Workshop attracts nearly 80 Grand County businesses
Developing a business into a destination was an intriguing enough topic for nearly 80 Grand County business owners to devote most of Monday to a workshop sponsored by the Grand County Office of Economic Development.
Jon Schallert, a marketing expert and small business strategist from Longmont, presented a workshop on increasing sales and profits as a destination business. The main convention room at the Silvercreek Convention Center was nearly filled as business owners and managers from every town in Grand County soaked in advice from a consultant who has spent over 30 years analyzing what makes businesses successful.
The presentation had numerous examples of successful entrepreneurs from all over America. Businesses, Schallert noted, that are located in towns that are the same size as those in Grand County. And, as Schallert mentioned numerous times, many of those places don’t have the draw that the natural beauty of Grand County affords.
The next step, DiAnn Butler said, will be to build on the enthusiasm that was generated Monday and help facilitate action plans that are appropriate for each community. The “bottom-up” approach to economic development, Schallert noted and Butler agreed, is how sustainable change happens. Butler is the Director of Economic Development for Grand County.
Schallert has Destination Bootcamps that provide more intense training and are most effective when attended by a group of business owners within a community. Over 50 people representing businesses in all of the towns in Grand County raised their hands when Butler asked if they would be willing to take that next step.
One of the messages of the Monday workshop was that businesses need to decide what makes them unique and emphasize that aspect in their business plan. The consumers of today are fickle, Schallert said, and they have numerous shopping options. When a consumer enters a store, Schallert continued, he or she will develop a positive or negative impression within seconds.
Butler also encouraged business owners to contact the Grand County Office of Economic Development with ideas and suggestions for workshops that would be helpful to their business operation. She can be reached at (970) 531-1343 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Winter Park approved an across-the-board raise for town staff that had initially been paused due to the coronavirus pandemic’s expected impact on the budget.