Recapture Saturday in the Park

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Saturday in the Park was a tremendous hit this year on 4th of July at sat in the parkGrandview Park.  Siouxland really stepped up and made it a day to remember.  We were blessed with great weather, atmosphere, food vendors and musical performances.

It’s not over though…

Luckily, that great day isn’t gone yet. IPTV is going to run a one hour special Thursday night starting at 8 p.m., that will recapture the sights and sounds of Saturday in the Park 2009.  If you have some time make sure to tune in to Iowa’s Public Television and who knows you might just find yourself on T.V.!

Marketing Monday

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Marketing MondayIt was a fabulous Monday today,

A fabulous Monday for Siouxland I say,

Even though Monday is not my favorite day,

I am hoping your Monday is more than okay,

When the Chamber’s Marketing Monday gets thrown your way!

The Great Communicators

Some people are just great communicators.

They generate a lot of support from all different walks of life.  These “masters of communication,” have figured out how to invest in people and make them the priority.  They don’t necessarily talk all the time, but when they do, great communicators comprehend and enunciate what their audience is thinking perfectly.

Is your business a great communicator?

If not, it is very important that you become one as quick as possible.  Being a good communicator is evolutionary.  You have to continue to read customers, react and learn from interactions with them.

I provided some tips below that I hope will aid you and your company grow in this very important aspect of marketing.

  • Maximize your mission statement
  • Choose your words with precision
  • Know your audience and where you can find them
  • Perfect your presentation of facts (Let the customer know what you offer and constantly improve that information)
  • Persuade the customer with clear and credible facts

These five tips will help you grow your base and communicate with the customer.  The most important thing to take away from all of this is remembering to GROW.

Continually, be tuned in to people and engage in conversation.  Books, blogs, internet, journals etc. are all great info. on how to build a business, but interaction with others is the key.  The easiest, most accessible resource walks by you every day, stands next to you in line and comes into your company.

I would appreciate anyone who is reading this blog to throw out names in the comments section of  the great communicators of our generation.  They can be public figures, businesses who you have seen from a distance or just people in the community.

Thanks,

Ian

Chamber Trivia

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Siouxland,

I promised this week’s trivia question wouldn’t be nearly as easy.  Let’s see if you’re up to the challenge!

Question for the week: What famous Hollywood actor was stationed in Sioux City as an Operations Officer of the 703d Bomb Squadron in August 1943?

Trivia Logo Siouxland

Think you know…comment on this post with your answer for your chance at a great prize. Trivia questions will be posted each Friday with answer and winners announced the following Thursday.

GO FEST 2009!

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Let’s GO Siouxland! GO where?

Go down to Jolly Rogers on Saturday, August 29th at 7:30 p.m. and check out the Sioux City Growth Organization’s first of the year event.  This special night will feature local band Electric Junction and Kory and the Fireflies.KORY AND THE FIREFLIES

This is going to be a blast.

Anyone who has been to Jolly Rogers knows of their excellent location.  The bands are going to be playing out on the point, next to the water, on a summer night with live music, food and drinks.  This event is sure to be packed and tickets are going on sale now for just $10.

Now, a little bit about the main event…THE BANDS

Kory and the Fireflies have toured with the Goo Goo Dolls, Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray and supported national acts with Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow and many others. They sing what has been described as “pop rock with a punch” and if you want to get a little taste of their stuff check out notable songs such as:   “Sometimes”, “Pop Fly” and “Everyone.”

ElectricJunctionElectric Junction (Indie/Rock) will be opening up for Kory and the Fireflies and these boys are Sioux City favorites.  Three of the five guys are from here in Sioux City and have been touring in Madison, Denver, Lincoln, Kansas City, and Chicago and now their back for the Sioux City crowd for this special night.

Hopefully, all this information on these bands and great atmosphere has you as excited as I am for this special evening in Sioux City, Iowa.  You can order your tickets from Melissa Sharp at msharp@gsiowa.org or you can pay upon arrival.  Let’s make this a great showing Siouxland and expect to see over 1,000 strong rocking out on one of these last summer days!

Jammin’ on 4th Street

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Do you love to see live bands and jam out to music on a warm summer night?

Look no further, Sioux City has just the event for you.

The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce works very hard to bring Siouxland Pert' Near Sandstonequality community enhancement initiatives.  In doing, so they teamed up with area sponsors to make Fridays on the Promenade Summer Concert Series a reality.

If you haven’t heard of the concert series, we encourage you to get down to Historic 4th Street and enjoy the live music, food, and beverages. The live bands take center stage every other Friday. This week we are on an off week, so mark it on your calendars for August 21st.

The night of fun in the sun and live music starts at 6pm and ends at 8pm with only $2 of admission.  Just don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs.

This next week’s musical guest is Pert’ Near Sandstone(pictured above).  If it gets a little wet, no worries the party will move to the Chesterfield.  This is an excellent chance to experience Sioux City atmosphere, enjoy music & have quality time with friends and family.

Remember if you want free tickets, just answer our weekly Chamber trivia question and you will be entered in a drawing to win 4 free passes to the event.

If you have any more questions about Fridays on the Promenade check out their interactive website located at…

http://www.fridaysonthepromenade.com/

Winner, Winner, Winner

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Question for the week:

What in Sioux City honors the only man to die during the Lewis and Clark expedition?

The answer is…

The Sgt. Floyd Monument

Congratulations to this week’s winner Ann Peterson. Everyone that answered correctly was entered in a drawing for this weeks prize, 4 tickets to Friday’s on the Promenade! Be sure to check back tomorrow for the next Chamber Trivia Question.

Would your business like to sponsor a Trivia Question? Contact intern@siouxlandchamber.comDonate a prize and be featured on our blog.

Pro-Business Legislation: Historic Tax Credits

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Business and politics go hand in hand.

Like a relay team at a track meet; politics hand the baton off to the community, to business, and they take it on home to the finish line.  Each one is integral and both encompass a lot of moving parts, but one cannot accomplish anything without the other.

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat or apathetic towards politics, there are no doubts that the key decisions being decided at the local, state, and national level shape our economic development individually and as a community.

As a community, we got a boost on April 26, 2009 as the Iowa General Badgerow_Building_400x600Assembly came to a close.  Before they adjourned, they were able to approve funding that provides Siouxlanders more dollars for local projects to move forward. Such as, the Badgerow Building located in the heart of downtown Sioux City.

This building has over 110,000 square feet and twelve floors which could be ideally suited for medical offices, finance corporate headquarters, a call center or a data center.  The benefits of this renovation are substantial, but the most obvious one will be the possible creation of new, high paying jobs for Sioux City.

The Siouxland Chamber of Commerce strongly believes that these historic tax credits provided a “green” policy for not only Siouxland, but the great state of Iowa as well.  The credits opened up accessible money for projects in Iowa from $20 million to $50 million.  This increase in funds will be noticeable all around Siouxland as you’re going to a movie, taking a stroll by the river, or enjoying a night out with friends and family.  The money allocated to Siouxland will focus on the renovation of once upon a time grandeur buildings in need of a make over.

Barbara Sloniker, Vice President of Government Relations & Transportation had this to say about the tax credits:

“There are several historic buildings in downtown Sioux City that will now be able take advantage of historic tax credits. It will allow buildings that are vacant or underused to be restored, providing increased property values, skilled jobs for local craftsmen, and architecturally charged spaces.”

This rise in credits is more than a 100% increase in funding for Iowa and this means more jobs, infrastructure, and revenue for our great area.  Businessman and lawmakers alike believe this boost will provide Siouxlanders with better opportunities and a better quality of life for them and their families.  Enjoy the day and rest assured our economy is growing and we’re on the right track.  Have a great day Siouxland!

Recession Proof Your Business

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Grocery stores may thrive in recessions and dollar stores are making record profits.  Buying a new home gets put on the back burner and fixing up your current house seems like the route to go.

Any business selling a necessity or a product at a low price might not be feeling the effects of the slow economy one bit.

The rest of us on the other hand..feel it.cloudy sky

There are some businesses obviously doing better than others.  Why?  Because before this whole recession happened, they looked past seeing a customer as a means to an end and saw them as just normal, everyday people.

You can slap any tag you want on this. You could call it networking, relationship building, or just caring about your customers.

So how do you become recession proof?  How does your business mimic the others who are selling a product just like yourself and not seeing the hard times you may have encountered?  There definitely is no right answer, but this is my theory on how to recession proof your business.

Remember value is what the customers receives and price is what they pay.

The market has forced owners to lower their prices and this is great for the consumer.  What that business may not realize is that this only temporarily relieves the problem.  In actuality, your forcing the customer to price shop and compare.  Instead of looking for quality, they are searching for a lower price and your throwing yourself into constant comparison.  Now your looked at as just one of several different options with no distinction.

Relieve Your Customer’s Fears

The customer comes home from a hard day at work and then flips on the tube.  They go to a news channel and the first thing they see is the once upon a time multi-billion dollar company, who is now the multi-broke company. Nothing kills the economy more than people talking about a bad economy.  Word of mouth has been killing companies and products for years and now its helping kill our national economy.

This bad news has a trickle down effect and next they think it’s going to be them.  Your job is to be upbeat and to remind them tomorrow’s another day.   The cloud’s are going to shift, move, and eventually separate.  Remind them that the only thing that is constant is change.  The market will rise and fall at its own pace.  It’s your job not to waiver or buckle under the pressure.

Now, put the excitement and happiness back into their lives by the way you and your employees treat them.

Embrace their dreams

This is what it’s all about, this is why you make this product, why you sell the product, and why you stand by it.  Because you make dreams come true and you allow people to make business better, make life better, and have their dreams come true.  Our dreams define us and without dreams individuals aren’t happy.  Businesses understand that even though they may sell a luxury it truly is a necessity.  You don’t market and sell iron, wood, paper, plastic or any other intangible service.  You sell dreams.

Don’t deceive your customer into believing they can have something that’s not possible right now.  But if the service or product you offer can make them accomplish goals, don’t hide it!  Show them what they want and devise a plan so they get it and then deliver.   Work with the customer to recognize their problems and then create solutions.  If you can do that, your business will weather storms and eventually thrive in this economy.

-Ian

5th Annual Pooch Paddle

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The 5th Annual Pooch Paddle is all set to take place this Tuesday, August 11th at Leeds Pool in Sioux City from 5-8 p.m.  Can’t make it tomorrow?  No worries, this will only be the first of two opportunities for you to get your pooch in the water and cool off.Pooch paddle

The next chance to see your pooch paddle will be at the Riverside Pool after Labor Day weekend on September 9th from 5-8 p.m.

The pooch paddles will cost only $5 per dog.  The money raised for the event will all go towards improvements at the Lewis & Clark Dog Park at Bacon Creek Park.

Things owners and citizens need to know…

-City staff would like to remind citizens that the dogs are only allowed in the pools after they have closed for the season and the pools are drained shortly after the event.

-There are still chemicals in the pool that keep it sanitized and safe for the dogs and the owners.

-All dogs must arrive on a leash and with an owner that is 14 years of age or older.

-All dogs must be registered with tags on them at all times. Dogs without tags or multiple dogs with one owner will not be allowed to enter the facility.

-All pet owners must comply with city rules and regulations relating to cleaning up animal droppings and prohibiting a dog from attacking persons or animals and in accordance with Section 7.08.020.Pooch paddle.2

-All pit bulls must remain on a leash no longer than six feet in length and must be under the actual physical control of a person 18 years of age or older at all times in accordance with Sioux City Municipal Code Section 7.10.020.

For  any more information on this event call  279-6126  or check it out on the web at Sioux-City.org. or Siouxland Off Leash Association

Marketing Monday

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Today’s marketing segment is on customer service.

You’re probably thinking  marketing and customer service are two totally different things, but they are not.  Market your product and business with good old-fashioned customer service.  The only difference is that previous customers are working for you and its great, because you’re not even paying them!

When I was younger, I constantly heard my Grandma talk about the art of customer service and how it has got lost along the way.  Saturday was always her day to come into Sioux City and spend the day.  She went to the same two places to get her haircut and eat every week for twenty some years.  All because of a good product and outstanding service.

That stuck with me and when I go to any business it really makes a difference to me how I am treated.  It’s so crucial with so many different places for the consumer to take their almighty dollar.

Use these tips and hopefully you and your business can master this art and get people to work for you without paying them…

1. Give the customer the benefit of the doubt.  Proving who is right and who is wrong is not worth losing a customer.

2. If a customer wants something out of the ordinary, go an extra mile to make it happen for them.  I know it’s hard, but if you can go out of the way for one customer and make them happy it will be worth it.   Imagine all the people they know who are going to hear about your effort.

3. Realize the people that work for you will treat people the way they are treated. Good customer satisfaction comes with good employee satisfaction.

4. Do you know who your customers are? Build relationships with customers and get to know them.  If you have a regular customer, call them by name and they are more likely to come back and spend their money with you again.

5. Are your customers greeted when they walk in the door? Obviously, we don’t want to bombard people, but a simple “Hello, how are you doing today,” will really go a long way.

Hopefully, this has been helpful and will aid you in providing excellent customer satisfaction for your customers.  More importantly, it’s the right thing to do.  Helping people and becoming the best servant-leader you can be is one of the most rewarding things we can do in this life.

Have a great Monday Siouxland!

-Ian