SBAC May Accomplishments – Lake County and Northshore Chapters

SBAC May Accomplishments – Lake County and Northshore Chapters

By: Susan J. Anderson, Communications Specialist

This overview is a summary of the discussions that occurred during May, 2013, at mini meetings and a monthly luncheon. Full participation and member engagement further the SBAC’s goal to transform a desire for improvement in the business climate into reality. Add your voice to the conversation.

Defining “Done!” for a project will save your sanity and your business. Employ confidence and courage in daily business operations and keep in mind that the business owner is the most important person in the project.

Boundaries must be set. With the client, establish a point when the job is completed. During the scope of work, be flexible and work with the customer. Use clear communication, create a checklist and have a method to measure results.

If the client requests additional services, consider increasing the rate for the project. For complex or long-term jobs, another option is to break the project into segments or sub-projects.

Answer questions that arise and tackle any gray areas so the provider and client have a meeting of the minds and agree when the project is “Done!”.

At another meeting, the topic was that cutting price isn’t necessarily the way to increase business. Price is only the answer in the absence of value. Clients buy an entrepreneur’s skill. This includes our knowledge, experience and expertise. Customers will want your services if you provide a good product at a fair price. Exceed expectations and the marketplace will recognize your value and pay your price.

Discounting fees will only encourage other prospects to expect a lower rate for your services. If a client challenges your price, counter their request with, “What part of my service don’t you want?”.

Being known as a discounter won’t be profitable. To earn the desired gross profit, the business must handle a larger percentage of merchandise and do a greater dollar volume in sales. Use thoughtful marketing strategies and spend money in the advertising budget wisely. The reward will be higher sales revenue.

The SBAC team is open to receiving proposals for advocacy issues from the membership. The path from idea to decision maker is only one email away.

Further discussion on the subject of inviting a State-level politician to be a guest speaker at a mini meeting was raised by the group that met in Northbrook. The purpose would be a dialog on the advocacy topics supported by the SBAC and how the various bills are progressing towards implementation. Possible dates, venues and speakers are being reviewed by SBAC staff.

The ability to successfully secure funding for a small business begins with having facts and figures in order. Develop a relationship with a knowledgeable banker to assist your business with money matters.

Politicians in Springfield have been examining solutions to the looming pension crisis in Illinois. Adopting a plan in the current session is unlikely. In addition, there will be ongoing debate in the next legislative session regarding LLC filing fee reduction and how EDGE tax credits are awarded.

Ultimately, advocacy is what sets the SBAC apart from a Chamber of Commerce group. Member participation is the component that drives the SBAC to accomplish its goals.

Susan is a dynamic communicator who helps a wide range of businesses and organizations build their brand and increase market share. An attentive listener, she will work hard to understand customer needs then deliver focused and compelling words and images to yield maximum results. From research to writing to placement, best practice techniques, combined with high energy and a collaborative style, yield targeted, cost effective communications that move audiences to action.