Carolyn Browne Tamler

has helped hundreds of businesses and organizations with her thoughtful facilitation and research services. She also writes colorful and compelling articles about new business initiatives! Would this help you? Call Carolyn today!

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    p:| 360.222.6820
    c:| 425.351.7531

    f:| 360.222.6820

    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    9-29-16 Three basic marketing concepts to build your business

    When you’re thinking about how to best use your dollars for marketing, here are the
    three ways I approach this:
    1. It is always easiest to sell more to those who are already buying your product or service;
    2. You are more likely to sell to new customers who are much like the customers you already have or have been referred to you by current customers; and
    3. It is hardest to sell to new people about whom you have little information.
    Item 1 assumes that you do everything to keep your customers happy so they’ll want to keep coming back to you.
    Item 2 is based on the idea that the kinds of people who really appreciate you, what you sell, and how you do business are likely to want to do business with you… once they know who you are… and especially if they have heard good things about your from their friends.
    Item 3 means it can be very expensive to simply place an advertisement without knowing details about the audience that will see the advertisement.
    The wise ways to use your advertising dollars are to promote your business to current satisfied customers, and let your customers know how much you appreciate having them refer you to others.
    And, remember… a satisfied customer usually tells many people. A dissatisfied customer tells everyone.

    9-22-16 Let a business owner know if something isn’t right

    Have you ever had a friend tell you about poor service they experienced at a restaurant or a retail store and learned that they were telling you something they never said to the owner of the business?

    Mistakes occur in any business situation. The challenge is to learn about these mistakes and then to do something to acknowledge the error to your customer and apologize. If you’re a customer and you’re not satisfied, ask to talk to an owner or manager and let that person know about the problem. If it’s a business that really cares about customer service, your comments will be appreciated and responded to.

    If you’re the business owner and you hear of a problem, or you are aware that something has gone wrong (for example, if you have a restaurant and the service hasn’t been efficient), if possible, talk directly to the customer, acknowledge the problem, and offer something as an apology. You can also make it clear to your employees how important it is for them to say something when there’s a problem and to give your employees the authority to do something to rectify the mistake.

    Good customer service means no one ever leaves your business dissatisfied.



    9-15-16 On Whidbey, most of us do our best to shop here instead of going to America 

    I don’t remember how long ago I heard someone say, “I’m going to America tomorrow.”  I soon learned that many on the island use the term to mean taking the ferry across and dealing with the traffic and stress of going there to run some errands and/or do shopping.

    Of course, there is a recognition that the “big box” stores over there have more selection and, often, lower prices.

    But for many of us, it is also important to support our local businesses. There definitely is an ethic here, that I am sure is true of other small, connected communities, that doing our part to make the local businesses successful is often more important than going for the selection and the prices at the big boxes.

    We are fortunate on Whidbey to also have many businesses that make their own products (coffee, wines, foods, crafts….to mention a few), and the quality is usually excellent. To have an idea of the diversity of the business community we have on Whidbey, take a look at the Business Spotlight on Whidbey Local (

    There is also a lot to be said for feeling good about helping someone else. I like to buy locally and know that I am playing a small part in helping a small business thrive on Whidbey.


    9-8-16 Someone else wrote my Blog for this week: How To Read Polls From Now Until November

    I just spotted this post on the Huffington Post and it explains polling better than anything else I have read....

    By Natilie Jackson, Huffington Post: 

    Right on cue, the post-Labor Day polling bonanza has begun. For those who are tuning in to the presidential election for the first time, welcome! This is when we start getting tons of poll releases every day, many of which will show different numbers.

    To read the article, click on this link.





    9-1-16 Would your business make a good story for the Business Spotlight at Whidbey Local?

    I’ve been writing business stories for  as the “Business Spotlight” for four years.  I enjoy spotlighting the creative and courageous work it takes to develop and run a business.

    If you look at the stories I have written ( you will notice a range of types of businesses; some are new, some have been on Whidbey for several years, and many are one-of-a-kind.

    I especially appreciate learning about businesses that are unique, where a particular niche is being filled.  And, I enjoy learning about what brought someone to Whidbey, and why someone created their business.

    Everyone has a special story to tell, but I do believe that someone who operates a business can often share a story of having a vision and acting on that vision.  Most of the business people about whom I have written are passionate about what they are doing and truly dedicated to making a positive difference in the community.

    If you have a business story you want to share, please let me know: