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
    Sep182014

    9-18-14 A simple marketing research tool for a retail business

    Some basic information that guides how you use your advertising dollars is determining where your customers live and how they learned about your business.

    A simple method is to ask each customer for their zip code and how they learned about your business and create a simple system to record the information.  This can be done on a computer using an Excel spreadsheet or some other tabular system, or by doing listings and hatch marks on a piece of paper near your register (OK, I know this doesn’t sound very high-tech, but it works).

    You can keep track of these zip code tabulations by the month or season, or after you have done a new advertisement or promotion.

    Once you see the patterns, it can provide you with valuable information about where to focus your advertising dollars.

    Thursday
    Sep112014

    9-11-14 Making a good visual first impression

    Have you noticed how you are attracted to some business cards, but that many don’t seem to create any impression?  When you go to a website, are you immediately drawn in to see what’s there, and do you get an instant impression of the business and/or the person?

    Logos, business cards and websites are generally the first entry point where someone connects with you as a business.  When I decided I wanted to create a fresh impression for my business and look for different places to sell my services,

    I began by hiring Tinuviel Creative.  Kim Tinuviel and I were already friends, so she knew my personality and my values.

    Hence, the sunflower that announces my sunny disposition (so I am told), yet a sophisticated, simple, design that I believe creates a first impression that represents my personality and my serious intention as marketing professional.

    Whether you are starting a business, or revamping an existing one, ask some of your friends and business associates to give their honest impressions about your business cards and website.  If you do not get a clear, consistent response that reflects what you want to communicate, I strongly suggest you look toward creating that first impression you want.

    By the way, Kim not only does excellent business materials, she also is a fine photographer and artist who works with a variety of mediums http://www.tinuvielcreative.com/).

     

     

    Thursday
    Sep042014

    9-4-14 Guidelines for having a productive meeting

    How many meetings do you go to each month?  On Whidbey there are so many organizations, that most of us go to at least a couple of meetings a month; some of us go to lots more than that.  Meetings are very important for group members to learn what’s going on and to decide what needs to be accomplished before the next meeting.

    I admit to being very frustrated when I am in a meeting that seems unfocused; where there is a lot of talking, but not much seems to be accomplished.

    As a professional facilitator, here are some of the elements that I believe lead to a productive and satisfying meeting:

    • Clear goals are established and stated for the meeting;
    • Ground rules are established that encourage everyone to be courteous and respectful;
    • A simple agenda is prepared and followed as closely as possible; some deviations may occur as long as these contribute to the goals of the meeting;
    • The meeting is set for no more than an hour and a half;
    • The leader of the meeting keeps everyone focused on the agenda and assures that no single voice dominates;
    • Succinct notes are prepared for distribution after the meeting.    

    My overall goal is to have everyone leave a meeting smiling and feeling confident and comfortable that they were able to share their responses and hear what others had to say.

     

    Thursday
    Aug282014

    8-28-14 Sweet Mona’s in Langley: It takes vision, courage and a lot of work to create a successful business

    On August 23rd, Sweet Mona’s had a grand opening celebration, with everyone invited to come to the new location and enjoy chocolate specials.  By the end of the day, over 300 people had come by to have chocolate, gelatos and drinks and to bask in the patio that surrounds the store

    I went to the opening with two grandchildren, two of my three daughters, a son-in-law, a visitor from France and my husband, Rich, and we all had gelatos….and enjoyed our treats on the patio.

    I mentioned in previous blogs that Langley reminds me of my recent visit to Italy, France and Spain.  Sweet Mona’s is truly a relaxed European experience on Whidbey.  Besides the yummy gelatos (I believe she has the only gelato on Whidbey Island), it was a delight to sit in the sun outside and have good conversations.

    Buying the building at 221-2nd Street took more than a year from when Mona and Tony Newbauer first had the idea.  The move took place 8-1/2 years after they started the business at a much smaller place across the street.  Despite all of the work to make this move happen, Mona says “, I would do it all over again just to live in those last ten days where my friends, family, employees, and community members came together to pull it all together. It was, by far, my greatest business success to date. I look forward to many more successful years here.”

    Business has definitely increased in the new location, and it’s highly likely that Mona’s dream of many more successful years will come true.

    Sweet Mona's website: http://www.sweetmonas.com

     

    Thursday
    Aug212014

    8-20-14 Paul Schell’s memorial on Whidbey, a uniquely Whidbey experience

    Rich and I participated in last Thursday’s memorial service for Paul Schell in Langley. I knew Paul through WICA and through Democratic functions on Whidbey. Of course, once you met Paul and Pam, it was easy to cross paths with them in Langley, and experience the special friendliness and warmth they projected.

    The South Whidbey Record and the Seattle Times had photos showing the parade flowing through the streets of Langley. We weren’t wearing the New Orlean’s style hats and beads, but we still felt very at home in the crowd of friends. Even though it was a sad event, in many ways it almost felt joyful because of who Paul was and what he had contributed while he was alive.

    The parade continued to WICA, one of the many organizations where Paul played a major role in making something special happen. We listened to many sweet tributes and stories.

    What seemed so special to me was the sense that everyone there was in some way connected to the Schells on a personal level.

    Seattle will have its memorial for Paul in October, and I’m sure it will be an impressive event. But, I feel so privileged to live in this community and to have been part of our special celebration of this remarkable man’s life.