Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Career Day September 12, 2012

The Knox County Visioning Group, Texas AgriLIFE Extension Service and Knox City High School are hosting Career Day 2012 for Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors in High School. We will be exposing them to a variety of careers that can be done in rural America.  
High Resolution Link to Poster Below

Friday, July 20, 2012

Customer Service for all Generations

Have you ever considered how customer service should be tailored depending on the generation you are working with? That was the focus of the customer service workshop hosted by the Knox County Visioning Group on July 19th.  “The greatest generation expects something different than our youngest generation,” said Michelle Wood from Vernon College’s Continuing Education Program.

Michelle Wood, Director of Continuing Education, Vernon College.

Ms. Wood discussed each generation’s expectations of customer service and how to deal with each of them.  The greatest generation expects you to be friendly, make their experience easy and keep it to one visit. They don’t want to come back. They don’t want you to refer them to your website. They expect to speak to a live person, and they want you to be able to answer their questions, not Nancy down the hall.

The baby boomers expect an explanation. They want to know “why” and may also be the ones that request to “speak to your supervisor”!  You can help the process by being ready to give an explanation to this generation.  You can also brief your supervisor about the problem so the customers don’t have to repeat themselves. This just upsets them more.

Generation X wants their transaction to be quick and easy. They don’t mind using the Internet or dealing with you in person, but the transition needs to be simple. They want to get in and get out. They don’t need a long explanation about “why”; they just need the transaction to be simple. They are independent and can figure it out themselves.

Generation Y, the youngest generation, has never known a world without Internet and cell phones. When they are speaking on their cell phone, this is the same to them as having a person standing right next to them. They don’t think it is rude to talk on their phone while making a transaction with a business.  Great customer service to this generation may consist of sending them a text message as a reminder their order is ready. Don’t leave them a voicemail. Text them! They don’t conform to business hours because they have grown up with 24-hour access. Make all your information available on your website for this generation.

Stay tuned for another customer service workshop with Ms. Wood in the future. Ms. Wood can be contacted at Vernon College, (940) 689-3711.  For additional questions, call the Knox County Visioning Group at (940) 459-4121.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Customer Service Never Goes Out of Style

Free Workshop - July 19, 2012

When we make a purchase, whether online or at our local coffee shop, customer service matters. We all know how that company or person made us feel during a transaction. Were they helpful? Were they knowledgeable? Were they nice? Did they care I was patronizing their store?

Don't let this happen in your business! 

These are things that factor in to our subconscious as we do business. We expect good customer service. Unfortunately, in today’s viral society, if a person has a bad experience, they let the world know instantly. And, people are quicker to point out a bad experience than a good one. This is why customer service is vital. Customer service is the difference between just surviving or thriving.

The Knox County Visioning Group will be hosting their third business development workshop for this year on July 19, 2012. It will be held at City Hall in Knox City from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m.  Vernon College will be teaching the workshop. The workshop is free, and any one interested in improving their customer service is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served.

“One way we can all be ambassadors for Knox County and local businesses is to treat every customer and person that comes to town like they are special and important. If they just stop and ask for directions, they will remember that you tried to help them. “Folks in that town are friendly,” is what they will remember and tell their friends. And, they will come back!  It’s one small thing we can all do to set Knox County apart from other communities and businesses,” said Jimi Coplen, KCVG Director. Join them Thursday, July 19th at 6:00 p.m. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

KCVG May Meeting a Success

      The KCVG met on May 17, 2012, in Benjamin at the courthouse for their monthly meeting.  It was a great time of brainstorming and sharing about different events that are taking place around Knox County. 

Chad Roberts, City Manager of Knox City, updated the group on the Knox City Community Center. They are hoping for a completion date of 2012. The Knox County Hospital District has torn down the old clinic building and is replacing it with a new clinic along with a pharmacy. The sidewalk project is coming along good. It will be completed in October. The intersection will be done in July. The downtown businesses on the west side are rocking the outside of their buildings. Knox City is looking for buildings to accommodate some new businesses: China Wok, and a new screen printing business. They also have a new donut shop open.

Jerry Coplen, the new Ag Agent for Knox County gave the group and update on 4H projects.
Bob Cude updated the group on Goree.

Kathy Rainwater, Benjamin Chamber of Commerce Representative,  told the group about the Benjamin Homecoming taking place the 2nd weekend in June. They will be having a parade and are encouraging participants.

Dwayne Bearden, City Manager of Munday, updated everyone on the city-wide clean up taking place in Munday May 19. They will have roll off dumpsters at the MEC. He also told us about a new company, Outlaw Productions. They are hosting the dances in Munday. Munday is also participating in the 82/287 garage sale taking place June 2. Munday also has a local artist painting the building at the swimming pool. Jamie Lowrance will be the manager this summer.

Travis Floyd, Knox County Judge,  updated the group on the “Matter of Balance” workshops that he and Lorrie are involved in. He also reminded the group that the Double Mountain Coach is available to take residents to doctor’s appointments and shopping as needed. They are looking for a new board member from Knox County who serves the business community. They meet quarterly.  He also touched on the Good Earth Mechanics project happening at Brine Lake.  One owner met with Jimi at the courthouse this past week to discuss grants.

Lorrie Coop, Texas AgriLIFE Extension FCS Agent,  updated the group on her child safety – car seat workshop. They gave out 32 car seats and did several seat checkups.

The group discussed good topics for upcoming Business Development Workshops. No-till Farming Practices was agreed on for our Farming topic. Other good topic ideas included how weed killer affects the ground water, blogging and having a website.

Jimi Coplen, KCVG Director upated the group on the upcoming music camp that will take place July 8-12 in Goree.  She also informed the group that June 23rd is the Truscott Street dance.

The group also discussed how to proceed with the Farmer’s Market idea that was put into the 2012 plan of work. Everyone agreed this year would be a good time to focus on educating the public on how to make their garden’s profitable. We will host a series of workshops or a one-day symposium to address different gardening topics.

Youth Engagement – The group agreed a “Career Day” for next August/September would be a great event. It could be hosted on the Goree campus and we could invite neighboring counties to come and hear speakers and discuss career options with kids. We also want to include certification programs for wind and solar. We will also add plumbing and HVAC as these will be needed in Knox County.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Red Wagon Parade Taking Place this Saturday

Calling all wagons! Little red wagons that is.

The Knox County Visioning Group invites you to their first, Red Wagon Parade!  It will take place during Adventure Days on April 28, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. This year’s parade theme is Western Adventure.

The parade is open to all who would chose to decorate a standard four wheel wagon, limited in overall size to 48 inches long and 28 inches wide and 3 feet high from the ground level, including all decoration, but not including the pull handle. All decorations must be attached securely.  Parade surfaces may include rolling over lumps and bumps.

Wagons must be pulled by a single person, although children may have adult assistance. Entrants should practice walking with their wagons fully decorated to avoid any embarrassment or disqualification at the time of the parade. The parade route will be short (no longer than 1000 feet) and inside the Munday Events Center.

There will be three categories for the best-decorated wagon: commercial (for business entries), youth – ages 14 and under, and adult – ages 15 and above. Ribbons will be awarded to the top three placers in each category. No live animals are allowed in the parade or the wagon.

Wagons should be at the MEC by 3:00 pm on April 28, 2012, for display. Then, participants should be ready to fall into place in front of the MEC at 4:30 pm to get lined up find their location in the group. The parade begins at 5 pm.

Entry forms are available by clicking here by calling the office.  The cost to participate is $5 per entry. Deadline for entry receipt is April 28th at 3:00 p.m. For more information, call 940-459-4121.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Social Media Workshop, March 29th

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and now Pinterest?  Social media has certainly changed the way we do business.  We no longer have a choice on whether we do social media; the question is how well we do it.

Pinning has changed the way we search the web! 

The Knox County Visioning Group will host a business development workshop on March 29, 2012, from 6-7 p.m., at the Benjamin Courthouse on using social media. This workshop will focus on creating a page for your business, scheduling updates and how to advertise on facebook. The KCVG will also touch on using Pinterest to advertise your products.

Facebook fans (those who ‘like’ your page) are 291 percent more likely to engage with brands than nonfans. That means fans are three times more likely to convert (use or purchase your product or service) than nonfans. According to the business SocialCode, fans of your page buy at a 7 percent rate, while nonfans buy at a rate of just 2 percent. Based on those numbers, you can see why so many companies want you to ‘like’ their page.

If you have a facebook page but rarely post, the KCVG will be showing you how to schedule regular updates using the program Hootsuite. With a few minutes a week or a month, this program can help keep your page fresh and exciting.

Pinterest is the new kid on the block for social media, and she is taking the world by storm. The KCVG will delve into this site and show you how fun and easy it is to add this button to your website, and get folks ‘pinning’ your products.

In addition to door prizes at each meeting, there is also an opportunity to win cash! Attending three workshops will get a person’s name into a drawing for $25, attending four - $50, attending five - $75 and attending all six will get a person entered to win $100!  

These workshops will provide training and information locally, saving businesses time and gas driving to Abilene or Wichita Falls. Make the best of this opportunity and plan on joining the KCVG. The meetings will be fun and informative! For questions and information call 940-459-4121. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

HVAC Scholarship Available through KCVG

The Knox County Visioning Group (KCVG) is looking for persons who have an interest in pursuing a trade in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC).  The KCVG is offering a scholarship to a senior in a Knox County, Texas, high school or Knox County, Texas, resident who wishes to pursue this training in the amount of $1500. The grant will require the student to return to Knox County for one year and work in an HVAC field.

Click here for Application

Knox County will experience a loss of individuals in the HVAC field in the future. The KCVG would like to help replenish that talent by helping an individual interested in HVAC become licensed and return to Knox County.  Full HVAC certification requires one year of school, then a three-year apprenticeship before allowing individuals to sit for the test. This is a long-term commitment between the KCVG and the winner of this scholarship.

Applications can be found by clicking here or by calling 940-459-4121.  Students can also pick up an application at their high school councelor’s office.  The deadline to apply is May 1, 2012.

More information on schools and costs associated with this degree can be found at TSTC’s website: http://www.westtexas.tstc.edu/ or at Vernon College’s website: http://www.vernoncollege.edu/. A larger list of schools offering this training in Texas can be found here: http://www.braintrack.com/colleges-by-career/hvac-mechanics/state/tx

Additional scholarship information can be found on the Youth Opportunities page of this website. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sharpen Your eBay Skills on March 1, 2012

Business Development Workshop
Buying and Selling on eBay ~ March 1 
Learn how to buy and sell using eBay or just brush up on your eBay skills. This workshop is designed for both individuals as well as small businesses. eBay can help your existing business by selling their products online. It will take place Thursday, March 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Perry Patton Center, in Munday, Texas. The Workshop is FREE to attend. Refreshments will be served. 

Prices are given to the individuals who attend the most workshops. There will be a first place prize of $100, a second place prize of $75 and a third place prize of $50. These prizes are awarded at the end of the year. 
This is the first in a series of 5 Business Development Workshops hosted by the KCVG. For more information, call 940-459-4121. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kickstarter Helps You Raise Dollars for Your Big Idea!

This post is for those of you who have a big idea and need some funding to get your project off the ground. Big or small, Kickstarter could be for you! Check out the information below. This was taken directly off their website. To find out more, visit their site at www.kickstarter.com. 

1.             What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.
 We believe that:

• A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.

• A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.
 Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

2.             Who can fund their project on Kickstarter?

            Kickstarter is focused on creative projects. We're a great way for artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, writers, illustrators, explorers, curators, performers, and others to bring their projects, events, and dreams to life.
The word “project” is just as important as “creative” in defining what works on Kickstarter. A project is something finite with a clear beginning and end. Someone can be held accountable to the framework of a project — a project was either completed or it wasn’t — and there are definable expectations that everyone can agree to. This is imperative for every Kickstarter project.
We know there are a lot of great projects that fall outside of our scope, but Kickstarter is not a place for soliciting donations to causes, charity projects, or general business expenses. Learn more about our project guidelines.

3.             Why do people support projects?

            REWARDS! Project creators inspire people to open their wallets by offering smart, fun, and tangible rewards (products, benefits, and experiences).
           STORIES! Kickstarter projects are efforts by real people to do something they love, something fun, or at least something of note. These stories unfold through blog posts, pics, and videos as people bring their ideas to life. Take a peek around the site and see what we're talking about. Stories abound.

4.             I only need to raise a small amount of funding. Is Kickstarter for me?

           Absolutely! Kickstarter is for creative projects big and small, serious and whimsical, traditional and experimental. Small projects that you (or you and a few friends) can do over a weekend are perfect for Kickstarter. In fact, the most common projects on Kickstarter are not blockbusters but smaller projects that raise $5,000 or less. Check out some fun project stats and some currently funding Small Projects looking to raise $1,000 or less.

5.             All-or-nothing funding?
    Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires or no money changes hands.
1. It's less risk for everyone. If you need $5,000, it's tough having $2,000 and a bunch of people expecting you to complete a $5,000 project.
2. It allows people to test concepts (or conditionally sell stuff) without risk. If you don't receive the support you want, you're not compelled to follow through. This is huge!
3. It motivates. If people want to see a project come to life, they're going to spread the word.

6.             Does Kickstarter take some percentage of ownership or intellectual property of things made through Kickstarter?
          Absolutely not. Project creators keep 100% ownership of their work.

How do I start a project?

To start a project, go to the Start Your Project page and click the "Share Your Project" button. We'll ask some basic questions about your project. It shouldn't take more than a few days for a member of our team to get back to you about your proposal, and if you've got a creative project that meets our guidelines, we're good to go.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Knox County Brochure is Here

If you would like a hard copy, please send me your name and address and one will be mailed to you. They can also be picked up at the Knox County courthouse, City Hall, and Chambers of Commerce in the county. Click on the link here to email us and a hard copy will be mailed to you. You may also click here to view the file in a higher resolution format. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Year of Progress and Accomplishments

In the end, you’re measured not by how much you undertake but by what you finally accomplish. And, this year, the Knox County Visioning Group has done just that.

“One of our biggest accomplishments this year was the Knox County Brochure. It is at the printer as we speak. This is going to be a great tool that will be utilized by many,” said Ms. Coplen, KCVG Community Development Director.  The KCVG sold ads, organized design and printing of the brochure.

2011 Artwork from Projects

The KCVG also held their first major event in 2011 – Knox County Adventure Days. This event took people around the county through events like the Amazing Grace Race, a bus tour, and even a photography scavenger hunt. It opened people’s eyes to the rich history of the county. This event is being repeated April 27-28, 2012.

Another big accomplishment was the business development workshop series. Meetings held throughout the year consisted of workforce development, customer service, social media, estate planning and business planning. These workshops attracted a variety of different people and brought resource agencies to the county.

A big hitter at the end of the year was the Shop Local flyer produced and mailed by the KCVG.  “These flyers went to each box holder in Knox County. Christmas sales carry these retailers throughout the year so it is important to remember to support them during the holidays,” said Ms. Coplen.

The KCVG also participated in the promotion and manpower of the music camp and Cowboy Christmas Ball in Goree. They also helped in the group tour that took place during the quilt show.

Additional projects in 2011 included a job fair, business recruitment, a summer intern program, grant writing, entrepreneurial support, and monthly KCVG meetings where all shared about events going on throughout the county.

The KCVG could not do what they do without the support of their partners. Partners receive advertising at all KCVG events, in press releases, on KCVG letterhead, the website, and social media.  Partners include Knox County, Knox City EDC, Development Corporation of Munday, First National Bank of Munday, City of Munday and the City of Knox City, Knox County Hospital District, City of Goree, Circle Bar Ranch, AEP, and Knox County Abstract.