2 National Holidays Today you should pay attention to

There’s a common misperception that Chamber of Commerce people don’t like to have fun.  They’re stuffy and just really like the good ol’ boys club.  Well I thought I’d attempt to prove otherwise.  There are some weird holidays out there every year.  And some are worth celebrating and enjoying.  We even think that by enjoying these holidays you can support your local economy and increase your business acumen.

National Double Cheeseburger Day – go get yourself a BURGER!  It’s a requirement on a day like this.  Stop in at Washington Street Steakhouse & Pub, West Valley Taphouse, Spirit Mountain Casino or Blue Garden Restaurant and enjoy one of their delicious burgers and wash it down with a milkshake, soda or craft brew.  My mouth is watering already.

National Online Learning Day – time to add to your knowledge.  Today is the day you register for an online class of your choice through Chemeketa Community College, Western Oregon University or SBDC.  There’s so much learning to do you just have to decide what you want to learn next and do it in the comfort of your home.  Homework in your pajamas, been there done that, bought the T-Shirt.

See, we like fun.

Gamers, geeks and nerds – Technical Genius Solutions

Technical Genius Solutions (TGS)! Your source for computer repairs in Polk County, Salem and the surrounding areas, located in North Dallas. TGS provides the latest in residential and commercial networking solutions, computer repair and maintenance. They have a team of certified technicians who will pin-point your problem(s), and provide solutions quickly and efficiently. They can streamline your communications, boost your productivity, protect your system and help you maintain your workflow; as a result, saving you time and money!

If you are visiting our website, chances are that you’re experiencing a technology break-down and feeling frustrated. These folks understand that kind of frustration and are here to help. They offer same day service on-site, through remote access and at our office in Dallas, Oregon. They will diagnose and resolve your problem(s) without overloading you with a bunch of confusing, computer-related lingo.

So, whether you have a desktop computer, a laptop or an office with 100 users and multiple servers, you are in good hands with Technical Genius Solutions. No job is too big, or too small! They can do it all backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They will work to serve you and make you, the customer, happy!

It is the TGS promise to you that they will do whatever it takes to earn your respect and loyalty in this very competitive industry. Give them a call and let them prove to you they have what it takes to let your problems be history.

While fixing computers is their driving force.  They love to have customers in for appreciation days where they play board games and computer games.  So even if you don’t have a computer issue right now.  Head over for their next game night.

tgsoregon.com

He Drives all the Nuts Around Dallas – Squirrel’s Taxi Service

The One & Only Taxi in Dallas, OR.  Forget the big-name transportation apps, They aren’t permitted in town anyway.  You really want a ride with Squirrels Taxi Service, the preferred method of transportation for the locals of Dallas, OR and throughout Polk County. Owner Merlin Berkey is safe, dedicated, friendly and hardworking. Squirrels Taxi Service holds the same characteristics as the beloved woodland creatures our company is named after. Merlin was once referred to as a hero.  A retired Dallas police officer shared that he felt that without Merlin, there would likely be a lot more driving related injuries and fatalities, emphasizing that “he really is a hero.”

Rides for Any Reason or Occasion.  Need a ride to an appointment? We can provide you with the medical transportation you need. Had too many drinks? We’ll be your designated drivers so the party never has to stop. Whatever reason you may need to get to and from, let Squirrel’s get you where you need to be.

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Member Spotlight – Dallas School District

Dallas School District serves a large geographic area of nearly 250 square miles. The students enrolled in the school system represent nearly half of all students served by Polk County schools. A staff of over 300 licensed and classified people work in six schools and one administrative building. The District also sponsors Luckiamute Valley Charter School (formerly Pedee School and Bridgeport Elementary) as well as Dallas Community School, another Charter School in Dallas.

They believe the school is one of the major institutions through which our cultural, political and social heritage is transmitted from generation to generation and the means by which the members of our society are prepared intellectually to evaluate and control cultural, political and social changes.

The primary purpose of the Dallas School District is to provide opportunities for the full intellectual development of each child. The child has the responsibility to himself and society to purposely pursue the educational opportunities provided him. Dallas School District has a shared responsibility with parents and with other institutions and agencies for the social, physical, and emotional growth and development of the individual child.

It is an obligation to our children, community, and country to institute those programs necessary to fulfill the education needs of our children and to provide the facilities, materials, technology, and staff required to do so.

The School District has partnered with the Chamber by being on the board, sponsoring business-centric events, working on business solutions pertaining to workforce development.

Dallas School District is working hard to shape the future, participate with them.

https://www.dallas.k12.or.us/

16 Tips for Business Success

Starting a business? Here are 16 important startup tips that will help you make your startup a success.

What do you need to do to start a business? There are dozens of websites including ours that have checklists that remind you of the many tasks you should perform when starting a business. Although such checklists are very useful because they help you remember important startup steps, they are just To Do lists. They tell you what to do, but don’t provide any tips about what makes a business successful.

Unfortunately, you don’t succeed in business just by completing a list of tasks. Nor will your business be a success just because you think it’s a good idea.

What will make or break your business? What determines if it will be a success?

Here are 16 tips for starting a business and making it succeed.

  1. Know yourself, your true motivational level, the amount of money you can risk, and what you’re willing to do to be successful. Sure, we all want to make millions of dollars. But what are you willing to give up to reach that goal? How many hours a week will you work on an ongoing basis? How far out of your comfort zone are you willing to stretch? How far will your family stretch with you? To be successful, keep your business plans in line with your personal and family goals and resources.
  2. Choose the right business for you. The old formula – find a need and fill it – still works. It will always work. The key to success is finding needs that you can fill, that you want to fill, and that will produce enough income to build a profitable business.
  3. Be sure there really is a market for what you want to sell. One of the biggest mistakes startups make is to assume a lot of people will want to buy a particular product or service, because the business owner likes the ideas or knows one or two people who want the product or service. To minimize your risk for loss, never assume there is a market. Research the idea. Talk to real potential prospects (who aren’t family and friends) to find out if what you want to sell is something they’d be interested in buying, and if so, what they’d pay for the product or service.
  4. Research your competitors. No matter what type of business you are starting or running, you will have competitors. Even if there is no other business offering exactly what you plan to sell, there is very likely to be other products or services your target customers are using to satisfy their need.  To be successful, you need to research the competition and find out as much as possible about what they sell and how they sell it. Competitive research is something you should plan on doing on an ongoing basis, too.
  5. Plan to succeed. If you’re not seeking investors or putting a huge sum of money into your business, you may not need an elaborate business plan, but you still do need a plan – one that specifies your goal – your destination – and then lays out at least a skeletal roadmap for how you’ll get to where you want to go. The plan will change as you progress and learn more about your customers and competition, but it will still help you stay focused and headed in the right directions. Use our business planning worksheet to help develop that basic plan.
  6. Know the Operational Needs. Most people who are thinking about starting a business focus on what they’ll sell and who they’ll sell it too.  What they often don’t consider is how the business will actually operate. For instance, if you’re selling items, how will they be delivered? How much customer support will be needed – either to answer questions about the product, or to respond to people whose shipments haven’t arrived? Will you need to accept credit cards? Will you invoice customers? Who will follow up to be sure you’re paid? Who will build and maintain your website and social media presence?  Will you be able to use a virtual assistantfor such tasks, or will you have to hire employees? Even if you’re starting a small personal service business, these are issues you should consider and plan for.
  7. Don’t procrastinate. I’ve heard some people advise would-be business owners to not move ahead with their business until they have investigated every last detail of the business they want to start, and are absolutely sure it’s all going to work and be profitable. The problem with that approach is that it leads to procrastination. No one ever really has all the pieces in place – even after they’ve started their business. Yes, you need to research the market, have a rudimentary plan in place and do things like get a tax id if needed, register with local officials, if required, etc. But if you try to make everything perfect before you launch, you may never get around to starting the business at all.
  1. Start on a small scale before going all out. Some people believe that entrepreneurs are risk-takers. But for the most part, successful entrepreneurs don’t like walking blindfolded on a limb. Instead, they take controlled risks. They test an idea on a small scale, then build on what works well, tweak what shows promise and discard the disasters.
  2. Don’t fixate on mistakes or get demoralized by them. The difference between successful people and everyone else is that the successful people learn from their mistakes and move on. They don’t dwell on failure, blame the economy, curse their bad luck, or blame other people for their fate. If the path to their goal is blocked, they look for an alternate path, or sometimes choose a different, more attainable goal.

    Free Business Startup Checklist

    Starting a business can be overwhelming! Use this free Business Startup Checklist to make sure you don’t miss any important steps. This downloadable Word document lists the steps you need to take to get your business up and running, and includes space for you to note your own comments and deadlines. You can get the checklist free when you subscribe to the free Business Know-How Newsletter.

  3. Learn from others. Find mentors, join groups with like-minded people, learn everything you can about your industry and what it takes to get from where you are to where you want to be. Attend industry conferences. Take training courses when they are available. Buy courses offered by experts. You’ll save a tremendous amount of trial and error by learning from people who have been there before.
  4. Think of what you do AS a business. Keep track of income and expenses, keep business money separate from personal funds, find out what regulations your business needs to abide by.
  5. Understand the difference between working for yourself and building an ongoing business. If you want to build a business, you need to develop systems and methods that allow you to hire other people to DO the work of the business while you plan it. You limit the potential for growth if you don’t bring in other people to work for you.
  6. Get to know investors. If the business you are starting will need investors to grow, do what you can to find out what investors are looking for and where to find those who might invest in your kind of business. Local angel and venture capital groups are a good place to start – attend meetings they hold or meetings that investors are speaking at.
  7. Put yourself out there. Ask for what you want (in a polite way.) I started my online business by participating online on GE’s GEnie online service. When I was ready to send them a proposal to run a small business area, I could not only talk about my credentials in general, but point to places I was already contributing to their service. I became one of the early content providers to America Online because I picked up the phone and made a cold call. I wound up with a new consulting client after I struck up a conversation with a woman sitting next to me on an airplane. Remember, people like to do business with people they know. Get the ball rolling, and keep it rolling by continually reaching out and introducing yourself to new people.
  8. Embrace Digital Marketing. Even if you’re running a local business, you need a comprehensive digital presence. At minimum you need a professional-looking website, an email list that lets you communicate with customers and prospects on a regular basis, and presence on the social media channels that your customers frequent. While you may get many of your customers by word of mouth, referrals or networking, you still need a strong digital presence. The reason: prospective customers are likely to look you up on the web before they decide whether or not to contact you. Coupons, special offers, and practical information sent to your email list can encourage customers and prospects to buy from you or make repeat purchases.
  9. Never stop learning and trying new things. What’s profitable now, won’t necessarily be profitable next year or 10 years from now. So, don’t let yourself fall into the “this is the way I’ve always done things” rut. Keep your eyes and ears open for new things. Are there newer or better ways to market your products and services? Are customers asking for something you’re not offering? Is there a different type of customer you should be targeting? Get answers by reading everything you can about your industry and listening to your customers.

© 2018 Attard Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved. May not be reproduced, reprinted or redistributed without written permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning  Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets.  Follow Janet on Twitter and on LinkedIn

Member Spotlight – Spirit Mountain Casino & Lodge

Spirit Mountain Casino was created to enhance economic self-sufficiency opportunities for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, its members, and surrounding communities. They strive to promote economic diversification by the Tribes, and to support a variety of housing, educational, and cultural programs under the direction of Tribal Council. Once you’re at Spirit Mountain Casino, you can enjoy an expansive selection of gaming, entertainment, and great food. They have a variety of accommodations to choose from, from standard rooms to deluxe suites to fit everyone’s needs.

Our dining options feature great variety as well, offering one of the best casino buffets in the Pacific Northwest, as well as a first-class service restaurant and a full-service bar and lounge. And with 90,000 square feet of gaming space full of blackjack tables, roulette, slot machines and more, you won’t find a more inclusive, all-around enjoyable casino to visit. Think you’ll become a loyal customer here at Spirit Mountain Casino? So do we! Join our Coyote Club rewards program and experience exclusive member benefits and amenity discounts.

West Valley Hospital Member Spotlight

Why wait?  With 24/7 service and lower than average wait times than Salem Hospital, West Valley Hospital Emergency Room is a smart choice for Polk County.

Why choose West Valley Hospital for your imaging needs?

  • The Dallas hospital’s digital imaging capabilities are comparable with what is available in Salem and other larger metro areas, so you won’t need to sacrifice quality for convenience.
  • Other imaging centers in Polk County may not offer direct integration with MyChart, your digital medical record.
  • West Valley Hospital has 14 licensed technologists with more than 250 years of combined experience in medical imaging.
  • Physicians can view images digitally to get the most accurate measurements, assessments and diagnoses.

Salem Health Medical Clinics in Dallas, Monmouth and Independence

Salem Health offers neighborhood clinics where you and your family will find excellent health care and a warm atmosphere. Save time by finding a family-friendly clinic near you.

Services

West Valley Hospital and its affiliates offer services far beyond what you might expect from a small-town hospital. Explore many of our specialties and common services below. Keep in mind that many unlisted services may still be available from us or one of our partners around the Willamette Valley.  See site for details.

To learn more about all that this awesome healthcare resource has for you go to http://www.salemhealth.org/services/salem-health-west-valley

Debbie Butler Windermere Member Spotlight

As an Oregon native and a seasoned real estate professional, Debbie recognizes the value and trust her clients place in her and she strives everyday to exceed their expectations. Most important to her is providing excellent service to buyers and sellers in order to earn their trust, referrals and repeat business.

Debbie is a native Oregonian who enjoys the beautiful outdoors. She celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary in 2019 and has three grown boys. Aside from her real estate experience she also has worked in accounting and construction management as well as being a small business owner of a construction company since 1999. Since purchasing her own home at age 20 she has had a strong passion for real estate. Debbie looks forward to assisting you in your home or property transaction.

Serving Dallas, Monmouth, Salem and the Willamette Valley. It would be her distinct pleasure to help you in your next home or property transaction.

To learn more about Debbie’s real estate business and how she can serve you, visit her blog on her website at https://www.debbiebutlerbroker.com/my-blog

Fowler Homes Member Spotlight

Fowler Homes has been building homes for over a decade, specializing in luxury custom homes, homes for active adult living and affordable-style housing.  As an off shoot of the James W. Fowler Company, Heavy Civil Contractors and Tunneling Contractors, you can be certain that your home is backed by a reputable company.   Not only is Fowler Homes dedicated to building quality homes, but they are also involved in land development and other ventures creating viable neighborhoods to better communities.

We are committed to providing high value and customer satisfaction, building homes that fit a variety of budgets Their homes are built of quality materials have intuitive, innovative designs, utilize modern building technology and uphold energy efficiency as high priority.

Their greatest desire is that your Fowler built home will exceed your expectations and be… “Your Home for Living!”

Beginning with a single bulldozer, owner Jim Fowler began building logging and farming roads in the Coast Range of western Oregon. With additional growth came the opportunity for larger projects located throughout the states of Oregon, Washington and California.

Today, James W. Fowler Co. is a diversified general contractor providing heavy civil and tunneling construction solutions for municipalities, agencies, and private owners across North America. Since our inception, we have based our business on ExcellenceIntegrity and Service with regard to our clients, subcontractors and employees.

With the ability to construct projects across the United States and Canada, we have completed projects that include:

  • Water and wastewater treatment facilities
  • Fish hatcheries, fish passage facilities, marine projects
  • Bridge and highway interchange construction and rehabilitation
  • Sewer, water and utility pipelines, subdivision infrastructure, pipeline relining
  • Tunneling, auger boring, pipe ramming, pipe bursting

For more information on Fowler homes go to https://fowlerhomesinc.com/

5 Common Questions Answered About Chamber of Commerce

What is a Chamber of Commerce?
A Chamber of Commerce is a panel of businesses and commercial organizations that typically exist on a variety of levels, ranging from state, county, city, and town. Despite common misconceptions, a Chamber of Commerce is more akin to a fraternal organization; in most cases, a Chamber of Commerce does not receive public or governmental funding – a large majority of Chambers of Commerce is existing today survive as a result of donations and membership dues.
 
What Does a Chamber of Commerce Do?
The role of a local or statewide Chamber of Commerce varies on a case-by-case basis. In certain cases, a Chamber of Commerce will hold meetings in order to discuss current events taking place within the commercial or business community existing within a particular jurisdiction; in other cases, the Chamber of Commerce will create structuring and developmental plans with regard to the establishment of a local commercial and business community.
Although the bulk of Chambers of Commerce of do not retain any legal or civic jurisdiction over the events taking place within their respective locality, a Chamber of Commerce may exist as a ‘grassroots’ organization interested in the upkeep and oversight of locally-owned businesses.
 
 
Where Does a Chamber of Commerce Get its Funding?
Although there exists no uniform standard for a procedure with regard to the funding of a Chamber of Commerce, a bulk of Chambers of Commerce in existence maintain their respective operations as a result of private donations, membership dues, and fundraising; it is not uncommon for a local Chamber of Commerce to sponsor an event within their respective area of residence in order to not only raise funding, but also to raise awareness with regard to the presence of that particular Chamber of Commerce.
Types of Chambers of Commerce
Due to the fact that a Chamber of Commerce will typically operate as a private organization, membership may be limited as per applicable regulations. However, this also allows businesses and commercial operations to convene and organize their own respective Chamber of Commerce. In many cases, members of a particular Chamber of Commerce will share commercial similarities; some examples of various types of Chambers of Commerce are as follows:
A Chamber of Commerce consisting of locally-owned and operated business and commercial operations
A Chamber of Commerce consisting of many service providers existing in a specific location
A Chamber of Commerce interested in raising awareness of local businesses, which may result in petitions to disallow national chains or retail stores from entering a specific location
A Chamber of Commerce may allow for a systematic network of products and service within its individual location; this can include local manufacturers connecting with local retailers in order to localize business and commerce
 
 
What are Some Issues Discussed by a Chamber of Commerce?
Although there exists no set standard for meeting itineraries undertaken by the varying natures of Chambers of Commerce, a specific Chamber of Commerce may address the following concerns:
Reports of commercial profits rendered by local businesses
The formation of subcommittees in order to protect local businesses and commercial markets
The proposal of reforms to local and state governments
The application for grants and funding