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When you start a new business, it’s important to branch out and integrate with your local community. Your friends and neighbors are not only potential customers but also collaborators and brand ambassadors. Here are some tips for forming a successful new business and connections.

Establishment

Before you head out and begin to shake hands, it’s important to get the fundamentals of your business right. If you’ve recently moved to the area, it’s important to ensure that all of your paperwork is in order - this means setting up your business structure, bank account, registering for taxes, securing web domains, applying for licenses & permits, calculating financial projections and, of course,
writing a solid business plan. Some of these are regional-specific (for example, business structure) meaning you’ll need to observe state regulations during proceedings.

A business plan is crucial for attracting investment in your business and for its long-term ambitions. You can use this document to structure, run and grow your business - detailing the company, its mission, competitors, structure, products, and financial requirements. There are plenty of resources online to help you nail down this important step.

Networking

Once you’re legal, the next step is to get the word out. It might fall outside of your comfort zone but going out and networking in person is still an important part of establishing yourself in the local community. A simple introduction goes a long way but it helps to go a step further. By giving a hand at community events, for example, you can contribute to a cause whilst developing a report with
potential business prospects. Or, by sharing your services, you’ll be getting the word out about your business and lending help to those who need it.

Almost as important as your physical presence is your digital one. Take the time to reach out and connect with those in your local community via social media on Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin. You may find it helps to join some of the local groups and just engage in conversations/introduce yourself (although it helps not to make discussions so business-centric).

Marketing

Even with the word out, promoting your business takes precedence if you want to establish yourself in the minds of your local community. Marketing can help with this and encompasses everything from designing a standout logo to paying for advertisement. Often, it’s a good idea to start small with placements in local newspapers, free samples in other shops, sponsoring local events, or even hiring out nearby billboards. The key here is to get yourself as thoroughly involved as possible.

If you have the budget, you may also decide it makes sense to pay for online pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns or with Google placements. Digital marketing is one of the most cost-efficient ways to promote your business and it can help you to expand your reach across the whole community and beyond. Especially in sparsely populated areas of the country, it can be difficult to get eyes on your product but with smartphones and social media, you can tactically place your brand in a digital space where it’s bound to be seen.

In business, having the locals on your side is an advantage that is difficult to measure. If anything goes wrong or if you need a helping hand, you can be sure that your neighbors have your back. Just make sure that whatever goodwill you receive is reciprocated.

Author: Linda Chase of AbleHire.org. Able Hire's Mission is "Helping people with disabilities build rewarding, successful careers."

Kudos 365  is the place to post about your local Community events and activities or to share your photography, art, or other expertise.

Image by Pexels

This year marks the 23rd year that artists on Camano Island and Stanwood have invited the public into their studios and galleries to share their creativity and love of art and community. The studio tour has become the biggest tourist event on the Island, attributed to a growing artist community with nearly 100 members of the Camano Arts Association. Download the brochure 

"While there is still time to solve the climate crisis, time to choose BOTH a prosperous and sustainable future, and time to restore nature and build a healthy planet for our children and their children, time is short."

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated  on April 22 since 1970, to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It now includes a wide range of events coordinated globally by EarthDay.org

I’m not a violent man. But everyone has their breaking point. And I’ve reached mine. If you’re a homeowner, there are three certainties in life: your property taxes will go up, the roof will need to be replaced SOON, and with the first blossoms of Spring, moles will arrive in your yard.....Read more

Pi Day π (pi) is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day format) since 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant digits of π. Pi (π) Day has become an international holiday, celebrated live and online all around the world. 

What is π anyway? Divide any circle’s circumference by its diameter; the answer (whether for a plate or a planet) is always approximately 3.14, a number represented with the Greek letter π. Mathematicians have been calculating π’s digits with more and more accuracy and have discover they go on literally forever, with no pattern.

The new Celebrate Art Regional Juried Show. is now open at the Guilded Gallery located at 8702-271st Street NW in Stanwood, WA. All sold art is replaced by the artist with a new piece so the show changes. Plan to visit again and again. 
www.stanwoodcamanoart.com

(Sadly, the following story is completely true.) As I age, I routinely am reminded that my body – and my brain – are slowing declining. I will never again grace the cover of People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive issue, and I’m pretty, were I to have my IQ re-evaluated, it would no longer be anywhere near 250........Read more

Recently, my wife and I joined two other couples for a two-week vacation to see all five of Utah’s national parks. Utahns like to refer to them as “The Mighty Five.” I prefer to call them “a complete waste of time.”
Oh sure, if hiking in stunning, majestic outdoor scenery among 2,000 foot cliffs created 65 million years ago, where once an inland sea covered everything, and climbing up to gaze out on stunning panoramas unlike anything you've ever seen in your life is your cup of tea, then, perhaps you might actually enjoy this experience.
But if you ask me, they don't live up to the hype. The Wi-Fi was non-existent, and good luck finding a Starbucks anywhere along the trail. Read my complete evaluation and decide for yourself.

I was at the opening of new works by one of our local oil painters at
the South End Fine Art Gallery and Expresso Shoppe. As always it’s a
guaranteed large crowd, mostly us artists and a few of our friends and
occasionally a patron or two. Regina, the gallery owner and latte
barista, always provides liberal winepours and enough hors d’oeuvres to
hold back rickets among the starving artists another week or so.

I was admiring a fine piece titled, tantalizingly enough, “Sailboat at
Sunset #56”, one of a series I’m guessing of at least 56 or more, when a
couple jostled me out of the way for a better view. I didn’t really
mind moving on, after all, there were plenty more similar offerings, but
the gentleman of the pair had caused me to spill my merlot onto the
sleeve of my last presentable Goodwill shirt, then gave me a cursory
‘scuse me,’ that sounded vaguely like ‘sue me’ before steering his
companion and her jangling earrings into the appropriate viewing angle. A
moment later they were discussing perspective and complimentary
colorations, the expressively bold brushstrokes of the sails, the
minimalist way the artist had captured the shimmer of the sea, and of
course, the price, anything BUT minimalist.

“I may not know art, ”my jostler said, sipping daintily on a white wine from his plastic
glass, “but I know what I like.” He was quite pleased at this knowledge,
no doubt gained with considerable effort. His companion wagged an
earlobe with a windchime banging to life, evidently in total agreement
with both of us on this aesthetic declaration.

I guess I was still miffed about the impromptu dye job on my best shirt, or maybe it’s just
a character flaw deeper than any fabric stain, but I smiled winningly
and said out of the cerulean blue, “I don’t know much about
biochemistry, but I sure know a good clone when I see one.” This caused
some raised eyebrows, a rolling of the eyes and the beginning of distant
alarm bells that would soon drown out the jangling jewelry. For good
measure I added, “I don’t know much about history either, but hey, I
love a good war. I know what I like.”

So okay, I cost Regina a commission and I should feel bad about that. Probably cost the artist a
sale and I should feel worse about that, but I don’t. I do happen to
know something about art, and I know what I don’t like. I guess it’s
okay to buy what you do; I just don’t think we should be proud of our
ignorance. Then again, what the hell do I know?

Visit the Skeeter Daddle Site

Gettin' together to smile an' rejoice,
An' eatin' an' laughin' with folks of your choice;
An' kissin' the girls an' declarin' that they
Are growin' more beautiful day after day;
Chattin' an' braggin' a bit with the men,
Buildin' the old family circle again;
Livin' the wholesome an' old-fashioned cheer,
Just for awhile at the end of the year.

Greetings fly fast as we crowd through the door
And under the old roof we gather once more
Just as we did when the youngsters were small;
Mother's a little bit grayer, that's all.
Father's a little bit older, but still
Ready to romp an' to laugh with a will.
Here we are back at the table again
Tellin' our stories as women an' men.

Bowed are our heads for a moment in prayer;
Oh, but we're grateful an' glad to be there.
Home from the east land an' home from the west,
Home with the folks that are dearest an' best.
Out of the sham of the cities afar
We've come for a time to be just what we are.
Here we can talk of ourselves an' be frank,
Forgettin' position an' station an' rank.

Give me the end of the year an' its fun
When most of the plannin' an' toilin' is done;
Bring all the wanderers home to the nest,
Let me sit down with the ones I love best,
Hear the old voices still ringin' with song,
See the old faces unblemished by wrong,
See the old table with all of its chairs
An' I'll put soul in my Thanksgivin' prayers.

This poem is in the public domain.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881 – 1959) was a British-born American poet who became known as the People's Poet. His family moved from England to Detroit, Michigan when he was ten years old and he lived there the rest of his life. He worked for the Detroit Free Press for 64 years. He published more than twenty volumes of poetry and was thought to have written over 12,000 poems. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life. Of his poems he said, "I take simple everyday things that happen to me and I figure it happens to a lot of other people and I make simple rhymes out of them. "His popularity led NBC to produce a weekly 15-minute radio program, “Guest in Your Home,” which ran from 1931 to 1942.The Joplin Globe editorialized his passing by quoting Philip Coldren, the late editorial page editor who wrote that the key to Guest’s greatness was “that among the thousands of Guest poems, ‘there has not been a single one that has promoted wickedness or meanness or anything else but kindness and gentleness and peace and hope."

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