AEDA sets annual meeting date

The Archuleta Economic Development Association has set a date for its annual meeting and luncheon — April 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This year, the association will host a panel of regional and state experts on the economy. The panel will field questions focused on local and regional economic issues. Questions like “What should a business owner do to be profitable in these uncertain economic times?,” and “What can we do as a community to ensure we continue to have a thriving economy?”

Tables are open for sponsorship now. Cost to host a table for six is $300. If you are a member, you can purchase a single ticket for $55 — $60 if you are a non-member.

Business mentoring

The AEDA has mentored five businesses in the fourth quarter of the year to date, and a total of 32 businesses have been mentored so far this year.

This month’s businesses were in the areas of retail and services. The AEDA currently provides business mentoring services in conjunction with Joe Keck of the Small Business Development Center, free of charge to local area businesses. The services include financial analysis, inventory management assistance, marketing assistance, and others. If you are interested in these services, contact Bart Mitchell at 731-1443.

Upcoming events

The NxLevel Leading Edge Entrepreneurial training will start in January 2009. Dates are still to be established. This will be a 12-week course, designed to help new and existing business owners create a business plan. The class teaches owners everything they need to know in order to get their new venture off the ground, or to fine tune an existing business. Look for more announcements on this program in coming months. Limited space is available, so contact AEDA to register. For more details, view our Web site.

Business incentives

Archuleta County is designated as an Enhanced Rural Enterprise Zone, which gives businesses in Archuleta County access to more state tax credit incentives than in other areas of Colorado. For more details, view our Web site.

Business tip of the month

The inability to adapt.

We live in a time of unprecedented change. Failing to adapt to your market, your industry and your customers’ changing needs is a sure way to lose business. Many business owners in times of change keep doing what they used to, thinking that, in time, it will yield the results they used to have. Change is never easy. That’s why many don’t do it.

Take a step back, evaluate what you’re doing and your results. Get some help if you need to or, better yet, form an advisory team for your business — group of people who have experience and expertise in finance, marketing, etc., for your type of business.

A business mentor of mine once told me you can’t keep doing the same things and expect different results. So why are you doing this? If customers aren’t walking through your doors, do something different.

Maybe it’s time to be more proactive and go after your customers, rather than expecting them to come to you. One thing is for sure: No one knows better what to do than you. After all, it’s your business.

If you need help in this area, don’t hesitate to contact the AEDA at 731-1443. We will be glad to help you with confidential, free counseling. As an entrepreneur, nothing is more important for your success than seeking good advice and help when you need it.

Investor Update

The AEDA welcomes its newest investor: Bank of the San Juans.

For information on investing in the Archuleta Economic Development Association, contact Bart Mitchell at 731-1443 or go to