Social Media Class – June 20th

(Shared by Melissa Carter, Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center)

Next Wednesday, June 20th, there will be a Social Media class offered at the OSU South Centers.  This class will focus on:

  • New and trending tips for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube
  • Generating good reviews and managing negative reviews
  • Creating relevant content

There will also be time for open Q&A for any questions or issues you may have with your social media.

Register at: sopoc.ecenterdirect.com

 

Take Your Business Outside

(Written by Melissa Carter, Business Advisor, OSU South Centers Small Business Development Center)

If you have a store front business, the recent weather has provided a great time to take your business outside. Hold sidewalk sales to gain visibility and new sales. Here’s a few ways to increase your business:

  • Provide variety – appeal to a variety of clients and offer different items.
  • Impulse buys – Just because your products are outside does not mean you need to discount them. Seeing a product out front may create an impulse buy for a consumer and won’t realize it is not on sale.
  • Work with your neighbors – talk with other businesses on your block and all decide what day(s) are best to hold sidewalk sales – then promote collaboratively!
  • Prop your doors open – This encourages browsers to come inside.
  • Signage – Don’t want to put your product outside? Just get a sign to prop up outside with a call to action written on it. New sale? New product? Put it on a sign to catch the eye of passersby.

Sidewalk sales are great for businesses who may not fully know what is in your store. Have staff available to stay outside with your product or at least able to keep an eye on the outside.

 

Lunch and Learn: State and Federal Funding Programs

(Shared by Kelly O’Bryant, Business Advisor, Manufacturing Extension Program)

Eric Wagner, Senior Collaboration Officer at the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence, will discuss how small- and medium-sized manufacturing companies can apply for and utilize federal and state funding programs. These programs target small and medium companies which have the potential for growth in Ohio.

Learn about programs such as:

  • Advanced Manufacturing Program (AMP) and other programs administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA)
  • Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Voucher program administered by the federal government.

Eric will inform guests about the available programs and highlight some successes CDME has had for our small business clients. In certain cases, CDME will assist with the identification, development, capture, and execution of funding from these programs for the growth of our clients.

This lunch and learn event is targeted towards small- and medium-sized Ohio companies engaged in manufacturing.

To register, log on here:

Oh, you help established businesses too?

(Written by Melissa Carter, Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Yes! While many individuals contact our business advisors to start up a business or just have an idea for a new venture (and that’s great!!), our no-cost one-on-one counseling services are also available for those businesses who have been in operation for many years. Here’s some of the ways we can help with establish businesses:

  • The feasibility of adding on new product lines
  • Reviewing cash flows
  • Revamp marketing tactics
  • Create or expand an online presence
  • Expand into global markets
  • Brainstorm new ways to attract customers
  • Assisting in the preparation of loan packages
  • Ways to keep struggling businesses afloat
  • Record keeping
  • Transition of business to new owners
  • Human Resource issues

Is your business looking for new ways to marketing your product, expand or maintain sales? Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Reaching High — Aerospace Business Matchmaker

(Shared by Kelly O’Bryant, Export Assistance Network Director, Small Business Development Center, OSU South Centers)

Save the Date for the Aerospace Business Matchmaker on July 17 and 18 at Ohio University.

Why should I attend the Aerospace Business Matchmaker?

  • Learn how to do business with NASA
  • Meet one-on-one with representatives from NASA Centers
  • Connect with Boeing, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, SAIC and more

For more information and to register, http://aerospacematchmaker.com/

New Manufacturing Resource Available at the South Centers

(Shared by Ryan Mapes, Program Leader, Business Development Network, OSU South Centers)

The Ohio State University’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) was recently awarded a contract from the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) to support the growth of small and medium sized manufacturing companies in the southeast region of Ohio. The contract establishes CDME as a Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) affiliate for the State of Ohio in support of Ohio companies. CDME will partner with the Ohio State University South Centers Business Development team to implement services in the Southeast Ohio region.

The MEP at Ohio State will focus on providing value added CDME has a full-time engineering staff and is led by a team of former entrepreneurs and business owners who have successfully grown manufacturing and product innovation companies. The MEP program has access to CDME’s 40,000 square foot manufacturing space on the main Columbus campus, as well as most of the equipment in the broader Ohio State University landscape.

CDME MEP is primarily focused on new product development, product improvement, innovation, business development, lean manufacturing, and supply chain management.  The program assists companies in the central and southeast Ohio regions in the following manner:

  • Providing value-added engineering support for product development and innovation with an emphasis on design for manufacturing.
  • Commercialization support and partner opportunities with commercial OEMs.
  • Professional program management and industry-friendly contracts.
  • Proposal identification and development support for federal, state and commercial funding programs.
  • Access to the research capabilities and facilities of The Ohio State University and other State of Ohio research universities and federal laboratories.
  • Introduction to support partners in the CDME network (incubators, venture capital, supply chain partners, fortune 100 OEMS, etc).
  • Prototyping and small scale manufacturing of new products.
  • Access to highly motivated students with experiential learning looking to join innovative manufacturing companies upon graduation.

For more information, log onto https://cdme.osu.edu/

Half of Millennials Want to Start a Business: Here’s How to Get Going

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

By Kali Geldis NAV

If you were born between 1977 and 1995, there’s over a 50% chance that you would start your own small business if you knew where to get help to make it happen.

America’s SBDC, the face of a nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), collaborated with the Center for Generational Kinetics to better understand how different generations view entrepreneurship. The findings indicated that millennials were especially eager to start businesses of their own, but there were some things standing in their way.

Millennials stated that they’d like help writing a business plan, and they rate money high on the list of things holding them back from starting a business. In fact, 45% of the study respondents said that finding capital to start a business was their biggest barrier. That’s not a huge shocker — there are more than 44 different types of business financing out there, and they come with unique interest and fee structures.

Here are five tips that can help any millennial, no matter their entrepreneurial dream, get started. 

1. Make Sure You’re Ready to Start a Business of Your Own

Don’t be in too big of a hurry to become your own boss. Make sure you’re ready to take this giant step. Ask yourself these questions:

• Do you want to start a business for the right reasons? Don’t start a business because you’re frustrated with your job search or you’re in a job you hate. Make sure you’re running toward your dream, not searching for a hiding place.

• Do you have financial resources to support the startup period? One of the first things you’ll work on is establishing business credit and obtaining initial financing, but those things probably won’t happen on day one. Make sure you have the resources to support yourself until the business generates a paycheck for you.

2. Create a Plan

You need a written business plan no matter how wonderful your idea is for your new company. Creating this plan will teach you a great deal about how to run your business. Put it in writing so that you can revisit it often and update it as situations change.

You can write the plan yourself. If you’re not an expert at writing business plans, there are free resources to help you. Look up your local SBDC or the closest resource provided by the Small Business Administration. They offer free consulting.

3. Set Up the Best Company Structure

There are a variety of company structures you can use, from LLCs to S-Corps. Seek professional advice from your accountant and lawyer to ensure you make the right choice.

4. Get a Small Business Startup Loan (If Needed)

If your business plan calls for obtaining startup funds to support initial growth, look into your options as soon as possible. Many small business loans are reserved for companies that have a business history because they’ve been in operation for a couple years. Make sure you understand if it’s possible to fund your startupwith outside funds.

5. Establish Credit for Your Business

Even if you don’t need startup funding, the odds are that you will need financing at some point to expand your company and grow. The most common reason for needing funds is to take advantage of growth opportunities that require more cash than you have in reserves. Make sure that you establish credit for your business before you need it. (You can check your personal and business credit scores for free on Nav to get a full picture of your business credit profile.)

If you’re an entrepreneurial millennial, take advantage of all the resources that are available to help you succeed in starting your own business.

Customer Service: A Sense of Mission

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

bplans.com by:

Job satisfaction isn’t something we tend to naturally associate with the position of customer service representative—which is why the team at Kars4Kids is worth a closer look, even if your business doesn’t have a dedicated customer service department.

Burnout isn’t a foregone conclusion for the team working phones at this nonprofit car donation program. One of the reps has, in fact, been with Kars4Kids for seven years. The manager of the customer service team has been on the job for 11 years.

That’s an incredible record, considering the data. These are dedicated customer service people; their sole responsibility is to interact with customers.

Customer service burnout: What the data say

In general, just how bad is the burnout associated with people who work directly with customers? The turnover rate should give you some idea. Back in 2013, turnover for customer service representatives was running at an incredibly high 30 to 45 percent, whereas the average turnover rate of employees for all industries in the United States was 15.1 percent.

Researchers have struggled to understand what might help prevent burnout. More money? Job security? Because if we could only help our customer-facing teams feel good about what they do, the theory goes, it’s likely they’d stick around longer and generate more customer loyalty. There’s generally a limit, on the other hand, to how much an organization can pay people in those roles. That means you’re going to have to find a different way to satisfy those employees so they won’t walk out in a huff.

One research trial found that more important than the money, more important than job security, is that the team member sees  himself as “playing a positive role within the wider organization.” Managers can help with this by keeping the team well-informed about the organization’s mission, even in for-profit companies. The manager can also convey to team members that they are valued and that their contribution is important. Finally, if reps feel they’re benefiting from company practices, they are more likely to feel good about their place of work and stick around a spell.

The right attitude can help prevent customer service burnout

Preventing customer service burnout, in other words, is about attitude. Team member attitude can be influenced by how well management keeps the team in the loop about the bigger picture. At Kars4Kids, this means sharing stories with the customer service team of kids helped by the organization. The customer service representatives come to know that each car donation represents another child mentored, or a scholarship to TheZone, a summer camp focusing on the personal growth of the campers.

 

Read more…

Employee Files

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

Sourced from: hr.blr.com

Information that should not be in your employee files:

  • Age (unless a minor)
  • Citizenship
  • Disabilities
  • Marital status
  • Medical history
  • National origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

Information that should be in your employee files:

  • Employment application, pre-employment tests, notes on reference checks,
  • and hire date
  • Job title, job description, and employee classification (exempt or nonexempt)
  • Salary history
  • Promotions, transfers, or demotions
  • Skills inventory
  • Scheduled and completed training
  • Performance evaluations and performance goals
  • Accident and injury reports
  • Discipline reports
  • Request for reasonable accommodation of a disability

 

Job Postings

There are two job postings we wanted to share.

The first is a full time Program Assistant position at The OSU South Centers.  This position will provide a broad range of basic to complex office support services relating to document preparation, workshop preparation, reception and work flow; edits newsletters, proposals, and manuscripts.  Interested individuals should log onto: https://www.jobsatosu.com/postings/83970 and apply before January 28th.

The second is a part time contractual Business Counselor for the Cincinnati Region Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC) – Piketon office at the Ohio State University South Centers. The focus for this position is:

  1. Meeting all state required Key Performance Metrics (KPMs)
  2. Counseling MBAC business clients throughout the various phases of growth
  3. Maintaining client records
  4. Identifying contract opportunities with (federal, state, city & corporate) organizations/agencies for small businesses
  5. Assisting business owners with the State of Ohio certification processes for: Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Encouraging Diversity Growth and Equity (EDGE), and Veterans Friendly Business Enterprise certifications
  6. Planning outreach events
  7. Marketing of MBAC programming
  8. Designing training seminars and working with strategic partners
  9. Maintaining Piketon Facebook page

The full description for this position can be found here: 2018 Business Counselor Contractual Position PT-23oz0u0