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"What are you doing to evolve and grow your business?" That was the question put forth at last month's First Wednesday Networking group. This generated a great interactive discussion of shared insights, experiences and ideas with fellow businesses. It showed that our businesses have the strength and resilience to not only survive, but to thrive in a rapidly changing business environment.
Themes that emerged from the discussion are universal and applicable to all types of business.
Creativity: Doing things the way you did yesterday won’t lead to success tomorrow. Diversify – What are the processes and services that others don't offer? Vertically Integrate – What product or service can you bring into your business that is related, but not what you might have provided previously? Businesses shared some great creative ways they are facing challenges.
Responsiveness: Communication and response time go a long way in this instant-gratification world. Response time is so important. Customers appreciate that you respond quickly. This is especially critical when receiving a negative comment. Yes, like it or not, the customer is right.  Reputation is everything.
Employees are the key to success: Happy employees deliver exemplary service. Establishing a culture that values your employees pays dividends. Your customers benefit and your business benefits. Priceless.
Strategy: Have a plan. Have a marketing plan. "If you build it, they will come" is a platitude, not a plan. Make it measurable. What's not measurable is not improvable.
Partnerships: We've said it before, and we'll say it again (and again...). Power Partnerships are  a mutually beneficial arrangement if you want to grow your business. Get to know your fellow business owners and work together. "Success is a team sport." Simon Sinek
Sinek’s quote leads us to the final strategy shared by a member business: "You can't buy in a classroom, how Chambers and their businesses have helped my business." Our sentiments exactly, team.
We hope you will take some of these words of wisdom and experience and apply them to your business. Want more? Ask a fellow Chamber member. They have your best interests at heart.
Engage. Evolve. Grow.

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