CountryHouse & Primrose Lemonade & Dessert Stand Fundraiser

CountryHouse & Primrose Lemonade & Dessert Stand Fundraiser

On Thursday August 23rd from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Primrose Retirement Community (1801 E Kanesville Blvd, Council Bluffs, IA 51503). Primrose and CountryHouse will be hosting a fundraiser with Lemonade & Desserts for the Walk to End Alzheimer's.

Growing Your Business and Improving our Community

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Growing Your Business and Improving our Community

Current Council Bluffs Business Connections (CBBC) President Anne Morgan, of Risney Photo and Design, and former CBBC President Jim Myers, of Express Employment Professionals, took time out of their busy schedules to help continuing efforts of Council Bluffs' Dream Playground Re-Imagined Project on July 26th, 2018.

CBBC prides itself on it's community outreach and want to thank Jim and Anne for their hard work on the project. We look forward to hearing stories about their time volunteering next Monday at our weekly meeting at 7:30am-9:00am at the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce. 

This effort is a great way to improve our community, while also being a lot of fun for all volunteers involved. The project is still in need of volunteers feel free to sign up on their website at https://dreamplaygroundcb.org/volunteer/ and check out their Facebook page to stay updated on progress at https://www.facebook.com/DreamPlaygroundReImagined

If you are interested in expanding your business and improving the Council Bluffs community. Look no further than Council Bluffs Business Connection. Feel free to contact us or stop by at our weekly meeting to see how we can help you take your business to the next level. 

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Are Your Staff Meetings Effective or Unnecessary

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Are Your Staff Meetings Effective or Unnecessary

7 Tips for Improving Staff Meetings

The Council Bluffs Business Connection (CBBC), during our 15-minute group discussion, talked about some common mistakes that we’ve heard, seen, or done ourselves that cost our business both time and money. This discussion was led by Rick Guill of Farmers Insurance, who found the article “10 Small Business Mistakes that Waste Time and Money” on paychex.com. (A link to the original article can be found at the bottom of this post.) We did agree with quite a few things on the list.  One of the biggest points that struck home was the waste of time in unnecessary meetings!

Meetings are great for figuring out solutions to a problem, getting feedback, and brainstorming as a collective unit. However, some meetings are just unnecessary. Think back to when you were an employee.  Did you ever get done at a meeting and say “Wow, that was a waste of time”? Now that you’re the owner of the company, a “waste of time” is a waste of money. With that in mind, here are some tips to make your meetings more effective and determine if the meeting is even necessary:

  1. Establish your purpose for the meeting.

If you are holding a meeting, there should be a goal you are hoping to achieve. Are you looking for prospective questions that could be asked by a client? Are you looking for ideas from them?  Maybe you are looking for feedback on an issue, or looking to get some solutions? Keep this in mind when going through our other tips. At the end of the meeting you should be able to ask those who attended why you held that meeting.  They should give you the exact purpose. If you are looking to tell them to do something because that’s the way you want it done, your purpose is better served through an email. If you are going to get a group together, use the group.

  1. Know and Choose Your Audience

A common issue in multi-departmental businesses, and potentially one for smaller businesses that just have two employees doing different jobs, is over generalizing your audience. If you need to unveil a new product, your sales department needs to know how to sell it, not your accounting department. Why have the accounting department sit in the meeting for 30 minutes? On the other end, while you explain how to execute proper billing for this product, why have your sales force present? You may also be using terms that one department understands but another doesn't. This can lead to extended meetings to explain terms to someone who doesn't need to know. Split your presentation into sections and present each section to the pertinent group.  This will cut back on the side chatter, distraction and get your employees back on the job quicker.

  1. Put together an agenda

Take some time to outline your meeting with an agenda. Decide what points need to be covered and then rank them by importance. We recommend emailing the agenda beforehand, so everyone has a chance to think about your points before the meeting and write down their thoughts. This adds value to the discussion. If you are unable to get to all your points in the meeting, your employees will still have this emailed copy for reference.

*Note: if your points on your agenda don’t need any further explanation, this should probably just be an email*

 

  1. Be prepared!!

This was a big pet peeve to many members in the group. If you are calling a meeting together, be prepared! You’re running this show, so run it right.

Get your supplies ready  before the meeting starts. If your meeting is set for 10:00 am, have everything ready to go at 9:45.  Handouts should be placed where employees will be sitting or by the entrance, so they can easily grab them.  Any visual aids, like a Power Point Presentation, should be set up and loaded in presentation mode on the first slide. If you are doing a conference call or a video call, have someone check the link to be sure they can see/hear you. If your employees walk in to the meeting and see you are ready to go, they will know you mean business.  This will help reduce delayed start time, which, again, is time wasted. This means money lost.

  1. Snacks never hurt anyone.

The only person that was mad about the free donuts was Ron, from accounting, who showed up late and didn’t get one. Be on time Ron!

  1. Leave your “titles” at the door

One of the biggest issues that hinders discussion, brainstorming, and feedback is the “title” issue. Some employees don’t see their opinions as valued since they are sitting at the sides of the table and you are at the head. There are a ton of clichés that you could use like “There are no titles during this meeting,” or “I want to hear everyone’s feedback on this,” but see item 6. Instead of saying that you value their opinion, show them. When someone suggests something, voices an idea, or even asks a question: look at them, acknowledge them, write down what they said or asked, then elaborate. Last, reassure them “That was a good question,” or “That could work. I will look into it.” Any variation of a positive message will let all your employees know that they are free to speak in your meetings.

  1. Drop the Clichés

Don’t use made up or grossly overused business clichés. We’ve heard them, we’ve laughed at them, and let’s be honest. “Synergy” has never generated anything more than a comical laugh. If you are worried you are going to use one, google business meeting bingo cards, then don’t use any of those spaces.

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New Executive Board Takes Office For CBBC

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New Executive Board Takes Office For CBBC

On Thursday, June 28th, we had our changing of the guard at CBBC, where we officially welcomed and installed into office a new Executive Board. We would like to congratulate the new Executive Board: 


Anne Morgan- President
Todd Cook- Vice President
Alisa Roth- Secretary
Cindy Schmader- Treasurer
Tim Stokes- IT Officer

We want to recognize and thank the past Executive Board for all their hard work in growing CBBC and look forward to seeing how are new Executive Board will grow our group even further.

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Beacon Vacations Group Trip to Oberammergau Germany Summer of 2020

Beacon Vacations is currently in the process of forming a group trip to Germany, specifically to Oberammergau for the Passion Play. The passion play is performed every 10 years so if you  miss the trip in 2020 you will have to wait for 2030.  This trip includes many stops in Germany as well as Austria on an 8 day tour.   Details are below.  Please contact Terry at 712-256-4781 or by email to terry@beaconvacations.com.

Globus Oberammagau 2020.jpg

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