Dear SBN Members and Friends,
This is the time of year that the SBN Board of Directors evaluates how SBN is doing towards achieving our mission of creating a strong economy that is local, green, and fair. At our Board Retreat last week, we had a chance to celebrate a number of major successes-- including the Boston Local Food Festival, Local Food Trade Show, two outstanding Local Craft Brewfests, a growing Sustainable Business Leader Program, the popular B2B Networking program, our 25th Annual Business Conference, a thriving group of Local First Networks, and our largest membership ever!
The Board and staff are now deep into the development of a Strategic Plan for the next three years. We've already made some exciting progress in this area. If you have any ideas or feedback that might be helpful to us, please let us know. We'll keep you updated as we move through this important process.
Have a great August and I hope to see you all at the 5th Boston Local Food Festival on Sunday, September 14, 2014 on the Greenway.
Executive Director, SBN
|Vendor Sign-Up for Boston Local Food Festival Open until 8/14!|
registration will close on August 14th
, so we encourage all interested farmers, restaurants, specialty food producers and local food related organizations to sign up now before sign-up is closed!
SBN's 5th Annual Boston Local Food Festival
is coming up on September 14th! We are still looking for participants, including restaurants, food trucks, specialty food producers, farms, fishermen, non-profits, and food or fitness related organizations to join in the fun!
Registration closes on August 14th. Make sure to sign-up before then to avoid missing out! Register today, and mark your calendars for our best festival yet on Sunday, September 14th, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.!
The Boston Local Food Festival is considered New England's largest one-day farmers market, and is Boston's premier food event connecting eaters and consumers to healthy sustainable foods grown and produced close to home. The Festival attracts thousands of residents and visitors, and provides the ideal opportunity for local food growers and producers to showcase their products and connect with new and existing costumers while growing and supporting the local food movement.
|July B2B Recap: 12 Rules for a Perfect Sales Pitch|
"People will remember the passion you had more than the words you said."
Last week, SBN hosted our monthly B2B Networking Meeting at the SBN Offices to round out a 3-Part Series on sales! Executive Director, Laury Hammel, covered many of the steps you can take to ensure a successful sales pitch.
How many of these rules do you follow?
- Prepare. Know your pitch by heart, but do not use a "cookie cutter" speech.
- Make the experience all about the potential customer.
- Create a full needs assessment. What is it that the client really needs? Focus on benefits and not features.
- Offer solutions to potential objections before the client even voices them!
- Address specific objections your potential client raises
- Make a personal commitment to follow-up and ensure success.
- Use props or literature to make your pitch memorable.
- Make sure you are not doing all the talking. "Air Time" should be close to 50/50!
- Be time-conscious. Plan the time carefully in advance (and monitor it during the presentation) to ensure the time is spent on the most important messages e.g. rapport-building time in the beginning, asking and closing the sale (see #11!)
- Stories are more memorable than facts. Integrate a few pithy and poignant stories into the presentation, but be careful not to overdo stories and take up too much time.
- Don't be afraid to ask for the sale. This is near the top of these rules and often is neglected out of fear.
- Make a connection--this is more important than closing the sale. It's all about the relationship. If there is a meaningful connection established the sale may be closed now or later and they could become a terrific reference for you.
Thank you to everyone who joined our Sales Series! We hope to see everyone at our next B2B Networking Meeting on September 23rd, 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM! Mark your calendars now, and stay tuned for more details.
Questions? Call 617-395-0250 or e-mail Taryn at firstname.lastname@example.org
SBN New Member Spotlight: The Boston Solar Company
SBN would like to welcome our newest member, The Boston Solar Company, to our network! Boston Solar Company is working toward providing more electricity to the city, with less impact. Founded in 2010 by a young team of entrepreneurs, Boston Solar Company has now created a profitable local business that designs and installs solar panels for homeowners, businesses and institutions.
Managing partners Romain Strecker and Daniel Mello Guimar„es found inspiration in the influx of solar power spreading throughout Europe. The goal is to simplify the transition to solar energy. If looking to build solar panels on your home, Boston Solar will tailor the system to your needs. Massachusetts has a variety of incentives and tax rebates allowing the transition process to solar more affordable than ever before!
If you're looking to take your environmental commitment one step further, check out their website here and help us welcome Boston Solar to be apart of our network!
SBN New & Returning Member Announcement
SBN's network is growing in leaps and bounds! A big welcome to our newest SBN Members:
Akerson & Wiley, Wellesley, MA: Bruce Wiley is a local appraiser who specializes in sustainable buildings. He also assists others with developing a methodology for green building valuation. He works with a variety of different property types including residential, industrial and commercial.
Boston Solar Company, Boston, MA: Boston Solar Company designs and installs solar panels for homeowners, businesses and institutions. Their goal is to simplify the transition to solar energy. Check out our Member Spotlight post on Boston Solar here!
Hundred Mile Market, Waltham, MA: The Hundred Mile Market will sell local products exclusively, using the Mini Grocery concept to sell both perishable and non-perishable foods, as well as an array of non-food items. As a registered Benefit Corporation, Hundred Mile Market operates with a focus on the Triple Bottom Line to strengthen the local economy, work to minimize it's carbon footprint, as well as ongoing donations to non-profits mitigating aspects of poverty.
Welcome back to renewing SBN Members:
Pure Solutions, Chatham, MA: Pure Solutions is an outdoor service company that helps prevent and preserve pests that are normally killed by harmful chemicals. They work with all natural and organic ingredients and hope to promote a more safe and enjoyable outdoor environment.
Recycled Paper Printing, Boston, MA: Recycled Paper Printing is a printing and mail service company, which chooses to print only on recycled papers. They have over 30 years of experience!
Red Sun Press, Boston, MA: Red Sun Press is a printing and graphic design shop in Jamaica Plain. It's a co-operatively run business that operates on the premise of shared values between business, customers and surrounding community.
Save That Stuff, Boston, MA: Save that stuff has one goal; zero waste. They work with a variety of different businesses in New England to help reuse materials that would otherwise be thrown in the garbage.
Solect Energy, Hopkinton, MA: Solect is a solar photovoltaic developer delivering solar solutions to various businesses. They pride themselves on working closely with their customer in order to help them make smart investments for themselves and for the environment.
Tel-Affinity Corp, Boston, MA: Tel-Affinity Corp is a telecommunications and data communications sales consulting firm helping businesses save money while increasing sales. The goal is to create mutually beneficial relationships with their clients to find products that can best help enhance their customer service.
Think Lite, Natick, MA: Think Lite is a lighting efficiency company that designs and manufactures light bulbs to fit their customers' needs. The bulbs fit into old structures, simplifying the implementation of more energy efficient lighting for all businesses.
Interested in becoming a member?
Take a look and see what you think! Feel free to reach out to Charlotte with any questions regarding your individual, student or business membership!
Thank you all for your partnership and commitment to building a Massachusetts economy that is Local, Green and Fair!
Remember: Think Members First! What better way to support the local economy and each other than to support SBN members who share your values and commitment to the principals of Local, Green and Fair. SBN is working on new programs to encourage and support greater B2B exchange within the network. Stay tuned for ways to get engaged!
ThinkLite Announces Partnership with Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center
Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center recently partnered with ThinkLite, LLC and NStar to complete an LED lighting upgrade at Sportsmen's 50,000 square foot Dorchester tennis center.
Sportsmen's has a 50 year history of providing the youth of greater Boston with opportunities to build leadership skills on the tennis court, in the classroom, and in the greater community by providing academic, social and wellness programs alongside recreational and competitive tennis instruction. Like most non-profit organization, Sportsmen's is continually looking for opportunities to reduce operating costs while maintaining the quality of its programs and facilities.
ThinkLite, a global lighting efficiency company with headquarters in Natick, designs, manufactures, distributes and installs energy efficient retrofit solutions that adapt to existing infrastructures, such as the challenging overhead lighting that was already in place at Sportsmen's. In the process of completing the installation, ThinkLite's founder and CEO, Dinesh Wadhwani was impressed by the non-profit's impact on the community, which includes summer camp for approximately 150 children. Wadhwani made an immediate decision to support Sportsmen's community programs.
For more information, visit www.thinklite.com!
|Sustainable Business Leader Program Updates |
SBLP is excited to announce our new partnership with the Lowell Green Restaurant Program
! The Lowell Green Restaurant Program (LGRP) is a third-party certification program that identifies, certifies, supports and promotes green, sustainable restaurants in the City of Lowell.
Through our partnership, SBLP and LGRP will work together to sustain the day-to-day operations and green everyday practices of Lowell-based restaurants. Businesses who graduate in the program will earn two certifications as a Sustainable Business Leader and a Lowell Green Restaurant.
Interested in learning more about the Sustainable Business Leader Program? Contact Alex Barber at Alex@sbnmass.org
to learn more about the opportunities and how you can reduce your business' carbon footprint and save money. SBLP is also seeking new participants who are committed to local, green and fair.
|New Poll Shows 61% of Small Business Owners Want Increase of Minimum Wage
The federal minimum wage was last increased five years ago, in July 2009, to $7.25 an hour. A striking 61% of small business employers nationwide support increasing it to $10.10. This finding is higher than reported in previous small business polling, indicating growing support for the increase. Read the complete poll report, produced by Business for a Fair Minimum Wage and the American Sustainable Business Council.
Small business owners believe a higher minimum wage at the scale proposed would bring several benefits. The poll found:
- 58% of small business employers say that raising the minimum wage would increase consumer purchasing power.
- 56% of small business employers say raising the minimum wage would help the economy.
- 53% of small business owners agree that with a higher minimum wage, businesses would benefit from lower employee turnover and increased productivity and customer satisfaction.
Small business owners are less partisan than Congress on the minimum wage. Contrary to common perception, Republican small business owners are evenly split - with 49% against and 49% in favor of increasing the minimum wage and adjusting it to keep up with the cost of living. Not surprisingly, support for raising the federal minimum is stronger among Democratic respondents, with 84% favoring, and independents, with 61% favoring. Also, small business support for raising the federal minimum wage is strong across all regions of the United States.
|Updates from our Local First Networks:|
Belmont-Watertown Local First Launches Directory
It is our great pleasure to announce the completion of the inaugural Belmont-Watertown Local First Independent Business Directory!
We wanted to make this directory a valuable resource for residents and visitors, so in addition to our membership business listings by location, type of business, and alphabetically, readers will also find information about the Local First movement, a calendar of local events, a little history and fun facts about our towns, a map, local contact information, and a membership application.
Look for the red window decals identifying our Belmont-Watertown Local First member businesses: Spend your money locally at independent venues to help us keep our local economy strong!
|Save the Date: SBN's 5th Annual Local Craft Brewfest|
Save the Date: Friday, November 21st from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.!
Save the date and join us for Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts' (SBN) 5th Annual Local Craft Brewfest at the Moakley U.S. Courthouse located on the Boston waterfront where the city meets the sea!
Come taste, explore, socialize, and network with local craft brewers, distillers, cideries, meaderies, artisan beverage brewers and local food producers. While celebrating local brews, enjoy live music by local musicians and take in one of Boston's finest harbor views.
Stay tuned and more information is coming soon!
Follow us on Twitter: @BostonLocalFood, #LocalCraftBrew
Follow us on Instagram: @BostonLocalFood
Take the #UnbottleWater Pledge Today!
Americans buy over 70 billion bottles of water a year.
That's enough water to circle the globe more than 370 times! Help us reduce this enormous number by taking a pledge to not purchase bottled water.
For the month of August, we're encouraging our supporters to take a pledge and go bottle-free and kick the Unbottled Water Campaign into high gear! By going bottle free, you'll be making a lifestyle change that will save you both time and money. Additionally you'll be reducing the amount of waste that enters the landfills each year. This is a simple action you can take to positively impact the environment.
Click here to take the Unbottle Water pledge and go bottle-free!
| Save the Date for Upcoming Events!
|Check out our Event Calendar for more event information & ticket purchases! RSVP to Taryn Johnson at Taryn@sbnmass.org!