October CEO Letter

 No, not your health checkup, although it is always smart to ensure your health is in good shape as your business is only as healthy as you are. What I mean by “checkup” is to send your business for its annual checkup.  No better time than now when things slow down to run a full scan on your operation.  Here are some good steps to follow that will help:

1)      Schedule out time over the next two-four weeks to review every facet of your operation. If you schedule the time you are more likely to commit yourself to doing it. Trust me I am the same way; and for all my fellow procrastinators out there this will truly help!

  1. Finances: are your financial processes adequate, efficient, and accurate? Talk to your (or a local) CPA/accountant and/or banking professional.
  2. Inventory: take stock of your inventory, assess where it needs to be during various times of the year. If it’s cost effective to buy in bulk now, consider it if your cash flow permits and you have adequate storage.
  3. Infrastructure: conduct an analysis of your building/office for repairs, improvements. Get quotes from local licensed contractors. Put together a maintenance plan that also includes future maintenance/improvement needs as well. Triage what’s most important to fix now, sooner than later, and much later and budget for it.
  4. Technology: are you satisfied with your internet, POS, and other tech systems? Ask a local IT company to conduct an assessment. Better technology can mean better efficiency, customer service, tracking of finances; all which lead to better profit margins.                                                                                                      i.      Internet & Marketing Plans: does your website need updating, what’s your marketing budget and plan and how will you accomplish it?
  5. Personnel & Professional Development: assess your staff (and yourself), determine what training they/you may benefit from or need before season begins. Fine tune job descriptions and hiring practices if you know you will be hiring again soon. This will help you secure the best talent the first time around.

2)      Create an “action plan” for each of the above, set tasks to accomplish goals; work with and utilize local professionals who are trained to help your business with the above. Reorder the above as necessary, based on what is most crucial to your business and has the largest effect on revenues and profits.

3)      Call, email, and contact us at your Marathon Chamber to help with any of the above.  We are here to help connect you with any services you may need as well as personally assist wherever we can.


Switching gears and on a lighter note; we also have our annual Awards & Installation Banquet on Oct. 18th at Hawks Cay Resort. As always, we promise to deliver a fun and entertaining evening.  We will again dole-out various business awards, install newly elected Board Directors, as well as say goodbye to those Directors whose terms have ended.  Lastly, we are very honored and excited to have a special guest speaker at this year’s banquet; Paul Castronovo, long time radio celebrity in South Florida and co-host of the Paul and Young Ron Show.  We are excited to hear Paul speak at our Banquet, and as you know with Paul; you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth, but you’ll have to be there to find out! This year’s banquet theme is “The Red Carpet.”

Finally, I want to thank the outgoing Board of Directors who have done such a great job leading our Marathon Chamber the past two years. Starting off with our Chairman of the Board John Bartus.  John took the helm as Chair in October of 2012 and has been instrumental in yet another great and positive year for your Marathon Chamber.  Under John’s leadership we have installed new state of the art monitors in our Visitor Center to better promote and advertise our businesses.  We have also partnered with the City of Marathon to get Marathon involved in the Sister Cities International Organization.  Your Chamber also had another successful Business Beautification Grant program in 2013 where ten local businesses received $1,500.00 each to beautify their businesses.  Lastly we have undergone a complete website redesign for our Marathon Seafood Festival site. Speaking of the festival in 2013 we once again had record numbers, thanks to John’s guidance and efforts in the event’s marketing and advertising plan.  We are also saying goodbye to another Past Chair in Josh Mothner who has brought great insight and leadership to the Board.  In addition to John and Josh, we are saying farewell to Biff Goss, Paul Lebo, Matt Anthony, and Jason Long who have all been an invaluable asset to the Board and to your Chamber.

The Marathon Chamber Board of Directors is what drives our Chamber to continue in the right direction from year to year.  They are elected by you, our valued members; and are dedicated to supporting, representing, educating, and promoting our business-members and community.  I personally have been very fortunate to work for such a dedicated and passionate group of professionals; they continue to inspire and push me to do the best job I possibly can in operating and running your Marathon Chamber and Visitor Center.  Here’s to another productive year and to completing the journey together at our 2013 Awards & Installation Banquet on Oct. 18th at Hawks Cay Resort (please call or email to attend and RSVP).

Most Respectfully,

Daniel Samess, CEO
Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce
(305) 743-5417

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