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Grow Your Business...and Have Fun Doing It!

By Jaci Rothe

In our busy technology-driven world, we often forget the importance of face-to-face interaction and stepping away from your desk to develop relationships with others in your workplace and the business community. With summertime right around the corner, it is time to step out of the office and take advantage of this beautiful Southern Illinois weather. Who says your workweek has to be all work and no play? This summer season, set aside time on your calendar to grow your business, promote staff morale and give back to the community all while having fun!

• Join your local chamber of commerce. As a business owner, your schedule is packed full. Why should you add yet another commitment to your busy calendar? Becoming a member of your local chamber offers multiple benefits; one being that it allows you to network with fellow business owners like yourself in a fun, friendly environment such as Business After Hours. Your local chamber will also keep you on top of important issues and ever-changing trends happening in your community and marketplace. Not to mention that consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it is a chamber member! To join the Ed/Glen Chamber of Commerce, visit http://www.edglenchamber.com/join.htm.

• Attend a conference or workshop. No matter how many years of experience you have in your field, there is still more to learn. Regardless of the industry you work in, conferences and workshops are great opportunities to grow your business, collaborate with fellow experts, increase your knowledge of the market and strengthen your relationships with your employees. Plus, you get goodie bags. Does it get any better than that? You can find countless conferences, seminars and workshops relevant to your business online and register for them with a click of a button. Simple as that.

• Host a company luncheon. Treating your team to a lunch is a great way to break the ice with new employees and strengthen current relationships with existing ones. Plus, it is a nice change of scenery from the break room. Going out for an afternoon bite to the local pizza parlor or taco joint downtown can offer a relaxing, fun environment for brainstorming. While your team members are conjuring up great ideas, your business is also supporting a fellow local business. It is a win-win, right?

• Sponsor a community event. Local festivals and events are great ways to expose your business and boost your brand through a sponsorship. Being a sponsor typically requires donating money, products or time to the organization hosting the event. In return, your business is affiliated with this event and prominently featured in its marketing materials and publicity. Customers appreciate local businesses that serve their community, which means that the event is a hub of potential clients to work with. The best way for your business to be noticed is for it to be noticeable; supporting a community event differentiates your business from big brand competitors and offers a fun evening out for your team. From folk festivals to city homecomings, there is a multitude of fun, unique events for your business to get involved with!

At Cork Tree Creative, our team strives to provide exceptional marketing and public relations services to our clients, while having fun doing it. From brainstorming lunch dates at Cleveland-Heath to networking events in downtown St. Louis, we enjoy stepping outside of our office to get things done. Are you looking for innovative and creative ways to grow and market your business this summer season and beyond? Our team can help! Contact us today at 618-656-7333.

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