Want a free and easy way to market, promote and brand your salon, while also helping it become popular in your community? Then you need to join your local chamber of commerce!
For Lisa Brooking, President of True Colors Tanning in Jeffersonville, IN, joining her local chamber of commerce has been an invaluable business-building tool. “When I got involved ten years ago, my goal was to introduce myself and my business to fellow businesspeople in my community and to make connections with them,” said Lisa. “Through my membership, I met the people who would later become our attorney, banker and accountant, and I’m proud to say that we continue to do business with them today. The experience has allowed me to network with many other local owners, which has been extremely beneficial to my business.”
After her initial networking successes, Lisa decided to continue her chamber involvement, and this also helped her brand True Colors Tanning. “One of my competitors is a large, national franchise that is able to spend a lot on radio and print advertising,” she said. “While it might be difficult for me to compete on that level, being with the chamber allows me to brand my business directly, and this creates a deeper, more personal connection. Not only do many of the people I’ve met through my chamber come to us for tanning, they’re also eager to tell their friends and family about True Colors.”
Every tanning salon owner who’s lost a client due to negative media coverage would love the chance to convince those people to come back. Being a member of her local chamber of commerce has given Lisa that opportunity – on more than one occasion. “During a golf outing with other female chamber members, I found out that two of them used to tan indoors,” she said. “I asked them why they didn’t do it anymore and they said that they were frightened away from it by all the anti-tanning hype. I took the time to explain to them the importance of moderate tanning, and now they continue to tan with us.”
What Lisa finds most rewarding about her chamber experience is the opportunity to give back to the community that’s helped her salons prosper. “It truly takes a community to make a business successful, and this is why I believe it’s so important to give back,” she said. “This involvement has helped build credibility and validity for our business because so many people see us actively doing things to help our community.” For her work with Goodwill Southern Indiana, Horsehoe Revolving Loan Fund and Silver Creek Little League, Lisa was awarded the Small Business Person of the Year Award at the Leaders in Entrepreneurship Awards Day Southern Indiana (LEADS) in November, 2012.
Lisa Brooking opened her first True Colors facility in February 2003, and her venture’s growth kept pace with the expanding indoor tanning industry. Today, True Colors is a 10-store salon chain offering five UV tanning levels, custom airbrush tanning and sunless spray booths.
A 14-year industry veteran, John "Ribby" Ribner has written hundreds of
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helped guide the publication's evolution. Ribby is a graduate of Central
Michigan University's journalism program and has brought many years of newspaper reporting experience to his position of Head Writer. He is also the author of three novels, "Legacy of the Bear," "Prophecy of the Bear" and "World So Dark."
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