Many business owners don’t know where to begin when it comes time to develop a marketing plan. Some don’t even know what a marketing plan is. The Chamber wants to help! Over the next few weeks, I will be posting information on marketing plans: what they are, where to start, and how they can benefit your business.
Marketing plans are a guide to all of the marketing you plan throughout the year. For example if you publish advertising in a local trade magazine or newspaper, you will want to plan in advance what your advertisements will look like and focus on for each month. This will help you avoid the last minute crunch that sometimes happens when life gets busy. Sometimes that last minute crunch can be the reason a business misses the deadline to submit a new advertisement. Does the month in question host a holiday? Are your products more necessary at certain times of the year? What should you do in the slower months? These kinds of questions should be addressed in your marketing plan.
Financial records are easy to reference whenever questions arise. Your marketing plan should be too. Each month, you should review how you plan to promote your business. Consider your marketing plan as an instructional guide to get your business to the place you want it to be.
“Jobless recovery”, it is a term that is becoming part of the modern lexicon. But, should we be surprised we are experiencing a jobless recovery? As a country we have been purposefully heading this direction for decades and now that we are arriving at our destination it is creating serious change and havoc, and none too little consternation.
On the legislative and policy side of the issue, we have been mandating ever higher employment expenses through wage increases, individual safety expenses, hiring regulations, building codes, hours of work, age restrictions, ergonomics, and a wide variety of industry standards, and expecting the business community to absorb them as part of a profitable business model.
On the innovation side of things, we are creating technologies, software, hardware, and business efficiencies that continually reduce the number of labor hours needed to produce almost anything.
Employers Must Provide Written Notice by October 1st
October 1 is the deadline for employers to provide written notice of healthcare options to all current employees, as required by sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (new employees must be notified by their hire date). Regardless of size or whether a company provides employees with health insurance or is required to provide it, every employer must provide written notice that communicates the following:
- Informs the employee of the existence of the health insurance marketplace (referred to in the statute as the Exchange) including a description of the services provided by the marketplace, and the manner in which the employee may contact the marketplace to request assistance;
- If the employer plan’s share of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan is less than 60 percent of such costs, that the employee may be eligible for a premium tax credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code (the code) if the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the marketplace; and
- If the employee purchases a qualified health plan through the marketplace, the employee may lose the employer contribution (if any) to any health benefits plan offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for federal income tax purposes.
Health Insurance for More Oregonians
Our personal and community wellbeing revolves around jobs. Our ability to pay for food and shelter revolves around jobs. Our community’s ability to provide security and services revolves around jobs. The number one threat in the world today, and here in Klamath County, is fewer jobs than people who wish to work. High unemployment leads to higher incidents of spousal abuse, child abuse, drug abuse, criminal activity, and personal despair.
What is the fix? Good, full time, well-paying employment. How do we unleash the potential for job growth here in Klamath? How does a community provide a safe place for entrepreneurism?
The Chamber has been involved in very exciting discussions with a broad based coalition of stakeholders to help answer those very questions. One of the first answers you reach in any discussion of this nature is; there is no easy answer, no single answer. It is going to take a variety of approaches and ideas, covering many different job creating categories, new technologies, reading tea leaves, rolling up our sleeves and trying new things.
There are many moving parts in the building and maintaining of a vital community. At times a peek behind the curtain reveals issues we don’t like to deal with in the forefront of our lives, but they impact all we do and need to be addressed.
A recent case in point is a behind the scenes look at the local mission, and its focus on feeding the homeless and helping the downtrodden. Drawing the curtain back and seeing how facilities operate, the kinds of services provided, and the kind of meals served is an important part of understanding how any community service program works.
TEAM Klamath, an ad hoc partnership of Economic Development groups, governments, educational institutions, and private businesses, is focused on a wide variety of development targets. It works on retention, expansion and recruitment through many avenues of pursuit and strives to balance efforts across many business categories to ensure diversification of the local economy.
Recent activities have included projects ranging from biomass (renewable power generation), to a pumped storage project (renewable power generation), to the Sanford Pediatric Clinic (healthcare), to agricultural value added packaging and commodities, to light manufacturing, to retail and commercial development.
We’re on a mission…Every day!
There is no argument that Klamath County is in need of real economic growth. Local business and industry has taken an economic beating the last four or five years. The community’s unemployment rate is unacceptable and will only lead to further deterioration of our economy as our skilled workforce seeks opportunities outside the area.
The Chamber’s every day job is to help our members prosper and grow through active promotion, advocacy, and education. In addition, we work with a variety of partners to promote the region as a great place to visit, build a business, or move a family. One of the ways we do this is to advocate the expansion of local business opportunities and help attract business development in a highly competitive national marketplace. Klamath is competing directly with thousands of communities around the US and world in seeking business development and growth.
The Klamath County Chamber of Commerce participated in a Southern Oregon Chamber Day at the Capitol in Salem recently. We visited with State Representatives, State Senators, the Governor, and Secretary of State, a big thank you to all who dropped in to visit and answer questions. Our group, close to 50 in size, included Chamber members, Board members and staff from Klamath, Medford and Grants Pass.
It was a very enlightening and instructive day, and for me caused wonder as to how the State actually manages to function in a coherent way at all. The wide interests represented to our group by the various legislative and executive representatives are staggering. To date nearly 4000 (yes, FOUR THOUSAND) bills have been presented in the House and Senate for consideration this session, which ends June 30th.
The number one subject throughout the day was the effort to reform PERS. Every representative spoke to the subject, all with differing perspectives on the likelihood or the extent of reform, potential success, and real long term impact. PERS is a weighty subject and touches everyone in the State in some way, whether through individual retirement, school funding, or state services; all of which are impacted by the amount of money flowing to PERS. This is not to say PERS retirement is bad or un-needed, it is just overextending its ability to meet previously negotiated levels of payments and something needs to be done to stabilize the system so it doesn’t overwhelm the State budget.