Back to School

I can’t believe summer is almost over. I don’t know about you kids, but mine are not ready to go back to school! This Momma isn’t ready either. (I have two seniors this year and I want to tear up every time I think about it.)

Are your kids ready? Still need that back-to-school hair-do? Don’t spend you last few days of summer in a frenzy! Our chamber members have you covered!

Call one of our local salons today and go back to school in style!

Studio Bangs and Burns  (254)559-1900

The Salon (254)559-2103

Serenity Spa (254)559-1300

My Nail Spa (254)559-3457

ALWAYS RESPOND

Are you ok being told “no”?  Most of us aren’t fond of the word, but I would rather be told, “No” than “Yes” when the answer really is no. 

Have you ever had a service tech tell you they can get to your problem when the truth was they didn’t have time for you, and really could not get to you?  You don’t call anyone else…you wait for a call back…and you wait some more…for a call that never comes.

If you own a business, whether it be cutting hair, photography, service tech, boutique or whatever… I CAN NOT stress this enough…. RESPOND to your clients!!!!!!!! It doesn’t have to be immediate, but within the day, RESPOND!  Even if your answer is no, don’t leave customers hanging.  Be honest and offer an alternative.  We all know how frustrating it is when we just need to know if something is a “go” or not. 

I understand sometimes, there are factors involved, maybe it depends on how long other calls will take, etc., but it’s okay to tell clients that up front.  Set realistic expectations.  Your customers will respect your honesty in the long run.  

Sips of Summer

I’m sure lots of you have heard by now, but the Chamber Board is excited to to be hosting a wine tasting event right here in Breckenridge! “Sips of Summer” will be held at Shawna’s Bake Barn on August 2nd from 7:00-9:30pm. The Matt Stapp Band will be playing live music and we will have yummy treats from The Rusty Rooster!

This event is for ages 21 and over and ID’s will be checked at the door. (We understand sometimes its hard to find a sitter, however this rule must be enforced to avoid penalties from TABC.)

We have several wineries singed up… as a matter of fact we have SEVEN WINERIES and ONE BREWERY! (We also have 2 additional wineries working on getting their info to TABC for event permits 🤞) We are going to have a great selection!

We have had a few people ask if they don’t want to drink, but want to attend if they need a ticket. The answer is yes. Everyone will need a ticket to attend. Remember…we are only selling 125 tickets, so stop by the chamber and get yours before they are gone!

Do you share???


As a kid how many times did your mom tell you to share your toys? I couldn’t even eat a bag of chips without having to share with my brother! Anything she handed me, “Share with your brother”. I wasn’t a greedy kid, but some days I just didn’t want his “grubby hands” on my stuff.


Now that I’m grown, I love to share with my brother. More than material things, I love to share stories, successes and encouragement with him. Sharing problems…that’s not always as easy. No one wants to share the ugly stuff. Even with those we love and trust, it’s just hard to do. Maybe we don’t want them to worry. Maybe we want them to think we are doing okay, even when we aren’t.


The ugly truth is, it’s not a perfect world. My brother calls me and ask how I am doing, and I say, “doing good”. The truth is, I was not good yesterday. I was sad. I sat and cried in the bathtub last night. I was sad because losing a baby hurts. I share my pain with my amazing hubby, but as close as I am to my brother, I sometimes think I need to hide my struggles from him and others around me. I feel like it is weakness to admit I’m having a bad day.


When we struggle with things, we need to share! We need to lean on those around who can offer encouragement and support. This is not only true in our personal lives, but our professional lives as well. Running a business is hard. Bad days are inevitable. Talking to people who have shared in your struggles can be resourceful. Society has led us to think we have to all be happy and have perfect lives…or at least portray ourselves (and our businesses) as such. We post all of our happy moments and share happy stories…that’s what we want people to see.


I have to remind myself that sharing and admitting to hardships is NOT a sign of weakness. It’s often surprising how many others battle with similar situations as ours. Don’t be afraid to share your struggles with the Chamber or a trusted colleague! Lean on the resources of others who have shared your experiences. As much as the Chamber loves celebrating member successes, we love being here to help our members even more!

Unwind

As usual, my weekend went by way too quick! One minute it was 5 o’clock Friday and then POOF! Monday morning! It was one of the first weekends we haven’t been out of town in a while. For Brian, that meant doing a little yard work and unwinding. For me it meant, “let’s repaint the kitchen & living room ceiling”. I don’t know what I was thinking, but it’s done. I can’t move my neck…but it’s done.


Isn’t it funny how unwinding is so different for all of us? I admit I’m pretty OCD about things being clean. Cleaning soothes me. Maybe it’s the overwhelming smell of Windex knocking him down, but Brian always knows when I am stressed LOL. I make no apologies that I get immense gratification out of my microwave glistening. Brian tells me all the time he loves me, yet when I am in crazy cleaning mode, he tells me I am weird. Don’t get me wrong, Brian likes a clean house as much as I do, but he’s so much better at not stressing out over fingerprints on the fridge.


What do you do to unwind? What’s your go-to? Recognizing what soothes you creates a peaceful state of mind. When we are internally at peace, it will reflect externally. Find your go-to this week. Take time for yourself. Read a book, turn your music up on the way to work, do whatever it takes to get in YOUR ZONE and make it a great week!

Make them Bloom

I ran out to the Walker Sayle Unit this morning to meet the new warden. On my way out I was admiring the beautiful lilies along the sidewalk.  I have to admit, I got a little jealous because mine don’t look nearly that good. They were bloomed so full and colorful and they made me smile.

I was still thinking about them as I drove back to the office. I thought, I know why they are prettier than mine… they are cared for more. They are nurtured and watered and shown love.  Mine would be the same if I invest in them more. 

Isn’t this the same as with our employees? If we care for them and invest in them, they too bloom.  If we ignore their needs, or step on them, they wither and are unproductive. Of course, people, like flowers, go through a blooming process. Once a seed of hope is planted, we don’t see results overnight.  It takes both time and patience.  Be patient with employees and give them time to show their beauty.

Not to be a “downer” but, I also think that one ugly plant can take away from the overall appeal of a flower garden.  If someone walks in your business and an employee doesn’t make them smile, it can make your business less appealing.  Remember, having a striving business (just like a beautiful garden) takes work. Help your employees bloom, and watch your business grow!  

Road Trip Ready???

It’s summer time, and that means lots of folks will be traveling. Is your vehicle road-trip ready? From tires, to that customizing you’ve been wanting, getting those ‘whiskey dents’ repaired, to simply getting all the crumbled goldfish crackers out of the cracks, Breckenridge can get you road ready!

We all want our family safe while on the road, yet often we neglect ensuring that safety. Simple things like replacing windshield wipers can help prevent accidents. They have an enormous impact on performance and safety, and they can kill you if you ignore them. If you aren’t certain about tread and wear, stop and get them checked before you head out!

Last year I was on the road with two 16 year olds and the a/c in my car quit cooling. We were stuck on the interstate in Dallas and it was over 100 degrees. Talk about miserable! I’m not sure what was worse, the heat or the complaining. Have those Freon levels checked before you leave. Trust me!

Once you know your vehicle is in great shape, time to shine it up. (If you are like me, when you get back home you will be exhausted and need it cleaned again). Not only does a clean vehicle look great, personalizing can add that final touch! Still not satisfied? Want more power? Get your engine revved up and hit the road in style!

Of course, there are lots of great things for “stay-cations” here Breckenridge. But, reality is we all travel for various reasons. Be safe when you do! Check out the list below of businesses that would love to help! – Carrie Holson, Executive Director

Roberts Tire & Auto (254) 559-5446

Big Country Muffler & Auto Repair (254) 246-1164

Breckenridge Auto & Engine Supply Inc. (254) 559-8241

Baxley Auto Lube (254) 559-2565

3C Auto Group LLC (254) 212-8124

Yoes Customs (254) 522-2054

Walmart (254) 559-6579

Gaylon’s Body Shop (254) 559-3232

Kel-Abby Collision Center (254) 559-4771

MLR Graphics (254) 559-1108

CRIME STOPPERS

Hooray for Breckenridge! Stephens County Crime Stoppers organization is up and running AND already producing results! Within 24 hours of launching, a tip was reported that lead to an arrest. How awesome is that?!

Like with many things in life, people often have a misconception about Crime Stopper organizations. We as a society, assume/speculate way too much. How many really know how Crime Stoppers works? How are tips made? How do we report tips? How do tips remain anonymous?

Don’t assume!  Join community members today at 5:30 pm at the National Theatre for a Kick-off meeting and get the facts. Then, be an active supporter!  This is a community based program.  All support stays in Stephens County and will be used to stop crime right here!

For more information about the Kick-off meeting or to get answers to your questions, visit Stephens County TX Crime Stoppers on Facebook or the website at www.877500tips.com. Let’s all be CRIME STOPPERS!

Good Vibes

Have you ever noticed how your mood effects your shopping? I know I enjoy shopping more when I am in a fun, upbeat environment. A little music, smiling faces….it makes a difference. As a business what do you do to help elevate customer moods? While the specific atmospheric elements you chose for your store can vary significantly from your competitors, the fundamentals remain the same. That is because it is about creating a pleasant shopping environment that encourages customers to stay in your store for longer and, while there, spend more.

I read an article by William J. Lynott, “5 Ways to Put Shoppers in a Buying Mood”. He had the following suggestions for appealing to the senses:
“1. The Powerful Influence of Scent
Eric Spangenberg, an environmental psychologist and the dean of Washington State University’s College of Business, was one of the pioneers in the effects of scent on the buying experience. According to his research, the right scent in a retail store can help to put customers in that all-important buying mood.
Among the more obvious challenges of scent in a pet shop that offers pets for sale or adoption would be avoiding the unpleasant scents resulting from careless housekeeping. The scents of clean and healthy animals resulting from meticulous attention to cleanliness in cage areas sets an atmosphere that will help to put potential pet buyers in a receptive mood. Smell is one of our most powerful and influential senses. Research confirms that we are 100 times more likely to remember something we smell than something we see, hear or touch, so it’s logical to harness that power in helping to set customers in a buying mood.

2. Music Helps to Set the Mood
We all know that some types of music help to set a romantic mood; savvy retailers know that music can also help to set a buying mood. A 1982 study by Milliman Inc. found that when background music was played in a supermarket, customers spent 34 percent longer in the store, with a corresponding increase in sales.
But what kind of music? What music will influence shoppers in a pet store in a positive way? There’s no simple answer to that question, but there are some helpful guidelines. A 2000 study found that familiar popular music has a negative effect on shopping. It tends to distract shoppers, causing them to concentrate on the music instead of their shopping. According to the study, unfamiliar but pleasant music has a positive effect on shoppers. One British study found that classical background music increases the amount that shoppers are willing to spend. Tempo also has an effect. Slower tempo music causes people to move slower. Thus, retailers who want customers to spend more time in their stores should play slower, softer music in the background.

3. The Color of Your Store
What are the predominate colors in your store? Is there an overall color that customers perceive when they cross your threshold? That’s an important question because scientific studies indicate that colors stimulate our nervous system and bring about changes in our overall state of mind.
The effect of colors can be very different in different cultures. For example, in the U.S., white is a happy color, associated with weddings and a general feeling of innocence. However, in many Far Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures, white signifies death. In the U.S., certain combinations of colors are associated with holidays: red and green are mindful of Christmas, while black and orange are used to signify Halloween.
When you decide on predominant colors for your store or specific displays, you might want to keep in mind the associations people often make with various colors in the U.S. Some examples:
• White: clean, neutral, youth 
• and innocence
• Red: danger, the heat of 
• passion, excitement
• Black: high fashion, power
• Yellow: happy, friendly
• Purple: upscale, royal, dignified
• Blue: relaxing, peaceful, loyal (true blue)
Colors are also used to create brand images. Consider those ubiquitous UPS brown trucks used to signify trustworthiness and dependability. 
Most important in your store: Colors have meaning to customers. Make full use of colors to create the effect you want.

4. Watch Out for Dust in the Corner
In retail, as in life, first impressions are lasting impressions. That’s why it’s so important for your store to greet customers with an overall impression of neatness and cleanliness. Major retail chains have long recognized that shoppers will always prefer a neater, cleaner store over an untidy, dirty one. That’s why they spend the time and money needed to clean and polish the floors and tidy up the displays before their stores open in the morning.
An unclean impression can make people feel uneasy. When a shopper doesn’t feel comfortable, they will want to leave the store sooner and aren’t likely to make a purchase. In short, cleaner stores make better profits. The more time a prospect spends browsing in your store, the more likely that person will make a purchase. 
Depending on the size and complexity of your store’s layout, it might be in your best interest to rely on professional cleaning services. In any event, it’s important to do whatever is necessary to make sure that your store gives off a clean and tidy impression.

5. The Importance of a “Happy” Mood
Every customer who enters your store brings a mood with them. It might be a “happy” mood based on something that happened earlier in the day, or it could be a decidedly unhappy mood brought about by an unpleasant experience. Either way, according to Vladas Griskevicius of the University of Minnesota, the customer’s mood will influence their buying behavior. Research has shown that positive feelings produce a sort of rose-colored glasses effect, causing products to appear more desirable. Conversely, negative feelings will have an undesirable effect on buying decisions. In short, customers who find themselves in a happy mood are more likely to make a purchase than those in an unhappy mood.
It’s the retailer’s job, then, to help put customers in a happy mood, and the best opportunity to do that is in the greeting that each customer receives as they enter the store.
Perhaps the most powerful tool available to the retailer is a warm smile and an engaging personality. Every employee should be trained to understand that moods tend to “rub off.” A positive, warm greeting to every person entering the store is one of the most powerful mood-influencing tools in the retailer’s toolbox.”

Stop and take a moment to evaluate the atmosphere at your business. Then, use these tips to improve the mood of your shoppers! 

Memorial Weekend

As Memorial Day approaches I want to express my appreciation to those who have fallen serving our country. I am so grateful for the sacrifices that have been made.

Memorial Weekend seems to kick off “lake season” and Hubbard Creek Lake is a great place to splash into summer! Fishing, boating, camping, swimming and fun in the sun can ALL be found.

Brian, the kids and I drove out to the lake yesterday evening. It was really windy, but it was so nice! We had a picnic, fished from the bank, goofed off and skipped rocks. (Okay, so maybe they skipped rocks and laughed at me trying, but it was still fun).LOL

Sometimes I think the unplanned, simple outings are more fun than the elaborate vacations we stress for months over planning. No cost, no hassle, just fun with the fam! AND… No kids complaining about a long drive! So often we forget about the things right here at home that can provide hours of entertainment, for the young and old.

As my dad would say, “the sheep were grazing” on the lake pretty bad yesterday, but despite it being so rough, we saw a boat out. It made me extremely nervous. Please remember as you enjoy the weekend to be safe and responsible. Don’t drink and drive OR operate watercraft. (Visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/boat/safety/safety_tips/ for more safety tips)

Oh, and FYI ladies…If you need a last minute outfit, I have seen some really cute patriotic items around town this week! I hope everyone has a safe and happy weekend!