This morning I attended an event put on by the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce called "Tech Tuesday." Every 3rd Tuesday of even months they have seminars about technology and how you can use it to promote your business.Today's topic was "Google Hangouts" presented by Rick Hesse. I am not sure how applicable using Google + is for Natural Plus, but it did spark some thoughts I'd like to reflect on.1. The reason I started this blog was to document our journey with the takeover of the nursery. It's fun to look back at the progress we've made, and we're just getting started. It will be even more fun in 5 or 10 years. It's also a way for me to process what we've learned in these classes and organize my thoughts about where the business is going. They shared a story about a guy who took a picture of a big oak tree in his yard every day for a year. He posted the pictures on facebook and attracted many followers. Many people reached out to him, one a cancer survivor who said those pictures helped give her peace through her chemo treatments. Check it out here. I'm not healing the world here, but if I can reach just one person, and inspire them and help them, I'm in.2. Being a part of the community is going to be integral to our success. I am a people person. I want to be involved. I want to network. The people that attend these events are the people I need to be talking to. Get our names out there, let people know what we're doing. The more people know, the more support we will have. I have always had a strong desire to be a part of the community. When I moved here I thought about joining the Jaycees, a group for young professionals. I think I may still do that. We also plan to join the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce and attend the "Business After Hours" and other events put on by the Chamber. Clear Lake seems to be good at getting its community members active and involved and I want to be a part.3. I need/want to learn about this technology stuff. I want this blog to be a way for people to visit our website and connect with what we are doing. I want our customers to feel like they know us. And want to buy from us. The presenter said your website is a way to educate your customers and make a connection with you. Dave's parents have a website for the nursery (www.naturalplusnursery.com) but they do not actively seek customers this way. They have a customer base already. I plan to take advantage of social media and learn how to manage the website and keep it up to date. When people are searching the internet, I want Natural Plus Nursery to come up in their search. I will need to work with a website developer to figure out how to do this.4. The possibilities are endless. I feel lucky to have this opportunity to take a successful business and continue that, all the while putting our own stamp on it. I wrote about some of our ideas and dreams here and hope we can make some of those dreams come true.While we may not use "Google+" in the nursery business, going to "Tech Tuesday" definitely got the wheels turning.
Last night was week 3 of the Master Gardener class. I don't mean to speak negatively about the class, because I am very grateful to have this learning opportunity in our community. However, I do want to be honest about my feelings about it.I'm bored. I've been bored since week 1. The topics last night were Herbicides, Pesticides, and IPM (Integrated Pesticide Management). Wow. Pretty dry stuff. So while I do think the content has been rather dry, I think the format is killing me too. There is very little class participation, and we haven't done anything as a group to get to know eachother, not even introduce ourselves. I am banking on the on-campus class to be interesting and engaging. I am also hoping that the topics in the future (landscaping plants, fruits, turf, vegetable gardening) will be a little more practical in our daily life.Now on to something more fun.One part of starting a business is designing how you want your business to look to your customers. This sounds like fun to me! We are renaming the business and designing a logo, and are challenged with keeping it similar so that we don't lose existing customers.I took some pictures of Dave's old t-shirts from Natural Plus because we are planning to design a new logo by incorporating some of the old logos in.We both really like this one, it seems vintage. Maybe the vintage part is the 15 year old worn t-shirt its printed on. Ha!And this is their current logo. We have also discussed signage. This is the sign you see as you approach the nursery from the north. Dave has talked about moving it so you can see it coming from both directions, now that the road is paved. And we will have to get a new sign with our new name and logo. Lots of work to do! But for now, I'm off to clean up this mess: Moving is messy.