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Portage County Farmers Market

Survey Says…….

By Portage County Business Council


I hope a few of you remember Richard Dawson on Family Feud with his infamous line…Survey Says! Thanks to those of you who completed the survey we recently sent out to our members. It is the first one we have done in quite some time. Generally speaking, the results were very positive. There were several of you who made comments, which we appreciate. We can always do better and will continue to strive to bring you the value you deserve through your membership dollars, no matter what the level.

My last six digital magazine articles focused on what the Portage County Business Council (PCBC) values: engagement, growth, innovation, leadership, network development and partnerships. Survey says those are important to you as well. There was particular interest in business engagement and connecting members through network development.

Those interests make sense when you look at our top three rated events from 2017. Survey says Business After Hours (monthly), Business X-Change (monthly) and Women In Business (quarterly) topped the list. Those events are all about engagement and network development. A few folks mentioned not knowing people at these events and that’s perfect. As a business leader the decision to engage and network lies with you. PCBC can’t do that for anybody. EVERY event we have I get the opportunity to meet many new people. My simple goal is to meet and get to know AT LEAST one new person at each event. Imagine if YOU did that only at Business After Hours, which are free. We hold twelve a year. That’s twelve new connections. And if those twelve connect, you now have 144 in your “network”. It is as simple as reaching out your hand, introducing yourself, and asking “What do you do when you aren’t at Business After Hours?” And what if you did that at other events?

In business, and sales particularly, the referral or recommendation is important. Survey says ninety-four percent of respondents were likely or very likely to recommend PCBC to a colleague. I like those odds. Of course, we are wondering what the other six percent are thinking. Please let us know how we can help you as a business. I can guess that some of that may be a transactional mindset. PCBC is not able to bring individual customers through your doors however through member benefits we can assist you in promoting your business and our community. Our real focus is on transformational benefits.

One transformational benefit is our Partners In Education (PIE) program. We work closely with the K-12 and post-secondary educational institutions, in conjunction with area businesses. For example, on August 14 we are hosting a regional Inspire training for local businesses. Inspire connects the business community with students grades 6-12 in the public schools. Businesses get the chance to market and promote their business and students get to investigate the business world in Portage County and the surrounding region. Eventually students from other parts of the state will be able to connect with our local businesses signed up on Inspire.

PIE is also hosting a social and the Golden Apple Awards on August 23. We will be recognizing teachers from the county, both public and private. Anybody is welcome to attend and it will be held at the new Chemistry & Biology Building on the UWSP campus. Maybe somebody from your school won an award or was nominated?

Even though the survey is complete, we will continue to change for the better of our community and members. We still want to hear from you. Sometimes that anecdotal information is the most value. Call, text, e-mail, write, and/or post us so we can continue to be your Chamber and Economic Development Organization.