OCTOBER 2015 ;e Costco Connection 13
“TO HAVE A brick-and-mortar business
where people can go and enjoy things—it’s
a privilege and a challenge,” says Costco
member Dani Cone, entrepreneur and
owner of three coffee shops (fuelcoffee
seattle.com), a bakery company (high5pie.
com) and a high-end grocery store (cone
andsteiner.com). “You don’t get to that
place and take your foot off the gas. Every
day you have to ask yourself, ‘What else
does the neighborhood need? What more
can we do?’ We have to keep listening.”
What has she learned by listening?
Here are some of her tips.
• Use your brick-and-mortar presence
and voice to do everything you can to
be an asset to your neighborhood. Make
them proud to have you there.
• Be there. Be in and part of the community. Ask what the main issues are and
how you can help. What are people missing? It’s all about urban development,
whether it’s parks or cleaner streets.
FOR DECADES, WORKERS have looked
forward to the day they could call it quits
and retire. Today, workers age 60 and
older are singing a different tune, and
employers may not be ready for it.
Eighty-two percent of baby boomers
age 60 and older are planning to work
past 65, according to a white paper published by the Transamerica Center for
There are also politicians who are
suggesting the retirement age be raised
to alleviate Social Security concerns.
However, even with an expected rise
in post-65ers’ share of the population, from
12. 6 percent in 1990, to 16. 8 percent by
2020, to 20. 9 percent by 2050, only 4 percent of employers reported having a formal
strategy to recruit or retain older workers,
according to a 2014 survey by the Society
for Human Resource Management.
Does your business have one? Send in
your strategy to
with “strategy” in the subject line. C
IT’S THAT TIME of the year again: With 2016
fast approaching, business owners across all
sectors are eagerly searching for effective
ways to end the quarter with a bang.
In July, the National Federation of
Independent Business announced that
small-business confidence had reached a
15-month high, with many entrepreneurs
feeling optimistic about the future. Whether
you’ve had a record-breaking year or expe-
rienced a slow start, here are four ways to
finish the year on a strong note.
Complete a 365-day assessment. It’s
been said that the past dictates the future;
this philosophy rings particularly true for any
type of strategic planning. To make the most
of your final quarter, travel back in time and
evaluate your annual progress. What have
you achieved? What have you learned? What
will you do differently next time? By assessing key areas of strength and weakness, you
may discover potential oversights or uncharted opportunities you’ve yet to explore.
Analyze the competitive landscape.
If you’re like many business owners, you’re
probably too busy managing your own
company to worry about someone else’s. But
with the new year just months away, now is
the perfect time to step back and evaluate
the competition. Perhaps they’re launching an
exclusive holiday-themed product or dramatically reducing prices, which could threaten
your bottom line. By reviewing the competitive landscape, you may uncover inventive
ways to protect or differentiate your business.
MICHAEL PARRISH DUDELL: BETTER BUSINESS PLANNING
DuDell is an entrepreneur, keynote
speaker, and best-selling business
author. Learn more
Calibrate your campaigns. The holiday
season is a perfect time to attract new
customers and reconnect with those from
the past. While many businesses offer a
wide array of seasonal promotions, it’s far
more effective to launch a single focused
campaign designed to target your primary
area of weakness. Is your warehouse full of
inventory? Offer a holiday-themed sale. Is
your mailing list too small? Launch a marketing initiative that drives traffic and encourages sign-ups. Remember, the most effective
campaigns are about quality, not quantity.
Review your finances. Although tax
day is still months away, now is the best
time to ensure your finances are in working
order. Are your books up-to-date? Do you
need to collect any outstanding invoices?
Is your cash flow stable? Schedule an appointment with your accountant, reach out
to your bank or simply review your current
state of affairs. The best way to ensure
financial health is to take purposeful, preventive action. C
Introduce yourself. Plug in where you can.
• Participate regularly in community
outreach programs, whether it’s a rotating
series of craft sessions, artist lectures,
donations or neighborhood conversations—anything that pushes urban development and planning.
• Keep it in the community when possible. High 5 Pie is a founding member of
seattlemade.org, a network of Seattle producers who produce food and goods. This
not only creates visibility around things
made in Seattle, it also allows small-business owners to collaborate to find and
share the resources they need to succeed.
“A connection to the community is
something I want and crave and seek out,”
says Cone. “I want to help others do that,
(For more on Dani Cone, see Member
Connection, page 112)
Becoming part of the community
In support of