It’s time to vote for your favorite Covington businesses in our annual Business of the Year awards. We are presenting awards for Business of the Year and the Spirit of Covington award. Any business or individual who was a Covington Chamber member in 2022 is eligible for nomination, and anyone 18 or older can nominate a business. You do not need to be a member to nominate a Covington Chamber member for one of the awards.
If you are nominating a business or an individual member, please tell us why you are nominating them (50 words minimum). What makes them different or special? How have they served the community or their customers/clients in 2022 that makes them deserving of the award?
We’ll collect nominations from Jan. 31 through Feb. 16, 2023 (firm deadline), and the Covington Chamber board of directors will select the winners at their Feb. 23 board meeting. Winners will be announced at our March 9 networking luncheon!
Written by Erica Miller, EDM Consulting LLC
Have you been overwhelmed and unclear about what your business plan is? Many business owners start a business because they are passionate about a specific product or service and want to share it with the world. However, you may not be too interested in the “business” of running a business. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the quickest way to take your business plan from unclear to strategic. Once your tracking system is in place, you can bring clarity and more hours to your day.
KPIs are the barometer for your business forecast. You must keep a constant and consistent eye on specific trends. Always know your numbers if you do nothing else as a business owner. Continue reading to learn the why, what, and how of KPI tracking. Let’s jump in!
Why should you track your numbers?
Tracking key performance indicators helps to measure your success and identify areas that need improvement. You can identify trends and quickly see areas of opportunity and growth. Once you have tracked your data for several months, you can make knowledgeable decisions on your next steps.
Tracking your data also provides a resume for your business. You can easily pull out the highlights of your accomplishments. Share these insights with your clients to help validate your brand and skills. These numbers can also be used when seeking financing or grant opportunities. Save yourself the time and stress of scrambling for this information by keeping it in one place.
Finally, keep yourself accountable to your goals. You can’t see the areas you are succeeding or falling short in if you're not keeping track. Celebrate all the accomplishments and milestones as you go to keep yourself motivated and empowered to serve your clients.
What should you track?
You must be specific when it comes to tracking your business data. The primary foundation of tracking data should be your goals. Begin by creating SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timebound) goals. Any measurable goals should be tracked. Here are some examples of measurable goals: expenses, revenues, profit margins, conversion rate, reviews, cost of goods sold, inventory turnover ratios, social media stats, and website analytics. Use these as a guide and then get more specific based on your industry. The more specific, the more reliable the data will be. Once you have the goal for the overall year, you must also set specific goals for each time point (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly).
How should you track it?
Systems are vital to the proper and accurate tracking of your business data. First, you must know where you will get your numbers from and set a schedule for when you will collect the information. The platforms used to run your business should offer a reporting feature where you can collect the information. Compile all the information using a spreadsheet program, like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. For your finances, you can use an online service like QuickBooks, and don’t forget the golden rule, keep your business and personal expenses separate. The spreadsheet should include columns for each Key performance indicator, including a total, an average, and a comparison to previous years if you have that information available. For information like conversion, you will need to track separate data sets and then include a field for the ratio—for example, sales conversion = total number of transactions/total clients.
Set a date and time that you will collect your data. For example, you could always plan for the 1st business day of each month before opening for business. This will allow you focused time to gather and review the information.
I’ve tracked everything; now what?
Now that you have accurately and consistently compiled your data, you must put it to use! This is the most essential part of tracking your KPIs. Tracking without analysis is a waste of your valuable time. Review your data and ask yourself analytical questions to help plan your next steps. Here are some helpful questions to ask:
When reviewing your profits, if they are lower than you planned, ask:
When reviewing your client traffic, if it was lower than you planned, ask:
The list could go on, but the primary point is to ask as many questions as possible and be persistent in finding the cause and the solution.
Once you have completed your analysis, you will have a clear action plan. You can be confident in your numbers and the actions taken to achieve and maintain your success!
If the task of tracking your Key Performance Indicators sounds daunting, you are not alone. I’m here to help; I have a proven system to set goals and create a process to track and analyze them.
About Erica Miller, EDM Consulting, LLC
My mission is to empower ambitious business owners to reach their full potential by building systems and processes to increase their profit and productivity. My clients include cake pop makers, skin care companies, healthcare specialists, and more. I empower clients to clarify their goals using my proven system of creating a profit-driven strategy. I used over 14 years of customer service and business management experience to create this system. My services include strategic planning, data analysis, process development, sales management, leadership training, and employee development. Learn more about Erica and EDM Consulting LLC online.
On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to share some of our 2022 accomplishments with the Covington City Council. We have much to be proud of, and we are excited to share some of those highlights with you! View the presentation below or download the PDF to read offline. Thanks to our members, sponsors, volunteers and partners for their support!
UPDATED: Jan. 27, 2023
We are excited to start planning our Covington Makers' Market events for 2023. Here are the details we have so far:
Sat., April 29, 2023
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Real Life Church
Sat., October 7, 2023
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Real Life Church
Family-friendly, community event features dozens of local makers, creators, growers, artists and artisans; live music; food trucks; free family activities; and more! To help support our vendors, we are maintaining 2022 prices.
*Nonprofits who are not makers or creators may participate, but they must plan a family-friendly activity to engage event attendees.
Early bird pricing (a $10 discount!) will be available for vendors who sign up between Feb. 1 and Feb. 20, 2023. NEW THIS YEAR: Vendors can sign up for both events at the same time.
There will also be sponsorship opportunities available to Covington Chamber members. Pricing is shown per event. Package pricing to sponsor both events is available. Contact Dana Neuts by email for details or call 253-329-0999.
**Available to individuals and businesses who don't qualify to participate in the event, but who want to support the event and get visibility through their sponsorship.
We will put out a call for vendors Feb. 1 for both events. The deadline to sign up for the April 29 event is March 31, 2023. The deadline for the October 7 event is September 5, 2023. In the meantime, you can complete this no-obligation interest form to be added to our email list with more details.
Starting Jan. 1, 2023, employers with 15 or more employees must include certain information in job postings, per Washington State Department of Labor & Industries.
Job posts must include:
L&I Administrative Policy ES.E.1 provides examples so you can make sure your next job posting includes the right information.
The Covington Chamber is a member of the South Sound Chambers of Commerce Legislative Coalition, and last week we presented our 2023 legislative priorities to local elected officials and state legislators.
Our focus in 2023 is on economic vitality and growth for the South Sound region, specifically in the areas of transportation, budget and taxes, small business support, continued investments in workers and education, housing attainability, energy and climate change, public safety, and health care. Read our issue paper here.
Thank you to Green River College for serving as presenting sponsor along with Comcast and to the Auburn Area Chamber, Kent Chamber and Seattle Southside Chamber for including the Covington Chamber in the panel discussion. Thank you also to our members who attended to support our work.
Amy Hobson, a business and marketing teacher at Kentlake High School, is looking for volunteer judges to help with a mock competition. This is an important and valuable experience for students to “shake off their nerves” before they head into their first formal DECA competition.
Dates: Thurs., Dec. 8 AND/OR Thurs., Dec. 15 (2:15 p.m.)
Location: Kentlake High School, 21401 SE Falcon Way, Kent, WA 98042
DECA is a business and marketing club that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in business, marketing, finance, and hospitality. Students compete in a role play where they are given a real-world scenario in their career focus area and present their ideas and solutions to a judge. Judges have a rubric to determine if students have identified the key performance indicators for the scenario, as well as their professionalism.
Puget Sound Energy shared the following information with us early this afternoon to help businesses and residents prepare for the winter storm that's expected to start as early as 1 p.m. today. This is the message in its entirety. It has not been edited except for formatting.
"With today’s snowy weather and the potential for winds this afternoon and evening, below are the steps PSE is taking to prepare for possible outages. We’ll also be posting this to the PSE Alerts Banner on pse.com. Also, I have included information on how PSE restoration process.
Preparing for outages
Region-wide outages are typically caused by significant weather events. In the Pacific Northwest, it's most common for region-wide outage events to be caused by fall and winter wind and snow storms, but other causes could be earthquakes, flooding, wildfires or other natural disasters. Outages may impact several thousand to several hundred thousand customers.
Beginning of the outage event
Regional storm bases and our Emergency Coordination Center open to support crew and resource coordination, response strategy and internal and external communication.
As soon as conditions allow and it’s safe to begin field activities, our damage assessors drive to reported outage locations across our service area to:
Storm response plan established
Information from the damage assessors is used by the storm bases and Emergency Coordination Center to determine resources needed, outage restoration prioritization and other response strategies.
Outage restoration prioritization
Restoration efforts continue 24/7
Our crews and outage response personnel work around the clock until all customers have their power restored.
How does PSE estimate when my power will be restored?
Each region-wide outage event is unique, and estimated times of restoration (ETRs) are developed based on the following factors: number of predicted outage locations, damage severity, resource allocations, active weather and access challenges. As our field teams gain boots-on-the-ground visibility, we add and update ETRs on the outage map. At times, more system damage can occur due to ongoing active weather, and ETRs may need to be updated. There are three general stages of ETRs:
1. ETR is To Be Determined (TBD): During a region-wide outage event, we don’t add ETRs to the outage map until damage assessment is well underway. The time required to establish ETRs varies based on field conditions and the severity of the event. In large outage events, it can take 24–48 hours to establish regional ETRs.
2. Regional ETR: The date/time we expect most customers in a given region to have their power restored. Many customers will be restored sooner than the regional ETR; some customers may have their power restored after. While regional ETRs are not specific to individual outages, they are general timeframes for restoration that help our customers plan. We strive to share regional ETRs within the first 24–48 hours of a large-scale outage event.
3. Outage-specific ETR: Outage-specific ETRs – provided by our field personnel – are established when we have adequate field visibility and a crew assigned to restore your power. Sometimes, outage-specific ETRs are updated based on additional information gathered during repairs.
We understand ETR information is important so our customers can plan. Please know we work to provide the most accurate information as quickly as possible, and we thank you for your patience as we move through the process.
We are excited to tell you about our new 2023 Covington Community & Business Resource Guide. This replaces our Membership Directory. Here are highlights about the new guide, to be published in February 2023.
If you are a Covington Chamber member, contact executive director Dana Neuts to secure your ad spot.
If you are not a member of the Covington Chamber, contact ambassador Jen Suski to secure your ad spot.
See our 2023 rate sheet here.
At our November 10, 2022 monthly networking luncheon, we presented 16 $25 Fred Meyer gift cards ($400) to The Storehouse food bank for their Thanksgiving fundraising campaign. In addition to the food provided by The Storehouse, families will be able to use the gift cards to buy their own main course, whether it is a traditional turkey, tofu or something specific to their culture.
This donation was made possible by our Good Work Fund, a restricted fund that comes from our member sponsors, each of whom invests $750 or more in the Covington Chamber each year. A portion of their membership investments goes directly to the Good Work Fund.
Every month or so, a committee selects a local cause, project, or community "good work" to support. Past donations include coats for Thrive Wellness Clinic's "No Cold Kid" campaign, $500 to support Oil Change Day, $300 to buy safety vests for litter clean-ups, and $600 to purchase PPE for local businesses at the height of COVID-19.
Thank you to these sponsors for making our Good Work Fund possible: