In March 2017, business owners representing the hospitality, construction, health and fitness, landscaping, graphic design and printing, manufacturing and engineering industries gathered upstairs at Roots the Restaurant in downtown Rutland, VT for a peer discussion for Rutland-area business owners titled “Strategies for Growing Your Business.”
Bonnie Reese, then a Senior Associate at the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), and Emily Piper of Piper Design facilitated a discussion focused on strategies for managing growth sustainably.
The event was presented by REDC and sponsored by Casella Construction, Roots the Restaurant, VCET, and Piper Design.
Bonnie and Emily began the discussion with advice on how to define clear business goals that align with personal priorities, and participants shared goals and offered feedback to each other.
Next, the presenters addressed how to transition from operating a consistent business to managing sustainable business growth. The presentation covered tools and tips for developing a proactive process for business development and for achieving growth objectives:
- Always negotiate: Prepare for negotiations by answering three questions. 1) What is the ideal situation? 2) What might happen? 3) What is my walk-away? Remember, saying “no” isn’t a bad thing!
- Track your marketing efforts: Find out what is working for you and track results. Ask, “is it working?” for every tactic you use. Are you getting qualified leads to convert to sales?
- Understand buyer personas: Who are your customers? Knowing who they are and how to market to them will streamline your business development process.
- Actively manage your sales pipeline: Don’t neglect technology that could help you establish great customer relations management. If you need to establish a sales pipeline, try Pipedrive. If you are looking for help with sales and marketing as your grow, try Hubspot.
- Stay on top of project management: try tools like Basecamp, Trello, or Google Business.
About the Presenters
Bonnie Reese (Senior Associate, VCET)
Bonnie is passionate about making important ideas a reality. She uses a background in Psychology, an MBA, and entrepreneurial experience to help teams figure out how to best engage with customers, develop proactive business processes, and successfully grow their businesses. In addition to her work at VCET, Bonnie is the CEO of Reese Consulting and a PhD candidate in Natural Resources at UVM researching the role of innovation in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Emily Piper (CEO, Piper Design)
Emily is all about finding creative solutions to business problems. Emily’s previous experience is with Burlington Young Professionals, as Co-Founder of LaunchVT and as an experienced business developer. She is passionate about supporting Vermont’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by bringing together young professionals, transformative business ideas, and a highly supportive community.
For more information about upcoming strategy workshops and peer networking for business owners, contact Sara Gilbert at email@example.com.