Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, March 04, 2015, Image 10

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    10A COTTAGE GROVE SENTINEL March 4, 2015
Travis Palmer,
Executive Director
A Note from the Director
Is your business ready for spring? Not being ready for business
can be almost as bad as not being open for it. No matter what
the reason, an inability to serve your customers’ needs opens
the door for competitors to step in and win the business. It
also destroys the trust that you have spent countless amounts of
time, energy and resources to earn from your customers. Many
of Cottage Grove’s businesses are about to enter their busiest
time of year so now is the time to take advantage of the calm
before the storm. The following is a list of ten things that any
business owner can do to convert down time into prep time.
1. Check your crucial systems for conducting business
and make sure that they are functioning at peak performance.
Clean up your hard drive, make sure important data is backed
up, and be sure to perform preventative maintenance on all
critical equipment. Imagine how you would be able to function
if your hard drive fails or if your HVAC or refrigeration system
goes down. Think of the most critical pieces of equipment
that are imperative to running your business and what you can
do to prevent breakdowns and create backup systems in case
something goes down unexpectedly.
2. Secure your supply lines. You should know exactly how
long it takes to replenish inventory and supplies. Look at your
peak usage level and use that to determine when to place an
order so that you never lose a sale due to “being out of stock.”
Survey your vendors and service providers so you’ll know
about any potential supply or service interruptions and you can
stock up ahead of time. Also, fi nd out what other sources you
can go to so that if your primary supplier goes away, you’ll
know exactly where to fi nd what you need and you won’t waste
valuable time searching.
3. Fix the little things. If ignored, small issues will soon add
up to big problems. Change light bulbs, fi x broken fi xtures,
organize supply and storage areas. Lighting is important. If
you are using old fl uorescent bulbs, it’s a good idea to replace
them since they turn dingy and dim over time. One bad bulb
may not be noticeable but two or three can dramatically change
the entire look and feel of the environment. New bulbs will be
brighter and whiter which makes everything look better.
4. Clean up your front line. Anything visible to your clients
should be clean, organized and presentable. That especially
includes the front of your store. A dingy, uninviting exterior
will prevent people from walking in the door, long before
they’ve even had a chance to see what you have to offer.
Remove graffi ti immediately and make sure display windows
and sidewalks are clean and free of debris or obstructions. The
fi rst minute of every day should be spent looking at your place
of business from the outside.
5. Re-evaluate policies and update procedures. Nothing
should be off limits when it comes to thinking about how to
improve or streamline your business. Hours of operation,
products and services, marketing strategies, displays, even job
duties should be looked at from time to time to determine if
they are in line with your current mission and goals.
6. Train yourself and your staff. Zig Ziglar said, “The only
thing worse than training employees and losing them is not
training them and keeping them.” The best athletes in the
world are constantly training and you should be no different.
Keep training yourself and don’t forget your staff. If you rely
on them, train them every chance you get.
7. Research current trends in your industry. Find out who
among your peers are struggling, who is successful and most
importantly, fi nd out why. Is emerging technology going to help
or hinder your business? Where are your customers going and
where are they coming from? Knowing the answers to these
questions can help keep you ahead of the curve of innovation
and emerging markets.
8. Review your budget for unnecessary expenses or lost
income. You should always pay attention to your budget but
use slower periods to take the extra time to perform an internal
audit. Look for excessive or unnecessary expenses as well as
losses of expected income that you may not have noticed when
things were busy.
9. Educate your faithful supporters so they can become your
sales force. Your best customers should also be your best
referral sources. Your fans want to refer business to you but
it’s up to you to teach them how and it may not be as obvious
as you think. The people around you should know what makes
a good referral and what you can offer that your competitors
can’t. Training shouldn’t be limited to you and your staff.
10. Use your Chamber of Commerce membership. We
are here to promote, advocate, and provide opportunity for
businesses. There are chamber networking and educational
events all year long. Schedule time to attend these functions
and come ready to meet new people and talk about your
company. Contact your board representative or the chamber
offi ce with any questions or concerns and don’t be afraid to ask
about what we are doing to help your business.
Almost every business in every industry has slower and busier
times of the year. If you take advantage of the slower times,
to prepare for the busy ones, you’ll have fewer unexpected
problems and be able to respond quickly, with clear purpose
and greater confi dence than your less-prepared competitors.
There is no such thing as downtime, there is only prep time.
Travis Palmer, Executive Director
Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce
March Business after Hours
This month Hard Knocks Brewing will host Business After
Hours on Thursday, March 19 from 5:30 – 7:00pm, 1024 E.
Main Street. Please join us to mingle with and fi nd out more
about your fellow chamber member businesses. Bring your
business card to enter the door
prize drawing, enjoy some
delicious hors d’oeuvres, learn
something new, and have
some fun! Your attendance
reinforces the spirit in which
the Chamber provides these
monthly activities. We look
forward to seeing you there!
Many thanks to those who
support our efforts and your
fellow Chamber members
by attending this Chamber
We encourage you to support Chamber member
businesses and our local economy and “Shop Chamber
Members fi rst”!
Please join us and welcome our newest chamber
Hot Shots Coffee
Adrianne Lewis
185 Thornton Road
(541) 942-7874
Drive-thru Espresso
Renewing Members:
Thank you for your continuous support of our efforts
through your membership and your commitment to
helping make Cottage Grove a better place to live and do
business. We look forward to a successful and profi table
Cottage Grove Community Development Corporation,
First American Title, Grace Olson, Jonathan Backer, DDS,
Lily of the Field, Manngiano’s Pizzeria,,, Carousel House B&B & Catering,
Bohemia Sunrisers Kiwanis, Coast Fork Watershed
Council, CEO Consultants, Cottage Grove Community
Foundation, Elisabeth Chandra LaHusen, Cottage Grove
Community Acupuncture, Mickey’s Affordable Auto Sales,
Ziplocal, The Flower Basket & Gift Boutique, Coast Fork
Watershed Council, Jack Sprats, LLC.
“Shop Chamber Members fi rst”!
Seeking Great Musical Acts
The Chamber of Commerce Concerts in the Park are a popular
summertime tradition for many families in Cottage Grove. We are
planning our 2015 band line-up and we want to know who your
favorite local musical groups are. Who should we bring back to the
Bohemia Park Amphitheater? The new venue has provided us with
better sound, better facilities, and better attendance than we’ve ever
had before. We hope that you’ll join us starting June 17th through
September 9th, every Wednesday evening at 6:30 PM for free music
and fun! Send your band suggestions to
2015 Chamber Board of Directors,
Advisors and Staff
Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce
700 E. Gibbs • Cottage Grove, OR •
P. (541) 942-2411 • F. 888-832-2045
2015 Chamber Board of Directors: Thank you for your hours upon hours of volunteer time,
commitment, and service!
Offi cers
Tiffany Thackara, President
Emerald Valley Resort Event Center
Joe Raade, President Elect
South Lane County Fire & Rescue
Amanda Akers, Treasurer
Commonwealth Financial Network
Tim Wilson, Past President
Universal Trucking
Lorraine Eriksen
Cottage Grove Souvenirs
Sheri Henry
Siuslaw Bank
Lindsay Laycock
Lane Community College Cottage Grove Campus
Linda Schmale
Retired, Past Board President
Candace Solesbee
Shampoo Dolls Salon
Melinda Thompson
Best Western Agate Beach Inn
Paul Tocco
Busterʼs Main Street Cafe
John Trombly
Fort Rock Construction
Don Williams
Retired, Past Board President
Rhonda Worley
Jennifer Radcliff
South Valley Athletics
Tim Herrmann
Richard Meyers
Mayor Tom Munroe
Krista Parent
Darby Valley
PeaceHealth Cottage Grove Community Medical Center
City of Cottage Grove
Cottage Grove City Council
South Lane School District
Cottage Grove Community Acupuncture
Travis Palmer
Beth Martin
Jennifer Violette
Executive Director
Offi ce Manager
Visitor Center Volunteers:
Heidi Abbott, Susan Jeppesen, Suzy Kanich, Sunny Kennedy, Donna Laney,
Chieko Tomasulo, Jim Vander Platt, Judd Van Gorder, Sharon Van Gorder,
Sherry Wendt , Penny Westling, Nolene Wheeler.