Big Orange Shoe Shop was opened in 1975 by West Liberty native, Ken Lehman. An avid fan of all things running, Ken founded the “Big Orange” Cross Country program at West Liberty-Salem Schools, where his team won four consecutive state titles in a row from 1976-1979. As Ken is a well-known icon for West Liberty athletics, Big Orange Shoe Shop (B.O.S.S.) is well known as an icon for the West Liberty community (and beyond!).
B.O.S.S. now offers silk screen and custom embroidery for teams, organizations or even businesses. Customers love the store because of its history and loyalty to not only the West Liberty community, but other local schools and community organizations, as well. Team uniforms and apparel are provided to Benjamin Logan, Triad and many others. You can also order and customize your school jacket with Big Orange Shoe Shop.
Big Orange Shoe Shop has sponsored the annual BOSS Summer Run since its inception in 1977, where male and female age group winners receive certificates to the store. Proceeds from the BOSS Summer Run benefit the West Liberty-Salem Big Orange Cross Country program. The B.O.S.S. crew provides the t-shirts for the race, as well as other races like the Annual West Liberty Luminaria 5K. First place winners from the Luminaria 5K also receive certificates to B.O.S.S.! You will also find the B.O.S.S. crew set up at different sporting events and festivals, like the West Liberty Labor Day Festival – where you can shop their full store. It is important to them to support the community and give back when they can.
“B.O.S.S.,” the store’s nickname from a time when Ken’s team was overcoming adversity and winning state titles still holds true to this day. After Ken, Pat & Jim Clement were owners, as well as Julie & Dennis McIntosh. Tim continues to hold the business to the same old-school high standards that the previous owners did and pushes through adversity like the Covid shut down and the challenges that come from being a rural, small-town business. One thing that stands out now is that Big Orange Shoe Shop is now the official uniform shop for AGC Automotive. They provide three full uniforms for each AGC employee, and this service has positively enhanced the success of B.O.S.S.
Please join us in congratulating Big Orange Shoe Shop as being the Logan County Chamber of Commerce December 2023 Business of the Month!
Located next door was a flower shop and on slow days, Kristie would join them to help create flower arrangements. They taught her a lot (more than either of them knew!) and before long, she was even creating vintage setups for weddings, such as unique arbors made of books and trees and adding seating areas! Not long after, a bride came to her in a panic when their florist could no longer provide for the wedding. Kristie used her years of creative experience and saved the bride’s wedding day (which was the next day) and wedding flowers! Since then, people have been calling and requesting wedding flowers and that’s really where Dorcey’s Flowers begins.
Four years ago, Kristie moved the business to Logan County because she saw a positive change in the area that she wanted to be a part of. Initially opening in Bellefontaine, Kristie soon began looking for a bigger space as business continued to expand. Thankfully she found the perfect spot at 118 N. Detroit Street in West Liberty a little over a year ago. Timing was great for the larger space, as last year during the busy Fall wedding season, Dorcey’s had 14 weddings to prepare flowers for!
Kristie’s background is unique and there’s no doubt the creative industry is where she is supposed to be. She used to work in the film industry, where she created sets and costumes for Directors. Eventually, she became her own Director and even won an MTV Movie Award. Due to her creative past and experience, Kristie feels that she can execute any idea her customers come up with. The Dorcey’s Flowers marketing strategy is much like others with a focus on social media, but what sets them apart is Kristie’s view on customer service. She makes sure to go above and beyond for her customers. She also makes sure to be involved in the community and stresses the importance of being a Chamber member, which can help with business visibility. Kristie says that being a part of a Chamber is like being part of a business family and the networking that comes from it helps her business (and many others) thrive.
You can check out Dorcey’s Flowers for a special event this weekend, November 9-11, where the flower studio will be open for a retail shopping event. This one-of-a-kind event is a chance to do some holiday shopping and find some of Kristie’s “mistletoe magic” for yourself. On Wednesday, November 15, you can also join Kristie for a Holiday Wreath Workshop at BUILD Cowork + Space from 6:30-8:30pm. You’ll also want to save the date for the last Saturday in April 2024 for something special that is in the plans! Find more information about these events on Dorcey’s Facebook page.
Do you love your job but hate your boss? Is your organization doing great things, but you feel like you’re just a cog in the machine? Maybe you don’t care either way what your day-to-day entrails, as long as you can continue to work with the people around you.
We all have a reason we get up and go to work every day. And yes, a paycheck may be one of those reasons, but as renowned leadership expert Pete Blank shared on October 12, we continue to go to work because of at least one of four reasons: our job, our organization, our boss, or our squad. Pete encouraged attendees to consider why their team comes to work every day, and how to make all four reasons relevant.
This was the second Signature Event in our annual Pursuit of Excellence Series, a program the Chamber developed and brought to life in 2019 as a way for business owners and managers to learn – or brush up on – the basics of business. In just one hour every month, attendees hear from an industry expert on a topic relevant to their business: everything from financial statements to business insurance to social media strategy.
Starting with 3 machines and a small tool shop, IEG Plastics was founded in 2004 with a vision to supply customers with high quality plastic injection molds. Initially, the company started supplying customers with plastic injection molds that were built offshore and then brought back to the United States for production. In addition, IEG chrome plated parts out of Korea, China and Taiwan. This practice gave the company a chance to diversify their services and ultimately open their Bellefontaine injection molding facility in 2015, located at 223 Lock and Load Drive. This was done in an effort to re-shore work and to better support their customer base.
Selecting the Bellefontaine location was a strategic decision for IEG. After sitting down with community leaders and discussing many options, the local support and the promising manufacturing labor pool made Logan County a favorable choice for the company. Jim Moore, Owner, boasts about what a great team and staff he is privileged to have. This can be attributed to the fact that the team “lives and dies by their core values.” Those core values are: Positive Thinking is Powerful Thinking; Lock & Load; Individual Commitment to the Group Effect; Do the Right Thing; Aim for the Highest Peak. IEG’s experienced team of professionals operates on the Traction Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This EOS is built around accountability, both to the team members at IEG and to their customers. Using the tools and key components of Traction (Vision, Data, Process, Traction, Issues & People) fuels IEG’s business approach of providing customers with top notch service, impeccable quality, and unparalleled partnership with clients.
Not only does the IEG team strive to exceed expectations in their business, but they also focus on being positive community members. They actively share their time and talents in support of causes to help improve and bring measurable change to the community. IEG has been a Chamber member since shortly after opening their Bellefontaine location. They believe their Chamber membership is beneficial in many ways, but especially in the areas of networking and keeping up to date on what’s happening around Logan County. This greatly affects the company, as IEG thrives on word of mouth.
The continuous success and expansion also brings along the need for more employees. IEG Plastics is currently hiring for Production Associates, as well as a Process Technician, Process Engineer and Tool Room Associate. You can find more information on their website: https://ieg-llc.com/career/, where you can also find their core values and some key descriptions of a quality employee. You can find more information about IEG products on their website, as well as on Facebook.
Please join us in congratulating IEG Plastics on being the Logan County Chamber of Commerce October 2023 Business of the Month!
2. Loyalty Programs and Referral Incentives
Rewarding your existing customers for their loyalty can drive repeat business and customer retention. Implement a loyalty program that offers discounts, exclusive offers, or even free products/services to customers who make repeat purchases. Additionally, create referral incentives where customers receive rewards for referring new clients to your business. This word-of-mouth marketing can significantly expand your customer base.
3. Limited-Time Offers
Create a sense of urgency and excitement with limited-time offers. Whether it's a flash sale, a seasonal discount, or a special promotion tied to a specific event, these time-sensitive deals can encourage potential customers to make a purchase sooner rather than later. Make sure to effectively communicate the urgency through your marketing materials.
4. Collaborations and Partnerships
Teaming up with complementary businesses can be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Collaborations and partnerships can expose your business to new audiences and broaden your reach.
5. Email Marketing Campaigns
Email marketing is far from obsolete. Building an email list of interested customers gives you a direct line of communication. Send out regular newsletters with updates, promotions, and valuable content. Personalization is key – tailor your emails to individual preferences for better engagement.
Promoting a small business requires creativity, consistency, and a strategic approach. By mastering the art of content marketing, loyalty programs, limited-time offers, collaborations, and email campaigns, you can effectively reach your target audience, build a loyal customer base, and ultimately drive your small business toward lasting success. Remember, the best strategy may vary depending on your industry and target audience, so don't hesitate to experiment and refine your approach based on what works best for your unique business.
With a clearer understanding of your business's strengths and weaknesses, consider refining your strategy. Are there new markets to tap into? Could you expand your product or service offerings? Use this period to brainstorm and plan for growth.
2. Invest in Training and Development:
Enhance the skills of your team members during the slow season. Offer training sessions, workshops, or online courses that can help them become more proficient in their roles. This investment not only improves your team's capabilities but also boosts morale and job satisfaction.
3. Update Your Marketing Materials:
Revamp your marketing materials, both digital and physical. Update your website, refresh your social media profiles, create new content, and brainstorm innovative marketing campaigns. such as blog posts or videos. Consider offering special promotions, discounts, or loyalty programs that can attract new customers and incentivize repeat business. These efforts can help maintain your brand's relevance and visibility, even during slower periods.
4. Conduct Research and Development:
Use this time to explore new product or service ideas. Gather feedback from your team and customers, and begin prototyping or planning for future launches. Innovation can set your business apart and generate excitement.
5. Perform a Financial Checkup:
Review your financial statements, budgets, and projections. Identify areas where you can cut costs, allocate resources more effectively, or invest in growth opportunities.
6. Take Care of Yourself:
Lastly, don't forget about your own well-being. The slow season can be stressful, but it's also a chance to recharge. Use the extra time to focus on your health, hobbies, and spending time with loved ones.
A business's slow season doesn't have to be a period of stagnation. It can be transformed into an opportunity for growth, innovation, and preparation for busier times ahead. By strategically investing your time and resources, you can position your business for success and come out stronger on the other side.
To surpass your competition, you must first understand them. Conduct thorough competitor research to identify their strengths, weaknesses, marketing strategies, and product offerings. Analyze their online presence, customer reviews, and social media engagements. This knowledge will help you position your brand strategically and capitalize on gaps in the market.
2. Differentiate Your Brand:
Discover what makes your brand unique and emphasize it in your marketing efforts. Whether it's superior customer service, innovative technology, or a distinctive brand personality, highlight these aspects to set your business apart from competitors. Differentiation builds a strong brand identity and fosters customer loyalty.
3. Prioritize Innovation:
Continuously innovate your products or services to meet evolving customer needs and preferences. Stay updated with industry trends and incorporate cutting-edge technologies to offer a competitive advantage. Customers are drawn to businesses that consistently provide fresh and inventive solutions.
4. Deliver Exceptional Customer Experience:
Exceeding customer expectations is a powerful way to differentiate yourself from the competition. Focus on delivering personalized experiences, addressing customer pain points, and promptly resolving issues. A satisfied customer is more likely to become a loyal advocate for your brand, positively impacting your reputation.
5. Embrace Digital Marketing:
Digital marketing is a cost-effective and far-reaching way to connect with your target audience. Leverage social media, content marketing, email campaigns, and search engine optimization to increase brand visibility and engagement. Utilize data analytics to refine your strategies for maximum impact.
6. Foster a High-Performance Culture:
Your employees play a pivotal role in gaining a competitive edge. Create a positive and inclusive work environment that encourages creativity, collaboration, and professional growth. Invest in training and development to equip your team with the skills needed to outperform competitors.
7. Monitor Industry Trends:
Stay ahead of the curve by closely monitoring industry trends and emerging technologies. Anticipate changes in customer preferences and adjust your business strategies accordingly. Early adoption of innovative trends can position your business as an industry leader.
8. Partner and Collaborate:
Collaborating with complementary businesses can open new avenues for growth. Seek partnerships that add value to your offerings and expand your reach. Collaborative efforts can lead to cross-promotion, shared resources, and access to a broader customer base.
9. Optimize Operations:
Streamline your internal processes to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. Invest in technologies that automate tasks, improve data analysis, and enhance decision-making. Smooth operations can give you a competitive edge by allowing you to deliver better products or services faster.
Gaining a competitive edge requires a proactive and innovative approach to business. By understanding your competitors, differentiating your brand, prioritizing innovation, and focusing on customer experience, you can outperform your competition and thrive in the market. Embrace digital marketing, foster a high-performance culture, and monitor industry trends to stay ahead of the curve. Most importantly, continuous improvement and adaptability are essential for sustained success in today's ever-changing business environment.
As a business owner, it's crucial to understand that mistakes are inevitable and an essential aspect of the learning curve. Rather than beating yourself up for errors, embrace them as opportunities for growth. Each mistake offers valuable insights and lessons that can help you refine your strategies and make better-informed decisions in the future. As a leader of your business, creating a culture that embraces mistakes as stepping stones to success encourages creativity in your team.
2. Set Realistic Expectations:
One of the main reasons entrepreneurs tend to be hard on themselves is setting unrealistic expectations. While ambition is essential, striving for unattainable goals can lead to disappointment and burnout. Instead, break down your long-term vision into smaller, achievable milestones. Celebrate each accomplishment along the way, appreciating the progress made rather than focusing solely on the destination.
3. Practice Self-Compassion:
Running a business requires tremendous effort, and sometimes things might not go as planned. During these challenging moments, it's crucial to be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would offer to a friend facing similar struggles. Acknowledge your efforts, strengths, and the dedication you invest in your business. Remember that it's normal to encounter setbacks and difficulties along the way.
4. Seek Support and Build a Network:
Entrepreneurship can be a solitary journey, and the weight of responsibilities can feel overwhelming. Surround yourself with a supportive network of fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, or industry peers. Sharing experiences, challenges, and triumphs with others who understand your journey can be incredibly cathartic and inspiring. Additionally, seeking guidance from experienced individuals can offer valuable insights and help you gain perspective on your business challenges.
5. Celebrate Your Wins:
In the pursuit of growth, we often overlook the significance of celebrating our achievements. No matter how big or small, every win deserves recognition. Taking the time to celebrate milestones not only boosts team morale but also reminds you of your progress and capabilities. Celebrations act as fuel, motivating you and your team to keep pushing forward during challenging times.
6. Embrace Flexibility:
As a business owner, you need to be adaptable to the ever-changing marketplace. Embrace flexibility and be open to adjusting your strategies as needed. Understand that not every decision will yield immediate success, but each one is a stepping stone towards a stronger, more resilient business. Being flexible allows you to pivot when required, which is often essential for long-term sustainability.
As a business owner, it's essential to recognize that not being hard on yourself doesn't equate to complacency or lack of ambition. Instead, it's about acknowledging your humanity, accepting imperfections, and viewing failures as valuable learning experiences. Embrace self-compassion, set realistic expectations, and build a support network that helps you navigate the entrepreneurial journey with resilience and determination. By fostering a positive and understanding mindset, you'll find the strength to overcome challenges, unlock your true potential, and truly enjoy the fulfillment of your entrepreneurial dreams.