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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    7-6-17 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



    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

    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.


    6-15-17 A great example of filling a niche: Moonraker Books, the wonderful real bookstore, in Langley  

    I have done several blogs about how filling a niche is a great contributor to a successful business. There is a business that has been in Langley for 45 years and is still thriving...for many reasons.

    Moonraker Books is a real bookstore, with great displays of real books arranged in a very appealing and educational way. Despite all of the emphasis on modern technology which is focused on virtual books, old-fashioned bookstores are having a resurgence.

    I admit that I love the feel of a real book in my hands; a Kindle just doesn’t do it for me. And, I’m not alone.

    A story was just published on Whidbey Local, where I write the weekly “Business Spotlight,” that gives some of the background and story to how Josh Hauser, and her husband, Glen, (who passed away a few years ago) created Moonraker Books.

    I invite you to read the story….and then pay a visit to Moonraker Books on 1st Street in Downtown Langley.

    Moonraker Books in Langley: In this digital age, there has been a resurgence of interest in books you can hold


    6-8-17 Ask people how they learned about your business: Another Simple Way to Learn More About Your Customers

    When someone comes into your store, or contacts you to purchase your product or service, be sure to ask how they found out about your business---and, keep track of what you learn.

    If you are already doing this…..that’s great! 

    Are you keeping a record of what you learn?

    Asking this question and keeping a record of the responses is important, so that you can see where to place your energy and marketing dollars to promote your business. 

    On South Whidbey, word-of-mouth seems to be one of the most important sources of business, but we also have newspapers, emails, Drew’s List, (and let’s not forget the “Business Spotlight”), bulletin boards, brochures, and promotions for non-profits (hopefully, you’ve heard me mention businesses that support the Whidbey Children’s Theater, for example).

    When you have a sale or any kind of special promotion, it is especially important to keep track of what brings potential customers to you.

    Be aware also, that advertising and promotion that works well may vary.  It is not uncommon for something to work great for a while, and then suddenly not be as effective in generating business for you. 

    That’s why it’s so important to continue to check on what works, and if something isn’t working as well as it used to, try something new.

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