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Small Business Tips to Stay Competitive

by Guest Author 21 February 2018 13:07

Being a business owner means competition is part of the business. Competition is what drives a motivated small business owner to push ahead and succeed. Without it, there's a chance we could get lax – although the money flowing in is a pretty big motivator too. So, what can you do when the competition is fierce. Maybe your biggest competitor has moved in a few blocks away or worse yet, across the street. Even with powerful competition nearby, you can still claim a portion of the consumers for your own. Here are some tips to keep you in the running:

Just beat them at one thing

It's easy to think you have to outdo your competition on every front (especially when they are within close proximity). However, if you can find one or two areas where you excel them, then you have your own niche. You will have your own set of loyal customers that come to you for those particular reasons. Find your sweet spot and highlight it.

Work around their time

Another option to drive business to your location is to work around your competitor's schedule. This may not be an option if your service or product depends on being available at certain times. However, you could extend your hours after they close or open early to catch those who are early risers.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

This is an old expression but it just may work in some cases. You could join together for a community event or other activities that pair the two companies together. Over time, you both may realize that each of you has particular strengths to offer the customer, thus it will come naturally to turn to your competitor and them to you when in need. In other words, you can benefit each other if you each have something unique to offer.

Five Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day in Northern California

by Guest Author 2 February 2018 07:59

With Valentine's Day swiftly approaching, many people are searching for a unique way to celebrate the day with their loved ones. Instead of falling back on the same restaurant and roses gig, let one of these Northern California options inspire you!

  • Plan a Romantic Getaway. Nothing says "I love you" like time well-spent together. Cleone Gardens Inn, located in Fort Bragg, CA, is one romantic getaway your loved one will not forget. Relax in one of the 11 cozy guest rooms and enjoy the beauty of Mendocino Coast. This boutique hotel nestles inside park-like scenery, which can be enjoyed from a deck or even an outdoor spa. Leave your worries behind and enjoy the relaxation of being with your sweetheart in a beautiful, comfortable environment.
  • Go Whale Watching. This experience tops the list for "Unique Ways to Spend Valentine's Day!" Gray whales migrate past Half Moon Bay, CA from January to the end of March. View this spectacular event together. Several local companies offer whale-watching excursions, including Half Moon Bay Sportfishing and Tackle.
  • Taste Wine. Don't just bring a bottle of wine home from the liquor store; make an expedition to a winery! The Old Sugar Mill, located in Clarksburg, CA (near Sacramento), houses fifteen wineries in one location! Taste premium, hand-crafted wines that will make your heart sing.
  • View Contemporary Art. Stretch your artistic horizons with displays at di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art in the Carneros region of Napa Valley. Not only will you take in the art in their three separate galleries, you can also explore a sculpture park, and enjoy the lake in their beautiful wildlife preserve. Express your love in art this Valentine's Day.
  • Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride. Show your special someone that your love rises above the clouds. Experience the thrill of hot air balloon adventures with Sky Drifters. Located in Rancho Murieta, these balloon rides will take you over the spectacular Sierra Nevada foothills. This is a perfect Valentine's adventure for those who love new experiences.

Do these romantic trips spark your imagination? Explore more of Northern California! We hope you fall in love with our beautiful scenery and enjoy the wonderful businesses that serve you and your loved one.

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.

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