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MAIN STREET HANFORD 219 W. LACEY BLVD. (559) 582.9457 FAX (559) 582.

3343 Volume VI Issue II
Committee meetings are held monthly at the Main Street Hanford Office Design Committee 1st Monday at 4:00pm Economic Restructuring Committee 2nd Tuesday at 4:00pm Promotion Committee 2nd Monday at 4:00pm Org Committee Last Monday at 5:30pm Board of Directors Meeting is the last Monday of every month at 6:15 p.m.

www.mainstreethanford.com

Newsletter
December 2013

Essential Strengths of Front-line Employees
Barbara Wold, International Speaker, Author and Business Strategist
How sales personnel engage customers can make or break a retail store. Most customers assume that small, local stores generally have a bigger focus on customer-care excellence. However, this isn’t always the case. Big box retailers also can harness the power of engagement. It all boils down to how employees relate to customers.

 Whether or not you need or want the help, you can’t help but be pleased when you are shown attention. Feeling important and welcome are two of our most basic needs. It’s all about the initial engagement and how the engagement commences that determines how the rest of the shopping experience will go. What skills and qualities are required by retail sales associates to facilitate positive initial engagements with customers? Confidence: The confidence to make eye contact and strike up a conversation with strangers is absolutely essential.

 Innate friendliness: Customers don’t want to deal with sales associates who have to force themselves to be pleasant and nice. Flexibility: When dealing with the public, things can go wrong. You have to be flexible enough to roll with the punches and think outside the box sometimes. 

 Ability to multitask: Sales associates have to juggle customers and their questions and needs, and at the same time attend to their other store duties. 

 Patience: Dealing with people means that you will have to take the good with the bad. The patience to deal with all types of customers is vital.

 Articulate: Sales reps must be conversational and have the ability to formulate answers and provide information when asked. Respectful: The customer might not always be right, but she is always the customer. Customers must be treated with respect, even in the most challenging situations. Proactive: It’s never a good idea to wait until a customer is stressed or agitated before offering assistance. Being one step ahead to gauge when someone needs help is the best way to minimize a brewing situation.

 Positivity: The ability to smile in the face of a long and possibly chaotic day can make a world of difference to customers. 

 Empathy: Being able to look at a situation through the eyes of a customer is an extremely valuable skill that can enable you to provide the highest degree of service.

 At the end of the day, it’s all about how a sales associate interacts with a customer. Sales associates are the front-line representatives of a store and business. How that interaction goes will ultimately determine if that customer will buy and recommend the store to her friends and family, or turn around and walk out, never to return again.

Inside this issue: President’s Report Promotion Report Economic Restructuring Report Organization Report Design Report Director’s Message How Can I Grow My Facebook Fan Page Likes? 2 2 2

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Façade Grants Available for 2014!
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Main Street Hanford wants to remind everyone that façade grants are available for 2014 for any business, in good standing, located in the Business Improvement District (BID). Applicants are required to present a façade improvement project that will cost at least $5,000. They can then apply for up to $2,500 in matching funds from MSH. Applications with complete information may be picked up from the Main Street Hanford office. There is no hard deadline, and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Therefore, grant availability will decrease as applications are received and approved throughout the year. An attractive storefront will likely increase your business!

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Newsletter

President’s Report
December is a time to reflect on the many great things that have been accomplished in downtown Hanford throughout the past year. It is also the perfect time for us to present new goals for the upcoming year and begin the work that will help to grow downtown Hanford. ORGANIZATION: Recruit potential board members Educate board members Review TNMP Rules & Regulations MSH newsletter: (2-3) Annual Dinner Volunteer Appreciation Dinner Maintain MSH Website PROMOTION: Improve and enhance events Continue to promote downtown - Facebook, Constant Contact & MSH website Increase merchant promotions Initiate image building campaign Maintain current sponsors and attract new sponsors for events DESIGN: Façade Grants Way Finding Signs Twinkle lights- maintenance and upkeep Sign ordinance revision Downtown enhancement – Flowers, trees, grates, etc.
ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURING:

Lending library Expansion Kiosk Map Update (yearly) Business recruitment Maintain web page with property updates BID member education General Plan Update involvement We invite all of you to work with us as we promote and revitalization downtown Hanford. As always, the Board of Directors is available for any discussions or comments you may want to express.

Yeti Ortiz, President

Promotion Committee
Witches Night Out was amazing! We had a sell out with 500 ladies, most in full costume, ready for a fun night out! Twenty-eight businesses welcomed shoppers into their stores for a spooktacular ladies shopping night. Each participant received a goody bag that included small gifts, treats and discount coupons. If you missed WNO you need to mark Friday, October 17th on your calendar now so that you will be sure to be there! It was a hoot! We have just completed our 13th Annual Wine and Chocolate Tasting and we hope that you will agree that this year’s event was one of the best!! A very festive crowd attended this fun-filled evening of sipping, chatting and shopping at the twenty-seven participating businesses. Thanks to Jeannine from Gigi’s Boutique for allowing MSH to partner for “Find Santa’s Boot” giving shoppers a chance to win $450 in gift certificates. MSH businesses also partnered with Keller Williams and the Hanford Chamber of Commerce to gather 589 pounds of non-perishable food items for the local Salvation Army as we helped “Fill Freddy the Fire Truck”. A big thank you goes out to all of our volunteers! While many volunteers are business owners or employees, we are lucky enough to have a large group of community members supporting the activities of Main Street Hanford. Our goal is to bring people downtown to shop, stroll, dine and discover downtown Hanford and we couldn’t do it without them. The promotions committee invites all of you to participate by serving on a committee, joining in on an event or by just spreading the word that downtown Hanford is the place to be!! Wishing each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

Jan Gray, Promotion Committee Chairperson

Economic Restructuring Committee
Main Street Hanford’s Economic Restructuring Committee works to strengthen and retain vital business in downtown Hanford while working to identify and recruit new businesses. Our committee has been very active this year working on a variety of projects. We are finalizing the new and improved version of the business identification map that is housed in the kiosk at the corner of Seventh and Irwin Streets. We continue to update available properties on our website and present this information to potential business owners seeking locations in downtown Hanford. We are also revising the ER Committee brochure that touts the advantages of opening a business in the downtown area. If you would like to find out more about the Economic Restructuring Committee, plan to attend one of our monthly meetings. We meet the second Tuesday of every month at 4:00 p.m. in the Main Street Hanford office located at 219 W. Lacey Blvd.

Steve Banister, ER Committee Chairperson

Volume VI Issue II

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Organization Committee
This is huge!!! Main Street Hanford will be hosting the annual California Main Street Alliance conference in March 2014. Visitors from throughout California will come to downtown Hanford to learn, shop, stroll and dine for three days. We will be posting updates on our Facebook page so make sure to like us today!! The Organization Committee reviewed proposed committee goals and the board approved the 2014 MSH goals (which you can read about in the President’s article) and budget. We will have two open positions on the board of directors in 2014. These are three year terms with the opportunity to serve for two complete terms. With the new MSH election process in place, all business owners within the Business Improvement District (BID) will be eligible to apply for the positions and the entire membership will vote in March. If you have not been receiving information regarding the activities of MSH, please contact the MSH office at 582-9457. We don’t want you to miss out on any of the exciting things that are happening in downtown Hanford!!

Wendy Raygoza, Organization Committee Chairperson

Design Committee
This past year, the Design Committee assisted five downtown businesses to improve their storefronts by funding $12,000 through Main Street’s Façade Grant program. The businesses include Valley Pool & Spa, Hanford Antique Emporium, Toti’s Pupuseria, Stratus Property Management, and All Valley Printing. Grant funds were used for new signage, exterior paint, new window fronts, and awnings which significantly improved the look of each business and more importantly contributed to the upkeep and overall appearance of our downtown. We encourage other downtown businesses that have a need for building/signage improvements to contact us for assistance. We have set aside $15,000 for calendar year 2014 of ‘free money’ that is available for the asking with minimal requirements. Visibly located throughout the core of Hanford will be 40 new banners picturing historic landmarks of our beautiful downtown. They will replace the ‘poppy’ banners that have been up for the past five years. During the winter holidays the twinkle lights are a big attraction for our downtown and continue to be a high priority. Improvements include changing out standard bulbs to LED strands at additional costs but longer lasting and more durable. As the Design Committee Handbook states, “Design means getting Main Street into top physical shape. Capitalizing on its best assets ----- such as historic buildings and traditional downtown layout ----- is just part of the story. An inviting atmosphere created through window displays, parking areas, signs, sidewalks, street lights, and landscaping conveys a visual message about what Main Street is and what it has to offer.” You can help make a difference by joining our committee.

Neil Williams, Design Committee Chairperson

Director’s Message
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our businesses in the downtown area for their continued support of the Main Street Hanford programs and activities. Each year seems busier than the last and 2013 was no exception for all of our board members, committees, volunteers and staff. Main Street Hanford continues to grow and evolve drawing inspiration and ideas from the community and from you the business owner! We need your thoughts, enthusiasm, and participation as we work towards the vision we all hope for, that of a vibrant downtown. We invite all of you to serve on a committee, volunteer for an event or become a member of our Board of Directors and voice your ideas and opinions. Any business in good standing within the Business Improvement District (BID) will vote for our own Board of Directors. If you are interested in serving on the Main Street Hanford Board of Directors, pick up an application in the office at 219 W. Lacey Blvd. Let’s all work together to make 2014 a fabulous year to be remembered by all who visit, stroll, dine, shop, discover and celebrate in downtown Hanford!

Shelly Talbert, Executive Director

MAIN STREET HANFORD 219 W. LACEY BLVD. (559) 582.9457 FAX (559) 582.3343

We strive to preserve our historic resources

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How Can I Grow My Facebook Fan Page Likes?
How can I grow my Facebook Fan page likes is still a popular question from retailers. Countless businesses struggle with Facebook – big brands and small so I thought I’d share what works for me and my page. First off, why are you looking to get more likes? The only reason you want more likes is so customers can engage with you. That means they talk to you. And you talk to them. Consider Facebook as a way to heighten the marketing of your retail store. And it’s not like some brochure or flier…. oh wait, are you yourself already over Facebook? Consider these three recent stats from Zephoria: • Worldwide, there are over 1.19 billion active Facebook users. This is a 18% increase year over year. Retailers, no matter your size, Facebook is simply too big to ignore. • 4.5 billion likes generated daily as of May 2013 which is a 67% increase from August 2012 • 728 million people log onto Facebook daily, which represents a 25% increase from 2012 (as of 9/2013). That means a huge and growing number of Facebook users are active and consistent in their visits to the site, making them a promising audience for retailers. The Facebook community is still growing and an important vehicle for retailers. The more likes and fans you have, the more likely they are to expose their friends to you. To grow your page likes, you have to look at Facebook as if you are a DJ at your own club. You choose the music to get them to get up and dance with you. The primary goal of a retailer’s Facebook page is to have a great dance party. That means you have to constantly think what will get them to dance with you. And as you see them joining in, you need to respond in a way that keeps them around. To grow your Facebook likes you need to constantly think up ways to talk to your followers the way they want to be talked to – finding the right music for them – not you. You know if you get it right because your likes go up and so do their comments. That usually happens too because you are posting as a human being, with your personality coming through. If you have low followers or low engagement rates, change your music. An occasional update about an award you received or photo of yourself is fine but the kinds of posts you want to use should engage your tribe of followers well enough to make them want to share. Here are Five Ways To Grow Your Facebook Fans 1. Stake out an opinion then ask your followers’ opinion. It shouldn’t be something as controversial as I do on my pages but an apparel store could ask, Have you tried the dry cleaning substitutes for the clothes you usually took to the cleaners? I did and was disappointed. 2. Ask for their top tips to deal with something you sell. I did this with a gardening retailer and simply asked, “What would you tell a novice gardener to do to get ready for winter?” The business received almost 50 comments and an even greater number of new likes within hours. 3. Pictures win engagement over text - worth a thousand words has never been more relevant – the goal is to get your followers to want to share your content. That usually means a photo over a simple line of text. Choose wisely. 4. Offer tips and tricks because good content is often shared. Write down your wisdom about the types of issues your customers have to address and pare down the words. Or better yet use a video. I love the Lowe’s FixItInSix series of how-tovideos. They are engaging and sure to be shared. 5. Simply ask your followers to share your updates like I do with every post, “Appreciate your ‘likes,’ ‘shares’ and comments.” Those that don’t ask don’t get. And when you see in your Facebook page insights that a post got a lot of likes, remember you have to constantly look for ways to engage them again and again. Consistency is a big part of holding on to your fans. In many ways, engaging your Facebook fans is not any different than having an engaging sales process in your store. Either you are constantly looking at how to engage and talk with your shoppers so you can get them to enjoy and explore your space – or you are constantly looking at how to talk at customers without really knowing why they came to your store in the first place. Would you run up to every shopper with a hanger and say, Look what we just got in? I hope not…you’d spend the time to build rapport – find the right music as it were to get them to relax and shop. The same has to be true of your Facebook fan page. In sum ~ Every day you need to put on your thinking cap and think, “What can I post that will get my followers to engage with me?” You have to find the right music to attract them. That’s the secret to having a winning presence on Facebook and winning strategy in your brick and mortar retail store.

Board of Directors President Yeti Ortiz Vice President Wendy Raygoza Treasurer Lora Alves Secretary Steve Banister Members Jan Gray Lindsey Oliveira Pauline Hershey Committee Chairs Organization Wendy Raygoza Promotion Jan Gray Economic Restructuring Steve Banister Design Neil Williams Staff Executive Director Shelly Talbert Events Coordinator Summer Headley

Bob Phibbs The Retail Doctor®

Save the Dates!
If you or someone you know is interested in joining a Main Street Hanford committee, please call the office at 582-9457.
MSH Board Member Nominations Pick up applications in the MSH office after January 7th Everybody’s Irish in downtown Hanford Saturday, March 15th 5:00pm—8:00pm Thursday Night Market Place Begins May 1st 5:30pm-9:00pm