Jessica Sanchez's avatar
July 2018 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2018-19 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

July 2018

25+ Years

21-24 Years

16-20 Years
Gilbert Chapter of United Mesa Firefighters
State Farm Insurance - Kristi Kiernan

11-15 Years
AlphaGraphics of Gilbert
SanTan Village
Wells Fargo Bank

6-10 Years
A.T. Still University
Approved Plumbing, LLC
FirstBank- East Valley
GameTruck East Valley
Grimaldi's Coal Brick Oven Pizza
Joe's Farm Grill
Mercy Housing Arizona
National Bank of Arizona
Residence Inn by Marriott Phoenix Gilbert
Riggs, Ellsworth & Porter, PLC
Tipton Group Real Estate
Willett CPA

1-5 Years
Adrianne Lynch - Conway Real Estate
All in One Poster Company
ArcanaNetworks, Inc.
Arcas Machine Inc.
Behind the Scene Execs
Breinholt Insurance Group
Burguan Strickman Law, PLLC
Chandler-Gilbert Arc
CleanSlate Centers
Collins Comfort Masters
Cox Advisors, LLC
Cruise Planners - Arizona Cruise & Travel
Delta 4 Benefits
Digital Ignitor
Dignity Health - Ironwood Cancer Center
Doherty Insurance Group
Emerging Insights
Ensign Financial Partners LLC.
Eric Herbert Real Estate
Firehouse Subs - Market Street
Grand Canyon University
HomeSmart - Dawn Garcia
HomeSmart - Dee Wilson
McMeel Insurance
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt - Gilbert Gateway
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Quail Park at Morrison Ranch
Quality Overhead Door Incorporated
S.T.A.R. Concepts
San Tan Memorial Gardens, LLC
Save the Family
Shun the Sun Foundation, Inc.
Southwest Premier Insurance Agency, LLC
The Conservatory of Recording Arts & Sciences
The Elegant Barn
The Flats At San Tan
Union Home Mortgage
Unison Bank How Do You Compete in Business? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
ChristieBoutain's avatar
How Do You Compete in Business?

I was recently asked, “How do you compete with Bank X? They offer such low rates.” I smiled and thought to myself, “I love this question, and I can’t wait to respond!” What was my response? I really don’t compete. At least I don’t see it that way.

The banking industry, as with generally all industries, is highly competitive, highly commoditized, and globally influenced. There are state chartered, nationally chartered, and internationally owned banks with brick and mortar buildings, credit unions, fintech companies, and related services industries that offer bank products, even Amazon. “Bankers’ hours” is a thing of the past, as having access 24/7 is expected. Competition is fierce and not to be ignored. I think we would all be hard pressed to find a business or industry that is competition proof. Before I fly out of the atmosphere, let me bring you back down to Gilbert, Arizona and my conversation.

I went on to explain that I do technically compete, but like I said, I don’t see it that way. I see every situation as an opportunity. An opportunity to share what I’m passionate about. That passion is helping business owners make connections, overcome challenges, solve problems and achieve their financial goals. I know my customer and it’s not going to be every business owner every time, and I’m not going to be the lowest rate.

A business is an extension of a business owner’s heart and soul; their passion. That business is fervently protected, nurtured, developed, and molded over years with blood, sweat and tears. Every business owner encounters competition at some point. One of the best things a business owner can do is to embrace competition and always be prepared for how to handle it.

My husband and I have frequent conversations about competition. In his various entrepreneurial experiences, competition has come and gone and come back again. We talk a lot about the relationships he’s had over the years with his competition. Some of those relationships have grown into mutually beneficial ones where they are there to help each other to serve the customer. There have also been those competitors that have come into the market and have offered services much lower to get business and many others in between. We discuss strategies on how to handle those situations and talk a lot about values, legacy, impacts, benefits, advantages, disadvantages and the impact of the unattainable triangle.

I encourage you to consider competition and the impact of it on your business model. Here are some things you can think about.
  1. Mission, Vision, Purpose, and Values. Have you mapped out your what, why, and who? What is your business? Why does it exist? Who are your customers? What product or service do you provide? Where do you do business? What are your company values? Who is your customer? Having the answers to these questions will help you communicate with your customers and employees, and will help you strategize on competition. It is the foundation for your business where you will build and grow from. You should always consider this in your business model and strategic planning.
  2. Competitive Analysis. Research who your current competition is in your market. Consider potential competitors that might come into your market. Jeff Haden, contributing editor, Inc., has some great tips on competitive analysis for small businesses in his article “How to Write a Great Business Plan: Competitive Analysis.”
  3. Quality, Service and Price. The unattainable triangle. It is well known in the marketing world and plays an important role in business and competition. Knowing what you offer and what your competition offers is critical.
  4. Benefits. The more the merrier? Is there a benefit to your business by having competition? What are the benefits to your customers or the local economy?
  5. Trusted advisors and resources. Reach out to your trusted advisors and resources. Sometimes seeing things from another’s perspective can be eye-opening and extremely insightful. Consider talking to others in your industry who may not be a direct competitor. They may be in your market or outside your market. Think about establishing an advisory board of those people you trust and meet with them on a regular basis.

There are thousands of books and online resources you can access. Do your research. Have the conversations. Don’t dismiss your competition. Embrace them. So, I pose the same question to you that I was asked. How do you compete? Knowing the answer will be invaluable to your business growth and success.
Christie Boutain has a passion for working with business owners and helping them solve problems, build successful enterprises, strong communities, and long-lasting relationships with trusted resources. She is a commercial lender with Gateway Bank and has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years. Christie’s experience in cash flow and operational management, creative financing, and strategic planning has helped businesses and organizations prosper and grow. Christie and her husband, Bryan, along with their two children, live, work and play in Gilbert, Arizona. June 2018 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
June 2018 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

June 2018

25+ Years

21-24 Years
R & K Building Supplies, Inc.

16-20 Years
Firebird Housing Specialists
Imagine Charter School at West Gilbert

11-15 Years
Advance Paper & Maintenance Supply
Wells Fargo Bank

6-10 Years
910 West
Arizona AG Marketing & Consulting Group, INC.
Farm Bureau Financial Services - Nikki Schaal, LUTCF
Friends for Life Animal Rescue
John's Refrigeration
Liberty Market
National Payroll Specialists
San Tan Charter School
Stevenson's Remodel & Home Repair LLC
Zachary Law Group

1-5 Years
Ace Vending, Inc.
Age Less Wellness and Aesthetics Clinic
American Lung Association in Arizona
American Orchards Senior Community
Arizona Spine and Joint Hospital
Barn Walls
Barrio Brewing Co.
Brian's Arizona Bread
Checklist Inspections
Elaine Kessler Photography
Erik Geisler REALTOR®
Executive Digital
Gordian Networks
Guild Mortgage Company - Karen Camblin
Hampton Inn & Suites East Mesa
Inspire Professional Development & Consulting, LLC
Law Office of Allyn Langford, PLLC
Legacy Traditional School
M & M Lighting LLC
N2 Publishing - Matt Dallas
Native Grill and Wings
NexMetro Communities
NextCare Urgent Care
School of Rock
Team Afterburn
The Spectrum Group at Revelation Real Estate
Thrive Coworking for Women
TotSpot Preschool
Transamerica Financial Group Troy Hatch
Ultra Brite Home Services, LLC 3 Things You’re Doing Wrong with Customer Feedback - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
JasmineHolmes's avatar
3 Things You’re Doing Wrong with Customer Feedback

It's no longer a question of if you should but how to ask for feedback from customers. Whether they're coming from searches, ads or referrals, feedback in the form of testimonials and reviews is critical to getting new customers. Every business large or small needs a customer feedback system.

Let Me Back Up a Second

I've had customer feedback on my brain for some time now. Imagine my delight when at the May GEM talk, Tuft & Needle Founder, JT Marino, shared how they based the company's entire R and D process on customer feedback.

It's no surprise that a company known for disruption threw out the rule book when developing their product. JT told us how T&N started as a website (with no product) to test the consumer response to buying a mattress online. He was shocked to receive the first order within hours of launching.

He now knew for certain that consumers did want what he was selling. And a cycle of customer feedback and innovation was born.

Unlike a lot of businesses, T&N doesn't do months or years of testing before releasing a new product. They get mattresses into the hands of their customers as quickly as possible and rely on feedback to improve.

If you've followed Tuft & Needle's meteoric rise, it's clear that JT has found a formula for success. He's built a business based on customer feedback and you should, too.

The challenge with creating a businesses centered on customer feedback is that you're probably doing at least one of these three things wrong.

#1: You're Afraid to Ask

From my perspective, there's no way around it, customer behavior has changed. Consumers of all ages are "shopping" online. Whether it's a product or service, we rely on online information to not only find great providers but to vet those to whom we are referred in the real world.

For the typical small business, most (if not all) of your business should come in the form on referrals (real world and digital). It's the vetting piece that makes customer feedback so important to businesses who rely on referrals. It doesn't matter how much we trust a referral, it's become second nature to confirm what we hear by checking out a business' online reputation.

Testimonials and reviews (customer feedback) are the stick that prospects are using to measure your business against the competition. If you're not regularly asking for customer feedback, you're never going to build the reputation that modern consumers expect.

I get it. Asking for feedback is hard ... really hard. I'm the worst about asking for feedback. It's not because of the good things my clients will say. And I know they will. They tell me all the time. It's the customer I thought was happy but then tells me otherwise that gives me pause.

Asking for feedback takes bravery and confidence because there is no doubt that you are going to do bad along with good. Bottom line, you have to develop thick skin; get over the fear and start asking.

#2: You're on Autopilot

Everything about customer feedback is difficult. That's why it's so important and so easy to dismiss. It's like working out. (Truth time: raise your hand if you have a gym membership but haven't been there in over six months.)

Customer feedback systems are a lot like gym memberships. We set them up with the best of intentions. We work out one time and hobble around the office for a week. And never go back. You justify it by telling yourself,
  • "I'll go back there when I'm not sore anymore."
  • "I'll get back into my routine as soon as this big project is finished."
  • "I'll do it as soon as the kids' soccer season is over."
Six months go by; you finally have the "time" to work out; you go back to gym, work out one time, hobble around the office for a week, and are back in the same vicious cycle.

Just like working out, that first time you ask for customer feedback is going to hurt. You're going to want to find reasons to stop. But here's the thing, just like working out, if you keep doing it (without waiting six months each time), asking for feedback gets easier.

How to Ask for Feedback from Customers

When I talk about feedback and reviews with customers, the first question is always how. How do I ask? How often do I ask?

Let me make this really easy. It doesn't matter how you ask for feedback from customers. The most important part is that you ask every customer, and you ask again, and you ask again, and again, and again ...

I'm not suggesting that you be obnoxious or annoying, but you do need to ask and keep asking for customer feedback. You can't give up the first time you get a negative comment or when 9 out of 10 customers don't respond. That's what makes customer feedback so challenging and why it needs to be integrated into every part (and embraced by every person) in your business.

#3: You Take It Personally

We've already established that asking for customer feedback means you're to get responses you don't want to hear or don't expect. It's a critical part of the process. There's no way to exceed expectations if you don't know where you're falling short.

Your business is your baby. If you're a typical small business, you spend as much time (or more) on your business as you do with your family. Nobody likes to be told they have an ugly baby (literally or figuratively).
Let's be brutally honest for a second. You make mistakes. We all make mistakes. It happens. If you're going to be successful in business, you have to own your mistakes. This means that you actually hear what customers have to say.

I'm not suggesting that it's all your fault. Some customers can't be satisfied no matter how hard you work. That's OK.

Either way, you can't get defensive or angry when a customer says something you don't want to hear. Responding from a place of negativity is going to get you into a lot of trouble, really fast.

You can't control (nor should you) what people say about your business. You can control how you respond to these comments.

Try to be objective about customer feedback—chances are the fault lies somewhere between the two of you. And if you can't distance yourself, get outside help. A public argument with a customer is far worse than a negative comment without a response.

Customer Feedback Isn't a Four Letter Word

The world of marketing is experiencing some major shifts. (Check out my previous article Walled Gardens are Changing Online Marketing for Small Business for more about this.)

Customer feedback must be a center point to any marketing strategy. If you don't have a customer feedback system, it's time to implement one. It's going to be hard, but if you stick with it and keep an open mind, customer feedback will grow your business.

In the spirit of feedback, post a comment about this article using the share button below or directly on my social media profiles:
About the Author: Jasmine Holmes

With over 15 years of graphic design and marketing experience, Jasmine Holmes loves being able to say, “I’m older than I look.”

Jasmine is the owner of 910 West, an online marketing company serving small businesses in Gilbert and throughout the US. It is her combined experience in traditional print and online marketing that sets 910 West apart from the competition and makes Jasmine a marketing expert.

At 910 West, she works with a talented team to deliver small business digital marketing essentials: local search, email marketing, and brand development. Learn more about 910 West at

When not working, you might find her at a farmer’s market buying locally grown veggies. Jasmine passionately believes in the power of small business and loves working with them to create lasting success. 2018 Back To School Supply Drive - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Sarah Watts's avatar
2018 Back To School Supply Drive

The Gilbert Fire Department, Banner Health, and the Gilbert Chamber Foundation are teaming up to organize a Back-To-School Supply Drive to benefit the 225 homeless families enrolled in Gilbert Public Schools. The drive will run from June 25th thru July 25th and will culminate in a collection day where the families can come to the school district to pick up the supplies they need at no cost. There are several opportunities for you and your business to support this effort…

1. We are hoping to expand the collection day to include haircuts, dental exams, immunizations, and more. If you have a product or service that you would be willing to provide to students and their families (free) on this day, please let us know how you’d like to participate. The event will operate in three shifts on Wednesday, July 25th: 8:00 am to 11:30 am; 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm; and 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm. We invite you to participate in one or more shifts. Pre-registration is required to

2. There are items that we hope to make available to students and their families that are in addition to school supplies. Please consider making a donation of these items. Items can be delivered to the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.
  • USB Drives
  • Baby Wipes
  • Towels
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Hygiene products/Feminine hygiene items
  • Personal care products – deodorant, brushes, combs, toothbrushes, toothpaste
  • Grocery, restaurant or gas gift cards
  • Coupons for free products or services

3. We need volunteers to help in the following areas:
  • Donation Sorting – times available for 7/18, 7/19, 7/23, and 7/24
  • Shopping with Students – we are looking for community members to join our Gilbert Fire Department for a shopping event on July 27th at 8:30 AM. Volunteers will need to contribute $150 to participate and will personally shop with a student in need for items including clothing and shoes.
  • To sign up for these volunteer opportunities, please click here:
In addition to the items listed above, community partners are working to collect the school supplies. Drop off locations include Gilbert Fire Stations, the Town of Gilbert Municpal Building, Southeast Regional Library, Gilbert-area Walgreens, and the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce.

May 2018 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
May 2018 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

May 2018

25+ Years
Southwest Gas Corporation
Wells Fargo Bank

21-24 Years

16-20 Years
Gilbert Rotary Club
Tomar Electronics
UMB Bank

11-15 Years
Carrabba's Italian Grill
Charleston's Restaurant
Pet Butler Arizona
The Edge at Lyon's Gate

6-10 Years
BRIO Tuscan Grille
Chick-fil-A at Gilbert Gateway Towne Center
Gilbert Cardiology
Oregano's Pizza Bistro, Inc.
TNT Shredding LLC.

1-5 Years
Ancient Oils - Modern Healing
AZCOMP Technologies
Banner Home Care and Hospice
Ben and Julie Koerner Team
Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More
Body Restoration Medical Massage Clinic
Buddyz Pizza
Cruise Planners- The Spectrum Group
Expert Maintenance Systems, Inc.
First Arizona Title Agency
Freestyle Fitness
Gentle 1 Interior Designs
Gentle Dental
Girl Scouts- Arizona Cactus Pine Council
HR 1Source, LLC
JB Water Plumbing & Water Treatment
Kneaders Bakery & Cafe
M.R. Tanner Construction
Main Event Entertainment
Mariposa Point of Gilbert
Mountain America Credit Union
Mr. Honey Do Services
Plankowner Enterprises LLC
Popeye's Chicken
Popeye's Chicken
ReMax Infinity
Renaissance Community Partners
SendOut Cards
Shoppers Supply
SPACE by Rocket
State Farm Insurance
Thai Chili 2 Go
The Falls Event Center, LLC
The Well Chiropractic Clinic
Triple Helix Investigations, LLC.
True REST Float Spa
Walmart Store 3861
Western Skies Golf Club WHAT’S IN A TITLE? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
NatalieBowers's avatar

When you look at your bank statement, are you solely looking at the balances and transactions? Oftentimes, one of the most important pieces of information on the bank statement is how that account is titled. The bank statement and the new account agreement, also commonly known as a signature card, are the legal documents for your deposit accounts held at your banking institution. These two documents direct the ownership of your money and your distribution preferences should anything happen to you. They also direct how much insurance the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) will cover the specifically titled account. This is applicable for both personal and business deposit accounts.

An account’s legal title is usually only scrutinized or questioned when a significant life event occurs to the owner of the money within the account. These life events come in all forms. Marriage, divorce, death, beneficiary change and estate planning are some of the common factors that affect how your deposit accounts should be titled.

You can prepare for such events by understanding some basic account title types that direct your bank on how the money in your deposit accounts should be owned and distributed. While there are numerous reasons why people and businesses title their accounts a certain way, today we will explore just a few of the most common legal titles of a deposit account held at an FDIC insured bank.

Sole Owner titled accounts are just that. Owned solely by you. No one else can touch the money while you are alive. This also means a direct beneficiary is not named. The bank will be at the mercy of any court issued, legal documents to direct them on how the funds should be dispersed in the event of incapacitation or death. There is also the chance that the bank will not be notified of such an event and the account could potentially go into an “inactive” and/or “dormant” status. Once the allotted time for dormancy has expired, the funds will be escheated to the appropriate authorities. This is usually in the state of owner’s residency. Each bank has their terms and conditions on how they handle dormant accounts.

Joint Tenancy titled accounts are like Sole Owner titled accounts; however, this ownership designation will allow two or more people to have authorization to access the account. Oftentimes, one person can act independently from the other to withdraw money from a Joint Tenancy titled account. Each bank has their own terms on whether both signers are required together or separately to access the funds. This also includes the authority to close the account.

Individual and Joint Totten Trust, also known as “Payable on Death” or “In Trust For”, are accounts that are informally naming designated beneficiaries. They are like the Sole Owner and Joint Tenancy accounts listed above; however, they go a step further and specifically name one or more persons to receive the funds in the event of the owners’ death(s). The named beneficiaries do not have access to the funds during the lifetime of the owner(s). This account title differs from a formal family or living trust in that no documentation is required to have this type of ownership. Usually, a banker will only need a few pieces of identifiable information for the chosen beneficiaries such as name, date of birth and/or social security numbers. Each bank has their own terms regarding this type of legal title.

Business Account titles can vary based upon how the entity is formed. Business entities are formed as Sole Proprietorships, Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, Non-Profits, Fiduciaries, Lawyer’s Trusts, etc. Each entity has their own importance of why they are formed this way and are sometimes strategically planned for tax or liability purposes. Banks follow certain documentation requirements to determine ownership of the entity, the account and how the funds are to be dispersed when the business or entity is sold, transferred, dissolved or affected by a significant life event such as described above.

When determining ownership of your money, it is good advice to seek counsel from an Estate Planning Attorney, Business Attorney, Certified Public Accountant and your banker. This way, when you view your bank statement, you can have peace of mind that your accounts and money are owned and directed according to your intentions. For more information on legal titles for bank accounts, the following websites help provide assistance:,,,, and and

Natalie Bowers is an Assistant Vice President and the Branch Manager at Parkway Bank located in Gilbert, AZ. With close to 20 years in the retail banking industry, Natalie is passionate about financial literacy. Her expertise is in retail banking for personal and business account holders. She enjoys working with entrepreneurs, small business owners and people who have a vested interest in how their money is safeguarded within a trusted, financial institution. April 2018 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
April 2018 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

April 2018

25+ Years
A & P Nursery & Lawnmower Shop
Falconer Funeral Home
Gilbert Veterinary Hospital, P.C.
Sam's Club
State Farm Insurance - JoAnn Saba Alvarez
Wells Fargo Bank

21-24 Years

16-20 Years
Arizona State University, Polytechnic Campus
Costco Wholesale # 481
Cox Communications
Landings Credit Union

11-15 Years
Villa Siena

6-10 Years
Arizona Hardwood Floor Supply
Best Western Legacy Inn & Suites
Dream Vacations - Karen Coleman-Ostrov
Magic Pest Control
Monarch Medical Group PLLC
Seville Golf and Country Club
The I.T. Workshop, LLC
The Nitro Live Icecreamery
VIP Airsoft Arena
Wilson-Goodman Law Group, PLLC

1-5 Years
Aflac - Emily Evans
Arizona Bank and Trust
Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
Atlas Health Medical Group
Bay Equity Home Loans Gilbert - Boles Group
Buffalo Media
Canyon Lands Insurance
Center for Dermatology & Plastic Surgery
Colair Beauty Lounge and Med Spa
Edward Jones - Mallory Reis
Holly Pritulsky Agency
Insurance Rx
Joyride Taco House
Liv Northgate
Living Spaces
MedPost Urgent Care
Office Depot OfficeMax
Popeye's Chicken
Prudential Insurance
Rise Up Bakery
Rocky Mountain Restoration
Servpro of Gilbert and Chandler South
Sharp Creek Contracting, Inc.
Sun Valley Medical Billing, LLC
Sweetz Cold Brew Coffee Co
Town Commons Apartments
Treehouse Marketing Group
True Home Maintenance Air Conditioning & Heating, LLC
Win Media Group
Zappone's Italian Bistro
Zippy Entertainment Ready to Hire a Salesperson? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
DianaElarde's avatar
Ready to Hire a Salesperson?

Caught in the feast or famine cycle? What to concentrate on – new business or daily management – can translate into high sales or little at all. Is it time consider how to hire a salesperson? The right person can provide a continuous stream of business and eliminate the pressure of your trying to do it all.

While the feast/famine cycle may be one indication you need sales help, other tell-tale signs will often abound. Is the time devoted to finding new business affecting the quality of service with existing clients? Has response time for returning messages reached a frustration level? Clients and potential clients are the lifeline of a company. When people have to wait too long for a response, they will go elsewhere for their needs.

Relationships with networking partners could also offer some clues. Good partnering means timely responses to referrals. In one networking group, a successful realtor had developed a partner relationship with a home inspector. Initially, feedback from her clients was good. But as the home inspector’s business grew, so did the amount of time he took to follow up. Delays and excuses became the norm. The realtor experienced a backlash from clients complaining about his lack of responsiveness. Disenchanted and concerned for her reputation, the realtor decided she could no longer refer the home inspector.

Another sign: how is your overall attitude towards business development activities? Are cold calls or follow-up calls and emails relegated to the last activity of the day or maybe not at all? Does attending the weekly network meeting create dread and anxiety? Perhaps passing the torch to a sales person who loves the challenge of these events and connects well with others would be a better idea. This is an ideal time to think about how to hire a salesperson.

Finally, spend some time evaluating the business development numbers necessary to stay on track for success for you or a new sales person. Work the numbers backwards, starting from the revenue needed every month. This is a good method to create solid activity for success. For example:

Monthly Sales Goal                                     $50,000 in sales
Average Sale Price                                     $10,000
Number of Clients Needed Month           5
How many calls/contacts needed to
secure one new client?                             70 (will vary)
Closing ratio with potential clients         20%, 80% (determine goal)

Note that the number of monthly calls and contacts will vary. At the inception of a business, this number is usually quite high to develop business. At time continues, you or the sales person should get better at closing business.

Knowing and understanding these numbers is critical; it can be the determining factor if your business is successful or not. It also can give you the magic number of what activity is necessary for business development and success. These numbers need to be tracked daily and reviewed weekly without fail.

Business development takes time and energy. Before the situation negatively impacts the future of the business, the smart business owner needs to heed the signs. The feast or famine cycle, complaints from clients or networking partners, development numbers falling short, all could be saying it is time to edit the business plan. Adding a sales person might be the right step to elevate the business to the next level!

Diana Creel Elarde, Emerging Insights, has 20 years’ experience in sales and sales management. Today she is a PSYCH-K® facilitator at and writes for several publications. You can reach Diana at Parts of this article previously published in Corp Magazine. Walled Gardens Are Changing Online Marketing for Small Business - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
JasmineHolmes's avatar
Walled Gardens Are Changing Online Marketing for Small Business

As an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, hearing someone talk about walled gardens always brings to mind visions of clandestine hideouts filled with exotic plants and magical creatures. Oh, how I wish they were talking about a fantasy wonderland, but they're not ...

Fundamentals and Faeries
The term walled garden is being used a lot in digital marketing. I don't normally put a lot of stock in staying on top of the latest buzzwords and trends in my industry; I'm a traditionalist when it comes to marketing. There are certain fundamentals that never change—focus on those and leave chasing trends to your competitors.

And for most small businesses, this is the only way to do marketing. You don't have the resources to chase the latest "it" marketing trick. Though you may get a quick fix, in the long run you usually end up worse than had you done nothing.

And that brings me back to walled gardens because this is a trend that small businesses need to be aware of and pay attention to. In a nutshell, two of the biggest players in the digital world, Google and Facebook, have been slowly but methodically building walls around their content.

The Walls Between Us
Let's start with Facebook. If you're not familiar with the announcement in January that turned Facebook marketing on its head, read Social Media Examiner's Facebook Zero post to get up to speed. Facebook wants to be a publisher, not a curator of content. They want users to post new and unique content that keeps viewers on the site. (Do you get it now? Facebook is building a magical, fairy filled walled garden that you never want to leave.)

Google is making similar moves, though they've not made any overt announcements. They are pushing the "page 1" experience, wanting to provide as much information as possible on the first search page of search results. Great for users because they can find all the info they want in one place. Not so great for your website because searchers no longer have a reason to visit.

Time to Shift
What does this mean for online marketing for small business? You are going to have to make a fundamental shift in how you approach digital marketing. For better or worse, Facebook – and especially Google – owns the marketplace. We can't ignore their walled gardens and hope the go away. You need to step outside your own walled garden: your company website.

I see this as an opportunity. Frankly, online marketing for small business had gotten a little stale. These moves by two of the major players create an amazing opportunity for the small business that's willing and open to creating a new marketing plan. There's still so much you can do to get found by your ideal customer, but it's going to focus less on your website (yes you still need one) and more on how you get content into these walled gardens.

If you're ready to explore your online marketing options, I'd love to talk with you. You can find out more about me and my company, 910 West, at or 480.219.9069.

About the Author: Jasmine Holmes
With over 15 years of graphic design and marketing experience, Jasmine Holmes loves being able to say, “I’m older than I look.”

Jasmine is the owner of 910 West, an online marketing company serving small businesses in Gilbert and throughout the US. It is her combined experience in traditional print and online marketing that sets 910 West apart from the competition and makes Jasmine a marketing expert.

At 910 West, she works with a talented team to deliver small business digital marketing essentials: local search, email marketing, and brand development.

When not working, you might find her at a farmer’s market buying locally grown veggies. Jasmine passionately believes in the power of small business and loves working with them to create lasting success. UPDATE:  Minimum Wage/Sick Leave Referendum DOA Due to Politics and Price Tag of $5M Campaign - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Kathy Tilque's avatar
UPDATE:  Minimum Wage/Sick Leave Referendum DOA Due to Politics and Price Tag of $5M Campaign

After several months of supporting SCR 1016, which would have sent to the voters the opportunity to freeze the minimum wage, repeal the sick leave mandate and retribution portions of the approved ballot measure from 2016, the bill has been stalled and will not be advanced. Politically, it is an election year and there is not the will at the Capitol to have this item included on the ballot alongside candidate elections. The Gilbert Chamber and EVCCA led a charge to keep this referendum moving and reached out to Chambers across the state to join in this effort. The financial reality of running a state-wide campaign would have required funding directly from the business community and those businesses must have been willing to have their business name out front in this effort:
  • Cost to conduct an initial statewide poll would be $2,500 per question (anticipated $125,000 for a full poll with the number of questions needed)
  • Cost to run the campaign would be at least $5 million
  • As of right now, no other organization has indicated the willingness to put in the necessary resources to run a campaign
  • The opposition has already organized to submit hundreds of letters against the referendum and is ready to publicly fight this again.

The Gilbert Chamber gave this a good fight and took the lead in championing a change and support for small businesses.  Unfortunately, it did not work out.  We are disappointed to say the least; however, we wanted to ensure you understood the realities of the politics, financial, and reputation obstacles we have tried to overcome. We will continue to look for opportunities to ease the burden on businesses as a result of this and other mandates. SCORE Counseling Available In Gilbert - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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SCORE Counseling Available In Gilbert

In conjunction with the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, SCORE offers FREE Counseling to small businesses in Gilbert.

SCORE was founded over 50 years ago as “Service Corp of Retired Executives” as a part of the Small Business Administration. Over the years, SCORE has become an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit that is funded today by grants, foundations, contributions, and in part by the Small Business Administration. All counselors are volunteers and there is never any charge for counseling. There are over 20,000 counselors in the United States today.

Counselors come to SCORE with many years of business experience. Fields of experience range from accounting to legal, trademarks to engineering, manufacturing and marketing to education, medicine to real estate, and even non-profits. SCORE has over 60 counselors in the greater Phoenix area with a diverse range of expertise.
From startups to long time businesses, no matter how long you have been in business, SCORE can help. Whether you need help with business plans, budgeting, forecasting, marketing, advertising, or anything else, SCORE counselors are available. SCORE can also help if your needs are for legal guidance, trademark advice, or many other business specialties. All you need to do is make a Mentor Request online at the SCORE website (

Gilbert is fortunate to have two highly experienced business people as SCORE counselors available to Gilbert Chamber of Commerce members. They are part of Greater Phoenix SCORE, which is Chapter 105 in the SCORE National Organization. Counseling is at EZ Spaces (1530 E. Williams Field Rd. #201, Gilbert, AZ 85295), in space provided by the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, on Wednesday and Thursday mornings by appointment only. Appointments can be made on the SCORE Website for Wednesday mornings, and by calling 480-299-6389 for Thursday mornings.

Counseling on Wednesday mornings is with Mr. Richard Campbell. Richard is a partner in investment banking and has been a printing executive for a billion dollar company. He is focused on sales and marketing and has a BA and an MBA. He is on the Board of Directors of Banner Foundation and the Fiesta Bowl.

On Thursday mornings, Mr. Larry Goldsmith is the SCORE counselor. Larry has over 40 years of food and food service experience, in addition to more than 10 years as a consultant. He focuses on sales, marketing, and business planning.

Help is available for you and your business! You just have to ask. No matter how young or old your business is, no matter how small or large the problem, SCORE can help. March 2018 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
March 2018 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

March 2018

25+ Years

21-24 Years
Barnes Fine Jewelers
Gilbert Boys & Girls Club
International Minute Press of Gilbert

16-20 Years

11-15 Years
Arizona Animal Wellness Center
Hale Centre Theatre
Rayhons Financial Solutions / Voya Financial Advisors

6-10 Years
4th Wall Productions, LLC.
CertaPro Painters of Gilbert
Extra Mile Floor Care
Leading Edge Academy & Gilbert Early College
Resource Leadership Group
Sante' of Mesa
Savante Salon
Silver Creek Inn Memory Care
Sunrise Urology, PC
Superstition Lakes Dental
Superstition Springs Golf Club
Z Physique LLC

1-5 Years
American Leadership  Academy
Arizona's Dukes of Air, LLC
B5 Motors
Barrio Queen
BHB Remodel & Renovation
Bobby-Q II LLC
Chandler/Gilbert Family YMCA
Creo School
Daley Connections, LLC
Done Your Way Carpet Cleaning
Eternal Event Design
GATHr Publishing Inc
Heritage Pointe Apartment Homes
Horizon Community Bank
ICD Everything LLC
Independent Appliance Repair DBA MSM Technologies
LegalShield-Donna Sparaco
Life Vantage
Mosaic Properties
NextHome Source
Peoples Mortgage Company
Rapid Restoration and Construction, LLC
Sandra Sienkiewicz with HomeSmart
Shoreline Financial Services of Arizona
Strong Tower Insurance Group
Studio Fortis
Tempe Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Kia
Teriyaki Madness
The Grandview Group
The Window Broker
Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill
Thrivent Financial - Warner Ranch Group
Water Heaters West
Whiskey Row Gilbert
Withey Morris, PLLC
Y FIT Fitness Training TAX LAW Changes That Affect 2017 - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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TAX LAW Changes That Affect 2017

Did you know that the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018” signed on February 9, 2018 and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed on December 22, 2017 have provisions that affect 2017 taxes?

CONGRESS passes “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018” on February 9, 2018

This 2018 law affects some provisions of Tax Law for 2017
Early this morning, February 9, 2018: The US Congress passed and President Trump signed the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018” (BBA). This has some impact on individuals and businesses for 2017 in its 652 pages. Primarily, this act extended some deductions that had expired on December 31, 2016, but now will expire December 31, 2017.

So why would Congress use a 2018 law to change 2017 tax law, when less than two months earlier Congress passed a massive overhaul of the tax code? Simply put, it deals with the way Congress is passing the law to get around a 60 vote in the Senate. Now, we turn to some of the changes enacted in 2018 that affect 2017.

Some of the changes now back in the law through December 31, 2017 are:
  1. Mortgage insurance premiums
  2. Above-the-line deduction for qualified tuition and education expenses
  3. Exclusion from income of discharge of qualified principal residence indebtedness
  4. Nonbusiness energy property credit
  5. Energy efficient new homes credit
If you paid mortgage insurance premiums, they are now deductible for 2017. Most mortgage companies did not report this since it was not the law, but now it is. So you may likely see a revised mortgage statement 1098 for the 2017 tax year. If you paid mortgage insurance premiums, you should gather the information. Tax software including the IRS computers is not set up to accept this just yet, so you can see some changes coming during the filing season that are already in progress.

This BBA also calls on the IRS to create a new tax form for seniors (presumably those over age 65). We will see what transpires throughout this year as to what that form will look like.

This February 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 comes on the heels of the December 2017 “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (TCJA) passed on December 22, 2017. The TCJA does impact some deductions for 2017, but mainly affects 2018 (more on that later). Here are some of the 2017 deduction changes:
  • 100% Bonus Depreciation for purchases after September 27, 2017
  • Medical Expense Deduction limit lowered to 7.5% of adjusted gross income (instead of the 10%)
  • Loan refinances after 12/15/17

TAX Overhaul

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed December 22, 2017

The new tax law has sweeping effects for 2018 and some for 2017 that were discussed above. Here are some highlights of the changes for 2018:
  • 21% Corporate tax rate. Lowers corporate tax rate to a flat 21%; no tiers, so corporations with income below $100,000 will see a tax increase while those above that level will see a decrease in tax.
  • 20% Qualified Business Income Deduction (different from rate reduction). This was enacted to help small businesses that are pass-through entities (S-corps, LLCs) come close to the new lowered corporate rate.
  • Personal rates are lowering
  • Standard Itemized Deduction almost doubles
  • Child Tax credit doubles
  • Personal exemptions are now no longer

S-Corporations and LLCs have an opportunity to have up to a 20% qualified business income deduction. The calculation is not a simple 20% of net income unless the owner’s taxable income is below $157,500 for single taxpayers and $315,000 for married filing joint taxpayers.

If you are over those thresholds, you then have some limits on the 20% deduction. You will need to look at total payroll paid, as this could be a limiting factor. In addition, another limiting factor that could come into play deals with a calculation dealing with a percentage of assets in the business (this limit will be for very few small businesses, so it’s not discussed here). Also, this deduction is limited to positive taxable income. In other words, you will not create a loss with this 20% deduction and any excess not deducted this year is not carried forward into the next year; you lose the unused deduction. When a business has a tax loss in a year, it carries forward to the next year and will have an effect of reducing the 20% deduction in the next year.

Small businesses in certain lines of business will not receive a 20% deduction for qualified business income deduction once their taxable income is above $207,500 for individuals or $415,000 for married filing separate returns. Those industries are: Health, Law, Accounting, Consulting, Performing Arts, Actuarial Services, Athletics, Financial Services, and Brokerage Services.

Ralph Willett has been a CPA for over 30 years. He started his career with a big international accounting firm. He then was CFO of several companies, one of which manufactured a product you would recognize: the “Little Giant Ladder System”. Ralph helped that company grow by over 1,000% by selling the product on TV. He is involved in the community and is President Elect of the Entrepreneurial CPAs here in Phoenix. He also serves on the Board of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce and is on the Gilbert Chamber Public Policy Committee.

Visit to learn more or contact Ralph directly at (480) 699-2308.
February 2018 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
February 2018 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

February 2018

25+ Years
Norwood Furniture
Pure Comfort Mattress

21-24 Years

16-20 Years
The Leadership Centre
Wells Fargo Bank

11-15 Years
Bowlero Gilbert
Brechbill Consulting, LLC
Costco Wholesale # 644
Mariposa Gardens Memorial Park & Funeral Care
Wildflower Bread Company

6-10 Years
Banner Neuro Wellness
Double Tree by Hilton Phoenix-Gilbert & San Tan Elegant Conference Center
Edward Jones - Ray Thompson Financial Advisor
Gift Baskets of Scottsdale, LLC
Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix-Gilbert
Henry Brown Automotive Group
Hyatt Place Phoenix / Gilbert
Newman Realty
Presidential Pools, Spas & Patio
Valley Women for Women OB/GYN
Whitestone Reit

1-5 Years
2UTire & Wheel
American Cancer Society
Bailey IT Solutions, LLC
Bold Roost Cafe
Cantor Crane - Personal Injury Lawyers
Desert Schools Federal Credit Union - SanTan Village
Fat Cats Entertainment Center
Gateway Executive Suites
Guild Mortgage Company - Jason Casaus
Isagenix International
Jester's Billiards
Joshua Development
L & D Refrigeration Inc.
LuLaRoe Rebecca Powell
Peoples Mortgage
Red Wing Shoes
Rigid Industries
Rio Rico Mexican Grill
San Tan Mountain View Funeral Home & Advance Planning Center
Southwestern Retirement Planning Advisors, Inc.
The Therapy Farm, LLC.
USA BMX The Benefits of Investing in Your People - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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The Benefits of Investing in Your People


“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams

Gallup, one of the top global performance-management consulting companies known for its public opinion polls conducted worldwide, shares that the number one reason why people quit their jobs is that they are not able to learn and grow.  From career advancement, promotional opportunities, learning, training, and development, this is a craving embedded within each of us as human beings as are wired to achieve.  Additionally, we have a fundamental need to be appreciated and understood which makes learning how to effectively invest in the growth and development of your people such a critical component to any leader’s daily agenda.

No matter how large your ship is, whether you are a small business owner, or you are the CEO of a 4,000 person company, people perform at their highest level when they are utilizing their natural strengths and talents, and applying those to something meaningful, purposeful. 

So how does a leader identify those and do as John Quincy Adams states-inspire them to dream more, learn more, and become more?  How does a leader keep a pulse on the level of engagement the employee is really at any given time? 

Jim Rohn, who was a famous American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker, was constantly guiding others to “work harder on yourself than you do on your job” as he knew that our ability to enjoy a richer quality of life and reap the rewards of a thriving business first came from the thriving individuals within it.

Investing in your people, including yourself, yields an endless amount of benefits. First and foremost, there are many tools out there that help you identify both your core strengths and those on your team that can change the dynamic of how you establish and foster the relationships you build on your team.  Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment, now taken by more than 17.8 million people worldwide, gets to the core of who we are, how we tick, and sheds a light on how we are all uniquely designed.  As a leader, if you can learn just how to utilize each individual team member’s strengths, it will both enhance the influence you have as a leader and help you work towards creating a synergistic power among team members.  If you hired people with all the same strengths, it would be challenging to add different perspectives and value to the team.  Utilizing tools like this demonstrates to an employee that you see their individual value and potential to contribute to the team.  Allowing them to exercise those strengths is energizing and, the more effective you become at drawing those out, the more you will see them perform at higher and higher levels.

Expressing gratitude for your people’s work and contribution, is also a critical component to the level of value and worth they feel.  When you invest in your time visiting with them individually on a regular basis and call out the good in what you've observed, you are building a positive reservoir within them that gets them excited to perform.  Whether you visit with them weekly or bi-weekly, your goal is to empower them, inspire them, and discover what they need to keep learning and growing.  Keep feeding that craving they have inside to achieve and be appreciated for their efforts.  That may mean offering a good book in areas they are struggling, aving them partner with another teammate whose strengths can add value to their mental state or overall performance, or maybe sending them to a seminar or workshop that adds new tools to their tool belt to utilize. 
If you are familiar with the success principle of building synergy, you have already discovered a power at work that, once harnessed, this force can carry you to higher levels of achievement and prosperity. When you invest in building  a synergy within each of the forces that make up your team and get everyone to  work together in a positive and harmonious way, you will create a power far greater than the sum of the individual powers.  The keywords being positive, and harmonious.  If joint efforts embody these ingredients, they will complement one another.  However large you want your ship to grow, if you are to be successful in building a strong team to significantly impact the sustainability of your growth, you have to invest your time, be supportive, encouraging, and work towards a common purpose. 

Clarity is the engine of productivity.  When you are clear with your vision, mission, values, and identify the people out there who share those values, are excited by your vision and mission, you will build a team invested in YOU.  Invest in getting clear, invest in yourself, and invest in those you invite on your ship.  Together, you will soar to seas beyond what you ever imagined discovering!   

Author Bio

Erica Ballesteros is a Synergy & Development Specialist with Joshua Development and is driven by a meaningful purpose to make a positive difference in this world and fulfill the JDev EDGE-Enhancing & Developing the Greatness in Everyone.  She lives with her two little dudes, Diego & Mateo, in Queen Creek, AZ and currently plays in active role in her community to impact the development of our future workforce.  Follow her on the Joshua Development page at:

Sources: How Aware Are You? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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How Aware Are You?

By Tiffany Bellows, Independent Damsel in Defense Pro

Tiffany is a wife, mother of 3 boys & 2 dogs, full-time employee at Boeing, and a loyal Sun Devil. Her passion is to equip women to reduce their risk of violence, educate them on the dangers of distractions and tricky people, and empower women to defend themselves. Damsel in Defense gives her the freedom to let her creativity shine.

How aware are you walking to your car from the grocery store? Are you texting or talking on your cell phone? Did you notice if someone is sitting in the car parked next to yours? When you unlock your doors, do they all unlock at the same time? Do you leave your purse in the grocery cart when you’re unloading? Would you see or hear someone if they ran up to you and tried to push you in the trunk? These are all aspects you should be aware of when conducting such a simple task, no matter what town you live in or the time of day.

You were taught at a very young age to stop, drop, and roll if on fire. However, would you know what to do if approached by an attacker? Would you notice him (or her)? Situational Awareness is a skill. You can learn to be situationally aware by paying attention to the world around you. To achieve this, you need to scan the environment and sense danger, while maintaining the ability to conduct normal activities. If you choose to pay attention, your brain removes the filter between your subconscious and your conscious. This process is called the Reticular Activating System (RAS). By simply telling yourself to “pay attention”, the RAS will scan your brain for, and acknowledge, potential danger when it encounters it. Being able to develop situational awareness is dependent on knowing your environment. Once you know your environment, your mind will recognize disturbances that represent a specific threat or opportunity.

Many women choose to ignore the presence of danger because they think “Nothing has ever happened to me before, so nothing is likely to happen.” This is called the Normalcy Bias. 1 in 12 women are stalked, most not even knowing it. Ten years ago this statistic was 1 in 30. The advent of social media has mapped predators directly to you. Another interrupter of activating your RAS is called Focus Lock. This happens when you are distracted by something that blocks your awareness and all other stimuli. So put away your cell phone!

Let’s go back to the parking lot example, but now with your RAS engaged! This time you walk to your car with your purse around your chest, phone put away, and keys in hand. While walking you’re looking in the cars around you, including yours. You unlock only the trunk, leaving your car doors locked. While loading your trunk, you’re keeping your back to the trunk and continuously looking up and around. After returning the cart, you unlock just the driver door, get in, then immediately lock your door and drive away.

These tips might seem “common sense”, and they are, but technology has morphed into an obstacle you didn’t sign up for! If your cell phone distracts you from driving, wouldn’t it distract you from noticing the creepy guy nonchalantly following you in the store? So put your cell phone away and remind yourself to pay attention, it just might save your life. January 2018 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
January 2018 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

January 2018

25+ Years

21-24 Years
Caliente Construction, Inc.
Valley Partnership

16-20 Years
Joe's Real BBQ
Robert J. Voordeckers, CPA

11-15 Years
Dream Vacations
Experts on Sight, LLC
Gilbert Santan Motorplex
Kerr Endodontics, PC
Oasis Orthodontics
OneAZ Credit Union
Parkway Bank
San Tan Ford
Springbok Wellness Centre & Rehab
Watson's Flower Shop

6-10 Years
Bushtex, Inc.
Dragon Wok Fine Chinese Restaurant
Famous Daves Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que
ITDR Business Solutions LLC
Mary Cobb - Ravenswood Realty
OnaMission Home Painting, INC.
Varsity Termite and Pest Control
Wolverine Builders, Inc.

1-5 Years
Alcove at the Islands
American Family Insurance - Paul Gebhard Agency
Arizona Veterinary Specialists
Associated Dental Care Providers
AZ Premier Catering
B&B Blinds and Builder Services, LLC
Blue Skyes Massage & Wellness Center
C2 Tactical
College Nannies + Tutors
Decal Monkey LLC
Dignity Health Urgent Care in Gilbert
Earnhardt Ford
Four Points by Sheraton at Phoenix Mesa Gateway Airport
Foxetech, LLC
Gilbert Sun News/Times Media Group
I Hear You Do Blinds
Life Learning Center Preschool and Childcare
Lighthouse Psychiatry | Advanced TMS Therapy and Research
Little Critters Veterinary Hospital
Ma'am Exams
Miranda Law Firm
Modern Law
No Worries Rooter, LLC.
Pinot's Palette
Starbright Foundation Inc.
Tacos N More Mexican Grill
Terry J. Fong Law Group
Udall CPA Group
Valpak Of Metro Phoenix
Victory AME Church
Vivint, Inc. Gilbert Highlighted As A Top City For Entry Level Jobs - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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Gilbert Highlighted As A Top City For Entry Level Jobs

by Abbey Sumida, Outreach Coordinator,

It is no easy task to figure out where to start a career. However, research shows Gilbert is a great place to start. To help provide a landscape view of the most suitable cities for entry-level job seekers, small business financing site Fundera recently wrote an article on The Top Cities for Entry Level Jobs which highlighted the city and one of its exemplary businesses.

But how exactly does Gilbert have so much potential? Fundera assessed findings from several studies including one by WalletHub, which determined what cities were the best to start a career based on quality of life and professional opportunities. These findings show relative market strength based on metrics like workforce diversity, availability of entry-level jobs, commute time, and monthly average starting salary. These metrics have landed Gilbert notably high on lists such as #3 Best City for Jobs (Forbes) and #12 Best City to Live In (24/7 Wall St).

For each city, Fundera’s article features a business owner that values internship and entry-level job programs. Read more about Gilbert and how its businesses foster meaningful career growth here. How to Find Your Niche Within Your Community - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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How to Find Your Niche Within Your Community

I get asked by new agents in my field “How did you get involved in your community so quickly?” My answer is easy … it’s my Chamber experience. In a short five years, having made the most of my Chamber experiences and contacts, I am proud to say I am a Gilbert Chamber member! How did this happen?

Five years ago, I was given the opportunity to move from a corporate role into a sales position. As an independent contractor, I was told that you had to “get out there and make things happen”. My goodness … that was a tall order. I had no idea where to go and who to talk to make things “happen”. What did “happen” even mean?

I started in my comfort zone – my daughter’s school. I had missed out on all of the PTO/PTA type activities when she was in elementary school (since travel was over 50% of my corporate role), but since she was in junior high at the time of my new sales role, I thought “is it too late to be one of those ‘moms?’” The quick answer is no, it’s never too late! I got a notice from the school of the next PTO meeting, and I went. Surprisingly, there were only 12 parents there, unlike the hordes of moms at the elementary level that get involved. As I sat there, I volunteered an answer to a question, and to my amazement, that led to being quickly nominated and elected as Secretary of the PTO on the spot. YIKES! (Note to self, don’t raise your hand without an inkling of where that could lead! Lesson Learned!) The silver lining was that I met a mom like me, and she advised me to check out my local Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership program.

What sold me on this suggestion was the idea that I could enroll in a program that would expose me to multiple areas of my town. The opportunity to learn about things that would benefit my personal life, as well as my ability to network, made this option very appealing. My new friend said I would quickly get an overview of ALL of the places and activities that may be out there for someone like myself; someone who “needed to get out there”.

I applied for and was selected for the next Leadership class at the Chamber. It turned out to be the time of my life! It also provided a springboard into committees and events within the Chamber that piqued my interest. One of them was the Small Business Council, which concentrated on education (which was my corporate background) for increasing business acumen among small business owners. I found a home … and found a launching pad for other areas of the Chamber that excited me. I have made not only business contacts, but true friends.

I encourage everyone that needs to “get out there” to find an organization that can give them the type of exposure that I found within my local Chamber. Meeting business owners of all types within my community has made me a better manager, agent, and mom.

From someone who “Needed to get out there” … and was terrified and clueless on how to start that journey … I am lucky to say that I am out there and loving it! Your Ideal Client: Who They Are and Why You Need One - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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Your Ideal Client: Who They Are and Why You Need One

Being your niche’s “jack of all trades and master of none” won’t bring you the profits and freedom you’re after. It leads to wasted money on marketing that attracts the wrong people, and stress from trying to serve clients that were never ideally suited for you in the first place. Avoid making this mistake by becoming a specialist at serving a very specific kind of customer: your ideal client.

Who Is Your Ideal Client?

Your ideal client is the kind of person you want to work with more than any other. They’re looking for the type of product or service you most want to spend your time on, they tend to be happy with their purchases from you, and they’re a pleasure to deal with.

You know what their problems are, plus, you have the skills and knowledge to alleviate their pain points by providing the perfect product or service. You don’t need to guess how to help them because you understand their needs perfectly.

Why You Need Them …

Trying to be the business owner who pleases anyone and everyone is a recipe for failure and frustration. However, when you focus your attention and energy only on your ideal clients, your business life will become exponentially easier and more rewarding. It enables you to stand out from your competition with ease as the obvious go-to authority, spend your time perfecting your skills in your zone of genius, and work with more clients who love what you do (and avoid wasting energy on the ones who don’t).

Being laser focused only on your ideal client also makes it easy to come up with an effective marketing message that attracts them to you with far less expense. The marketing savings come from no longer wasting precious advertising dollars on people who aren’t a good fit (and inevitably fail to convert from prospects to customers).

An Ideal Client Is Not the Same as a Target Market

A target market refers to a group of people based on demographics, raw numbers, and averages, whereas the term “ideal client” refers to individuals. And it’s far easier to think of attracting a certain kind of individual to your business — someone with problems, feelings, desires that you can relate to — than it is to figure out how to attract someone, for example, between the age of 35-45 with an average of 2.2 children and 1.2 pets.

Knowing your perfect client is key to successful small business marketing. Check out my resources for Creating an ideal Client profile—there's a video, workbook and step-by-step instructions.

Go Get Your Ideal Client

Now that you understand exactly what an ideal client is and why they’re so important to your business, it’s time to direct your efforts at marketing to and serving only those people. The result will be a more rewarding and profitable business for years to come.


About the Author: Jasmine Holmes

With over 15 years of graphic design and marketing experience, Jasmine Holmes loves being able to say, “I’m older than I look.” Jasmine is the owner of 910 West, a digital marketing company serving small businesses in Gilbert and throughout the US. It is her combined experience in traditional print and online marketing that sets 910 West apart from the competition and makes Jasmine a marketing expert. At 910 West, she works with a talented team to deliver small business digital marketing essentials: local search, email marketing, and brand development. When not working, you might find her at a farmer’s market buying locally grown veggies. Jasmine passionately believes in the power of small business and loves working with them to create lasting success. Open Enrollment Is Here - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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Open Enrollment Is Here

Dah nuh. Dah nuh. Dah nuh dah nuh dah nuh (insert Jaws theme here). Open enrollment is here! Sounds scary, doesn't it? For some people, it’s the time of year their HR person starts hounding them to get paperwork done, or to sit through an hour long meeting on benefits that make no sense until you have to use them. For others, it’s the time of year to be confused, yet again, on what plan to pick or what’s best for their family.

Here’s a little bit about what to look at when choosing your health insurance plan:

1. Monthly Cost - of course you need to consider what the monthly cost will be; just don’t get stuck here as there are additional things to look at besides just that number.
2. Deductibles - this is the amount of money that will come out of your pocket before your insurance company starts kicking in to help. From what I’ve seen with my clients, most deductibles today range from around $1,500 - $6,000.
1. Out-of-pocket Maximums - this is the amount of money you are responsible for on an annual basis if something major happens. Typically, you’ll see the number 80/20 or something similar thrown around. That means that once you hit your deductible, the insurance company picks up the tab at 80% and you pick it up at 20% until you hit your out-of-pocket maximum. According to the Department of Health & Human Services, these can be up to $7,350 for individuals and $14,700 for families.
2. Co-pay - while this isn’t something that will make or break you, it is good to know what a visit to the doctor will cost if you need to go in. Keep in mind that all health plans are required to have one wellness visit per year with no cost to you. (Just be careful of discussing other issues while you’re there as the doctor will change the appointment from a “wellness” visit to a “diagnostic” visit and can then charge you.)
3. PPO vs. HSA - a PPO will be what you think of when you think health insurance: there’s a wide network, and you can choose your doctor. This type of plan will typically have a smaller deductible and will include co-pays to doctors/specialists. This type of plan is good if you know you go to the doctor on a regular basis and you’ll be using your insurance often. An HSA is what most people are scared of, but in my opinion it’s often a great choice for most people. This will usually have a higher deductible than a PPO plan and you’ll have to meet your full deductible prior to the insurance company stepping in to help. (There are also HMO plans out there that are designed to work like a PPO, but with a limited network)

As a small business owner, you have the choice to offer health insurance benefits or not depending on the number of employees you have; you’ll want to choose carefully based on your budget and may want to look outside the box. There’s more out there than what you normally think of when offering benefits, from self funded plans to defined contribution options. Whether you do or you don’t offer benefits through your company, the points above are important to consider. Always consult a benefits professional to look at all of the different ways to provide additional options for your employees to be protected.


Emily Evans has been an Independent Agent with Aflac since 2011 and started her career because of a major motorcycle accident she and her husband had in 2010. That accident caused them to realize how much people need help when they have a catastrophic illness or injury and she uses that experience daily to help her clients. Emily builds relationships throughout the East Valley with business owners who have a growth mindset, working closely to help them develop strategies to utilize voluntary benefits to create a better culture in their company. She focuses on companies with a growth mindset because she enjoys working in a fast paced environment where people care. On the weekends, Emily enjoys taking naps in her hammock, photography, camping, off-roading, and riding motorcycles. She can usually be found hanging out with her husband, Peter, and their three dogs. To contact Emily, please text “Emily Evans” to 36260 to download her app. December 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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December 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

December 2017

25+ Years

21-24 Years

16-20 Years
Flancer's Cafe

11-15 Years
BackFit Health + Spine
CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company
Sky Harbor International Airport

6-10 Years
A Child's Place at the Ranches, LLC.
Deutsch Architure Group
Gateway Bank
Infinion Marketing
Sidewinder Subs, LLC
The Blau Company, Ltd.

1-5 Years
American Furniture Warehouse
Arizona Painting Company
Associated Architects
Aurora Natural Medicine
AZ Home Team
Brooklyn V's Pizza
Bruster's Real Ice Cream
Burn Boot Camp Gilbert
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Copper Springs Resort Lifestyle Communities
Generations at Agritopia
Gilbert Insurance Group, Inc.
Goalside Indoor Sports Center
Jesse Herfel Real Estate Group
KB Real Estate Professionals
Kneaders Bakery & Cafe
La Ristra
Mary Ann Shryack - United Brokers Group Real Estate
Matthews Crossing Food Bank
Midwest Food Bank, Arizona Division
OnePrice Delivery Dry Cleaners & Laundry
Phoenix Children's Hospital - Mercy Gilbert Center
Rivulon - Nationwide Realty Investors
Ross Farnsworth East Valley YMCA
San Tan Hyundai
Stewart Law Group
The Dhaba
The Garage Personal Training
Transamerica Financial Group Division-Michelle Taylor
V's Barbershop
Welcome Wagon
Zerorez Phoenix November 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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November 2017 Membership Anniversaries

We are thrilled to recognize the following members for their continued support of the Gilbert Chamber. Please look for the 2017-18 window decal at these businesses and be sure to thank them for their support in fostering a healthy and sustainable business climate here in Gilbert.

November 2017

25+ Years
Chandler-Gilbert Community College
Dignity Health - Mercy Gilbert Medical Center
East Valley Tribune / Times Media Group
Gilbert Mail
Severn Trent Services
The Arizona Group

21-24 Years
Kokopelli Golf Club

16-20 Years
Altier Credit Union

11-15 Years
A Mug You Can Trust - A Division of JM Maintenance Corp.
Boudreau Consulting LLC

6-10 Years
CFR Capital Group LLC
H&R Block
MidFirst Bank
Mountain View Funeral Home & Cemetery LLC
Schorie Auto Repair
Ubora IT Services

1-5 Years
Acts of Kidness Pediatrics
Advanced Business Learning, Inc.
Aflac - Shawna Chapman
American Payment Solutions
Chromedome Design
Clever Koi
Cobblestone Auto Spa
Earnhardt Buick GMC
Earnhardt Chevrolet
Earnhardt Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram
East Valley Partnership
Educate - Empower - Succeed, LLC
Elementary Credit Repair
EXIT Realty Expanded Vision
First International Bank & Trust
Freedom Life Church
Law Offices of David Michael Cantor
Lerner & Rowe, P.C.
Looks Good, LLC
Marty's Event Planning
Melaleuca - James Chiavacci
Menchie's Frozen Yogurt - San Tan Village
Nothing But NET
Phoenix Escape Room - Gilbert
Rodizio Grill
Starboard Financial
Tera Barnes Photography
The Enclave at Gilbert Senior Living
Toolbox 4 Entrepreneurs
United States Army Recruiting Center (Gilbert)
Wudel International Should You Be Using Instagram for Business? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
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Should You Be Using Instagram for Business?

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