Tuesday, October 29, 2013

When all was plaid and done

The first Stephen F. Austin State University Tartan tie to arrive on campus was recently presented to university president, Dr. Baker Pattillo. Presenting the tie were, from left, Rebecca Greer, professor of fashion merchandising, Lynda Martin, director of the school of human sciences, Kelcie Brown, student designer of the SFA Tartan and Judy Abbott, dean of the James I. Perkins college of education.

The Tartan project was initiated in October 2012 by Greer and Martin with the goal of having an official SFA Tartan and other licensed tartan products available in conjunction with the 90th Anniversary celebration activities. A contest was held featuring more than 30 Human Sciences students' designs.

After more than 7,000 votes from alumni and friends, Brown’s design was selected and registered with the Scottish Tartan Society. Officially licensed SFA Tartan products, T-shirts, sweatshirts, lanyards and men's ties, are now available for purchase at the Barnes and Noble Campus Bookstore.

Esther Campbell, assistant manager of the bookstore, says they can take phone orders, ship via UPS and order products online from Collegiate Tartan Apparel. Proceeds from the sale of SFA Tartan products will benefit the university and the fashion merchandising program.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Business Boot Camp set for March 4 and 5

Ready to start a business?  Already started one and still have a lot of questions?
May we suggest you get your act together?
Enough with the questions.
We'd like to help provide some answers.
The Nacogdoches County Chamber wants all entrepreneurs to thrive and fulfill their dreams.
To help that happen, for the past several years we've held Business Boot Camp - How to Grow a Successful Business.
This year, on Monday, March 4, CPA Carla Morgan and Attorney Drew Knowles are back to reveal "Organizing to Make a Profit."  You'll learn how businesses are structured, best practices for record-keeping, dealing with the IRS and more.
On March 5, marketing and advertising gurus April Salagaj and Dr. Linda T. Bond will present "Finding Prospects and Reaching Customers."
You will learn how to do basic market research and how to position your product or service.
Cost is only $20 for Chamber members, or $35 for both sessions.
Future members pay $30 per session or $55 for both sessions.
Each session is 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Chamber office - 2516 North Street in Nacogdoches, TX.
A light supper will be provided as part of the program.
Go to www.nacogdoches.org and check out Forms for a registration form.
Or click here.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Romance and theater and rubber chickens

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, talked about going a bit astray by concentrating too much on infinitesimal metrics.  "We were no longer delivering the qualitative romance and theater of what built the brand," Schultz said. "And business suffered as a result."
The quote is from David Novak's book "Taking People With You," which is subtitled "The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen."
Novak spoke in Louisville, Kentucky last week at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) annual conference.
He is the Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands. That may not mean much to you at first -  but it is the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.
Novak is an outrageous marketer who had to convince others he was grounded enough for senior management positions at PepsiCo.  Once he had their trust, he broke through the walls of motivating his co-workers - mainly by speaking from the heart and tickling the funny bone.
Big on recognition, but down on conservative plaques, he enscribed rubber chickens and gave them to outstanding line workers at KFC.  Everyone cherished their "flat chickens."  At Pizza Hut, if you "walked the talk," you received an oversized set of walking, chattering teeth, also autographed by the head cheese.
So, while Starbucks embroiled itself in measuring liters-per-hour poured, Novak concentrated on making front line workers, store managers, delivery truck drivers and regional vice presidents connect to the company.
So - today's question: Have you built "romance and theater" into your brand?
By the way - Novak's book was in the hands of every Chamber executive in attendance.
Because he - and ACCE - gave it to us.
Not quite theatrical - but generosity is also a good start in building relationships!
  -- posted by Bruce R. Partain
Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to become an entrepreneur in 7 steps

Artist. Musician. Doctor. Landscaper. Writer. Forester. Scientist. Retailer. Public speaker. Web designer. Plumber.
There's a common thread in all these occupations.
The career can be a solo venture, and out of necessity, an entrepreneur is born.
Entrepreneurs can be made as well.
"Most people pursuing these careers are self-employed," said economic developer Bill King. "Few, if any receive even the most basic training before launching their business."
King is president/CEO of the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO), which is teaming up with Stephen F. Austin State University (SFA) this fall to assist budding entrepreneurs sharpen their business skills.
The first 30 people accepted will receive a full scholarship for the $25 fee.
University students are encouraged to participate - but the classes are for everyone.
There's even a certification for those who complete the seven evening sessions from September 10 through December 10.
Topics will include writing a business plan, market analysis, finding resources, financing, customer development, communication, operations and human resources. Discussions will include strategies of start-ups vs purchasing an existing business.
Sessions will be held on the second and fourth Mondays at the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA campus in Nacogdoches, Texas.
The meeting room is on the second floor, room 2.106, next to Starbucks and the movie theatre.
Call Bill King at NEDCO - 936-559-1255 or email bking@nedco.org for more information.
Details on each class available here.
-- posted by Bruce R. Partain

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Changes in the cost of communicating

Time to review your mobile device plan, especially if you've added a tablet to the mix and you have a family plan. The big carriers are anticipating falling voice usage and are adjusting their business model. Younger customers in particular text and surf more than chat on their devices.  AT&T and Verizon are trying different approaches, with AT&T trying to keep customers from switching by letting them choose from their existing plan or go with the newer higher-cost plans for heavy data use. Here's more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/technology/2012/07/18/att-new-family-plan-means-hike-in-data-fees/

Friday, December 16, 2011

Are you the U.S. Small Business of the Year?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeks applications for the 2012 Small Business of the Year.
First - what is small?
According to the U.S. Chamber, that means annual revenues are less than $20 million.
Award criteria include:

  • Staff training and motivation

  • Community involvement

  • Customer service

  • Business strategies and goals

  • Financial performance and business history
Apply online. Cost is $25 for members of the U.S. Chamber and $150 for non-members.The Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce is a member of the U.S. Chamber. We'd be glad to help nominate any qualified local Chamber member.All award winners will be honored during the U.S. Chamber's Small Business Summit on May 22, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Blue Ribbon Award® winners will receive one complimentary registration to attend the Summit, courtesy of Sam's Club. Nominations are due January 6 and applications are due January 13. More info: http://www.uschambersummit.com/award

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Small Business Saturday - Nov. 26 marketing opportunity

Following the success of last year's Small Business Saturday, a number of online giants are teaming up to help local owners make this year's event even more prosperous.Facebook, Google and Twitter, among others, are joining with American Express, which founded Small Business Saturday, to offer a free toolkit designed to help small business owners get their cash registers ringing this holiday season.Held last year for the first time, Small Business Saturday – which falls on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend – is a national initiative encouraging consumers to shop at small businesses. It also was created specifically to recognize the importance of small businesses and their contributions to the economy, job creation and local communities.According to American Express, small business merchants saw a 28 percent rise in sales volume during last year's Small Business Saturday, compared to the same day in 2009."An all-star line-up of partners is coming together to provide the tools to help make this year even more impactful for small business owners throughout the country," Mary Ann Fitzmaurice Reilly, senior vice president of American Express OPEN, said in a prepared release.Small business owners are encouraged to take advantage of the free online toolkit, which includes:
Facebook Ads — American Express is giving $100 in free Facebook advertising to the first 10,000 business owners who sign up. For small businesses that don’t yet have Facebook pages, American Express will offer a tool that takes them step-by-step through the free page-creation process.
Video Creation Tools — Google and American Express are partnering to offer small businesses My Business Story, a free tool for creating and posting free online videos about their businesses. With My Business Story, small business owners can create personalized, professional-quality videos for YouTube, social networks and business websites.
Twitter Follow Button — Small business owners will be able to place a Follow button on their websites, allowing consumers to follow them on Twitter with one click of the mouse.
YourBuzz — YourBuzz is a service that helps small businesses reach more customers by enabling them to view and respond to customer reviews and online mentions all from one place. For Small Business Saturday, YourBuzz is giving a $100 credit for LinkedIn Ads for up to 6,500 business owners and $100 in additional advertising credits on Facebook. Business owners also will get 50 percent off any package from Pagemodo, a company that helps small businesses create professional Facebook pages.
The toolkit also includes downloadable, point-of-purchase displays for small businesses to let customers know they are involved in the initiative. The displays allow merchants to include their own branding, details about their business and any special offers they are promoting for Small Business Saturday. Customizable email templates also are available for businesses looking to conduct email campaigns. With an eye on boosting consumer interest in the initiative, FedEx recently announced it would give away $1 million in $25 Shop Small American Express gift cards for use on Small Business Saturday. Thirty thousand of the gift cards will be available, first-come, first-served, starting Nov. 1 on the FedEx Facebook page. FedEx will distribute an additional 10,000 gift cards directly to its customers.American Express is giving its card members incentives by offering a $25 statement credit when they register their card and spend $25 or more on Small Business Saturday at any qualifying small business that accepts American Express.Finally, Women Impacting Public Policy, a nonpartisan organization that advocates for small business issues, has created the Small Business Saturday Coalition — a group of 200 advocacy organizations that plan to raise awareness for Small Business Saturday and motivate consumers to shop at small businesses this holiday season.This year's Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 26. To access the toolkit, visit the Small Business Saturday Facebook page

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