Look At People As People

Our chamber hosts a monthly business education luncheon. This last month brought the owner of Salem company, Bob Dalton of Sackcloth & Ashes, who talked about using Instagram for business growth. He made some excellent points about the value of Instagram as well as some great tips on using it to its fullest potential.

However, what he closed with was potentially the most impactful thing he said. I asked him to give us some parting words of wisdom. What he shared with us had little to do with social media. He said the greatest piece of advice he could give is to begin viewing people as people as people. We must consider their identity, not their role in the community or the struggles they have or even their best qualities, we must consider them as a fellow person.

It may seem like semantics to say, a person who is homeless verses a homeless person. Or, owner of “business X” verses Lisa. Or drug addict versus person with a drug addiction.  Or, Republican verses Joe. But in reality, when we can think of people for who they are, we place a value on them. A positive value. When people have value in others’ eyes aren’t they more likely to respond well when disagreed with? In my experience, they are.

It may sound like I’m trying to portray a “Pollyanna” sort of reality where everyone thinks positive and the world is better. That’s not realism. But we can be real and kind. Next time you’re tempted to sling mud at a person because they differ from you, think of them as a person like you are a person. No better, no worse. Maybe, just maybe, we can take Bob’s second final word of wisdom and “start to focus on promoting solutions rather than just opposing problems.”

Dallas School District #2

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 169 licensed and 152 classified people work in six schools and one administrative building. The District also sponsors Luckiamute Valley Charter School (formerly Pedee School and Bridgeport Elementary)

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 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.

Dallas School District is working hard to shape the future.

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

The Outward Mindset

An outward mindset will greatly impact how we negotiate our world and the impact we will have. An outward mindset helps us to see the world as it is and not how we imagine it to be. An outward mindset doesn’t come naturally though. We have to consciously change how we think about the world and about others.

In The Outward Mindset, the Arbinger Institute reports that “the biggest lever for change is not a change in self-belief but a fundamental change in the way one sees and regards one’s connections with and obligations to others.”

Moving from an inward mindset to an outward mindset is more than a surface adjustment or behavioral change alone. It requires a change in how we see and think about others. How we see and respond to others is not so much about them as it is a reflection of what is going on inside of us. We often fixate on other’s shortcomings so we don’t have to deal with our own.

Arbinger has discovered that those who consistently work with an outward mindset follow a pattern. They:

· See the needs, objectives, and challenges of others (Create opportunities for people to see each other so they can begin to talk.)

· Adjust their efforts to be more helpful to others (“Real helpfulness can’t be made into a formula. To be outward doesn’t mean that people should adopt this or that prescribed behavior. Rather, it means that when people see the needs, challenges, desire, and humanity of others, the most effective ways to adjust their efforts occur to them in the moment. When they see others as people, they respond in human and helpful ways.”)

· Measure and hold themselves accountable for the impact of their work on others (“Measuring one’s impact requires nothing but a willingness to stay in regular conversations with others about whether they feel one’s efforts are helping them or not.”)

An outward-mindset begins with you. “While the goal in shifting mindsets is to get everyone turned toward each other, accomplishing this goal is possible only if people are prepared to turn their mindsets toward others with no expectation that others will change their mindsets in return. This capability—to change the way I see and work with others regardless of whether they change—overcomes the biggest impediment to mindset change: the natural, inward-mindset inclination to wait for others to change before doing anything different oneself.” This of course, is true leadership.

The chamber office is carrying this book. Stop by and purchase your copy today to learn how you and your organization can benefit from building an “outward mindset”.

Member Advocacy

There are many external factors that can affect your business. It is common for managers and owners to assess each of these factors closely. The aim is always to make better decisions for the firm’s progress. Some common factors are political, economic, social, and technological.

The political factors affecting business are often given a lot of importance. Several aspects of government policy can affect business. All firms must follow the law. Managers must find how upcoming legislations can affect their activities. Politics can add a risk factor and lead to major loss. You should understand that the political factors have the power to change results.

Increase or decrease in tax could be an example of a political element. Your government might increase taxes for some companies and lower it for others. The decision will have a direct effect on your business. So, you must always stay up-to-date with such political factors. Government interventions like shifts in interest rate can have an effect on the demand patterns of a business.

The Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce provides business advocacy by:

  • Public Policy Committee.
  • Advocacy Breakfast.
  • Legislative Call to Action.
  • Political Corner.
  • Keeping apprised of legislative bills that affect our Chamber Members and advocating on our Chamber Members behalf.

Networking & Education

Networking is one of the most significant skills that you could learn in order to make your business a success story. The majority of business owners believe that they can just start a business, and the clients will come. Any successful business owner will immediately tell you this is not the case.

Building a successful business takes a lot of time and dedication, so it is sensible to have a network of business partners and associates to draw energy from and keep you motivated. By surrounding yourself with people who share a similar passion and determination, you are more likely to move forward and achieve results. Business networking is a really valuable way to expand your knowledge, learn from the success of others, get new clients and tell others about your business.

Industries are constantly changing. Continuing education is required for workers, and owners to stay current with the latest developments, skills, and new technologies that affect their businesses and their clients. Overall, your image will increase, as will your marketability, if you pursue continuing education.

The Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce provides networking and education opportunities:

  • Wake Up Wednesday Morning Networking.
  • Young Professional’s Evening Networking.
  • Willamette Valley Greeters Networking.
  • Monthly Speaker Series Luncheon.
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Leaderships Summit.
  • Chamber 101.
  • Chamber Chatter e-newsletter.

5 Ways to Empower Your Customers to Be Your Biggest Marketers

  1. Boost Offline Word-Of-Mouth

Customers are never passionate about you, they’re passionate about what your product offers them. That’s why companies need to reach out to people that do magnificent things with their product and help show them off. Don’t use influencers (or influencer marketing) alone to put the spotlight on your product, use existing customers who are already die-hard fans of your product and shine the spotlight on them.

  1. Build Die-Hard Brand Advocates

Social media has made it pretty easy to build brand advocates for any company. With people constantly sharing their experience on social media, it’s up to you to chime in with help and get them excited about your brand.

Companies that reach out to customers with helpful information score high social points and successfully nurture brand advocacy. Real-time help can turn a negative situation into a winning customer experience and help develop a strong connection with customers. It’s the next step in making your customers become active advocates.

  1. Encourage Customers to Give Testimonials

No one enjoys reading web pages that are boring and full of dry statistics. Try using testimonials to revive them! They are a great sales technique if you don’t push it too much. Inevitably, your website contains some sales material without going overboard.

The right testimonial gains trust of customers and creates credibility with prospects. Clearly show your website visitors that other people dealt with the same issues and were able to overcome them by using your product. This way you can show your visitors that your ultimate goal is to help them.

  1. Dedicate a Page on Your Websites to Use Cases

A dedicated use cases page puts your customer on the spot to tell a story from their own perspective from customer acquisition, to purchase, and on to engagement. Just like you do offline, you’ll want to represent your business online in the best possible light. Let your customers do that for you.

A dedicated use cases page is a way of extending the brand you’ve worked so hard to create. Your website use cases page is an extension of that branding project in order to make it a seamless whole and not just an add-on feature.

  1. Ask for a Much-Wanted Review

Focus not only on your own website but widen your scope and concentrate on external online resources. Reading a positive review from an existing customer can only bolster confidence for a right purchase.

There’s no amount of advertising, tweeting, or direct mailing that has quite the same impact on customers the way an objective peer review does. What you say about your brand doesn’t matter. It’s what others say that counts!

It’s important to remember that soliciting reviews from customers should be handled with delicacy. The biggest challenge is actually getting them, and not dealing with negative ones. It’s definitely not abnormal to think it will turn off customers. So, make sure you make the reviewing process as easy as possible, or offer a small yet appropriate incentive (like a 10% discount or similar offer).

In summary, think about how you further want to leverage your customer relationships. Nothing sells your business more than great marketing for your customers themselves. Any kind of review from a brand advocate influences approximately 90% of a prospect’s buying decision. So, make sure it’s a positive one!

Forbes Coaches Council Shares 9 Pieces of Business Advice

  1. Research And Understand Your Market

Take the time to do market research and really listen closely to your ideal client’s needs. Get really in tune with them to know where they’re at right now: That is different to where you would like them to be. Take this intel and craft it into an irresistible solution for them to be able to get easier yeses in your business. – Penny Elliott, Pennycomins.com

  1. Put In The Hard Work

Starting a business is exponentially harder than another other job. Successful entrepreneurs need to operate well across a variety of functions: sales, marketing, finance, operations, HR, etc. On top of that, creating an enterprise from scratch requires creativity, persistence and continuous learning. – Justin Kulla, BusinessBlocks

  1. Mould The Life You Want For Yourself

You are the designer of your life. If there are parts of your life that do not fit well, you can make adjustments. Think of your life and career as clay on a potter’s wheel and you as the potter. Get a picture in your mind of what the masterpiece looks like and keep shaping toward that picture. – Bonnie Hagemann, Executive Development Associates

  1. Really Listen To Your Clients

Truly listen and empathize with your clients. Everyone is so interested in getting their own personal message across, that no one pauses for a moment to actually listen and hear the root of the problem or pain. Believe in listening 80% of the time, clarifying 10% of the time, and responding wholeheartedly and intentionally, is the remaining 10% of the time. – Stephynie Malik, ChiqueSpeak

  1. Learn With A Team

Most leaders settle for learning by themselves. They read a book or attend a conference by themselves. Good leaders learn with the help of a mentor. A coach can come alongside a leader and help the leader see things from a different perspective. The best leaders learn with a team. An old proverb teaches that where there are many advisors, there is much success. – Ken Gosnell, CXP – CEO Experience

  1. Focus On What Makes You Thrive

Be unapologetic and relentless with what makes you thrive. Many times, we are influenced from the outside world, and cloud our own desires for the sake of those around us. The sooner you are able to grasp this nugget, the sooner it will drastically change your world. – Neeta Bhushan, Global GRIT institute

  1. Play The Long Game

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day challenges of running a business, but you MUST carve out time at least once a week to take stock of what you’re doing for the long-term health of your business. That includes marketing, training, employee development, community engagement and capital development. Sound investments today will pay dividends in the future. – Jim Judy, Try Franchising

  1. Focus On the Rewards

This may sound cliché, but my honest advice is to go for it when considering starting a new business venture, despite the fear it may not work out. One needs to adopt the mindset that the whole journey is a big experiment and that “failure” is not an option, because ultimately it is learning and growth that we will get. Focusing on the rewards instead of the fear is the real key to success. – Noor Hibbert, This Is Your Dream LTD

  1. Network With Experienced Execs

Take any opportunity to network and learn from more experienced executives, as well as to be mentored and coached by some of them. Further, exposure to specific meetings, boardroom discussion, and strategic planning would be utterly beneficial. – Izabela Lundberg, Legacy Leaders Institute

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/02/28/9-business-tips-every-entrepreneur-needs-to-know/#865788323463

Reason # 64,890,479,465 to Join the Chamber: Enjoy Low-Cost Continuing Education

Many small businesses, especially new startups, can’t afford the cost of attending a well-known conference, hiring training professionals, or even paying for online business courses. Luckily, your local Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce frequently hosts trainings on a wide variety of business topics, giving you a low-cost alternative.

One such event is our monthly education and networking luncheon. The monthly Speaker Series Luncheon is a great way to stay in the know and network with fellow local business professionals. Each month we have featured topic and speakers scheduled, with the goal of helping to keep you in the know and improve your business. Chamber Luncheons are on the 3rd Monday of every month, unless otherwise specified, from 12 pm to 1 pm.

Another such opportunity is the Polk County Young Pros. While designed as an after-hours social event with refreshments, prizes, and networking Young Pros does incorporate education. At least once a quarter Young Pros strives to incorporate topics that are of business importance such as online security, and the importance of public policy. Young Pros meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 5:30 pm to 7 pm.

Finally, Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Mid-Willamette Valley Leadership Summit. This is a day event that is aimed at growing as business’ and as community leaders. Topics last year included learning how to implement proven methods for growing as a community of understanding, and opportunities for business’ in any field to work with the government. We look forward to announcing this year Mid-Willamette Valley Leadership Summit soon!

Dallas School District #2

The primary purpose of 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.

The school must assume a major responsibility for developing in children: a spirit of patriotism based on a deep and abiding love of our country; an understanding of the basic principles of American democracy; a commitment to participate as citizens in the decision making processes; and, an understanding of the duties, responsibilities and rights of every citizen.

The school has a responsibility for developing in all children; an understanding of our economic system based on individual initiative, private property right and competition; a respect for the human dignity attained through productive work; a determination to become contributing persons within our economic system; and, an active concern for the conservation and wise use of our natural resources including the protection of our total environment.

The school has a responsibility for developing in all children an awareness of the societal responsibilities to themselves, to other individuals and the local community or to the larger community of state, nation, or world.

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.

Dallas School District is working hard to shape the future.

 

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

Washington Federal Financial Literacy Programs

Save at School-This program for students is our biggest outreach currently. We partner alongside Faith Christian School and have worked in the past with Dallas Community School for this program. We visit the schools on a monthly basis to see the kids and collect deposits for their accounts, which we take back to the bank for them. We also have conducted small sessions for groups of kids at these levels to talk about saving and do fun activities about banking. We haven’t currently worked with any of the larger public elementary schools in Dallas, but would love the opportunity to work alongside classrooms and schools.

Seniors Financial Class-Currently we also host a monthly class with the Dallas Senior Center offering financial advice and information about scams to the local seniors. This has been a great opportunity for some of our older clients and Dallas residents to get a more personal look at some of their finances, keep them in the loop with some of the most pressing and popular scams that could be presented to them, and ask lots of questions about trusts; powers of attorneys; setting up accounts; and making sure they are financially set.

Financial Beginnings– We partner with a company called Financial Beginnings that works with local schools across Oregon to bring financial literacy to students of all ages. The Dallas branch are all certified volunteers and hosts through this program. Teachers can reach out and ask for specific classes, times, and curriculums and we fill the need or we can offer the courses to schools. The program covers lots of topics and is very flexible for the classes and what they need for their setting.

MoneySmart- MoneySmart is a program that our bank developed for different age levels. (elementary-adult) We have all the curriculum available in the branches and can customize it to certain groups or settings. I’ve used bits for some of our Save at School learning sessions and we’ve utilized some topics for our seniors, but we have yet to find a group we can actively use this with. This would be a great free financial program for a community class, schools, or groups. We haven’t currently been presented with a need for it, but should we get an interested party in presenting a financial class or group we would definitely be able to conduct something for our community.

FinStrong-This is a program still in the works that our bank is developing. One of our banks goals is not just offering typical banking services to our clients, but also recognizing that budgeting and banking can be tough and wanting to equip our clients with the right tools and expertise to thrive financially. Right now all employees are going through the program for a trial run to get a feel for the program and also make sure that we are equipped to guide our clients with the right resources they need.

Heartland Merchant Services/Payroll/POS Systems- Washington Federal partners with a company called Heartland to offer amazing value and prices with merchant services, payroll, HR services, and POS terminals for all business types. This is something that we are really passionate about trying to spread to our business community as we have been able to save many businesses money, bring more value, and get people out of long locked in contracts with their current providers. We have two local reps that work to have conversations with businesses at no obligation just to see if they could bring any extra value to a business. This would even be a great comparison tool for current businesses or people looking to start in the area. It is something we offer to everyone, not just clients of Washington Federal. I cannot rave enough about these services and how they’ve helped local businesses in Dallas. Businesses could just come into the branch of give us a call to have us personally get them in touch just to talk with someone to help understand their current situation and how they could possibly find better solutions through Heartland.

Notary Services- We offer FREE notary services to clients and non-clients. Jana Peckham is our branch notary and is happy to assist anyone with notarizing and witnessing documents, no appointment necessary.

Mortgage and Business Loans-Washington Federal offers mortgage loans, home equity lines of credit, construction and remodeling loans, refinancing, and lot loans for people. We also offer business lines of credit, commercial real estate loans, and term loans for expansions and improvements. Debbie our branch manager has been working with the company for over thirty years and is well skilled in finding the best loan options for anybody who walks in through the door.

https://www.washingtonfederal.com/locations/oregon/dallas