Editor's note: This column was written prior to the early Friday morning movie theater shooting in Aurora.
Well, we are well on our way into the summer of 2012. How will you remember it? Will it be the summer of fires around the state of Colorado? Will it be the summer of lower-than-normal water flows? Or will it be the summer of fun and excitement? I know for me it will be a little of all three.
Yes, the fires in the state hit home to my wife and I. We had some friends out of the Woodland Park area, near the Waldo fire, come and stay with us. Now usually when friends come, it's more of a vacation, time to hang out in the mountains and get away from the summer heat. This trip, unfortunately, was a lot more stressful.
Given about a four-hour notice, they packed everything they could into two cars and came up with their two kids and two dogs. Their entire stay consisted of watching weather and news reports, not knowing if they would have a home to go back to. In the end, they were lucky, as the fire didn't get to close to their specific neighborhood, but it was a nail biter for the five days they were here. I can't even imagine the stress and uncertainty they must have felt. So all I can say is have a plan, you never know when it could happen to you.
As a Boy Scout, many years ago, our motto was to "be prepared." In the case of our friends and the evacuation, I've learned what it means to be prepared to leave your home and possessions at a moment's notice.
In business, being prepared can mean many things, too. Are you prepared?
Are you prepared to address the possible changes in clientele, as hopefully this fire threat subsides in our area? Are you willing and able to react to or market yourself differently to attack customers? Have you reviewed your website and marketing collateral for content? Does it tell the story that you want it to tell? Is it a positive representation of who you are? Once you have addressed these, are you prepared to take it to the next level?
How are you going to get your message out? Do you have a detailed plan, or are you going about it willy nilly? What media venues are you going to use: print, radio, television or the Internet or a combination of these?
You need to ask yourself a lot of questions and answer them truthfully if you are ever going to attract more customers to your business. Now comes the hard part: the execution of all these ideas.
Stay involved, and stay informed. If you are not already receiving the Vail Chamber and Business Association's weekly e-newsletter, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to start receiving it.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Vail Chamber and Business Association and what we have to offer to businesses in and that do business in Vail, call 970-477-0075 or email email@example.com. Based in Vail Village, our office is located on the top level of the Vail transportation center, so stop by and say hello.
Richard tenBraak is executive director for the Vail Chamber and Business Association.