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
Cardio-Juvenate+
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.
STAX 3D
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 www.emerginginsightsgroup.com and writes for several publications. You can reach Diana at diana@insight11.com. 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 910west.com 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.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/legislature/2018/03/08/proposals-roll-back-arizonas-minimum-wage-ballot-measure-protested-capitol/404302002/

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 (www.SCORE.org).

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
APS

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
Walmart

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
Clipper
Creo School
Daley Connections, LLC
Denny's
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
Isagenix
LegalShield-Donna Sparaco
Life Vantage
Mosaic Properties
Nationwide
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
RalphWillett's avatar
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. 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
SRP

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

Guest Post by: ERICA BALLESTEROS, SYNERGY & DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST at JOSHUA DEVELOPMENT

“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: facebook.com/jdevedge

Sources:
http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/106912/turning-around-your-turnover-problem.aspx

https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.com/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Strengths_Brand_Search_US&utm_content=%2Bgallup%20%2Bstrengthsfinder&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIvu62mpD72AIVRmV-Ch3qGQ_zEAAYASAAEgKBUPD_BwE

https://www.success.com/podcast/jim-rohn-on-working-harder-on-yourself-than-your-job

http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/csp/mediapool/sites/NBBJ/IndustryNews/story.csp?cid=4180440&sid=778&fid=181 How Aware Are You? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
TiffanyBellows's avatar
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. www.mydamselpro.net/AZTLC 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
Garage-East
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
Guest Blog Editor's avatar
Gilbert Highlighted As A Top City For Entry Level Jobs

by Abbey Sumida, Outreach Coordinator, Fundera.com

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
HollyPritulsky's avatar
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
JasmineHolmes's avatar
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
EmilyEvans's avatar
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
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
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.
TWO MEN AND A TRUCK

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
TrustBank
V's Barbershop
Welcome Wagon
Zerorez Phoenix November 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
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
Meritum
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
Cigna
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
Grubstak
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
DaniKahn's avatar
Should You Be Using Instagram for Business?

When talking with others about Instagram, many of my conversations go like this:

“It’s just for kids, right?”
“I don’t want to have to deal with ANOTHER social media thing.”
“It’s just a trend.”
“It’s only for foodies...clothes...kale-eating people.”
“There’s no way to make money from it.”

Instagram, More Than a Fad

Since Instagram’s Facebook buyout in 2012 (for $1 billion1 by the way), it has evolved into a visually powerful, money-making machine. It has over 700 million active monthly users2 with that number increasing every day. Instagram users “like” 4.2 billion (yes with a “B”) posts per day3. If you’re a business or brand looking to connect with consumers, you need to take Instagram seriously.

It’s the ideal platform to connect to those who matter most: your customers. Instagram is anonymous enough for people to feel comfortable commenting. (Unlike Facebook, “I have to use my last name, ahhh?!”). And it’s professional enough to directly sell products and services.

There are a variety of tools on Instagram to hone in on your audience and the results are in! People are taking it to the bank4.

How to Use Instagram for Business

But how do you even get an audience? Where do you start? You’re ashamed by your lonely profile with 23 followers (and you really don’t know or care for user @likeforfollows49984x0x0).

Disclaimer and Real Talk

These tips are for holistic growth/optimization of your Instagram, not paying for ads, sponsors, or spammy tactics. Real growth in IG counts on you being as consistent, authentic, and engaged as possible. The IG team has adjusted their algorithm several times to make sure you’re legitimately “present”. For example, you can’t ‘schedule’ Instagram posts (yet5). Posts must be made in-real-time from a real cell phone.

Let’s Get Started, My Brave Small Business Owner

Start by choosing what you want to focus your Instagram on:

• Your delicious products?
• You as a unique brand?
• Your beautiful music?
• Your handsome looks?
• Your amazing designs?

Instagram is extremely visual, so pick a relevant niche and go for it. Show the world what you have to offer and give them a reason to look at your profile.

To grow your following on Instagram, you must be consistent and engaged while setting realistic goals. People will not follow you if you don’t interact with them. You don’t want to “flood” other people’s feeds, but you do need to post frequently enough that they don’t “forget” about you. Plan for 1 to 3 posts spread throughout the day for best results.

I put this to the test with my own Instagram (@danidrawn). For 4 months, I spent 30 minutes on Instagram per day. Every day I posted one quality picture/video. I’ve attracted between 100 and 150 authentic followers. I also make it my goal to follow others who, I feel, practice the same genuine approach.

Tips for Using Instagram for Business

• Make sure your profile picture is recognizable when it’s small. Logos are sometimes not
recommended depending on the clientele you would like to attract. Your profile picture
should be selected strategically, based on your goals for Instagram.

• Find a hashtag that relates to what you're posting. You can find popular hashtags by typing “#….” and there will be a suggestion box above your text. Hint: Pick the one with the most posts associated with it. Double hint: Don’t make up your own. Here’s a site to play with and find relevant hashtags: http://hashtagify.me.

• Now use that tag in every single post. Follow people who are authentic and genuinely invested in the tag. Comment on their posts with honest to goodness questions and well thought out responses. Stay away from the “single-emoji-flame-thumbsup-smiley, followmeplz”. They’re annoying, fake, and absolute trash.

• HOT TREND: Post a two to three sentence description with your picture/video and then post a comment below with under 30 hashtags. Don't get IG shadowbanned!6

• Leverage your following by adding at least one link to your profile. Use your website url or something that you’d like to feature. For example, your Instagram post could read “See the link in my description to find out more!”

• Keep your content clean and well thought out. Don’t post blurry photos or videos. Videos
are great, silent Boomerangs are better. (What the Heck is a Boomerang?) The images that do best have a single focus and a bare background. However, have fun with it, and go with what is natural for you and your company.

I Know You Love Homework

Okay, you’re reading all these things and feeling overwhelmed. These are best practices, which you may or may not feel like applying to your own company Instagram. Well, I have a challenge for you, should you choose to accept. Practice the 30-10-10-10 Challenge.

• For 30 days, I want to challenge you to engage with 10 people a day who are not current followers. Think of who your ideal customer is, the person who is most likely to use your product or service, and search for hashtags relevant to this customer. Focus on your ideal customer only, not your competition.
• Once you have found a hashtag, or multiple relevant hashtags, you should like 10 of those posts per day.
• On 10 more non-follower accounts, comment with a question, not just a saying (“single-emoji-flame-thumbsup-smiley, followmeplz”), that relates to each post daily.

This beginners challenge was taken from the more advanced 30-30-30 Challenge (details here), which you are welcome to try. I found the advanced version incredibly time consuming!

Go and Have Fun, Engage with Your Fellow Instagrammers!

• Do you see your engagement increasing?
• What hashtags are you searching?
• What responses are you receiving?

Let me know your progress! Let me know how it goes!

Don’t rush it and go with the flow (no matter how fast or slow), because there are #beautifuldaysahead @danidrawn.

References

1. http://www.businessinsider.com/its-been-1-year-since-facebook-bought-instagram-for-1-billion-heres-how-co-founder-kevin-systrom-spent-it-2013-5
2. https://techcrunch.com/2017/04/26/instagram-700-million-users/
3. https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-statistics/
4. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-much-money-you-can-earn-on-instagram-2017-4
5. http://fortune.com/2016/07/12/schedule-instagram-post/
6. https://petapixel.com/2017/04/19/shadowbanned-instagram-website-can-tell/

About Dani Kahn
My name is Dani Kahn and I assist small businesses express themselves creatively. Everyone has the capacity to create, build, or envision something beautiful. Many small business owners are passionate creators, bursting at the seams with ideas. One problem: They are busy focusing on what their business provides, which typically does not include marketing! In a world where “marketing” is a dirty word, it is critical to think out of the box and attract the clients they want to work with. I approach all projects holistically to help small businesses grow substantially, using local connections, artistic flair, and recent technological advancements. My goal is to assist passionate entrepreneurs confidently take control of their brand and express their dreams to the world. My allies are Gilbert companies like: 910West, HG (Higher Grounds) Roastery and Cafe, and the Gilbert Historical Society. Removing Barriers To Work - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Kathy Tilque's avatar
Removing Barriers To Work

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey recently interviewed with the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) to discuss how Arizona is removing barriers to employment by reforming occupational licensing requirements. During the interview, the Governor discussed efforts such as removing restrictions on the sharing economy, eliminating 500 regulations this year, and lifting licensing fees on those in poverty.
FGA, a public policy organization, also interviewed Arizona resident Juan Carlos Montes de Oca to tell his story about wanting to serve Tucson’s homeless population. Both interviews can be viewed below.

Executive Excellence: Governor Doug Ducey on Eliminating Regulations



Juan’s Story: A Passion to Serve




For more information or assistance, contact Governor Ducey's press office: (602) 542-1342. October 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
October 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.

October 2017

25+ Years
Bjerk Builders, Inc.
Gilbert Historical Museum

21-24 Years

16-20 Years
Bamford Realty, Inc.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing
CenturyLink
Sign A Rama

11-15 Years
Arizona Farm Bureau Federation
Banner Gateway Medical Center
Casino Arizona
Century 21 Platinum Real Estate
Comprehensive Women's Healthcare
Falcon Air Conditioning
FASTSIGNS AZ Ave
Gilbert Education Foundation
Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport
TruWest Credit Union
Wells Fargo Bank

6-10 Years
5 Pints Productions, LLC.
Bliss Realty & Investments
Employee Benefit Exchange Corp.
Horne Kia
Mountain Vista Medical Center
OneAZ Credit Union
OrthoArizona Mezona Division
Rosepapa Creative Design

1-5 Years
9Round
Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona
Arizona Maid / Quality 4 U
Banner Health Center
Barnone
Bio Huma Netics, Inc.
Board & Brush Creative Arts Studio
Board Developer
Bolts & More
CMIT Solutions of Gilbert and Mesa
Cookie Cutters, Haircuts for Kids
East Valley Animal Hospital
Edward Jones - Josh Bring Financial Advisor
Elite Shutters & Blinds
Enterprise Car Sales
Evident Life Church
Gateway Financial Advisors
Gentle Dental Desert Winds
Gentle Dental Gilbert
Hospice of the Valley
KB Home
Lauren's Institute for Education
LGE Design Build
Local First Arizona
Mercedes-Benz of Gilbert
Mother Nature Metaphysics, LLC
Optimum Sales Powered By Sales Xceleration
Pregnancy Care Center of Gilbert
Primrose School of Gilbert at Santan
Redirect Health
Safely Somewhere Foundation
Sauce Pizza & Wine
Taxanista
The Timmick Group
Topgolf Gilbert
Town & Country Office Cleaning
TrueRoots Development
Val Vista Vision
Viking Premium Print
Washington Federal
Winsor Law Group
Woodard Construction Why You Need A Business Plan - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
LarryGoldsmith's avatar
Why You Need A Business Plan

If you want to go somewhere, you need a roadmap or directions. Without a map or directions or even prior knowledge of how to go, you have a hard time getting anywhere. You might also need a vehicle or have to take a hike! You need to know how much fuel you will need. You may want to know how quickly you need to get to your destination. You need to know a lot.

Your Plan provides you with that “map”. It shows where “somewhere” is. And how you will get there. How much fuel you will need. It tells you where the rivers and streams are, and where the roads to wealth lay.

You may have been operating by innately planning or creating the “map”, but an actual plan will help you put all the pieces together to run more efficiently and profitably.

The pieces of your plan can include your goals, competitive situation, and pricing review, point of difference, strategies, and tactics. Any format can work, as long as it works for you.

If you do not know where you are going, you will never get there! Your destination must be clear. Your goals need to include specifics – especially numbers and dates. Goals and objectives need to be measureable. You need to be able to gauge your success. Remember, “Only that which is measured can be Improved!”

Know thy enemy! Your competitors are the enemy. The more you know about them, the better you can win over them. Know their pricing so that you can compete against them. Figure out why you are better than your competition. It is your point of difference.

Strategies are your vehicles on the road to success. They are the broad methods you use to reach your goals and objectives. Each and every one of your strategies must be in furtherance of you meeting your goals. If it is not, then it is not a valid strategy. Your strategies are broad and can be very general or more specific. Your strategy could be “advertise”. Another could be “hire a sales force”. Or “open a storefront”. Or “open a web store”.

Tactics are the tools that you use within your strategies. Every tactic must come from a strategy. Otherwise, it does not advance your trip to your goals. Tactics could include specific actions, timing, and budgets.

For example, a tactic could be “Advertise on local radio stations XYZ for 4 week flights every other month starting 1/2/18, with a budget of $45,000”.

Having clear tactics, strategies and objectives are keys to a good plan or “roadmap”. A solid competitive overview outlining the “battlefield” gives you the solid foundation on which you can build your business.
Whether it is called a business plan, strategic plan, business outline, or “just something you put together” in order to grow your sales and profits, you must have some sort of Plan.

Presented By;
Larry Goldsmith, President/Owner
LRG Business Consulting

Larry has over 40 years of business experience with more than 10 years as a successful consultant to small businesses in the S.E. Valley. He is married with 2 grown sons and 2 grandchildren and a proud resident of Gilbert, AZ. Where’s the Money? - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
ChristieBoutain's avatar
Where’s the Money?

Finding and understanding financing options for your business is not always easy.  There seems to be options on every corner and every swipe on your smartphone.  How do you know what is best and where to find it? 

The first thing you need to do is look at your current banking relationship.  Do you have a well-established relationship with a bank that you trust?  Do you have a banker that is reliable and available? 

If you answered yes, that’s fantastic!  Spread the word.  I’m sure there are other business owners that could benefit from working with a trusted partner. 

If you answered no, then you’ve got a little work to do.  Ask your accountant, financial planner, or attorney for a banker you can call.  Go in and have a conversation.  Learn about the values of the bank and banker.  Is there a synergy between your values and business goals?  Any relationship at the onset requires an investment of time and energy.  Be prepared.  Have your financial statements in order.  In the end, you will be glad you invested the time.

Your banker should be one of your trusted resources and advisors.  They are there to help you navigate the financial options and services available to you. 

When I get asked about financing options, my first question is to ask what it is for.  The purpose of the funds should dictate the type of financing.  Short-term financing like a line of credit should be used for short-term needs such as working capital or inventory.  Long-term financing like a term loan should be used for long-term needs such as equipment purchases or real estate acquisitions.  Helping the banker understand what you need and why will help determine what’s best.

Some of the most common options include:

Conventional bank loan.  This type of financing is offered by a financial institution and will require collateral along with a proven ability to repay the loan.  It will require a certain percentage down payment on the asset(s) being acquired or a discounted value placed on existing assets owned by the business. 
SBA loan.  This type of financing is also provided by a bank and is guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.  It is a way for banks to offer flexible financing terms to businesses beyond what might be available on a conventional bank loan.  It will typically allow for less down, longer amortization or less collateral.
Hard money loan.  This is typically an asset based loan financed by private investors or companies, has a higher cost to acquire, but can be easier to acquire than a conventional bank loan. 
Crowdfunding.  This is a way to raise funding online and has similar characteristics of a hard money loan.
Credit card.  This may be a useful funding source for smaller financing needs and can have a higher cost of interest to acquire than other financing options. 
Friends and family.  This is not always an easy ask, but if done properly can be another alternative source of financing.  Consider formalizing an agreement so both parties know what is expected. 

Whatever option fits your needs, be disciplined about the repayment.  Just because a longer amortization is provided doesn’t mean it matches short-term or long-term business growth goals.  Maximize flexibility when you need to and build equity when you can.  Communicate with your banker on your goals so the right structure can be set. 

In this commoditized era of banking, it really comes down to the service provided including, but not limited to, the responsiveness and creative structuring options provided by your bank.  It is not a one-size-fits-all or even most.  Find your trusted resource and you will find the right financing options that best fit your needs and business goals.

Christie Boutain has a passion for working with business owners and helping them build successful enterprises, strong communities, and long-lasting relationships with trusted resources.  She has been in banking for over 20 years and is a commercial lender with Gateway Bank in Mesa.  She has over 15 years of experience in commercial and industrial lending, commercial real estate lending, equipment finance, deposit and treasury management, and strategic planning.  Born and raised in Minnesota, Christie, her husband and their two children moved to Arizona in 2016 and enjoy the sunshine, warm weather, and all the valley has to offer. Continually Growing Your Business - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
EmilyEvans's avatar
Continually Growing Your Business

The journey to becoming great at anything is an adventure that is not to be undertaken lightly. It should be done with intention and deliberation, but it hardly ever is. Usually we think we'll become the expert on something overnight, with little to no effort. Not that we have any experiences to back that up, quite the opposite really, but that's our thought process nonetheless. Today I’m talking about being great in sales by continually bringing on new clients.

The biggest struggle is to maintain consistency. Just as we get the ball rolling getting clients on board, selling things left and right, it seems like all of a sudden we complete what we're working on then BOOM everything stops. What happened? In most cases we have failed at one very important thing. Continual prospecting. (We're not talking about how to prospect this time, that's a totally different post!) How do we keep the cycle going and avoid the peaks and valleys?

Plan your time and have the discipline to stick to it.

Sounds easy enough. Then life happens. Things take us off track and all of a sudden the day, the week, the month, the YEAR have gone by and we haven't accomplished everything we wanted to. Why did this happen? Because, in many cases, we didn’t have any plan to start with or if we did we didn’t adjust it when things happened. What can be done?

A good friend of mine once asked me who my most important client is. When I responded, “They’re all important,” he gently reminded me that wasn’t true. “Your most important client is your future client,” he said. This reminder was perfect to help me re-frame how I was thinking about building my business. You must set time aside every day for finding those new clients, and if you’re not, you may not be in business much longer. The best place to start is to figure out where you’re spending your time.

Why do I bring up how you spend your time when talking about building consistency in sales? Because if you don’t know where you’re spending your time, it’s impossible to see where you need to make a change. I’ve seen it time and again. You start with a heavy emphasis working to get new clients, that shifts to taking care of those new clients you just gained, then once done you start all over again with trying to get more new clients. It’s a cycle that is very difficult to correct, especially when you don’t know it’s happening! How do you correct it?

Time blocking is where I started. I took my calendar and dedicated set times to do stuff. It was … ineffective to say the least. What I ended up seeing is that the time blocks I randomly set up were hard to stick to because I didn’t put enough thought into how much time I actually needed for things. However, it did help me understand how I was spending my time and realize where I needed to make adjustments. If you’re just starting out in business, how much time you’re spending working to gain new clients is going to be disproportionally higher than if you’ve been around for a while. The struggle for me was/is continually adjusting my plan to figure out how to keep finding new clients in my day.

Here are 5 ideas on how to help keep your business going:
  1.  Social media posts. These are easy to do during the times of day that you can’t be in front of your clients.
  2. Focus how you’re spending your time and be present. If you’re at a networking event, an expo, a fair, or whatever, be there. Don’t be on your phone checking email, texting, checking voicemail, etc.
  3. Help train your existing clients that this is not a 24/7 world we live in as small business owners. Have a standard time you return voicemails, emails, etc. so they know that – although you aren’t answering their call right then because you’re being present while doing something else – you will be getting back to them and they know when.
  4. Referrals. The goose that lays the golden egg. Invest your time in events and with people who give you the best ROI for your time. If you’ve not built your network of advocates who are out there talking up your business to potential clients for you, it might be something you want to focus on.
  5. Show value. A great way to do this is to share information about things happening in your industry that impact your clients. Information that impacts their industry makes it relevant and makes them want to share that info with others. (AKA your potential future clients)

All in all, it’s about making sure you're spending time effectively. Being focused while you’re working on something, attending a meeting, or being with your family. Don’t let distractions derail you, but when they do … and they will … make sure you have your plan handy so that you can get back on track easily.

As another of my great mentors has said, “Stop seeking perfection. Stay busy and course correct often. Perfection is the enemy of progress.”

Thanks to Jonathan Whistman, author of Sales Boss, for helping me re-frame who my best clients are and to Joe Buzzello, author of The CAP Equation, for helping me realize a plan doesn’t have to be perfect to work. I will never forget all you’ve done to help me in my career and work to pay it forward daily.

(p.s. Speaking about not being perfect … number of times I got distracted as I wrote this article: 9)

Thanks for reading; until next time. Emily

Emily Evans has been running her own business as an Independent Agent for Aflac since 2011 and has been an active member of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce since around 2013. She is passionate about helping people live the American Dream; from helping small business owners growing their businesses with strategic positioning of employee benefits, helping their employees be more productive and better protected, and individuals looking to live the American Dream with their own business as an Aflac Agent. Emily is an alumna and mentor of Gilbert Leadership (Class XXV), a member of the Small Business Committee, and is part of the marketing committee for the Gilbert Historical Museum. Please contact her for additional questions by emailing her at emily_evans@us.aflac.com or by calling her office 480-535-4998 and scheduling an appointment. September 2017 Membership Anniversaries - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
Jessica Sanchez's avatar
September 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.

September 2017

25+ Years
Atmosphere Commercial Interiors
Morrison Ranch, Inc.
Pioneer Landscaping Materials, INC

21-24 Years
Gilbert Promotional Corporation
Republic Media (The Arizona Republic, azcentral.com)
Val Vista Lakes Events

16-20 Years


11-15 Years
Arizona Business Bank
Southwest Airlines
Town of Gilbert
United Food Bank
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

6-10 Years
Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center
Bound Tree Medical, LLC
Custom Signs & Graphics
Gilbert Christian Schools
LRG Business Consulting
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management - James Stoes, AAMS®
Red Mountain Air Conditioning
Simply Ravishing The Salon
Sunrise of Gilbert
Wells Fargo Bank

1-5 Years
Always Professional In Moving Inc.
Anytime Fitness
BBSI
Better Choice Homes
Boy Scouts of America - Grand Canyon Council
CARSTAR Autopro Collision Chandler
Celebration Stem Cell Centre
Clearly Clean Carpet
CNN Mortgage
Desert Hills High School
Even Stevens
EZ Spaces
First National Bank
Five Star Carpet Cleaning & Restoration
Health Benefits Solutions
Herbally Yours, Inc.
Home Care Assistance
Iced for Life LLC
IPA/America's Business Benefit Association
ISV Nail Forum
MVP Corrective Therapy & Functional Movement
Nicantoni's
Professional Garage Services
Rain International
Showtime Realty Professionals, LLC
TCT Commercial Real Estate
The Matwick Group
Truly Nolen of America, Inc.
Truly Nolen of America, Inc.
Walt's Jewelers
Window Genie
Yoli Better Body
Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar Get Ready for Year End - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
BarbaraStarley's avatar
Get Ready for Year End

It may seem like the end of year is a long way off, but it will be here before you know it!  If you are like most small business owners, you are BUSY and thinking about year end and taxes is the last thing you want to be doing.  I understand.  I’m a small business owner myself.  Some of my clients are still working on taxes for last year, let alone thinking about the current year.  Wouldn’t it be nice – and a lot less stressful – if you could sail into year end with confidence?

Here are 5 things you can be doing right now in anticipation of year end:

- Collect W9s for ALL independent contractors
- Reconcile accounts
- Clean-up your Accounts Receivable
- Clean-up your Accounts Payable
- Track your mileage for 3 consecutive months


Collect W9s for ALL Independent Contractors

In my 20+ years of working with entrepreneurs and small business owners, I can only think of a handful of companies that did not need to prepare at least one 1099 at the end of the year.

Who needs to get a 1099?  Any individual, partnership or unincorporated company to whom you’ve paid a total of $600 or more in the calendar year. 

Keep in mind, most LLCs are NOT incorporated!  An LLC (Limited Liability Company) gives some of the liability protections of a corporation, but it is NOT considered a corporation for tax purposes.  Determining whether a vendor needs to receive a 1099 depends on how that vendor will ultimately file their tax return.  Unless they are filing a Form 1120 or 1120S, you will most likely need to send them a 1099.

The best way to protect yourself is to obtain a W9 from all independent contractors BEFORE you ever give them their first check.  If you haven’t done that already, there’s no time like the present to get it done!  Simply go to IRS.gov to download the most recent W9 form, attach it to an email and ask your vendor to complete the form, sign, and return it to you.  Be sure to follow up on this request, so you have a 1099 on hand for all independent contractors before year end.

Note:  All payments made to these vendors should be made out to the name shown on the W9. 

As you receive the completed W9s from your vendors, be sure to update the Vendor record in QuickBooks.  Enter the tax ID number shown on the W9 in the same format as shown on the W9.  Unless the W9 indicates that this vendor is INCORPORATED, you should mark the name as “eligible for a 1099”.  QuickBooks will automatically determine if the amount paid meets the $600 threshold.  When in doubt, mark the box!


Reconcile Accounts

Now is the perfect time to make sure your accounts are up-to-date and reconciled.  Which accounts should you be reconciling?  All Balance Sheet accounts – particularly your bank accounts (checking, savings, money markets) and credit card accounts.

Even if you have the luxury of a daily download from your bank into QuickBooks, it is a “best practice” to make sure that everything has been recorded, reconciled and you aren’t carrying a lot of old outstanding transactions.


Clean-up Your Accounts Receivable

As you customers move closer to year end, they will be looking for write-offs for their business.  There’s no time like the present to make the push to collect on some of your older straggler accounts receivable.  It’s a win-win proposition!  Your customer gets the tax write-off in the current year – and you get paid!!


Clean-up Your Accounts Payable

The flipside to cleaning up your accounts receivable is for you to clean-up your accounts payable.  Do you have “unpaid bills” showing on your accounts payable report?  If so, are those bills still due to your vendors, or were those bills paid by check or credit card and simply weren’t removed properly from the Accounts Payable list?  You certainly don’t want to pay a vendor twice for the same goods or service, but your reputation as a business owner depends on your timely payments.  Now is a great time to make sure your bills are caught up and paid – and you get the added benefit of taking a tax deduction in the current year!


Track Your Mileage for 3 Consecutive Months

You probably already know that if you drive your personal automobile for business purposes, the IRS will allow you to write-off those miles as an expense of your company.  For 2017, the standard mileage allowance is $.535 for every business mile driven, but there’s a catch!  Your miles must be documented, in writing.  You can use an inexpensive mileage log available at your local office supply store or any one of the handy apps available on your phone.  Personally, I like the “MileIQ” app (https://www.mileiq.com/invite/TMTQD) which tracks every drive and you simply decide whether the drive was “business” or “personal”. 

Why start now?  Because if you track your miles for three consecutive months, the IRS will allow you to extrapolate those miles and apply them to the entire year.  So, by starting now and simply tracking October, November and December, you will have satisfied the 3 consecutive months rule.


Barbara Starley is a child of God and loves the Lord.  She is a wife, mom, business owner, best-selling author and speaker.   Barbara is not your typical CPA.  As a Certified QuickBooks® Pro Advisor she has served hundreds of entrepreneurs, small business owners and churches in the areas of QuickBooks® set-up, training and troubleshooting.  Her patient demeanor and in-depth knowledge is the perfect combination to turn confusion into confidence and to help her clients become more successful and profitable. What Is SEO: Search Engine Optimization 101 - Gilbert Chamber of Commerce