All posts in Chamber Blog

Website Progress

I know, I know…I’ve been talking about our new Chamber website for months now, but I promise it will be worth the wait. In the last week we’ve had the opportunity to review the working site. I am more confident than ever that the Venango Chamber website will be among the best chamber sites out there. While much of the site will have similar content to what your accustomed to hearing about from the chamber, this site will encourage us to be far more dynamic in our information and will encourage feedback from our members and community.

We’re excited to be adding a few new social media applications, such as twitter and linkedin. If these are new to you, join us for our next brown bag lunch on February 11th. We’ll clue you in.

Perhaps one of the best parts of the new site is the membership directory. In addition to the information members have included in the past, members will be featured on the site’s homepage, with logos and pictures. While we encourage members to have their own websites, this will provide an online presence for those who do not. So, mark your calendar for March 11th, when the waiting will be over.

Meeting Members

Life at the Chamber is ever changing and certainly never predictable. Here at the Venango Chamber we keep a tight schedule and live by the calendar, but anyone in Chamberland knows that our members (and potential members who are everyone else) come first!

Tabitha had done a fabulous job of arranging for me to meet with several members this week and despite the incredible continuing snowfall all week, I was able to meet with every one of them. A few came to my office and for others I ventured out. Everyone I met with this week is passionate about their business and you’ll have the chance to read about what they’re doing in the next few newsletters.

I continue to be amazed by the new things I learn about businesses in our community. I believe that if each of our chamber members would just plan to meet with another member once a week (even once a month) to get to know them better and find out about their business, we would see amazing things happen in our region. How would you decide who to meet? Use your Chamber Directory, printed or online. There are over 400 to chose from!

Friday Already?

Some Fridays seem to arrive faster than others and while I expect that for most people that’s a good thing, for me this is a week when I could use an extra day or two. With the end of this week we face the end of the month and all the things that entails. At the Chamber we wasted no time in scheduling meetings for various projects, committees and events each with it’s own “to-do” list. 2009 may seem to have just begun but our calendar is full.

If you need some inspiration to get you going, stop by the chamber or be sure to take the time to read your newsletter as soon as it arrives. We’ll be happy to fill you in on all of our plans and if you’d like, we can find a special place for you to join in the fun!

Networking in Any Weather

Can we all say snow? It is another blustery day in Venango County and the kids get an extra 2 hours in bed, but nothing stops a dedicated networker! I’ve just returned from a networking breakfast that I wouldn’t have considered missing. I have learned from the other similar days in recent months that there will always be a faithful bunch that will attend regardless of the elements, even on Christmas and New Year Eves.

Often the cry of small businesses is “I’m just too busy” as an excuse for not attending networking functions or taking the time to be proactive in meeting customers face to face. I’m more convinced than ever that relationships are key to longevity in business and the opportunities for networking on your own terms abound. While the meeting I attended this morning is for those who are most dedicated building a loyal network, requiring a significant commitment of time, the Chamber offers many options that require only a small investment time. And if time truly is just too short to attend scheduled events, we can help you fit your networking into the perfect hours for you.

As we continue to explore the world of social media, you’ll see that there is no hour of the day, nor location that is not an option for connecting with others. Those who are tech savy know what I mean. For those who are not, it is easier that ever to learn and almost everything available online can be translated back to pen and paper if that is your tool of choice, so…don;t let a little snow keep you down. Make a great connection today!

Every Newsletter a New Connection

It’s that time again, as we scurry to publish the monthly “Business Connector”. We breathe a sigh of relief each month as the last words are finalized and the newsletter is delivered to the printer, but then it begins again.

This month, as most, I met with newer chamber members to learn more about their businesses so that I can share their story with you. I continue to be in awe of the work done by our small business owners, working so had to serve others. This month is no different, as I write about a restaurant, a mobile welder and a retail paint store, all with a passion and pride for the work they do.

I hope you’ll take the time to relax for a few minutes and read the newsletter when it arrives, and if you’ve neglected the opportunity to read the last few, sit a little longer and explore them as well. I think you’ll be surprised at the business connections waiting for you.