Wyoming Business Tips for Sept. 5

August 30, 2010

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Diane Wolverton, Wyoming Entrepreneur Network state director

"I read your column last week that described the Entrepreneurial Christmas Story project. It sounds fun and interesting, but let's get serious. How can it really do anything for my business?" Celeste, Casper

I am glad you asked because it gives me the opportunity to discuss one of my favorite subjects, fun, as a powerful strategy for business success.

The Entrepreneurial Christmas Story is a serious project that offers 100 Wyoming businesses the opportunity to dramatically improve their social media skills and their company visibility statewide, locally and even nationally. It is unique because it combines classroom learning with real-world experience.

Over the past 18 months, the Wyoming Entrepreneur network has offered several workshops on social media. These have disseminated helpful information about using social media as a business tool. But it is not enough just to provide information-most people learn best when they actually have an opportunity to apply it.

The Christmas Story project will do just that. It combines classroom style teaching through Webinars, plus a laboratory to experiment with the new concepts learned. And that's not all. Participants also will get a chance to have an ornament on a Christmas tree in the nation's capital; an opportunity to network with 99 other entrepreneurs doing the same thing; the creative experience of telling their story visually and verbally; and, of course, fun, fun, fun.

Fun is, indeed, a key element to successful business, and when you incorporate it into the culture of your company, you can actually reach new heights. One of the most compelling examples of this is the story of the world famous Pike Place Fish Market (http://www.pikeplacefish.com/) in Seattle. How did they get to be world famous? By having fun and making sure their customers had fun too. Read about their philosophy in the best-selling book "FISH!" by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen.

Begin incorporating the four key principles now -- Be there, keep the focus of your attention on what you are doing right now; Play, find the element of fun and enjoy; Make their day, give each customer a great experience; and Choose your attitude, you can choose to be happy, fun loving, and full of delight -- or not. Why not choose the things that feel good?

The Christmas Story project is all about fun as well as serious marketing strategies. Take advantage of this doubleheader and see what it can do for you and your business. Don't wait -- time is short and only 100 participants will be accepted. Register at www.wyomingentrepreneur.biz. Click on "An Entrepreneurial Christmas Story." Registration deadline is Sept. 10 at 5 p.m., or when the 100 slots are filled. Join the fun and the rewards of bringing new, positive business your way.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, e-mail wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, Wyo. 82071-3922.

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