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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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    7-2-15 Creating key messages for your business

    Once you have gotten clear on what is special or unique about your business (from the 6-25-15 Blog), it becomes easy to create some key messages that you can use in all of your promotion to identify what you are selling.  Remember, you are not just selling a particular product or service; you are selling customer service that accompanies the transaction.

    A key message needs to be simple and easily understood.  The concept is that at every opportunity when you are interacting with customers, or potential customers, you reinforce your message.  Key messages not only appear in your advertisements, they also are repeated by you, and any employees you may have, whenever you are talking about your business.

    I was going to pull out some key messages I saw in ads in the newspaper, but then I thought it might be fun to suggest to Blog readers that you send me some key messages that really resonated with you.  If you see a good key message from some business here on the Island, send it to me:

    I’ll be sharing these with you in a future Blog.

    (Once I wrote this Blog entry, I realized I didn’t have a key message for my business since I moved to Whidbey.  What came to me was “Whidbey’s business storyteller.”  Let me know what you think.)


    6-25-15 What’s special or unique about your business?

    It’s likely that whatever business you are in, there are others selling the same or similar products and services.  Even if you feel you are offering something very different from what others sell, the same question needs to be answered in order to successfully promote yourself: You have to be able to describe what is unique or special about your business..

    What makes you unique may be the product itself, or it can be the kind of special attention you give to each of your customers.  It can be the way you stand behind what you’re selling. 

    If you’re not sure how to describe these special qualities, ask your friends and current customers.  If people are satisfied with what you’re selling, they can also give you their reasons….and these can become part of your message to attract more customers.


    6-18-15 Changing your business model to match changing times and interests

    As I wrote this title, I was thinking about Kim and David Tiller who own Whidbey Island Natural, based in Langley. Their story was just featured in the Business Spotlight on Whidbey Local.

    They loved Whidbey Island, and chose to move here. Their business story emerged as each chose to leave their software jobs to create a business so they could work and live on the island.  Kim fell in love with the idea of making soap and Whidbey Island Soap Company emerged. David soon joined her. First, they had a business in Coupeville, then moved to a larger space in Langley.

    The crash of the economy in 2008 forced them to change how they operated in order to maintain their business. They downsized the retail operation and began building an on-line presence. They also looked to other locations, both on and off the island, where other stores could sell their products.

    Kim and David also changed the focus of their business so that they used only organic ingredients, and they expanded their line to include many healing products. They also are beginning to grow many of their own herbal ingredients.

    Today, the business future for Whidbey Island Natural (the name was chosen to fit their new way of doing business) is looking bright.

    Being flexible and willing to grow in new directions is important when you establish a business.


    6-11-15 The new tables in City Hall demonstrate a great way to support local artists

    Mayor Fred McCarthy loves to show the beautiful conference tables, constructed by Kim Hoelting of “Live Edge Woodworks” that are now where the Council members sit for their meetings.

    Mayor McCarty notes, “These beautiful tables represent the artistic talents in our community and communicate the value of art in our world.”

    On Whidbey, we are blessed with a wealth of artistic talent.  By displaying local art in our local offices and businesses, we are providing a platform for promoting the artists and a strong statement of how we appreciate their contributions.



    6-4-15 Three basic marketing ideas to help increase 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.