Business Focus Weekly
A publication focused on helping your business to grow and become more focused.
Table of Contents
Upcoming Events:
ActionClub - Starts July 7, 2021
GrowthClub - September 24, 2021

Gregory Zimmerman with Totally Chocolate
Maria Black with General Assembly

Facebook - Action vs Growth Club 
Useful Business Thought of the Week - Needs vs Wants
Quote of the week:
"The biggest risk you can take is to do nothing"
 -Bradley Sugars
Current & Future Events:
Save the date for the next one, September 24, 2021. Free to clients, only $99 per company.
Spotlight! Part 1
Spotlighting individuals that work with and alongside us!
Chris Wolf with
First Interstate Bank

What is the most inspiring part of your job? 
Being instrumental in providing solutions and resources for businesses that bring positive results to their balance sheet and bottom line, while helping them meet their goals and knowing I made a difference. 

What is the driving force behind your business? (your why)
I am inspired when given the opportunity to be a financial partner to help businesses succeed, grow, and improve while knowing I work for an institution that supports the same enthusiastic values and has management that helps deliver results. 

What have you learned from your industry?  
Bringing value and knowledge to a relationship creates confidence and loyalty.  
Interview Gregory Zimmerman with Totally Chocolate

What's something that is difficult to's Totally Chocolate!
In an interview with Gregory Zimmerman, we learned all about their company Totally Chocolate located in Blaine, Wa. Their company has been in business for just over 30 years! They import pure Belgian chocolate and typically use three flavors – milk, dark and white. From this, they create custom chocolates. 
Totally Chocolate's most common customers are companies that do large gifting programs. "One of our best customers is They do a big gifting program and have repeated their order for the last 5 or 6 years." (Zimmerman). 
COVID-19 has had an impact on many businesses but Totally Chocolate made its way through it. The largest challenge they faced was dealing with uncertainty. 
In a business, there are different actions that one can take to benefit their company. Zimmerman talks about how they made changes and took action to change up their marketing "we changed up our Google Ads, primarily tried search ads and got the keywords really dialed in". This is a great way to keep your search count up! Another action they took was to keep up with the current customers, especially after the year we have had. 
We can always learn and grow from our mistakes. Totally Chocolate shares that, back in 2018, they looked into business-to-customer sales. From this, they learned that sticking with business-to-business sales worked best for their company.  
"It's nice to hear what is inspiring to individuals." Zimmerman shares that reflecting on how this past year has been, and how much they have grown through it. Along with this, Totally Chocolate has an amazing team that is a joy to work with!
Gregory Zimmerman
Interview Maria Black with General Assembly

Developing and growing your skills is important when it comes to your career. General Assembly offers both long and short form programs that teach skill-based workshops. Along with this they also put together career-building events: How to Negotiate like a pro, data science, and the enterprise. Their business has recently gone fully remote. They have been in business for over 10 years and have more than 30 campuses internationally
General Assembly's ideal target market is career transitioners – anyone that is out of college or middle-aged. Generally, people who need to upscale in their job in order to get promoted or want to completely change their career and need those baseline skills.
In many cases, COVID-19 has changed or altered the way businesses are run. "We already had a pretty strong online model, which was lucky, but transferring all of our in-person programmings to online formats was a lot of inventory to shift" (Maria Black). With planning and good communication, they were able to smoothly shift to fully remote. 
Taking action is one way that businesses become more successful. General Assembly took action by collaborating with producers across the country and collectively deciding how to work remotely. They created more impact, less volume events, and were able to put more people together from across the country instead of local.
Maria Black goes on to share what they have learned from their business. "My biggest advice is to always lead with questions instead of telling people what you want. Partnerships and relationships are about finding out what other people want and being an active listener. Sometimes with partnerships, goals could be different and it is a waste of everyone’s time if you’re not in line with each other. It should be a win-win with each other and if it’s not, that’s ok too!"
We asked Maria what is inspiring her today: "People that find the humor in bad situations, or go out of their way to help someone without the idea they will get anything in return and genuine people."

Maria Black 

A Book recommendation from your Coach:
Life is Grand. Bring it On!
This compilation of observations, referred to as 'Rhinobservations', were ideas I posted to my personal page on the Facebook® social network. The entries brought hundreds of unsolicited 'Likes' and positive comments from scores of friends and people I have never met. 
Facebook - Action vs Growth Club 
Useful Business Thought of the Week