OSU South Centers Live Stream – Business

(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)

Originally posted to YouTube
on January 12, 2017
OSU South Centers Live Stream – Business
Patrick Dengel interviews Lisa Carver, Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce and Kaitlynn Halley, Gallia County Visitors Centers.

Seven Social Media Tips for 2017

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

With a new year brings new marketing ideas. The biggest question is what is going to be big in the world of social media. Here’s seven tips and trends that could benefit your online presence in 2017.

1 – Put People First. This isn’t really a new concept. But knowing your audience and your customers helps guide all marketing decisions. Talk to your target audience, or the demographic you are looking to attract about what they are looking for with online marketing.

2 – Live is Here to Stay. I’m sure you’ve seen it. You get the notification that your weather guy or sportscaster is Live on Facebook or Periscope. Now is the time to use livestreaming to your advantage. This helps to engage and interact with your audience as well as showcase your storefront, product, or service.

3 – Here Today, Gone Tomorrow. Expiring Content on Instagram and Snapchat is very popular with the millennial generation. Your business can utilize it to share a special deal, showcase a product, or show off a day in the life of your operation. Don’t worry about it being perfect, it’ll disappear in 24 hours.

4 – Incorporate Brand Ambassadors. These are loyal customers or trusted employees that are speaking about your business on their social media platforms. From wearing clothes to showing how to prepare food purchased at a farmers’ market, these individuals tap into their networks to gain increased exposure to your business.

5 – Mobile, Mobile! From Nectafy, 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours! Is your website mobile friendly? Are you accepting mobile payments? If you aren’t, now is the time to make sure you can be found via a smart phone.

6 – Social Messaging. Using WeChat, Facebook Messenger or other social messaging apps allows your customers to instantly contact you. Businesses should take advantage of this by sending shipping information, answering questions about products/services, or offering customer support.

7 – Pay to Play. Unfortunately, Facebook Pages themselves are getting harder and harder to be seen unless the business pays for an ad or boosted post. The good news is, for relative low costs, your message can be seen to hundreds of people in your target region.

Looking to revamp your marketing strategies for 2017? Contact me (Melissa Carter) at carter.1094@osu.edu for more information.

A Cooperative Call to Farms

(Submitted by Ivory Harlow, Program Assistant, Ohio Cooperative Development Center, OSU South Centers)

A growing number of veterans seek careers in agriculture after military service, but starting a farm from scratch isn’t easy. Acquiring the skills, land, infrastructure and equipment to operate a successful farm business can make farming seem like mission impossible.

The Minutemen Farmers’ Cooperative are developing a farmer veteran apprentice training program that will provide education and resources to help service members cultivate post-military careers in Ag.

The Minutemen Farmers’ Cooperative was established in 2015. The Ohio Cooperative Development Center assisted the co-op with formation and business development. Minutemen is structured as a cooperative in Ohio also doing business in West Virginia and a non-profit agricultural training foundation.

Tactical training
The Minutemen incubation training program is 2 to 4 years with a two year apprenticeship program required the first two years and 1 to 2 more years of programming depending on the apprentice’s aspirations. The program plans to partner with various Extension educators to provide online education, and hands-on agricultural experience on a working farm in Jackson County, West Virginia. The training will prepare Minutemen grads to start their own operation or seek professional employment in Ag.

Minutemen’s hands-on training focuses on wholesale production. This differentiates the program from many farmer veteran training programs that focus on direct to consumer sales. The co-op will connect graduates with wholesale outlets to market future farm products. They provide ongoing mentorship and technical support after graduation.

Food fight
“After witnessing so much destruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, I wanted to grow something,” an aspiring farmer veteran said.
Another shared, “I’m used to having dirty boots, so farming is a good fit!”

Farmers face many challenges during their daily work. They are called to feed an increasing population with less. They must adapt to changing climate patterns and government policies. Farmer veterans face these challenges with resilience.

Military training teaches individuals to work together to achieve the mission. The Minutemen Farmers’ Cooperative honors the spirit of team work and upholds the military core values of service before self, duty and honor.

For more information, check out the Minutemen Farmers’ Cooperative on Facebook.

What’s Your Idea?

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

You have an idea, a great idea, something no one else has thought of, or you have an idea on how to improve on someone else’s idea. The problem is you don’t have the technical expertise or qualifications to turn it into viable business or even a realistic project.

When it comes to technology, the good news is, there’s probably someone that can already do what you need done. It costs money but it can be done. The real fuel in technology is the idea and one of the most accepted and used forms of technology are apps.
There is a good chance you are reading this very article on a phone, or tablet, that contains dozens and dozens of apps.

Here is an article from Rahul Varshneya entitled “3 Ways to Find a Profitable Mobile App Idea.”

Think long and hard….you just might have the next million dollar idea.

A New Year and Successful Resolution that can really change your life

(Submitted by Chris Smalley, Business Development Specialist, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

The New Year always seems to bring some type of resolution to our lives. Eating healthier, quitting smoking, working out, or going to bed earlier just to name a few. But how long do people really stick to these types of resolutions? A resolution that I started 8 years ago and have no intention of quitting anytime soon was my own business.

For my entire life, I had watched my parents own and operate their own business and although they probably would say it wasn’t always a positive experience the majority of my memories were good ones. I happened to be at a crossroads between careers, which seemed like a perfect time to act on my lifelong dream and follow the example they had set for me in business ownership. Having a plan, starting small and being in control all were things I knew were a must to be successful when creating something from scratch.

Successful? What does that really mean? To me, successful people think long term, not short. I went into business with the idea of creating something for my children. I didn’t have any when I started…I now have 3. Successful people know that is takes a lot of hard work, and it’s not only about luck (although sometimes you may get lucky).

I grew up on a farm and as mentioned before spent a lot of time in my parents retail business. I have never shied away from work in fact I think I’m attracted to it and am more comfortable when working. It’s a good thing because building a business takes a lot of blood, sweat and at times tears.

Successful people take responsibility and don’t blame others. They are humble and eager to learn the things they don’t know. I took responsibility and was eager to learn new things about business ownership (and let me be first to tell you there are more than you would think).

Successful people talk about ideas not people. Competition in business can sometimes take over and adversely affect your character. I have always felt however there is plenty of work and I feel competition is a good thing that keeps everyone honest. Successful people know purpose and mission and don’t focus on rank and status. They are driven by growth and not by money.

Now don’t get me wrong, the extra income achieved is nice but the idea of growth and the satisfaction achieved when something comes to fruition definitely outweighs the monetary value. Successful people want others to succeed. I enjoy nothing more than seeing others around me grow because of my experiences and me being able to share with them those experiences.

I have been able to carry over my experiences of business ownership into my fulltime career as a business counselor allowing me to share firsthand what expectations my clients should have. Successful people complement instead of criticize. Successful people embrace change instead of avoiding it. I embraced the opportunity of change and took control of my life. You too can take control and make yourself successful in 2017.

Remember 3 very important steps. Make a plan – plan for success so you don’t fail before you have a chance to get started. Start small – Allow yourself to get your feet under you and work out the bugs while you can. Be in Control – Allow yourself to control the business, don’t let the business control you. If you follow these 3 simple steps you will be successful in your endeavors.

For more business start-up/expansion assistance contact your local SBDC office.

The Ohio State University South Centers
Business Development Netork
1864 Shyville Rd. Piketon, Ohio 45661

The Lean Manufacturing Buzz

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

manfLean has been a buzz word in manufacturing for several decades and is now popular and useful in many industries. However, going through the process of lean training, implementing lean principles, and checking all the feel-good boxes that make managers and supervisors think they’re making a difference isn’t enough. Whether a company is implementing lean principles for the first time, or has been practicing it for many years, the mind set of lean is what creates the most impact.

Here is an excerpt from Jim L. Smith’s article “Face of Quality” in Quality Magazine.

“Quality at the source (QATS) has been used well before lean manufacturing became so popular. Many people in the quality function have applied the principles especially at critical work areas to detect nonconforming items and prevent them from moving forward in the process. If not given proper planning it can increase appraisal costs and disrupt material flow but as part of a lean initiative, QATS can produce dramatic quality improvements relatively quickly.

QATS is one of the building blocks of lean manufacturing concepts. It can be a powerful stand-alone effort that can produce significant results or it can be partly used in conjunction with a much larger lean initiative.”
Follow the link to read more

Source: Softwarenewz https://softwarenewz.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/quality-assurance-as-necessity-in-open-source-software-projects/

Funding Available to Help Reduce Energy Costs and Improve Energy Efficiency

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

January 11, 2017 Contact: Preston Boone at (614) 644-8864

Funding Available to Help Reduce Energy Costs and Improve Energy Efficiency
State offers Low-Interest Loans

The Energy Loan Fund is now accepting applications. The fund helps small businesses, manufacturers, nonprofits, and local governments implement energy efficiency improvements to lower energy use and costs. Eligible applicants receive low-interest financing to install efficiency measures that reduce energy by at least 15 percent. Technical assistance is also available to facilitate the required energy audit for potential applicants.

Small businesses, local governments, manufacturers, school districts, colleges and universities, and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. Loan amounts vary depending on the project and can be from $250,000 up to $2 million. Technical assistance is also available to help eligible applicants identify energy efficiency measures for their facility.

To apply, organizations must first register and submit a Letter of Intent. The Letter of Intent must include:
• An overview of the proposed project;
• Projected energy use savings;
• Projected energy cost savings;
• Simple payback with incentives, if applicable;
• Loan amount requested and cost share; and
• A description of the anticipated expenses for which the loan and cost share will be used.

A Letter of Intent to apply should be submitted online at: https://development.ohio.gov/EnergyLoanFund. Qualified applicants who have submitted a Letter of Intent will receive written instructions from Ohio Development Services Agency on how to access the online Loan Application.

A copy of the program guidelines and the application process can be found here. Questions about the program should be sent to energy@development.ohio.gov

Understand the Different Components of Marketing

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

Marketing, Advertising, Branding and Public Relations are not the same. It is very important as a business owner to understand the concepts and differences of the terms.

presentation-1311169_1920Marketing begins as early as the research and development stage and involves market research, product development, pricing, sales strategies, distribution, advertising and public relations. A marketing plan is a comprehensive document that outlines a company’s marketing efforts for the coming year. It describes business activities involved in accomplishing specific marketing objectives within a set time frame. The purpose of a marketing plan is to clearly show what steps or actions will be taken to achieve company goals.

Advertising is a means of communication with the users of a product or service. This is a strategy or component of the overall marketing plan. Advertisements are messages paid for by those who send them and are intended to inform or influence people who receive them. Advertising is only one part of the marketing process.

Branding is a concept that extends far beyond the marketing of “brand name” products. A company’s brand represents their market identity such as who they are, what they do, and what kind of quality they provide. A company’s brand can be directly influenced by the company’s mission and vision statements and should always be consistent with the marketing process.

Public relation is about selling the company or brand through positively managing the communication channels between a company and its stakeholders. Overall, marketing activities are trying to achieve direct revenue, while public relation is a continuous process to drive and maintain a positive company reputation.

To Keep Employees Motivated, Give Them a Better Title

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

Business News Daily
By Chad Brooks, Business News Senior Writer
January 4, 2017 8:45 a.m. EST

Moving up the corporate ladder means more to many employees than getting a bigger paycheck, new research finds.

sunset-1938201_1920-3A study from the people and organizational advisory firm Korn Ferry revealed that 63 percent of employees would prefer to get a promotion with no raise than a salary increase with no promotion.

Dennis Baltzley, a Korn Ferry senior partner and the firm’s global head of leadership development, said employers should take this finding into consideration if they want to hold on to their top workers.

Read More >>>

New Jobs and Saving Money Top Goals for Employees in 2017

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

Business News Daily
By Chad Brooks, Business News Senior Writer
January 5, 2017 8:13 a.m. EST

darts-102919_1920-2When it comes to career-related resolutions for the new year, many employees have finding a new job and saving more money at the top of their lists, new research finds. Overall, more than 20 percent of workers are planning to change jobs in 2017, with younger employees (age 18 to 34) the most likely to search for a new position, according to a CareerBuilder study.

“Whether it’s unemployed people trying to find their way back to the workforce or those who are currently employed attempting an upgrade to greener pastures, a new year makes many people set their sights on job hunting,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, said in a statement.