Good Morning! Welcome to your work week! Have you set a goal for yourself this week? My goal is to focus on programming and schedule some great events that I feel will help you all start connecting. Last week we connected in a big way at the State of the City member meeting.
We heard from Jack Broz, Richfield’s transportation engineer. He filled us in on the plan for 66th Street and there was so much good information. If you weren’t able to attend, you can find out more information here. There’s lots of construction to come and I will help keep everyone updated on it. If you have a business along 66th Street, please reach out to me so I can keep you “in the know!”
Along with Jack’s 66th Street update, we also heard from Mayor Pro tem, Mike Howard. Watch a video of the State of the City Address here.
Looking ahead to the rest of the month, I will be visiting with members to hear how they want the Chamber to be engaging. If you would like to be on my visit list, please email me today.
We have some exciting new events coming up! Keep an eye out for our Upcoming Events emails that go out on Sunday mornings.
Let’s keep working on our goals, building our community and promoting our businesses! Don’t forget to reach out to someone new, it’s as simple as saying “Hello!” I look forward to seeing you at the next event!
I wanted to take a moment to reflect with all of you on why I have started the Community Connections email. It has been my goal in our Chamber email communications to inform you of what’s happening at the Chamber as well as who is part of our Chamber community. Each week since January, I have been introducing you to members of our Richfield Chamber; whether it is an individual person or company, these emails are a quick glimpse into the people that make up your Chamber.
It’s an ice breaker for you, the Chamber member, to use to reach out. In order to build relationships, it is important to raise your “know” factor, your “like” factor and your “trust” factor with the people from your network. Part of your ROI with Chamber membership is access to a referral network. How do you build a referral network? Building a referral network takes more than just handing someone your business card; it takes time and energy. Once you are part of an organization, it takes effort to show up and get to know someone. Sometimes, our work schedules don’t accommodate our networking schedules. However, like we talked about in the Weekly Update, it is just as important to work ON your business as it is to work IN your business. Our Community Connections emails are part of that effort and they are something you can use on your own time.
They give you an insight to the “know factor.” They provide some insight into the person behind the familiar company name. Once you get to know someone, that’s when the “like factor” comes in. We all want to do business with people we like. 100% of the time, we will make a referral based on if we like someone. Once we “know” someone and “like” someone, we start to “trust” them. How important is the “trust factor” in business? Well, it is probably the most important quality we can convey to our clients. We need our clients to trust our opinions. We are the experts in our respective fields and the more our client’s trust us, the more they will do business with us and refer others to do business with us as well. Once you have established that, your network will expand exponentially. And just think, it can all start here at the Chamber! So, if you glossed through the first Community Connection emails, I invited you to take a moment, click here and get to know someone. If there is not a meeting coming up, reach out on your own. Send a quick email saying hello. Use the information in our Community Connections email as an ice breaker. Building your network starts with you!
Greetings from the Chamber! I would like to continue our conversation of member engagement and maximizing your Chamber membership. I spoke with many members last week about how to stay active, how to get involved, and just what to do once you have joined. First off, let us all just acknowledge how much time and energy it takes to run a business. Whether you have a staff of 20 or you are a one-person show, it’s all about focus. Plan some time to focus on the tasks that help your business grow. I want your business to succeed because when you do well, our community does well and that is something we all want to be a part of!
How do you do well and how can the Chamber help you? The first thing I always say to people is, “It is just as important to work ON your business, as it is IN your business!” Working ON your business means promoting yourself, your company, meeting new people, following up on critical leads, taking a chance on a new idea. Working ON your business means networking. Come to a member meeting and meet someone new. Use your member list to call on people in your industry to learn from each other. Use your Chamber president to help market your company to the community. It is so easy to let each day get away from you when there is a business to run, from everything to making sure you are fully staffed, to ordering office supplies and making key decisions. These are all essential day to day tasks; but these are things you do that work IN your business. If you want your business to grow and flourish, then we need to work ON your business. I’m here to help you work ON your business. Reach out today and we can discuss what makes the most sense for your company. Together we can develop a plan to work ON your business.
Do you ever wonder why some opportunities present themselves to you? As I plan out who to feature in each week’s Community Connections email, I often reflect on members that I have been in touch with during the course of my work week. Recently, I have been helping Mary at the Assistance League create a banner ad to be featured on the Chamber website. Then, while driving to the office, I noticed an Assistance League bumper sticker on the car I was driving behind. I think that is the universe hitting me over the head with my next member feature! It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to the Assistance League in this week’s Community Connections! Assistance League of Minneapolis is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults through community programs. Community programs that benefit people right here in our city! Volunteers identify unmet needs in our community and address them through programs developed and administered by their members. Their strong volunteer commitment allows them to deliver a return on donations to the community of more than 88%.
The Assistance League is a philanthropic nonprofit, nonpolitical, nonsectarian, all-volunteer organization. The money for programs is generated from the Assistance League Thrift shop, grants and donations. The Thrift Shop is located at 6416 Penn Ave South and accepts gently used donations such as clothing, housewares, books, collectibles, shoes, linens, art and jewelry. All Thrift Shop proceeds support our community programs, and donations are tax deductible!
Did you know that the Assistance League also offers grants to teachers in the district? These grants, which range up to $750, are for projects that exceed the standard curriculum. Assistance League members review grant applications and conduct classroom visits to the award recipients. The Assistance League also offers short presentations detailing their community programs intended to increase public awareness of the needs in our community and motivate action. If you’ve been thinking about ways to get involved, why not consider the Assistance League? You’ll be glad you did!
Greetings Chamber Members! Lots is happening at the Chamber and I am so energized that you all are excited to read about it! Together, we are off to a fast start this year! In January, I started a Thursday email series call Community Connections. So far I have featured Brent Wade, Holy Angels, Patrick Nau, A-1 Travel, Sue Durfee and Greg Worthen. This is an important series because our efforts this year will be connecting us to each other. I believe the more we know each other and our businesses, the more we can promote each other, share resources and grow as companies and a community.
Think about it, the best way to gain new business is by a personal referral. When you are having a conversation with a friend and they comment about a home project they are doing, you can say “Hey, you should call Lee Mollan of Tile Rite. I know him from the Chamber and you would be happy with his work.” Your friend is highly likely to trust your reference, and reach out to Lee to inquire about his services. Even if you haven’t yet met that member personally, you know you can say, “Hey, let’s check the directory to see who where should start looking.” You can feel confident using the Chamber directory page to find a trusted business.
Businesses that take the time to become Chamber members are businesses that have an active interest in the communities they live and work in. They are like-minded business people who want to contribute to the communities around them. They are businesses that want to network and connect with others. The Chamber is an easy platform to do that. I’ve been meeting so many Chamber and community members this past month and starting the basis for solid partnerships. Some meetings have been good introductions, and I file them away because I know that person will be an asset at some point; Other meetings have had immediate rewards! I never know what a simple, “Hello, I’m Anne Schultz and I’m with the Richfield Chamber,” will bring to my day. I encourage you as a Chamber member to take a risk, step out of your comfort zone, say hello to someone new. Start small, give yourself the goal of reaching out to one member this week. It could be as simple as reading the next community connections email and sending a quick note to the featured member that week just to say hello; Or send me a quick note, I’d love to hear from you!