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.”

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.

Business Promotion

Why is promotion important for a business? Business promoting is an active process which needs to be very closely scrutinized for obtaining the best results. You can utilize the manpower that you have to the fullest and come up with strategies to promote your business and let it flourish.

Promotional strategies and marketing go hand in hand. Marketing your brand or product will include different aspects of manufacturing, promoting, and selling products to the customers. Promotion is a key element in putting across the benefits of your product or service to the customers. Well-designed marketing and promotional strategies ensure long-term success, bring in more customers and ensure profitability for the business.

Promotion is the voice of your company which sends out your brand’s message loud and clear to the audience. Various media platforms can be used to promote your company and brand. They include television, radio, shopping outlets, billboards, magazines, and social media.

The Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce promotes its members by:

  • Providing complimentary listing in the Dallas Directory.
  • Newsletter and Social Media articles about Chamber Members.
  • Online listing for your business.
  • Business referrals are reserved strictly for Chamber Members.
  • Low cost advertising opportunities.
  • Promotional materials displayed in office.
  • Dallas LIVE! Advertising for Chamber members only.

Dallas Area Visitors Center

Last week, the Dallas City Council approved the city’s budget which included them keeping the entirety of the Transient Lodging Taxes. This means that the City will no longer contract with the Dallas Area Visitors Center for marketing of the Dallas area.

So, what’s next for the Visitors Center? Simple, we are going to continue to do the next right thing! This means we will continue to work collaboratively with the City in marketing efforts and in the promotion of city events. We will continue to be involved in other civic organizations and put time into providing the best information possible to Dallas residents, businesses and visitors alike.

Most importantly, the Visitors Center is going to strengthen our focus on drawing tourism to our great city. Identifying and leveraging Dallas’s assets combined with a strong marketing plan will drive people to see what Dallas has to offer. Tourism has a wide range of economic impacts. Tourists in Dallas will contribute to sales, profits, jobs, tax revenues and overall income in our area. The most direct effects from tourism occur in the primary tourism sectors; lodging, restaurants, transportation, entertainment and retail trade.

Simply put, the Dallas Area Visitors Center is going to continue working for you!

https://www.exploredallasoregon.org/

Dallas Grocery Outlet

Did you know our Wine Department is stocked with 100’s of bottles at everyday low prices? We receive multiple shipments throughout the month so the vintages are always changing. Our next Wine Tasting will be held on Saturday, June 15 from 1-4pm. We’ll be sampling some light and refreshing varieties just in time for summer!

At Grocery Outlet, they love their brands. Like, really love them. That is why they work so hard every day to bring their customers the brands they love at prices that are nothing short of pure bliss. In fact, Grocery Outlet has been helping customers save big since 1946. That is when their founder Jim Read opened his very first store, selling military surplus at deep discount prices.

Jason and Sandy Thornton, owners of our new Dallas Grocery Outlet, say that in is their privilege to offer fresh, healthy options to Dallas at low prices saving their customers each and every time they shop at Grocery Outlet.

Be sure to visit Dallas Grocery Outlet this Saturday, June 15th and see what they have to offer our community. While you are there be sure to stop by the Wine Department between 1 and 4 to try their light and refreshing wine varieties.

https://groceryoutlet.com/

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!

Fowler Homes

Fowler Homes, LLC is pleased to announce that we will be participating in the 2019 Home Builders Association of Marion & Polk County’s Tour of Homes. The tour will begin on Saturday, June 15th, continuing daily through Sunday, June 23rd. Hours are daily 6 PM to 9 PM and weekends Noon to 6 PM. We invite you to visit our model home and see what’s happening in Dallas!

Not only is Fowler Homes dedicated to building quality homes for their clients, but they are also involved in land development and other ventures to help create viable neighborhoods to better communities.

Fowler Homes, LLC is part of the Fowler Companies, which includes residential construction, heavy civil construction, equipment rental, land development and investment, and other ventures in the mid-Willamette Valley. Started in 1972, the Fowler Companies have grown from a local small firm specializing in civil construction projects into one of the largest family-owned and -managed groups of companies in the area. The Fowler Companies all share a commitment to excellence, integrity, and service in all facets of the projects in the communities we serve.

http://fowlerhomesinc.com/

Capitol Auto Group

With three gleaming new dealerships on the Salem Parkway, you might think Capitol Auto Group is the new kid on the block. But actually, they’ve been serving the greater Salem area for over 80 years – that’s nearly three generation of genuine, customer-focused service that’s known throughout the state.

Their newly expanded dealerships feature beautiful in-door showrooms, one of the largest selection of vehicle in the region, and a parts and service department that’s the envy of the industry.

Automotive service shouldn’t throw a wrench into your day. At Captiol Auto Group, they understand the importance of your vehicle to you. So they’ve built and operate their service centers with your convenience in mind. Their expert factory trained service team is fast and efficient, and you won’t find friendlier folks anywhere. With our high-tech service facilities and friendly and expert technicians, you can count on us to speed you on your way as quickly as possible.

These qualities have led to Capitol Auto Group to win Silver for Best in the Mid-Valley Dealership, and Bronze for Best in the Mid-Valley Repair Services. So come on over to Capitol Auto in Salem today to see how they can help you!

https://www.capitolauto.com/

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