Shop Local

  1. Learn About Local Businesses

To learn more about local businesses in your area, set aside a day to explore your town and see what it has to offer. Since part of the benefit of shopping local comes from being able to run errands on foot, leave your car at home and focus on the area within walking distance, if possible.

Start at one end of the main street or one corner of the central shopping district and work your way along, making note of all the businesses you see along the way. When you see one that looks useful or interesting, stop and make a note of its name, its location, and its hours. Then, the next time you’re looking for a jewelry shop, for example, you’ll know exactly where to find one.

 

  1. Shop Locally

Once you’ve identified local businesses in your area, the next step is to make shopping at them part of your usual routine. This can be a challenge if you’re on a tight budget, since local businesses often can’t match the low prices of big-box stores. However, there are several ways to get around this problem:

  • Budget for it. Set aside a small sum in your personal budget each month specifically for local shopping.
  • Go local for services. Goods are often cheaper at big-box stores that sell cheap, mass-produced wares. However, services are often just as cheap or even cheaper when you buy them locally.
  • Shop local for the holidays. Shopping local is a great choice for holiday gifts, because a present feels more special when it comes from your own hometown. Each year, American Express sponsors “Small Business Saturday” after Thanksgiving to encourage people to start their holiday shopping at local businesses, and many independent businesses offer special sales on this day.

 

  1. Eat Locally

Not all local businesses are useful to everyone. For instance, a children’s clothing store isn’t of much interest if you don’t have kids. However, everybody has to eat, so shopping locally for food is one of the best ways to support your local economy.

 

  1. Bank Locally

Another way to keep your money in your community is to literally keep your money at a local community bank or credit union, rather than at a large national bank. Banking locally offers several benefits: lower cost, better service, and supporting your local community.

Social Media Marketing 101

What is Social Media Marketing? Social Media Marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertisement.

Before you begin creating social media marketing campaigns, consider your business’s goals. Starting a social media marketing campaign without a social strategy in mind is like wandering around a forest without a map – you might have fun, but you will probably get lost.

Here are some questions to ask when defining your social media marketing goals:

  • What are you hoping to achieve through social media marketing?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where would your target audience hang out and how would they use social media?
  • What message do you want to send to your audience with social media marketing?

Your business type should inform and drive your social media marketing strategy. For example, an e-commerce or travel business, being highly visual, can get a lot of value from a strong presence on Instagram or Pinterest. A business-to-business or marketing company might find more leverage in Twitter or Linkedin.

Don’t Dismiss People Who Don’t Look Important

“Networking” isn’t just drinking a glass of chardonnay at a party while chitchatting about your career. It isn’t handing your business card to someone and walking away. It isn’t “connecting” with someone on LinkedIn without any sort of introduction or follow-up.

To be an effective networker, you have to put in the time and effort, do your homework, step out of your comfort zone, and avoid the common mistakes many people make. Last week we discussed not dressing down for networking events. This week let us discuss who you are networking with.

“You should behave here like everyone you interact with has the potential… to get you a cover story in The New York Times – because many of them do,” Tim Ferris, author of “The 4-Hour Workweek”, once told Business Insider in an interview. This came in handy at an event in 2007 when he was standing in line for a movie screening and asked a muscly man in front of him how he got such big forearms. They started chatting and Ferriss realized he was speaking with filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s brother, who connected him with Morgan, who later used Ferriss as his subject for an episode of “A Day in the Life.”

Don’t dismiss people who do not look important enough to you. Sometimes it is the secretary that will get the job done, not the president.

Coping with Poor Business Etiquette

Bad behavior can become an epidemic if left unchecked. It is often difficult for management to monitor office etiquette if everyone is on their best behavior when the boss walks by. This creates frustration among teammates when working with offenders.

There are a few simple strategies to help restore peace and professionalism to the workplace.

Be the example. In the infamous, and potentially misquoted, words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Everyone is a role model, especially management. In fact, managers can sometimes be “patient X” of the poor etiquette epidemic. Be friendly, helpful, and encouraging to colleagues.

Know the policies. Before intervening on bad behavior, check the employee handbook or with a human resource representative to ensure that you fully understand all the policies and procedures that are in place pertaining to this bad behavior.

Have a heart to heart. Calmly talk with the offender. Many times they are unaware that their actions are in poor taste or are negatively affecting others. Most people wish to perform well and to be seen in a positive light by their management. Having a conversation may be all that is needed in many cases.

Remember, you do not need to like everyone you work with and they do not need to like you, but you do need to be able to approach them appropriately, and be heard. Everyone in the office, personnel structure aside, should be able to peacefully coexist. Poor business etiquette impacts everyone’s productivity and morale. As a leader, it is important to lead by example when it comes to proper manners at work. You set the tone and tempo of all dealings within the office, whether work related or personnel related. Dealing with offenders can be intimidating, but doing so appropriately and consistently sets the standard for what is and is not acceptable, and it will ultimately help everyone in the end.

West Valley Taphouse

Welcome to Dallas’ local hang out, West Valley Taphouse.  Offering 65 taps of the best craft beer, cider, local wine, kombucha, and craft sodas in the West Valley, the Taphouse offers happy hour every day from 2 pm to 5 pm where all appetizers are $5 and $1 off all pints.

West Valley Taphouse has been hard at work over the last year to ensure they are offering Dallas the best experience. The recent remodel, including 18 different changes, are designed to make the atmosphere more comfortable, modern, and welcoming. In addition, the Taphouse is featuring a new menu to offer delicious local food. The patio, still under construction, is the final phase of the renovation and the crew is excited to unveil it in May!

Tap Takeover will be returning in May! The May Takeover will be Ninkansi Brewing. They will bring samples and free swag and games. This is a great opportunity to talk to a company representative and learn what exactly makes each brewing company unique.  Junes Takeover is to be announced, but Wild Ride will be taking over on June 6th with Julys Takeover to be determined.

Since joining the Dallas community, West Valley Taphouse has gained a reputation for giving back. Community involvement and giving back is definitely not lost on Sam Duffner, owner of West Valley Taphouse. Patrons enjoy getting together to enjoy new and unique craft beers, ciders and delicious food. Owners and staff have worked hard to create a family friendly environment with options of non-alcoholic drinks. Everyone is welcomed at West Valley Taphouse until 9pm.

http://westvalleytaphouse.com/

Dallas Retirement Village

Dallas Retirement Village first started in 1947 when a small church bought a small yellow house to serve as a care center for aging adults. Originally it was called Dallas Home for the Aged, but when they opened an independent living apartment in 1995 it came to be called the name we know, Dallas Retirement Village. They have continued to grow around the needs of the community and recently opened The Lodge Residences, and Clubhouse in 2017. Just in time to celebrate their 70th anniversary.

Staying true to their roots as a charitable mission designed to serve the needs of the seniors, they have remained a not-for-profit community. Their mission remains; to provide a continuum of quality services and care to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of their residents with dignity and respect.

Dallas Retirement Village does not restrict this mission statement to just our senior citizens though. Currently they are offering regular courses such as the ongoing CNA course designed to meet the current demands. Annually they award a scholarship designed to encourage employees and students to continue working to improve in their professional field.

They also are strong supporters of their local community. Dallas Retirement Village opens up both their Chapel, and Cascade Commons rooms regularly for the community to rent for events such as Chamber Luncheons, or Mid-Willamette Valley Leadership Summit. By doing this they are another resource to utilize when needing a space big enough to hold a crowd.

On behalf of our community, thank you Dallas Retirement Village for the amazing work you do.

https://www.dallasretirementvillage.com/

S&T Support

S & T Support, LLC (“S & T”) is a regional contract paralegal support and program management company offering a variety of unique services to law firms of all sizes. S & T further provides program management services to small businesses and non-profit organizations.

S & T’s mission is to promote and support law businesses with paralegal services; and, to provide development assistance to small businesses in all stages of planning, organization and growth.

While S & T’s focus has traditionally been working with law practitioners expanding their firms, the basic business planning and organization principles and systems can be translated to any small business also trying to grow and expand. This includes for-profit or non-profit businesses and organizations. Once a dynamic written plan is in place, systems can be set up to ensure day-today business administration doesn’t take up valuable time from business owners who need to concentrate on what it is they do best!

What sets S & T apart from other consultants is the hands-on features of the services offered. Once a business plan is written, it is important that it is used as a tool, and not just another book on the shelf. S & T will “pull up their sleeves” and work side-by-side to ensure goals are consistently met and updated.

It is our great joy to serve as the behind-the-scenes support for small businesses!

https://www.stsupportllc.com/

What is Public Policy & How Does the Chamber Fit In?

Public policy is best described as the broad area of government laws, regulations, court decisions, and local ordinances.

Today, government affects all aspects of our lives. Everyone has a stake in the public policies enacted by federal, state, and local governments. The fundamental activity of the Chamber of Commerce is to develop and implement policy on major issues affecting business.

Ensuring that laws and legislation remain conducive to the communities’ healthy and vibrant business climate is a top priority for the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber provides a structure for business leaders to communicate effectively with government. That is why the Chamber is your direct connection to local, state, and federal governmental officials and policy-makers. Through Public Policy programs, events, and committees, Chamber members have an opportunity to stay up to date on top business, civic, and social priorities.

The Public Policy Committee is charged by the Chamber Board of Directors to develop, articulate and reinforce the Chamber’s position as the voice of business in the Dallas area with local, state, and federal political and policy leaders. Through an integrated approach of developing public policy positions then proactively advocating for those positions with all levels of elected leadership, the Chamber is able to leverage the influence of its large and diverse membership to ensure that the voice of business is heard.

If you have any questions or concerns about public policy or legislatives that affect business’ you are encouraged to stop by your local Chamber.

What is Public Policy and How Does the Chamber Fit In?

Public policy is best described as the broad area of government laws, regulations, court decisions, and local ordinances.

Today, government affects all aspects of our lives. Everyone has a stake in the public policies enacted by federal, state, and local governments. The fundamental activity of the Chamber of Commerce is to develop and implement policy on major issues affecting business.

Ensuring that laws and legislation remain conducive to the communities’ healthy and vibrant business climate is a top priority for the Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber provides a structure for business leaders to communicate effectively with government. That is why the Chamber is your direct connection to local, state, and federal governmental officials and policy-makers. Through Public Policy programs, events, and committees, Chamber members have an opportunity to stay up to date on top business, civic, and social priorities.

The Public Policy Committee is charged by the Chamber Board of Directors to develop, articulate and reinforce the Chamber’s position as the voice of business in the Dallas area with local, state, and federal political and policy leaders. Through an integrated approach of developing public policy positions then proactively advocating for those positions with all levels of elected leadership, the Chamber is able to leverage the influence of its large and diverse membership to ensure that the voice of business is heard.

If you have any questions or concerns about public policy or legislatives that affect business’ you are encouraged to stop by your local Chamber.

Why Join the Chamber? Reason # 23,563

At this point, you’ve built a stellar website, and got your local rankings in place. Congratulations! Pat yourself on the back because you’ve taken the most important steps to get your internet marketing on the right track.

So what now? You sit back and wait for the calls to roll in? Yes… and no. While your phone will start ringing a lot more, there are still steps you can take to boost your SEO and get more high-quality calls.

One way you can bolster your online presence is to join your local Chamber of Commerce. If you’re not familiar, a Chamber of Commerce is a group dedicated to protecting and promoting the local business community.

Keep reading to find out specifics on how joining your local Chamber of Commerce can impact your Google rankings on local searches. This ultimately helps potential customers find you through organic searches.

Gain credibility with customers and Google. Most customers don’t just want a low price. Discerning homeowners are searching for a company that has a strong reputation. By joining a local Chamber of Commerce, you can better attract the attention of quality customers. While you’re gaining credibility within your area, you’re also gaining credibility on search engines like Google. These search engines look at Chamber memberships as a sign that you are operating as a real business, involved with the local community.

Build valuable links. As a member of your local Chamber of Commerce, you also get to be listed on their website, which provides a valuable backlink to your website. Backlinks from credible organizations help boost your ranking on Google, ultimately helping more people in the area find your business through organic search. So now the decision is up to you.

While you will have to invest a couple hundred dollars on an annual membership, it is money well spent in the long run. Get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce to join if you haven’t already… it’s time to start reaping the benefits.