Business Matters: Yorkville Chamber members help each other succeed
By Sherri Farley Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce April 13, 2012 3:26PM
Sherri Farley, director of the Yorkville chamber
Updated: May 18, 2012 8:04AM
We asked a lot of questions at the Chamber this last week.
Many times we bring in speakers or experts to give advice. Often helpful, also, is when we host peer group brainstorming sessions and our members speak from their own experiences, sharing ideas that are exponentially helpful to one another.
One of the most gratifying benefits for me of being part of a Chamber of Commerce is witnessing the community spirit and how vested the business members become in helping one another succeed.
At the Woman2Woman luncheon, we held small group discussions and posed thought-provoking questions such as, “What takes you out of your game?” Then we asked, “How do you pull yourself back on track?” and shared resourceful methods that will be useful next time interruptions or other physical or psychological factors cause us to lose focus.
The PAY (Professionals Advancing in Yorkville) group asked, “What do small businesses need?” During tough times, it’s easy to blame sluggish sales on “the economy” or factors that are outside our control. The key to success is finding out what is within our control and set our sights on the positive.
So what did we find out at this meeting? Business owners need networking opportunities, but they also need to know how to spend time at them wisely and productively. They need knowledge. Not just conceptual, but practical tips they can grasp and put to everyday use.
Small businesses, unlike corporations, don’t have HR, marketing, or IT departments, but they need these tools to run efficiently and compete in the marketplace. As we plan future programs, we’ll keep these topics in mind so that we can help businesses with resources they need for success and growth.
With more than 300 members, it’s no surprise that a broad spectrum of preferences and needs are represented. Some members are available during certain parts of the day only, and their programming preferences range from educational content to networking or even social activities for relationship building. Our programming therefore reflects this variety.
On the social side, a fun event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Kendall Pub, called “Shoot for Fame.” Though social in nature, business alliances were formed at the event last year. This concept grew from learning that one of our members had the distinction of having sung the National Anthem at a Cubs game. A little more digging uncovered members whose bands shared stages with the likes of Styx and Toby Keith. We’ll be treated to some great entertainment as some of these members are showcased.
Other fun games and contests are added to let everyone share a minute of fame. The event is open to the public.
Networking is the highlight of the monthly Business Over Coffee, taking place April 27. For an educational opportunity, come to the multi-chamber seminar on “Generational Leadership” on May 2. It will be hosted by the Sandwich, Plano and Yorkville chambers, and led by Jeanie Martin, national sales director with Mary Kay. Participants will learn to identify different characteristics of the various generational groups, and receive practical tips on how to work with and market each group. Additional information on upcoming programs can be found at yorkvillechamber.org.
In addition to providing services for businesses, the Chamber fulfills its annual mission of promoting future business leaders by providing a $1,000 scholarship to help a graduating senior with college expenses.
New, as a result of the successful Rain Barrels on Parade campaign last summer, the chamber’s Green Committee is also providing a $1,000 scholarship.
Application deadlines for these scholarships as well as those from other organizations are looming, and we encourage students to seek applications from their high school guidance department.
Sherri Farley is the executive director of the Yorkville Area Chamber of Commerce.
Contact her at 630-553-6853.