Tips for planning your next training event

(Submitted by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, Endeavor Center, OSU South Centers)

Endeavor Center Conf. Rm.As the New Year approaches, the need for sharing new information with your employees does also. Below are a few simple steps to help you set up your meeting.

Step 1
Set meeting topic.

Step 2
Pick a month for your meeting and a few dates within that month that would work best for your company’s schedule.

Pick your meeting location and check on availability of that location for the dates up for consideration.

Contact your presenters and select a final date.
Endeavor Center Rm 165
Finalize the location date.

Step 3
Once your meeting date is secured, decide the time of your meeting; and if you will be serving coffee, breakfast, lunch, or a snack.

Check with your location to see if they have catering service available or find a caterer. Often times, catering slots fill quickly.

Check with your presenter and see what his/her equipment needs will be. Does he/she have any flyers that will need copied or training manuals that will need to be sent to your meeting location.

Endeavor Center Rm 160Make sure your location meets the presenter’s needs.

If needed arrange a set up time at your location for your presenter.

If you are in need of assistance in scheduling your next meeting or training event, please contact Jennifer Dunn to secure a training room at the OSU Endeavor Center, 1862 Shyville Rd., Piketon, Ohio 45661. You can contact Jennifer by calling 740-289-1605 or emailing

No shortcuts for long-term solutions

(Submitted by Mick Whitt, Manufacturing Business Development Specialist, Manufacturing and Technology Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

In any department, or vocation, of any industry, it becomes easy over time to stop preforming all the necessary steps one must do to achieve consistent and confident results. Whether it is adhering to ISO instructions, properly following quality check guidelines, or completing that mundane morning equipment performance checklist, we must fight the urge to cut corners and forget how important the details really are.

quality-500953_1920 (2)Much time and money are wasted in manufacturing due to diagnosing the end result instead of going back to the beginning of the process and tracking where the real problem might have started. A finished product may be deemed a reject because it doesn’t “look right” or perform correctly, but to find the solution to the root cause you may need to start with the most basic form of quality control–simple print measurements.

To find out more about the importance of basic inspection and certification, click on this article from Quality Magazine entitled:
Back to the Basics: Inspection and Certification. Quality Measurement is the Lifeblood of the Quality System.

Who Are Small Business Credit Cards Good For?

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

While technically anyone can apply for a business credit card, these cards are usually best for small businesses and individuals who fall into the following categories:

• Self-employed individuals who travel frequently for work and want to rack up rewards
• Freelancers who need help managing their cash flow
• Consultants who may travel or entertain clients
• Small business owners or freelancers who experience irregular cash flow throughout the month
• Doctors or dentists who are part of their own practice
• Financial advisors
• Salespeople who travel for work and want to maximize travel-related rewards
• Business owners who spend heavily on office supplies and equipment

american-express-89024 (2)People who fall in these categories all have certain expenses that can be separated and classified as “business” expenses. These type of expenses can include things like meals, required travel, advertising, business development, entertainment and office space.

Meanwhile, certain types of individuals are employed by an outside company, yet asked to front expenses like gas, meals and parking. Their company is then expected to reimburse them for their purchases, but this arrangement doesn’t preclude them from getting a business credit card. In fact, this may be the type of person who could benefit from a business card the most. By using a card for their business-related expenses, they keep their expenses on a separate tab without messing with their personal cash flow.

Here are some other ways almost anyone could benefit from having a business credit card:

• Individuals who spend a lot in specific categories, such as dining and gas, could choose a card like the SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express, which offers 3% cash back in one main category of your choosing
• Like we mentioned above, individuals who are expected to pay for work-related expenses then get reimbursed can use a business card for those expenses instead of paying for everything with their own money
• Salespeople who drive a lot could benefit from a card with increased earnings on gas purchases, such as the SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express or the Ink Cash® Business Credit Card
• Businesses who spend a lot of money at office supply stores have the opportunity to earn 5 points per $1 on up to $50,000 in office supply purchases each calendar year with the Ink Plus® Business Credit Card

Source: Simple Dollar Website Excerpt taken from the 12-9-2015 The Best Business Credit Cards of 2016 article by Michael Gardon.

Work-Life Balance

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

stress-391662_1920 (2)With extra family and work activities during the holiday season, work-life balance can be a challenge. Writer, Chris Reich, understands this dilemma. Read what he shares about work-life balance in a recent TeachU blog post.

Dec 13 – Work-Life Balance Matters NOW
By Chris Reich

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of balancing work time with personal time. That may be a huge problem at your company as it is at many. If you care, you can make the effort to help your employees have better work-life balance at least through the rest of this year.

December is a month of celebrations, parties and kids. Your people have a lot of extra ‘pull’ on them to attend various functions. The kids are in plays. The relatives are having a party. Friends get together for a drink. People have football parties. This is a time of year when your people need time away from work.

If you cannot make work-life balance permanently better, you can make the effort to make things better for a while. Sure, there are a lot of year-end projects but they’ll get done if everyone pulls together.

How to do it?

If you let people know the goal is to give them more time off during this season, they will pull together to make that happen. Too often we ask for “110%” but fail to let everyone know that extra 10% will be returned in recognition for a job well done.

Don’t add stress to people during this time of year. Help them spend time with friends and family. They deserve it, don’t they?

Chris Reich, CEO TeachU

Planning your next meeting location

(Submitted by Jennifer Dunn, Program Assistant, Endeavor Center, OSU South Centers)

Endeavor Center - North sideWith 2016 just around the corner, it’s time to plan for next year’s meeting locations. If you haven’t found a space for your next conference, training workshop, or meeting, look no farther than the Endeavor Center at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio.

The Endeavor Centers is a business incubator with 20,000 square feet of rentable office space and 3,000+ square feet of rentable training classroom space.

Endeavor Center - Southeast sideTraining classroom space includes a small conference room that can accommodate up to 12, larger classrooms that can seat 50 behind tables with chairs and computer lab with access to 16 computers. Our classrooms have Wi-Fi, overhead projectors, screens, smart boards, and sound capabilities. Catering services are also available.

Contact Jennifer Dunn at 740-289-2071 x301 to assist you with your planning details.

Client Spotlight: Schmelzer Industries (2015)

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

Schmelzer Industries, Inc. in Somerset, Ohio, was founded in 1984 to manufacture quality fiberglass surfacing veils and light-weight reinforcement mats in the composites industry and began shipping products in 1986. Schmelzer Industries is a family-owned business. Tim Schmelzer said, “My Dad was the first-generation owner and operator. He is retired now, but mom still provides assistance. My siblings and I are involved with various family businesses, and I have taken the lead at Schmelzer Industries, and my sister, Monica, is our site manager.”

Tim Schmelzer 1Schmelzer Industries serves customers across the country and around the world; proudly continuing their tradition of quality products and excellent service. The company supplies products for composite processes—a surfacing veil or light-weight fiberglass reinforcement used in plastic resin mold parts used to retain surfaces.

Processes include:
• Continuous Lamination
• Electrical Flat Sheet
• Filament Winding
• Fiberglass Reinforced Gypsum
• Compressed Molding
• Pre-Forming
• Pultrusion
• Resin Transfer / Vacuum Infusion

Some product use include surfacing for: boats, helmets, lunch trays, pultrusion for windows, cars, airplanes, costume shields and masks, and anything that needs a light, strong surface material.

Tim shares, “Dad kept the business very small, very specialized. In this second generation, we are working on taking our product a little more global. We have done some business around the globe, but we recognize the worldwide industry is growing, and we need to grow with it. We began our effort by seeking input from the International Trade Assistance Center (ITAC) to expand our global reach. We spoke to Melissa Carter and Tom Bainbridge from ITAC to assist us in expanding our market in Germany and Brazil. ITAC shared names of industry contacts as well as an assessment of each country’s culture.”

Tim continues, “ITAC went through the Ohio State European Office in London to get contacts in Germany for potential industry clientele. They found a list of distributors for our product. We have whittled the list down to three and are actively working with one of the three. We received the contact report in March, and we are working on building a business relationship. We are talking about price lists, supply, packaging and shipping, but it all takes time. The contact in Germany is also willing to work on marketing in the Czech Republic and Denmark.”

Tim Schmelzer 2“The second proposed expansion location was Brazil. We have the report from Brazil and have selected two distributors of which to pursue a relationship. We have also connected with the other two potential distributors as well. One helpful piece of information was the information provided by ITAC regarding Brazil’s composites market value.” Tim said, “It gave us some idea of the GDP of the country. We understand the U.S. market because we live here, but when we go to Brazil, we are at a disadvantage.”

Tim describes, “Another part of the Schmelzer Industries plan is to get into different product lines. Only a few companies throughout the world do veil surfacing composite work. Composites are challenging because we are trying to fit other’s products, but we have the expertise to manage that challenge. Our composite can make other products better, and we are marketing it as a solution to companies that may not even now be aware of the benefit.”

To find out more about their products, go to Schmelzer Industries.

State of Ohio Looking For Companies Interested in Exporting

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Director, International Trade Assistance Center, OSU South Centers)

image001 (3)

12.16.15 – Release

The State of Ohio is looking for companies that are interested in exporting their goods or services into international markets. The Ohio Development Services Agency offers a unique opportunity to match businesses committed to exporting with college students, called the Ohio Export Internship Program.

Highly-motivated students from 12 different Ohio universities have been selected to participate in this year’s program. The goal of the internship is to help Ohio companies focus on increasing their global exports and train students in international business. Companies are provided a 50 percent reimbursement to offset the costs of intern wages.

“You don’t have to learn on your own,” said David Goodman, director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “70 percent of the world’s purchasing power is outside the U.S. and we can help you go after that to grow your business.”

The deadline for companies to apply is March 15, 2016. The 2016 internship program runs from May 16 through August 12, 2016. Ohio companies can apply at

Go to Ohio Export Internship Program to learn more.

In four years, 102 student-company matches have been created, resulting in more than $19 million in expected global sales and 17 full-time job offers. This program is a partnership between the Ohio Development Services Agency, Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University and the Williams College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University.

Agri-Talk – Chris Smalley, Business Development Specialist, SBDC

(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
on July 16, 2015

Duane, Mike, and Chris discuss the business of agriculture and assistance available to all businesses. Chris has extensive personal and professional business experience, and shares business resources available to businesses.

Chris Smalley, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center of Ohio State University South Centers.

Mike Thompson, Director of Instructional Design & Media Services at the University of Rio Grande and Duane Rigsby, Technology Coordinator of Ohio State University South Centers.

Tech-Talk – Holiday Tech Gifts

(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
on November 18, 2015

Mike Thompson, Duane Rigsby, and Kingsley Meyer discuss holiday tech gifts. Is this a season for technology gift-giving? What technology accessories might listeners have on their wish lists this year? Mike, Duane, and Kingsley share and discuss what’s new and shiny as well as the standard technology must haves.

Kingsley Meyer, Director, Campus Computing & Networking at the University of Rio Grande.

Mike Thompson, Director of Instructional Design & Media Services at the University of Rio Grande and Duane Rigsby, Technology Coordinator of Ohio State University South Centers.

South Centers Chat-Don Branson, Southern Ohio Agriculture and Community Development Foundation

(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
on November 18, 2015

Tom Worley and Don Branson’s discussion focuses on the Southern Ohio Agriculture and Community Development Foundation’s (SOACDF) mission to help create and enhance economic opportunities for Ohio tobacco farm families and rural communities. Don highlights three main areas including: agricultural development, economic development, and educational assistance.

Don Branson, Executive Director, Southern Ohio Agriculture and Community Development Foundation.

Dr. Tom Worley, Director, Ohio State University South Centers.