Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Small Business of the Year Finalist: Doug Bates of CMIT Solutions of Fayette/Coweta!

We’re delighted to continue introducing our finalists for this year's Small Business of the Year Awards, to be presented on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at The Newnan Centre and sponsored by SouthTowne Motors and UBS Financial Services. Today, meet Doug Bates of CMIT Solutions of Fayette/Coweta!

Chamber membership philosophy and involvement: I am proud to be a productive contributor for the Chamber and participate in the functions and events to support membership and continued growth for Coweta County businesses. I continue to participate in numerous Business After Hours, March Madness (in 2015), the Annual Golf Classic, Power Networking Lunches, and NuLink Early Bird Forums.

Community involvement: I am on the board of Woodland Christian Camp, on the CTE Advisory Committee for FCBOE, and we provide free IT services for Community Welcome House, Promise Place, The Healing Bridge, and the Fayette CARE Clinic. CMIT Solutions is also a Charter Member of Experience Coweta, Fayette, Spalding. I am also a member of a faith-based CEO peer group of other Coweta County small business owners.

How CMIT Solutions differs from competitors: We utilize a CRM system to track all of our competition, both local and Atlanta based. In our 8+ years of operation I have identified over 100 competitors in the IT Support market space. We perform an annual SWOT analysis for our market and ourselves to ensure that we are continually in touch with our target market. The IT market is constantly changing, and we have to move with it. We also continually tweak our web presence to stay current with our marketing needs. We are HIPAA compliant (medical), FINRA compliant (financial), PCI certified (consumer), and we are just now starting to offer a cyber liability to our qualified clients. We have a 98%+ retention rate over 8 years, with the industry average turnover rate of 10% annually being deemed acceptable.

If you haven't yet registered for the Small Business Awards and Celebration, click here to do so now!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Make plans now to join us for the Nov. 2 Winter Wonderland!

Our 2017 Winter Wonderland Big Expo will be here before you know it! This year's event will be Thursday, November 2, 2017 from 3-7pm at The Newnan Centre, 1515 Lower Fayetteville Rd., Newnan.

Presented by Delta Community Credit Union, the Winter Wonderland Big Expo is the biggest, most influential business exposition in Coweta County, and it has been used to promote Coweta's business community for 23 years now!

If you'd like to participate, please give us a call as soon as possible to discuss availability of space. You may call 770.253.2270 or email info@newnancowetachamber.org.

Click here to download a registration brochure.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Small Business of the Year Finalist: Ellie White-Stevens of Dirt1x

We’re delighted to continue introducing our finalists for this year's Small Business of the Year Awards, to be presented on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at The Newnan Centre and sponsored by SouthTowne Motors and UBS Financial Services. Today, meet Ellie White-Stevens of Dirt1x!

Chamber membership philosophy and involvement: As a business owner in Coweta County, I believe we network together to make this community a better place to live and work. I have built my business, marketing agency Dirt1x, on the kind of networking opportunities that the Newnan-Coweta Chamber provides. As a member since July 2015, I attend the Women in Business lunches, some after hours including Ladies’ Night Out, and I send my Account Executive Tammy Lanier to additional events including Young Professionals. I’ve also spoken on marketing at the Six Figure Success Club hosted by Maria Hall.
Community involvement: When Dirt1x started it was with a commitment that we would tithe at least 10% of time and resources to nonprofit work. And we have exceeded that. Right as I launched my agency, I also launched O Christmas Tea, a fundraising gala for Community Welcome House that has generated over $113,000 in donations in the last eight years. We are gearing up for our ninth year for this same cause. Additionally this year we have donated marketing services for events to the Southern Conservation Trust, Real Life Center, Pathway Home for Women, TEAM Alliance (children in the slums of Nairobi) and Southside Support for Special Needs Families. This last year we made a major donation to the eWomen Network Foundation to start an online video educational portal to serve nonprofits nationwide and recorded a video, Good Gala: How to Supercharge Business Giving, on how to run a fundraiser, to be included in the archives. Dirt1x Creative Director Ellie White-Stevens has served with the board of the 501c3 Business Women of Fayette and Coweta for the last 7 years, including two years as president. She won their Business Woman of the Year designation five years ago, and is currently Marketing Chair of this organization. Account Executive Tammy Lanier serves on the board of the Fayette Care Clinic, and Assistant Raissa Chandler is on the board for Southside Support.

How Dirt1x differs from competitors: I typically tell my clients that the risk isn’t that they’ll work with my competition instead of Dirt1x, it’s that they’ll do nothing. Inertia is the enemy of the small business. As an agency that serves primarily small businesses, and a small business ourselves, we understand the struggles and complexity of running a small business. Dirt1x has changed our model within the last several years to focusing on marketing strategy rather than just implementing projects like websites, sales materials and branding. It’s been more successful for our clients, and also helped Dirt1x create sustainable revenue for the business. The wisdom and work of Creative Director Ellie White-Stevens is what really differentiates the agency. Through the Dirt1x Sustainable Marketing System, our retainer-based agreement, small businesses create the plan and have access to a full marketing agency team for implementation. The hard part of being an entrepreneur is the isolation in making plans and decisions. We solve that by getting in front of our Sustainable Marketing System clients every single month and making sure the marketing and business have a positive trajectory.

If you haven't yet registered for the Small Business Awards and Celebration, click here to do so now!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Small Business of the Year Finalist: Renee Horton Agency — American Family Insurance

We’re delighted to begin introducing our finalists for this year's Small Business of the Year Awards, to be presented on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at The Newnan Centre and sponsored by SouthTowne Motors and UBS Financial Services. Today, meet Renee Horton Agency — American Family Insurance!

Chamber membership philosophy and involvement: I believe that being a catalyst for growth in our community, the Chamber membership allows me to develop meaningful partnerships with other businesses and industries in our community. These partnerships are mutually beneficial for my business, the businesses we partner with and our community. I am hopeful that the Renee Horton Agency – American Family Insurance can be a leader and a driving force for the economic growth in our great community. I am currently serving as the Chairman of the first Small Business Council at the Newnan-Coweta Chamber. I continue to support all the businesses that are members of the Chamber anytime I have a need within my agency. My agency has been a huge supporter of Chamber events in my last two years as a member. We have sponsored and/or attended the annual Golf Tournament, Young Professional events, Member Connects, Business-After-Hours, Ribbon Cuttings for the new businesses in our community, the Business Women’s Network, Coffee Calls, Early Bird Forums, State of the Community lunches, Operation Thank You and many others. I am also lucky to be part of a Women’s Entrepreneurs Coaching group that meets monthly. This group has been instrumental in helping me to recognize and address issues within my agency. 

Community involvement: We love to sponsor and volunteer in our community! Our in-kind sponsorships have included the Coweta County Board of Education, where we have supported multiple schools/sports, Communities In Schools, the Coweta Community Foundation, the Fayette Women’s Council of Realtors, Fayette Bras for a Cause, Community Welcome House - Coweta’s Dancing Stars, Boys and Girls Club, Soles for Cole, Team Hungry – Sound Waves, YMCA, Run for Angels and Bridging the Gap. We’ve provided service sponsorships for NVOC safe driving schools, Night to Shine and Taste of Newnan. Organizations we’ve supported with both in-kind and service sponsorships include SouthCrest Church, Newnan Junior Service League, Abby’s Angels, 100 Women, GA Heat Cheerleading gym, Newnan Coweta Board of Realtors – local realtor open houses, The Rock Cheerleading gym, The Pink Posse, Toys for Tots and March of Dimes.

How Renee Horton Agency — American Family Insurance differs from competitors: My agency is differentiated from our competitors because we have second-mile customer service. Examples of this are calling our customers on their birthdays, having monthly birthday parties, having annual customer appreciation events, calling our customers during November for our annual thank a thon, recognizing life-changing events that happen with our customers, and just doing the best we can to make them all feel extra special. We continue to seek to develop a niche market. My agency continues to be involved in our community daily! 

If you haven't yet registered for the Small Business Awards and Celebration, click here to do so now!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Our next Member Connect is Thursday, Sept. 14!

Coming up on September 14, 2017, our next Member Connect is the quarterly lunch program that helps Chamber members explore and discover opportunities for involvement and ROI while connecting to Chamber benefits and advantages that help you grow your business and prosper. Why should you attend a Member Connect Lunch?

• Meet the Chamber Staff, Board Members and Committee Chairs.

• Connect with Other Members.

• Promote Your Business.

• Discover programs to help grow your business and learn how to use Chamber benefits to increase your bottom line.

• Engage with the Chamber through committee service.

The next Member Connect Lunch will be Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 11:30am to 1pm at the Chamber, and there is no charge to attend. You can reserve your space now through ChamberMaster by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sept. 14 B-A-H celebrates 25th anniversary of Contemporary Catering!

Our September Business-After-Hours networking event celebrates the silver anniversary of a longtime Chamber member, Contemporary Catering! We hope you'll join us at Contemporary Catering for this very special evening.

Our next B-A-H event will be September 14, 2017 from 5:30-7pm at Contemporary Catering, which is located at 25 Herring Road in Newnan. We'll enjoy great food and drink as well as great music by the DJ Professionals!

Come enjoy great food and beverages and catch up with fellow Chamber members as we celebrate with Contemporary Catering! RSVP now through ChamberMaster by clicking here.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Branding and marketing are topics of Sept. 8 Meet Up

How do you build a brand and market it? What is a good balance? Does one media work better than the others? BRANDING 360 will be presented by Ken Hammock of Joy FM 93.3 at the September 8 Meet Up at the Chamber.

The internet era has created more complexity in already challenging circumstances for entrepreneurs. How important should marketing be within your business model? Come and learn about the importance of having a multimedia approach to marketing your business no matter how small your budget.

Ken Hammock, Underwriting Consultant for Joy FM 93.3, is setting a strong ethical standard, doing what is right, and helping others move forward. Marketing has experienced dramatic changes over the past decade, but basic concepts are the same. All businesses and organizations have a story. Hammock says that his job is to help tell that story in an effective manner with a results-based approach. His core specialization is helping small businesses understand and implement practical marketing solutions. Criteria for effectiveness is attained through brand building, maintenance of top-of-mind awareness, and maximizing return-on-investment potential with realistic expectations.

Ken says that "1980 was the year radio broadcasting was injected into my blood. It has been a passion and a profession off and on since then. Now, with nearly 30 years of experience in sales, management, business ownership, and training, my goal is to help others succeed and grow."

The next Six Figure Success Club Meet Up will be September 8 from 9:30-11:30am at the Newnan-Coweta Chamber, 23 Bullsboro Dr., Newnan. There is no charge to attend, and you can RSVP now to reserve a spot.