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Work on your business, not just in it

By Mary Jo Coulehan

SUN Columnist

Many business owners — me included — are so busy right now working in our businesses that we don’t work on our businesses.

We get wrapped up in the day-to-day workings, and we know we need to plan, but we just can’t seem to find the time.

Break that cycle, now. Spend just a few hours and attend the third Business to Business Expo on Wednesday, Oct. 16, at the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

This year’s Business Expo is geared to the needs of your business and our community’s needs and challenges.

We have some new options for Business Expo attendees this year. Everyone is welcome to come to the expo and visit with the vendors free of charge. Vendors will have their booths and businesses on display for the public to see what is available here in Pagosa Springs. Schedule an appointment with Region 9 or the SBDC, or check out health care, business services and products, and take advantage of the specials and schwag vendors are offering. The expo will also feature an educational afternoon, with three speakers that you won’t want to miss, and a networking reception for an admission fee of only $25.

It’s a technological jungle out there and Jack Jostes, from Ramblin’ Jackson Marketing Agency, will work with businesses and speak about ways you can wrap your head and hands around Internet changes in bite-size ways. He will give you tips on blogging and social media do’s and don’ts, discuss how you respond to negative comments and how to integrate social media and e-mail marketing. He’ll provide some timesaving tips to navigate the social media jungle. As a certified Constant Contact representative, he will also give you tips on how you can more easily speak to your customer base or gain new customers. There is so much technology out there; how does a business keep up with e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, mobile apps, iPads, Pinterest? Jack has an easy-to-understand, entertaining way of communicating with his audience.

2014 is right around the corner and looming around that corner are the new health care reform laws. The new Connect for Health Colorado Marketplace is open. Linda Gann, Western Slope outreach coordinator for Connect for Health Colorado, will discuss health care options for individuals and small businesses. Colorado has been working for years on solutions to the spiraling costs of health insurance and the impact that health care costs have on our state budget. The marketplace will provide us with competitive, confidential, market-driven access to health insurance. As the executor of the Colorado Exchange Program, Connect for Health Colorado has been making presentations all around the state. We are excited they will be at our Business Expo, working with residents and business owners. Do you qualify for a tax credit? Can you explain to your employees how they can qualify? Get the correct answers. In conjunction with Connect for Health, there will also be representatives of insurance companies that are part of the exchange program present, and you can receive information and get some questions answered.

Our keynote speakers will be Tim Merriman and Lisa Brochu, authors of numerous books and the one that caught my attention when I decided to bring them to Pagosa Springs — the EVVY Award-winning “Put the Heart Back in Your Community.” Tim and Lisa have over 40 years experience working with communities all over the world. We are lucky they live in Fort Collins and had a slot open to come keynote our conference. We hope that, as a result of experiences at this expo, business owners, non-profit and government agencies will begin to collaborate and work smarter. Now is the time to start. Merriman and Brochu will show us ways that we can build on exercises and studies we have already done and give us examples of successful communities around the world, telling us why they were successful. Tim and Lisa will inspire you and everyone should hear what they have to impart. Government officials, non-profit agency directors, business owners and managers, and other Pagosa residents should attend this informative session. Then, stay for the reception.

Tickets are available online at www.pagosaspringschamber.com or call the office at 264-2360 to reserve your admission ticket or booth space. Take a few hours, work on your business and get inspired.

Pagosa MAKERS Expo

On Saturday and Sunday, the first Pagosa MAKERS Expo &Tour will be held.

This two-day event showcases the incredible creative talent in Pagosa Springs. The MAKERS Expo & Tour is not just about art and jewelry, but includes so many more things “made” in Pagosa.

The event includes more than 20 Tour stops, and two Expo sites with more than 33 exhibitors and performers. The two Expo stops will be at SHY RABBIT Contemporary Arts at 333 Bastille Drive and the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts at 2313 Eagle Drive.

Enjoy multimedia visual arts, theatrical arts, musical arts, food and beverage arts, fiber arts, furniture arts and much more. The talent pool in Pagosa Springs is extraordinary and the artists in this first Expo will wow you with their skills and products. The tour spans two days and will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at most stops each day. Open your senses to creativity in many forms. A booklet with a list of participants and stops is available at the Chamber of Commerce, The SUN office, SHY RABBIT or the Center for the Arts. Map out your tour by picking up a booklet now. Many thanks to the Pagosa Arts and Culture Project board for making this dream a reality.

Membership 

We welcome back the following renewing members: Old West Press (with new owners Alex and Ramona Tschaar), Pagosa Verde, Piedra Automotive, Dental Art, The San Juan Motel and The Training Advantage.

This story was posted on October 10, 2013.