Strictly Business – Melissa Carter, International Trade Assistance Center

(Submitted by Patrick Dengel, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center and Adjunct Instructor, University of Rio Grande MBA Program/OSU South Centers Collaboration, OSU South Centers)

Published on YouTube OSU South Centers
on February 26, 2015

Ryan Mapes and Mike Thompson speak with Melissa Carter about International Trade Assistance. Discussion questions include: What is the International Trade Assistance Center? Can any industry export? How can you help businesses who are looking to start exporting? How can you help businesses who have already exported their products for many years that want to expand? Are there grants available to export? and more.

Mike Thompson, Director of Instructional Design & Media Services at the University of Rio Grande Mike Thompson, Rio Grande University, Ryan Mapes, Program Leaders and Director of Endeavor Center at OSU South Centers, and Melissa Carter, Director of International Trade Assistance Center at OSU South Centers.

18 Key Points for Creating an Effective Sales Attitude

(Submitted by Patrick Dengel, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center and Adjunct Instructor, University of Rio Grande MBA Program/OSU South Centers Collaboration, OSU South Centers)

Sale Sale Sale SaleYou need to have an effective sales attitude to be successful in sales. Staying motivated through the ups and downs of the sales cycle is a must. It is imperative for you to be able to cope with rejection and move quickly to take advantage of opportunities to impress potential clients. Here are some insights that have been found to be effective:

1. See that every day is a new opportunity to sell.
2. Know who and where customers are located.
3. Believe in the products and services, which will truly help customers’ needs.
4. Know that customers must first trust before they purchase.
5. Listen to customers. They will tell you what they want in the first 15 minutes.
6. Be consistent, persistent, and follow through with on-going and new customers.
7. Treat people with honesty, integrity, respect, and dignity.
8. Never talk badly about the competitors.
9. Smile.
10. Write down customer details after a sales presentation.
11. Use time appropriately. Learn the right time to sell and the right time to do paperwork.
12. Establish Daily – Weekly – Monthly Sales Goals.
13. Recognize that small successes over a short period of time lead to large successes over a long period of time.
14. Pay attention to small details.
15. Keep track of trends.
16. Take time to recognize successes. Too much time can be spent on what is not accomplished and not enough time on what has been done.
17. Participate in business organizations such as Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis and other groups that can help you network and ultimately make more sales.
18. And finally, NEVER GIVE UP!

Taking Action

(Submitted by Ryan Mapes, Manager, Endeavor Center and Program Leader, Business Development Network, OSU South Centers)

When creating a business or marketing plan, you must realize that ideas, or a list of ideas is not a plan. Plans that include goals will help you make your ideas become a reality. Focusing only on the end result may not get you where you need to be today or tomorrow.
2015 5-14 Smart Goals chalkboard Pic - R Mapes
Set short-term and long-term goals so that you take action. Effective goals should be realistic, measurable, and should state a target completion date. I recommend that you consider the SMART goal methodology when creating the goals that will assist you in following through with your plan.

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Target Date

When you have ideas that you want to achieve, make a plan and set goals as to how you will put your ideas into action. Breaking the overall plan down into smaller segments with goals greatly increases your chances of successfully reaching your desired outcome. Most business owners do not plan to fail, they fail to plan.

Below is an example of a MS Office Excel spreadsheet to help with your planning efforts.

2015 5-14 Smart Goals Excel Pic - R Mapes

Advertisement, Promotion, Marketing, Public Relations, and Publicity defined

(Submitted by Patrick Dengel, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center and Adjunct Instructor, University of Rio Grande MBA Program/OSU South Centers Collaboration, OSU South Centers)

1. ADVERTISEMENT – Bringing your product or service to the attention of potential and current customers such as: newspapers, brochures, signs, commercials, etc.

2. PROMOTION – Keeps the product or service in minds of customers and helps stimulate the demands for the product such as on-going advertisement, publicity, promotional, technology and specific time of year promotions.
P Dengel

3. MARKETING – Activities to make sure you are meeting the needs of your customers. Can include: market research, what potential customers are available, what their needs are, what products they use, what the competition is, finding the market niche, pricing of your products, and promoting them through advertisement.

4. PUBLIC RELATIONS – Ongoing activities to insure your company has a strong public image.

5. PUBLICITY – Companies who get mentioned, but have little say as to what is said about them.

Examples of each:
Paint a sign on an elephant “circus coming to town” that is advertisement.
Walking the elephant through town, that is promotion.
Elephant tramples on mayor’s flower that is publicity.
Mayor laughs that is public relations.
If people attend the circus – that is sales.

Use Infographics to draw attention to your business

(Submitted by Kimberly Roush, Program Assistant, Ohio Cooperative Development Center and Business Development Network, OSU South Centers)

So what is an infographic? Infographics are defined as a visualization of data or ideas in a picture or graphic format that conveys complex information to an audience in a manner that can be quickly consumed and easily understood.Infographic-of-infographics 1

At present, interest in infographics is growing rapidly. According to a Google survey in 2013, searches for infographics had increased by more than 800 percent in just two years, and it continues to grow in popularity today.

So why should you use infographics? Internet users have a diminishing attention span. Infographics have the ability to use visually appealing and easy to understand pictures and tables to grab a reader’s attention as well as “get the point across” before interest is lost. Neuroscience studies explain why these infographics have taken the world by storm. Based on research from the 3M Company, 90% of information transmitted to our brains is visual and visual images are processed 60,000 times quicker than text

Tips to create great Infographics:
• Keep it simple
• Stick to a color theme
• Use interesting facts and statistics from your data or research
• Create a visual story that supports data comparison
• Make it fun, informative, and entertaining
• Keep in mind, it’s about quickly conveying meaning behind complex data

Use graphs, charts, and other templates for displaying data:
• Timelines
• Flow charts
• Maps
• Graphs
• Venn diagrams
• Size comparisons

There are numerous applications that can help generate key pieces (bar graphs, pie charts, flow charts, word graphics) to include in your infographic. I have listed a few free applications with templates to make creating an infographic a snap:
If you use a lot of charts and graphs, then this is the application for you. turns boring charts into fun visuals for your visitors to view! (Create a Log in. Free.)

This site uses a simple drag-and-drop method that could benefit anyone new to the world of infographic creation. (Create a Log in. Three options: Free Forever Free with limited options, Monthly Professional User, and Annual Company Pro.)

This site has some great themes and fun colors to make your infographics unique and interesting. (Create a Log in. Free)

Cooperative development business model is used to address a group need

(Submitted by Patrick Dengel, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center and Adjunct Instructor, University of Rio Grande MBA Program/OSU South Centers Collaboration, OSU South Centers)

Published on YouTube OSU South Centers
on April 23, 2015

STRICTLY BUSINESS: Brad Bapst and Mike Thompson discuss the Ohio Cooperative Development Center (OCDC) Program with OSU South Centers’ Program Manager, Hannah Scott. The Ohio Cooperative Development Center supports improving economic conditions through the development of all types of cooperative and “cooperative like” groups.

Mike Thompson, Director of Instructional Design & Media Services at the University of Rio Grande, Brad Bapst, Director of Small Business Development Center at OSU South Centers, and Hannah Scott, Program Manager of the Ohio Cooperative Development Center at OSU South Centers.

Does Everybody Know?

(Submitted by Brad Bapst, Director, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Does everyone in your organization know the financial situation of the company they are working for? If not, you may be setting yourself up for turmoil. This type of management is called open book management. Many successful organizationsOpen Book share important operational and financial information with their employees so they can effectively do their jobs.

What information, how much and how frequently it is shared varies widely from one organization to the next. In its simplest form, open book management includes sharing some level of financial information with employees so they can understand “the big picture” of how the organization is doing and how the employees’ individual actions affect the results.

The primary objective of open book management is getting the employees to both think and act as though each individual is a part owner of the business. Sometimes this can be a difficult process, because it is not as simple as handing each employee a copy of the most recent financial report.

They must be educated about all of the financial information of the company and learn about how their efforts contribute to or adversely impact the bottom line. Employees in this setting must have motivation and want the company to succeed, if not, the sharing of the financial information could cause many other issues for the company that could have counterproductive results. Critical financial information could fall into the wrong hands and put the company in financial jeopardy.

Potential benefits of open book management can impact many areas of an organization:
• Overall culture of the organization improves (teamwork, innovation, morale)
• Employees are more engaged in their work
• Reporting and budgets become more accurate
• The organization’s adaptability to change and adversity becomes much greater

ManagementIf your organization is struggling as a result of employees who have become disengaged and have lost overall trust with the company, consider open book management as a possible solution. It may not be the answer to all of your issues in the company, but it can help employees to feel more valued and assured that they are getting the whole financial story.