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Do you know the side effects
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A side effect can be defined as an effect that is secondary to the one intended.  (thank you Wikipedia!)  Every day we experience side effects of our choices.  Some have an adverse effect, some are very beneficial, and some side effects we don’t even recognize are happening.

If you are like me, you set an alarm to wake you up in the morning.   When that dreaded machine screeches its “good-morning”, I reach over and push that familiar feeling button that buys me another 9 minutes of sleepy bliss.  Now, a side effect of pushing that “bliss button” too many times results in frustration as I try to get our kids up, clothed for the day, fed and in the car to deliver them to school in a rush.  Some additional side effects would be:  forgetting much needed items, no time for a proper breakfast, (don’t tell my mom!) no time for exercise or to pack a lunch (for me) etc.  This is definitely an example of an adverse side effect of the bliss button!

Let’s talk about the side effects we experience in our businesses and how we can recognize how much they affect our business lives…

Say a committee member comes in from a local organization, to request a donation for a fundraising event.  We have a couple of choices:  roll our eyes and say “NO” and send them on their way, leaving a bad taste in their mouth about your business and you.  Or we can happily say “YES” and experience the side effects of your answer, which is much more favorable to everyone.  Here is a list of the side effects:  the person requesting the donation is very relieved to make progress on his or her list of contacts (he or she is also a potential customer to your business), your business is then listed as a donor in the program for the event (advertising), your name will likely be announced to the crowd in attendance at the event (advertising), the winner of the prize you donated tells everyone, for the next day or two, that he or she won a prize, what it was etc. (more advertising by word of mouth), the organization raises money from your donation, and voila! This is an example of a side effect you don’t even know is happening!  Now doesn’t that feel good?

This past month I was a vendor at Main Street Days.  My mission was to advertise the services and products we have to offer.  In getting ready for this event, I made lists of needed items for the day, had coupons printed, raffle prizes put together, retail bags  ordered, change box organized, tables, easy up, the list is endless!  As that Saturday morning rolls around, I admit, I reached for the “bliss button”, dreading the day!  Is it going to be, hot, cold, windy?  Is the crowd going to be big enough to make this worth my while?  Is my staff going to show up for their shifts at the booth?  Well as it turned out, the side effects were great!  Weather was great, our staff showed up (no, I didn’t really doubt they would), we had lots of laughs, we connected with a lot of people, some familiar, some we have never met before.  As I stood on the middle of Main Street admiring this great town I love so dearly, I was disappointed in myself for dreading getting out of bed.  Little did I know I would experience the side effect of the day:  advertising our business face to face, while having fun with my co-workers!  I would list this side effect as a beneficial side effect! 

As the holidays are approaching, a lot of businesses will experience a surge in sales.  I encourage you to reap the side effects of this time of year by thanking each and every customer for their business, encourage each other to shop local (keep those tax dollars in town), smile (like you are on vacation), and get involved in local events! 

• November 9 – Morning Mixer at Friend’s Salon, co-hosted by Dave Uecker construction

• November 9 – Soroptomist Ripon Eve

• November 26 – Christmas tree lighting at Stouffer Park (new location) at 7 p.m.

• December 6- Taste of Ripon-Downtown Ripon


Do not attend these events if you:

• Don’t wish to have more business contacts

• Don’t wish to meet new people

• Don’t want good food and drink

• Don’t want to be involved

After experiencing these events, you may experience a rise in enthusiasm, a surge of recognition in public, and a view of Ripon you may have never seen before.  If you experience side effects lasting more than a couple hours, please repeat the event and try other events listed on the Chamber web site! You may like it!!!

Get connected, get active, get going and go get business!  Make it a great month!

3/50 Update

No I didn’t forget to give you the 3/50 update I promised you…

I talked to a handful of people who said they registered after reading last month’s column, however I don’t see any new ones on the site.  I would like to apologize to All About the Girls, they were already registered, but the site has two columns and I did not see the other column until after the letter went to print!  Let’s still support local businesses in an effort to keep our town thriving!! Pick 3 businesses (or more), and spend $50 in each every month and look for the side effects!!