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Customer Highlight: The Gun Shop and Trading Post

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Walking into The Gun Shop and Trading Post in Livingston is sort of like walking into the ultimate man cave of a neighborhood friend. A friend that really likes guns, has a dry sense of humor, and dabbles in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Michael (left) and Anthony (right)

Michael (left) and Anthony (right)

Michael Bartlett and Anthony Griffith opened the business three years ago and now have a healthy staff of ten employees. As young business owners (they are both right around 30), they focus on a blend of good ol’-fashioned customer service and modern technology to run their business. The two of them are laid back, friendly, eager to answer questions, and extremely knowledgeable. Their staff reflects the same customer-focused mentality and knowledge.

“Our main thing is good customer service and making it feel like you have friends in the store. We want to make sure you leave happy,” says Anthony.

With a selection of a thousand guns in stock, the diverse inventory makes sure there is something for everyone. Plus, you can pick up reloading supplies, ammo, and take care of your gunsmithing needs in one place.

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The gunsmithing room

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As far as personal preferences, Michael’s favorite gun is the AR-15 for its versatility – “It’s like Legos for adults. You can do anything with it. Change caliber, looks, feel, make it quiet. It’s all interchangeable.” Anthony prefers the AK for its reliability and simplicity of use.

New to the whole gun thing? They have an awesome deal on a TN carry permit class that is given monthly. At just $50, it gives great value for the money. For more seasoned firearm carriers and enthusiasts, there is an AR15 Build class on Sat, May 14th. The class is only $25 (plus parts) and is taught by Ron Carter, who teaches classes to law enforcement around the country. Private classes are also available, and classes like Advanced Pistol Shooting are coming this summer. Classes targeted towards women are also in the works.

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Instructor William Hesson, showing the set-up for a gun safety course

Safety and staying up-to-speed with the right laws and restrictions are very important at The Gun Shop. While I was in the store, I overheard Michael politely correcting a gentleman on the ability to carry a gun without a permit in Tennessee (you’re not allowed to). Any guns ordered on the website MUST be picked up at the store; background checks and the right paperwork always apply.

“You have to have common sense with a gun. Pay attention to where you’re pointing one, keep your finger off the trigger. Always check to see if the gun is loaded. We have people come in and point their guns at us and we’re like ‘c’mon man!’ Don’t do that,” Michael comments.

Anthony adds, “Learn about guns. Go home, get familiar with your gun. Be around it, work on it, play around with it. Read the owner’s manual. Most people don’t do that.”

If you don’t want to look at guns or want to browse other stuff too, the trading post section of the store is stocked with a mish mash of goodies (including jewelry!) and a good selection of DVDs and video games, consoles included, at great prices. You can also pawn goods and get a loan. Talk about one stop shop.

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Yaaarggggghhhh matey!

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Make sure you participate in their rewards program to qualify for discounts, store credit, free gun cleaning, and more. Plus, the store partners with Check-In Angels – every time someone checks in on their Facebook page a donation is made to a good cause.

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The rewards system

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The Gun Shop and Trading Post is located at 711 W Main St, Livingston, TN. Turn off the main road onto Martin St. to get there.

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Hours are Mon-Fri, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

You can also call them at 931-823-7296

Visit their website here

Or check out their Facebook page here

The Perks of Giving Back

One of the joys of being a part of a community is being able to invest and give back to the place you have lived, worked, played, and raised your family. Sometimes it’s hard to know how or where to do that.

Lately at Roland Digital Media, we’ve been led by Dave and Diane to care for a project they have birthed with the help of other members of the community – churches, civic leadership, business owners, leaders in the judicial system, and more.

It’s called Next Step for Life and will serve at-risk young women ages 18-25 in Cookeville and the surrounding areas by providing a 12-18 month transitional housing and life skill mentoring program. The goal is to provide life skill training and support to stop and prevent destructive cycles of substance addiction, abuse, and codependency, as well as to provide resources to separate from generational poverty.

By the grace and generosity of God, the house is paid for, transportation has been provided, the right staff has been put in place, and the first residents are scheduled to move in very soon.

As employees at Roland, we are all very excited to help in big and small ways. We want to invite you to join us in assisting with this work in big and small ways. Would you consider contributing to the fund that will allow this important work to sustain and grow for a long time to come?

And, because we like to add fun and cool stuff to most things we do (and because we love these things and want to give them to people), we’re going to give anyone who contributes any amount to Next Step from Mon, March 28 – Sun, April 03 the chance to win two 20 oz Yeti Ramblers with custom-designed vinyl decals (designed for you by our creative director, Shane!).*

That’s an $80 value, y’all. Our gift to you for joining us as community partners.

That’s all we’ve got friends. We love this town, we love this next generation of young people coming into adulthood and we want to make sure they have what they need to be successful and well. Let’s come together and help them do that; let’s come together to make a difference.

*You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Winner will be chosen at random from the group of individuals who have contributed financially via the Next Step for Life website between the dates of 3/28/16 and 4/03/16. Winner will be announced on Tue, 4/05/16. It is the winner’s responsibility to respond in an adequate amount of time and pick up their prize. If winner does not respond, the prize will be awarded to the next individual chosen. Employees and contractors and family of employees and contractors of Roland Digital Media and Next Step for Life are not eligible to enter. 

By entering this contest, you completely release Roland Digital Media and Next Step for Life from all claims or actions relating to or arising from the same. This contest is not sponsored by Next Step for Life. 

Customer Highlight: Satellite Med

On any given afternoon, you can walk into Satellite Med and find a bustling clinic full of nurses, doctors, technicians, and patients waiting to be seen. The privately funded, faith-based medical center has been around for a decade and sees around 700 patients a week – by appointment and for urgent care.

The Satellite Med staff.

The Satellite Med staff.

Speaking of appointments, you can visit Satellite Med for non-emergencies too – Dr. James Cates specializes in sports medicine and is a family practitioner, and Dr. Christopher Dill is in-house for pediatrics and internal medicine. Dr. Kenna Williams is the surgeon on board. If you do have an urgent care need, chances are you’ll visit with Dr. Carol Berg or Dr. Matthew Bolton.

We were surprised to discover the range of services offered at what appears to be a smaller operation – there’s an on-site lab, medication dispensary, allergy clinic, flu clinic, and a sleep studies department. Need to look below the surface? They can help you with x-rays, CT scans, and ultrasounds.

As a business owner, you could decide to use Satellite Med for your personal and business needs; setting up a business account makes billing for services easy. They take care of worker’s compensation claims, standard pre-employment and DOT physicals, and drug screens. If your office is trying to get healthy and lower those insurance premiums, get in touch to talk about health coaching and weight loss.

What sets Satellite Med apart from other clinics in town? Founder and CEO Dr. James Cates established the clinic out of frustration with the traditional medical system. Because they are privately funded, they can do things a little bit differently than other clinics – things like lower prices paired with a cash-fee schedule and encouraging patients by praying with them.

Their mission statement goes like this:

“The Satellite Med team is based on Christian principles, focusing on service to our neighbors. Our purpose is to positively impact the health of our patients by improving the quality and affordability of healthcare using evidence-based medicine and innovative technology. Satellite Med strives to improve the healthcare system by working together with patients to drive traditional medicine into the 21st century.”

Health tips from the people bringing us back to health?

“We’re starting to see more cases of the flu lately, make sure you wash your hands well and come get tested if you’re feeling any symptoms – you don’t want to expose others,” says office manager McKenzie Raab.

Satellite Med is open Mon – Fri, 7:00 am to 6:00 pm and Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm, including all holidays except Thanksgiving and Christmas day.


Satellite Med

1120 Sams St, Cookeville, TN 38506

Phone: 931-528-7312

www.satellitemed.com

facebook.com/satellitemed

Creating a Simple Marketing Plan

We know your business is important to you. That also, in addition to all of the everyday tasks that keep you and your staff busy, there’s the whole business of marketing and advertising to worry about. You may be a pro at this, or, like many of us, you have pieced together a strategy and often feel like it’s unclear or doesn’t take priority on your to-do list.

So, what to do? We’ve put together a simple marketing plan template to help you clarify your marketing efforts and put them on paper. We’ll fill it out as a fictional company with fictional information so you can get a better feel for what you might write down to tailor it to your business.

You can download a blank copy of our Simple Marketing Plan Template – just add extra space between questions if you want to print it out, or save it to your computer for soft-copy editing .


 

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Sunshine Medical Supply : Marketing Plan & Overview

 

Products and Services Currently Offered:

All-around medical supplier. Includes apparel, wound care, education, equipment and furniture, exam room supplies, personal protective equipment, personal care, surgical supplies, needles and syringes and disposal, select pharmaceuticals

Marketing Advantages

What puts you ahead in the marketing department? Do you have a coveted product, a loyal customer base, or a high knowledge curve?

Been around for a long time, lots of long-standing customers that provide repeat business. There are lots of health care institutions around and they need supplies on a regular basis. We have a wide range of inventory and great customer service.

Marketing Challenges

What sets you back? A lack of time, a limited target market, or an expensive product?  

Losing customers to the internet.  Some customers are also retiring or moving on, no new customers to replace them or new people in office go elsewhere. We don’t really understand Facebook and internet marketing. We have a website and Facebook page but it doesn’t seem like anyone sees anything we post.

Competitive Analysis

In this section, include names and a few details of competitors and the advantages and disadvantages each may have in your industry

There are a few medical supply providers in the same city as us, but only a few major competitors. Brighton Medical Supply has been around for a long time but people leave them and come to us because they have horrible customer service.

The Medical Supply People is a new company in town. They have a young staff and a really nice website for people to order from. It looks like they do things on social media. We’ve lost some customers to them, but not too many to be alarmed yet.

The internet and out-of-town companies are our biggest competitor. People say they want to buy local but it seems like they just want to log-on, not talk to a real person, and buy from the cheapest vendor.

Target Market

Create a simple list or description that describes characteristics of your ideal customer. Don’t think you have one? Yes, you do!

Small to medium sized medical offices. We like larger clinics, hospitals are too big. Home health care, nursing homes, private practice, and urgent care clinics are all good.

We need to cater to the office managers and administrative assistants. Sometimes nurses in smaller offices. They are the ones doing the purchasing and influencing the doctor on decisions.

Goals (with vision & mission statement)

List goals you hope to achieve with your marketing efforts – think recruiting, customer retention, attracting new customers, etc.  If you have a vision and mission statement, list it in this section. If not, it may be time to think about creating one!

  • Make our business internet-friendly so people can find us and buy online
  • Win back previous customers
  • Retain our current customer base
  • Grow customer base by 15% this year
  • We need to create a vision and mission statement

Strategies and Methods

What are the practical steps you will take to achieve your marketing goals? This should be the most detailed part of your plan. Based on the information above, create your long and short-term strategy and list the methods you will use to carry them out.

  • Make our business internet-friendly so people can find us and buy online
    • Hire someone to update our website and work on SEO
    • Seek help on setting up and maintaining social media presence and advertising
    • Create a user-friendly shopping cart system
      • Work on budgeting in free shipping for orders over a certain amount
    • Win back previous customers
      • Send emails/letters with special deals to woo them back
      • Let them know we have a new online ordering system
    • Retain our current customer base
      • Create a loyalty program
      • Send out discounts and even freebies regularly to repeat and top customers
      • Invite them to customer appreciation events like lunch, BBQ, seminars and classes
    • Grow customer base by 15%
      • Do local sales marketing and call on new offices with goodies in tow – small kits of medical supplies and useful samples
        • Use a CRM software to track leads and interactions
      • Give/host classes on topics required for continuing education
      • Purchase billboard space (digital and static) and work with outdoor advertising company to build campaigns that will attract new business.
        • Can also use billboard for other marketing goals

Budget and Tracking

Assign part of your company budget to marketing. Determine the cost of your strategy and its execution. Remember to track ROI and other key performance indicators of your efforts.   

Coming back to this: will work with accountant and marketing manager to see what is appropriate for budgeting and how much each will cost

Will need to create spreadsheets and have a way to track expenses and profitability


 

As you can see, putting together a plan can be a bit of work, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly. Tackle it in pieces and assemble a group of people to help you. We think you’ll find it will be helpful in being more intentional and getting more out of your marketing efforts.

Customer Highlight: Hill Realty

Walking into the Hill Realty office is like walking into the home of your favorite aunt. Rocking chairs on the front porch, rich hardwoods, big furniture, inspirational quotes scattered like art on walls and tables; pictures of family placed here and there.  It’s just as well, because it’s a company that focuses on creating a family-oriented atmosphere of “helping” – both for employees and clients.

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The current building on 10th street was built in 2007, and as a small boutique real estate brokerage, there is passion and space for tailored customer service. Hill Realty prides itself on the extra time and effort to “get folks where they want to be, with care.” It’s what drives the culture of the office and allows them to provide consistently impressive results.

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When asked if they list non-luxury homes Donnita says, “Oh honey, yes! In order to do the big homes you have to do the little homes. You get the same treatment big house or small. I love seeing the first time homebuyers. There’s nothing like the gratification of a first time homebuyer.”

Speaking of Donnita, you definitely can’t talk about the home of your favorite aunt without talking about the aunt herself. A bonafide fireball, Donnita has been the #1 realtor if choice in our area for 35 consecutive years. Born and raised in Putnam County, she attended Upperman High School and went on to obtain a marketing degree from Tennessee Tech. She leads her small team of agents (Kayla and Kelly) and support staff in ongoing quality work.

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“I currently have the finest team I’ve ever had. They are very dedicated and that makes a difference for everyone. Each person supports the whole office. My husband is the office manager and he does a mighty fine job keeping us in line.”

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Kayla Wooley and Kelly Morgan having fun on the job

A typical day for the #1 realtor has her rising at 4:30 or 5:00 am to get some time with her Bible before she heads into the office around 6:00 am. Early morning gives her uninterrupted time to get the day going. When the rest of the office comes to life, she’s ready to roll with appointments, listings, and all of the other tidbits – often unplanned – that come with running a business. Sometimes they don’t wrap up the day until 8:00 or 9:00 pm.

 

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“I’m highly energized,” she says. “I have long days but your mind tells you when to stop. Usually when I get home I’m done. I’m out.”

Outside of her life as a realtor, Donnita takes time to refresh by indulging in motivational books and films and is also a wife, mother, and grandmother.

“In our downtime my husband and I try to spend time doing things together. Just him and I. Oh! And I’m expecting a grandbaby in July. This is very exciting. Very exciting to receive the blessings of a little child.”

One of her mantras is thankfulness – as evidenced by the license plate on her car. “When I drive through town I want people to know hey, I’m thankful for them. In life, without gratitude, you’re getting nowhere…if you say thank you a thousand times a day, you gotta feel good!”

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The most important thing for the Hill’s personal home? Key word: comfort. “Comfort to me is when you go to your home and know the walls are covered with wonderful memories from family. Go home and see their sweet faces in a picture. That’s comfort to me. Figuring out how blessed you really are.”

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When asked for final thoughts, Donnita pauses and thinks for a minute. When she finally speaks, it’s with confidence –

“There are lots of misconceptions about being a realtor. Oh you know, people talk about all the craziness and all the hard work. Really, the dedication and professionalism of the realtor you choose and their integrity goes a long, long way.

Integrity. Do what you’re going to do and then do it. How hard is that? Over-deliver and under-promise. Don’t promise things you’re not going to be able to do. Yeah. Just do the little things that matter to people.”


To contact Hill Realty:

Call 931-520-7009

Visit 818 E 10th St, Cookeville 38501

Browse the web at www.donnitahill.com


For a chance to win this lovely wall plaque:

 

happy home wall plaque

Just leave a comment at the end of this post tell us what makes a home comfortable for you and you’ll be entered to win! The winner will be announced this Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Spring: Is Your Business Ready to Bloom?

It’s hard to believe, but we’re officially in the last month of the first quarter…and spring is right around the corner. Going into a new season and a new quarter, do you have a clear marketing and advertising plan? Do you have goals set on how you would like to grow or engage your customer base for the rest of the year?

Maybe you are at a great but scary place in business where you need to invest more resources to continue growing. Maybe you are happy with where you are and want to work on solidifying relationships with current customers. Either way, you must plan and act accordingly.

First, determine who your ideal customer is or who you’d like it to be. Once you know this key piece of information, it will be easier to tailor your products, services, and advertising efforts.

If you’re trying to create more visibility for your brand, advertising mediums like strategically designed and placed billboards and sponsored posts on social media are useful. Draw people in with great service and valuable introductory deals that will make them want to return. Provide useful content on your website that positions your company as an expert in your field. Attend local events and meetings and get involved with the community.  Always make sure you have a clear brand identity with a logo, tagline, and consistent colors and appearance.

Creating additional value for existing customers is also important; retaining these folks is just as important (if not more important) than recruiting brand new buyers. Reward your best customers with special deals and communicate with them regularly. Understand and know what they like and listen to their frustrations so you can handle them accordingly. Make them feel included in your business, because after all – they are the ones that keep the business running.

These are some general starting points to think about. Remember,

  • Who are you marketing to and what do they like/dislike?
  • What are your marketing and advertising goals as we close out the first quarter of the year?
  • What are some things you can do to build your brand and attract new customers?
  • What are things you can do to take care of and retain your existing customers?

Best of luck to you as we “march” into spring and beyond. We always love to hear from you if you have questions or comments!

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