6 Tips for Mothers on Starting a Business

(Shared by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, OSU South Centers)

Written by: Purusha Rivera

Starting a business can be an exciting and sometimes intimidating prospect, especially when you’re a mom.

But more and more mothers are taking the plunge and pursuing their dreams of entrepreneurship. 11.6 million women in the U.S. own their own business—it’s actually the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs, so if you’re a mom with dreams of being self-employed or starting your own business, you’re in good company.

As you navigate the world of being a business owner and juggling the demands of home and family, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Avoid analysis paralysis
  • Know your limits and ask for help
  • Schedule family time on your calendar
  • Learn to work around the busy parts of your day
  • Limit other distractions
  • Take care of yourself

To read the full article, click here.

 

Get a Business Credit Card to Build Your Startup’s Credit

(Shared by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, OSU South Centers)

Written by: Jacob Lunduski

Building business credit creates more financial opportunities for your business. Banks, lenders, and other suppliers all rely on business credit reports to assess the creditworthiness of your company.

According to the Small Business Administration, 46 percent of businesses used personal credit cards for business expenses. This statistic shows that many businesses fail to separate business and personal expenses, which is necessary to establish business credit.

Why should I use a business credit card instead of a personal credit card? Business credit acts as your business’s financial reputation. If you can borrow money as an individual, why go through the trouble of borrowing in the name of your business?

1. Business credit cards help separate personal and business finances

2. Business credit cards help establish a profile for your business

3. Business credit cards help build your business’s credit, as long as used with discipline

4. Business credit cards provide higher credit limits than personal credit cards

5. Business credit cards earn your business rewards

6. Business credit cards provide your business with certain benefits

To read the full article, click here.

10 Phishing Examples in 2017 that Targeted Small Business

(Shared by Amanda Walter, Business Intern with OSU South Centers)

Written by:  

Did you know 60 percent of small businesses that have been hacked go out of business within six months of the cyber-attack? With phishing scams on the rise, businesses need to be aware of the various attacks in circulation and how to be prepared if they fall victim to a malicious cyber-attack.

Phishing Examples

Take a look at the following ten phishing examples in 2017 that targeted small businesses.

The ‘Shipping Information’ Phishing Scam

In July this year, internet security company Comodo disclosed a new type of phishing scam specifically targeting small businesses. Phishing emails were sent out to more than 3,000 businesses, including the subject line ‘Shipping Information’.

The email noted a forthcoming delivery by United Parcel Service (UPS) and included a seemingly innocent package tracking link. When the recipient clicked on the link it contained malware, potentially releasing a virus.

WannaCry

On May 12, 2017, WannaCry exploited a weakness in Microsoft’s operating systems to deliberately infect computers. When the worm was infiltrated, it encrypted the infected operating systems, rendering them unusable. The hackers subsequently demanded a ransom for unlocking the encryption. Small businesses void of up-to-take IT infrastructure were particularly exposed to the WannaCry attack.

 

To read the full article, please follow this link.

10 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

(Shared by Amanda Walter, Business Intern with OSU South Centers)

Written By Shobhit Seth | Updated December 15, 2017 — 11:44 AM EST

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Here are 10 characteristics that set successful entrepreneurs apart:

  1. Passion and Motivation
  2. Not Afraid to Take Risks
  3. Self-belief, Hard Work and Disciplined Dedication
  4. Adaptable and Flexible
  5. Product and Market Knowledge
  6. Strong Money Management
  7. Effective Planning (Not Over-Planning) Skills
  8. The Right Connections
  9. Exit Preparedness
  10. Ability to Question Themselves – But Not Too Much

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Instead of worrying about fitting the image, check in with your gut. Is it on board?

To read the full article, follow this link.

Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation Offerings

(Shared by Melissa Carter, Business Specialist, Small Business Development Center)

The Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation (SOACDF) is again offering an opportunity for farmers in Southern Ohio.  The Young Farmer Agricultural Program is designed to facilitate growing an agricultural enterprise to the next level.  The intent of the program is to help promote and ensure a strong future in southern Ohio agriculture.  Eligible applicants must be ages 20 – 38 as of August 1, 2017 and must reside within the 22 counties the Foundation currently serves.

The Agricultural Development Program is open to any individual who resides within the 22 counties the Foundation currently serves that have either a Farm Service Agency (FSA) number on record. It is very similar to the Young Farmer, however there is no age requirement.

SOACDF will award up grants in both of programs of up to $25,000 each.  The grants will be 50% cost shares with the awardees.

Applications, including a business plan, will be accepted for the programs throughout August. Applications will be available starting July 1st at the SOACDF office in Hillsboro, the local Farm Service Agency or online at www.soacdf.net.

SOACDF will hold informational meetings for First Hand Information:

  • Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. – Cherry Fork Community Center, SR 136, Cherry Fork

  • Thursday, July 5, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. – Southern Hills Career & Technical Center, Board of Education Building

 Hamer Rd, Georgetown

  • Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. – C.H. McKenzie Ag Center, Jackson Pike, Gallipolis

The Business Development Network is available to meet with applicants to review components of their applications and business plan.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Jennifer Dunn at 740-289-1605.  Please call to schedule an appointment before August 13th.

 

CFAES Center for Cooperatives Launches Co-op Mastery

(Shared by Ivory Harlow, Program Specialist, CFAES Center for Cooperatives)

The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Center for Cooperatives launched Co-op Mastery: Beyond Cooperatives 101, a new and innovative online training course designed to educate cooperative members, boards, management, employees, and students.

Co-op Mastery: Beyond Cooperatives 101 is made possible by a grant from the CHS Foundation 2017 Cooperative Education Grants Program. The training is housed in The Ohio State University’s public-facing online education platform. It is free and can be accessed online at go.osu.edu/coopmastery.

Caption: Co-op Mastery is a new online learning tool launched by The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences Center for Cooperatives.

“Co-op Mastery curriculum focuses on mid-level knowledge about the cooperative business model,” said Center for Cooperatives Program Manager, Hannah Scott.  “Training modules build on existing fundamental materials by providing an in-depth look at governance, finance, taxation and other areas not typically covered by courses in fundamentals, yet challenging topics for stakeholders.”

The training features eight modules which include video interviews with numerous leaders in the cooperative movement:

  • Logan County Electric Cooperative General Manager Rick Petty discusses cooperative principles and various functions of cooperatives.
  • Dennis Bolling retired President and CEO of United Producers Cooperative shares the benefits cooperatives provide members.
  • Mid-America Cooperative Counsel Executive Director Rod Kelsay discusses effective education and training the Board of Directors.
  • Ohio State Univerisity Extension Educator Dr. Chris Bruynis gives insight to key factors that contribute to a cooperative’s success.
  • Nationwide’s VP of Sponsor Relations Devin Fuhrman shares the story of Nationwide’s history as a mutual cooperative company.
  • Agricultural attorney Carolyn Eselgroth of Barrett, Easterday, Cunningham and Eselgroth, LLP addresses legal considerations when forming a cooperative business.
  • Co-Bank Senior Relationship Manager Gary Weidenborner leads users through an interactive financial document exercise.
  • David Hahn, Professor Emeritus the Ohio State University, explains cooperative taxation.

“We invite folks to ask questions and receive answers from our Center staff in the online Co-op Forum,” said Joy Bauman, Program Coordinator.  “They can also browse an extensive collection of online resources in the Cooperative Library.”

The CFAES Center for Cooperatives offers customized in-person workshops to complement the online training. Workshops are designed to serve the requesting cooperative’s needs. Examples include: new employee education, board of director education, strategic plan development, cooperative marketing and policy development. Workshop participants receive a companion workbook with activities to fortify learning. They gain on-going access to Co-op Mastery online training materials, which they may work through at their own pace or search for specific information to meet immediate needs. Users can return to the Co-op Mastery online materials at any time to troubleshoot cooperative issues and they can receive ongoing technical assistance from CFAES Center for Cooperatives staff. To request a workshop or more information, visit go.osu.edu/cooperatives or contact the Center for Cooperatives at osucooperatives@osu.edu or 740-289-2071 ext. 111.

 

Social Media Class – June 20th

(Shared by Melissa Carter, Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center)

Next Wednesday, June 20th, there will be a Social Media class offered at the OSU South Centers.  This class will focus on:

  • New and trending tips for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube
  • Generating good reviews and managing negative reviews
  • Creating relevant content

There will also be time for open Q&A for any questions or issues you may have with your social media.

Register at: sopoc.ecenterdirect.com

 

Take Your Business Outside

(Written by Melissa Carter, Business Advisor, OSU South Centers Small Business Development Center)

If you have a store front business, the recent weather has provided a great time to take your business outside. Hold sidewalk sales to gain visibility and new sales. Here’s a few ways to increase your business:

  • Provide variety – appeal to a variety of clients and offer different items.
  • Impulse buys – Just because your products are outside does not mean you need to discount them. Seeing a product out front may create an impulse buy for a consumer and won’t realize it is not on sale.
  • Work with your neighbors – talk with other businesses on your block and all decide what day(s) are best to hold sidewalk sales – then promote collaboratively!
  • Prop your doors open – This encourages browsers to come inside.
  • Signage – Don’t want to put your product outside? Just get a sign to prop up outside with a call to action written on it. New sale? New product? Put it on a sign to catch the eye of passersby.

Sidewalk sales are great for businesses who may not fully know what is in your store. Have staff available to stay outside with your product or at least able to keep an eye on the outside.

 

Ohio MEP High School Internship Program

(Shared by Kelly O’Bryant, Business Advisor, Manufacturing Extension Program)

High school students who have studied and developed manufacturing-related skills have the opportunity to be placed in a company through an internship program offered by the Ohio Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).

See flyer for more details:Ohio High School Internship Flyer

Lunch and Learn: State and Federal Funding Programs

(Shared by Kelly O’Bryant, Business Advisor, Manufacturing Extension Program)

Eric Wagner, Senior Collaboration Officer at the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence, will discuss how small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies can apply for and utilize federal and state funding programs. These programs target small and medium companies which have the potential for growth in Ohio.

Learn about programs such as:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Program (AMP) and other programs administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA)
  • Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Voucher program administered by the federal government.

Eric will inform guests about the available programs and highlight some successes CDME has had for our small business clients. In certain cases, CDME will assist with the identification, development, capture, and execution of funding from these programs for the growth of our clients.

This lunch and learn event is targeted towards small- and medium-sized Ohio companies engaged in manufacturing.

To register, log on here: