It was really exciting for me to accompany destination business expert Jon Schallert on his visits to those local businesses who participated in his Destination Retail Boot Camp in late June. It was exciting because Schallert has a talent for pointing out things that each owner could do that would have immediate impact on profits. Those were things like putting large graphics on their dominant wall, adding action items to social media posts, or even freshening up paint schemes and decluttering.

Schallert’s visit to Los Alamos was a part of the Community Reinvention program that the Chamber has joined. The concept behind it is that if we can get a few more businesses to succeed magnificently, the entire community and all the businesses will benefit. We can set our own new higher standards for appearance, customer service and reputation.

Many businesses in Los Alamos County have the potential be destinations in their own right. A destination is a business which creates its own traffic, not relying on a “captive audience” of just those people who live nearby.

In the course of his Boot Camp, the attendees went through his 14-step process which starts with creating a strategic vision for a business. In two-and-a-half days, we looked at things like “unique positioning,” multi-level service, and pro-active adaptability, before progressing on to ideas about marketing, image, and loyalty validation. Brad Burk, Denise Lane, Steve Watts, Melanie Bennett, Don Taylor and Kent Pegg all experienced it for themselves, and have all volunteered to be ambas­sadors to other businesses who are looking at becoming destinations. The group will get together monthly to go through our homework and help each other stay motivated.

We all know we should get around to those things like painting or replacing outdated fixtures, but sometimes it just takes a fresh pair of eyes to help us see what to do next. I’d like to help by being that fresh pair of eyes- please call Katy at 505- 661- 4816