Heading back to school

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It was American author Napoleon Hill who once said “the mind becomes withered, stagnant, narrow and closed unless it searches for new ideas.”

The same can be said for an organization like the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce. Unless we are always searching for new and innovative ways to add value to our members and increase the livability of our community, we will become stagnant and irrelevant. 

With this in mind, we recently facilitated a number of meetings with groups of large and small businesses in our area. Our goal was to talk about the Chamber somewhat candidly and learn directly from our stakeholders about what we as an organization are doing well, and what we need to be doing more of. During these meetings, we were able to hear feedback from both members and non-members about our role in the community. We always want to ensure that what we are doing is aligned with what the business community needs, after all they are what sustain the organization – and sometimes the only way to do that is to ask.

It seems as if everyone is heading back to school this fall.

One of the many things we heard from our stakeholders is that they are also wanting new education opportunities – like social media basics, bookkeeping dos and don’ts, creating and maintaining websites, and different types of funding opportunities – the types of things that directly affect small businesses that may only have a handful of employees wearing a multitude of hats. What to do if you can’t afford to hire a professional bookkeeper? Or a social media manager? How can the Chamber help bring some education around these and other topics?

Now we feel as if it is also back to school for us, as we take that information and relearn some of our best practices and methods to meet our stakeholders’ needs. We will be educating ourselves on the most efficient ways to bring these trainings and resources to our small business community, likely relying on local professionals,and hopefully our business owners take it upon themselves to participate and keep working on their “education.”

So, as our teachers prepare for students and the upcoming school year, we will also be preparing to refocus our energy and to meet these types of needs for our smaller businesses. We will be continually searching for new ideas, new opportunities, and new partnerships. Stay tuned for these educational trainings coming in the near future.

If you are interested in future educational opportunities or if you are a local professional that has an area of expertise you would love to share with small businesses, please don’t hesitate to email us. Feel free to contact us anytime at info@tillamookchamber.org.