Uncategorized

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

150 150 Pat Monacelli

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

150 150 Pat Monacelli

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.

Cross Promotion Opportunities for a Stronger Small Business Season

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

This holiday season, we want to celebrate the uniqueness of small business as well as the treasures and exquisite services that can be found in our backyard. But small businesses have challenges as they market themselves alongside larger, national competitors. The perception that the larger businesses have better deals, more attractive hours, and more selection, can be strong. That’s why it takes a creative approach to be competitive. Cross promotion can be a very effective way for small business to stand out during the holiday season.

Why Cross Promotion?
Small businesses have the agility to do some creative things when it comes to promotion both within their own businesses and in partnerships with others. Cross promotion can be lucrative and draw in new target audiences. With cross promotion, you can also show support to other businesses and create partnerships that will help increase sales long past the holiday season.

Examples of Cross Promotion
If you’re considering cross promotion as part of your sales and marketing efforts this year, check out these ideas:

Partnering with a complementary business that provides products or services. For instance, a gym may partner with a juice bar or an athletic clothing business to provide discounts for members. The juice bar or clothing store may, in turn, place coupons for a free gym session in all of their bags or as part of their sales.
Reciprocal agreements. If you don’t want to enter into a formal cross promotional offer with another business, you can (and should) agree to mutually support one another. For instance, innkeepers could agree to refer visitors to local restaurants, while wait staff at local restaurants could refer people to nearby independent shops.
Ads. Ads can help you reach a large audience and build name recognition. But they can be costly. Splitting the cost with neighbor businesses can help you afford a larger ad in a newspaper, mailer, cable TV spot, or even a billboard. Your local chamber may have some ideas on how you can defray advertising costs by partnering with other similar or nearby businesses.
Run a contest. If you’re planning on running a holiday contest, you could approach nearby businesses to see if they will donate a prize and partner with you for even greater reach.
Pop-up shop. If you have businesses next door to you, you may be able to create a pop-up market and split the costs of tents, entertainment, etc. For even more cross-promotional power, bring in a food truck or home business for entertainment or additional draw.
Use social. Creating videos, reels/tiktoks, and other valuable content takes time. You could partner with another business so that you can increase the amount of content you produce. You also will have access to each other’s following for even greater reach.
In-store. You can also benefit from in-store or business cross promotion. Online they’re referred to as “also boughts.” Structure your business so that things that are purchased together are cross promoted either on display or verbally by your staff. You can increase your sales with very little effort this way.

This holiday season, consider exploring the opportunities in cross promotion. Cross promotion can help you reach new audiences, build relationships, and spread good cheer. And couldn’t we all use a little more of that?

Giving Thanks this Thanksgiving

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Sam Taylor, Broomfield Chamber President and CEO

November is the traditional time to reflect on what we are thankful for. One thing we are always thankful for at the Broomfield Chamber is our members. When some of them were struggling just to survive, others stepped in and supported them any way they could. When people were suffering, our nonprofit community rose to the task. Organizations in the Broomfield area have been there for each other, from the largest multinational down to the newest solopreneur.

We’re also thankful for our partnerships. Our collaborations with other organizations help us address the needs of our community and our local businesses. One of our key collaborators is the Broomfield Workforce Center. We are so thankful for their work supporting the abruptly laid off workers in early 2020, to helping companies find employees in late 2021. Their innovative programs to help people gain new skills as the job market changes is going to be key moving forward.

Another key partner of ours is the City and County of Broomfield. From the Economic Vitality Department and Public Health, to the Parks and Recreation department, they have been there to support our mission. CCOB knows that the key to a thriving community is strong connections between local government, for profit, and the nonprofit organizations. They have been there for both organizations, and individuals throughout this trying time.

Last, but certainly not least, we’re thankful for volunteers that allow us to fulfill our goals to support and advocate for the local business community. The Chamber’s staff hard to help others to find opportunities for growth. But our volunteers help make that work successful. Our Board is there to guide us and provide direction and support, and our Ambassadors are the best cheerleading squad in the state. Even those who volunteer for a single shift once a year at Broomfield Days or Taste It help support the Chamber and allows us to move forward every day.

On this Thanksgiving, we send special thanks to all who support our mission, and help our community thrive.

 

Celebrating Small Business Season

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

We’re gearing up for another holiday season amid COVID. Luckily, the virus numbers are down, and people are venturing out more these days. It’s time to market the importance of shopping local or shopping small.

While Small Business Saturday is a good start, why stop there?

We need more than one day to celebrate how special small business is, don’t we? We need at least a season to celebrate what makes small business different. Here are some ideas on how you can do that:

Size Matters: Shop Small
You may not be able to compete with 4 AM openings or TV giveaways, but there are a lot of small business benefits you should be marketing.

Here are a few to use in your social media and ad campaigns:

1. Tell your story. Small businesses have great stories. Make sure the world knows how you got started and what inspired you. Talk about your challenges and struggles as well as what you love. This will help customers identify with you and think of you the next time they need what you sell.
2. Tell their story. Has your business helped someone in your area? Maybe you sponsored a high school band trip or you helped a customer do something amazing. Tell the world about the incredible things that others are doing in your community. Ask those whom you’ve helped to ring in on the role you played in aiding them in attaining their dreams. Afterall, people want to do business with those they like.
3. Know that the rising tide lifts all boats. Work with other small businesses to support each other in your marketing efforts. Tag one another. Review each other. Help get the word out about how important it is to shop small, even if you never mention your business specifically.
4. Share pics of how far you’ve come. Everyone loves an underdog story, one where the hero struggles against all odds to eventually win. Tell yours in pictures.
5. Be the expert. You can find almost anything online from services to directions, but a small business helps you find both in the same place. For instance, if someone wants to take on a new hobby, they can go to a local business and learn everything they need to start, what they need right away and what’s more helpful once they get a little more versed in what they are doing. It’s hard to get that assistance online. Play this advantage up to your audience. Let them know how you help and how much you love it.

Does this list of things you could be doing to market yourself seem overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. You have an advocate already in your corner who can help you do all of this. No, it’s not your significant other or that stranger on Fivrr. It’s your local Chamber of Commerce. Most chambers already have a shop small or shop local campaign and activities going on in your area.

Get in touch with them and find out what they’re working on (info@broomfieldchamber.org). They’ll be glad to help and know exactly what it takes to reach people in your service/shopping area.