Surviving and thriving in an uncertain economy

Filed on 06. Apr, 2011 in Contributors

Surviving and thriving in an uncertain economy

For more than two years the news has been about layoffs, business closures and rising unemployment. With the economists saying the official recession is over, local businesses continue to be cautious and wary of increasing inventory and hiring new workers. Rising oil prices and political unrest in the Middle East is complicating the economic recovery. [...]

The hidden truths of small business ownership

Filed on 08. Feb, 2011 in Contributors

The hidden truths of small business ownership

In Memoriam: Aysa Saadat, 1953-2011, IHOP Franchise owner, entrepreneur, family man and mentor Owning a business is challenging, more so than is considered or understood. One may value the opportunity to be their own boss or to have the freedom to create results. Often the compelling parts of owning a business trump the many challenges. [...]

Small business operations for the 21st century

Filed on 08. Jan, 2011 in Contributors

Small business operations for the 21st century

By Jennifer Shelton Do you often struggle with making ends meet in your business? I often share the story of two business partners that after two years in business were working 14 hour days and were still not profitable. The first thing we did was a break-even calculation of how many sales they needed each [...]

Be alert! People are talking about you

Filed on 08. Dec, 2010 in Contributors

Be alert! People are talking about you

By Tom Dorr Director of the Center for Economic Vitality If people were talking about you, would you want to listen? What if people were talking about your business, would you be interested? In normal conversations and relationships, people give tidbits of information to each other to strengthen the bond between them. I’d ask a [...]

What is your people strategy? A guide to Human Resource development

Filed on 08. Nov, 2010 in Contributors

What is your people strategy? A guide to Human Resource development

By Jennifer Shelton Human Resources has been one of the more prevalent topics among businesses I’ve talked with in Whatcom County over the past eight months. Employers have had questions about hiring and managing employees, dealing with difficult employees, compensation, and providing incentives. I would like to share some of my thoughts on human resource [...]

Exporting for fun and profit

Filed on 14. Oct, 2010 in Contributors

Exporting for fun and profit

By Ken Oplinger President/CEO of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy. Not that the last few years of economic woe haven’t brought challenges to my view of the world, but I just can’t help always trying to find the silver lining. So I was pleased to recently sit [...]

Celebrate your victories, big and small

Filed on 04. Oct, 2010 in Contributors

Celebrate your victories, big and small

By Tom Dorr Director of the Center for Economic Vitality Owners of small businesses have one of the loneliest jobs in the world. As owners, they have no one to complain to, and they are constantly solving problems. It’s easy to get discouraged and frustrated with declining sales and escalating costs. Our current economy has [...]

Shelton: Marketing should be priority No. 1

Filed on 02. Sep, 2010 in Contributors

Shelton: Marketing should be priority No. 1

By Jennifer Shelton, director of Western Washington University’s Small Business Development Center What is the one business function that brings in the money for the business to use? The accountant can argue that money management is the key to business success. The production people can argue that without a product there is nothing to sell. [...]

Shared Work, business advising can save jobs in tough times

Filed on 02. Sep, 2010 in Contributors

Shared Work, business advising can save jobs in tough times

By Tom Dorr, director of the Center for Economic Vitality Kay Johnson has been successfully growing her company since 1999. That is until 2008, when the economy turned and she, like many employers, has struggled to survive. Kay’s sales were off over 25 percent and she was cutting costs and hording cash. Her 14 dedicated [...]

Oplinger: The case for opposing the B.C. sales tax exemption

Filed on 30. Jul, 2010 in Contributors

Oplinger: The case for opposing the B.C. sales tax exemption

By Ken Oplinger, president and CEO of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry As a resident of Blaine, the husband of a Canadian, and the friend of dozens of people across the Lower Mainland, I could hardly be called, “anti-Canadian.” That was until I weighed in on the sales tax exemption for B.C. residents. [...]

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bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fc2xpZGVyX2hlYWRpbmc8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBSZWNlbnQgbmV3czwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3RoZW1lbmFtZTwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIFRoZSBKb3VybmFsPC9saT48L3VsPg==