University Extension to host chamber luncheon

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce's seventh quarterly luncheon will be hosted by the University of Missouri Extension. The event is scheduled to be held at the Barry County Museum at noon on Thursday, June 19.

Kathy Macomber, University of Missouri Extension business development specialist, will present "Courting the Cassville Customer: Identify and Attract Profitable Customers and Clients."

"It is new for Cassville to have a business development specialist this close," said Macomber, who began serving eight southwest Missouri counties, including Barry, in February. "Not only do I provide information for individuals interested in business development, but I am affiliated with the Small Business Administration (SBA)."

Macomber offers affordably priced training workshops and free one-on-one business advising, which is paid for through a SBA grant. The University of Missouri uses these programs to help increase jobs, sales, investments and new businesses in areas across the state, said Macomber.

During the chamber event, Macomber will present demographic market study information for the Cassville area, including medium household income and projected incomes for the next five years. She will also present information on the age ranges in the current and future population.

"These things change the way you market your business," said Macomber. "This is a unique time. We are in the middle of a digital Internet revolution.

"If you are marketing to 30- to 40-year-olds they know how to use technology, but they remember a time without computers," said Macomber. "If you are marketing to 20-year-olds, you are more likely to attract them using an Internet or digital medium."

According to Macomber, business owners can estimate that 20 percent of their customers will account for 80 percent of their sales. When marketing, business owners should focus advertising on that 20 percent customer base."

Macomber's presentation will also include information on sales leakage, which occurs when a customer travels out of the local area to make a purchase. She encourages business owners to market products by estimating how much more a customer pays to drive out of the area and encouraging customers to save travel costs by purchasing locally.

"This event will give me an opportunity to show what the SBA can do for business owners," said Macomber. "With this information, they can make more educated decisions on how to prepare their business to be successful in the future."

Macomber hopes to offer business development programs in the Barry County area on a quarterly basis. Low-cost workshops include a three-hour session on writing a business plan, a three-hour session on starting a business and sessions on business growth.

Macomber has a bachelor of science degree from Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minn., and a master of science degree from Missouri State University in Springfield. She is a member of the 2008 Missouri Quality Award Board of Examiners.

Prior to joining the University of Missouri Extension staff this year, Macomber worked as a treasury analyst for Leggett and Platt, Inc. She has also served on a city planning and zoning board and a school board and volunteered for many civic and charitable organizations.

The Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce "The Chamber: Today and Beyond" program is designed to showcase contributions made to the local community by area businesses, industries and organizations.

To register for the event, call chamber office at 847-2814.

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