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business disrupters | game changers | innovative thinkers | rebel rousers

trends issue

ARTIST: Lesley Ellen Harris

TM

BizPeake

complimentary a B2B magazine for the Chesapeake Bay Region issue #4

2016 Business Trends: We keep it local! Meet Amy & El: Where Will They “Pop-Up� Next?


2000 – CELEBRATING 15 YEARS IN BUSINESS – 2015

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We start there... and work backwards, so it does.


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

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HEAD’S UP: 2016 BUSINESS TRENDS words by Sarah Hagerty

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Warm Up to Wellness this Winter 11 words by Jodi Schulman

Prospecting in Your Fuzzy Slippers 13 words by Stephen Hall

B2B Marketing: Dare to Be Different 15 words by Ron Baradel

The Bottom Line When it Comes to Your Heart 16 words by Janice F. Booth

The American Invasion of France 18 words by George Oliphant

Amy Fresty & Ellen Lunay: Here & Now – MVP 20 words by Jamie M. Kizer

Sisters Team up in the name of Beauty – MVP 23 words by Jamie M. Kizer

Getting Organized from A-Z 24 words by Sarah Hagerty

Is Your Company Smarketing? 28 words by Suzanne Ratti

Promoting Financial Wellness in the Workplace 32 words by Sheri Hamburger, CPA & Heather Lalor, CPA

A Business’ Best Friend 36 ON THE COVER: The artwork on the cover was one of the pieces sold through HERE. A Pop-Up Shop–and created by Artist, Lesley Ellen Harris. Inspired by the “John Lennon Wall” in Prague, Czech Republic, Lesley’s creation is truly one of a kind; the graffitifilled wall changes on a daily basis. Since the 1980s, the wall has been filled with John Lennon inspired graffiti and represents the global ideals of “love and peace.”

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CONTENTS


FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Jamie M. Kizer Jamie@BizPeakeJournal.com

LOYAL OFFICE COMPANION Zoey – #pleasesendtreats

CREATIVE DIRECTOR / DESIGN DONACO Design Communications

WEB DESIGN Clear Space Media

VP SALES & MARKETING Nick Koscienlniak

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Tammy Bowers

INTERN EXTRAORDINAIRE Camden Bathras

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ronald A. Baradel Janice F. Booth Stephen Hall Sheri Hamburger, CPA Heather Lalor, CPA George Oliphant Suzanne Ratti Jodi Schulman

PRINTER

H.G. Roebuck & Son, Inc.

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COUNTY DISTRIBUTION

Anne Arundel Calvert Kent Queen Anne’s Talbot Dorchester

SUBMISSIONS

news/events to share, ideas for future articles and businesses/people to feature, or to become a contributing writer, contact: jamie@bizpeakejournal.com | BizPeake Journal – 1125 West Street, Suite 200 Annapolis, MD 21401 | 410-705-4415 \ www.bizpeakejournal.com For Complimentary

Journal Subscription

Copyright ©2016 BizPeake Media, LLC™. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, including photography, without permission. BizPeake Journal™ is published 6 times per year. Subscriptions are free and will be sent to your home or business at no charge.

@BizPeakeJournal


Leadership Anne Arundel is now accepting applications for its next

Flagship Leadership Class 2017 Be part of the greater awareness of our community issues... p Learn how our county works and how to get access to vital resources

p Expand your network of current and

future leaders in government, business and community organizations

p Develop your leadership skills through

hands-on study, seminars and discussions with other high-profile leaders

p Help formulate solutions to some of our community’s toughest challenges

p Participate on a community project with other exceptional people

More than 1,275 county leaders are LAA graduates. Join them. Class size is limited, so apply today! Call Eric Edstrom at: 410-279-1969 or email ericedstrom@leadershipaa.org or visit www.leadershipaa.org


LETTER

FROM THE

H

appy New Year!

I don’t know about you, but I’m super excited about all of the wonderful opportunities that lie ahead for 2016. The best part of starting a new year is that anything and everything is possible! As business owners we all understand and even thrive on that mindset. To help set the tone for this year ahead, we’ve decided to focus this issue (#4—yay!) on topics such as Business Trends for 2016, Getting Organized, Tips for Staying Healthy, Tools for Smarketing your Business; and even how to Prospect in your Fuzzy Slippers! In this issue you’ll also gain insight into how two friends and two sisters make their business partnerships work. Having the opportunity to talk with and interview these “MVPs of Business” is one of the things that I love most about being the publisher of BizPeake Journal. This particular time while interviewing Amy Fresty and Ellen Lunay, however, I was accompanied by our intern, Camden Bathras. Camden, who’s primary function at BPJ is to keep me technologically savvy (no small feat), volunteered to videotape the interview and take photos for the magazine. The photos that you see of Amy and Ellen were taken by Camden and you can watch the video on our website or YouTube Channel (BizPeake Journal). To read more about our BizPeake interns, and how hiring an intern can help YOUR business, check out our story on page 36. As you flip through the pages of this issue, you’ll notice we’ve gone through a bit of a redesign, adding several new and fun elements such as typography, illustrations and creative use of color. In addition, we’ve added a few new regular features intended to inform, inspire and motivate you to maintain a healthy work-life balance, while growing your business. Please let us know what you think...we are always open to suggestions!

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This was such a fun issue to put together because of its high level of creativity and the celebration of ideals such as collaboration, partnerships and love! Love for our communities, Love for our businesses, and most importantly Love for ourselves. So welcome 2016! We have a lot of new and exciting initiatives on the horizon, including the launch of BizPeake Radio™ in February and the First Annual Women Entrepreneurs Conference on April 6, 2016. If you’d like to learn more about these and other upcoming initiatives, events and workshops, be sure to visit our website and subscribe to receive a complimentary copy of BizPeake Journal™, delivered directly to your door. To your continued success, With love and gratitude, Jamie

Jamie M. Kizer, Founder and Publisher


Though nobody can go back and make a new beginning‌ Anyone can start over and make a new ending. Chico Xavier


Head’s Up: 2016 Business Trends Spoiler alert! They are local and they are personal.

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WORDS BY SARAH HAGERTY

W

e are a nation of prognosticators. We love to pull out our crystal balls and see what the future holds. There are cable news networks dedicated to almost nothing else. However, logic and experience tell us that soothsayers and fortune tellers often have their own agendas—and are wrong more often than right. Educated, practical and researched observation may be our best tool for accuracy and success in determining future business trends. Cyber Security First and Last: There is simply no doubt that this is a

field that will continue to grow and cope with more and more challenges—especially as we collectively have our heads in the “clouds.” Even local high schools have gotten on the bandwagon with special training programs for students—Howard County schools and Anne Arundel County's Meade High School were pioneers in this area. The workforce is here; the need is there. And savvy companies will be prepared to serve. Keep Learning as Much as You Can You may not have a Wharton MBA, but you can find guidance in the world of education. Seminars, business coaches and college courses will be key in 2016 to broaden and improve your knowledge. Simply sitting down for a long lunch with a business person you have admired can be an invaluable experience.


Baby Boomers Making Way There were 73 million of them at one time. And now many of them are retiring and selling viable businesses that sustained them for years. Your fresh outlook could elevate these workhorse projects into your ticket to a prosperous retirement.

Speaking of Real Estate 2015 was the best year for this business since 2007. Consider investment properties. Mortgage rates will be rising and the number of renters will be rising—along with their rent payments. Not to mention the big bonus of our living in a transient area (politics, military, corporate shuffles) ripe with renters. The Right Technology / the Right People—Right Here Too much, not enough, something new... These are the real questions businesses need to ask when it comes to tech. Providing the answers is much needed assistance in this day and age. A trustworthy, local consultant can help not only a going concern but also a community by bolstering the economy. In this busy, impersonal world, we yearn for a village mentality. We want to work with people we might see in line at the checkout at Wegmans, Lauer's or Graul's—all family owned super markets, incidentally. Taking the “Mean” out of Social Media It has long been anticipated (and in some circles wished for) but it looks like the Kardashian effect is finally waning. Newsstand sales dramatically dropped this

year for Cosmopolitan, GQ, US Weekly and other publications when the clan appeared on their covers. Ratings are down for their unreal reality shows as well. “It's over. The fatigue factor has really set in,” one prominent publisher recently shared with Page Six. This will leave a content vacuum that could be partially filled with local social media by covering what people are really interested in—themselves. A hyper local mix with some added state and national coverage may be just what the marketing rep ordered. And learn from the K bunch by keeping it eventful and less real newsy. Do we need to remind you about the well-intentioned Patch? Not Following the Trends Originality will always win out. We all know there is something percolating right now in free-thinking brains out there that may change all our lives. Even if you are not an idea person, keep your ears and eyes open for your chance to invest in a new dream. Being an optimist is a terrific place to start.

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Office Upgrades Working from home has become an integral part of today's business atmosphere. But nothing beats face-to-face interaction. With that in mind, companies are redesigning the workplace for not only aesthetic appeal (who doesn't want a nice place to spend half their waking hours?) but ergonomic considerations. Example: Want to stand up and stretch, but need to keep working? There's a lever for that. One that raises your computer and desk to the ideal height. Innovations like open offices, hybrid offices and the tried-and-true cubicles are just some of the design concepts companies will be wrestling with in 2016. And looking for help on the search.

Baby Boomers as a Targeted Business Opportunity The youngest boomers (those born in 1964) are now hitting their fifties. Combined with their older siblings, that's a massive amount of senior citizens who will be around for decades—and requiring special services (from real estate to travel to technology to medical assistance). There's gold in them thar golden years.

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Services That Save Time Time may be the most valuable commodity in 2016 and beyond. And thanks to clock-consuming devices that allow us to communicate and work 24/7, at home or office, we are booked solid. Any service that eases that journey—from home cleaning operations to food delivery systems to car wash companies that come to you—has a real shot at success.


Support and Come Visit the…

JANUARY Be Kind to Food Servers Month Financial Wellness Month Get A Balanced Life Month Get Organized Month International Wealth Mentality Month National Be On-Purpose Month National Clean Up Your Computer Month National Mentoring Month National Personal Trainer Awareness Month Home Office Safety and Security Week: 3-9 National Vocation Awareness Week: 10-16 Clean Out Your Inbox Week: 24-30 Tax Identity Theft Week: 24-29 Copyright Law Day: 1 National Motivation and Inspiration Day: 2 Show and Tell Day at Work: 8 National Clean Off Your Desk Day: 11 MLK Day - January 18 Inauguration Day: 20

Visit this national model for a state-based, comprehensive center and museum honoring the legacy of Maryland women and girls, preserving their contributions and building an inclusive future. Learn about the incredible strength and innovations of Maryland women.

Explore and Be Inspired by the contributions of Maryland women in varied fields, from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to the Arts.

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The Maryland Women’s Heritage Center y to tell ourstory histor o t y tor hers g n i 410.708.2442 Add mwhcdiana@gmail.com Center Location:

39 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD 21201 Hours of Operation:

Thursday - Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm Contact us for Tours and Programs on other days

Mailing Address:

MWHC, P.O. Box 719, Brooklandville, MD 21022 Center is available to rent for special occasions. Check the MWHC website for daily events or closings

Donate Today at mdwomensheritagecenter.org

FUN-FACT DATES FEBRUARY American Heart Month National Black History Month National Time Management Month Youth Leadership Month African Heritage & Health Week: 1-7 International Coaching Week: 7-12 Women's Heart Week: 1-7 International Networking Week: 1-5 Publicity for Profit Week: 2-8 Freelance Writers Appreciation Week: 7-13 National Green Week: 9-15 National Entrepreneurship Week: 20-27 Build A Better Trade Show Image Week: 21-27 National FFA Week: 21-27 Telecommuter Appreciation Week: 28-3/5 Change Your Password Day: 1 Groundhog Day: 2 Wear Red Day: 5 Super Bowl 50: 7 Chinese New Year: 8 Employee Legal Awareness Day: 13 Library Lovers Day: 14 Valentines Day: 14 National Women's Heart Day: 14 Clean Out Your Computer Day: 15 Champion Crab Races Day: 17 National Drink Wine Day: 18 World Bartender Day: 24 National Personal Chef's Day: 26


Three ways to heat up your winter: exercise, healthy diet, and massage. WORDS BY JODI SCHULMAN, LMT, MED

A slew of illnesses, such as colds and flu, are also common in the wintertime which cause our white blood cells to be more directed towards fighting the illness rather than taking care of hurt muscles. We also tend to be more sedentary during winter months causing even more aches and pains. An additional symptom of colder weather is seasonal depression, sometimes called cabin fever, due to more people wanting to stay inside where it is warm. When we exercise, we release endorphins that help with reducing depression while exercising itself increases our range of motion as long as we remember to warm up the muscles prior to our workout and stretch afterward. The idea of muscles needing to be warmed before exercising is inherent in calling these stretches warm ups. Eating right consists of making sure our diet consists of a balanced diet which contains omega-3, omega-6 and vitamins C, D, and K. It also involves eating healthier, more organicbased foods. It also involves eating warmer foods that can warm up our insides like soups and hot meals. Finally, massage can help by increasing circulation, stretching the muscles through range of motion, and reducing pain through deep tissue focus. Massage allows the muscles to create an environment of healing. In conclusion, with a well-balanced diet of warmer foods, exercise, and massage, you can weather the cold winter months in a much healthier, more

relaxed, less stressful manner. Please feel free to contact me for more information. Jodi Schulman, LMT, MEd, at Galaxy Massage. See galaxymassage.com for additional nutrition information. Contact at galaxymassagemd@gmail.com. Issue #4 TRENDS

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ave you ever heard someone say, or even said yourself, that your muscles can tell when the rain or cold weather is coming? Did you ever notice that you feel achier and more pained during the winter months? If so, you are not alone. During the winter months, it is believed that barometric pressure can cause additional muscle aches and pains. It is believed that colder weather irritates common symptoms of such conditions as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, rheumatism, low back pain and chronic muscle pain. What can we do to reduce these aches, pains, and depression during those cold winter months? Three tips to help stay healthy in colder months include exercising, eating right, and massage. Cold weather may cause swelling of the joints and that swelling irritates the nerves around the joints that sense pain. This can further cause increased pressure of fluids that lubricate the joints which causes more resistance to movement. Cold weather can also cause spasms and pain due to quick movements, such as shivering, resulting in the inability to move or bend certain joints. Exposure to cold weather also causes a reduction in blood flow to the surface of the skin by constriction of blood vessels causing the circulatory system to slow down.

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Warm Up to Wellness This Winter


Want more success? Do people want what you sell but too few buy and you don’t know why?

We can help. To learn how our unique customer-first strategies will grow your business, please visit our website now at:

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Be prepared Learn more about citizen safety at

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2016 ICING SMILES BUTTERCREAM BALL

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ROARING Twenties Saturday, February 6, 2016 7 O’clock pm to 11 O’clock pm The Great Room at Savage Mill

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Prospecting in Your Fuzzy Slippers Connecting, contributing, searching and asking.

The Number One B2B Prospecting Tool LinkedIn is the number one prospecting tool today. Its every bit as important to our

business career as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and, of course, Outlook…or some other suite of those basic tools. LinkedIn allows you to ask for meetings from your trusted network, and nothing happens without getting those first meetings. Even if you had a name and a number or an email, did you know that 92 percent of the time your calls and messages would be deleted because you are a stranger to them? 92 percent, according to Aberdeen Research. Yet I can show you exactly how you can get meetings 50 percent of the time (sometimes more) with the proper use of LinkedIn, which means connecting, contributing, searching and asking. I know what you’re thinking: all this social media stuff takes so much time and is crazy to keep up with. Well did you know this fact: In a survey by Feedback Systems, 74.9 percent of companies report an increase in their sales teams using Social Selling over the next 12 months. And yet, 72 percent of salespeople are not proficient in social selling. So it seems like lots of time needs to be spent in the training and development of this prospecting sales tool—yet managers and business owners don’t want their sales teams sitting behind a computer all day instead of being in front of prospects. Fuzzy Slipper Time! There IS a way forward. It certainly begins with learning how to perform these key basic LinkedIn functions:

• Connecting with customers, power partners and networking contacts • Creating a profile that let’s prospects understand how you help them • Searching your first level connections and filtering by industry, job title, location or company size to see who they are connected to; then • Asking them to send an email introduction suggesting a conversation or a cup of coffee (meetings will occur 50 percent of the time) So why the fuzzy slippers? Realistically, you do need your selling time to sell. You need to find this important LinkedIn prospecting time in your “no pay” time: the early AM or evening (hence the fuzzy slippers). You’ll be amazed how many new meetings you will create for yourself in the New Year if you follow these four points consistently and just continue to “do the behaviors” in those fuzzy slippers. Or would you rather make cold calls and have your emails and voice messages deleted?

About THE AUTHOR Stephen Hall is the Owner/President of Maryland Sales Training and Management Development, Inc.

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t’s 2016 and you are resolute that you will do a better job prospecting in this new year. That’s great, because I don’t know of any business that doesn’t need to prospect for new accounts or new opportunities within key accounts. It’s totally how we grow, replace lost business, capture market share and more. In fact, if you don’t do prospecting well, you might just find yourself needing to prospect for a new role with a new company.

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WORDS BY STEPHEN HALL


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B2B MARKETING – DARE TO BE DIFFERENT For one thing, your focus is going to be different. WORDS BY RON BARADEL

About THE AUTHOR Ron Baradel is a founding partner of the Annapolis law firm of Council, Baradel, Kosmerl & Nolan, P.A. He is an attorney with 45 years experience in private practice, as well as a professional B2B copywriter. While he can write advertising copy for virtually any business, his special niche is writing materials for companies that market to the legal profession.

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My heart was in my throat as I submitted that brief. I was certain that the Court of Appeals had never seen a brief that started like that. Not too many lawyers are going to cite the author of steamy novels (see, Valley of the Dolls) as their legal authority! But that book title was perfect! It encapsulated our entire legal argument on appeal...that one instance of refusing to have sexual relations was not a sufficient basis on which to grant a divorce. I wanted our argument to be clear and our brief to stand out in the judges’ minds. It worked. We won the appeal. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind about the argument we were making. And when they called our case for oral argument, every judge on the panel was smiling. “Serious business” doesn’t have to be “dull business”. Remember the “Fourth C” of B2B marketing. If there is any way possible, make your B2B marketing materials compelling, too. After all, isn’t that the entire purpose of good marketing? . . . to stand out from the crowd?

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here is a world of difference but you do want to anticipate (and address) between marketing to busievery question he or she might have about your nesses and marketing to conproduct or service. sumers. For one thing, there B2B marketing is all business. But it shouldn’t isn’t much “impulse buying” be dull. Your marketing materials should grab in the business world. Buying your prospect’s attention in the very beginning, a $500,000.00 computer hold onto it throughout, and make him or her system is not the same as buying a toaster...or want to stay with you to the very end. a car, for that matter. I’m not talking “glitzy”. I’m not talking “hype.” What I am talking about is...original... For that reason, B2B marketing is usually a special ...distinctive...unique. Your marketing more complex process than B2C (business to materials should embody what I call the consumer) marketing. There are similarities “Fourth C” of B2B marketing. They should be between the two, but the differences are far compelling. greater. Let me give you an example from the world For one thing, your focus is going to be of law. different, depending on who or what your target Very early in my legal career, I was involved market is, even if you are selling the same in a divorce case where the legal issue was product. whether a single instance of a spouse’s refusal Freddie Fixit is interested in the color of the to have sexual relations was a sufficient basis on paint, how it is going to make his rec room look, which to grant a divorce. I represented the wife and how impressed his buddies are going to be and we lost at trial. The case was now on appeal. when they come over to watch the Super Bowl. Before starting practice, I served one year as Contractor Chuck is different. It’s not even his a judicial law clerk on the Court of Appeals, rec room; it’s his customer’s. Chuck wants to Maryland’s highest court. During that year, I know the square footage per gallon of that paint, the drying time between coats, and whether he is had to read hundreds and hundreds of appellate briefs. They are, by their very nature, serious going to have to apply one coat or two. business. And for that very reason, And selling a car is not the same they make for pretty tedious reading – as selling a fleet of cars to a taxi depressing, actually. company. Same product, but far I used to pray that even one brief different needs...and interests. that year would be different than all The hallmark of B2B the others – something that would marketing is the “Three C’s” of wake me up and grab my attention. your content. You want to be sure Sadly, it never happened. your marketing materials are: I swore that when I got the chance, Clear. Concise. Complete. I would do something different in When marketing to businesses, every appellate brief I ever wrote. So, your message must be clear. You this is what the very first page of my don’t want to waste your prospect’s very first appellate brief looked like: time with superfluous language, GrovePress,1973


The Bottom Line When It Comes to Your Heart We may be tuning out on the key point. WORDS BY JANICE F. BOOTH

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans and costs the United States $108.9 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity. That’s a figure that causes anyone in business to pause and reflect on the portion of that staggering number that may be borne by one’s own business. The old adage is certainly true in business, “The whole is more than the sum of its parts.” If you are a sole proprietor you know that business grinds to a halt when you’re away, ill or on vacation. If you have employees, you’ve calculated the cost of their health insurance, their lost productivity, your added stress when someone falls ill. But amazingly, health is a sometimes-overlooked factor in a business plan, and considering the statistics on heart disease, if you own a business, your heart’s health and the health of your employees’ hearts may be worth investigating. Of course, we all know about diet and exercise. We’ve seen the ads on TV and heard our GPs’ admonishments. But, we may be tuning out on the key point—prevention works in the case of heart disease! You don’t have to search for exotic pharmaceuticals or seek out specialists in far-off clinics. According to the American Heart Association, four out of five heart attacks could be avoided. To protect your heart’s health and look after the hearts you care for, you need only mange five issues of daily life: 1. Healthy eating (preferably green, seasonal, locally grown food products.) 2. Stop smoking. 3. Moderate alcohol consumption (no more than one drink per day.) 4. Maintain a normal body weight. And…oh, yes, you know this is coming… 5. Maintain a moderate activity or exercise regimen (2 ½ hours of moderate or 1 ¼ hours of vigorous exercise per week.) You know the drill;

you’ve done the diet. You’ve cut out cigarettes—two or three or ten times. Your eating habits have improved because you want to set a good example for the kids. But that exercising is tough. You’re busy. The clients are calling, the suppliers are clamoring, you’re getting older. Take your pick, they’re all viable excuses. Perhaps it’s not only your children who look to you for a sterling example. Look around you; your employees may also follow your example, working late when you do, coming in early, eating lunch at their desks. But, if you are looking after your heart’s health, perhaps they will too. It makes good sense for your business and for the profit-and- loss figures to stay healthy, and keep your staff healthy too. Companies are making it easier for their employees to establish and maintain healthy habits. L.L. Bean, for example offers smoking cessation programs, help with nutrition and weight loss, even massages and quiet rooms for stress reduction. We’re all aware of Google’s corporate encouragement of employee healthy living. And there’s a software business in Pittsburgh (not exactly sunny California) that encourages their employees to bike to work, installing bike racks and shower rooms. They even have lunch-hour jogging groups. Of course, there are also the obvious options: replacing the caffeine-jolt coffeemaker with water bottles in the frig, finding a supplier of healthy snacks instead of a vending machine loaded with hollow calories. You may find community organizations whose purpose it is to encourage healthy living. You could invite them into your company for lunch-time seminars or other activities devised by the agency or organization to support healthy hearts and lifestyles. But let’s get back to your heart, your health. Of course, a healthy, energized staff will make you feel better, ease your stress, and give you more time to look after your own heart. Remember, four out of five heart attacks are preventable. So, get to know your heart—not just on Valentine’s Day. There’s a handy “Heart Age Calculator” on the World Heart Federation website


About THE AUTHOR Janice F. Booth is the author of Crofton: Images of America and has written for local, regional and national publications including What’s Up? Publications, American Artist, the Wildlife Art Journal, BizPeake Journal, and Lancaster Farming. Janice is an adjunct professor of English and Communications at Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, Maryland, and has been an educator for over 40 years. She has a Master of Arts Degree from Wayne State University. Additionally, Ms. Booth is a partner in Booth, Shaberman & Associates, a consulting firm dealing with software products for attorneys. She can be contacted by email at jfbooth@gmail.com or at 410-224-0930. Read her blog at www.open-line.org

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juicy burger or quick bag of Fritos. When your waist starts to shrink and it’s easier to breathe, food tastes better and you notice the freshness of a fall apple or the crispness of a summer salad. That craving for a cigarette, perhaps the toughest addiction to overcome, begins to fade when no one in your vicinity is smoking, when you have no time for a cigarette because you’re meeting your teenager for a bike ride before dinner, when your hands are full of toys as you and your toddler clean-up for bedtime, and you’re home for bedtime. Your health is one of the most important assets of your business. So, manage this resource just as you look after your inventory and equipment. Keep your heart on your mind long after Valentine’s Day has passed.

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(world-heart-federation.org). You can answer six or seven simple questions, and the program will tell you your heart’s “health age.” The resulting age is a non-scientific age number, but it helps you get to know your heart just a bit better. Supplied with that information, keep tabs on your heart rate and learn your “target heart rate.” There’s a site for that—and several apps too. (Perhaps you’re already wearing a fitbit that tells you your heart rate at any time. That’s useful information.) On the American Heart Association website (heart.org) you’ll find the target heart rates—both resting and maximum—based on your age. So what do you do with those numbers? How can they make a difference? Generally speaking, awareness puts your heart’s health “on the radar,” so to speak. When you’re checking your blood pressure, your pulse and heart rate, you’re paying attention. When you’re taking a walk during your lunch break, you’re not eating that


The American Invasion of France ...and Italy, Spain, and Portugal. WORDS BY GEORGE OLIPHANT

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any remember World War I General John Pershing and his American Expeditionary Forces that entered France in 1918. Even more remember an American led invasion of France in 1944—D-Day on June 6th. But few people know that there was an invasion that predated both of these great moments. It was very subtle and the effects were noticed first in the year 1858, but not officially confirmed until 1863. This was the beginning of the great French Wine Famine. French vineyard owners started to notice that the yields on their vines began to decrease. Then the leaves on the vines would turn yellow, and eventually the vines would wither and die. For quite sometime they had no idea what was causing it. Then French scientists finally determined the cause of the problem. It was a tiny aphid like bug called phylloxera. It would attach itself to the roots of vines in the vineyard and suck the sap from the roots, thus creating the withering of the vines. After further investigation, the French determined that the source of this bug was America. Phylloxera made it’s way to France via the French farmers and scientists who would buy American vines for grafting experiments for the wine business. French farmers and scientists struggled to

come up with a way to eradicate this little louse. In the meantime, the French wine grape growers lost 40 percent of their vines. The French government lost around 5 billion FF ($ 600,000). In 1863 this was a massive amount in revenue. Adjoining wine producing countries also felt the wrath of this little aphid. Vineyards in Italy, Spain, Portugal and other countries were soon effected. The actual problem is that the best wine grapes belong to a group called vitis vinifera. This group includes Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and all the other best grapes for wine making. These grapes have no resistance to this bug. The race to come up with a French solution broke into two distinct groups: the “chemists” and the “Americanists”. The chemists viewed themselves as French patriots seeking a “French” solution and resorted to using large amounts of insecticides. Initially they tried flooding the vineyards, which was mildly successful but the bugs still returned. Desperate, they had entire classes of school boys go urinate on the vines (imagine what that did to the wine’s bouquet) The Americanists took resistant rootstocks from grape types in Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, the Midwest, Montana, and New Mexico. They grafted the resistant rootstocks onto the French vines. This grafting was a complete success. The chemists accused the Americanists of being traitors to France because they used an “American” solution to solve what they thought

was a French problem. From what I can gather there were skirmishes in restaurants where the two factions would throw Brie cheese and French bread at each other. This soon dissipated with the chemists admitting defeat. To this day phylloxera has been held in check by American rootstocks on French vines. Other countries benefited from this approach as well. However, the American wine growers had their own problems with the phylloxera louse, peaking in California in the 1990’s. Many of the vineyards in Napa and Sonoma had to replant all of their vineyards at enormous cost. This was in part due to a mistake at the University of California at Davis…but that is a different saga, for another time. Lucky for us that the problem was solved because today we benefit from much higher quality wines.

About THE AUTHOR George Oliphant is a former wine importer/ wholesaler. He helped to further the distribution of some of America’s (and Europe’s) best known vineyards. His insights into the wine industry and personal connections with vineyard owners, viticulturists, and winemakers will be discussed in future columns.


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info@qbbadass.com

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The QuickBooks


Amy Fresty and Ellen Lunay—Let’s Cheer for this Spirited Partnership They have created a way of doing business which apeals to both owners and clients; it’s different...

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WORDS BY JAMIE M. KIZER

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ne of the true secrets to success when it comes to starting your own business is to come up with a fresh idea. Another secret is to form the right kind of partnership to implement your concept. By those criteria, Amy Fresty and Ellen (just call her “El”) Lunay, owners of HERE. A pop-up shop, are firmly on the right path. These two suburban moms started their business three years ago, shortly after El was exposed to the term “pop-up shop” and fascinated by the concept. (A pop-up shop or store, also known as “flash retailing,” means owners find short-term accommodations for their wares. These sales spaces can be in empty storefronts or highlighted in existing businesses.) This new way of doing business appeals to both owners and clients. It's different, urban and sophisticated. There's also the plus of making customers feel like they are in on the magical manifestation of this business-out-of-nowhere transformation.


These are very busy ladies, mothers, wives, and business owners. The partnership, they believe, helps them manage their hectic lives. It allows them both some measure of freedom. There is always someone there to lend support. “We have the ability to take a break once in awhile, whether it be to cover for personal reasons, good or bad planning, vacations, work emergencies, or just because. It is so helpful and wonderful to know that someone has your back and is keeping your business up and running. “We hear so often from the many artists we work with that they get burnt out. They can't even take one day off; they don't have anyone to bounce ideas off of, or to get inspired by on a regular basis. And, we really feel for them.” Amy and El also feel very lucky to have each other. HERE. A Pop-Up Shop: hereapopupshop.com 443-676-8729

that they purchase wholesale. Finding talented local artists has not been a problem—they even have a waiting list of artists who would like to sell through them. Amy and El have designed their own line, HERE & NOW. Collaborating with local artists and vendors, their line includes clothing, handstamped necklaces, feather earrings, beanies and candles—including one called “Good Karma” made from red currant and bamboo.

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“Don’t ever give up on something that you can’t go one day without thinking about.” – Winston Churchill

Be sure to stop by their “Mini Love Pop-up Shop” being held on Sat. February 6 from 10-5 @ Candles off Main in Annapolis.

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El did some research and explored options. In the meantime, both she and Amy had children attending Arnold Elementary. The women decided to volunteer their time and talents and bring back “Spirit Wear” to the school (clothing that shows school spirit). Together they designed the shirts (tees and sweats) and had them screen printed. Since they were both looking for something else to do that better fed their souls, the in-sync duo decided to open a “pop-up shop” of their own. Amy Fresty had relocated to Maryland from Wisconsin in 1996 and moved to Arnold eight years ago, which is when she met El. It was Amy’s neighbor, who was also friends with El, who suggested that the two meet since they had so much in common. The neighbor what right—the connection, and friendship, was instant. A graduate of Marquette with a degree in communications, Amy was always fascinated by photography, fashion and art, even taking art classes at MICA in Baltimore. But in terms of her career, she ended up getting into the mortgage industry and has worked for the same company, with the same boss, for more than

14 years. El Lunay studied fashion merchandising at the University of Maryland, moved to California after working for a year in New York; always working in the garment industry. She got married, had children, and then moved back to Maryland in 2005. She and her husband bought a business from her father, which they currently run together. Although they have different skill sets, they joke that they have “the same brain and share a lot of the same thoughts.” Neither are good at technology, they admit, but are more than willing to learn while they continue their search for the most efficient way to operate. The merchandise in their pop-up shops features creations by mostly local artists as well as items from their own line, plus a few pieces


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Helping Heroes Move On

hen financial burdens, hardships from combat related injuries, and post-traumatic stress leave our veterans fighting to keep a roof over their head, Operation Second Chance is there to give them hope to push on.

7.2%

We work tirelessly to make sure these Veterans have a support team behind them. Since our inception in 2004, we have proudly provided over $3 million in the form of rent, mortgage, and utility payments, as well as assistance with groceries, daily essential items, morale boosting activities, and family outings too. But we don’t stop there; injuries affect everyone close to our veterans as well. Operation Second Chance also provides emergency flights and lodging for family members so that they can be close to their loved ones who are recovering from battle related injuries.

Each day in America, 22 Veterans take their own lives We do what we do hoping that each life touched is someone who won’t become one of the 22 that day. Here is how you can help to put an end to veteran suicides:

Step 1:

Like our Facebook Page

This will keep you up-to-date on everything OSC is doing for our Veterans

Step 2: Share our link with your friends

In the age of technology, we are all connected. When you share our link, you put us one step closer to a veteran in need.

Step 3: Donate whatever you can

Every cent helps! When you donate, OSC is able to provide emergency relief to our veterans, giving them hope to push on!

“We are a non-profit, 501(c)3, organization of patriotic citizens committed to serving our wounded, injured, and ill combat veterans. We support Veterans and their families by building relationships and identifying and supporting immediate needs and interests. We are dedicated to promoting public awareness of the many sacrifices made by our Armed Forces.”

www.operationsecondchance.org

Ad - BizPeake.indd 1

11/23/2015 4:57:26 PM


Sisters Team Up in the Name of Beauty? WORDS BY JAMIE M. KIZER

a laugh. The secret seems to be mutual respect and a clear definition of each sister's area of responsibility. And they value the benefits of working with a family member. For instance? “Honestly, that we get to spend more time together. People have shared with us that we are the perfect example of what a sisters' relationship should look like.” However, there may be a downside: “The challenge of working with family is sometimes we don’t know how to separate business from family time,” the sisters agree. They also face the challenges of the beauty business together. They explain that “there are so many non-license salons that are providing services for a fraction of the cost.” The women are also committed to fostering

empowerment and giving back. Lisa elaborates, “Sometimes dreams do not become reality because people don’t really believe that they have the means to make it happen. I believe in encouraging others that they can do it by sharing the story of my road to success. I currently volunteer in so many different organizations and advisory boards at three cosmetology schools.” Lisa would also like to remind people to never stop dreaming.

Eccentric's the Spa Sanctuary 1215 Annapolis Road, Suite 108 Odenton, Maryland 21113 410-305-0600 eccentrics-spa.com

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Lisa Ennis, owner of Eccentric’s, the Spa Sanctuary, in Odenton, and Shelia Cameron, the Spa’s manager, are a natural-born collaboration. They’re sisters.

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he Anne Arundel County natives both attended Arundel High School and Anne Arundel County Community College before moving on to specialty schools. Amazingly, these ladies are so close they actually share a birth date, but in different years. It's hard to imagine twins being any tighter knit. “We have always been very close,” Lisa says. When it came to the big “what are we going to be when we grow up” questions, Lisa explains that she always wanted to be in the beauty industry. “My sister,” she says with a smile, “wanted to be the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Shelia is a huge Cowboys fan.” Lisa's ambitions proved to be slightly more doable. “Lisa actually is the visionary,” Shelia confides. “She started the business and had experiences with non-reliable salon managers and hair stylists that didn't buy into the visions of the salon.” So, when Shelia lost her job as a manager in retail, Lisa found the perfect solution to help grow the business. Who could be more trustworthy than your own sister? Lisa admits, “I’m totally thankful to God that she’s with me. Working together has strengthend our relationship.” Each of the ladies brings special talents to the mix. Lisa is actually a license hairstylist and Shelia takes care of human resources, bookkeeping and more behind the scenes things. Lisa handles the employee and client relations. When asked as sisters, how do they handle business conflicts—especially around employees and clients—the answer actually draws smiles. “This question should be how do we handle family conflicts?” Shelia says with


Getting Organized— From A to Z! Living an orderly life is a sizable secrets to success. Here are some effective tools, tips and talents to get you where you need to be—all conveniently in alphabetical order! WORDS BY SARAH HAGERTY

A

D

B

E

Hire an administrative assistant:

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Once upon a time, all executives had one (and called them secretaries). Nowadays it's more do-ityourself. But there is still help available and it can come in the form of part time and work-from-home options.

Boomerangs:

Keep track of whatever is “out there” (no matter your business, this will apply to you) and when it is due back. Whether you use electronic prompts or lowest-tech three by five cards, make an easily accessible notation of activity and what is expected.

C

Calendars—one of humankind's best inventions:

Where you need to be and what's due when from whom listed at a glance, in a variety of styles and formats. They range in size from business card to full wall to electronic versions as well as the double-duty favorite, desk blotter size.

Day-Timer:

Way before the appearance of the Internet, iPads or iPhones, the good old Day-Timer planner was the organizational tool of choice. And it still has a home in many briefcases and crossbody bags. It's a tactile thing.

Embrace high tech (man does not live by DayTimers alone):

Master it and use it to your advantage for information storage, tracking appointments or communications of all kinds. Get the youngest person in your office to tutor you. And remember, Excel is our friend.

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Folders are forever:

A fail safe method to get organized at the office is to clarify your priorities and projects. And the humble folder can be invaluable. A case in point: managing meetings. Start a folder for each meeting before you get together. And add to it afterward.


G

Give up some emails:

Try getting up from your desk, walking down the hall and grabbing some face time with your correspondent. They will be forced to pay attention at that exact moment and respond in real time.

H

Hire a professional:

Innovations can be distracting. Once upon a time “personal calls” were frowned on at the office. Now you can waste away most of the day on time sucks like Facebook or Amazon. Remember: Just because you are on a company computer, doesn't mean you are doing company work.

J

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” No matter how daunting the task before you, break it down into manageable increments. And don't be afraid to divvy up and delegate some of those increments. There is strength in numbers.

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Keep a label maker handy!

A place for everything and everything in its place...and clearly identified. Organizational nirvana. And make a label to put on the underside of an appropriate bin with all your passwords for ready reference.

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Take 10 minutes at the end of the workday to write down what you accomplished that day and what needs to be accomplished tomorrow. Put it in your top drawer and go home. You can start fresh in the morning after a restful, clear-conscience evening.

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Meeting are the black hole of productivity:

Hold and attend fewer meetings. A pithy memo (remember them?) with bullet points (never go over one page) may replace the need. Consider Skyping with off-site participants if absolutely necessary. At least the time spent commuting will be eliminated.

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Nourishment—Fuel the machine:

For peak performance, we need to be properly fed. Find your perfect snack for duringthe-day boosts. Yogurt, an apple and energy bars are favorites because they work. And stay hydrated.

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Odors can affect us:

According to Lifehack.org, the scent of pine increases alertness; cinnamon improves focus; lavender reduces stress; peppermint lifts our mood, and citrus wakes us up. Just make sure the person in the next cube appreciates your fragrance experiments.

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Plastic floor mats keep you mobile

The usual “U” shaped cubicle or office can be configured with three distinct work zones, and with a plastic mat, you can roll your chair into the right spot with one easy push. Make sure it's big enough and the correct shape.

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Quantities matter

Here are a couple of helpful platitudes: “Less is more” and “When in doubt, throw it out.” We are all drowning in things we don't use and don't need. Know the difference, take action and avoid starring in an episode of Hoarders.

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Ignore some technology:

Last Act of the Day:

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There are wonderful people out there who organize for a living! Whether in your home or at your office, they know how to get things done. And there is an added advantage: If you are paying for this personalized advice, you might be more inclined to follow it.


R

U

X

S

V

Y

Relocate?

Our daily commutes may be the worse waste in our lives—especially since we live in traffic jam hell. A new study revealed that workers in the Maryland/Virginia/D.C. area spend an extra 82 hours a year in traffic! Change jobs or change addresses—and change your life for the better!

Splurge:

Spring for a spectacular desk set— complete with matching blotter, pen holder, letter opener, in-bins etc. It will encourage organization as well as up your classy/stylish quotient.

T

Three-ring binders work wonders:

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You can control your most unmanageable project with the careful use of a three-ring binder and its endless tab-page possibilities. Just contemplating the layout and best usage will help bring it into focus.

Unpleasant tasks should move to the top of the list:

Do not put off dreaded assignments. Doing what we don't want to do is the true definition of being a grown-up. Crunching those budget numbers could actually improve life for you, your coworkers and your company. And it will feel so good when you've finished!

Room with a view may not be a good idea:

Turn your chair away from that window—it's a distraction and light directly in your face, instead of on your work product, isn't good for your eyesight. Stepping away from the desk periodically and moving to the window, however, can be rejuvenating.

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White noise:

Thanks to earbuds, music playing office neighbors are an obsolete distraction. But there are still noisy printers, AC fans, loud phone talkers in too-close cubicles, etc. that break our concentration throughout the day. Consider a white noise machine that lessens the impact. Be prepared—you'll soon want one for your bedroom, too.

XS to XL

Stacking storage bins in multiple sizes can keep material and information close at hand. Clear plastic bins lets you see those reports you only use once a year or the time sheets you use every day. Store the smaller bins on a bookshelf and the biggies as standalones in the corner of your office.

Taking care of you:

There are a few simple steps to make your own life easier: Make regular, long range hair or nail appointments. Lay your clothes out the night before. Buy comfortable, classic clothes that work well together. Get regular oil changes and check tire inflation. Nothing ruins a day like a flat.

Z

Find your zen:

And there's an app for that— Headspace. Co-created by a buff, former Buddhist monk, its a personal trainer for your mind. Over one million users have learned how to apply mindfulness to their everyday lives.


Is Your Company Smarketing? Five things you need to DO NOW

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WORDS BY SUZANNE RATTI

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hat does your sales funnel look like? When is the last time you actually sat down and mapped it out? Are you retooling your sales and marketing efforts, based on changes in buyer behavior and technology? How has technology impacted your sales funnel in the last year, 5 years, 10 years? Most business owners think about the ideal sales funnel when they are developing their initial business plan and/ or go-to-market strategy. Along the way, the sales funnel evolves. Perhaps your products and services evolve. But, how often do you, as a business owner, go back and re-tool your sales funnel? With the evolution of technology, the way in which our customers seek and find products and services is constantly changing…and these changes are occurring at a faster pace than ever before!

Tip #1:

Re-evaluate your sales funnel as part of your annual business plan strategy. Yes, that’s right. You need to re-tool and evaluate your sales funnel every year. Why? When you map out your business strategy for the coming year, you probably allocate budgets for each department in your business. So, the million dollar question is, are you still segregating sales vs. marketing? Time for the “aha” moment and Tip #2.

Tip #2:

Marketing is no longer a stand-alone department. It is an integral part of your Sales department. Why is this important? Because if you are segregating sales vs. marketing, then you are ignoring the fact that the sales process actually begins with the first time a prospective buyer searches for your product—almost universally, online. This changes the entire sales funnel! More importantly, by ignoring this one fact, your organization is probably not maximizing potential sales op-

portunities. Most buyers research a product, service and company 10 times or more before they ever actually call or email a company to buy a product or service. So, your approach to sales and marketing should be so tightly intertwined that they are no longer perceived as ‘sales’ and ‘marketing’, they are one cohesive strategy. We now call this cohesive strategy Smarketing. Wikipedia defines Smarketing as “the process of integrating the sales and marketing processes of a business.” The objective is for the sales and marketing functions to have a common integrated approach. This can lead to annual revenue growth of up to 20 percent, according to a study in 2010. The objective is to promote the product or service to potential buyers and at the same time integrate this process with the sales department’s activities.

Tip #3:

Take your marketing plan funnel and place it on top of your sales funnel. Your marketing efforts are now at the top of the sales


Concept Graphic by Ideas360, LLC

Actively evaluate and implement digital marketing strategies and technologies to ensure you are touching prospects the moment they begin searching for your product/service. It’s often expensive to hire an individual to have on-staff, so enlist the resources of a consultant or outsource these activities, but be sure to constantly monitor and evaluate the results.

Tip #5:

As the business owner or CEO, don’t take your eye off the Smarketing ball. Don’t implement the plan and expect the Sales & Marketing stars to automatically align. Smarketing is so critical to a company’s growth and success that you must stay involved in this process, at least until you have complete confidence that your designated leaders understand how to align these goals and how to retool and realign as demands and technology change. In addition, technology is so critical to marketing success you’ll want to be sure you have someone on staff and/or acting as your consultant, to perform checks and balances, ensuring you are maximizing technology as part of this process.

Marketing Responsibility Sales Responsibility Buyer behavior, over the past 10 years has changed dramatically, but more importantly, it’s still evolving. As an example, consider a consumer who is in the market to buy a car. In the “old days,” a husband and wife would venture out on a Saturday and canvas all of the local dealerships evaluating features and benefits. They would spend weeks or months doing showroom visits, talking about pricing and getting to know the salespeople and their managers. A few more weeks or months would go by and they may even talk with their local bank or credit union about financing options. After they have narrowed down their choices, they would likely make a few more showroom visits and take a test drive. Finally, a salesperson would

capture them in the showroom and use a variety of techniques to “close the sale.” Today, that same husband and wife team do most, if not all, of their research online. They may belong to credit unions or buying groups who tell them what price they should pay. They seek reviews on dealerships and likely nail down most of the sale (what, how much and where to buy) before they ever make a showroom visit. If anything else influences their decision, it is likely the relationship and/or personality of the salesperson because everything else has already been decided. Thus, the sales funnel starts with the first touch which is almost always… online. If you are not actively utilizing digital marketing strategies, you are losing customers and, more importantly, putting your sales team at a significant disadvantage.

About THE AUTHOR Suzanne Ratti has over 25 years of experience in Sales and serves as an executive adviser and facilitator to CEOs who want to grow their organizations. You can find out more at: www. Ideas360LLC.com

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SMARKETING SALES FUNNEL

Tip #4:

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funnel and should be more aligned. You should have one leader responsible for the entire Smarketing channel and this leader should understand and value the role that effective marketing can play in sales performance. All sales and marketing personnel must report up through this channel to have proper alignment. All goals should be tied to Smarketing performance. Sales and marketing personnel will need to have consensus on what are the characteristics of a “good lead.” Marketing personnel will harvest for those specific types of leads, and sales personnel will have specific action plans to follow up and execute on those leads. There are a variety of marketing automation tools that can assist with this process and provide analytics to help retool and evolve the process. So, now your sales funnel will look like this:


benefiting

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Be there!

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May 1, 2016 2-6 PM | Grand Lodge of Maryland

SIP • SAVOR • SHOP • SUPPORT

winewomenandshoes.com/baltimore

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11/23/2015 2:51:42 PM


POWERHOUSE PRINCIPLES MEET THE POWER PORTRAIT: AN ARCHETYPE SELFIE TM

Experience The New Chemistry of Success A One Day Workshop

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You will:

Are you strong, powerful, confident? Do you know how to access your unique energy and use it to shape the future you envision? Are you the architect of your dreams? Do you have the skills to get where you want to go? Our unique workshop offers a new essential road map to success. Integrating outer knowledge and inner wisdom is the key and we’re offering the tools to get you there (it’s fun too!).

Facilitated by Sandy Travis Bildahl and Jamie M. Kizer, both entrepreneurs and certified life/business coaches, this workshop is guaranteed to activate, motivate, and energize you and your business!

Learn proven PowerHouse PrinciclesTM for success in life and business Create a Power Portrait: Archetype-Selfie – a visual cut and paste project (no art skills needed) Know that what was unseen in yourself has now been seen, felt and empowered. Energize “Power Principles” with a new vision of who you really are

Join us on February 27, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., followed by a Happy “Power” Hour! Space is limited to 20 participants so register now! For more information and registration visit: http://Archetypeselfie.eventbrite.com Registration fee of $65.00 includes all materials, healthy lunch, and your happy “power” hour! PHOTO: JOHN BILDAHL


Supporting the overall financial health of an indivudual. WORDS BY SHERI HAMBURGER, CPA AND HEATHER LALOR, CPA

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inancial stress is a top concern for most people. As a business owner, you need to be sensitive to the fact that employees do not leave such stress at home when they come to work. Financially stressed employees are proven to reduce the bottom line of a business, so you need to take steps now to promote financial wellness in the workplace. The American Psychological Association conducts an annual survey, Stress in America: the 2014 results had a striking impact on employers, as two of the top stressors were money and work. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC, 24 percent of employees admit their personal finances have been a distraction at work, and of those employees, 39 percent spend at least three hours each week either thinking about or dealing with financial problems while at work. With these factors coming together in the workplace, you may not be getting the most out of your employees.

Promoting Financial Wellness in the Workplace

You will not be able to eliminate all of your employees’ stress. However, you can implement a program that provides employees with resources to identify and mitigate financial stress. In this article, we will discuss steps you can take to improve the financial wellness of your employees. What exactly is a “financial wellness program?” According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s August 2014 report, “Financial wellness at work”, a financial wellness program is one that assesses and supports an employee’s “complete financial picture” or the “overall financial health of an individual.” A successful financial wellness program must address how all aspects of an individual’s financial life fit together, and should support an employee’s short-term and long-term financial needs; the end goal is to enhance the employee’s overall financial well-being. Why should I have a “financial wellness program?” Employers who address the financial stress of their employees report increased

productivity and greater employee satisfaction and engagement; conversely, absenteeism, turnover rates and health-related costs are reduced. According the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, engaged employees are “those who are not only satisfied with their jobs, their companies, and the conditions of their employment, they are also enthusiastic and committed to the mission of the company where they work and are willing to expend extra effort to see their employer succeed.” Many employers struggle to meet the daily demands of keeping their business running, so adding your employees’ financial stress to the plate may seem like an unnecessary concern. However, when you look at the big picture, the financial stress of your employees impacts your business on a daily basis. By addressing the financial well being of your employees, your business might just experience the small push it needs to surpass the competition. How do I start a “financial wellness program?” An overarching approach is not to limit your program to just your employees; be sure to


“Employers who address the financial stress of their employees report increased productivity and greater employee satisfaction and engagement.”

Next steps Talk to your accountant to see what benefits are right for you. Once you cross that hurdle, be sure to establish a central location whereby employees can quickly find and access information; this can be a page on your website, a folder within your company’s shared computer drive or a bulletin board in a communal area of the workplace. Consider implementing your financial wellness program during the onboarding process, as new employees are already in the mindset of making financial decisions about withholding, insurance coverage and participation in retirement plans. It is important to remember the benefits to you in promoting financial wellness within your business. Small steps can result in large savings and, more importantly, you will have satisfied and engaged employees.

About THE AUTHORS Sheri Hamburger, CPA and Heather Lalor, CPA are with the firm of Toal, Griffith & Ragula, LLC. They can be contacted at: shamburger@tgacpa.com or hlalor@tgacpa.com respectively.

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assistance, this benefit is a tax deduction to the business, and the employee is allowed to exclude it from income, up to a thresholding limit, in most situations. More information is available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15b.pdf.

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place

engage their spouses as well since the fiscal decisions of one will, oftentimes, impact the other. The great news for your bottom line in implementing such a program is that focusing on your employees’ financial wellness does not have to require an increase in costs to your business. A simple way is to leverage your existing benefits by ensuring that your employees understand current benefits already being offered. Another cost-free plan is to offer to directly deposit your employees’ paychecks into multiple accounts, such as checking and savings; one of the easiest ways for them to build savings is to have a specific amount automatically deposited into a separate account. You should also consider offering seminars and workshops on budgeting and debt management by inviting guest speakers from local financial institutions to your workplace; many banks will provide this service for free if they think they might obtain new accounts out of the session. There are several tax-preferred savings accounts that your employees may be able to take advantage of. By informing your employees of these options, you will help them save for future expenditures. • The College Savings Plans of Maryland allow employees to saving for higher education. There are flexible contribution amounts starting at $25 per month, so your employees are able to save what they can within their budget. More information is available at http://www.collegesavingsmd.org/ •If your medical insurance plan is a high deductible health plan, look into offering a health savings account for your employees. When an unexpected medical expense pops up, your employees have a fund to pull from, which reduces their financial stress and anxiety. More information is available at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf. There are also some additional benefits you may want to consider offering to your employees. • Most employers can offer employer dependent care assistance to their employees; this fringe benefit allows employers to provide up to $5,000 per employee to offset dependent care costs while they work. The benefit is a tax deduction to the business, and the employee is allowed to exclude it from income, in most situations. More information is available at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p15b.pdf. • Most employers can offer transportation and parking benefits to their employees. As with dependent care


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Looking for your Dream Home? Look no Further! I CAN HELP YOU: Stage your existing home for sale • Determine your selling price Determine your buying goals • Research homes that fit your lifestyle and needs Find the best investment for your budget Provide guidance and quality referrals, ensuing your transaction is smooth I’m committed to providing you the best service possible, to make your buying or selling experience stress free.

Debbie Henninger, Realtor® Keller Williams Select Realtors ~ Luxury Int'l 410.982.3476 / 410.972.4000

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HomeSearchApp:http://app.kw.com/KWCAEHZP


A Business’ Best Friend Introducing the invaluable interns of BizPeake Journal

TM

Q&A: An Intern’s Per

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Camden Bathras 1. WhICH HIGH SCHOOL DO YOU ATTEND/what ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION? I am a senior at Severna Park High School. Class of 2016! After graduation, I'll be attending East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, starting in the Fall 2016 semester. I plan on studying Business Marketing, and Film. 2. What do you see as the biggest trends in your particular field of study/ expertise? Some big trends I see coming in the marketing field for 2016 are the continued importance of social media advertising, and cooperation/ coordination through big name social media apps; such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 3. How can a business owner/ corporation be of the most assistance to interns? And,

and at the same time, how can interns be of most benefit to businesses? Business owners can be of value to their interns by giving them opportunities. We are here for opportunities that we can only access outside of the classroom. This means, introduce us to new people, give us a task which will benefit both the business and the intern, and let us be creative (we are young, and always have a different point of view). Interns are looking for a professional setting, networking opportunities for after high school, experience in the field, and to feel some assurance about the field they decided to pursue. This is a great way to test the waters for future jobs, and make sure we are on the right path. Interns can be a great benefit to the business. They can keep you up to date, and help you to bring your business into the world of today. Effective use of your interns can help the

business everyday, it will make your life easier, and the business stronger. 4. What is your career goal/ ambition? One of my biggest career goals is to combine my love of business and film, and open my own production studio. 5. Where are you from originally; and what city do you live in now? I am from the Glen Burnie area, where I still reside today, living in the house my father grew up in.


B

efore college, during college, after college—or even in lieu of college— an internship can be life changing. It's one of those rare win-win situations. Businesses benefit greatly from the support and enthusiastic efforts of interns. It also feels really good to serve as mentor and teacher to a deserving young person. And the student/workers gain experience by stepping away from the rarefied world of academia and dipping a toe into the ocean of the real world of business. This leg-up legacy can include: 1. Practical knowledge of a field you think interests you. It can be just as helpful to discover what areas may not suit you. A career-minded young person could be saved years of wrong turns by simply trying on a field to see if it is the right fit. 2. Invaluable introductions to the right people in the right fields. An internship can serve as a three-month job interview. What better way to demonstrate to a potential employer exactly what you can do?

3. Having interned can give you a competitive edge when it comes time to find that “real job.” Whether at a different company or even in a different city than your internship, future employers have an immediate understanding of a person who has garnered experience other than life guarding at the beach or stocking the shelves at Old Navy. 4. The knowledge students learn on the job can successfully translate to a better performances in school. Improved organizational habits and a souped up work ethic can be expected. Additionally, the clarity of a goal in mind will make the educational journey more fruitful. 5. Getting familiar with an office dynamic. This may be the most important benefit of all. How you conduct yourself in a business environment is a balancing act between proper decorum (really, you're going to wear that?) and having a working knowledge of abnormal psychology. Bosses, co-workers, and clients can present challenges that have nothing to do with your talents—but everything to do with keeping your job. Master this skill, and you'll be set for life.

n’s Perspective

3. How can a business owner/ corporation be of the most assistance to interns? And, at the same time, how can interns be of most benefit to businesses? The most common thing that I believe interns are looking for is experience. These days “entry level” positions aren't really entry level anymore. They require experience. Taking responsibility for heftier tasks like managerial assignments or maybe even taking the reigns on medium sized projects rather than just answering the phone and sending emails would be very helpful. Luckily I interned at Biz Peake, so I have numerous tidbits and achievements that I can add to my resume. 4. What is your career goal/ ambition? My career goal is to be self-employed. I foresee

myself being a serial entrepreneur because I have so many ideas and things I'm passionate about! My biggest affinity is art, so a couple years ago I started Lux Logos, a graphic design company that specializes in logo design. I'll be launching another business later in the year that will offer web design services. And I see myself being heavily involved in several non-profit related projects in the future. 5. Where are you from originally; and what city do you live in now? I'm from Baltimore Highlands, a suburban neighborhood on the outskirts of South Baltimore. I moved to Glen Burnie to have a better commuting distance to school as well as to be closer to my second home, the gym.

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1. What degree have you earned/what did you study? I just earned an A.A.S. in Business Management and an A.A.S. in Construction Management at Anne Arundel County Community College. I will be completing the Entrepreneurial Studies degree program and the Transfer Studies degree program this Spring. 2. What do you see as the biggest trends in your particular field of study/ expertise? One of the biggest trends in the graphic design industry is minimalism. Taking advantage of white space by creating a marketing piece that is more “app like” with a limited amount of images, a couple of colors, and large text with a captivating message is more ideal now. Overcrowding your marketing material takes away from the message.

Issue #4 TRENDS

Brandon Lantz


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F AP AN IR An R NU ST na IL AL po 6, lis 21 , M 06 D

2015: Annapolis, Maryland was ranked #5 in the country among the Best U.S. Cities for Female Entrepreneurs. *

To celebrate and acknowledge the Female Entrepreneurs of Annapolis and the entire Chesapeake Bay Region, BizPeake Journal is proud to host the “First Annual Women Entrepreneur’s Conference” TM

Focused on the topic of GROWTH, this conference is ideal for women business owners who are looking to take their business to the next level. If you’re a woman entrepreneur who has already achieved some success in her business and are ready to explore or implement growth strategies in 2016, then come join us for a content-rich, results-oriented and accountability-building event! Highlights of the conference include:

• 5 Dynamic and Successful Keynote Speakers who will share their personal stories and valuable insights about how they grew their companies to the 7-figure mark and beyond • 10 breakout tables over lunch which are subject-specific and facilitated by experts. Topics include: Inbound Marketing; Hiring/Managing Employees; Funding Growth/Pitching Investors; Bidding on State and Federal Contracts; Managing Wealth; Effective use of social media/SEO; Ideal Customer Service; Benefits of Peer Advisory; Mastering Your Mindset; and Building Your Brand

• Opportunity to network with other “growth-focused” women entrepreneurs from around the region

Hosted by:

Presenting Sponsors:

D I G I TA L | B R A N D S T R AT E GY | D E S I G N

For Sponsorship Opportunities Call: 410-705-4415 * Source: www.goodcall.com

Space is limited to only 80 women, so register early! Registration is $100.00 and includes all conference materials, lunch and evening reception. For more information and to register visit: http://womensbizconference2016.eventbrite.com

April 6, 2016 | O’Callahan’s Hotel-Annapolis | 8:30 a.m- 4:30 p.m. w/ Evening Reception


WE KICK ASS. NO DRAMA. JUST AWESOME WORK.

844-821-9227 RedThinkingLLC.com

Profile for BizPeake Journal

Trends Issue  

2016 Business Trends: We keep it local!

Trends Issue  

2016 Business Trends: We keep it local!

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