Cultivate a productive environment

Lynn Pietroski

Lynn Pietroski

Retaining and attracting quality staff can be a challenge for small businesses and even nonprofit organizations, but it’s not impossible and does not always cost a lot of money. The concept of a happy workplace equaling a productive workplace tells a truthful tale. It can be broken down simply: if an employee fits well into an organization’s culture, they’ll likely work well with their peers and co-workers and develop a positive working relationship with their boss or superiors. [Read more...]

Collaboratation key to our vitality

Lynn Pietroski

Lynn Pietroski

The greater Watertown area is fortunate to have several agencies that drive its economic development. Most chambers of commerce have a separate division that focuses on economic development, but at the Greater Watertown-North Country Chamber of Commerce, we work in collaboration with those agencies in our community to maximize results.

When you think of economic development, most likely you hear the words: small business, entrepreneurship, manufacturing, tourism, workforce development and many others. Moreover, economic development is also about job creation, retaining and generating new business for our community, marketing the community and being one of many resources for economic growth.

The role of the GWNC chamber, in partnership with the area’s economic development colleagues, is to promote the “product” that is being sold, such as housing opportunities, education, workforce development and leadership opportunities.

Chambers of commerce and economic development organizations must work together, co-exist, understand and acknowledge the critical role each organization plays in the community and the region. [Read more...]

Employee training key to success

Lynn Pietroski

Lynn Pietroski

Does your organization have an orientation process or training program for all new hires? Do you offer continuing education training to ensure employees receive necessary tools to be successful within the organization?

If the answer is no, you could be doing your employees and your business a disservice.

Training can be defined as many different things and means different things for different types and sizes of business, but it is necessary. The first step in assessing the needs of a training program for your organization is to specifically define what you expect your employees to be able to do upon completion of the training. Training programs benefit both the employee and the employer. [Read more...]

To rebrand or not: The big question

Lynn Pietroski

As the economic world is changing, many businesses are finding it necessary to change to meet the demands of this shift in the way business is done. Change is inevitable and is part of what makes businesses successful or unsuccessful. But is rebranding a possible answer and, if so, how can it help a business?

Many businesses both large and small are rebranding to promote a new line of business, to attract a new audience or to convey a sense of relevance. The most important component of rebranding is to ensure that it is the magnet that draws people to your product. The brand of a product is the most important thing behind the product itself.

Where should a business start? [Read more...]

Delivery, focus key to presentations

Lynn Pietroski

There is truth in believing in what you want to be heard. Have you ever given a presentation, either to a small or large audience or even one-on-one and realize people appear to be looking through you, nodding off or getting fidgety? It happens to all of us, but there are several ways to enhance the delivery of your message to ensure your audience remains engaged. Many believe that, like leading, presenting and public speaking is a gift an individual is born with. This is not true. Some individuals are more comfortable speaking in front of others, but with time, as well as gaining more skills and knowledge, most can increase their level of confidence in giving a sales pitch to a room full of individuals waiting to hear what you have to say. Regardless of the field, the ability to present information clearly, efficiently and effectively is a key skill and a requirement of most jobs.

Preparation begins long before the actual presentation or meeting. Whether you are giving an elevator speech, speaking to a large audience or talking with one person, research will assist in delivering a clear, concise message by giving you a strong understanding of what you will be presenting. Research enables you to streamline the key points of the presentation, ensuring the information is accurate and all the points of the presentation are executed. [Read more...]

JLI graduates embody leadership

Lynn Pietroski

As the 22nd class graduated from the historic Jefferson Leadership Institute in June, I was sincerely impressed with the hard work and dedication of the 20 men and women who committed 10 months to learning what makes our county a cohesive, collaborative and well-oiled machine.

Jefferson County’s future is directly linked to the quality of its leadership. Dedicated, trained and motivated community leaders will shape and determine the future of our region. The purpose of the JLI is to teach students what makes a healthy community and what critical issues affect its economic sectors. [Read more...]

Making sense of health care law

In April, the Greater Watertown North Country Chamber of Commerce was awarded a grant through the Community Service Society of New York to help small businesses with health care and health insurance issues. Many individuals and small businesses were faced with the lingering effects of the federal health reform bill, which is now well known as the Affordable Care Act, signed into law in March 2010. [Read more...]

Volunteering has intrinsic value

Healthy communities depend on volunteers. Volunteerism can be one of the most fulfilling experiences an individual can encounter. With the fast pace of life, work, family and personal priorities, it can be hard to find the time to commit oneself to something. Volunteering comes in so many forms and can consist of hours, days and years or it can be a single event. How do you define a volunteer? It can be defined in a multitude of ways that include giving, contributing, helping individuals, organizations and making a meaningful contribution to your community. Volunteering is offering to do some form of work for no compensation; however, there is usually some personal meaning that gives an individual fulfillment.

[Read more...]

Business as usual in family firms

Family-owned businesses are an integral part of the economy and require hard work and determination on the part of family members who run them. [Read more...]

Getting to the roots of leadership

There are many ways to define leadership. However, leaders can successfully lead without defining how they have done so. True leaders demonstrate courage, creativity, values, compassion and dedication. They are individuals who guide a team to transform visions into reality. Leaders communicate effectively and ensure an effective and cohesive team to accomplish established goals. [Read more...]