Chamber invites you to a “Power” breakfast

There is something about starting off a business day with a couple of new contacts and some new information that sets things in motion. It gets you thinking and hopefully, it gets you inspired. This is what I hope the Morning Power Group will be for all who attend. Morning Power Group, or MPG, is a new networking and educational meeting the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce will present starting at 7:30 am, Tuesday, June 23 at the Ocean Institute.

The format will start with focused networking time that transitions into a presentation on a relevant topic for business. Over the next couple of months, topics will range from small business resources to an introduction to social networking and other technology tools to e-commerce 101. For June’s edition of MPG, Norm Bour will be speaking on “The City, the Chamber, and Business Owners; Partnerships Redefined.” This is the perfect time for Dana Point to get in on that discussion, while we are preparing for enormous changes in Town Center and the OC Dana Point Harbor. The Chamber is very excited to launch MPG with the help of AT&T, who has partnered with us to present five upcoming sessions.

Morning Power Group came to be because the Chamber was asking the questions, “How can we increase the value of Chamber membership?” and “What do businesses need in this down economy?” This is a benefit of membership, because it has the possibility of become a vital referral and information network for businesses. It’s also a benefit of membership because if members register before Friday, June 19 it is FREE. Don’t pass up a free breakfast at the scenic Ocean Institute, with plenty of new business contacts and useful information for your business! If members register after June 19, the cost is still minimal – $10. For potential members, the cost will be $15.

I invite you to join us at MPG and shift your business into gear. RSVP today by calling the Chamber (949)496-1555 or emailing me at kstraine@danapointchamber.com.

MPG Logo

7:30 am, Tuesday, June 23
Ocean Institute, 24200 Dana Point Harbor Drive
Members:  *FREE/$10; Potential Members: $15

Kelly Straine
Events Director

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We embrace social networking…do you?

I recently took a survey sent to me by the Western Association of Chamber Executives.  The focus of the survey was social networking.  At the Dana Point Chamber, we are big advocates of social networking and use it to expand our reach in to the community.  From Facebook and Twitter, to LinkedIn and Plaxo, there are many social networking applications that can help build awareness for your company or organization.

It surprises me when so many businesses and organizations discount the importance of social networking and media.  Does this mean that your company has to have a Facebook page or a blog?  No, it doesn’t.  But be aware that your current and potential customers are like to have one…and it does impact your business.

For example, in the past month, I have seen three Chamber members mentioned in blogs or on a Facebook page…and not in a positive manner.  I happen to personally know the owners of these businesses, so I know that the comments made in those social networking outlets were exaggerated.  But would a potential customer or client know that?

The fact is that the internet and social networking are fast replacing traditional sources of information…just ask the Seattle Post-Intelligencer or any major newspaper in Philadelphia.  However, unlike traditional media sources, the internet contains highly subjective and sometimes incorrect information.  This doesn’t mean the internet is junk or invaluable…it’s quite the opposite.  This means businesses and organizations have a chance to tell their story the way they want it to be told, not how someone else sees it.

About once a month, I google “Dana Point Chamber of Commerce”.  Why?  I want to know what is being said about our organization, both positively and negatively.  A while back, I found a comment in an OC Register article that discussed our new website.  The commented noted that there was no membership application on the website.  There was an application on the website, but perhaps it was not prominent enough on the site.  We made that change and we have seen an increase in new members who have joined because they were able to easily find our application online.  We turned a small comment found on a newspaper website into revenue…all from a simple Google search.

Businesses and organizations need to recognize the power of social networking and media.  While it may not make a huge impact in your day to day operations, it could impact how you are perceived by current and future customers.  If are interested in learning more about how the Chamber has benefitted from social networking and how you might be able to apply the same results, please contact us.  And for those of you are ready taking advantage of social networking, you can follow the chamber on Twitter or add us as a friend on Facebook by searching Dana Point Chamber.

CEO’s Corner Welcome

Our Chamber strives to improve our community while at the same time helping each other expand our businesses. We’re here for the long haul, and for real gains—not for sudden, artificial spurts. This good economic growth can only be achieved ethically, responsibly. The Chamber works to educate members about regulations and local ordinances, to encourage compliance. We promote business to business exchanges, which thrive in an atmosphere of trust and fairness. The importance of ethical business behavior and fair exchanges has been underscored by the news in recent years of the collapse of a few large businesses elsewhere in the country, companies that ignored ethical standards. Building a business and a community on a firm foundation is building for tomorrow.

When you eat a meal out at a restaurant, if the food was reasonably priced, tasty, fresh, well-prepared, plus served promptly and with a smile—you generally come away feeling satisfied. Conversely, in any business exchange, if you come away feeling that you were cheated regarding either price or quality, you’re not likely to deal with that business again.

If you want a recommendation about a local business, the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present our online Business Directory and Shopping Guide – it lists businesses that care enough to belong to our Chamber. We encourage you to use this directory as your comprehensive guide to the wealth of goods and services in our community.

Integrity and ethics in business practices also extend to how we treat the people who work for us. As employers, we are responsible for honest, respectful dealings with our employees. When treated well, good employees stay with us longer, and they interact well with customers, promoting a healthy “bottom line.” Some years ago, Ken Blanchard and Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote a little book titled, “The Power of Ethical Management.”

The book warns against shortsightedness, stressing the importance of quality and integrity for furthering long-term interests. At the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, we are proud to be working on the side of integrity, community service, civic beautification, respect for diversity, education, and economic prosperity for all. We are truly here for the long haul.

Nichole Chambers

President/CEO

President/CEO