Building Office Morale


Does this look familiar? Whether your business is run by five employees, or five-thousand, every business owner knows that a good staff is not only hard to find, but, it is essential to keep, in order to maintain your customer-base, and keep your business flourishing.

In today’s workforce, people are spending more time at work than ever before. As the expectation for longer workdays become common practice, we, as business owners, have been faced with the ever-increasing need to build morale within our companies. To some this may seem like a frivolous business expense, but studies have shown workers who are rewarded and acknowledged beyond their weekly paycheck do, indeed, work harder.

It’s no big secret that deep-down we all enjoy praise of one type or another. The issue we face, however, is how do we do this without taking away from the productivity of a workday. With a little creative thinking, you will find that not only is this doable with very little time taken from the day, but, your employees will work faster and harder for you in exchange for your efforts.

The first thing you need to do is think about a budget. Though it’s always nice to be able to raffle-off a 52″ HD television, it is not within all of our means to do so. This is where the creative thinking comes in. Though you may not have a budget of thousands of dollars- how about a gift card to a restaurant, tickets to a movie or even a comedy show? All of these things can be obtained for less than $50, and the benefits you will reap as their employer will come back to you at a rate much higher than “two-fold.”

Other things you may consider are:

  1. On a slow day, hand out raffle tickets for the rest of the day off with pay. Essentially, this doesn’t cost you anything more than you were going to pay-out in expenses, as you were going to pay them for the day anyway- and who doesn’t want to leave early on a nice day to grab an iced coffee and relax a bit?
  2. Believe it or not, people love swag. Hand out hats, t-shirts, tote bags, or other merchandise with the company name and logo on them. They get a gift, you get advertising, and it’s not a bad way for people to show pride for the company they are working for. A word of caution: Don’t make those the only things you hand out. My former employer handed out decks of playing cards- which were great, until it became laughable the eighth time I received a pack for my five-year employment with the company.
  3. Cater a lunch, or offer a pot luck giving people a little extra time on their breaks. This gives them time to enjoy something different than their cafeteria and brown bag lunches, and more time to spend with their colleagues.
  4. Birthday cakes- Once a month celebrate those who celebrate their birthday during that month. I still like offering birthdays as paid days off, as part of their benefits package.

As you can see, boosting morale can be very simple, and inexpensive. The important part is letting the people you rely on the most know that with your reliance comes respect for all they do. Always remember that respect is earned, and not blindly given.



Facebook Ad Campaign – Case Study

Have you considered running a Facebook Ad but weren’t sure how to analyze the data? I ran a campaign with the dual objectives of creating exposure for my business Facebook Page (Social Media by Michelle) and also creating exposure for the Blackstone Valley Home and Business Expo where I exhibited March 2nd, 2013. This campaign ran 7 days. The budget was $100 and I spent $80.24. I ended up reaching 4,900 people and increasing our fan base by a nice number!


We Reached Every Town


Advanced Strategies

This video shows the ads created, the demographics which were the towns in the Blackstone Valley of Massachusetts and data collected to show the return on the investment.

We hope you find this video and informative and educational. Let us know!

Michelle Fontaine

The Importance of a Business Blog

One of the goals of any Chamber of Commerce is to help its members expand their business. Previously this would be done by word-of-mouth, newspaper advertisements, fliers, or any other means necessary, to let people know about available services. These days, however, we all have a relatively new tool to help us along – the Internet.

Blogging is the number 1 way to be found on the Internet. Businesses should blog.

Until recently, the Internet seemed virtually unapproachable, as it was very difficult to fathom its potential, and everything it had to offer. As time progressed, however, we have all found that we rely on it more-and-more, and in ways nobody would have thought possible, even 5-10 years ago.

Gone are the days when we would spend an exorbitant amount of time thumbing through countless books, articles, and periodicals looking for ways to increase our business exposure; and once you found the information, it was a slow and arduous process to put it into practice.

These days, this is just not the case. All we need now is a computer with an Internet connection, and we can be self-sufficient with our basic marketing and advertising needs. We now have inexpensive (if not free) websites, social media, and, the reason for this post, blogs.

Blog is derived from ‘website log’… blog. It’s also the number 1 way to organically rise in the search engines. Fresh content is key to SEO or search engine optimization.

To me, a blog is a fantastic tool to have included with, or be, your basic website. Once your website content is set, it’s usually pretty complete unless something significant changes in your business’ means or practices.

Blogs are a fast and easy way to keep your customers up-to-date on your business. They can be used to announce new services, public appearances, charity work, well-wishes and thank you’s to your customers for a successful year, the installation of updated equipment, or even to run a sale: Mention this blog, and receive 10% off… People love sales and saving money, but, they also love knowing that they are being rewarded for keeping up with your business.

Blogs are also the best way to convince potential clients that you are an expert in your field, to build that necessary trust.

The information mentioned above is great for solidifying a relationship with your current and future customers by giving them the inside scoop regarding your practices and growth. Some of these announcements are important enough to share, but, don’t necessarily warrant a new page on your website. This is especially useful if you are paying an outside company to update your website information. Having a self-hosted blog within your own website, under your own domain name, can save you time and money by saving professional updates for major changes in your business, and making initial announcements yourself within your blog quickly and… for free.

Take a few minutes and look into opening a blog for yourself. I will be back soon with more details about blogging and other ways you can easily boost your business without breaking the bank.

The Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce offers WordPress seminars and workshops through their affiliation with the Center of Women & Enterprise utilizing teacher Michelle Fontaine. WordPress, the self-hosted version of blogging, is the favored platform for bloggers today. Seminars and workshops are scheduled a couple of times a year. The next is scheduled for June 19th and 22nd, 2013. Details on WordPress offerings can be found here.

The Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to helping you build your business. If you would like guidance with your writing skills, please leave your comments below and we’ll see what we can do!

Learn about Michelle Lynn