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5 Central California Attractions to Visit for a Family Vacation

by Guest Author 17 January 2018 09:27

With over 350 miles of sunny beaches, jagged coastlines, picturesque beach towns, and many state parks, you could spend years discovering Central California. But, if you are only visiting the area for a few days, don't worry. Here are five destinations you and your family will love.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium was built on the site of the old Hovden Cannery when the sardine fishery collapsed. The aquarium today boasts 34 major galleries with over 200 exhibits. More than 35000 creatures from 550 species live at their seaside location. The aquarium was featured in the 1986 movie Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Among its many residents are giant Pacific octopus, sharks, stingrays and countless others, representing the huge variety of Central California's marine life.

Pismo Beach offers enough to keep you exploring and having fun for days. Home to an award-winning boardwalk and Pismo Beach Pier, the area offers a wealth of outdoor activities. Here you can surf, fish, hike and ride ATVs on the beach. Horseback riding, golf, and skydiving are other experiences you can enjoy along the sunny seaside. And when the crew is hungry, just pick from a wide choice of Italian, Mexican, Thai, Japanese, seafood and steakhouse restaurants. Surf pubs and wine bars also dot this coastal area, rich in fun year-round events.

At Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary you can discover endangered species, protected habitats, shipwrecks and maritime heritage. Other recreational activities, such as fishing, kayaking, scuba diving and snorkeling take place in the sanctuary. With 27 local species of whales and dolphins, whale watching tours are very popular. Under the ocean's surface, you can dive around kelp forests and nearly 150 shipwrecks, at depths suitable for various skill levels.

Cannery Row is probably Central California's most visited coastal area. With its many waterfront establishments, boutiques, and restaurants, cannery row offers a unique vantage point to experience Monterey Bay. During its history, different cultures settled in the area. Originally Native Americans and later Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, and Chinese all left their mark. Once an industrial canning boom town, John Steinbeck immortalized the street in Cannery Row, one of the several novels based around the Monterey Bay area. It certainly has come a long way from its colorful early days as the "Sardine Capital of the World."

Big Basin Redwoods State Park is an incredible site if your travel plans include doing some camping. California's oldest State Park, it contains the largest old growth giant redwood forest south of San Francisco. Its elevation ranges between sea level and 2000 ft. and boasts many year-round waterfalls. The park is home to mountain lions, foxes, deer, coyote and dozens of bird species. With family campsites and over 80 miles of trails, you can experience California's amazing coastal wilderness.

These are only five attractions, but as you explore them, you will discover many more reasons why Central California is a top-level family destination.

Connect With Customers in a Meaningful Way

by Guest Author 8 January 2018 08:41

Running a small business means you likely have a lot of one-on-one interaction with your customers. Since customers are the bedrock of any business, you have a real opportunity to make meaningful connections with them. Why is this important? If your customers transform from just satisfied to delighted and emotionally connected to your brand (business), then the loyal enthusiasm you gain will pay you big dividends. Delighted customers are great (free) advertisement for your company. So, how can you make those interactions with customers really count and become more meaningful? Here are three tips:

Be Authentic

This may sound simplistic, but it’s an important truth. Authenticity is a desirable and rare quality in the workplace. People are used to “hearing a line” or seeing a “put on.” It’s refreshing when someone is just down to earth and themselves. A lack of authenticity hinders the flow of communication and hampers a true connection.

Take Time

People are in such a hurry that no one seems to have time to listen. It’s true that time is money, and no one wants to waste time, but never look at time spent with customers as a waste. Even if the customer needs something explained three times, take the time to go over it. If you hurry too much with people it can leave a bad impression. There is something attractive about an unhurried attitude.

Be Positive

Positivity is contagious, and it makes people feel good. Even if customers bring up negative comments about life events, other people, or situations, never go along with the negativity. Steer the conversation towards good thoughts. You want your brand to be remembered for positive things. This will boost your image.

Connecting with customers is an important part of any marketing strategy, and it’s something small business owners do all the time. Make your time with customers meaningful by implementing these tips.

2 Marketing Ideas That Increase Holiday Sales

by Guest Author 20 December 2017 13:12

The smell of pumpkin spice has filled the air, and people are lining up to indulge in their favorite goodies and holiday sales. Lead more local shoppers to your business as they enter this festive season with one goal in mind: finding the best deals.

Here are 2 killer marketing tactics that will boost your holiday sales:

Offer Loyal Customers Exclusive Discounts

Many businesses focus on acquiring new customers in Q4, which requires deeper cost and time investments. Your current customers already have a history with you, and they are much more likely to return if you can grab their attention. Plus, if you consistently deliver a positive experience, your customers will spread the word and help you grow your business.

If you have an email list that includes your current customers, leverage this tool to share coupons and limited holidays sales like countdown promotions. Countdown promotions foster excitement by offering special prices or giveaways on specific days throughout the holiday season.

Text campaigns are another great way to generate real-time excitement for your customers. Remind them about your latest sale by sending a casual text like this one:

"Looking for the perfect gift? Stop by today to save 25%. Show this text to redeem this offer."

If you do not have access to your customers' emails or phone numbers, create a flyer. Then stuff your customers' bags with an offer that entices them to return on a day that typically under performs (like a weekday).

Host an In-Store Scavenger Hunt

Creativity leaves a lasting impression with many consumers. Send shoppers on an adventure by giving them a list of items to find in your store. This tactic will keep shoppers engaged with you longer, which means you will increase your chances of turning them into loyal customers.

Once shoppers find the items, you can offer a discount or a free service. Additionally, you can lead shoppers to a treasure chest filled with multiple coupons.

The key with this tactic is to keep your list fairly short. Longer lists may aggravate shoppers, and you want them to explore your store before they lose interest.

Gift-giving season is here, and local shoppers are ready to spend more money. Your job as a business owner is to break through the clutter by offering exclusive events and opportunities. Reward your current customers with irresistible offers that build long-lasting relationships. Up the ante by providing shoppers with a unique reason to visit your store, and they may bring a friend or two. By implementing these two strategies, you will position your business for a strong holiday season.

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