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

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    carolyntamler@whidbey.net

    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    CAROLYN'S BLOG

    Thursday
    Jul202017

    7-20-17 Creativity is often easier within a group

    I understand that many artists find their creative expression on their own. They have a creative concept for a piece of artwork or music, and they execute the idea on their own.

    However, it has been my experience that if you ask a single person to come up with a creative idea for a plan or a marketing concept, or simply a way to solve a problem, often there is a deer-in-the-headlights moment.

    That’s why I love bringing people together and facilitating a discussion that will generate creative ideas and solutions to problems. The most productive group number is 10; not sure why (in Jewish tradition 10 is a “minion” or the amount needed to have a formal meeting process), but this does seem to be the magic number where everyone feels comfortable about speaking up and sharing opinions and ideas. Less than 10, and sometimes the discussion isn’t quite as lively; more than 10, and it becomes a bit more difficult to control.  This is the basic concept behind doing a "focus group discussion."

    I do want to stress the need to have a good facilitator for a group process. It’s important that time is controlled, that the discussion stays focused and that everyone in the discussion feels comfortable speaking up.

    It’s also interesting to me that some of the most creative ideas coming out of someone in a group have been preceded by the phrase, “I really don’t know much about this, but……”

    To summarize: Bring people together in the group that have some kind of common interest (community, interests, knowledge, etc.); have an agenda that is followed as much as possible; create an atmosphere where everyone in the group feels comfortable speaking up; and make sure that no one individual dominates the conversation (I usually say something like, “I can see you feel strongly about this, now I’d like to hear what someone else has to say.”)

    Thursday
    Jul132017

    7-13-17 It’s tourist season, and a retail business owner’s most important job is making a person feel welcome coming into your store

    My husband and I were recently in San Mateo, a charming small city in the Bay Area. We went into a store that was selling a variety of gift items.  We walked in and after a few minutes, we realized that no one greeted us, or even looked at us.

    We waited for someone to notice us....and none of the staff looked up from what they were doing; no one made eye contact or said “Hello” or “We’ll be with you in just a minute.”  We waited.  Finally, my husband said, “Let’s go somewhere else.”  And, we did.

    I can imagine the young staff had had a long day, or some cranky customers, or were just anxious to be done with their work day and head home.  

    But, as the customer, my only concern was being waited on, or at least having someone greet me and say they would be helping me soon.  I wanted to feel welcome.

    We are deep into the tourist season on Whidbey. Making a customer feel welcome is always important, but this is especially true when many strangers may be stopping by your business.

    Anyone who is meeting the public in a business must always be aware of the power of that first moment when a potential customer walks through the door.  More than anything else, a customer must be noticed and made to feel welcomed.

    Thursday
    Jul062017

    7-6-17 A creative collaboration: The Big W Food Truck and Double Bluff Brewing in Langley

    Last week I asked if you had visited Langley lately and noticed all of the new businesses.

    I forgot to mention one that is just in Langley for the summer months: The Big W Food Truck.

    What is especially blog-worthy besides the creativity of the food truck operated by Joe Wierzbowski , is that he and Daniel Thomis of Double Bluff Brewery, just around the corner from the Big W Truck, have formed a collaboration to promote each other.

    When you place your food order at The Big W Truck, there is a sign posted next to the menu inviting you to take your order to Double Bluff Brewery, buy a beer and enjoy your lunch in the lovely patio.

    The value of collaborations is one of my major themes. It is definitely an effective marketing tool for each of the businesses that collaborate.

    Read the article on Whidbey Local

     

    Thursday
    Jun292017

    6-29-17 Have you visited Langley lately and welcomed the new businesses? 

    The City of Langley reports there are 16 new businesses since January 2017.  Several are in-home businesses, and nine are retail.

    I didn’t visit all of them on my walk around town yesterday, but I did peak into several.  Each of the businesses is unique, offering something special.

    If you have visitors, take them to see a more vibrant Langley, and if you haven’t been there in a while, take yourself and spend time visiting Downtown Langley.

    Here are the new retail businesses:

    • ·         Anthes Ferments
    • ·         Foamy Wader
    • ·         Rob Schouten Gallery
    • ·         Blue Sound Music
    • ·         Saltwater Fish House
    • ·         Chops Barbershop
    • ·         Whidbey Island Music Instruction
    • ·         Feather & Fox and Fine Balance Imaging
    • ·         David Carman Law
    Wednesday
    Jun212017

    6-22-17 The marketing power of having someone focus on you when you enter a store

    (Note: I published this story exactly a year ago.  I thought it was worth publishing it again.)

    We just came back from a lovely visit to Victoria, BC. We were only there for a day, but it was long enough to walk around the Downtown area and visit some of the shops. Granted, we were in a heavy tourist area and most of the businesses were going after tourist dollars.

    Still, I was impressed with at least two stores we wandered into where I really had no plan to purchase anything and did buy something. In each case, as soon as I walked into the store, I was greeted with a smile and an offer of help, and I was made to feel that I was the most important person to walk in the store that day. The person greeting me described some of the special products they offered and seemed very sincere in providing information and answering questions.

    I ended up purchasing some tea and some English biscuits (cookies, in case you’re not familiar with the term). And, I had no intention of buying either as I was walking down the street.

    Never forget how important it is to make a potential customer feel important.