Stillwater News Press

Local Columnists

February 18, 2014

LISA NAVRKAL: Programs will help Stillwater’s small businesses grow

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Chamber serves businesses of all sizes but 80 percent of our membership is small business classified as 25 or fewer employees and 92 percent have 50 or fewer employees.

We all know a vibrant business community leads to an overall strong community; therefore the Stillwater Chamber strives to provide the necessary professional and business development opportunities to members. A new program series the Chamber is launching this year is the Small Business Training.

The series is a partnership with Payne County Extension and the Small Business Administration, and is comprised of sessions that will assist in growing small business. The sessions will be geared toward employees and how to engage them in feeling the same sense of ownership over the company as the business owner would have, how to market your business in today’s world of social media and how to expand and grow your business not only locally but globally.

The Chamber’s interest is to invest in our businesses growth and development and we want to ensure any business could participate and take advantage of these opportunities to provide education on how to grow their business. The series will be at no cost to our Chamber members but we also wanted to open the program to all companies and allow any business to participate for a nominal fee.

The programs will begin in March with a phone etiquette session, whoever answers your phone then becomes the voice of your company. Telephone etiquette is a serious issue, but we will take a humorous approach to it by emphasizing what not to say while on the telephone. This is an enjoyable and useful workshop for anyone who regularly (or even occasionally) answers the phone for your organization.

Breaking into and understanding how to market your business at a next level is important for any business. The Pinterest for Your Business presentation is an introduction to Pinterest from the business-owner’s perspective. 

Participants will learn terminology. The workshop will discuss what makes a good “Pin” and will look at some local businesses that are active on Pinterest.

Quality customer service is essential for any business or organization. The Oklahoma PRIDE program teaches front-line employees quality customer service techniques. The training focuses on several important topics including the circle of service, moments of truth and a look at the hospitality habits necessary for successful customer service.

Our economic development arm of the Chamber will also play a role in this training series with programs that review the areas of sources for capital for small business, assistance with counseling, developing your business via federal contracts and global markets and a disaster assistance program.

The Chamber is here to partner with your business and we want to provide you the resources that can grow your company.

Over this year we will offer Small Business Training programs to ensure our companies in and around Stillwater have the tools to be successful. We encourage every business to take advantage of this opportunity and to contact the Chamber to find out more information or visit stillwaterchamber.org to sign up.

Lisa Navrkal is CEO/president of the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce.

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