Hire the Right Employees

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

Is it time for your small business to grow? Are you ready to hire employees? When hiring, there’s a few things to keep in mind:

• First and most importantly, take time to hire the right employee. It’s crucial that the individual(s) you hire will be the right fit with your existing team (or just you).

• Know what you can/cannot ask during an interview. Questions related to age, race, marital status, national origin, disabilities, and religion are all off limits when interviewing.

• Can you hire an independent contractor instead of an employee? If you need someone who will have their own tools/equipment and will set their own hours, your operation could hire them as an independent contractor instead of an employee.

• Know what the tax requirements and when to pay – here’s a good list of information to keep up with regulations: https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/hire-retain-employees/hire-your-first-employee

• Lastly, when you’ve hired the right person for your team, make sure you have a plan in place for their first day/week. Do you have an employee handbook for them to read? Will they be paired with another employee for training or do you have time set aside to show them the ropes? Start the employee with clear expectations and opportunities for growth on day one.

What does it take to move 35 million pounds of produce? The Food Hub Network finds out.

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

When you think ‘food hub’, a foodbank may not be the first place that comes to mind, but the Mid-Ohio Foodbank engages in several hub activities including the aggregation, distribution and marketing of food products, as part of its mission to feed hungry families and create sustainable communities. Like many food hubs, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank aims to increase consumption of fresh food, improve access and strengthen the local and regional food system.

The Ohio and West Virginia Food Hub Network recently visited the Mid-Ohio Foodbank to experience firsthand how the Foodbank efficiently and effectively aggregates and redistributes fresh food. Director of Food Resource Development Mike Frank shared how his team will distribute 35 million pounds of fresh food in 2017. The Mid-Ohio Foodbank sources food from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), food manufacturers, local produce growers, community organizations and Ohio food businesses. They work with 650 agency partners to distribute food in 20 Ohio counties.

Mike guided Food Hub Network members through the 205,000 square foot facility which includes a gigantic dry storage warehouse, expansive cooler and drive-through freezer!

Volunteers were hard at work in an area designated for sorting food. Like many food hubs and local food co-ops in Ohio and West Virginia, the Mid-Ohio Foodbank relies on volunteers for daily operations. Volunteers check the integrity of each food item to ensure safety was not compromised during donation and transit.

The Foodbank adheres to the same food safety standards and implements similar safety precautions as food hub businesses. All 650 partner agencies must be trained in proper food storage and safe food handling.

To learn more about the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, including how to volunteer or become a partner agency visit https://www.midohiofoodbank.org/.

Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

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

If passion is key to success and you are doing the “work” you love as a hobby, consider turning it into a business to generate some income. Check out the How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business article for some things to consider as you make plans.

Bplans Article
How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business
by Candice Landau

6-7-2017 Introduction to QuickBooks

(Submitted by Kimberly Roush, Program Assistant, Business Development Network, OSU South Centers)

June 7, 2017 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at CAC of Pike County, 941 Market Street, Piketon, Ohio
The Introduction to QuickBooks Training Workshop enables individuals and business owners to gain knowledge in the basics of QuickBooks. QuickBooks are easy-to-use computer accounting systems for small business. You will use the basic features of QuickBooks to record and track your business transactions. This course is designed for persons who have no prior knowledge of how to use QuickBooks, or for persons who are familiar with the software and want to learn about the new features and functionality of QuickBooks.

Going Live!

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

Social media is ever-changing and evolving. First, all you had to do to gain views was post. Then, you needed to add pictures to a post. Now, video and livestreaming is increasingly popular.

Pressing that Live button can be daunting on Facebook, but for a business, it’s a great way to provide a tour of your facility, new product launches, cooking demonstration, or just a way to answer questions from your followers. Facebook Live will save on your timeline for followers to watch whenever they can.

Some helpful tips before you create a Facebook Live video for your business.
• Make sure you have a reliable signal – strong WIFI or 4G
• Promote your upcoming broadcast
• Minimize background noise
• Write a compelling description
• Purchase a mount/tripod – this is great to stabilize your phone
• Introduce yourself and allow people a minute or two to join the stream
• Be human, engaging, and interactive
• End your video with a call to action and thank viewers for watching