Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Taking the sting out of the need for change

Taking the sting out of the need for change

Sometimes circumstances dictate that we must leave our comfort zones and stop doing things the way we always have.

We definitely are creatures of habit and there is security in doing things the same way year after year after year. Change almost always brings a certain level of discomfort, if not outright pain. But to not change when circumstances demand that change can bring much greater pain to both individuals and businesses.

In the past two years, we have heard from many of our members that they need more direct assistance from the Chamber in trying to attract new business and keep their existing client base. The Chamber responded with a new marketing initiative that places our members at the center of those efforts. We also have worked hard through our Small Business Conference and Forecast Series to bring top-notch speakers together with members to help them assess their business operations and plan for the future. And we have increased the number of networking opportunities at member coffees and business after hours social events.

Fast-forward to 2010, and at least for some segments of the economy, things are starting to look up at least a little bit. We have been encouraged by the number of new businesses joining the chamber, and the talk is finally starting to change ever so slightly from “how do we stay in business” to “what do we need to do to grow our business.”

Building on this optimism, the Chamber has decided to bring back to golf outing, albeit in a slightly different way and format. Working with the Birmingham Country Club, we have fashioned a great event at a significantly reduced cost which should help our members conserve their marketing budgets while receiving an outstanding value.

This year's outing is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 16. One new wrinkle that golfers should appreciate is the ability to play a true round of golf instead of being forced into a scramble format. By limiting the number of participants, we can give our members and their guests more golfing choices. Want to play the course in its purest form? Play your own ball. Want to take advantage of your team's best long-ball hitter? Play your best drive. Want to play in a scramble format? Have at it.
Details on the golf outing and online registration can be found at the chamber website www.bbcc.com.

We hope to see many of our old friends and new members alike share in this great opportunity. Joe Bauman is president of the Birmingham Bloomfield Chamber. He welcomes feedback at joeb@bbcc.com.

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