Andrew Cook, assistant manager, Utrecht Art Supplies

Browsers & Shoppers

Retailers check consumers' pulse with social media

As shopkeepers have done for thousands of years, Andrew Cook talks with his customers about what he ought to carry at the Utrecht Art Supplies store on Howe Avenue. The difference is that Cook, Utrecht’s assistant manager, holds the conversations on Facebook. The store had nearly 800 fans as of late November.

Dec 1, 2009 Robert Celaschi
Cache Creek Casino Resort began as a bingo hall but has slowly added amenities, such as this year-old 18-hole championship golf course, in its push to become a destination resort.

Full House

Have casinos reached market saturation in the Capital Region?

Red Hawk Casino opened in December, just weeks after economic woes sent the stock market plunging. The launch of the new venue just off Highway 50 coincided with a sharp drop in gross gaming revenue at Nevada’s Lake Tahoe casinos, and California casinos also felt the sting as gamblers gave Red Hawk a try.

Oct 1, 2009 Adam Weintraub
Amy Mathews, corporate banking manager, Mechanics Bank.

Info Mobile

How smart phones are changing the face of business

Late on a work night, Amy Mathews picked up her ringing BlackBerry to find a frantic customer on the other end. On an airplane nearing departure for Buenos Aires, a woman realized her debit card was on the verge of expiration. She would be out of the country for weeks without an easy way to access cash. Mathews knew she held the solution in her palm. From her BlackBerry, the corporate banking manager at Mechanics Bank fired off a couple emails and got a new debit card ordered in minutes.

Jul 1, 2009 Kyle Monk

Civically Minded

Civics are nine times wealthier than the rest of us, so how can you cash in?

If I wanted my 20-year-old son to join me for a late meal, I’d text him: “Buffet on me.” But I would never ever text my 86-year-old mother with a dinner invitation. For her, there would be a phone call with plenty of formalities and forewarning, a promise of a nice, sit-down establishment and a start time of 4:00 p.m. to take advantage of early bird specials. Why? Because each generation communicates differently.

Jul 1, 2014 Gordon Fowler
As part of Comstock's 25th anniversary, and in lieu of a monthly publisher's letter, publisher Winnie Comstock-Carlson is inviting business leaders to present their views on what's shaping and defining the Capital Region.

Calling All Brandoulas

Branding Sacramento is essential to our economic development

Does a community’s brand matter? 

Consider this. A local medical practice recently tried to recruit a dermatologist. After an extensive search, they offered the job to a young, out-of-state doctor — who couldn’t convince his wife to move to Sacramento. “I’m not moving there,” she told him. “It’s boring.” The search started over.

May 1, 2014 Christi Black-Davis
(www.istockphoto.com)

14 for ‘14

The essential business metrics you need to track in the new year

New Year’s is the quintessential time for small businesses to make (and keep) resolutions for growth. But achieving your company’s 2014 goals hinges on knowing some important numbers, and many businesses never go beyond their income to identify and track essential metrics. Here are the 14 most important performance measures to track this year.

Nov 1, 2013 Kelly Azevedo
(istockphoto.com)

Eat it Up

Why you should salivate over Sacramento’s farm-to-fork mantra

In October of last year, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson declared Sacramento the “Farm-to-Fork Capital of America,” presenting the city with a long-term opportunity to build a distinct brand identity that could help the region attract and retain citizens, conventions, tourists and entrepreneurs. It’s especially valuable because a strong regional identity gives energy to the economic engines that make cities successful. Anyone needing proof can look directly to Austin, Texas.

Sep 1, 2013 Mike Testa

Branding’s Triple Threat

Get ready for the ride of your life

Starting a new business or looking to maximize your brand’s impact on your bottom line?

While a brand is the foundation of any business, creating that brand can be as scary and exhilarating as any rollercoaster ride – especially as a brand must achieve top marks in three essential categories in order to truly become a branding “triple-threat.”

Apr 1, 2014 Angela Criser
Sean O’Brien, financial adviser, and chair, Metro Edge at Northstar at Tahoe

The Millennial 1%

Affluent YPs are a new breed of consumer

When he’s not jet-setting to Tahiti or hobnobbing with his best friend Tom Cruise*, Sean O’Brien is just a regular guy. He’s 29, single, never pays full price when shopping online and likes to snowboard with friends in Tahoe. 

Jan 1, 2013 Mike Graff

The Company Story

Demystifying the art of branding

Product and company branding is more complex than a logo, a slogan and a catchy marketing campaign. Branding is the way consumers talk about your product or service, how they remember you and how they expect you to behave.

Jul 1, 2012 Nelson Harvey

Family Planning

Strategies for a prosperous succession

When Albert and Frances Lundberg fled the Dust Bowl-ravaged cornfields of Nebraska in 1937 to settle in the greener pastures of the northern Sacramento Valley, they did so with hope for the future.

May 1, 2012 Anne Gonzalez

Eat, Sleep & Remodel

Top 5 Capital Region reinventions

The Great Recession has cast a long shadow over the Capital Region. The economy has been static. Recovery has been slow. But in the hard-hit hospitality business, the pause has spurred opportunity for reinvention.

Mar 1, 2012 Josh Brodesky

Tech Appeal

Leveraging social media for a nonprofit cause

Monica Gonzalez recently logged onto the Facebook page of Weave Inc., an organization that treats survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, to post a simple message about how the nonprofit helped her overcome a nightmarish ordeal.

Jan 1, 2012 Allen Young

Target Audience

Niche marketing for small-business growth

When photographer Jill Carmel moved to Sacramento in 2008, she brought a bevy of cameras, a keen eye for composition and her dream of launching a niche business in a new city — a risky move, but passion trumped fear.

Jan 1, 2012 Carol Crenshaw