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August 3, 2011

Source: Annette Roth, Thurston Energy
Thurston Energy would like to introduce Mark Rentfrow, Energy Services Specialist. His role is to build relationships with homeowners, business owners and local contractors. He will be responsible for providing Thurston Energy services to customers, including scheduling energy use evaluations, providing energy efficiency improvement services and efficiency technology information, and communicating with contractors on behalf of customers. He will also be responsible for managing the Thurston Energy Vendor Network of local contractors and energy efficiency service providers. A long-term resident of Olympia, Mark received his …

August 3, 2011

Source: Puget Sound Energy
Here in the Pacific Northwest we benefit from a distinctive balance – smart, innovative people and the beauty of the great outdoors. So it is no surprise that helping to keep our environment clean and vibrant is a mission many of us hold dear. This year, the cities of Lacey and Olympia, together with Intercity Transit, Thurston Energy, and Puget Sound Energy are challenging residents and businesses to “flip the switch to green power” by signing up to support renewable energy at PSE.com/Flip.
Buying green power is …

August 1, 2011

Source: BryansBizBlog.com
So you have hired your first ‘manager’. You have to now provide, or get, training and mentoring for this newly minted management employee. Additionally though, you may need training or mentoring on how to ‘manage the manager’.
So many times owners make the smart decision to hire a manager so that they do not have to be in the business every minute of every day. What has to happen however is that this new manager, if they have never managed must be supported as they develop their managerial skills. …

July 25, 2011

Source: BryanBizBlog.com
Have you ever noticed how doctors, dentists, attorneys and other professional service providers refer to themselves as ‘ a practicing…’? Yet, when we refer to ourselves as business owners we use the term more as a ‘title’ or a statement of status. But why not ‘practicing business owner’? Are we afraid to let the secret out that maybe, just maybe we don’t know everything there is to know about running a business, or managing employees or maximizing profit or…?
I can’t imagine not attempting to get better at what …

July 19, 2011

Source: Jessica Jensen, Attorney at Law
A copyright protects your ownership of original works such as literary material, photos,
artwork and music. You can copyright your original work in two ways. First, you can
file for copyright protection with the United States Copyright Office, www.copyright.gov.
Second, you can claim a common law copyright by using the material and documenting
your first use (when, where and how). For example, if your photo first appeared in a
flyer, keep the flyer and record the date. You can put the world on notice that you claim
a copyright by …

July 19, 2011

Source: George Sharp, Executive Director – Olympia Lacey Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau
We are fortunate that we have many festivals and events that take place in Thurston County throughout the year. I am often asked how can a business benefit from them. Below I would like to share a few of my ideas and past experience as a restaurant and retail store owner.
First off you need to put yourself in the shoes of both the event organizer and of the event attendee. It is about the experience that is …

July 19, 2011

Source: http://olympia.startupweekend.org/tickets/
Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skill sets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people – to build applications and develop a commercial case around them. Register Here: http://olympia.startupweek​end.org/tickets/
Startup Weekend Oly in 2010 had an array of talented individuals including graphic designers, lawyers, solar panel business owners, students, programmers, writers, and social marketing …

July 18, 2011

By Dana Pethia, Constant Contact Regional Development Director, Pacific Northwest
Hear what your customers have to say via survey and social media
You think you offer great a product or service to your customers and members, but do you know that for sure? Are you taking the time to listen to what your customers are saying about you? If the answer to both questions is no, you could be missing out on some valuable insight that could help grow your business or organization, or better shape some of your processes. Fortunately, it’s …

July 18, 2011

Source: BryansBizBlog.com
I have enjoyed the opportunity to assist businesses in establishing new or improved systems. When a business goes from NO Employee Management System to a structured system, there are some reasonably predictable things that will occur. If you know you need to adjust, tighten up or even create a new employee management system, you also should plan for some predictable and manageable employee behaviors. While I will focus on employee management systems specifically in this set of posts, many of the same issues arise whenever any new system …

July 17, 2011

By Diane Altman
After traveling more than 42 thousand miles during one trip and seeing every state in the country throughout the years, Olympia stood out. “I had never been in a town as friendly as Olympia,” says Sam Garst.
Even though they didn’t know anyone in Washington State, Garst and his wife Christine moved to Thurston County in the summer of 2004. They saw the value of the climate, outdoor recreation and naturally friendly people. “Not knowing anyone and meeting such genuine people who make you feel at home, is a …