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First News Summer 2009

Creative Business Development

   During the last year, we have seen some businesses in our area relocate or close completely due to economic factors. The brief tourist season offers us respite, but it doesn't provide the lasting relief we need to be successful year-round. As winter approaches, we have a perfect opportunity to take inventory of our strengths and weaknesses and develop a game plan that focuses on filling those gaps with training or branching out with a refreshed business plan. Generally we think of business and personal growth in the scope of large corporations, but never fear - the process doesn't require a team of HR reps! Consider these three steps to bring renewed focus to your organization.
Article author, Kim Bird, brings to the table 17 years in the hospitality industry with a focus on education and team development. Currently, she is the General Manager of The Blue Rooster Saloon with locations in Walsenburg and La Veta, Colorado.

Email at: 4dabirds@

Photo courtesy Kim Bird

Become vested - both internally and externally. While putting together a comprehensive training plan for your organization requires commitment, the increased knowledge and morale of your staff has far-reaching benefits that make it all worthwhile. Stepping out of our bubble and focusing on the needs of others recharges our batteries and allows us to build the deep connections that convey lasting loyalty.

Revisit your business plan - look for concrete areas that could benefit from development within your organization. Work on the list collaboratively for objective insight. The Trinidad State Junior College Community Development Resource Center offers free networking group sessions from 5 to 6 p.m. every Thursday. Brainstorming and sharing ideas with other business owners and TSJC business experts can be just what the doctor ordered and it's free!

Utilize Your Resources - where corporations look within for their training needs, smaller organizations are able to utilize an entire world of options. Free to low-cost training, business review, and benefit options are available right in your own back yard.

Where to start?

Agencies - Trinidad State Junior College Community Development Resource Center at 136 West Main Street #205, Trinidad, (719) 846-5920. It's a "one-stop-shop" for individuals interested in starting a business/non-profit, creating a business plan or grant, receiving business counseling, and attending workshops.

Vendors - Sysco Food Services offers complimentary business reviews that encompass costing and efficiency as well as free/low-cost training services in food cost, menu development, up-selling, and Serv-Safe certification. Visit or call (303)585-2000. Other vendors provide similar services within the scope of their industry (i.e. Budweiser has a low-cost alcohol awareness program, which trains staff and reduces insurance costs).

Additional Resources - Agencies such as Council of Governments, Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Center, Economic Development, various business leaders / workers, and libraries can offer a myriad of resources. Trinidad State Junior College and New Mexico Highlands University in Raton have coursework and workshops available, as well as online/distance education.

Remember, you are the cornerstones of your community - the health of your business signifies the underlying health of our future. Together, utilizing the tools and resources available, we can make it the best it can be!


Newsletter photography by Michael Babnick Photography

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