’s LinkedIn Learning. After your free month trial, there’s a $19.95 per month fee for unlimited access to their courses. Courses include advanced work on popular software like Office and Google as well as technical things like learning coding languages such as Python.

Assuming you want free (or nearly so), here’s a great list of options:

The Broomfield Chamber 
If you belong to the Broomfield Chamber, your member benefits extend to your employees. The chamber offers webinars, educational seminars, meet and greets, and lunch and learns. You can (and should) encourage your employees to attend these free or very low-cost ways to learn and get to know others in the community.

SBA and other Business Groups
The Small Business Association and other local business groups offer free training periodically. Sign up for their newsletters or check out their website to see what webinars are available. SBA also has free business counseling for you if you’re a small business owner. You can also check out the North Metro Denver Small Business Development Center.

YouTube
You may assume that the courses on YouTube would be conducted by fame-seeking teenagers but that’s simply not the case. There are a lot of good resources available on this channel. You could create a playlist of videos and share it with your marketing team/person, for instance.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
You probably knew by now that MIT offers free online classes but what you may not have realized is that it’s not all science related. They have plenty of business courses too. Check out the ones on entrepreneurship.

University of California has some solid offerings as well. Also, check out Open University for even more.

TedTalks
You might be surprised the kind of things you can learn in a TedTalk. While they may not teach direct skills, they teach ways to think and reframe problems that can be advantageous in a lot of roles. Your employees may also learn stronger empathy through watching a few of these.

Niche Sources
Make a list of what you’d like your employees to learn and then set them free to find no-cost instruction. For instance, there’s a course on supply chain management, corporate finance, and digital marketing. Some even come with certifications.

Ahrefs Academy
Lots of great courses here including SEO for Beginners (who couldn’t use that?) and several marketing courses. Good information that every business can use.

There are plenty of free training options out there for your staff. The difficulty is in giving them the time for professional development. Offering the courses won’t do you any good if they don’t take them, so make sure you communicate that this is an important part of your business. Your best employees will appreciate the challenge and the additional training. And best of all, it won’t cost you a thing!

BROOMFIELD CHAMBER, COMMUNITY FOUNDATION LAUNCH BROOMFIELD SMALL BUSINESS FUND

150 150 Pat Monacelli

Collaborative fund aims to help businesses rebuild as they re-open.

The Broomfield Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the Broomfield Community Foundation, has created a new relief and assistance fund designed to help local small businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic closures and restrictions.

The Broomfield Small Business Fund will distribute cash grants to assist eligible small businesses that are or may have closed temporarily, are having financial difficulty paying business rent and utilities, and/or are facing staff reductions or cuts in hours due directly to COVID-19 related market impacts.

Apply for funding or donate to the fund here.

“Broomfield has long been a great place to start and grow your business. Our community is a strong supporter of small business and now many of them are at risk of permanently going out of business through no fault of their own,” Said Sam Taylor, President and CEO of the Broomfield Chamber. “This fund will offer a lifeline for those companies that need a little extra help as they reopen their companies after being shut down because of the pandemic.”

“The Broomfield Community Foundation is proud to support the Broomfield Chamber of Commerce and our local small businesses throughout the medium and long-term recovery period to get back on their feet. The Broomfield Small Business Fund provides an easy solution for local residents and corporate supporters to assist fellow Broomfield businesses in a much bigger way,” stated Marianna Williamson, Executive Director of the Broomfield Community Foundation, which will be managing the fund and distributing grants.

Businesses that receive grants can use funds on direct business expenses such as payroll, inventory, supplies, lease or rent payments for non-residential business premises, and utilities for non-residential business locations. Fund grants are intended to promote business success, resulting in employee retention, supplement business revenues for payment of expenses, and sustaining business activity in the City and County of Broomfield.

Contributions are still being accepted to help grow the fund. You can make an online contribution, or apply for funding here.  Questions can be directed to the Broomfield Chamber of Commerce at info@broomfieldchamber.com.

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