National Small Business Week – May 1-7

(Submitted by Melissa Carter, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

It’s time to honor all of our great small businesses in Southern Ohio. Whether you are a single entrepreneur or have many employees, this is the week to celebrate Small Businesses. Here are some initiatives to increase awareness and sales this and every week.

Yes we are open - clipart1. Join your local Chamber of Commerce – This can help with networking, promotion, and collaboration.
2. Partner with another business – Cross promote a product. Hold a promotion celebrating both businesses. It’s a great way to add new customers.
3. Incorporate social promotions – Celebrate National Small Business Week with a special hashtag, or use this week to restart your social media exposure.
4. Thank your employees – This week is a great time to thank your employees. Take them out to eat or have lunch catered in. Or a simple thank you note is just as thoughtful.
5. Set new goals – Use this week to work with your staff to determine summer marketing, new products, increase awareness, or professional development.
6. Refresh – Does your office need spring cleaning? Is it time for a new logo or new freebies? Why wait, start today!
7. Support Other Small Businesses – Shop local all week!

This is the Biggest Mistake Made in Forecasting

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

business-idea-1240825_1920 (2)

I can put today’s tip in a few words. Having reviewed many business plans, there is one common error that leads to disaster if not addressed. It starts with overly optimistic forecasting. That leads to bad budgeting which quickly ends in negative cash flow. Why are so many projections wrong? Read on…

Let’s look at data for an imaginary industry. We’ll call it the widget industry. A new study says the industry is expected to grow by 50% per year over the next 5 years! Wow! We are in the right business. But because we are smart operators, we’ll take a closer look at this data.

Digging deeper, we find that the widget business in our region is expected grow at a rate slightly larger than the national average. It gets better and better!

We can start the expansion plans. Business is going to be good for the next 5 years. If we are just average, we’ll see a 50% increase! Time to start saving those yacht brochures.

But there’s a problem.

When an industry is projected to grow, remember that will attract more businesses into the industry. Everyone wants in on a 50% year over year boom. In an expanding universe, everything expands, not just sales.

You’ll face at least 50% more competition. 50% more price pressure. 50% more pressure on margin and profit. 50% more pressure from your own customer base. And, experience shows that those pressures will expand at a rate greater than the projected increase in sales. Why? The more attractive it sounds, the more new players rush in.

Boom periods are always followed by shake-outs. Look at any industry that experienced rapid growth and you’ll see a lot of failure approaching the peak of the growth phase. New businesses start that are over-capitalized because they have no fear of risk. They soon find the huge start-up costs to be more than they can cover.

Those established in an industry projected to boom will often expand more than prudent. Better to have too much capacity than too little, right? Wrong. It is far easier and cheaper to add capacity than to get out from under excess capacity.

When the bust starts, and it will, there are buying opportunities everywhere you look. The boom starts with real estate skyrocketing in price. The bust is always marked by the availability of cheap buildings.

Here’s the take away. When projecting into the future, keep in mind that the entire system will expand. When you read that your industry is poised for growth over the coming years, plan for increased competition and market stress.

Do that and your business will survive the correction that always follows.

“Chris Reich, TeachU.com“.

Export Assistance

(Submitted by Kelly O’Bryant, Director, SBDC Export Assistance Network, OSU South Centers)

top-export-2Companies today compete in a global market that is significantly larger than the United States market. With 95 percent of the world’s population living outside the United States, it is time for small companies to explore these potential customers and benefit from these lucrative global markets.

The Ohio Small Business Development Centers Export Assistance Network located at the OSU South Centers in Piketon, serves as southern Ohio’s first point of contact for export assistance to expand businesses, by connecting Ohio entrepreneurs and small businesses with new buyers and new international markets.

The Export Assistance Network staff will assist companies by providing no-cost, in-depth and confidential counseling, including:
• assessment of your company’s global readiness
• securing international market research and regulatory information
• development of an international business plan
• international transaction assistance
• networking with service providers
• introduction to federal and state government agencies that provide services, programs, and financial resources to companies seeking to export
• training events
• financial assistance (IMAGE/AEG grants)
• Export Internship Program

For more information regarding no-cost confidential export assistance from the Ohio State University South Centers Ohio Small Business Development Centers Export Assistance Network, contact: Kelly O’Bryant, Export Assistance Director, 1864 Shyville Road, Piketon, OH 45661, Phone: 740-289-2071 ext 235, Fax: 740-289-4591, or Email: obryant.6@osu.edu

Source: Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network

The fragile nature of a new idea

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

Posted to the Ohio State University Extension-Community Development Blog
on July 10, 2014 at 10:53 am
by Becky Nesbitt, OSU Extension CD, Assistant Professor & Extension Educator (Ohio Valley EERA)

I’m a writer – well, sort of. Couched within my job as an Extension Educator is the expectation that I’ll write. Fact sheets, flyers, marketing materials, news articles…Extension folks write stuff. Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of really good – and a few not so skilled – writers. And great or bad, every writer needs a good editor – someone who can help clarify ideas, find embarrassing typos, and get those commas where they belong.

I’ve served as an editor as often as I’ve been a writer, which is why I never forget that the act of writing is kind of amazing – it’s like creating something from nothing; and editing is like taking that new creation and sanding away the rough the edges. The effort it takes to write – to fill a page (or more likely, a computer screen) that was once void of any intelligence or creativity, with information, poetry, ideas, solutions, questions – takes effort, imagination, and courage.

Idea-exchange-1tli2hf-300x211Writing isn’t the only creative venture that takes courage. This same philosophy also applies to generating ideas. Countless times, I’ve been in meetings where folks are brainstorming ideas to address an issue; then someone begins to strike down the ideas, edit (kill) them, until all that’s left is a pile of bright, shiny potential covered with slimy, gray criticism. Okay, calm down, I know that the dialogue balancing creativity and evaluation is essential. My point is that we should make it a practice to acknowledge the fragile nature of new ideas and occasionally provide a protected environment to allow some of the better thoughts to take root and grow. New ideas are like fragile bubbles, floating out in the open, in full daylight, where anyone with an opinion, an agenda, or a little indigestion from lunch, can pop them. More…

Reminder, register now! 5-10-2016 Dept. of Labor Seminar at OSU South Centers in Piketon

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

2016- 5-10 Dept of LaborJoin Department of Labor professionals and area businesses on May 10, 2016 from 8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio. To learn and have an opportunity to get answers to specific questions about labor requirements for your business. Understanding ever-changing labor laws is vital to a successful business, and professionals from the Department of Labor will be presenting key components of what is needed for such success.

The cost to attend is $20.00 per person, which includes breakfast refreshments/ lunch and printed material. To register, please email dunn.595@osu.edu or call 740-289-1605 x301 by May 4.

Business Security Forum held at the University of Rio Grande

(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)

2016 3-16 Business Security Flyer2On March 16, 2016, the Business Security Forum was held at the University of Rio Grande. This Educational program was sponsored in part by Ohio Valley Bank, The Ohio State University South Centers, OSU-OARDC and OSU Extension Programs and University of Rio Grande & Rio Grande Community College.

If you did not get an opportunity to attend the Security Forum, presentations were recorded. You will find recording shown on the Rio Grande Cable Access (TIME – WARNER Channel 17) Educational TV simulcast with the Internet Radio in the near future. All programs are archived on the URG or OSU YouTube Channel and Radio Shows.

Presenters included:

Introduction to Business Forum with Dr. Michelle Johnston and Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Radio: http://tobtr.com/s/8544113

Ryan Lippe, Consumer Educator – Consumer Protection Section Office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
Ryan discussed Fraud Prevention and awareness of Cyber Scams. Ryan Lippe is a Consumer Educator for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Consumer Protection Section. As a consumer educator, Ryan conducts presentations to groups across the state to teach Ohioans about their rights and how to avoid scams.
Radio: http://tobtr.com/s/8589181

Gabe U. Stewart CISSP, CRISC AVP/CISO: The Ohio Valley Bank.
Gabe discussed Cyber Security Measures in the Banking world. Gabe is the Chief Information Security Officer at the Ohio Valley Bank and has nearly twenty years of banking IT experience, the last 14 specifically in IT Security.
Radio: http://tobtr.com/s/8589263

Thomas E. Saunders, Attorney‐at‐Law Law Office of Thomas E. Saunders.
Thomas discussed legal Aspects in keeping personal information and assets protected. Thomas attended Capital University Law School and graduated cum laude with his J.D. in 2013. Thomas was a class representative in the Student Bar Association. During one summer of law school, Thomas attended classes at the University of Oxford in the U.K., through a program with the Ohio State University’s Mortiz College of Law.
Radio: http://tobtr.com/s/8544045

Scott Borden, Chief of Police University of Rio Grande Police.
Scott discusses how to keep safe on and off Campus. N Scott Borden started in Law Enforcement in 1978 as a cadet for the Ohio State Highway Patrol at the Xenia Post. During his career with the State Highway Patrol, Scott earned numerous awards. Scott ended his Ohio State Highway Patrol career in 2001, after almost 33 years and has been the University of Rio Grande Campus Police Chief for five years.

5-10-2016 Dept. of Labor Seminar at OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio

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

2016- 5-10 Dept of LaborJoin Department of Labor professionals and area businesses on May 10, 2016 from 8:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at OSU South Centers in Piketon, Ohio. To learn and have an opportunity to get answers to specific questions about labor requirements for your business. Understanding ever-changing labor laws is vital to a successful business, and professionals from the Department of Labor will be presenting key components of what is needed for such success.

The cost to attend is $20.00 per person, which includes breakfast refreshments/ lunch and printed material. To register, please email dunn.595@osu.edu or call 740-289-1605 x301 by May 4.