We have been focusing on ’local’ for the month of June, here at Insty-Prints. We promote our local businesses by working closely with them to produce the quality work they seek, by buying at local stores ourselves and by attending local events and outings. Having left Minnesota for many years, it is one of the greatest joys about being back-Rochester’s Local Community. I grew up in Zumbrota and boy was that LOCAL…. I knew everyone of my classmates, their families, their families family, etc. My mother would meet me at the door with a scowl on her face if I had done something mischievous because some saintly neighbor would call ahead. It was even more difficult when it came to dating… I had watched a good many of those young men pick their noses or eat paste in elementary school. It was as if they were brothers of a sort. Perhaps that’s why I had to get out, see the world. I was very curious even at a young age. That curiosity gave me the drive to push myself and try things I had never heard of (like sushi, yummmm). I have wonderful stories and treasured memories. More importantly, I had the chance to choose where I wanted to live, and I chose to come home. Home to Minnesota and to the local communities I grew up in. My dad was an IBMer and coming to Rochester was always so much fun. We would play on the playground there and slide down the twirly slide-something Zumbrota did not yet have. I have lived in Rochester now 4 different times. It has been amazing to see the growth, the beauty and the joy in this community. I am so thankful to have made it back while I can still take part in all of the activities, festivals, events, etc. There is just so much to do here. Maybe it’s the spirit of growth or the shift in the economy, but I feel a sense of urgency when speaking to some of our customers. Everyone wants to succeed. I don’t think anyone goes into business hoping to ‘get by’. But when you are a small business owner, the drive to succeed is tantamount. There is no other option. It’s OK to want to succeed. But running blindly into the marketplace hoping that people will be drawn to you and what you do isn’t maybe the best tactic. I continually hear people say that ‘word of mouth’ has been their only source of marketing. Or that they tried placing ads in the paper and that just didn’t work. That’s where our marketing assessment plans come in. Bob Tremain, our Marketing Director, and the rest of the creative team here get together, review and brainstorm. So much information is processed by going through this assessment. The number one thing that I hear from everyone who has had one is that they learned something new about their business. Between all the different departments here at Insty-Prints, we bring a well-rounded team with diverse ideas and backgrounds to the table. You can be assured that if you face an issue in the market, our team will search out a solution from every angle possible. We know that you are busy-sometimes too busy to step back and take a look at your business. We offer you that valuable service. If you would like to know more, please call us and ask about our assessments and how we can help you grow your business. I heard Steve Jobs once say the we all ‘need to connect the dots’ but that you can’t connect them going forward. It is only when you have traveled along for a distance that the dots become clearly connected and you can begin to forge ahead along the right path for you. Let’s connect the dots together and continue to make Rochester, MN a ’best’ place to live!