May 2020
Ladysmith Chamber Business Essentials


Ladysmith Open For Business Online Directory

The Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce and the Ladysmith Downtown Business Association (LDBA) are working hard to promote business recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumer awareness and confidence in business practices will be a key component of successful recovery. The Chamber and the LDBA are here to help. 

An online business directory is being prepared and will be launched to the public on June 1st.  The business directory will highlight all businesses that are open and any practices they are implementing to keep themselves and their customers safe.  Thank you to the many businesses who have already sent us your information.  For those business owners/managers who have not sent us your info we would love to hear from you.  Please note there is no charge for this service.  If you wish to be listed please email the following information to us:

1.  Your business name:

2.  Phone number:

3.  Website and/or Facebook

4.  Business Hours:

5.  Anything unique about the way you are operating: (For example: shop by appointment, customer limits, curb-side pickup etc.) Please limit your response to 2-3 sentences.

We are pleased to give you a sneak peek at the directory which is actually part of a larger Investment and Tourism Attraction website which will also be officially launched on June 1st.  You’ll hear more about the official launch soon.   Click here to view the directory (and the larger website): .

For those businesses who have already sent us your info, and for those who plan to sign up, PLEASE KEEP US UP TO DATE ON ANY CHANGES TO YOUR HOURS AND SERVICES so that the directory remains current and accurate.

We look forward to working with you and your business as we all try to get back on our feet after this incredible challenge. We Ladysmither’s are a resilient bunch and we’ll get through this … together.


Dealing With Uncertainty in Uncertain Times


Dealing With Uncertainty in Uncertain Times

None of us know exactly what the new normal will be. What will it be to your business? What will it be to your customers? It's easy to get into panic mode and talk ourselves into a worst-case scenario.

Rather than try to find ways to come out of this crisis the same or similar to what you were before (remember the good old days?) what about starting afresh? At least to a point. Instead of attempting to recreate things just as they were, think about how you might reinvent your company.

Given the new reality, albeit a somewhat hazy reality, what can you learn from the last few months? What does it tell you about the future of business – of your business? One thing is for certain, you'll need an online presence if you haven't got one, and if you have, odds on you'll need a better, more robust e-Commerce component.

Some business have fared better than others during this time. If you own a hairdressing salon, or a beauty spa, chances are you have been forced to close your doors. If, on the other hand, you are a building contractor you are probably still working. Garden centres have seen a surge in interest in food plants as people have time on their hands and an inclination to plant what some people are calling Victory Gardens, a reference to the gardens planted during WWII. One such company in Victoria, BC, launched their first ever website and discovered a huge demand for ordering online and picking up at the store. This, when they had fully expected to have to close up shop.

Between these few examples, businesses have suffered to some degree along a spectrum from not at all, to those closing for good, or facing bankruptcy. Crises are a regular occurrence, a fact of life, this just happens to be a doozy. But we've also faced SARS, H1N1, and the 2008 economic meltdown. Regionally across Canada we experience floods, massive storms, and earthquakes (we are constantly being told the big one is coming on the West Coast) from time to time. Although you can't crisis proof your business completely, you can plan ahead for uncertain times. One thing is for certain, there will be another virus or disaster waiting in the wings, and of course, Covid could make a dramatic reappearance.

If your business is quiet, or completely dead, this might be a good time to think about what it might look like in the future. If you own that hairdressing salon will it be business as usual when restrictions are lifted? Or will you take this time to build an e-Commerce site that sells hair and beauty products online? Will your site offer training programs, or video courses teaching beauty tips? What can you sell to augment your hands-on styling? Firms that build websites and online stores are seeing a significant uptick in business as companies prepare for the new normal. A simple starter site can be built for as little as $1,000. Start small and offer a limited selection of your inventory based on known bestsellers and build from there.

Whatever your business, with some creativity you may be able to, metaphorically, begin building a stock of sand bags for the next crisis.

Dealing With Uncertainty in Uncertain Times


The Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Sales

How you think about yourself, the esteem in which you hold yourself, determines your personality and your attitude. It is the foundation of your character. And, it is the cornerstone to your success.

How do you view your strengths and weaknesses? How much do you like yourself? How much do you respect yourself? How do you view your physical, intellectual, and emotional attributes and strengths? What about your weaknesses? Do you recognize them? Are you constantly looking for ways to minimize or reduce them?

Do you enjoy how you relate to others and do you see yourself as a worthwhile person? Do you consider yourself valuable and able to contribute to the world and to the lives of others? Do you enjoy the things you do, both professionally and personally? Are you at peace with who you are? If you answered "no" to any of these questions it may be affecting your sales success, and you might have some work to do in this area.

Author Nathaniel Branden in his book "The Six Pillars of Self Esteem" identified six areas that make up our self-esteem. Let's look at how these six pillars could relate to your sales success.

1. Self-awareness

Self-awareness implies that you know yourself, and knowing yourself requires reflection. Thinking about who you are and how you impact other people will improve your interaction with prospects. People who are aware of how their behavior impacts others are more likely to recognize when things are going wrong during a sales presentation and change tack quickly.

2. Self-acceptance

Most of us to some degree battle with negative self-talk. That voice in your head that tells you you'll never make this sale, that people don't like you, that you never were going to amount to anything. When you buy into those negative messages your response to them is conveyed subconsciously to anyone listening. If you don't believe in yourself, people will wonder why they should believe in you and buy anything from you.

3. Self-responsibility

There is nothing worse than listening to people whine about not getting anywhere in life but who never do anything about it. Or those who constantly blame others for what they do or don't get in life. Have you ever listened to a salesperson complain about how tough their boss is, or how tough the market has been, or even that they'd rather be working for their competitor? It turns you off doesn't it? Strong self-esteem takes ownership of decisions and actions and never blames other people or circumstances.

4. Self-assertiveness

Passive people allow others to walk all over them. Aggressive people don't care how their self-expression affects others. Somewhere in the middle of those two extremes is the assertive person who values what others think and feel, but who also values their own internal beliefs and needs and is willing to let others know what they are. When you understand assertiveness in your own life, you can encourage your customers to be assertive about their needs. Sometimes they may be afraid to tell you what they really want. By assuring them you hear and value what they have to say, you will be able to get to the root of their needs.

5. Living purposefully

Knowing there is more to life than this sale, makes you infinitely more appealing to a customer than someone for whom the sale is life and death. Being balanced, having goals and bringing the rest of your life into the sales experience, will help people be at ease with you.

6. Living with integrity

When your customers or potential customers see that what you say is what you do, trust is built and trust equals sales. When they know you won't badmouth a competitor, you deliver on time, you give more than what was promised, and they can depend on your honesty, you've won them over for life.

Increasing your self-esteem will have an impact on your sales. Consider these pillars, and work on those that you feel may not be working fully in your favour. Then watch your success grow.

Dealing With Uncertainty in Uncertain Times


Take Charge of Your Communication Style

What is your communication style? How does it work for you? How can you be more effective in your communications?

There are essentially 4 types of communication styles: Passive, Aggressive, Passive/Aggressive, and Assertive.

When we are passive in our communications, others do not really know what we are thinking or what we want. We may feel taken advantage of, not respected, and overlooked when decisions are being made. In the end, we may find ourselves unable to communicate our thoughts, feelings, and desires effectively. Are we really meeting our needs when we communicate passively? What are we avoiding when we do not actively communicate?

Although others know what we want with an aggressive communication style, their reactions may be varied. Some will see it as bullying behavior coupled with an element of fear, while others may feel resentment and anger. Often negativity and resentment follows. While we want others to know our thoughts and ideas, aggressively communicating them doesn't always lead to what we hope to achieve. How have we benefited from communicating aggressively? How has it hurt us? If it has hurt us more than it has been beneficial, what might be a better strategy for engagement?

Passive/Aggressive communication combines the two styles. At times we appear timid and avoid communicating our wants and needs, while at other times we are aggressively pursuing them. This can cause confusion in the minds of others and often results in lost credibility. How does being passive at one point and aggressive at another time serve us? How do we effectively and consistently convey our thoughts?

Being assertive in our communications, shows others clearly what we need and desire. This style expresses our clear expectations with a respect for and consideration of others. When we are assertive in our speaking, we benefit by developing a feeling of trust and confidence with others. If this is not our predominant style, then what can we do to change that? How can we adopt a more clear and thoughtful communication style?

We are in charge of our communication style. We can change it when we are mindful of the situation and what it requires of us. In every situation, we need to challenge ourselves to ask the question, "how do I show up in this conversation or meeting?" What style of communication will work best for me?

"Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success." - Paul J. Meyer, Businessman, Author

Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach, Motivated Coaching and Development


Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 598, 33 Roberts Street, Ladysmith, BC V9G 1A4
Phone: 250-245-2112