Published in the Portsmouth Herald and Portsmouth PATCH
November 5, 2014
By Katie Seraikas
Running a business is a lot like solving a puzzle. There are so many pieces that need to come together to get you to that final product or vision. You can work tirelessly at the puzzle, arranging the mish mashed shapes into a cohesive unit, only to find you’re missing a piece. With a lot of focus and attentiveness, the puzzle will eventually come together but most small business owners need help.
“One of the things we have found that most of our partnering businesses struggle with, is using the ever-changing social media landscape to help grow a business or a brand and the other common problem area for many small biz owners is hiring, firing and managing existing employees,” explains Sarah Brown, GA Director and founder. “So we thought we’d bring folks together with experts in these fields and help to get them educated on strategies that work!”
The Green Alliance, a union of over 100 local, sustainable businesses and nearly 4,000 green-leaning community members, wants to help their business partners solve some of the most challenging pieces of the successful business puzzle. Their Green Business Learning Series to be held on Thursday November 20th will bring social media and human resource experts together with the sustainable entrepreneurs that are hungry for this knowledge. The event, to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the GA’s headquarters at 75 Congress St., Suite 304 in downtown Portsmouth, hopes to provide business owners with some useful tools to tackle both social media and staffing conundrums.
“Small socially-conscious businesses really struggle with using social media to their advantage; it can be tricky and time-consuming. Very often, social media is not necessarily the forte of the biz owner who is better say, with customers face to face or long-term business financial planning,” says Social Kitchen owner Cary Bowman and GA Green Biz Forum speaker.
“And hiring the right employees or letting go of the wrong ones,” adds Mirjam IJtsma owner of HR experts Cultural Chemistry and Green Biz Forum speaker, “is something that I’d say almost 100% of small biz owners struggle with. It’s not just knowing how to read a person but also how to read between the lines of a resume or cover letter and also knowing how to attract the best people and then, most importantly, how to keep good people engaged and happy at your workplace.”
Cultural Chemistry’s Ijtsma and Social Kitchen’s Bowman will share their knowledge along with some quick-fix solutions for both the daunting world of social media and employee engagement, as well as best practices for hiring and firing.
As Social Kitchen’s Bowman puts it, “social media is the new word of mouth”. With the majority of individuals in the local community using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more, it is undeniable that businesses can gain a lot of exposure in the social media world. For some business owners, this can be difficult to master and it’s a landscape that even social media guru Bowman admits is ever changing. Bowman shows clients the importance of social media, while also looking at the analytics to find how to make social media efforts translate into cash and the building of a powerful, green-leaning brand.
Itsjma currently works with businesses throughout New Hampshire, many of whom are fellow Green Alliance Businesses. Her expertise in the field of Human Resources has given small businesses the boost they need; improving productivity and profit by developing an environment with low staff turnover, great staff attitude, and compliance with sometimes complex regulations.
“Employees can dictate how successful a business will be,” explained Itsjma. “We’re going to teach businesses how to hire the right people. We’ll highlight finding a candidate who is a good cultural fit (i.e. someone who fits in to your office’s environment), and the compliance and legal practices for hiring. Conversely, business owners will also learn how to properly fire someone, within State of New Hampshire requirements”.
“We pride ourselves on being able to provide both business-to-consumer connections, as well as business-to-business connections, and these seminars help to accomplish both,” says Sarah Brown, Director of Green Alliance. “We want to give these businesses every tool they need to flourish. The GA is all about helping the green-leaning businesses in our communities be profitable. For smaller businesses social media and building the best employee team may be overlooked, and we want to show them how important and organic these processes can be.”
This is the third year the Green Alliance is sponsoring the Green Business Learning Series. The seminar is free and open to all Business Partners as well as well as Green Alliance community members. The November 20th learning sessions will be punctuated by networking opportunities as well as complimentary hors devours and local beers. RSVP for the Green Alliance Green Business Learning Forum on Social Media and Employee Engagement on Nov. 20th to email@example.com.
For more information on the Green Alliance visit www.greenalliance.biz.
Learn more about Social Kitchen at www.socialkitchen.net.
Find out how Cultural Chemistry can benefit your business at www.culturalchemistry.com.