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March 2011

Keeping up your online listings By: Becky McCray Source: Smallbizsurvival.com Seems like every week you discover another website that lists one of your local events, usually with some key piece of information wrong! And then there's another directory listing your town, asking you to send them updated information monthly or yearly. And there's the state tourism site, and the regional site, and your neighboring town has offered to trade event calendars.... How can you possibly ever keep all these up to date?

Small towns in particular should keep updated info on ePodunk and LASR. Everyone should look into their listings on Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, and UrbanSpoon at a minimum.

spreadsheet. The work to maintain this list pays off in fewer inaccuracies online about you.

Want to check the credibility of any site you find? Run them through Compete.com along with your own site. That will give you an idea of their traffic. It's a starting point.

All these sites offer links back to your local destinations, and probably to your tourism site, too. Links are the currency of the web, and they make your sites more credible in the eyes of the search engines. Not to mention that these sites actually do generate some visitors. Just this week, a local tourism person told me a potential visitor called about an event, with incorrect dates found online.

Build a simple spreadsheet or database. Include for each listing:

A Word About Keywords * Web Address / URL Before you get started, you need to know your area's keywords. Start with your town name, add in attractions, event names, and important tourism-related businesses. You'll want that set of keywords to do monitoring online and other projects, so you might as well make a decent list now.

* Type of info they are keeping on you. (You might want to make this a checklist format: events, lodging, food, etc.)

The Unexpected Upside

Two Secrets 1. You could easily delegate much of this process to volunteers, interns, etc. 2. You could also do your paper directories and publications the same way. That way, when you finish your annual calendar of events, you'll know where all to send it to get it online.

* How to do corrections and submissions. (Email? URL? Login? Be sure to record those logins.)

Find all the listings. Do a simple search at Google, and another at Bing, looking for listings of your town and events. Bookmark all those listings.

* Update schedule. (Probably annually when you do your calendar.) As you run across other listings online throughout the year, add them to the

Becky McCray Smallbizsurvival Author

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Page 1 March Calendar

Page 2 A note from the President

Page 5 Welcome New Members

Page 6 Happening in Hillsdale


Chamber March Calendar of Events *** indicates all may attend March 1 Ribbon Cutting*** 11:00 AM Coney’s & Swirls 44 East Bacon - Hillsdale March 1 Ribbon Cutting*** 4:00 PM Olivia’s Chop House 205 East Chicago Street, Jonesville March 1 Car Show Committee Meeting Chamber Office 6:30 PM

Tune in to WCSR the 4th Thursday of every month for Chamber Chat. Listen to updates from the Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce. Learn more about Chamber benefits, program and services offered, as well as Chamber event updates. Another service brought to you by your Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce.

March 10 Ribbon Cutting*** 1:00 PM O’Rilley Auto Parts 3131 West Carleton Road - Hillsdale March 15 Car Show Committee Meeting Chamber Office 6:30 PM March 17 Chamber Board of Directors Meeting 7:30 AM - Chamber Office March 24 Hello Hillsdale County Breakfast *** Johnny T’s Bistro 7:45 AM March 24 10:45 AM Chamber Chat WCSR - 92.1 FM/1340 AM

Recent Ribbon Cutting Hillsdale Glass and Door 1334 Hudson Road Hillsdale February 10, 2011 The Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce welcomes Hillsdale Glass & Door to their new home and wish them many years of success.

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A NOTE FROM Dear Chamber Member, The national unemployment rates are down, retailers are seeing increased sales, manufacturing is on the rise and spring is around the corner. Now, if we could work on the price of gasoline…. With three ribbon cuttings in the books and another one in the near future and six new members over the last few weeks, we too are seeing progress. Prep work is under way for the Business Expo, Annual Dinner, Used Car Sale and 20th Annual Hillsdale County Car Show which will all be held in the next three months. The 11th edition of the Hillsdale County Phone Directory will be published, along with a Hillsdale County map and visitor guide. The Hillsdale County Chamber Phone Directory is a useful tool for businesses and residents alike. If you haven’t already placed your ad in the Hillsdale County Phone Directory, please be sure and give us a call as soon as possible as time is running out. Not only does this resource promote business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for area businesses, it also provides income to help sustain the daily Chamber operations which help bridge the gap between membership dues and the budget. Utility phone companies are required to produce a phone directory. They however are not required to include the entire community, only the areas in which they provide services. Eleven years ago the Chamber made a decision to provide a comprehensive county wide phone directory and we are still committed to this today. Promoting Hillsdale County businesses is our mission and this is one of the means in which we are able to do so. Please know, the decision to dissolve the phone directory partnership was not a decision made by the Chamber. Invitations and award nomination forms will be soon be mailed for our upcoming Annual Dinner which will be held in April. Please take time to complete the nomination forms. A “Son of a Son of a Sailor” tells me it will be “Cheesburger in Paradise”, so you might want to dust off your Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts and get ready for an island good time. As always, if there is anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Regards,

Karri Doty, IOM President/Executive Director

Michigan's Ten Steps The 45 x 20 initiative is aimed at reducing the state's reliance on fossil fuels 45 percent by the year 2020, as measured against the 2002 baseline year. The following methods will be used to achieve this objective: Source: Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth 1. Energy Efficiency The cheapest energy is energy that we don't use. Improved energy efficiency measures result in less wasted energy and heat, providing direct and

immediate savings to the consumer. Through a variety of low-cost, low-tech solutions measures such as improved insulation and caulking, more efficient appliances, and high efficiency lighting, Michigan homeowners and businesses can reduce energy and heating expenses by up to 32 percent. In essence, use less, save more. 2. Michigan Saves This new program will offer all Michigan households the opportunity to install energy efficiency and weatherization measures in their homes with no up front cost. The energy savings can help offset the monthly loan payment for the installations.

3. Performance Contracting Performance contracting operates like the Michigan Saves program except that it is a service offered by private businesses to schools, colleges and universities as well as other private businesses. Performance contracting finances the purchase of energy efficient measures based on future savings from less energy use. 4. Accelerating Large Scale Renewable Energy Deployment The Obama Administration's energy policies and objectives are in full alignment with Michigan's energy goals.

Continued on Page 13 Page 2


Featured Member

Rick Searfoss 44 North Howell Street, Ste. A Hillsdale, MI 49242 (517) 437-4088

571 patients throughout Hillsdale and Branch counties. Pharmacist Rick Searfoss says that there are no other pharmacies of this type in the two counties that they serve.

long term care patients of all ages. They also assist their senior citizen patients with their Medicare Part D insurance coverage to help them choose the right coverage for their needs.

Rick believes what sets their pharmacy apart from their competition is that their prices are low and very competitive with other pharmaceutical suppliers, big box stores and membership clubs.

To find out more about the products and services Nash Drugs Long Term Care Pharmacy has to offer, give Rick Searfoss or any other staff member a call at (517) 437-4088

Realizing there was a need for pharmacy services for long term care patients in Hillsdale County, Bill Nash opened Nash Drugs Long Term Care Pharmacy in 2007. Nash Drugs Long Term Care Pharmacy is a full service pharmacy with 1 full time Nash Drugs Long Term Care pharmacist and 7 seven full time support Pharmacy prides themselves on being a and delivery staff. They provide long family oriented business that cares about term care facilities of various sizes their customers on a personal level which pharmaceutical products as well as over is not often seen in the long term care the counter products like aspirin, Tylenol, pharmacy industry. When their staff vitamins, cough & cold medicine, visits the facilities that they serve, many diabetic supplies and incontinence suptimes they take time to visit with the plies to facilities that house long term patients and get to know them and their facilities. needs. Nash Drugs Long Term Care Currently they serve 35 facilities with Pharmacy accepts all insurance plans and

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3 Tips to Aggressively Move Your Small Business Forward in 2011 By: Jamillah Warner Source: smallbiztrends.com It’s official: We are two months into the new year and one month away from slipping back into old and sometimes unproductive habits. We know what this looks like—we see it all around us. From calorie-conscious shoppers in the grocery store because everyone is dieting for the New Year to overcrowded gyms because all of us are redesigning our bodies. “Give it a month,” said the lady beside me at the gym, “and half of these people will disappear. Then there will be plenty of room. Just wait. You’ll see.” But is that what we really want in our business? To slip back into old habits? I want better outcomes for myself and my clients. So let’s get fit to achieve our 2011 business goals.

Many small business owners shy away from the financials but in this economy (and for long-term success), pinching pennies is still a savvy move. Among her tips, Anita suggests that we call the accountant sooner than later. “A good accountant can help shape up your business’s finances all year long.” A good accountant can help you discover room for

* It is up to us to PLAN, to develop an easy strategy for helping others share information about our company and services. This includes describing your company, understanding your ideal customer and giving your people (your referral team) sound bites that make sense. In other words, teach them how to refer you business.

Have a topic you would like more information on or know of an article that could benefit your fellow Chamber Members? Send your requests via email to Jon - jon@hillsdalecountychamber.com with any topic requests or articles you wish to share and we will do our best to publish the information in the Commerce Connection. When submitting articles please include the author and source so that permission can be obtained for the usage of the material.

* It is up to us to work the PROCESS, to consistently implement our referral request plan. Taylor suggests that we meet in person, via online software like Skype or GoToMeeting, or by phone. Whatever it takes—just connect. And when you do it, don’t act like a salesperson; act like a friend in business. See how you can help them (first), but also tell them what you are trying to do and ask for feedback. The connection will make you top of mind.

See, your referral partners meet your ideal customers everyday, but it’s up to you to give your partners what they need in order to say your name, mention your service, and strongly and naturally suggest your products.

improvement, including cost-cutting solutions that you can implement now as 1. Shop and See well as reviewing and fine-tuning your financial systems. Why go through another Get to It Every business sells something to year with “good enough” accounting and somebody for some reason. You know Implementing business solutions is like your product, you know your customer, but cash management when great is available working out. You’re not a kid in the gym (and could save you time and money too)? do you know their purchasing forced to do mandatory exercise anymore. environment? John Mariotti, consultant You’re in charge. You control how often 3. Ask for Referrals and novelist, suggests that we master the you go, the kind of exercise (run, step, art of competitive shopping. It lets you dance—whatever you like) you do, and Ivana Taylor, author and CEO of Third study your product from your (potential) Force, a strategy firm for small businesses, how intense you make it. And because you client’s perspective. suggests 9 tips to get more ideal customers control all of that, then you control how quickly success comes and how long it calling you instead of you cold calling In other words, put yourself in your lasts. them. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Just the customers’ shoes. Go to the stores where solution that we’ve been waiting for. they shop and see what sits on the shelf Choose (at least) one and get to it. Referral beside your product. Experience it the team, here I come. Well, if we actually intend to move our way your client does. Whether you sell business forward in–spite of the economy services or products, competitive shopping (or whatever we blame our weaknesses on allows you to hear the background noise this week), then it requires smart work on that your (potential) customers deal with. our end. And we just may have to do Putting yourself in the market and making things in ways that we have never done honest observations can help you (and your them before. team) discover how to cut through the noise and stand out. * It is up to us to PARTNER, to identify 2. Call the Accountant our people, the responsive connections in Anita Campbell of Small Business Trends, our lives, the ones who take our phone recently provided 5 smart steps for cutting calls, the non-competing members in our costs and keeping more of what you make. industry and connect with them.

The views expressed in the Commerce Connection may not necessarily reflect the views of the Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce or its staff. Page 4


Do you have a product, program or service you would like others to know about?

DON’T BE FOOLED by the competition…

Call the Chamber today at 517-437-6401 to have your business listed as a featured member.

The phone directory you have relied on for the past ten years is the Hillsdale County Chamber Phone Directory. Our graphic designer is local, our sales rep is at the Chamber on a daily basis and we will continue to print the book just as we have in the past. Our directory will continue to be: 1) mailed to every business and household in Hillsdale County, 2) available at various distribution points throughout the county, 3) exclusively in all relocation packets and realtor requests, 4) distributed at our Hillsdale County Fair booth, 5) distributed at all Chamber events open to the public. Your advertising support of the Chamber directory helps keep your dues affordable and allows the Chamber to continue providing programs, benefits and services. This is your last call to advertise in the 2011 Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce

Phone Directory. Don’t be left out of the #1 directory in Hillsdale County. Contact Larry Mears at the Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce today at (517) 437-6401

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Hodz Designs Sally Hodshire 120 North Main Street Camden, MI 49232 (517) 368-5623 Graphic Design & Printing Baker Fabricating, Inc. Larry Baker 1001 Crispell Road Clarklake, MI 49234 (517) 529-1042 Metal Fabrication, Bulk Oil & Fuel Specialists Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Stasha Arreguin 20 Care Drive, Suite C Hillsdale, MI 49242 (517) 437-3100 Raise community awareness about the issues of child abuse & neglect

O’Reilly Auto Parts Victor Wells 3131 W. Carleton Road, Hillsdale, MI 49242 (517) 437-4874 Auto Parts Store SA Industries 2, Inc. Mike Carmendy 2249 West Moore Road Hillsdale, MI 49242 (517) 849-9647 Metal Manufacturing Roxanne Shankster Waldron, MI Individual Member


Happening in

Hillsdale County Christie Plemmons, joined the RE/MAX Preferred Realty sales team as an associate broker.

a new and permanent location at 1334 Hudson Road - Hillsdale.

Mary Wolfram is the newest Hillsdale City Council member for Ward 3.

The Hillsdale County Road Olivia’s Chop House in Jonesville offi- Commission has enacted frost laws for cial opened on March 1st with a ribbon local roads until further notice. cutting ceremony. Judge Nye is working to restore the Coney's & Swirls - 44 East Bacon Hillsdale County Probate Courtroom Street - Hillsdale recently remodeled the from public donations. inside of their store and increased their seating capacity from 8 to 22 customers Sweets for Life, featuring Mackinac Trading Company opened in downtown and is open for business. Hillsdale and is operated by Amy Adair joined Classic Cuts Plus Life Challenge of Michigan. Salon as a nail technician. Hillsdale Community Health Center Hillsdale Glass and Door has moved to has a new website - www.hchc.com.

S E N A T O R’ S S P

Patrick’s Gold moved to downtown Jonesville and will soon be opening a second location in Hillsdale. Reading & Allen are considering allowing wind energy farms to be placed various areas in the communities.

TLIGHT

many programs and the elimination of the Michigan Business Tax. The cuts would address the estimated $1.5 billion budget deficit. He also proposed several Governor’s Budget Proposal reforms to the tax code to pay for the Presented additional $1.5 billion shortfall that the MBT repeal would create, such as a tax On February 17, Governor Snyder on pensions, elimination of the MBT tax presented his budget proposal to the credits, and reinstatement of all personal Legislature. Each year, the Governor presents a proposed spending plan to the property taxes. How do you feel about these changes and how would they affect Senate and House of Representatives. your business? I ask that you let me know your concerns so that I can The Legislature then makes changes to represent your interests in the budget the proposal and sends it back to the negotiations. I prefer that you send me Governor for approval. In the past written comments so that I have them in several years, this process has been dragged out until the budget deadline at your own words. You may mail them to my office at: P.O. Box 30036, the end of September. This year, we hope to have the budget completed much Lansing, MI 48909; fax them to me at: (517) 373-5944; or, email me at: sooner. However, the Legislature has many difficult and necessary decisions to SenBCaswell@senate.mi.gov. Please remember to include your name, address, make about the budget and we should and telephone number. not make these decisions hastily. Personal Property Tax Relief For Small The Governor proposed budget cuts to

By Senator Bruce Caswell February 23, 2011

Businesses. I recently introduced Senate Bill 142 to eliminate personal property tax on new equipment purchased by businesses of 25 employees or fewer. This bill would eventually phase out the personal property taxes for small businesses by exempting any future equipment purchases from the tax. Under the Michigan Business Tax, most of the larger businesses do not pay personal property tax. My legislation would help small businesses by including them in this exemption. As always, my office is open to anyone seeking assistance. My toll-free phone number to my Lansing office is 1-866-305-0316 and the fax is (517) 373-5944.

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Annual Dinner (April) 2011 Theme “Cheeseburger in Paradise” This successful event with over 150 Chamber members, elected officials and guests features entertainment, awards presentations and a review of the past year’s accomplishments and a look ahead to the coming year. ______ Island Fever - $1000 – (1 available) - 8 dinners & 16 drink tickets, preferred seating with table sign, recognition in the dinner program, name and logo on invitations, welcome dinner attendees at podium, opportunity to place promotional items at place settings, special recognition in the annual report, feature article and insert (provided by you) in Commerce Connection. ______ Margaritaville - $750 – 6 dinners & 12 drink tickets, preferred seating with table sign, recognition in the dinner program and annual report, opportunity to place promotional items at shared sponsor table, insert and ad (provided by you) in Commerce Connection. ______ It’s Five 0’Clock Somewhere - $500 – 4 dinners and 8 drink tickets, preferred seating with table sign, recognition in the dinner program and annual report, opportunity to display items at shared sponsor table, and insert (provided by you) in the Commerce Connection. ______ Changes in Latitude - Changes in Attitude - $250 – 2 dinners & 4 drink tickets, preferred seating, recognition in the dinner program and annual report, opportunity to display items at shared sponsor table. ______ Parrot Head - $125 – 1 dinner & 2 drink tickets, preferred seating and recognition in the dinner program. ______ Coconuts in the Breeze (Awards)– $250 per award – (10 available) - 2 complimentary dinners & 4 drink tickets for you and 2 complimentary dinners and 4 drink tickets for the award recipients, participation in award recipient selection, opportunity to present award at dinner, recognition in the dinner program and annual report. Select the award you are most interested in sponsoring: Ambassador of the Year, Non-Profit of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Chamber Mission, Business Person of the Year, Architectural Award, Renovation Award, Chairperson’s Award, Volunteer of the Year, Entrepreneurial Spirit of the year award.

Recent Ribbon Cuttings Coneys & Swirls 44 East Bacon Street - Hillsdale March 1, 2011

Olivia’s Chop House 205 East Chicago Road - Jonesville March 1, 2011 The Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce welcomes these business to our community and wish them many years of success. Page 7


4. Be Easy to Contact: Every single brochure, box, email and all company literature should have full contact information including: website and email address, phone and fax numbers, 2. Add Credibility: It has become and company address. It seems simple human nature to distrust advertising. By: Darrell Zahorsky but is forgotten by most companies. At Claims need to be real and credible. Source: About.com Guide NordicTrack, every box a ski machine Roy H. Williams, best-selling author went into had full contact information of the "Wizard of Ads" says, "Any Small business advertising is a science claim made in your advertising which and the "World's Best Aerobic and an art. Companies often miss the your customer does not perceive as the Exerciser" tagline. Be everywhere. fundamentals of advertising. truth is a horrible waste of ad dollars." Regardless of the size of 5. Match Ads to Target: your business an Successful business understanding of the laws advertising speaks to one of advertising can reap target market only. At huge rewards. NordicTrack, the ads were tailored to each market. An ad in My understanding of a medical publication preached these fundamental laws the cardio-vascular benefits of came years ago when I cross-country skiing to heart had the privilege of workpatients. Ads in women's ing for one of the all-time magazines discussed the advertising success stoweight-loss and calorie burn ries; NordicTrack. from cross-country skiing. NordicTrack's advertising Focus the message to the target was based on flawless group. execution of fundamen-

The 6 Laws of Small Business Advertising Success

tals.

selling phenomena because its message was easily understood and to the point.

NordicTrack added enormous credibility from a University of According to Small Business Wisconsin-LaCrosse research study, Administration, 5% of an ranking the cross-country ski exerciser entrepreneur's gross sales should be budgeted for advertising. A 5% small first in the areas of weight loss, body fat reduction, and cardiovascular business advertising budget can only fitness. Ivory soap's advertising help if you understand the laws of success was attributed to its credible advertising. statement that ivory soap is the 6 Laws of Small Business Advertising 99-44/100% pure. Success 3. Test Everything: Large businesses 1. Use One Message: A high response have a greater margin to waste capital and resources without testing rate ad usually conveys a single advertising. Small businesses do not message. NordicTrack's message have the luxury. Use coupons, codes, of the "World's Best Aerobic and specials to measure the headline, Exerciser" was simple and timing, and placement of your ad. Test compelling. Your small business only one item at a time and one advertising needs to quickly medium. Testing can be as simple as communicate its core message in 3 seconds or less. If you are fearful asking every customer for several and overwhelmed by technology, weeks how they heard of your which computer book do you buy? business.

6. Create Curiosity: Successful business advertising does not sell a product or service. NordicTrack's ads sold the free video. Once a potential customer watched the video, they contacted the company for more information. The end result, millions of dollars of sales. Create ads that generate interest and make the customer want more information. Having a poor response is not the medium's fault. Often the problem is the message. Small business advertising is not a quick fix solution to marketing your company. It takes planning, testing and constant exposure to have an impact on your small business. Done correctly, small business advertising can be a winning strategy.

"DOS for Dummies" began a best Page 8


K E N’ S O R N E R

A message from State Representative Ken Kurtz

Committee, on which I serve, that provides for greater protection to MAEAP Certified farmers against As promised, Governor Snyder frivolous and unwarranted lawsuits. presented his Executive Budget The legislation has passed through proposal on February 17th. The the House of Representatives and Governor expressed what I believe My committee assignments are now will continue through to the Senate. was a sincere and honest I am very confident that this well established, and the duty of assessment of where Michigan legislation is beneficial to both hearing testimony and debate on stands economically. I certainly farmers and our environment. specific issues has begun. Of respect the time and effort that I particular interest to our area is the have witnessed being given to I am also continuing my efforts to issue of MAEAP (Michigan laying out a plan for reinventing prevent the implementation of a Agriculture Environmental Michigan. It is important to statewide ban on open burning, or Assurance Program) certification understand that the Governor`s what many of us know as burning budget proposal is the first step in a for farms. In short, this is a barrels. I believe this ban would program that lays out a plan of process that will include much negatively impact our rural home action and procedures to be study and review with the owners by potentially driving up established in respect to best possibility of changes and costs for trash disposal. Others practices for handling fertilizers, adjustments along the way. I was waste and other products associated have expressed their concern particularly encouraged by the regarding how a burning ban would focus on doing what is necessary to with agriculture and how these likely lead to trash simply being effect the environment. This is a help Michigan become more competitive and business friendly. voluntary program, highlighting the dumped along our roadsides, etc. lengths to which a farmer is willing I believe that our local governments to go in order to not only show but can make these decisions in Repealing the MBT(Michigan conjunction with the local residents Business Tax) and replacing it with actually put into place those practices that prove they are indeed that they serve. a flat corporate income tax is a the most interested in caring for the The discussion and decisions in the significant part of this budget land upon which we all rely. proposal that I can support as Recently, legislation was taken up coming weeks will be vital to moving toward a simpler tax Michigan`s economic future. within the House Agriculture structure. I am optimistic that I remain encouraged by the support within our local communities for those who are struggling with various difficulties. I want to thank the utility workers, road crews, public safety personnel and others for their dedicated service during the Attend a Business After Hours recent storms. I also want to say thank you to the local schools and Attend a Hello Hillsdale County Breakfast/Lunch other organizations that have opened their doors to the community in order to help residents who have lost Place business cards and/or brochures in the Chamber Office power, heating and other needs for daily living. This is the strength of Place an ad in the Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce Phone Directory character that I believe will carry Michigan through to prosperous and rewarding times. As always, Participated in the Chamber TUF program I encourage and welcome anyone to contact my office for information or Supported a fellow Chamber member by purchasing a product or service assistance. February 25, 2011

much can be achieved to reach the shared goal of a more simple, fair and efficient tax and budgeting system for Michigan families and businesses.

Member Checklist

from a member

As always feel free to contact me through my office at 517-373-1794.

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21 percent increase for microblog contacts • 16 percent increase for blogger contacts Not bad, but probably what you’d expect given the date ranges, right? By: Lisa Barone That study also showed that trust in Source: Smallbiztrends.com traditional media like newspapers, television and radio has barely moved over It’s all a matter of trust. Whether we’re the same time period. GlobalWebIndex talking social media or business, it’s about building relationships with potential customers so they trust us long enough to stick around and hear what we have to say. Because if they don’t, all that great content, interacting and marketing won’t help. Without trust, you have nothing.

Who Do Your Customers Trust: Friends or Experts?

With trust so important, everyone wants to know who people trust more. Who is it you want singing your company’s praises to make an impression? Is it a potential customer’s next-door neighbor, an authority figure, a celebrity? Recently, I stumbled upon on an eMarketer post that commented on two studies that seemed to offer conflicting answers to that question. I thought perhaps I’d dig into their numbers a bit to find the real story.

states these numbers show the important synergy that exists between professional content and who it is that’s sharing that content.

70 percent: Academic or an expert • >64 percent: Technical expert • 50 percent: CEO • 43 percent: Person like you Why are Edelmen’s numbers so skewed toward academic professionals? Well, because of the group polled. The respondents for the Trust Barometer study were not your average sampling of Internet users. Instead, they were college-educated consumers ages 25 to 64, in the top 25 percent of household income relative to age group, who regularly follow business news and public policy. “People like them” are academic professors or field experts. Therefore it makes sense that those are the opinions they would seek out and trust.

So what are the takeaways for small business owners? Be wary of studies and do your own research to While that’s true, I don’t think it paints understand who your particular a very clear picture of who your prime audience takes its cues from. distributor is. It makes sense to see social media sites showing the highest As a small business owner, you need to “increases,” since they had the most to observe your own audience. Who are gain over the past couple of years. That they conversing with? Who are they doesn’t necessarily mean that’s where retweeting? What blogs/information sources do they read? Where do they your audience is or that trust is Study 1: GlobalWebIndex’s get the information that they share? Do growing for “people like us.” Annual 2011 Report they ask Twitter for answers or do they ask Twitter for sources? These are their Study 2: Edelman’s 2011 Trust The first study mentioned by trust circles and how you’ll want to Barometer Report eMarketer was GlobalWebIndex’s appeal to them. 2011 report, which claims to have the most detailed set of data on your online Edelman’s data provides an entirely Trust is essential to your business. That audience ever. (So, take that, everyone different look at consumer trust than the one mentioned above. According to means both gaining trust yourself and else.) According to their numbers, their research, it’s not “people like us” understanding who your core audience since 2009 users worldwide have that we look toward for influence, but trusts to help you market to them. You reported: people smarter than us. Edelman’s data don’t need a fancy survey to tell you who that is. You just have to do your • 50 percent increase in their trust of lists the most trustworthy folks as: homework. social network contracts Page 10


DELEG Accepting Applications for Low-Interest Loans Up to $2 Million for Small Businesses to Invest in Advanced Manufacturing of Energy Systems

great 6 percent fixed rate to get the capital they need to diversify into the manufacturing of clean energy technologies," said DELEG Acting Director Andrew S. Levin. "This not only benefits our state's businesses but is also an investment in Michigan's future by promoting economic growth and the creation of green jobs."

• • •

Electrical power systems (i.e., zone thermostats, office lighting, other) Boilers Combined heat and power systems (i.e., cogeneration)

The loans can only be used to cover materials, supplies and equipment costs. Interest on approved loans is fixed at 6 percent for a maximum of 6 years. By: Mario L. Morrow Examples of clean energy sectors and Applications and loan specifications are advanced manufacturing of energy Source: Energy, Labor available at: http://www.michigan.gov/ systems and/or their components include dleg/0,1607,7-154-25676-217576— & Economic Growth wind turbine systems, solar technology, ,00.html. FEBRUARY 15, 2011 - The Michigan bio-energy equipment, and geothermal heating and cooling systems. This also Applications for funding will be Department of Energy, Labor & includes, building or increasing reviewed by an advisory committee, and Economic Growth is offering production capacity of next generation awarded based on project merit and low-interest loans up to $2,000,000 for applicant creditworthiness. small businesses with 500 employees or energy efficiency technology systems. less to diversify into high-growth clean Examples of eligible technologies are: The loans are made possible thanks to energy sectors and invest in advanced • Induction Lighting Public Act 242 of 2009, which manufacturing of energy systems and • Smart Grid systems established the Energy Efficiency and components. The deadline to apply is Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Friday, April 1, 2011. • Mechanical systems (i.e. heating, cooling and ventilation equipment) Fund (Energy Revolving Loan Fund) "This is a great opportunity for • Water heating and pumping systems Program to provide low-interest loans to public or private entities for energy Michigan's small businesses to get a • Building control systems

2011 Advertising & Insertion Rates 3” x 2 ½” ad in Commerce Connection

Inserts Chamber composes & prints (black print & 1 side) $165.00 (exclusive - no other inserts)

ad provided by you (jpeg or PDF format) $25 12 ads (one per month) - 4 changes per year You compose & supply 250 copies, Chamber $175 inserts & mails $125.00

3” x 5” ad in Commerce Connection ad provided by you (jpeg or PDF format) $42.50 12 ads (one per month) - 4 changes per year $410

3” x 7 ½” ad in Commerce Connection ad provided by you (jpeg or PDF format) $60 12 ads - one per month - 4 changes per year $510

E-mail blast E-mail blasts will be sent once per week $35 per blast

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(exclusive - no other inserts) Chamber composes & prints (black print & 1 side) $115.00 (with other inserts) You compose & supply 250 copies, Chamber inserts & mails $75.00 - Month (with other inserts) $25 for ads created by Chamber Color printing - $25 Colored paper - $10 Second side printing - $10 black and white & $25 color

efficiency and renewable energy projects. The grant, awarded by the DELEG Bureau of Energy Systems, is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The Recovery Act funds projects that will create and retain jobs, save energy, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For questions about funding availability and application requirements, contact: Robert Jackson via email: jacksonr1@michigan.gov For more information about DELEG, please visit www.michigan.gov/deleg. Follow DELEG at http://twitter.com/ MIDLEG, visit the "DELEG" page on Facebook and Become a Fan or visit the Michigan Government channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/ michigangovernment


Hello Hillsdale County

P by , V S 8 R ch 1 Mar 11 20

State of the Community Breakfast

March 24, 2011

Brea $10 kfast Buff et

7:45 AM - breakfast buffet

Join us for an informative breakfast as we hear from the Hillsdale County Board of Commissioners, Cities of Hillsdale and Litchfield as well as the Village of Jonesville as they provide an update of the economic state of their communities.

Contact Jon at (517) 437-6401 or via e-mail at jon@hillsdalecountychamber.com Pre-payment or payment at time of breakfast is requested An additional $2 fee will be added for those being billed or for those without an RSVP.

INSURANCE CALL FOR A QUOTE - WE MAKE IT EASY Home

Auto

• Business • Aviation • Workmans Comp.

Health

• Medicare Supplement • Long Term Care

Phone Directory Ad Upgrade Drawing We will be hosting a drawing between now and March 31, 2011 for a free phone directory ad upgrade. Each time your company is represented at any of our Chamber events (January - March), your company will be put into a drawing to receive a free phone directory ad upgrade (you must be a current advertiser to qualify). Recruit a business to join the Chamber or advertise in our phone directory and receive five additional entries into the drawing.

Trucking & Bonds Life

Jack Smith Agency www.jacksmithagency

800-485-1318

535 Marshall Litchfield, MI 49252

517-542-2946

The business must mention your name as a referral for you to receive entries.

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future for our current electric grid. Smart grid technology uses information Continued from Page 2 technology, advanced materials, and computers to allow the grid to recognize The Obama Administration is seeking to the areas of most need and most supply, double the nation's production of and to distribute the electricity to the renewable energy in the next three appropriate areas. The smart grid will years. The United States Department of connect the distributed small energy Energy has identified Michigan as being one of four states that has the potential of creating tens of thousands of jobs in the wind energy sector alone in meeting the national goal of achieving 20 percent of the nation's power from wind energy by 2030. With the anticipated new federal financial incentives and policy support, Michigan will be able to accelerate both the deployment of renewable energy production and manufacturing capacity for wind turbine components. In addition, the Land Policy Institute at generating systems and allow the free Michigan State University has and efficient flow of energy from the calculated that there is enormous potential for large scale wind source of generation to its end user. development off-shore in the Michigan waters of the Great Lakes. We will be 7. Demand Response moving aggressively to capture these Today, most everyone pays a flat rate opportunities. for the electricity they use despite the fact that the market price varies considerably. The cost of electricity that 5. Distributed Generation has to be purchased from regional Distributed generation describes a electrical generation to meet peak system that provides Michigan demand can be very expensive. homeowners and small businesses the Conversely, electricity available in the opportunity to generate their own electricity and sell the excess power that evening and early morning - periods of low demand - is considerably less they produce back into the grid. The expensive. Demand response benefits of distributed generation technologies will allow consumers to include clean, zero-carbon, emission free power, reduction of the amount of modify their daily usage needs to use less expensive energy more frequently. energy lost in transmission over long distances, and improvement in grid stability. 8. Upgraded Electric Transmission An upgraded electric transmission system reduces energy loss and makes 6. Smart Grid Deployment our transmission grid more efficient. It Like the Internet was for the plain old phone system, smart grid is tomorrow's will connect renewable energy sources

Michigan's Ten Steps

from large-scale projects in remote areas, such as in the Thumb, to the grid, where existing transmission (power) lines do not have the capacity to carry a large amount of electricity to consumers. In order to be able to actually use energy crated in remote areas, we need to upgrade and sometimes create anew, the transmission lines needed to get the power to the user. 9. Green Building Green building techniques reduce energy use, and is more environmentally friendly than standard construction because it emphasizes the re-use of materials that would otherwise be discarded, such as wood and other salvageable materials from demolished homes and businesses. Green building also entails the use of more efficient appliances and materials, such as toilets that use less water, light bulbs that need less energy for the same amount of light, or tiles that reflect the heat from your roof. Green buildings need less energy, water, and materials than you use now in your traditional home or business. 10. Community and Local Government Initiatives Local communities and government are our partners in reducing fossil fuel energy usage. More than 25 cities and mayors have signed agreements to reduce their carbon emissions by turning to efficiency and renewable sources to meet their energy needs. The state will continue to support these objectives of mutual energy savings at the local and state levels.

Interested in serving on the Expo, Car Show or TUF committee? Would you like to serve as an ambassador? Please call the Chamber at 437-6401 to learn more. Page 13


Featured Member Cindy Padget 81 West Carleton Road Hillsdale, MI 49242 (517) 437-2249 Melvin Nevins and his son Mike started Menco Log Home Supply in Colorado. After realizing that a log home stain was not readily available and would hold up to the elements they developed their own brand of stain - Men-wood. In 1991, the business was moved to it’s current location at 81 West Carleton Road in Hillsdale. Today Menco is owned an operated by Melvin Nevins’ daughter Cindy Padget and her family. Cindy says it’s truly a family business as her daughter works with her full time and her husband and son pitch in as needed.

Menco Log Home Supply offers a wide variety of supplies for finishing, maintaining and repairing log homes, wood sided homes/buildings and fencing. Menco also offer supplies and products for concrete finishing and preservation from sealers and stains to epoxy shield. All of Menco’s products can be purchased in store and online. Cindy says 80% of their sales come from online orders to customers in the U.S. and Canada and some overseas orders.

need to get the job done. Cindy says what sets Menco apart from their competitors, is they are a small family owned and operated business that prides themselves on fast friendly customer service with quick order turn around times. Customers always get a live person when they call during business hours.

To find out more about the products and services Menco Log Home Supply has to offer, give Cindy Padget or her staff a call at (517) 437-2249 or stop in and see them at 81 West Carleton Road - Hillsdale. You can also check them out online at www.loghomesupply.com

Whether it is made out of wood or concrete and needs finished or maintenance the do it yourselfer can find the products and supplies they

Chamber Testimonials Jon… You must be a real detective….You are my new best friend. Thank you for finding the information for me…. I will give Frank Armstrong Construction a call. JM - Reading Jon… Can you help me figure out who my electric company is, my utilities are included in my rent and I am not sure…. Thanks, I will give Hillsdale Board of Public Utilities a call. Hillsdale resident

Kathy….I always use the Chamber of Commerce to find out information and I wish other people were more aware of the information provided by the Chamber of Commerce. I can always depend on the Chamber of Commerce to have the answer to my question. PC - Hillsdale Karri…. Thank you for your assistance, I am amazed at how quickly you figured out the name of the company I have been searching for.... I will give Mac’s Comfort Specialist a call. Gladwin, MI

Page 14


2011 Chamber Associate Members

Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce 22 North Manning Hillsdale, MI 49242

2011 Chamber Partner Member County National Bank

Phone: 517-437-6401 Fax: 517-437-6408 E-mail: info@hillsdalecountychamber.co m

We’re on the web

2011 Board of Directors Joe Sanford…………………………………………...........Chairp erson Century 21 Action Associates Vice ChairperCyndi Young son WCSR Member At Jeff Layman Large Layman’s Service Center Raymond Lee…………………………………. …….Member At Large Raymond Lee Custom Carpentry Eric Potes…………………………………………………….Tr easurer County National Bank Board MemScott Phillips ber

Staff Coldwell Banker Michael Lee Thorp ber The Plant Nook Florist

Board Mem-


Fat Tuesday is March 8th! Hillsdale Market House · 210 W. Carleton Rd. Phone 437-2100 or Fax 437-0566

A Polish tradition for “FAT TUESDAY”, the day before Lent! Yeast raised donuts filled to overflowing with fruit…covered in a variety of sugars and glazes.! Beat the rush…phone or fax your paczki order today! PACZI ORDER Name___________________________ Phone________________________________ Pick Up Time______________ Pre-Orders will not be ready for pick up until Fat Tuesday!

While Supplies Last! QUANTITY

VARIETY (circle one)

_________

(ea / doz)

Lemon

_________

(ea / doz)

Blueberry

_________

(ea / doz)

Custard

_________

(ea / doz)

Raspberry

_________

(ea / doz)

Prune

_________

(ea / doz)

Fluffy White Creme

_________

(ea / doz)

Chocolate

_________

(ea / doz)

Apple

_________

(ea / doz)

Peanut Butter Creme

_________

(ea / doz)

Apple-Raspberry

_________

(ea / doz)

Plain

_________ (ea / doz) TOTAL Please check (√) one of the following:  Glazed  Powdered Sugar  Frosted

.


_______ Cod Loins.................2 for $5

_____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

Salmon Fillets……….…..$7.99lb. Crab Cakes……..……….$1.29ea. Sea Scallops…………...$11.99lb. Tilapia Fillets…………..…$3.99lb. Snow Crab…………….…..$9.99lb. King Crab Legs……..…$19.99lb. Ocean Perch……………….$5.99lb. Cooked Shrimp (41-50)…..$6.99lb. Raw Shrimp (26-30)…….….$5.99lb. Friday, March 11, 2011 9am-6pm

Pre Orders Welcomed ! Fax to 437-0566 Customer Name______________________________________________________________________________ Customer Phone # _______________________________________

We offer double the gas rewards compared to our competition!

Spend Spend Spend Spend

$25….Save 5¢ per gallon!* $50….Get 10¢ per gallon!* $75….Get 15¢ per gallon!* $100..Get 20¢ per gallon!*

*Product exclusions apply! See store for details!

Did you know?

Market House doubles manufacturer coupons up to 50¢ everyday! Market House offers a Senior Discount every Wednesday! Market House’s bakery produces many of their items from scratch! Market House is a convenient and friendly place to shop!

Grand Opening is coming up mid March 2011! We are excited to see this new addition to our facility! Market House is here to serve the community that supports us!

Thank you for your business!

Commerce Connection  

A publication of the Hillsdale County Chamber of Commerce

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