Reason #5,487,484,651 to Join the Chamber – Get Featured

There are many ways members can increase visibility: serve on a committee, conduct a workshop, and submit an article our Chamber website, sponsor an event or program, or participate in one of many networking events. Expose your business to a wider audience of business owners and decision makers. Enhance your name recognition. Expand your business with listings on the web through the online membership directory, Dallas Online Journal, and Chamber Chatter.

Each issue, a section of Chamber Chatter is devoted to member news and a member spotlights. These features are space dedicated to members to tell the community about themselves. What they offer, their history, and what they hope to help the community with. Grand openings, business relocations and company milestones are a way for us to work with you on ribbon cuttings, press releases and photos to the media. When you have important news to share, we can help spread the word through Chamber Chatter.

Get Noticed! Let people know you’re in business even if you don’t have time to attend events. Your Chamber membership is working for you 24/7 in our powerful online directory. Members enjoy the benefits of getting found 24/7, increased SEO, and connected to social media sites. The Dallas Area Chamber of Commerce wants to tell your business’ story and make you famous. Team up with us!

Don’t Be Uninformed

“What?! Donald Trump is President?”

That is not something you should say at a networking event. Before the event, catch up on what is happening in the world, nationally, locally, and in your industry. You should read up on global events and understand how they may affect your industry.

“Consider it your homework for building a more engaging personality and as a critical element in establishing your relevancy,” writes Heather Dugan on Salary.com.

Preparing for events, conferences, and meetings doesn’t just mean coming with a stack of freshly printed business cards. If you know certain people who are attending or speaking at an event who you know you’ll be interested in meeting, then you should do research on them ahead of time. When you do your homework, you can skip the small talk and get right into the meaningful conversation you are looking for in the first place.

“Time is the most valuable resource people can offer you, so respect it,” says Burke. “Do your homework on the person’s title, their background, their email address, their preferred mode of contact, and their career history. That way, your conversation via email, phone, or in-person can focus on the advice you need to help with, the subject matter you’d like to learn more about, or the organization you want to learn more about.”

In addition to coming prepared with questions for other people, prepare to answer the questions they’ll ask you. Practice your own pitch, as well as answering questions about your career goals.

Member Marketing

You might have seen information about chambers of commerce and wondered if it was worth it for your business to become a member. You don’t want to spend money on a membership that won’t help your business. One benefit that chambers of commerce provide their members is with free marketing opportunities.

Chambers are always looking for member-related news to share with the community through their own advertising networks and social media. Chambers rarely spend money advertising the chamber as an organization; they spend on advertising opportunities that members can utilize.

Many chambers of commerce run programs that welcome new businesses into the community. Plus, members receive an online listing with a link to help people find your business through Google searches. If you want to take full advantage of these perks, consider offering coupons or some kind of other promotional giveaway like water bottles featuring your logo. This could be helpful for people who are moving into the area or other people trying to find something cool to check out in the community. That sweet coupon or promotional gift gives you an edge over the competition!

Chambers of commerce have access to mailing lists that you wouldn’t be able to access otherwise. These are especially helpful if your business is primarily Business to Business, because you’ll be able to directly contact or visit the person in charge instead of throwing darts in the dark hoping to reach someone with buying power. Also keep in mind that chambers are more likely to refer members’ products and services over non-members’, which means you’ll also gain referral opportunities. It always helps to know someone, and the local chamber of commerce will help you build a network of people who have your back.

Beyond the paid advertising options, chambers also have ways to provide additional business promotion for free through monthly and annual awards, social media, regular enewsletters, and even printed materials. Amazingly, even some member businesses do not take advantage of the free marketing opportunities provided through chambers of commerce. Make sure you get the most out of your Chamber of Commerce membership.

5 Quick Tips to Optimize Your Chamber Profile!

Every member receives a free profile on dallasoregon.org website as part of your membership. Organizations with enhanced profiles are more likely to get viewed by potential customers, a huge benefit considering 81% of shoppers do online research before buying. You could be missing out on potential customers by not optimizing your profile. Why not take advantage of this powerful FREE benefit with these 5 enhancements?

  1. Keywords:Help customers find you! This piece is critical for pointing customers to your profile because, unless your product or service is in your business name, Chamber Master will not make the connection. List keywords that describe your business by choosing words or phrases that match your marketing strategy. What is your area of expertise? What products or services sets you apart from your competitors? Your keywords should be specific and help direct potential customers to your services.
  2. Results Summary Description:Think of this as your pitch statement or elevator speech. It is the first glimpse a customer will see of your business with a query in the business directory. Your summary will be listed beneath your business name in the public directory with other companies in your category so make a statement and stand out! (Hint: don’t get too wild, you only have 200 characters. Be succinct)
  3. Description:Expand upon your results summary description by highlighting the benefits of YOUR company. You have 1600 characters to convey your organization’s values, mission and what the heck you do! Earlier in this blog I mentioned customers are big on doing research before buying goods or services so use this opportunity to enlighten them. The description should act as your silent sales person.
  4. Highlights:This bulleted section allows customers to click through to your webpage for more information and help boost traffic to your site. Highlights can include credentials, testimonials, awards or niche products and services.
  5. Media:Add visual interest to your page by uploading photos and videos of your products, services and staff to help tell your story. Colored visuals increase a reader’s willingness to read content by 80% and it lends credibility to the work you do.

Optimizing your Dallas Chamber profile with Chamber Master is fast, easy and offers so many benefits. The more robust your profile, the more the views you will get will equate to more business for you. If you need help logging into your Chamber Master profile contact Sarah Javins at sarah@dallasoregon.org.

Don’t Expect a Job

Getting a job might be more about who you know than what you know – but don’t be so obvious about it. People are not going to be inclined to help you if they feel like you are just talking to them because you expect them to help you find a job, Diane Kulseth writes in an article for The Daily Muse.

At one point you were told that fellow networkers are going to help you land your next job, which can be true. But if you expect them to have a pocketful of valuable connections with whom you can speak, or opportunities at the ready; you’re in for a disappointed time. Networking is a process that is invaluable, but it takes more time than one visit.

What works is communicating with people who have the same goal in mind, landing a job. Isn’t that what one does when they network, you wonder? Not necessarily. Some people don’t get the concept. Communicating should consist of an exchange of words from which both parties can benefit.

“If you’re looking for a job, don’t ask for it – work for it,” Diane writes. How? By finding out how you can use your expertise to help them first. You’ve heard, “Help others before asking for help.” I personally think this is a good one to adopt. Don’t go to a networking event only expecting help. Have conversations with people who can be of mutual assistance.

Innovate Dallas – Partnering Schools and Community for Growth

The best way to ensure our kids are the leaders of tomorrow is to allow them to be leaders today!

Innovate Dallas is about bringing our schools, community, and businesses together to instill the skills and mindsets of innovation that are needed to drive economic growth in our region.

Innovate Dallas has received a matching grant from Oregon Community Foundation to assist in connecting Dallas students to real community centered problems to both enhance deeper learning and to develop leadership capacity.

To prepare the next generation of leaders able to solve our most pressing problems, the Construct Foundation builds and facilitates design challenges known as Breaker Challenges that introduce young people to a prototype-driven method for innovation.  For an example of a Breaker Challenge see this link The Future of Food.

In every challenge, we teach the tools of design and entrepreneurship and task young people with building solutions to a real problem.

THE PROBLEM
Residents at the Dallas Retirement Village are divided into 3 groups based on the level of care that they require, Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Health Services. As residents move through the levels of care they become increasingly isolated from their preferred lifestyle, activities, and circle of friends.

In this Wellness and Aging design challenge we ask a team of students to identify, design, and test new and novel ways to increase joy and connectedness for the residents of the Dallas Retirement Village Community.

Our kids are assets in our community and this Breaker Challenge is our first of many examples to prove this. Our business community’s support in this activity points toward believing in the future of Dallas as a vibrant community that values innovation for growth in schools, business and sense of community as a whole.

Please help us reach our goal of $6,000 to develop this innovative model of learning.

If you have questions please reach out to Jamie Richardson at LaCreole Middle School

email – jamie.richardson@dsd2.org

phone – 503-623-6662

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.

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.

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 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.