In our never-ending quest to try to give Kent businesses a leg-up on their competition, one of our local business owners sent me note suggesting that we need to strengthen the business network in Kent in a way that gives people that work in a Kent a decided advantage — and that advantage would be each other. The idea is to create a way for Kent businesses to help each other get better. It’s not necessarily a new idea, as that’s sort of the idea behind the Kent Chamber of Commerce, but it may be an idea with a twist whose time has come.
Let me know what you think.
I have been reading your posts and had an idea.
To hire more people, you have to have more revenue. That’s true for every business.
What many cities try to do is cut costs to help grow businesses and jobs. That is one part of the equation, and it is especially important for start ups.
However, Kent has some disadvantages for selling.
1) Kind of far from Cleveland – Location makes it a longer drive to get involved in the bigger local economies. Even Akron seems to be moving its businesses to the Fairlawn region, which is far.
2) NE Ohio Sucks. Terrible economy in general. No sugar coating it.
3) People are afraid to invest and spend because of the economy.
4) Local city needs businesses that can sell all over to bring money into the city. Not just restaurants and cute retail.
Here is my solution. You will like it I think, because I think we can do it for free.
The City of Kent helps all local businesses sell better. If you are in the city limits and own a business, you are invited to a free monthly sales and marketing training session. We focus on different areas on different months. I could do one on Internet and one on Word of mouth. I know at least three other people that would come over and do it on different topics. The benefit for the speaker is possible new clients, networking and book sales.
You may know a local restaurant that would let us use a room. Everyone would have to buy their own food and drinks.
The city could take a poll of job gains in the past 30 days at each meeting and really champion helping local businesses sell better. This would be buzz-worthy because usually cities just have tax cuts. I would much rather pay you more because I have more income. If that became your mantra, you would probably get national press.
I know it is not a quick fix, but neither is downtown development or any other solution I am hearing.
Let me know what you think and we can get together some time and discuss if you are interested.
Feel free to post this (or part) on your blog and solicit public feedback if you would like.
Now that you’ve read Ron’s idea — what do you think? Let’s git’er done!