Surveys in for Vet Clinic and Just Food

Two more sources of into for a business story I’m working on.

Cannon Valley Vet Clinic, Boarding & Retail Store

1200 South Hwy 3 – Northfield

We are a member of the Chamber of Commerce. We have been a member for several years and I believe that the Chamber does a lot to help promote businesses in our community as well as helping with other civic events.

I believe that other members of the Northfield community whether it being other businesses or organizations can help promote any small business by WOM testimonials. WOM (word of mouth) recommendations can be the best assest any business has.

I see a lot of people becoming more aware of what they are purchasing for their pets due to their internet searches. With the recent scares in the pet food industry people are watching where the products are coming from and what ingredients they have. That’s why we are focusing on finding Made in USA products and also limited ingredient products so we can provide the pet parents the best possible options.

I am a firm believer that WOM and networking are the best ways to promote your business and there isn’t a lot of money tied into it so small businesses can benefit without going broke!

Leah Erickson, CVT

Cannon Valley Vet Boarding & Retail Store

1200 South Hwy 3

Northfield, MN 55057

507-650-7208″

“Name and title: Alex Beeby, Operations Manager
Name and Location of Business: Just Food Co-op, 516 Water St. S.
Contact Info: 507-650-0106, operations@justfood.coop

Business-related organizations:

Aside from the regional and national co-op organizations, we aren’t members, per se, of any local business organizations. We attend some NDDC forums. We were members of the Chamber of Commerce until this year. I am in regular informal communication with some other downtown businesses to keep tabs on local issues as well.

Why we joined and level of satisfaction:

We attend NDDC forums, because they are a convenient way for us to stay in touch with the local business community and related issues.

We left the chamber for a couple of reasons. First, we did not feel that we were getting enough benefit for the money we were investing. Basically, we were able to take Chamber Dollars, which, themselves are less than convenient. We still had to pay additional money to participate in Chamber functions/events. We did not feel like the Chamber adequately responded to our suggestions. On top of all of this, the national and state Chamber associations are/have been politically involved in a way that runs so contrary to our mission that we do not feel comfortable representing ourselves as members.

How can orgs or other help?

Organizations can provide a forum for businesses to get together, cooperate, and pool resources. The key here is making sure these sessions aren’t just a waste of time. For example, a local salary/pay survey would be helpful in helping to get a sense of what appropriate pay levels are. Another example would be a conversation about joint advertising possibilities or joint training opportunities.

National economic situation and technology impacts?

We have definitely experienced a downturn that corresponds to the national economic situation. This downturn and unpredictability have led us to adjust our budget quarterly and managing our labor and inventory much more actively.

The web is definitely a part of keeping our customers informed, and exhibits potential for marketing.

What promotion methods are most effective?

Word of mouth reigns supreme, especially in this town. That said, we are seeing a lot of success with our classes and events as well.

Other helpful info:

Again, as we look at our labor, a local salary/pay survey would help us quite a bit. We need to do a better job of making sure we use our time effectively and actually accomplish worthwhile things — instead of just talk about it.”
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