Williamson:Leading: Business Amenities Make The Difference Between Three-Star And Five-Star Service By Karen Chronister

A wise business friend once asked me a question I now consider a cornerstone of best business practices: “What’s the difference between a three and five-star hotel?” The quick answer? The small amenities and services with the weary traveler in mind. With simple gestures of comfort, the traveler feels pampered—and it works. Business amenities are a savvy investment because the ROI is much greater than the cost: customer “feel-goods” enhance loyalty; small investments allow higher rates; enticing advertising content; distinct branding opportunities; and, “showing versus telling” marketing. Each industry has its own perks to offer its customers. Put yourself in your target demographic’s shoes and make the walk a bit easier for them. What does [...]

WilliamsonLeading: Choosing How Much Business Insurance You Need Is About Risk Management By Karen Chronister

Managing risk shouldn’t be risky business. You’ve worked tirelessly, considered every aspect, and hired just the right people for your business culture. Whether you’ve got a generational business or an emerging, disrupt-the-model idea, preparation and promise need protected with insurance—at least, in part. Identifying where your business risks hide, how much risk you are willing to assume, and how much risk you want to insure, is a thoughtful, calculated process. Are you willing to assume some risk in the event of a claim? How high a deductible can you handle at any given time? Would safety training lower your risk? What about cyber protection? And, lawsuits? A reputable and savvy insurance agent will offer sound [...]

WilliamsonLeading: Finding A Great Mortgage Lender By Karen Chronister

The housing market in Williamson County is hot and moving at lightning speed. That means, if you’re a buyer, your realtor and mortgage lender have to come together prior to making an offer or be agile on their feet when you find the right property. The mortgage lending process leans toward the technical side of purchasing or refinancing. Terms like Adjustable Rate Mortgage, Annual Percentage Rate, Amortization, Appraisal, Bi-Weekly Mortgage, Closing Cost, Construction Mortgage, Debt-to-Income Ratio, Fixed Rate Mortgage, Points, and more, can sound like a foreign language. Finding the right lender means doing a little homework: get your credit score in good shape, get preapproved, compare lender mortgage rates, make a list of questions, [...]

WilliamsonLeading: Renting An Exotic Or Luxury Car Is Good For Business By Karen Chronister

Not everyone finds an afternoon of golfing or hanging at a hip coffee shop the most conducive atmosphere for doing business. So, why not take your meeting on the road and rent an exotic car? Imagine rolling up in luxury and creating instant buzz. Pick up your out-of-town client to tour the town in style and comfort. This might just be the coolest way to show off Williamson County’s rolling countryside, quaint towns, historical and culinary spots. Perhaps the project you’re pitching is unusual, powerful, exciting, or fun. Yes, you can tell your client that; however, what if you maximize your impact and show it, too? Renting an exotic car is an innovative way to [...]

WilliamsonLeading: 7 Local IT Experts to Keep Your Business Engine Purring By Karen Chronister

Fifty-one percent of Americans prefer to shop online now, and ninety-six percent of them have made an online purchase in their lifetime, according to bigcommerce.com. The majority of people use a mobile device as opposed to a desktop to visit websites, so your website needs to be responsive to offer a positive user experience and stay competitive in the marketplace. As more and more people conduct business and make purchases online, security threats are real and on the increase. To say most businesses need an IT expert now more than ever is an understatement. It also happens to be an industry with its own language of acronyms built upon acronyms like SEO, CRM, CIO, SMO, [...]

WilliamsonLeading: 9 Shops With “Frozen Delights” By Karen Chronister

It’s hard to believe that the ice cream cone was invented a little over 100 years ago. An Italian immigrant living in New York City introduced this cooling, culinary treat in 1896, and it proved a big hit at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. Since then, we’ve carried on this in-your-face love affair with portable ice cream and endured—enjoyed, even—brain freeze as a rite of passage. Ice cream is a mood lifter, a sweet-treat cooler, a welcome guest at family gatherings, and of course, an after-work stress reliever. And, who says brain freeze is a bad thing? A 2017 study by Yoshihiko Koga, a professor at Tokyo’s Kyorin University, suggests that eating a [...]

WilliamsonHelps: How To Help With Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief By Karen Chronister

Hurricane Harvey is causing catastrophic flooding and destruction in coastal Texas, dumping 52 inches of rainfall so far (and still falling), thousands have been rescued and thousands are still waiting for help to arrive. First responders are risking their lives around the clock and fighting deep fatigue. The scenes are a haunting reminder of our own historic and devastating flood in 2010. FEMA is urging Houston citizens to help with the rescue efforts, especially those with boats. The news coverage is scary and frustrating from a distance: a roomful of elderly retirement home residents chest deep in water, babies swaddled against unrelenting rain, children perched on shoulders not far above the water, animals drenched and [...]

WilliamsonLeading: 7 Unusual Brand Advertising Options To Maximize And Stylize Your Business Exposure By Karen Chronister

Shelf-life and surprise, as well as problem-solving and fun, are smart advertising considerations when choosing promotional products. So are demographics, location, and strategic goals. Simply, how long will the object sporting your logo or slogan stick around as one of your branding platforms? A baseball hat, for instance, generally has a healthy life and might bob around the county embroidered with your logo for a long time, making it a solid choice. And, most people wear the same few baseball hats until they are in tatters, so, that’s a lot of miles on your investment. What about the element of surprise, joining or starting a trend, and striking an emotional cord? Could your advertising take [...]

WilliamsonLeading: Keep Calm and Print On — 7 Printers with Prowess By Karen Chronister

Outfitting your office with a printer is convenient. However, when it comes to a promotional piece—a poster or postcard, business card, letterhead, trade show banner, client report, etc.—you probably want the polish and expertise (and no smudge marks!) that come with hiring a local printer or print shop. Unlike the digital world, there’s no quick fix for a typo in print. So, having a second set of expert eyes is invaluable. Another benefit for tactile customers and clients? The chance to touch and see the paper before printing, because texture, sheen, and color all speak a message about your business. Here’s a list of local printers and print shops who promise polish, while still keeping [...]

WilliamsonLeading: 7 Rousing Breakfast Options For Your Next In-house Or On-Location Business Meeting By Karen Chronister

A meeting with breakfast is a great way to perk up your team on a work morning. From bacon to dainty pastries to a protein-packed plate, these Williamson County businesses offer some of the tastiest options so you can bring the breakfast party to your business—or take it on location! I’ve compiled a rousing list of seven catering options, based on a secret cross-sampling of locals-in-the-know and personal experience, so you can feed your flock, fellowship, and jump start the work flow. Your people will be grateful. Happy Breakfasting! 1. Catering & Events by Suzette http://www.cateringbysuzette.com/ 2. Daily Dish Cafe & Catering http://www.dailydishcatering.com/ 3. Merridee’s Breadbasket http://www.merridees.com/ 4. Olive 23 Catering https://olive23.com/home 5. Puckett’s Grocery [...]