With the holiday season behind us and the new year underway, this is a great time to take a moment and reflect on how 2019 ended. Don’t get too caught up on the past though — spring will be here before we know it! At Stingray Advisory Group, we work with clients to help them create actionable and attainable plans for moving forward and help them with implementation. One step in the process is to consider what you’ve done well and what you’d like to accomplish next. We thought this would be a perfect opportunity to highlight what two fellow Local First businesses have been focusing on and to share a little bit about what we’ve been up.
What accomplishment are you most proud of from 2019?
Tarra Davis, Co-Owner, Daddy Pete’s BBQ: Our personal goal for 2019 was to live more lean. That included our eating habits. We made a choice to reduce/eliminate meat from our diet. Behind the scenes, while we were serving delicious slow-smoked meats, we were preparing delicious plant-based meals for ourselves. The dishes were so good, we decided to take a chance and ask our customers if they would be interested in plant-based offerings. The response was overwhelming! Much to our surprise, there have been a lot of divided households that have been thrilled to be able to dine together — at a BBQ establishment — on meals that satisfy the soul for both meat-eaters and non-meat eaters alike. We are proud to be able to bring households back together around the dinner table, regardless of their meal plan preference. We’re also proud to play a part in showing people who have been curious about plant-based eating that there are many more options outside of just salad.
Duane Weed, Owner, Buy Local Michigan 365: At DW Video, it is an on-going goal to promote Michigan businesses through consistent content creation to promote local. Today, people use the internet to shop and search for everything. With that said, we continue to focus on Michigan businesses with our Buy Local Michigan 365 site. This year we started up another site to focus on Michigan music. MI Basement Sessions takes a look at Michigan musicians, venues and businesses that help with the music scene. From the local club, recording studio to the singer-songwriters. It is all about supporting local.
Leandra Nisbet, Owner, Stingray Advisory Group: We are passionate about working one-on-one with other local businesses and one of our strategic goals for 2019 was to continue expanding our presence so that we could provide our assistance to more businesses throughout the state. I’m incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished in this regard. We were able to continue expanding our relationships — from on the lakeshore to into the U.P. It’s been amazing connecting with more people, getting hands-on with new businesses and business owners, and being able to have a real impact both on the organizations and within the communities.
Which Local First event was your favorite and why?
TD: We have thoroughly enjoyed numerous events held by Local First in the past. We love the opportunity to talk with existing fans and network with future potential clients at Fork Fest. We enjoy conversing with other small business owners and touring member businesses at Member Mixers. But most of all, because we are continuously trying to make our business better, we got immense value in discussing the book Small Giants with other business owners.
DW: There are many opportunities and unfortunately, I find myself not able to attend many due to outside obligations. However, of the ones I have attended, I enjoyed the networking opportunity they provide.
LN: This year, my favorite Local First event was Fork Fest, both in Grand Rapids and on the lakeshore. It was my first time attending the Lakeshore Fork Fest, so it was great to meet new people and get to try food from local restaurants that were new to me. And I always love the Grand Rapids Fork Fest. This year it was yet again a wonderful kickoff to the fall. I enjoyed catching up with friends and sampling amazing food and drinks. We make it a family outing so that made it even better.
Name one goal you have for 2020.
TD: Our primary goal for 2020 is developing internal systems, processes, and a team that sets us up for long-term sustainability.
DW: Working with businesses on providing them consistent content creation for their business on a monthly basis. Today, business-people have enough to worry about with the day to day running of their business. My job will be to provide content for their web and social media sites, not to mention their Google My Business page as well. This is our main goal for 2020 — providing resources to businesses, organizations, nonprofits, and service agencies with custom-produced content.
LN: One of our goals for 2020 is to expand our team which will allow us to increase our capacity and ability to serve more clients.
How do you plan to leverage your Local First membership or member connections to help you achieve your goal?
TD: As part of our need to create a sustainable business, our plan is to take full advantage of all the training sessions Local First provides on ways to build and manage our business. We also hope to be able to participate in member mixers so that we can further build a network of relationships that allow us to share information with like-minded people and work together to provide services to each other so the money spent in the community stays in the local economy.
DW: I am working on an offer to provide Local First members an opportunity to have a Shop Small video produced and then distributed to maximize exposure.
LN: One way we plan to better utilize our Local First membership is by getting involved with the online member community. We love educating people and serving as a resource. I think we can get more out of our membership and create more value for our fellow members by getting involved in the Facebook group discussions, by letting people know what we’re doing or need, such as talent, and by sharing resources.
What stands out most for you from 2019 and how are you going to leverage your Local First membership this year?
* * * * *
About Stingray Advisory Group LLC: Stingray Advisory Group LLC is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We help businesses grow. By creating customized solutions, we empower businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools to further their development. To learn more or schedule a consultation, visit www.stingrayadvisorygroup.com. Follow us today on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more helpful tips!