Sonoma County: News and Notes

This will be my post in this format about the Workshop I am co-hosting on October 20th. The workshop is titled "How to Grow and Manage Your Business Profitably" with Don McMahan and Shane Campbell. The Workshop will be held at Noon at the Finley Center and Lunch will be provided. You can click HERE to register for the Workshop on EventBrite. The cost is $25 and each attendee will also receive a copy of "The Exit Strategy Workbook". I am looking forward to seeing many of you there next week. This is going to be a great event! I also want to let you know that the Lime Foundation (run by my friend and BNI compatriot Letitia Hanke-Ryzhkov is holding a fund raiser on November 7th from 6 - Midnight at Sally Tomatoes. All the proceeds will be used to help those hurt in the Valley Fire. You can register for the Fundraiser by clicking HERE! The Lime Foundation is also accepting gifts of Food and Water to help those in Lake County. You can find out more about the Lime Foundation if you click HERE!

On November 12th, two coaches within FocalPoint are hosting a conference in San Francisco. It is called "Green and Gold: Making Money While Saving the Planet". It will be held from 9:00 - 5:30 at Conference Center located at 499 Illinois Street in San Francisco. There will be many fine speakers and you can find out more information about this event HERE! The cost to attend is $99 and you can register to attend by clicking HERE! If you are interested in learning how to raise capital, market, and operate a Green Business for Profit, then this is the event for you!

As an update to the issues that I talk about regularly, let us start with housing. The Average Single Family Home price has now crossed $500,000 in Sonoma County. This means that first time home buyers are going to find it dificult to get into homes straight away. The issue continues to be the availability of homes to buy (aka Inventory). There is nothing that is going to change this very soon, but there is some relief coming eventually in Rohnert Park. There is a substantial development near the Green Music Center that might see homes begin to be sold in a year or so. The pricing out of first time buyers and the prospect of new homes coming on to the market, might put a cap in the rise of home prices for now.

Now, let's move to water. The good news (I think) is that El Nino continues to look like it is going to happen. The last time we had an El Nino of this magnitude was 1997. I remember that well as it was my first year in Sonoma County. We had flooding that brought water to the doorsteps of AFC. I remember buy lunch for the entire building that day so that folks would not have to go out for lunch. I think it was around 50 pizzas. But it was the right thing to do to keep our employees safe. We had a number of them cut off from homes in Marin County so we put them up for the night in local motels. Not the Ritz, but we did try to help!

Finally, this week I want to let everyone know that the FocalPoint Coaches in Northern California have opened up a new site called the FocalPoint NorCal Forum. The goal of this site is to provide educational videos on various business topics to those who want to view them. You can also learn about the different FocalPoint Coaches in Northern California and their expertise. I hope that many of you will take a look and find something of interest. It is all free and please feel free to use it as you will. Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

Change Your Business - Change Your Life!

Sonoma County: News and Notes

Well now that Earnings Season is over and I have done my posts there, I want to return to one of my ongoing topics: Water. We are now fully past the rainy season for the summer. The question is for each of us is how can we help. I like to relate this back to a Business Topic. When someone is trying to change their business, they often look for magic bullets. In many ways, they are hard to find. So instead of going in that direction, we can look at our own lives and do something small and simple.

For example, my washing machine allows me to run an extra rinse cycle on my clothes. I have simply turned that off and skipped it. The same thing is true of my dishwasher. Now, I recognize that these are not big deals individually. But add them up, and we can get to a big change in our water usage. So, walk around your home and think about all the places you use water and see if you can do one small thing to reduce your usage. You can do the same thing in your workplace.

Maintenance can help considerably. Are there leaks and drips that you have not had fixed? Well, now is the time. How about your lawn sprinklers? Have you made sure that they are used only at night? Have you optimized the settings to ensure you are not over watering? Can you find a system that is just as effective but uses less water?

In fact, I would expect many people to turn to Xeriscaping to reduce water usage at their homes. But we can also look at this for work as well. You can talk to the Property Management company about it. It will save money in the long term.

Another thing you can consider is grey water systems if you need irrigation at all. There are plenty of choices and systems available. There are other things that are possible as well. You can do the research and see what you can see. It can save you money as well as reducing your water consumption.

Remember, Water is a big deal in our local economy. We have a lot of agricultural products (particularly the Wine Business), breweries/distilleries and food manufacturing companies that we want jobs from. If water becomes scare, it could impact our local economy. Something to consider when you want to take that long shower. If we all pitch in just a little, then this will not be an issue for us in the long term. Remember lots of small changes means we don't need to find that magic bullet.

The Sonoma County Water Agency and the City of Santa Rosa both have some great information on their Websites.

Have a great day! Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

Change Your Business - Change Your Life!

Sonoma County: News and Notes

Wow, it has been a crazy couple of weeks for me. I am just about back onto a normal schedule. I had a client that wanted me to do a project that was full time just for them. I didn't disrupt my current client schedules so I ended up with a couple of weeks of 60+ hours. Blogging became the thing at the bottom. Then I had a couple of hiccups with WordPress. For my readers, I started on WordPress but also use LinkedIn and my Website. The WordPress issues are resolved and I should be back on a normal schedule. I have booths at both the upcoming YPN Professional Development Day (4/30) and the Santa Rosa Business Showcase (5/7). Stop by and say hi!

This week I want to talk about one of the pressure points of the local economy - Water. It looks like Real Estate should loosen up "soon", but the drought will add a lot of pressure to us here in Sonoma County. The Wineries, Vineyards, Breweries, Distilleries and Food Manufacturers are all businesses heavily dependent upon water. If the drought continues, it is going to put pressure on those businesses.

To me the question is what can each of us do about it? Simply put, we can take a look at our water usage both in our businesses and in our personal life. In our personal life, the easiest thing to look at is Landscaping. There are many fine Landscapers in town that can put in Xeriscape and other lower water usage Landscaping. This can be true in our Business Life as well. I know that Carolyn Pistone at Clear Blue Commercial Property Management would love to help you with that.

Beyond that, you can look into Grey Water recovery. I was at a presentation where the Ice Rink at the Schulz Museum lowered their water consumption dramatically by working at it. I thought about that while was at the gym the other day. They do lots of laundry and the showers are used heavily. I have suggested to them to look into it. Is there something your business can do to cut water usage?

I am going to be offering a new Online Program called the Green Belt Business Mastery Course starting May 7th. The target audience for this is businesses that would like to have a Business Coach but feel unable to afford 1 on 1 coaching. This is the first in a series of courses running from Green Belt to Black Belt as well as some specialty Black Belt Classes. If you are interested or know someone who might be, feel free to contact me at for more information. You can also find HERE a document that shows the curriculum for the Green Belt!

Just a reminder if you are interested in visiting a great BNI group come visit us at Legends at the Bennett Valley Golf Course on Fridays just before 7AM. The “Best Networkers In Town” would be happy to have you visit. Great way to meet around 40 Business People here in Sonoma County. If you want any other information about this let me know. We provide Breakfast and you get to meet 40+ Business Owners. Ask yourself: If I do business with just one of those people, how much revenue can I make. You can find the group HERE!

Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Business Coaching, Executive Training, Sales Training, Marketing

Change Your Business - Change Your Life!

Sonoma County: News and Notes

I want to remind folks about my next Event which is a joint Webinar with Roy Johnston of Johnston/Thomas. Roy and I will be talking about "Succession Planning: Create Your Future". The Webinar will be held on 10/28 @ 9AM and you can Register HERE! Again, this is free of charge. Succession Planning is all about "Who is Next?". If you are a Small Business Owner, why should you think about the next owner of your business. Do you want to sell it to family? How do you maximize your . If you are a Corporate Executive, do you have a plan to replace yourself so that you can reach the next stage of your career? These are typical questions in Succession. So, create your own next step - don't wait for it to be forced on you. I recently spoke to Tim and Stephanie Sharp of Sharpshooter's Carpet Cleaning. There has been some changes in that world of late and thought it would be good for all of you to know about them. Here are some highlights from our discussion.

Jim Sackman: So, Thanks for taking time to talk to me. What is new in the world of Carpet Cleaning? Tim and Stephanie: Well, it is not really new but there has been a lot of advancement in the Dry Process for Carpet Cleaning. We specialize in that type of Cleaning. JS: What is special about the Dry Cleaning Process? TaS: There are some big advantages. Many of our business clients are Professional Offices like a CPA's, Doctor or Attorney. Because it is a Dry Process, there is little downtime in the Office. We can come in after hours on one night and the office is good to go the next morning. JS: That makes a lot of sense. Are there any other benefits? TaS: There are the general benefits of Carpet Cleaning. For example, the reduction of allergins of all kinds. In Sonoma County, that is very important. On top of that, Dry Cleaning helps keep carpets clean longer by attaching to dirt particles and allowing them to be vacuumed. JS: So, it keeps things cleaner? TaS: Yes, and having a nice clean carpet is part of presenting a great appearance to customers. You really want folks to see how nice your office looks. JS: Is there anything else you would like people to know about the Dry Process? TaS: There are environmental advantages from the Dry Process. We are saving water. Given that we are in a drought, we think that this is important. On top of that, we don't need a large van with a water tank. This means we can use smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles. This saves on Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

I think that you should chat with Tim and Stephanie the next time you need Carpet Cleaning. You can contact them at (707) 595-0728,

As we are into Q4, I want to make sure that people have thought about an Annual Operating Plan for their Business. Unlike a larger Business Plan, an Annual Plan provides very specific ideas of what will make your business work over the next 12 months. If you are interested in such a plan and don't know where to start, contact me at A properly executed plan will more than pay for itself! If you want to understand the service better, then click HERE!

Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Change Your Business - Change Your Life! Business Coaching, Sales Training, Web Marketing, Behavioral Assessments, Financial Analysis

Sonoma County: News and Notes

To start with as a reminder I am co-hosting a Workshop on "Building an Integrated Marketing Plan" with N2 Publishing and Fuze (the Fuzeviewer Team). This workshop is being held at Stout Brothers on September 24th @ 5:30PM. Expect about 1 hour of presentations followed by about an hour of networking. I have a few spots available and the event is free! If you have any interest, contact me at There are some interesting events coming up in the near future. First is offered by the Sonoma County Economics Development Board. It is an Economics Outlook presentation by Dr. Chris Thornberg. It will be held at the Hyatt on Railroad Square in Santa Rosa. I went to last year's presentation and found it both interesting and fun. He hit one of the things that has been a highlight of this year - lack of single family home construction. If you want some general information about the Economy, this is the place to be. You can visit the EDB's website for more information.

A different view on things will be the North Bay Business Journal's Impact Sonoma Conference. These have a great list of speakers and panels on important industries for Sonoma County. This event will be held October 10th @ the Hyatt as well. It is a great chance to meet the owners of all kinds of businesses.

I am also asking people to take a look at the Professional Services Marketing Group - North Bay. They have a great conference coming up on October 16th at the Sonoma Mountain Events Center. Last year, the Keynote was delivered by a LinkedIn VP. The Conference is called "Ahead of the Curve" and is all about the forefront of Marketing. I highly recommend the group and the conference. Visit their website HERE to learn more!

Finally, I am offering an Annual Operating Plan (AOP) Workshop/Coaching Product. This is intended for businesses to create a plan for 2015. The product will be broken into 4, 60-90 minute Workshop on Vision & Clarity, Marketing & Branding, Financials and Strategic Initiatives. There will also be 2, 60 minute one on one sessions to document the AOP and a Dashboard. A Dashboard breaks the 2015 AOP into measurable objectives. Those measures allow you to understand where you are during the year against your AOP in an objective way. This way you can do more of what is working and change what isn't. The classes will be held in Santa Rosa starting on October 30th. The . The cost for this product is $900 and for more information you can contact me at

Jim Sackman Focal Point Business Coaching Change Your Business - Change Your Life! Business Coaching, Sales Training, Web Marketing, Behavioral Assessments, Financial Analysis

More from Sonoma County

On the Sonoma County front, some big changes are happening.

The Graton Resort and Casino is set to open next week. This was an $820M project and will likely have a huge impact on us locally. This is said to be the largest casino in California and the closest to the Bay area. This has been a highly controversial project and will continue to be so. I plan to visit the casino over the Thanksgiving Holiday. My son has a break from school and I think I owe it to myself as a resident to see what it is. There are already plenty of TV ads running for the opening. I have no idea of what will ultimately come out of this, but this is one of the huge changes to our local economy.

Speaking of changes in May 2014 Sonoma Clean Power will start serving residents. Again, I have no idea how this will work. Most people are supposed to see little to no difference in their lives. They will still get their bill from PG&E, but over time residents will get their power from this local agency. People will have the choice on how green the power they choose is. If you live or work in Sonoma County, then you should visit for more information. I am aware that some businesses are looking at this as a way to generate some revenue by selling solar power. For some that might make a lot of sense.

One change I am making myself is that I am going to work on being certified as a Green Business! I will do this in conjunction with the Green Business Program of the Sonoma County Economic Development Board. I was at an event last week called Saving Water: Business to Business that allowed me to meet lots of folks in the Water Agency and EDB. I figure its time to do what I can in my business. I will let you know what I find out along the way and my progress. Thanks to Kevin Kumataka at the Sonoma County EDB for explaining the program and encouraging me to participate!

I have been going to lunch with many friends and colleagues lately and my favorite place to take them when I can is the Culinary Cafe at the Santa Rosa Junior College. Some of you know my son is in that program. The school is built around this restaurant that serves lunch 3 days a week. It is a good school and I can vouch that the food is great! If you can, this is a way that you can help the students and the school. Reservations are recommended and the cafe is only open when school is in session.

Finally, I would like to let everyone know that I am holding a Sales Workshop in Rohnert Park at the Doubletree on 11/22. This is an all day event and is based on the work of well known author Brian Tracy. If you know anyone that needs this, please forward this along or let me know! Feel free to contact me for more details or go the following link to learn more.

Jim Sackman
FocalPoint Business Coaching, independently owned and operated by Jim Sackman Business Coaching
We focus on your business - Time, Team, Money, Exit
Coaching, Sales Training, Web Marketing, Behavioral Assessments, Financial Analysis