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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    2055 Pheasant Farm Lane
    Freeland, WA 98249

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    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.


    5-28-15 The Children’s Writing Contest involved collaboration between more organizations that NILA and WCT 

    Last week I wrote about the collaboration between the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (NILA) and Whidbey Children’s Theater (WCT) in organizing this year’s Celebrate Writing Contest. The contest was open to children in the 3rd through 8th grades who are students at any of the schools on Whidbey.

    I got an email from NILA’s Program Director, Petra Martin, who pointed out that the collaboration involved in putting this contest together extended beyond our two agencies. Whidbey Life Magazine agreed to publish the winning entries and Whidbey TV was at Whidbey Children’s Theater in Langley filming the children reading their poems and stories.

    Petra explained to me: “The ‘tragedy’ of not receiving a grant forced us to be creative about how we recognize winners. In the real world, writers who are ‘winners’ get published. Thanks to Whidbey Life Magazine, that is actually going to happen.”  She added, “Very good writers, like the JK Rowlings of the world, get on TV, and thanks to Whidbey Telecom, that is going to happen, as well.”

    This is a win-win-win for all of these Whidbey organizations, and for the children, who are likely to share their successes with friends and family through social media.

    Here is the link again about the contest and the winners: