Business Connection


November 2014

Lancaster Chamber of Commerce

 Executive Board

Chairwoman of the Board
Tamara Stoebe, Stoebe Services
Josh Mann, Mojave Partners

Mark Troth, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Troth REALTORS
Vice-Chair Secretary
Gina Rossall, Superintendent, Westside Union School District

Monica Grado, George's Cleaners

Stan Turner, Edwards Federal Credit Union
Past Chairman of the Board
Gene Melchers, Melchers Construction Co.
Sandy Smith - Chief Executive Officer, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce   
Board of Directors
Chris Chapleau - American Business Machines


Sgt. Theresa Dawson - Lancaster Sheriff's Dept.


Rosemary Mann - Camille's Sidewalk Cafe


Nelson Rasse - High Desert Broadcasting


Bridget Razo - Antelope Valley College


Katie Nelson - Hunter Dodge


Lynn Roth - SOL Graphix, Inc.


Dave Saltman - Passantino-Andersen


Chris Spicher - Antelope Valley Florist


Bernie Longjohn - Choices in Learning National Foundation


Interested in Becoming an Ambassador?


Ambassadors have a unique opportunity to represent the Lancaster

Chamber at many events, including breakfasts, luncheons, mixers, ribbon cuttings/grand openings and more!  Through this involvement, ambassadors are able to represent the chamber while also representing and marketing their own businesses--it's truly a "win/win" relationship!



 If you or someone at your place of business is interested in

 participating in our comprehensive training series and ultimately

 becoming an ambassador, please contact the Chamber: (661) 948-4518

Mega Mixer 


We would like to thank our October Mega Mixer sponsor

We invite you to join us for food, drinks and fun at this unique networking opportunity! 

For more than 50 years, AAMCO Centers have been the
experts in the diagnosis, service and maintenance of
transmissions, 35 million and counting. Your neighboorhood
AAMCO boasts all of that experience, the AAMCO
Nationwide Warranty and brings it to your city.

 With Mega-Mixers, your opportunity to network with others is greatly increased as these mixers are large-scale and are FREE to our members!  


If you are interested in hosting a mixer at your place of business, please contact Sandy at the Lancaster Chamber office for more information:

(661) 948-4518 

Please click on the link below to visit our events calendar

Lancaster Chamber Events Calendar 


 Law Offices of



A Professional Corporation




Mark E. Thompson

Kevin L. Von Tungeln Leonard A. Cosgrove


 Visit our Learning Center

(661) 945-5868


  The State Bar of California - Board of Legal Specialization




Helping Support Your Local Chamber is a


Take advantage of these special rates for chamber members!!


Newsletter Ads

Color or Black & White


Business Card - B&W: $50.00


Business Card - Color: $100.00


3 x 5  Blank & White: $100.00


3 x 5 Color: $200.00


Web Page Banner Ads


Please go to

and look under Services/Internet Ads for description and pricing.


Chamber Membership Lists


Labels by Alpha: $50.00

Email Data: $50.00


2014 California Packets Are Here!!!


Employer Poster Set: $25.00

UI & SDI Pamphlets (10): $17.00

Sexual Harassment 

 Pamphlets (10): $17.00

Paid Family Leave

Pamphlets (10): $13.00

Workers' Compensation

Pamphlets (25): $14.00


*Employer Poster Set Available in Spanish & English - Laminated Upon Request w/Additional Fee


Please call the Chamber for more information:

 (661) 948-4518 





What can the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce do to help grow YOUR business???


Membership Benefits 

  • Chamber Website
  • Monthly Business Connection E-Newsletter
  • Membership Directory
  • Membership City Map
  • Radio Talk Show - Free
  • Super AV Expo
  • Quarterly Mega Mixers


Monthly Events 
  • Membership Luncheon
  • Members Lunch & Learn
  • Business-4-Breakfast



Discount Advertisement 

  • AV Press - Chamber Page
  • Video Commercials
  • Web Video - Business Showcase


Please call the Chamber for more information:

 (661) 948-4518 



Mission Statement 


To Serve the Community by Promoting, Protecting, Encouraging and Developing Local Business



New and Renewing Members




 Introducing Our Newest Members!




Agency One Insurance Services,Inc.
 Shane Tavakoli
44030 10th Street West
Lancaster, CA 93534

 Ph: 661-723-0404


All Crete Inc.
Hammer, Dana
2710 West Avenue O
Palmdale, CA 93551

Ph: 661-816-474



AV Veterinary Center
Sandhu, Balpal
1055 Columbia Way 103
Lancaster, CA 93534

Ph: 661-729-1500


Beach Bum Tanning

Lanette Espinoza


Ph: (661) 675-7234


Diamons Starr Management

Tracy Gatling

2010 West Ave K, Unit 552

Lancaster, CA 93536  




Linda's Pawn Shop Botonica

Maria Fernandez

1446 West Ave I

Lancaster, CA 93534


Ph: (661) 723-954



My Gym

Lindsay Giampietro

190 Sierra Court #C6

Palmdale, CA 93550  


Ph: (661) 878-9190



Shadez Salon Suites

Craig White

830 West Ave L #109

Lancaster, CA 93536 


Ph: (661) 810-5851



Town Square

Michelle Moran

43336 Gadsden Ave

Lancaster, CA 93534


Ph: (661) 945-5997

Fax: (661) 723-9899


Mountain West Financial
Godde, Gabriela
43832 20th St W.
Lancaster, CA 93534




We Are Pleased to present our Renewing Members



Wells Fargo Bank

802 West Lancaster Blvd.

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 723-2300

Member Since: 1952


Gilbert Snow DDS, Orthodontist

868 Auto Center Drive, Suite C

Palmdale, CA 93551

661 273-9572

Member Since: 1971



American Medical Response

1055 West Ave J

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 945-9309

Member Since: 1976



Halls Automotive, Inc.

3062 East Ave. H-6

Lancaster, CA 93535

661 946-2956

Member Since: 1985



Vic's Bimmer Collision Center

45231 North Trevor Ave.

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 945-8760

Member Since: 1993



Paradise Springs @ Big Rock Creek Camp

18101 Paradise Drive

Lancaster, CA 93563

661 944-9005

Member Since: 1994



Sunset Ridge Apartments

43436 16th Street West

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 723-2304

Member Since: 1994



Garrison Family Medical Group

41210 11th Street West, Suite A

Palmdale, CA 93551

661 947-5151

Member Since: 1995



Grace Lutheran Church & School

856 West Newgrove Street

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 948-2731

Member Since: 1997



Lancaster Beauty School

44646 10th Street West

Lancaster, Ca 93534

661 949-7444

Member Since: 1997



Jaqua & Sons

1050 West Ave M

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 942-1183

Member Since: 1997



Sixcess Inc. Drug Testing Services

43535 17th Street West, Suite 302
Lancaster, CA 93534
661 951-0444

Member Since: 1999



Comfort Inn & Suites

1825 west Ave J-12

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 723-2001

Member Since: 1999



Douglas B. Weber, DDS

44404 16th Street West, Suite 201

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 942-0155

Member Since: 1999


Bradman University-

 Antelope Valley Campus

 40015 Sierra Highway,

Suite B-160

Palmdale, CA 93550

661 267-2001

Member Since: 2000


US Department of Defense

44012 Galion Avenue
Lancaster, CA 93536
661 816-4141

Member Since: 2003



Society of Experimental Test Pilots

PO Box 986

Lancaster, CA 93584

661 942-9574

Member Since: 2008


 Giannini Bistro & Grill

858 West Lancaster Blvd

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 948-6380

Member Since: 2009



High Desert Health System Auxiliary

335 East Ave I

Lancaster, CA 93535

661 471-4138

Member Since: 2009



High Desert Legacy Education Medical College

701 West Avenue K, Suite 123
Lancaster, CA 93534
661 940-9300

Member Since: 2010



Progress Farms

22801 Ronnie Court
Bakersfield, CA 93314
661 487-2121

 Member Since: 2012



Sam's Club

39940 10th Street West

  Palmdale, CA 93551

661 575-9200

Member Since: 2012



San Joaquin Valley College

 42135 10th Street West, Suite 147
Lancaster, CA 93534

Member Since: 2012 



AAMCO Lancaster Auto Repair Group

44135 Division Street

Lancaster, CA 93535

661 945-2009

Member Since: 2012



Malhi's Indian Cuisine

2207 West Ave J

Lancaster, CA 93534

661 305-5888

Member Since: 2013



DeVry University

39115 Trade Center Drive Suite 100
Palmdale, CA 93551

Member Since: 2013 



Omidi Enterprises

1041 West Ave M14, Suite B

Palmdale, CA 93551

661 272-9999

Member Since: 2013




For those of you who have utilized all the wonderful features of our new website, we are confident that you have seen interest in your business grow!  We are seeing triple the traffic on our site since we rolled out the new product in late October!  It's easy for our members to use and navigate and the free marketing tools that are included are state-of-the-art!  If you have not yet had the opportunity to request optimization of your member page, upload coupons, classified ads, and member-to-member discounts, or submit your events and meetings to our community calendar, please log in to your account and take full advantage of these exciting ways to market your business on both our website and our mobile app!  If you need us to re-send your log-in information, please contact us at


 (661) 948-4518


In This Issue
New and Renewing Members
Small Business and the Affordable Care Act
Destination Lancaster Unveils New Visitor's Center
Lunch & Learn
Do You Have a 5-Year Plan for Your Business?
The Month In Pictures
Lancaster Chamber of Commerce November Luncheon  


Please join us for this information luncheon presented by the City of Lancaster.  Subjects  to be addressed will include current crime trends, how analyzing data has been successful  in  decreasing crime in areas that were previously plagued with incidents, and how public safety is a top priority for the City of Lancaster.  Senior Crime Analyst, Jim Kobolt, and Public Safety Manager, Lee D'Errico, will share tips and resources that will help keep your business and yourself safe-you won't want to miss this opportunity!



RSVPs are strongly suggested for this event.


Lancaster Chamber members:       $20 (pay online) or

                                                                   $25 at the door


Non-Members:                                 $25 (pay online) or

                                                                   $30 at the door

                    EVENT INFORMATION


Date: November 12, 2014


Time: 11:30am - 1pm


Location: J.P. Eliopulos Hellenic Center 43404 30th Street West, Lancaster 93536 


Chairwoman's Message




Tis the Season to be Thankful!   What are YOU thankful for? At this time I'd like to express my thanks to several individuals who have made the last 5 months move along smoothly and unexpectedly quickly:

Brian Stoebe - my husband, who no matter what just lets me do what needs to be done.

Sandy Smith - the CEO of the Lancaster Chamber, who gently chides me when I need it, and smacks me over the head when I need that! She makes sure that we are all in our places with bright shiny faces, and when we're not there, she makes sure that someone is to get it done.

Anna Zarley and Charity Addis - our fabulous chamber staff, without whom we would not be able to have fabulous ribbon cuttings & fundraisers, Flea Market, Streets of Lancaster and our upcoming holiday parade. And a special thanks to Charity for stepping in as our financial guru and helping us get real with the financials of the chamber.

Mark Troth the 2014-15 Treasurer of the Lancaster Chamber - I will admit that financials are not my thing, he has really jumped in to make sure we are on track, and setting goals and achieving them in a way that is positive to our chamber membership.

Josh Mann the 2014-15 Chairman Elect, and my mentor. Josh has been there since I stepped onto the Executive Board in 2013-14 and has helped me understand more and more what my role is as the Chairwoman, and I would like to say a special THANK YOU to Josh for being a great supporter and cheerleader for me. I am looking forward to big things as he steps into the role next year as Chairman of the Board.

Thank you to all the 2014-15 board members who have stepped up, and embraced my request to be involved. I don't care what you're involved in, but get involved and embrace it. Several board members have agreed to take on new challenges this year whether it be the New Member Orientations (Mr. Spicher), fair parade taskforce (Lynn and Rosemary) or forming a Marketing Committee to see to the organization's needs (Katie, Nelson, etc).

THANK YOU to all our VOLUNTEERS without whom these last two months we would not have been able to pull off a great Streets of Lancaster and Flea Market event. Every volunteer brings value to our organization. Looking for a way to volunteer, please call the chamber office today to see about getting involved in the 2014 holiday parade "Santa Around the World".

Please take a moment, look at your business, look at those who surround you and help you achieve your goals and say THANK YOU.   Check out our newsletter this month for upcoming events, and I hope to see you at one, and to have the opportunity to say Thank You personally.

Thank you for being part of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce!


Wear a NAME badge to all events. You can't assume that everyone knows your name, we are not all Norm (from the TV series Cheers). My friend James Charlton, Esq. recommends that the biggest word on your name badge should be your NAME. Make it easy to see, ladies this way you won't have someone staring at your chest in a very uncomfortable way trying to read your name. We have several members in the chamber that can help you with your name badge. They are not that expensive, but they are a very good tool for your business, and should be a quick easy marketing expense.





Chairwoman of the Board
Tamara Stoebe  

Small Business and the Affordable Care Act

Courtesy of Cobb Doerfler & Associates, CPA    Accountants and      Tax Preparers    

Small Business and the Affordable Care Act

Whether you're self-employed or run a small business, here's a quick look at what you need to know about the Affordable Care Act.


If you run an income-generating business with no employees, then you're considered self-employed. You can get coverage through the Healthcare Marketplace and use it to find coverage that fits your needs.
Note: You are still considered self-employed even if you hire independent contractors to do work for you.
If you currently have individual insurance--a plan you bought yourself and not the kind you get through an employer--you may be able to change to a Marketplace plan.
Note: You can't be denied coverage or charged more because you have a pre-existing health condition.

Small Businesses (50 or Fewer Employees)

If you have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (generally, workers whose income you report on a W-2 at the end of the year) you are considered a small business under the health care law.
As a small business, you may get insurance for yourself and your employees through the SHOP (Small Business Health Options Programs) Marketplace. This applies to non-profit organizations as well.
Note: Beginning in 2016, the SHOP Marketplace will be open to employers with 100 or fewer FTEs.
As an employer, you must provide notification to your employees of coverage options available through the Marketplace and are required to provide this notice to all current employees and to each new employee regardless of plan enrollment status or full or part-time employment. The Department of Labor has sample notices that employers can use to comply with this regulation. One notice is for employers who do not offer a health care plan and the second for employers who offer a health care plan.
If you have fewer than 25 employees, you may qualify for the Small Business Tax Credit (see next section). Non-profit organizations may be eligible for the tax credit as well.

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

Small businesses and tax-exempt organization that employ 25 or fewer, full-time equivalent workers with average incomes of $51,000 or less (adjusted annually for inflation), and that pay at least half (50 percent) of the premiums for employee health insurance coverage are eligible for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.
Starting in 2014, the tax credit is worth up to 50 percent of your contribution toward employees' premium costs (up to 35 percent for tax-exempt employers). The tax credit is highest for companies with fewer than 10 employees who are paid an average of $25,000 or less. The smaller the business, the bigger the credit is.
For tax years 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit was 35 percent for small business employers and 25 percent for small tax-exempt employers such as charities.
Businesses that have already filed and later find that they qualified in 2013 or an earlier year can still claim the credit by filing an amended return for the affected years. A three-year statute of limitations normally applies to these refund claims.
Note: The credit is available only if you get coverage through the SHOP Marketplace and is available to eligible employers for two consecutive taxable years.
If you are a small business employer who did not owe tax during the year, you can carry the credit back or forward to other tax years. In addition, because the amount of the health insurance premium payments is more than the total credit, eligible small businesses can still claim a business expense deduction for the premiums in excess of the credit--in other words, both a credit and a deduction for employee premium payments.
The credit is refundable for small tax-exempt employers as well, so even if you have no taxable income, you may be eligible to receive the credit as a refund as long as it does not exceed your income tax withholding and Medicare tax liability.

Additional Tax on Businesses Not Offering Minimum Essential Coverage

Effective January 1, 2015 an additional tax will be levied on businesses with 100 or more full-time equivalent (FTE) employees that do not offer minimum essential coverage. However, it will not apply until 2016 to employers with at least 50 but fewer than 100 full-time employees.
Employers subject to the employer responsibility provisions in 2015 must offer coverage to at least 70 percent of full-time employees as one of the conditions for avoiding an assessable payment, rather than 95 percent which begins in 2016.
This penalty is sometimes referred to as the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment.
You may have to pay this additional tax if you have 50 or more full-time equivalent employees and at least one of your full-time employees gets lower costs on their monthly premiums through the Marketplace.
Note: Employers with fewer than 50 FTE employees are considered small businesses and are exempt from the additional tax.
The amount of the annual Employer Shared Responsibility Payment is based partly on whether you offer insurance.
  • If you don't offer insurance, the annual payment is $2000 per full-time employee (excluding the first 30 employees for business with 50-99 full time employees and excluding the first 80 employees for those with 100 or more full time employees)
Note: For purposes of this calculation, a full-time employee does not include a full-time equivalent.
  • If you do offer insurance, but the insurance doesn't meet the minimum requirements, the annual payment is the lesser of $3000 per full-time employee who qualifies for premium savings in the Marketplace or $2,000 per full-time employee (minus 30 full-time employees for businesses with 50-99 full-time employees and minus 80 full-time employees for businesses with 100 or more full-time employees).
Note: Unlike employer contributions to employee premiums, the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment is not tax deductible.
A health plan meets minimum value if it covers at least 60 percent of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan. To determine whether other coverage meets minimum value, please contact us for assistance.
Note: All plans in the Marketplace meet minimum value, so any coverage offered through the SHOP Marketplace should qualify.

Excise Tax on High Cost Employer-Sponsored Insurance

Effective in 2018, a 40 percent excise tax indexed for inflation will be imposed on employers with insurance plans where the annual premium exceeds $10,200 (individual) or $27,500 (family). For retirees age 55 and older, the premium levels are higher, $11,850 for individuals and $30,950 for families.

Excise Tax on Medical Devices

Effective January 1, 2014, a 2.3 percent tax will be levied on manufacturers and importers on the sale of certain medical devices.

Indoor Tanning Services

A 10 percent excise tax on indoor tanning services went into effect on July 1, 2010. The tax doesn't apply to phototherapy services performed by a licensed medical professional on his or her premises. There's also an exception for certain physical fitness facilities that offer tanning as an incidental service to members without a separately identifiable fee.
Don't hesitate to call us if you need assistance navigating the complexities of the new health care act. We're here to help.




      Join us for business, stay for breakfast!


               7:00 a.m. Thursday, November 20, 2014


Event Location


Schooners Patio Grille

2797 W. Ave L, Lancaster 93536 (30th St. West)
Table Sponsor


Stoebe Services, Tamera Stoebe

 : (661) 466-6849



Cash Prize $50.00 - 1 Winner will be chosen at every breakfast


 Sponsored by:

Stoebe Services, Tamera Stoebe

(661) 466-6849



*Please note - If you RSVP and do not attend you will be invoiced for $12.00


            A New Home for Specialty Care Opens in Antelope Valley

LANCASTER, Calif., October 6, 2014- Kaiser Permanente members in the Antelope Valley now have a new home for specialty care. The new Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley Medical Offices opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday October 3, 2014.


The new Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley Medical Offices is part of Kaiser Permanente's long-standing commitment to provide high-quality, convenient care for our members, and the communities we serve.


The Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley Medical Offices, which began seeing Kaiser Permanente members on September 15, feature sustainable and environmentally-friendly technology to support the delivery of high-quality care.


"This new facility delivers on our commitment to providing convenient access to patient-centered care for our members in the communities they call home," said Linda Lawson, RN, MSN, chief administrative officer, Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley.


The three-story, 136,000-square-foot facility is designed to serve the growing area population. The medical offices will offer convenient specialty care services from up to 66 clinicians in more than 20 specialties to Kaiser Permanente members.


"Our Antelope Valley medical offices highlight the future of healthcare, not only in smart health facility design but also in meeting the needs of our members for years to come," said David Kohl, MD, medical director, Kaiser Permanente Antelope Valley. "The specialty care services include general surgery, an infusion center, chemotherapy, physical and occupational therapy, hematology and oncology, audiology and many more."


The building is designed with the community in mind, featuring both sustainable, environmentally-friendly design that is also community-friendly and regionally appropriate. The structure and side paneling of the building is designed to minimize wind speeds in entry ways, and walking and healing paths were laid to promote health and wellness for members and staff. Inside, the facility also maximizes natural lighting and features eco-friendly materials aligned with Kaiser Permanente's commitment to purchase furniture free from toxic flame retardant chemicals.


About Kaiser Permanente Southern California

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 3.7 million members in Southern California. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to:




 Lancaster Unveils

New Visitors



Last month, Destination Lancaster, in partnership with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, unveiled a new Visitor Center located inside the Lancaster Chamber offices.  The new Visitor Center was created to be a one-stop shop for visitors of the Antelope Valley.  The center includes a new 42" wall-mounted touch screen system which gives visitors a fast and convenient way to discover all the unique things that Lancaster, and the entire region, has to offer.  More traditional marketing materials like our visitors guide, promotional postcards and event flyers can also be found at the center.  One of the most unique features of the center is the new mural map that highlights local attractions from as far north as Tehachapi, down to the Acton/Agua Dulce and everything in between.

Destination Lancaster is a regional tourism marketing partnership made up of the City of Lancaster, Antelope Valley Fair, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and the top eight hotels in Lancaster.  The goal of Destination Lancaster is to increase visitors to the region through the promotion and marketing of local attractions, special events and unique experiences to those living outside the Antelope Valley.  Destination Lancaster is also a proud supporter of organizations and events like the Air Force Flight Test Museum, LA County Air Show, Exotic Feline Breeding Compound, Poppy Reserve/Mojave Desert Interpretive Association, AV Indian Museum and the AV Rural Museum.


If you own or represent a local restaurant, retailer or special event, we encourage you to use Destination Lancaster as a resource.  Through our kiosk and our website we have the ability to promote local businesses and special events to potential visitors.  We encourage you to visit to learn more. If you have any questions regarding the website, kiosk or simply want to discuss potential partnerships with Destination Lancaster, feel free to contact Luis Garibay at 661-723-6110 or via email at   




         Promote YOUR business FREE of Charge
  FREE Chamber Radio 
Talk Show
 "Minding Your Business"
    Saturday, 12-1pm
 Call Anna Zarley: (661) 948-4518

Lunch & Learn

with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce




We invite our members to join us for our monthly Lunch and Learn sessions!  Held on the last Friday of each month at noon in the Lancaster Chamber boardroom, these informative sessions are FREE for members. 


Each month, we offer one-hour courses that are designed to give you, the business owner or manager, additional tools designed to improve the way you do business.  The sessions are facilitated by chamber members who are experts in their given fields and who are willing to share their "secrets of success" with you!


Stay tuned for November's Lunch and Learn announcement coming your way very soon.  Don't forget to bring your lunch!



Tips From SCORE:

Do You Have a 5-Year Plan For Your Business?

Do You Have a 5-Year Plan for Your Business?


I've been writing about small business for a long time, and back when I started, it was standard advice to create business plans looking far into the future-five, 10 and even 20 years.

Of course, in the last few decades, business change has been happening at the speed of light, and advice to create a 10-year or even five-year plan seems almost antiquated now. After all, you may be thinking, how can you possibly know what's going to happen five years from now? No wonder almost two-thirds (63 percent) of small business owners don't have a five-year plan, according to a recent survey by Staples.

But contrary to what you may think, the rapid pace of business change is the best reason of all to develop a strategic plan that allows for a variety of scenarios and plans how your business will react to them.

How do you create a five-year strategic plan?

First, get a grip on how your business is doing today. Gather your business mission and vision statements, your business plan (no matter how outdated they might be), your sales data and your financial records. Hopefully, you're already monitoring sales, cash flow, growth and other metrics using your accounting software and dashboard tools, but if not, take some time to get all the figures together.

Now that you know where you are, where do you want to be in five years? How big do you want your business to grow? Do you want to expand your product or service line, your target market, your staff, your distribution channels? Would you like to be selling nationally or even globally?

Sometimes it's hard to envision your business's future that far out. If you're having this problem, start by picturing what you want your life to look like five years from now. Do you want to be working fewer hours? Do you want to be commanding a staff of 50? Would you like more time to focus on your personal life and direct the "big picture" of the business instead of the day-to-day, or do you want to still be directly involved in your business operations? Would you like to travel the world, get married, have kids or think about retirement? Putting your personal five-year goals in writing can help you figure out what business goals you'll need to achieve to make them happen.

Once you've got personal and business five-year goals nailed down, work backward to identify what needs to happen to get you there. If you want to grow your business big enough to sell in five years, you'll need to do things like expand sales, build a brand, delegate more and systematize so the company can run without you, and build value in the business to prepare it for sale. If you want to build a national chain, you'll need to start by adding that second location and expanding regionally.

Working backwards from five years to set goals for three years and one year from now. Then figure out what actions you must take to reach those intermediate goals. You can also break your plan down into quarterly steps and goals. The closer you get to today, the more detailed your plan should be. For example, for the next year, you may want to list monthly goals and action items; three years out, you might list quarterly goals and actions.

Use a SWOT analysis

to pinpoint your business's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the opportunities and threats facing it from the industry, the economy and the competition. Keeping up to date on your target market/s and economic indicators will help you see troubles brewing so you can adjust your plan.

Your plan should cover all aspects of your business: marketing and sales, staffing, operations, financial projections and how you'll generate or obtain the operating capital you need to reach your goals.

Creating a five-year strategic plan is hard work, but it's also exciting and exhilarating. After all, you're taking charge to make your business goals come true-what's more rewarding than that?

Of course, your SCORE mentor can help you with every step of creating your strategic plan, and offer advice, tools and templates to help. Visit

for more.


The Month In Pictures



Sprouting Seed Academy  

 Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting


 Sol Plaza Boutique Mall

  Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting


Sol Plaza Boutique Mall

 Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting   


 Rice Garden

Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting

 Your Favorite Tattoo

 Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting  



Lancaster Chamber Luncheon 

 Destination Lancaster Presentation


Lancaster Chamber of Commerce 


Table Sponsor: Joel Green, Home Instead Senior Care



Best Commercial Winner 

Theresa Dawson, Lancaster Sheriff



 $50.00 Sponsor,

Care Pest Solutions, Dale & Mary Majors 


Patti Holt-Pulsifer