Monday, March 28, 2016

Main Street News: March 28th

Not only is our office busy getting ready for Showcase this week, but we are also celebrating “Mom & Pop Business Day” on Tuesday March 29th. The definition of a “Mom & Pop Business” is a small, independent, family-owned business. Unlike franchises and large corporations, which have multiple operations in various locations, Mom and Pop Shops usually have a single location. That being said, Barnesville is home to many of these businesses!
          The vision of a small-town Mom and Pop stores serving the community is one of Hollywood's favorites. We not only get to see it on TV and in movies, but we get to live in the heart of it. Knowing their customers so well, is a huge advantage for small town businesses. Their customers are also reliable and return so frequently. They are our friends, family and neighbors; and we build a special bond with them each time the visit the store.

          You can find many of these Mom and Pop businesses at Showcase this Saturday, April 2nd at the Barnesville High School from 10 am – 2 pm. We have over 40 different vendors who are all ready to showcase what they have to offer. We also have a full entertainment schedule, a fabulous food court and door prize drawings. The students from the school have also been busy to get ready for the Student Art Show. Come out, bring the family, and enjoy the day. There will be something for everyone!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Main Street News: March 21st

“Do you have trouble hearing?” asked the teacher of a youngster who sat dreamily at his desk.
“No, Ma’am,” replied the boy. “I have trouble listening.”

Anyone who has every worked with children, either as a profession, a volunteer or as a parent can relate to that quip. Actually, it reflects some adults too! 

Most of us are like that. The ability to listen is not an inborn trait. It takes a conscious effort to do it well.  Successful listeners are people who: Listen intently - their minds do not wander. They concentrate on what the other person is saying. Repress their own egos - they don’t interrupt. Nor are they thinking only of what they want to say when the speaker finishes. Are patient – nothing is more annoying than a person who has no patience to hear you out.  Are concerned – they care about what the other person is saying because they are about that person.

Showcase 2016 is an opportunity for businesses to reach out to their customers and listen. Many of the businesses participating really want to connect with their customers and do that. They will listen and try to meet your needs. Perhaps Showcase doesn’t allow enough time for you to sit down with that business manager or owner and work out specifics of your situation, but it is an opportunity for you as a customer to meet them. You can reach out to them and take that first step. 
Whether you are an ‘old’ customer or a ‘new’ perspective one, those businesses at Showcase want to connect with you and are happy to visit that day and in the future. They want you to do business with them. They appreciate their customers and are committed to our community. Their presence at Showcase is just one more piece of evidence of that.

Showcase 2016 will be Saturday, April 2. Stop by the high school from 10am – 2pm for a chance to visit with many businesses or check out someone new. We have a large variety of vendors that are looking forward to seeing you at their booth. It’s free admission so you can’t beat the price!
Barnesville is fortunate to have the businesses that are willing to support Showcase, say thank you to their customers and ‘show’ to those in attendance what they have to offer. Come out and join them in a great day of hospitality, business, entertainment and good food.

You could be surprised at who is exhibiting. Try a business you’ve never been to or worked with before.  Think outside of your ‘normal’ routine and give some local business owner a shot at obtaining your business. They have committed to our community. We, as individuals, can give them our business and support the community at the same time.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Main Street News: March 14th

At this year’s Showcase 2016, we will again host the Kid$ in Bu$ine$$ division.  It is an addition to the show in which kids can be the exhibitors.  Kids in grades 4th-12th are welcome to have a booth in which they can sell items which they have made or sell a service which they are interested in providing.

It is a chance for that young entrepreneur, that young business person, to step out into the business world and get their feet wet. Some are truly talented with the merchandise they’ve sold.  Some are very professional and have ‘grown up’ signage, flyers and display methods.  Some are naturally outgoing in personality and greet customers as they pass their booth.  ALL are excited to be doing their business and to be part of Showcase opportunity.

In past years, many kids have had booths hoping to make some money for their savings accounts or that item they have been wanting.  Who knows what products and services we will find this year. Those attending Showcase should be on the lookout for the young entrepreneurs.  Take some special time to visit with them, ask them questions about their booth and help them learn about being a business person at the same time.

Information on having a booth has been distributed in the schools, but if you missed it, registration forms are available in my office.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give me a call at 354-2479.  I’d be glad to give you more information.  The Showcase Committee looks forward to having a great turnout at the show this year – as Kid$ in Bu$ine$$.  

Monday, March 7, 2016

Main Street News: March 7th

            It is no secret that doing business has changed as technology has advanced. Could you imagine going about your normal day without new technology, doing business none the less? No phone, no calculator, no computer? Think of looking something up in a book instead of doing a simple Google search. Technology these days is supposed to make life easier for us, but for some it has made it more challenging. Keeping up with the newest social media platform, creating a website or even coming up with a direct mailing are things people have said they struggle with.
This week, the Main Street Program is teaming up with the Barnesville EDA to sponsor a Small Business Marketing Workshop to help you with these new resources. Ryan Pesch will be here from the Minnesota Extension to share information on e-newsletters, Facebook for business, free websites, cooperative marketing, and direct mailings. There will also be time for businesses and organizations from town to share with each other what has or hasn’t been working for them. There are numerous tools out there to take advantage of to enhance and grow your business. This is a great opportunity to gain some insight on these tools and how to overcome the challenges of incorporating them into your business.

The Small Business Marketing Workshop will take place on Thursday, March 10th From 11:45 am to 1:00 pm upstairs at Wells Fargo Bank. The cost is $5 and includes lunch from the Barnesville Dairy Queen. For planning purposes, please contact Bailey at the Main Street Office to register no later than 9 am that morning. To register or questions, please call 354-2479 or email .