Northern Wyoming Community College District continues to work with the Downtown Sheridan Association in offering trainings, programs, and other resources to assist the retails to create desinations for their businesses rather than mere pass-throughs. The new year has brought several new trainings that have been offered to the retailers at no cost.
January - we offer a class on tools to bring in the overstressed customers. The focus of the class was to help the retailers with ideas and tips to get those customers back into their stores after the holidays, during the typically slow first quarter. We had a lower turnout at this workshop as many of our retailers themselves closed for a few days of rest and relaxation also.
February - we offered a class on Selling Smarter. During this workshop, we discussed such topics as
•Understand a wonderful paradox: helping other people get what they want gives us more of what we want.
•Use goal-setting techniques
•Recognize the difference between features and benefits
•Identify and be able to better present the competitive strengths of your products and services
•Use different types of selling for different situations.
•Identify ways to find new clients and network effectively.
Attendance at this workshop was much better, not to mention the topic was definitely of interest. We had 14 people at this workshop.
the next several workshops planned are a result of conversations that we have had with many of the retailers,
March - we offered a retail math class. This class may seem elementary but many business owners were asking for help for their young managers and assistant managers so they understand more about how to plan workloads, schedule employees, and order inventory based on the math side of business. This class was wonderfully received with 19 people in the class.
April - social media/FaceBook can be a very daunting challenge for retailers. Brings a lot of questions out - do I have time to do Facebook? What do I put on Facebook? does is actually bring me customers? etc. So for April we started with a workshop on 5 new trends in promotion and advertising. This included Facebook, QR Codes, Digital Signage, mobile marketing, and website and local search optimazation. This was a great introduction to many new forms of promotion for our retailers. They were very intrigued by Facebook in particularly that we are planning a day long training on not only the concept behind the benefits of having a business FaceBook page but the participants will actually get into Facebook and start creating their own pages with the help and support of the instructor.
We already have filled one class for the May Social Media training that we are now considering opening another section and offering it again.
With the help of this Coleman grant, we are now finally taxing down the runway and about ready for take off with the Retail Businesses/entreprenuership and their acknowledging the need and desire for continued training.
Oh, and to top off what we are doing here in Sheridan with the retailers, Sheridan was just voted in March as one of the Top 12 US Destinations through the National Historical Preservation Society. In the voiting, we came in second to Paducah, Kentucky.
Karen St Clair,
Director, Workforce Training and Development