Become a Member

Business Connect Luncheon: Harriet Parker-WCC Illinois Small Business Development Center


Harriet Parker, manager of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College was the guest speaker of the October Business Connect Luncheon held at the scenic Kennedy Pointe Restaurant and Pub. With suggestions on How to Thrive/Survive During Challenging Economic Times, Harriet Parker, shared a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis Template to guide business professionals on effective strategic planning. Sharing that Covid has become an excuse for not providing good customer service and that therein lies an opportunity for one’s business to stand out.

Here are just a few of the many thought-provoking takeaways:

  • Be proactive about connecting with your customers.
  • Assure that your culture is being universally executed in your business.
  • Proactively look at your competition.
  • Use strategic planning to help respond to changing market trends and more.
  • Reduce employee turnover by putting documented procedures and process in place.
  • Check what measurement tools are on your dashboard to keep an eye on your metrics to avoid a crash.
  • What kind of data are you keeping on your business? What kind of data should you be keeping?
  • How do you implement that data?
  • Determine your value proposition, remember that you don’t have to be the right fit for everyone.
  • Clarify your position against your competitors.
  • How are you perceived by your customers compared to others in your field?
  • Clearly articulate what you do that is different or better for your customer.

Additionally, Harriet emphasized the importance of Face-to-Face networking so that people get to know YOU. So be sure to work on your elevator pitch and change it up to make yourself memorable.

This month’s Luncheon Host was Old Second National Bank.


Be sure to join us for the November Business Connect Luncheon at Silver Fox Bar & Grill when speaker Brandon Bernicky of Nextsulting will share Tech Tips for businesses.

Contributing Photographers: