Wendy Stoneberger's Blog

RSS feed

  • We Spent How Much?

    by Wendy Stoneberger | Aug 23, 2013
    Ever get that sinking feeling when you look at your expense sheet? At the Chamber, we're always looking for ways to add value to your membership. Our two cost-savings programs are an example of a member benefit that can help your business save money on everyday office expenses.

    Reducing spending on office supplies is one of the most basic ways for companies to cut costs. Our partnership with Office Depot makes this easier than ever. Through this group purchasing program, you can get a discount on every item you purchase at any Office Depot store, with additional discounts on the items you use most frequently (such as paper, ink and toner).

    Newly updated online access now makes this even easier for our members. There are three options to take advantage of this discount: online purchasing, invoicing to buy with direct billing or downloading a store purchasing card. As an added bonus, any employee of a Chamber-member company can print this card. To learn more, visit our website.

    Our other cost-savings program is a partnership with Infintech, a national provider of credit card processing for all types of business. This gives Chamber members the opportunity to participate in a nationwide group ...
    Go comment!
    Category: General
  • How Can Legal Planning Benefit Your Business?

    by Lindsay Chambers | May 31, 2013
    Guest post by Tracy Kane, associate, Dodson, Parker, Behm & Capparella, P.C.

    You’ve got a great new idea! Now all you need is a good business plan, perhaps a decent marketing plan and few bucks in your pocket, right?

    Unfortunately, too often I see clients spend precious resources (time, energy, focus, money, etc.) fixing or unwinding legal structures or untangling relationships with business partners (who, of course, were their best friends just a few years ago). These kinds of distractions can set the business back months or years and, in the worst cases, it destroys not only the relationships, but the business itself.

    As a startup, you constantly have to choose which things are the most important on which to spend your time and money. Don’t overlook a few of the key legal aspects that can pay dividends in the future.

    1. Form a legal entity -- While it is possible to operate your business as a “sole proprietor,” when you do so, you expose yourself and your personal assets to all the liability of the business. Historically, to achieve personal protection from the liabilities of the company you had to form a corporation, which, of course, also gets taxed ...
    Go comment!
    Category: General
  • Tired of hearing 'NO'?

    by | Jan 04, 2013
    Some new rules to an old game
    Guest post by LeShane Greenhill, founder, Sagents Partners, LLC

    More than 92 percent of businesses in America are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). With entrepreneurial businesses representing such a large majority, we all can understand why SMEs are so important to the growth of our nation's economy. It’s no secret that doing business with SMEs provides a competitive advantage for today’s corporate elite.

    Since May 2011, Sagents LLC has conducted more than 100 conversations with small business CEOs, sales managers and sales reps. After compiling our data and debriefing, we realized that three common challenges arose time and again:

    1. Identifying corporate buying requests.
    SMEs often struggle with identifying corporate opportunities for one major reason: They do not have the resources (time, money, expertise) to allocate to this sales activity. Without these resources, they are generally geographically confined to a smaller sales territory.

    2. Gaining immediate access to these opportunities.
    If SMEs are not already a part of a company’s vendor or supplier database, there is a good chance they will miss the window to bid on a request for proposal or request for quotation. Once the sales opportunities have been identified, how ...
    Go comment!
  • Moving the Needle

    by | Dec 04, 2012
    Guest post by Alison C. Lynch, director, entrepreneurial growth & engagement, Nashville Area Chamber

    There’s a lot going on in this city. Some days I open my calendar and actually groan with all of the opportunities and over-commitments staring back at me on my phone, wondering how I am going to fit it all in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. It’s a good problem to have. A. Very. Good. Problem.

    It means our region is bustling with activity -- and if you’re a business owner, those opportunities are chances to make good connections, build relationships and grow your business. Of course, I especially enjoy a full calendar, since a large part of my role at the Chamber is to be out meeting Nashville’s entrepreneurs and learning about your needs.

    But I think back to days not so long ago, when starting a business from the ground up and being involved in EVERY detail consumed my waking hours. Days when nothing but capturing a client and creating a brand were all that mattered. Well, OK, there were about a thousand things that mattered (raising money, building a team, creating a culture, filing our employment taxes, making sure we had ...
    Go comment!
  • 2011 NEXT Award Winners: Where Are They Now?

    by | Aug 27, 2012
    NEXT Awards logoOur annual NEXT Awards, co-hosted with the Entrepreneur Center, recognize the accomplishments of some of the most successful businesspeople driving our regional economy.

    We checked in with three of last year's winners to find out how their businesses have changed since winning the NEXT Award. Excerpts from the answers appear below; for the full Q&A, click here. We announced finalists for the 2012 NEXT Awards earlier this month; the NEXT Awards dinner will be Thursday, Sept. 27.

    Joseph Cashia, Vivere Health
    (2011 NEXT winner, Startup - Health Care)

    A year after winning a NEXT Award, what does your company or organization look like?
    Since winning the prestigious NEXT Award last year, Vivere Health has grown tremendously. The number of employees in our Franklin headquarters has doubled. We have opened an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) lab in Winter Park, FL, and are currently in the process of building an ambulatory surgery center (ASC). In addition, we broke ground in New Orleans, where we are building an ASC and IVF lab, due to be completed in December.

    Where do you see your business a year from now? We are expecting to double our growth in a year from now.

    Where do you see ...
    Go comment!
  • Enhancing Your Chamber Membership With New Benefits & Services

    by | Jul 11, 2012
    Guest post by Olivia Billingsley, director of member services, Nashville Area Chamber

    As the Chamber kicks off a new program year, we are excited to announce some enhancements to our member offerings. I invite you to take advantage of these new features and benefits that were designed with your business needs in mind.

    Increased Visibility:
    The Chamber is proud to offer both a mobile app and a mobile-friendly site that puts the most popular content from our website at users’ fingertips.

    The My Chamber App is a free interactive app that allows smartphone users to quickly and easily find and connect with Nashville Area Chamber members in categories such as shopping, dining, automotive and professional services. To install this app on your mobile device, search for "My Chamber App" in your application marketplace. Visit http://web.nashvillechamber.com/mobile on your smartphone or tablet to access a searchable member directory, Chamber news, Chamber events and coupons offered by members.

    Cost Savings:
    Our newest cost savings program allows you to save money on credit card processing fees. The Chamber is pleased to announce our partnership with Infintech, a national provider of credit card processing, to offer members an exclusive discount that can reduce fees up ...
    Go comment!
    Category: General
  • When Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship Combine, Anything Can Happen

    by | May 01, 2012
    Guest post by Alison C. Lynch, director, entrepreneurial growth & engagement, Nashville Area Chamber

    As many of you already know, I am fairly new to the Chamber. What you may not know is that I am also fairly new to Nashville. I arrived in Middle Tennessee about a year ago, after 20 years as a tech entrepreneur and angel investor in the DC Metro region. And the one question I received REPEATEDLY -- as I sold my house, kissed my family good-bye and prepared to move -- was "Nashville?! Are you a musician?" What many people didn't realize was that I had fallen in love with Music City three years prior and have kept my eyes on, and heart in, this town ever since.

    What made me fall in love?
    1) Nashville has a thriving and diverse entrepreneurial scene.
    2) Twenty-three percent of our region's workforce is self-employed -- which means we are a highly motivated and energetic group.
    3) Creativity and collaboration -- they're everywhere in Nashville!

    Now, the most common question I get is, "So, is Nashville everything you thought it would be?" And the truth is -- it's even BETTER!

    Our town is a hotbed of entrepreneurial ...
    Go comment!
  • Referrals = Rewards

    by | Mar 06, 2012
    Earn rewards for recommending your colleagues, clients and friends for Chamber membership. Our new Referral Rewards program offers opportunities to win complimentary event registration, fun outings for yourself, as well as great visibility for your business.
    • Every referral receives one point. The person with the most points by Friday, March 23, will earn a company display table (a $225 value) at Business After Hours on Thursday, March 29. The person with the most points by Friday, May 18, will earn a company display table at Business After Hours on Wednesday, May 23.
    • Through Friday, March 30, every referred company that joins the Chamber earns the referring member a chance to win tickets to the Predators' last regular-season home game on Thursday, April 5 (a $144 value).
    • For every referral who joins the Chamber, both the referrer and the new member will receive two complimentary admissions to an upcoming Business After Hours event. Referrers will also receive special recognition through the Chamber's online communications vehicles.
    • The person who refers the most new members through Friday, June 29, will be recognized in the Chamber's Annual Report and at the Annual Meeting this fall.
    • Finally, all referrers and new members who join through ...
    Go comment!
    Category: General
  • Business is Good in Nashville

    by | Feb 01, 2012
    Just before Thanksgiving 1997, I pulled into South Nashville with a U-Haul, $300 and an appointment with a temp staffing company. My dream was to be an event planner in the music industry. Eight months later, I was hired as an event coordinator for the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. I found opportunity. I found community. I found that my dream could be played out in the context of something bigger and more important than me alone.

    Becoming part of that collective voice, pressing toward the vision of ensuring a great place to live and work, was – and is – an amazing experience. Chamber member Darrell Freeman, chairman of Zycron, said it well: “My involvement in the Chamber is a part of a ... group effort. I could not have that kind of impact individually.”

    Today, we're launching a new campaign themed "Business is Good." Through a series of billboards, print ads, online content and grassroots efforts, we will tout the strengths of this region – and the role played by the Chamber to lead the charge in areas such as job creation, public education, workforce development and public policy.

    Business is good in the Nashville area, in large ...
    Go comment!
    Category: General
  • NEXT Awards: Celebrating Middle Tennessee's Entrepreneurial Spirit

    by | Oct 21, 2011
    From the perspective of the Chamber's mission of facilitating economic prosperity, supporting entrepreneurial companies is a perfect fit. A solid base of growing companies is an essential ingredient for any thriving economy, particularly in Nashville, where some of our largest industries - such as health care and entertainment - have such a strong entrepreneurial component.

    When the Chamber founded our Future 50 Awards in 1992, our mission was to commemorate the 50 fastest-growing privately held companies in Middle Tennessee. We continued this tradition for 19 years before revamping the annual awards program in collaboration with the Entrepreneur Center this year. We held our first-ever NEXT Awards this week, and it was a hit on several different levels.

    It's always energizing to be in a room full of some of the most successful businesspeople driving our regional economy. That energy and vitality, combined with the great buzz the NEXT Awards generated in the community, made the event a true celebration of some of our homegrown success stories.

    Personally, as someone who has been closely involved in the NEXT Awards since the program's inception, it has been rewarding to help revitalize the Chamber's tradition of honoring entrepreneurial success in an updated format ...
    Go comment!