July’s newsletter shares some excellent basics of starting your own business. Every chamber is different, but the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance’s membership base is mostly made up of smaller businesses with less than 50 employees. This often requires us to offer coaching and resources to the area businesses we serve.

I mentioned in the June newsletter that one of the best parts of my job is to sit down with new business owners and listen to their plans for their business. I often hear the passion for what the business is selling, but the details on how to operate the business are often missing. We want to see them succeed.

We do our best at the chamber to advise new business owners, connect them to affordable resources in our community and within our membership base. We work to secure their success in every way possible.

This article really breaks down in simple language what every new business owner needs to consider when starting their business: What makes your business unique, are you needed? Are you filling a gap or need in your community, are you staying on top of your finances? (This was a must when I started working at the chamber)!

The last point in the article advises that business owners use their instincts. You know your business best. You will get to know your service area and community. Tap into that.  I know I asked a lot of questions when I started at the chamber. So many people were trying to sell us trainings, media, and services. To be honest, we couldn’t afford any of it, but I listened to them all and took it up the chain until I felt I had my footing. The board of directors would say to me, what are your instincts on this? I would say, well, I don’t understand why we would need that (or, I can see how this would help our members)…and they said that’s your answer. Obviously, this has a lot to do with confidence in what you are selling or producing.

I hope you take a minute to read this article, it’s not long and keeps the message pretty on point.


CeeCee Collins is President of the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance.

She was born and raised in Beavercreek, Ohio, CeeCee Collins attended Carroll High School and has been a swimmer her entire life. She received her undergraduate degree at Xavier University where she also participated on the swim team for four years. She graduated from college in 1989 and began working at USA Today Newspaper as a Regional Marketing Manager. After marrying James Collins IV, they moved to Tampa, FL where she worked for the Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA for 6 years as an Executive Director.

CeeCee and her family moved back to the tri-state area after her second child’s birth. She continued to work for the Greater Cincinnati YMCA for 10 years part-time. CeeCee then pursued full-time work and became the Development Director at Ohio Valley Voices for 6 years. Throughout her years at the YMCA and Ohio Valley Voices she was active in the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance (formerly the Loveland Area Chamber of Commerce). She became the President of the Chamber in 2013.

CeeCee continues to enjoy working at the chamber and keeping up with her three children.  She and Jim live in Miami Township.

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