Broomfield Chamber of Commerce

4 Reasons To Get Involved with the Chamber Today

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By Christina R. Metcalf

Businesses join the chamber of commerce for several reasons. Years ago, it may have been expected; just something you did when you opened a business and wanted to be in good standing in the community.

But these days it’s more likely a business joins because there is a direct advantage to them personally. Maybe they wanted a ribbon cutting or need the advocacy or wanted a marketing opportunity that membership allowed them.

Yes, there are many reasons to join the chamber and tons of benefits your business can receive from membership. But aside from simply writing a check and receiving a set of benefits, there are reasons why you should become personally involved with the local chamber of commerce.

Plus, the chamber extends its benefits to all of your employees so you can use chamber membership benefits as employee benefits. Share this with them as well.

4 Reasons to Get Involved with the Chamber
Let’s place the advocacy, marketing, advertising, and public relations benefits of chamber membership on the back burner. This article is about what the chamber can do for you and your employees specifically, not the business. Yes, the chamber can bring more attention to your business, which can create more sales opportunities, but these benefits and this personal involvement are things that can help you outside of the business.

  • Education Opportunities
    The chamber has a number of education opportunities where you and your employees can learn about important matters for free (or at a very low cost). Chamber webinar topics may include things like diversity, how to excel in social media, and economic interests in your area. They can help you become a more well-rounded professional, change careers, or get up-to-date on important topics in the community.
  • Leadership Experience
    The chamber offers a lot of opportunities to volunteer for different committees or events. You may find a volunteer position in a subject that interests you like women leaders, diversity, workforce development, or marketing. Not only can these volunteer positions be added to your resume, but volunteering could also help you meet people with similar interests and help you grow your professional network. Speaking of…
  • Networking
    Getting involved with the chamber can help you meet more people and grow your professional network and make friendships. Even in communities where social gatherings are still mostly virtual, chambers have networking sessions to help you stay connected.
  • Business Expansion and Hidden Opportunities
    As you grow your network, you may learn of additional business possibilities that you could add to your business or you could use to launch a new one. You may learn of seed money, grants, SBA funding, or private opportunities. Often business deals get made before anything is formally published or requested. Being personally involved in the chamber may help you be a part of those types of discussions and make you aware of opportunities before they become public. The same may be true of the hidden job market. A contact may tell you they’re looking for someone before posting it on a job site, giving you the advantage.

Chamber benefits for your business are amazing. They can really help you increase your number of customers and get your name out there. But those aren’t the only benefits. If you get involved individually, there are many benefits to your professional growth and career. Plus, those benefits can be given to all of your employees too. That can be a real selling point for someone looking for a great company culture.

Three Things in Business That Aren’t Worth It

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by Christina R. Metcalf

We only have so many hours in the day so the last thing you want to do is spend time doing things that aren’t worth the time. Being labeled as “not worth the time” doesn’t mean they are annoying to do. In fact, some of the things you’re doing in your business may be very enjoyable but aren’t worth the effort in that you don’t get the return out of the time you’re investing.

Every hour of your business day is valuable.

You want what you do to move you closer to your goals. But some things we do in the name of our business don’t have the same benefits of other things we could be doing with our time. As a businessperson you should always be performing a cost/benefit analysis.

3 Things in Business That Aren’t Worth It

The things in this list are items that are generally not worth your time, but you’ll need to do the analysis yourself before deciding whether you will continue to do these activities as part of your workday or sunset them for a more productive use of your time.

Spending Copious Amounts of Time on the Coolest “New” Social Media

Whether a social media site is worth spending time and interacting on depends largely on your audience. If your ideal customer is there and you can engage them, it’s worth it. If they’re not, it’s not.

There’s no reason to get on a social network so you can be an early adopter and wait for your ideal customer to get on the site. The only way this makes sense is when your audience looks to you to tell them what the next “cool” or techy thing is.

Spending Money on Free Things

Thanks to our giveaway economy, there are a lot of free options out there for things you use in your business every day. If you’re just starting out, there are items you absolutely should pay for. And then there are items (especially software) where a freemium item could work for you…at least until your needs grow. Using Google docs instead of Word is an example. This may seem like a small expense but every dollar you save on something you can get for free can go toward the items where your monetary investment is very important.

Staying up Late

Have you ever stayed up hours past your bedtime to finish a project? Sometimes it’s just what you have to do. However, sleep deprivation comes with a high price. You’ll likely sacrifice tomorrow’s productivity to meet your deadline today. It’s much better to chip away at the project bit by bit than it is to put it off until right before it is due and then work most of the night on it.

True, most adults don’t plan on this type of course of action. And it might feel like you have no choice but to do it at the last minute. However, unless this project was completely unexpected, each time you agree to do one thing over the other, you’re making a choice based on importance to you.

If you analyze both requirements on your time and you make a decision that one is more important than the other, and then defer the project until it becomes an urgent need, and a sleepless night, so be it. But don’t let someone else dictate that for you.

Set clear expectations. A customer who wants a timely answer doesn’t know what else you’re working on. Do your best to balance their needs and the needs of your business by letting them know when you will have an update for them. Then check back in even if you don’t have a resolution.

If you have a boss, or are otherwise not in charge of scheduling your own workload, and they give you an ASAP project clarify that it bumps everything else. Be clear about what projects are in jeopardy by doing that.

Being upfront about the demands on your time will help set expectations and minimize sleepless nights. If you fail to do this, you will be exhausted and turning in subpar work. No one wants to sacrifice sleep to make a deadline, only to turn something in that will need to be redone later. This doesn’t benefit anyone.

When it comes to your business, you need to make the most of your day. Avoiding these activities—and others that don’t provide good return on your time investment—is a solid business approach. Look for things that impact your productivity and weed them out of your schedule.

Business Matters Blog: 6 Signs of a Healthy Business

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By Christina R. Metcalf

Many of us have spent this year concerned over the health of our businesses or those in the community. Ultimately, a healthy business has a good balance sheet. It has more coming in than it does going out. But that is not the only indicator of business health.

In today’s world, where a quick decision from a politician can radically affect your business overnight, it’s important to know the early indicators of business peril. This of these things as your business’ “canary in the coal mine.”

6 Signs Your Business Is Healthy (before you see it on the books)

Before you see any issues in the balance sheet, you can spot a healthy business in these areas:

  1. Referrals. While it’s never easy to get people to refer you even when they love you, a healthy business harnesses the power of the referral and makes it easy for happy customers to bring in more happy customers.
  2. Reviews. Just like referrals, reviews are the signature of a healthy, well-loved business. But they don’t happen automatically. A healthy business asks for them, makes it easy to give them, and repurposes them in their marketing collateral.
  3. Promotes from within and trains accordingly. A healthy business promotes from within with clear pathways to additional challenges even when the business is small enough not to have additional levels to climb. It recognizes employees who are committed to the business, doing a great job, and those that require additional challenges or training.
  4. Looks for needs. If your business moves in another direction, opens a new market, or branches out, you may not be able to promote from within. A healthy business is clear about what each employee’s strengths are and what they may need to obtain from outside whether that be from an additional hire, vendor, or partner.
  5. Builds loyalty outside of sales. Loyalty is not owned by the sales department. Loyalty is built by customer service and marketing. A healthy company looks for ways to keep customers engaged and feeling like they are part of the brand. It creates enjoyable experiences for customers at each touchpoint whether they are calling to complain, buy, or simply spend time on social media.
  6. Remains agile. This one is certainly a lesson learned in 2020. A healthy business must be ready to align its offerings and services with those of their loyal customers and the larger market. Small businesses may not have had a lot of operating capital when the pandemic hit but they did retain the ability to move quickly and that helped a lot of them stay in the black.

Is your business healthy outside of the balance sheet? Go through this list and ask yourself how many of these qualities your business meets. If you’re missing a few, you may want to see how quickly you can add them. After all, they are a good indicator of business health long before you begin to see signs of trouble in the balance sheets or books.

APPLICATIONS BEING ACCEPTED FOR 2021-2022 LEADERSHIP BROOMFIELD

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The Broomfield Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 class of Leadership Broomfield.

The goal of Leadership Broomfield is to build a sense of community by identifying individuals with the passion and commitment to become personally engaged in issues, programs and activities aimed at building a better City and County of Broomfield.

The program is designed to help attendees:
• define and enhance leadership abilities
• connect with local leaders in a variety of areas
• be exposed to the challenges and opportunities that face the city and county
• determine how to become more involved in leadership roles in the community
• build lasting professional relationships with community leaders

Leadership Broomfield features six monthly sessions plus a December mixer, running from September 2019 to March 2020. Each session focuses on a different aspect of the community, including quality of life, the nonprofit community, local government, and much more.

The application deadline is October 7. To apply for Leadership Broomfield, fill out our online application form.

5 Ways to Communicate Difficult Business Messages

150 150 Pat Monacelli

by Christina R. Metcalf

If there’s one thing 2020 has shown us, it’s how to bolster our communication skills. We’ve had cause for a lot of really difficult conversations with our customers. Nobody ever wants to give bad news but 2020 seems like the year we have to keep reiterating and sharpening our communication skills with difficult messages.

But if you feel like you’ve had challenge after challenge and you’re still wondering the best way to deliver those difficult messages, let’s take a look at a few tactics you might use.

Set Expectations
This is the easiest way to communicate on difficult conversations. Often with those types of conversations you don’t have all the answers in front of you. When faced with that, many businesses make the mistake of assuming that since they know very little at that moment, they should wait until they have something conclusive to tell their audience. This is rarely a good idea.

Instead, explain what you do know in a very simple way without judgment or accusations. Explain what you still need to figure out to the best of your ability. Then let your audience know when you will have the information they want.

This type of communication is often used when an investigation is warranted. If something has happened in your business that is unsatisfactory but you don’t know all of the details you would likely use this method of communication. Never wait for more info. Start shaping the conversation as soon as you are aware of an issue and assure people when you will know more. Then check back in with what you’ve uncovered.

Personalize it to Your Business
Instead of using a broad general message that you stole from Starbucks or some other large brand, tailor what you’re saying to your audience by tying it into your business or your customer base in some way.

Do it Quickly
Nobody wants to read upsetting news in novel form. They want to know immediately what’s going on, how it will impact them, and what will happen in the future. If this information that you’re putting together may change, tell them that. However, if you know that what you really need to tell them is unavoidable, don’t give it to them in baby steps. For example, don’t say you’re shutting down because someone tested positive for COVID if you’re really planning on shutting down for good.

While you may not be ready to deliver the true information, a lie can impact your ability to connect to your customers in the future. Be as honest as you’re able to be given the circumstances.

If you’re communicating this announcement through email list, get right to the point. Don’t spend 20 paragraphs talking about all the good things you remember. There’s plenty of time for that later. If you’re delivering bad news to someone, just give it to them.

Use Humor
If what you’re communicating is merely unpleasant, but not devastating, you might consider using a humorous approach. A lot of businesses have adopted this form of communication when it comes to delivering messages about asking customers to wear a mask.

Put it Everywhere in Multiple-media Formats
“I didn’t know that,” is a common complaint when someone has been told bad news. That is why if you’re delivering difficult information, you want to put it on every avenue you can think of such as:

• The top fold or banner of your website. You may even consider adding a pop up. If you choose to do a pop up, you don’t want that to be your only choice since some people use very sophisticated pop-up blockers. But it is a good way to get the attention of most people.
• Live stream your news on Facebook.
• Add the video to Instagram.
• Place an announcement on LinkedIn if it’s a formal announcement like a business closing or merger. If it’s simply that you are shutting down for a few weeks due to COVID exposure, LinkedIn is not necessary.
• Notify the chamber of commerce. You should let them know because the chamber may refer people to you or may be able to help you navigate the difficulties you’re communicating.
• Add it to your Facebook and Instagram stories.
• Send the information to your email list.
• Give a gift that reinforces the message.

2020 has been a communication challenge with many of us having to express feelings and News we hope to never talk about. but communicating with your audience is one of the most important things you can do to instill Trust and build a relationship. never withhold Disappointing information or a difficult message. In today’s hyper social world, it is difficult to keep information to yourself. If your customers hear about it from another way, the trust you’ve built with them will suffer.