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volume three issue four

World Trade Day Partnering for Global Success

The Face of

NEW INNOVATION

Protecting Your

Supply Chain

5

Steps to Successful...

FEATURED

nonprofit Kent Center chamber Central Rhode Island

www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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When You’re Rhode Island’s #1 SBA Lender, You develop a Large Fan Base. BankRI is proud to announce that we have once again been named the Small Business Administration’s top lender in Rhode Island. This marks the 5th consecutive year that BankRI has received this prestigious recognition. As a local Bank dedicated to helping companies expand and succeed, BankRI understands the importance of small business lending. To learn more about BankRI and how we might be able to help your company grow, call 866.422.6574, visit BankRI.com or visit any one of our 18 local branches.

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Hiring an intern is more than a good deed. Good internships are good business. Internships can help you recruit future employees. Interns bring new energy and ideas to your organization. There are programs that can help you pay your interns. Hosting an intern isn’t as hard as you might think. Go to www.bRIdge.jobs to post your opportunity and reach out to a vast pool of talented and skilled interns. Free resources are available to help you get started with your internship program.

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C O R N E R S TO N E PAY R O L L

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For more information, go to www.teamcornerstone.com and click on FREE Payroll or call Marco Schiappa at 800-678-1700 Ext. 150.

931 Jefferson Blvd, Suite 3001 . Warwick, Rhode Island 02886 . 800.678.1700 . teamcornerstone.com

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No such thing as free lunch We’ve heard this phrase many times before. It always sounds so good when asked, “Hey, how’s your schedule look next week? I’d like to take you to lunch.” Really? Sweet! Now, I’m just as much a sucker for a great meal, at the right price (free), but what did I really just agree to? The request seems harmless at first, but let’s take a closer look at what is really happening. If we include travel, conversation, ordering and eating we are giving up 1-2 hours of our day. What does that say about how we are valuing our time? While our lunch may be free, our time certainly is not. Time is the one thing we cannot create more of, although we often catch ourselves saying we wish there were more hours in the day. Would we need those extra hours if we did a better job of placing a higher value on our time and what we use it for?

from the founder

The other issue is that we’re not placing value on our knowledge. A friend recently told me that when asked for his expertise, he would tell people, “My opinion is free but my advice will cost you.” That statement really makes it clear that he will tell you if he likes or dislikes something, but he won’t specifically tell you what he would do to make it better. By giving away too much free advice, we’re devaluing the knowledge we’ve worked years to build. So how do we make better use of our time and give away less for free? One way is to see how flexible people will be around your schedule. Let them know places you will be presenting or networking and see if they will show up at something you will already be at. This will save time and keep the conversation short and to the point. It will also show how committed they are to meeting with you. Another option is to meet over a morning coffee on the way to your office. This cuts down on travel time, and typically I find meetings over coffee last half as long as a lunch meeting. It’s great to be able to help out other business owners when you have the opportunity. Just be sure to always keep in mind that giving away too much time or knowledge for free will keep you from focusing on your core business and growing your company.

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BE IN DEMAND.

Gil Lantini Founder Ralph Coppolino Co-Founder Kelsey Powers Marketing Consultant John Resnick Marketing Coordinator Mike Casale Senior Designer Pam Walsh Editorial Assistant Sara Celano Production Assistant Intern Mike DiSano Contributing Writers Scott Andrews Richard Austin Ted Donnelly Dana D’Orsi Susan Esposito Seth A. Goodall Hope Hallet Adam Harvey Dave Lubelczyk Donna Mac Secretary of State Ralph Mollis Paula Mottshaw Elizabeth Pierotti Matthew R. Plain, Esq. Gina Raimondo Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro Megan M. St. Ledger Tim Sullivan Mayor Angel Taveras Kristen M. Whittle, Esq.

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contents

volume three issue four

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

8 Secretary of State Ralph Mollis

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9 Eeyore or Steve Jobs? Who Would you Buy From? 11 Spotlight on Startups 12 The New Look of Temporary Work 13 SBA: Over 50 and Looking for a Business Mentor? 14 Marketing Rambles 15 5 Steps to Successful…You Fill in the Blank 17 Why isn’t Every Day Customer Appreciation Day? 18 Friends with Benefactors 20 Personnel Practices: Workers’ Comp 22 Capital City: Jobs for Rhode Islanders 24 RI Steps Into Recover Abandoned Life Insurance Property 25 Protecting Your Supply Chain to Avoid Trade Secret Theft

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26 What is Factoring? 27 The Face of New Innovation 28 Lessons Learned from a Lighthouse 30 Small Business News 34 Uncomfortable Communication 37 Small Businesses: Coping with a Tight Credit Market 38 29th Annual World Trade Day 46 Featured Chamber 49 Success Stories: Tips for Telling Stories that Make Sales 50 Featured Non-Profit: The Kent Center 54 Why You Need Both a Facebook Personal Profile

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ON THE COVER Featured Nonprofit Kent Center

Chamber Central Rhode Island Cover Story World Trade Day

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SECRETARY OF STATE | Ralph Mollis

How to Get Your

Free Voter ID by Secretary Of State Ralph Mollis

As Secretary of State, I am committed to making it easier for all Rhode Islanders to vote, while making the process seamless and stress-free. This year, poll workers will ask voters to show a current and valid photo ID when they vote at their polling place, so I want to make sure the general public knows how and where they can obtain a FREE Voter ID. Voter ID strengthens the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections by enabling poll workers to match a voter’s face to the name they give at the polls. I also want the general public to be aware that our office is always available to help them. Below is a list of upcoming dates and places where the public may obtain a Voter ID, provided free of charge by our office. • • •

April 24, 2014 AARP, 10 Orms Street, Prov., 10am to Noon April 26, 2014 Walgreens (Mayor’s Substance Abuse Council), 533 Elmwood Avenue, Prov., 10am to 2pm May 7, 2014 EPOCH Assisted Living, 353 Blackstone Boulevard, Prov., 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Voter ID strengthens the public’s faith in the integrity of our elections by enabling poll workers to match a voter’s face to the name they give at the polls 8

RISBJ | rhode island small business journal

It’s important to note that no eligible voter will be turned away at the polls. Voters who do not bring an acceptable ID to their polling place can vote using a standard Provisional Ballot. The ballot will be counted if the signature they give at their polling place matches the signature on their voter registration. Also, mail ballots do not require ID. You will not need a Voter ID card if you already have a valid and current photo ID. If you need a Voter ID, we will provide you with a free one. You must provide one of these proofs of identity: • • • • • • • •

Employee ID card; ID card provided by a commercial establishment; Credit or debit card; Military ID card; Student ID card; Health club ID card; Insurance plan ID card; Public housing ID card

Registered voters who don’t have an acceptable current and valid photo ID can get a free Voter ID at our office in Providence at 148 West River Street during normal business hours (8:30a.m.-4:30p.m.). We will also come to your community. To invite us to provide free Voter IDs at your organization or event, contact us at 222-2340, TTY 711 or elections@sos.ri.gov. As Secretary of State, I am committed to making it easier to vote, making it easier to do business in Rhode Island, preserving our history and making government more open and accessible.


Eeyore Or Steve Jobs? Who Would You Rather Buy From? | SMALL BUSINESS

EEYORE OR STEVE JOBS? Who Would You Rather Buy From? by Rich Austin

“End of the road. Nothing to do, and no hope of things getting better.” That’s one of Eeyore’s better known laments. Don’t get me wrong; I love Eeyore. In fact, I think I do a pretty good impression—in fact I’m sure we all do a good impression of him at times. As much as we all love Eeyore, I don’t think I would be tempted to buy anything from him. Let’s face it; we want the person selling us something to be enthusiastic about their product. If they can’t be, why the heck should we? Granted, if Eeyore were selling fire extinguishers and I was on fire, I’d buy one; other than that, probably not. Steve Jobs famously said, “We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.” That enthusiasm showed through in the products they sold and how they sold them. I believe that one of the best things about Steve Jobs was that he never lost his enthusiasm. It is what made him a great innovator and CEO. Most of us were enthusiastic when we first started our businesses or our new jobs, but something often happens along the way. The daily grind of our businesses wears us down and we find our excitement waning. Unfortunately, this exhibits itself during our interactions with clients and potential customers. Even more so with people we meet that don’t seem to fall into one of those two groups. Then we really let our guard down, and that’s dangerous because pretty much anyone we meet can turn out to be a potential client. So, how do we avoid becoming one of the “enthusiasm challenged”? First, let’s remember what Ralph Waldo Emerson

If Eeyore were selling fire

extinguishers and I was on fire, I’d buy one; other than that, probably not

said: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” Think about it—can you think of one truly great man-made achievement that was achieved without enthusiasm? I hear you asking, “Okay Rich, so how do I make myself enthusiastic?” Dale Carnegie said, “Act enthusiastic and you will be enthusiastic.” Notice that he didn’t say you will seem enthusiastic. He said you will be enthusiastic. This is an important distinction. People will pick up on fakery pretty quickly, and when they do, you’re done for. You can take this idea a step further. H. Jackson Brown, Jr., author of the New York Times bestseller “Life’s Little Instruction Book,” said, “Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know.” Again, notice he used the word “become,” not “act like.” Your final question might be, “Rich, I can’t be on a constant high, so what do you suggest?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Here are a few tips: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Use positive language Use descriptive action words and colorful nouns Use shorter sentences Practice vocal techniques (pausing for effect, alternating tone, pitch and speed) 5. Did I say practice? 6. Demonstrate expertise (remember: Confidence + Enthusiasm = Expertise) 7. Tell a story—we all sound enthusiastic when we’re telling a story One last thing—you can’t be enthusiastic by yourself. Go out there, mix it up, get involved. I’ll leave you with one final quote, this one from piglet: “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest, waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes.” Go out there and do it with enthusiasm! Rich Austin President Speaking of Success

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UPCOMING EVENTS NETWORKING AND WORKSHOPS For More Events Visit www.risbj.com MAY

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Friday, May 2 Tenor Michael DiMucci to Perform in Linden Place Season Opener Linden Place Mansion 500 Hope Street, Bristol 7:30 pm Saturday, May 3 Healing Through Five Senses 128 Long Wharf, Newport 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Wednesday, May 7 Contacts & Coffee Courtyard by Marriott 55 Jefferson Park Road, Warwick 8:00 am – 9:00 am

Tuesday, May 13 CORE Collaborative RI Hatch Entrepreneurial Center 244 Weybossett St., 3rd Floor, Providence 10:00 am

Wednesday, May 7 Founders Chapter Referral Networking Meeting North Bay Manor 171 Pleasant View Ave., Smithfield 7:00 am – 8:30 am

Sunday, May 4 RockyPoint5k Warwick Neck Elementary School 155 Rocky Point Avenue, Warwick 8:30 am - 12:00 pm

Wednesday, May 7 Capital City Connection Networking Capitol Ridge Assisted Living Facility 700 Smith Street, Providence 7:30 am

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Saturday, May 10 The Our Heroes Survivor Fashion Show Rhodes on the Pawtuxet 60 Rhodes Place, Cranston 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm Tuesday, May 13 Emerging Leaders & RI Blood Center Blood Drive Newport County Chamber of Commerce 35 Valley Rd., Middletown 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Wednesday, May 14 Meet & Greet Networking at Crossroads Restaurant Crossroads Restaurant 133 Market Street, Warren 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Wednesday, May 14 Founders Chapter Referral Networking Meeting North Bay Manor 171 Pleasant View Ave. Smithfield 7:00 am – 8:30 am

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Friday, May 9 Millitary Spouse Appreciation/Mothers Day Stroll Main Street East Greenwich 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Friday, May 9 Chamber Connections Newport Newport County Chamber of Commerce 35 Valley Rd., Middletown 7:45 am

Monday, May 5 Seminar: TIPS Certification Newport County Chamber of Commerce 35 Valley Rd., Middletown 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

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Tuesday, May 13 WEBOND Spring Series: It’s a Garden Party! East Bay Chamber of Commerce 16 Cutler Street, Suite 102, Warren 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Tuesday, May 13 Annual Dinner “Night of the Rising Stars” Twelve Acres Countryside Banquet 225 Douglas Pike, Smithfield 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Saturday, May 3 Arts On Main Courthouse Lane East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce 580 Main Street, East Greenwich 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

MAY

MAY

Tuesday, May 6 CORE Collaborative RI Hatch Entrepreneurial Center 244 Weybossett St., 3rd Floor, Providence 10:00 am

Wednesday, May 7 Business Booster Series - Now What Do I Say? UNO Chicago Grill 371 Putnam Pike, Smithfield 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm

Monday, May 5 Swing Fore the Playground Potowomut Golf Club 439 Ives Road, Warwick 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm

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Tuesday, May 6 WEBOND Spring Series: Help your Business East Bay Chamber of Commerce 16 Cutler Street, Suite 102, Warren 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Saturday, May 3 Incubator Program Information Sessions 569 Main St, Warren 9:00 am – 11:00 am

Sunday, May 4 May Breakfast St. Alexander Church 221 Main Street, Warren 10:00 am – 12:00 pm MAY

MAY

Thursday, May 15 Business During Hours Networking Lunch Sponsored by Chili’s Middletown Newport County Chamber of Commerce 35 Valley Rd., Middletown 12:00pm - 1:30 pm Thursday, May 15 Business After Hours Pilloni Family Chiropractic 2797 Post Road, Warwick

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Wednesday, May 21 Panel Discussion: Financing Options for Buying/ Expanding Commercial Real Estate Pawtucket Visitor’s Center- Theater-Floor 1 175 Main Street, Pawtucket 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Thursday, May 22 May Business After Hours! - Koi Koi Japanese Cuisine 1369 Hartford Avenue, Johnston 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm


Spotlight | STARTUPS

Spotlight on Startups Company Name: Duvamis Open Date: May 30th, 2013 Employees: 100 Address: 13, “8th December” St. Website: https://www.duvamis.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/duvamis Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ DUVAMIS/424483177594203 Biggest Challenge: The platform has been developed for two years. Duvamis started in the summer of 2013 with a multilingual interface in 46 languages. Also, we have launched iOS and Android applications. Duvamis is still in Beta and there are many features yet to come. Over the coming year, our biggest task is going to be meeting consumers’ demand by constantly developing new features and surprising users. Profile: Duvamis is the first completely anonymous social media platform that aims to create an online environment for sharing and interactions among all free and creative users around the world. The mission of Duvamis is to build an internet communication platform that is unique in its philosophy and provides free and creative users worldwide a new media for sharing, creative activities, and intellectual satisfaction, without social, regional, individual or group barriers and restrictions. Duvamis has been developed following a certain philosophy based on our beliefs that anonymity is the future of users’ online interactions.

Company Name: Ripple Funding, LLC Open Date: October 1st, 2012 Employees: 4 Address: 5586 Post Rd. Suite 202, E. Greenwich, RI Website: https://www.ripplefund.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/RippleFunding Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ripple-Funding Profile: At its core, Ripple Funding is a team of missionminded professionals who have created a way to harness the power of celebrity, social media and mobile technology to help change the shape of giving. Ripple’s innovative mobile app connects celebrities with their fans through an exclusive co-branded mobile community driving funds to charitable causes at no expense to the fan, charity or celebrity endorser. Ripple helps to generate sustainable revenue through mobile technology to worthy charitable organizations. By simply using your mobile device to follow your favorite celebrity or charity, you’re giving!

“After years of research and significant socio-political and business experience, I managed to elaborate an applicable web model, or web tool, allowing the establishment of a type of platform, which enables the creation of new relationships between individuals – a new form of regulation,” said the founders of Duvamis. Compliance with that same regulation is what makes the new web freedom possible. The new regulation is the anonymity.

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SMALL BUSINESS | The New Look of Temporary Work

The New Look of

Temporary Work by Susan Esposito

There’s been a fundamental shift in the way companies do business today as staffing services have become a more vital part of business and hiring strategies. Since the great recession, U.S. staffing firms have created more jobs than any other industry and are expected to grow faster and add more new jobs in the next decade, according to American Staffing Association (ASA). Business

their skill sets, widen networking circles, and have flexibility in their work life. Because of this freedom, more workers are using temporary work to stay effective in their specific fields. By working in different environments, social settings and businesses, workers have to adapt their specific skills and training to fit in the ever-changing company cultures. This is one reason contingent workers are becoming more effective and experienced in the workplace.

Since the great recession, U.S. staffing firms have created more jobs than any other industry and are expected to grow faster and add more new jobs in the next decade owners are increasingly using temporary and contract staffing as a means to help them quickly react to changing market conditions. This change in hiring preference can be seen in recent data from Express Employment Professionals, who recently conducted a survey of 665 employers throughout the U.S. and Canada and found that many planned on adding temporary workers in the third quarter, especially in the commercial and light industrial sectors. Staffing agencies are allowing businesses the flexibility to expand and decrease their workforces to meet demand. Like employers, workers are also seeing the benefits of flexible employment. According to a recent story by National Public Radio, temporary employment is a good way to get a foot in the door with a company in a down economy. Contingent workers also have the freedom to travel and work in different fields. Working on a temporary basis for different employers allows individuals an opportunity to increase

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Another trend in this industry is that staffing employees are working for firms longer than ever before. The staffing industry has lately seen an increase in tenure compared to previous years. While employers cautiously wait to see if the economic growth will be sustained,

they are keeping contract workers for extended periods. Workers are seeing this as a great way to potentially be hired on full time with companies later. A recent study by ASA found that when the economy is growing at a normal rate, 53% of staffing employees who remain in the workforce bridge to full-time employment. This is why temporary work is becoming so attractive to top talent. It provides them more opportunities while giving employers a first-hand look at their potential to thrive in a company. In the next 10 years, the U.S. staffing industry is expected to grow faster and add more new jobs than nearly any other industry, according to ASA. And to solidify its proper place, the BLS believes the demand for temporary help will generate a significant amount of employment growth during this next decade. The staffing industry is growing and becoming a more vital aspect of the business environment, and temporary workers are on the front end leading the change. Susan Esposito Business Developer Express Employment Professionals of Warwick, RI


Over 50 and Looking for a Business Mentor? | SBA

Over 50 and Looking for a Business Mentor?

The Small Business Administration and AARP Can Help. by Seth A. Goodall

Our country has always been proud of our entrepreneurial spirit. But great business ideas don’t just come out of college dorm rooms—in fact, “encore entrepreneurs” are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States. A 2010 survey by the Kauffman Foundation found that Americans age 55 to 64 start new business ventures at a higher rate than any other age group, and new research shows that one in four people age 44 to 70 are interested in starting their own business or nonprofit in the next five to ten years. This is an exciting area, especially when you consider that there are 76 million people over the age of 50 in the United States. That’s why this April, as part of our efforts to make sure small business owners and entrepreneurs have the skills and training they need to succeed, the U.S. Small Business Administration and AARP are teaming up to host National Encore Entrepreneur Mentor Month. With a special focus on entrepreneurs over the age of 50, we’ll be matching up “encore entrepreneurs” with successful business owners and community leaders for advice and assistance. Mentor Month is an effort by SBA and AARP to provide a range of resources and online tools to entrepreneurs and small business owners over the age of 50. The events will help connect encore entrepreneurs with mentors, such as those from SBA’s network of Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and SCORE chapters who can help with strategies to grow an entrepreneur’s business. We know this kind of training can be critical for the success of a small business. It can help folks bring their experience, knowledge and skills to a

new venture, which creates exciting new opportunities and job creation. According to a recent AARP survey, 15 percent of workers 45-74 are selfemployed. Additionally, 13 percent of those who are current wage and salary workers say they plan to start a business once they retire. Small business ownership is a good option for many baby boomers. Small business owners who get long-term counseling may see increased sales and hire more workers. Throughout April, SBA district offices, state AARP offices and SBA resource partners will host events around the country. Events include speed mentoring, which allows mentors with small business experience and entrepreneurs to share information during one-on-one counseling sessions, and workshops for entrepreneurs to learn best practices from successful small business owners. There are two mentor month events scheduled in Rhode Island. The details are posted on www.sba.gov/mentormonth.

Great business ideas don’t just come out of college dorm rooms—in fact, ‘encore entrepreneurs’ are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the United States

SBA has free online courses targeted at helping encore entrepreneurs start or grow their businesses. Go online to www.sba.gov/encore to access the online training and other resources available for entrepreneurs over the age of 50. We’ll also be hosting two webinars in April to help current and potential entrepreneurs. For more information, and to register, visit SBA/AARP Encore Entrepreneurship Webinar Series. There’s no better time to start a business than today. For Americans, especially those over 50, why not make April the start of the next chapter of your career. Seth A. Goodall New England Regional Administrator U.S. Small Business Administration

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SMALL BUSINESS | Marketing Rambles: Thoughts About Website Development

MARKETING RAMBLES THOUGHTS ABOUT WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT

by Paula Mottshaw

Having a website is part of doing business. How can you get your website up and running without breaking the bank? What are the key points you should be thinking about?

Craft top-notch content. The #1 reason visitors will come to your site is your content. Review your portfolio to determine what you want to include and how you would organize everything in a way that makes sense to visitors. Good design should support your content, not overpower it.

Work with a professional. Unless making websites are your business, work with a pro. You can make better use of your time by focusing on your craft and delegating when possible. A site that is well-designed should be able to grow as your business grows, without added development costs.

Establish clear communications. This helps to keep you and the person you are working with on the same page. Ask for things in writing (e.g. proposal, work plan, payment schedule, scope of work, etc.) to help maintain clear communications.

Do a lot of thinking. Think long and hard about your business goals and what your site must do to meet these goals, as well as to meet the expectations of website visitors. Having a clear vision will help (1) eliminate the need to re-do work, (2) streamline the process, and (3) establish a clear scope of work.

Essential elements. In my opinion, these are elements that (most of the time) should be included on a website:

Choose your domain name wisely. Your domain name is the website URL that you type into the address line of your browser. A domain name should be as short as possible and easy to remember. Purchasing your domain name for multiple years can save money. Use a reliable web host. Let’s just say that cheaper isn’t always better. Ask for recommendations from colleagues. When the time comes to purchase hosting, you can purchase under your name or your business name (to maintain control). Ask for an open source content management system (CMS). The industry is flooded with CMSs. Popular ones include WordPress and Joomla. Be careful when choosing a CMS. WordPress is a great choice for a blog, but may not be the best choice for other situations. Open source choices cost $0 and (usually) have supportive communities. Building a website within a CMS will allow you to do much (if not all) of your own website maintenance. Create a responsive website. People use multiple devices (e.g., smart phones, tablets, laptops, and more) when interacting with websites. Your site needs to look fantastic, and provide a superior visitor experience, on all of these devices.

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• • • • •

About us page. People want to know about you. Contact page with a form. Including an email link is good, but sometimes people want to fill out a form. Use a CAPTCHA with that form to help reduce spam. Search feature. This is handy for content-heavy sites (e.g., a magazine with dozens/hundreds of articles). Call to action. Tell visitors what you want them to do. Do you want visitors to sign up for your newsletter? Do you want them to download something (e.g., white paper)? Website analytics. You can learn a lot from website analytics, such as how visitors found your site and what pages they visited. Google analytics is excellent, and it’s free. Social icons. Let people know where they can find you, and connect with you.

Keeping costs manageable. You don’t need to spend several thousand dollars to have a website created for your business. (1) Instead of working with a full-service agency, you can work with a freelance professional or an advanced student. You can find these people via LinkedIn or through RISD’s job board. (2) Start with a smaller website (fewer pages). If your site is built within a CMS, you should be able to add more pages in the future. Having a website is part of doing business. Paula Mottshaw Freelance Creative www.mysimpledesignsolution.com


5 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL…You fill in the blank | SMALL BUSINESS

5 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL…

(You fill in the blank) by Elizabeth Pierotti

Have you ever wondered why we are drawn to articles that offer success in a fixed and short list of steps? Is it because it’s hard to ignore the possibility that we may have missed something that is apparently so simple, straight forward, and easily achievable? This got me thinking about the concept of “steps” and “how-to” guides in general, and their merits, limitations, and why we need them. The first time I used this approach in my work as an inventor educator, the goal was to generate a list of essential tips that could help anyone with a product idea make good choices about its development. I decided “10” would be the magic number, and with some ideas of my own in mind, I ventured out to interview development professionals, entrepreneurs, and others, all of whom had achieved success in their respective fields. Some common threads emerged from these conversations that resonated as universally applicable, and these eventually became the basis for one of my workshops. Over the years, audiences have responded to these tips, and to this day I’ll hand out wallet-size versions to any first-time inventor I meet who could use them. So why do we seek answers in these tips, steps, and how-to approaches? I think it is because we humans need framework, roadmaps, and direction so that the daily challenges we face can be made more manageable. Steps provide a focus and a simple checklist so we can have evidence of accomplishing some measurable goal. Is success to be found in 8 or 10 steps? Are 10 tips all we need

to make good choices? Probably not, but does that really matter if we get started on a positive path? In conversations with creative individuals who have new product ideas, I frequently hear something like, “If I can just get through this one step, the rest will be easy.” The fact is that the entire process will likely be harder, take longer, cost more than they think. That said, the goal is not to kill dreams, but rather to help light up the path with a reality check. However many steps we can come up with to measure a successful outcome, each step has tentacles and in some cases, lots of them. The creative journey in general and the inventing process in particular is more cyclic than linear. All steps in the process are interrelated so that a decision made today can require that an earlier decision be reconsidered. There is always a need to revisit something based on new information learned. As a result, I am not sure any step is final or complete until the product is on the market. Because we are individuals on a journey unlike anyone else’s, because our projects or ventures are unique, and market conditions at any given time are in flux, we need to constantly revisit our 50,000 view as well as our immediate focus. Whenever someone asks what I consider to be the most challenging step in the inventing process, my response is always, “The next step… providing you get through this one.”

Elizabeth Pierotti The Inventing Life www.theinventinglife.com

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RISBJ | rhode island small business journal


Why isn’t every day Customer Appreciation Day? | SMALL BUSINESS

Minding Your Own Brand

Why Isn’t Every Day

Customer Appreciation Day? by Dave Lubelczyk

A few weeks ago, I went to a store and they were having Customer Appreciation Day. There were big posters in the window announcing the event and the store displays had signs announcing “special customer appreciation savings on select items.” There was an unusual abundance of employees each dressed in a customer appreciation day t-shirt and a “thank you” button. As I shopped, the staff were extra helpful with my questions and went out of their way to show me to the products that I was looking for. It was truly the best shopping experience I had ever had at this store. However, as I began to check out, I listened to the interactions of the staff with other customers and the sentiment seemed forced. The sales associates were a little too eager to help, the manager opened a new register as soon as the line reached three people, and the cashier said “thank you” too many times

Small businesses need to create a culture that truly values the customer and makes shopping an extraordinary experience every day

for a normal checkout. It was as if they were competing with each other to see who could appreciate the customer more, and in the end it all seemed extremely scripted. As I drove home, I began to feel that the day was less about appreciating the customer and more about getting people into the store to “take advantage of the customer appreciation savings on select items.”

Even though most companies tout the incredible level of customer service they provide, in reality most of them offer a mediocre experience at best. Why is it that companies only appreciate the customers and provide extraordinary service when it involves adding to their bottom line? Small businesses need to create a culture that truly values the customer and makes shopping an extraordinary experience every day instead of just on special sale days. I think back to the few situations where a sales associate went out of their way to truly help, even though it may or may not end up in a sale. One that comes to mind was a story I heard the other day talking to a banker. He told me about a situation where he did not have a loan product to meet a small business owner’s needs. But because he valued the relationship and truly wanted to help, he told the business owner that a bank across town had the perfect product for him. He even called ahead to explain the customer’s needs and tell them the customer was coming.

Not only did this small, but extraordinary gesture win over the small business owner who will likely come back to this banker for his other banking needs, but it also made the banker feel good about what he had done. This interaction gave both the banker and the small business owner a story they could tell others like myself in order to describe how his bank is different. They are now able to illustrate how this bank is truly about providing service and how they value all business relationships, even when the bank may not have the right products for you. This story shows that unlike the store, this banker truly appreciated the value of ALL customers, even those who don’t result in a sale. Small businesses need to cultivate a culture which develops true relationships, exceeds expectations and creates extraordinary experiences which build passion amongst both employees and customers. This passion will aid in the recruitment of advocates who will do everything in their power to see that the small business succeeds, and because of this, the business will ultimately achieve financial results. So, instead of only appreciating customers when there is a sale, why not make every day customer appreciation day?

Dave Lubelczyk Image Identity imageidentity.com

www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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SMALL BUSINESS | Friends With Benefactors!

FRIENDS WITH BENEFACTORS! by Tim Sullivan

Workplace wellness programs are a form of philanthropy. After all, philanthropy is defined as the practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people. Workplace wellness can be defined as the promotion of life-improving activities for a group of people. The traditional way management has viewed workplace wellness programs is to see it as an expense; something that is an addition to an employee’s benefits package. The employer hopes that their workforce will be healthier and, therefore, more productive, but in order to view workplace wellness programs as philanthropic, it is necessary to break up the traditional wellness paradigm and reassemble it so that it can be viewed from a more positive perspective. From the employer or the business

Tim Sullivan Life-Panel www.well-track.com

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owners’ perspective, viewing wellness program expenses as an exercise in philanthropy makes the expenditure much more palatable. Any business owner would love to see a business expense also have a positive influence on the human condition. A company-sponsored tobacco cessation program can be viewed as a program to help prevent cancer and a variety of associated diseases. A stress-relieving program helps people get over anxieties that could be limiting them as productive members of society, not to mention the improvements that might be seen in terms of productivity in the workplace. A dieting program can help employees learn better nutritional lessons that can be passed on to their children by having them raised in an environment where a healthy diet is part of their normal everyday lives. An exercise promotion program helps participants feel better about themselves over time as their bodies respond to improved fitness. This has the added benefit of helping workers stay fresh and focused throughout the day. A workplace wellness program can take many different forms. It is worth noting that there is no one system that works the best due to the fact that not all groups of workers (and their families) have the same needs for wellness services. Program designers need to be able to flexibly adapt their programs to the demographics and needs of the employee population. Aspects common to most wellness programs are diet, exercise, habits and stress control. More successful programs have some sort of mechanism for measuring the success of a given program. Critics of workplace wellness programs, like authors Al Lewis and Vikram

Khanna, point to the lack of credible data supporting actual positive return on investment for these programs. I agree with their viewpoint that few wellness programs have significant positive results yielding any meaningful return on investment, but not because wellness programs are doomed to failure. The problem with most programs is in the lack of full participation in these programs. Until a program exceeds over an 80% participation rate, it is likely to miss those who are most in need of a program. A SUCCESSFUL WORKPLACE WELLNESS PROGRAM: • Needs to gain buy-in from both upper management and employees • Is future-oriented and takes a longterm view of success • Reevaluates areas of concern to gauge appropriate future program emphasis • Includes spouses and children of employees • Takes into account life balance and stress • Provides the most cost-effective services available • Encourages the practice of alternative practices prior to resorting to major medical services In a recent online discussion, a participant made the following statement that sums up much of the reason for the dispute over ROI in wellness programs: “Except for the USA, where cost savings & ROI, are an essential component for a successful corporate wellness program, this is not so in many other countries, where health improvement, & return on value, is more important than ROI. However in my book, ROI is usually the inevitable outcome of a good program, but in case there is health improvement, but no tangible financial benefit, the program may still qualify as being successful.” Adrian Kennedy, Chief Wellness Officer at Arabian Wellness & Lifestyle Management, LLC. The key takeaway is that while the promised economic benefits may not be as large as one hopes, the effort to improve the lot of people is well worth the time, money and sweat equity…isn’t that the true essence of philanthropy?


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www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

19


SMALL BUSINESS | Workers’ Comp: What You Need to Know

Personnel Practices Workers’ Comp: What You Need to Know by Matthew R. Plain, Esq. & Kristen M. Whittle, Esq.

Rhode Island employers are required to compensate employees for job-related injuries under the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA). The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide compensation to employees for medical expenses and lost wages following a workplace injury. The WCA provides workers’ compensation as an alternative to common law negligence claims against employers for personal injuries. Though recoveries under the WCA do not include common law damages such as pain and suffering or loss of use and enjoyment, the system is designed to compensate injured employees more quickly and efficiently than through the common law process, without analyzing fault. Typically, Rhode Island employers purchase insurance policies to cover accidental injuries to employees in the workplace. However, an employer may opt to file a bond with the director of the Department of Labor and Training (DLT) demonstrating the employer’s financial ability to pay claims out-of-pocket. If an employer fails to provide an annual proof of insurance or a bond, the employer may be subject to civil or administrative penalties that can be imposed for each day of noncompliance. In egregious cases, employers may also be subject to criminal penalties, such as fines and possible imprisonment. Accordingly, it is important that employers be aware of the

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requirements of the WCA in order to ensure compliance and avoid penalties. The following highlights provide a snapshot of important provisions: •

As of January 1, 1999, every person, firm, public service or private corporation, including the State of Rhode Island, that employs employees regularly in the same business is subject to the WCA. The WCA broadly defines the term “employer” to include “any person, partnership, corporation, or voluntary association, and the legal representative of a deceased employer…” Under the WCA, “employee” means “any person who has entered into the employment of or works under contract of service or apprenticeship with any


Workers’ Comp: What You Need to Know | SMALL BUSINESS

Under the WCA, employees are deemed to have waived their rights to file a lawsuit against their employer to recover damages for personal injuries employer…” (The term “employee” does not include shareholders, directors, sole proprietors, or independent contractors). Accordingly, the WCA applies to most employment relationships in Rhode Island. •

Under the WCA, employees are deemed to have waived their rights to file a lawsuit against their employer to recover damages for personal injuries. This concept is referred to as the exclusivity provision of the WCA—meaning that workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for injured employees subject to the WCA. The practical effect of the exclusivity provision is that an employer is immune from a lawsuit when an injured employee is entitled to recover under the WCA. An employee can retain the right to file a lawsuit against his or her employer by giving the employer, at the time of hiring, a notice in writing that he or she claims that right. Within ten days of notifying his or her employer, the employee must file a copy of the notice with the director of DLT. It is relatively uncommon for employees to file such a notice, but employers should be aware of that possibility. Rhode Island courts have consistently held that, if an employee fails to properly retain his or her rights to sue his or her employer, the employee is barred from bringing a lawsuit against his or her employer if workers’ compensation benefits are appropriate.

In addition, all employers—whether or not they are subject to the WCA—must disclose to prospective employees at the time of application either that the employer is subject to or exempt from workers’ compensation. If the employer is exempt from the WCA, the specific type of exemption must be disclosed. Moreover, the WCA requires employers to post a notice that includes insurer information. DLT provides sample notices in English and Spanish, which employers may download from the Department’s website (http://www.dlt.ri.gov/wc/pdfs/dwc-08Poster.pdf). When in doubt as to the requirements of the WCA, always contact an experienced professional, rather than going it alone. Matthew R. Plain, Esq. Partner, Barton Gilman LLP Kristen M. Whittle, Esq. Associate, Barton Gilman LLP

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www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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What Clams Taught Me About SMALL CAPITAL BUSINESS CITY | Jobs || How for Rhode To Manage Islanders A Remote Worker or Office SMALL BUSINESS Dear Mom: A Letter Home From ALeadership One Day Warrior

JOBS FOR

RHODE ISLANDERS by Mayor Angel Taveras

Employers in Rhode Island are looking for skilled workers, and yet too many Rhode Islanders are in need of stable employment and the hope for economic opportunity. In Providence, we are helping to connect Rhode Islanders in the job market with available jobs. If you or someone you know–a friend, relative, neighbor or former colleague–is looking for work, we may be able to assist you. For the second year in a row,

doing this in partnership with Workforce Solutions of Providence/Cranston, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training. We have already held 13 job fairs with nearly 2,000 job seekers and more than 320 businesses, and six more job fairs are planned in the year ahead. Our job fairs are industry-specific and are focused on hospitality and tourism, education, food science and culinary arts, and healthcare. The job fairs are posted to our

WE HAVE ALREADY HELD 13 JOB FAIRS WITH NEARLY 2,000 JOB SEEKERS AND MORE THAN 320 BUSINESSES, AND SIX MORE JOB FAIRS ARE PLANNED IN THE YEAR AHEAD Mayor Allan Fung and I, in our respective roles as heads of Workforce Board of Providence/Cranston, have partnered to offer free industry-specific job fairs for Rhode Island’s unemployed. We are

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website along with the schedule of dates and locations. We launched these job fairs early last year to help address Rhode Island’s

high unemployment rate. The job fairs are successful because they work: we are bringing job seekers together with employers seeking to fill positions. If you are a member of the military, a veteran or a member of their family, and you are seeking work, you will be especially interested in our upcoming job fair on April 22. This “Military, Veterans and Families” event will be held 1pm to 3pm at the Providence Career and Technical Academy. Available jobs and hands-on workshops will be offered. If you are a business owner looking to support our women and men who have served this nation, please call (401) 6808578 to register as a vendor. Interested job seekers should register online at www. providenceri.com and click on the “Jobs Now” button. By the informal surveys business representatives and job seekers complete for us at the end of these job fairs, we know this fairly simple but effective initiative is making a difference for those who participate. To learn more about these job fairs visit www.providenceri.com


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SMALL BUSINESS | Rhode Island Steps In To Recover Abandoned Life Insurance Property

Rhode Island Steps In To Recover

Abandoned Life Insurance Property by Gina M. Raimondo

When it came to Treasury’s attention that life insurance companies may have unclaimed funds owed to Rhode Islanders, we stepped in on their behalf to give them an opportunity to recover the money. Holding life insurers accountable is one of several ways that Treasury is helping people find their missing money.

Property list and found more than $11,000. Lugarde Baris of Pawtucket, RI received $10,000 in life insurance proceeds from her sister. Sharon Finn of Cranston, RI found more than $46,000 from her brother’s life insurance claim. Visit RI Treasury’s YouTube Page to see all the videos.

Rhode Island is one of 45 states, as well as the District of Columbia, working with Verus Financial to conduct audits of 13 different life insurance companies in an effort to recover abandoned life insurance property. It is one of three audit firms the state works with to track down money owed to Rhode Islanders.

These families are just three examples of the thousands of Rhode Islanders who are owed more than $275 million in unclaimed property. Unclaimed property includes bank accounts, bonds, IRAs, safe deposit contents, uncashed checks, utility deposits and more.

Verus’ mission is to conduct complex unclaimed property audits of national financial institutions, including insurance companies. The firm audits, identifies, collects and delivers unclaimed property from life insurance companies that are required to report and deliver property under the RI Unclaimed Property Law. Once a property holder is identified, the insurance company is notified and given one final opportunity to return the money. If the insurance company is not successful, the property is turned over to the state.

The unclaimed property online searchable list is regularly updated and contains hundreds of thousands of claimable properties. I encourage you to search our online database today to see if you are missing money and I also ask you to please help spread the word amongst your friends, neighbors and family members.

As a result of this agreement, Treasury’s Unclaimed Property team has found nearly $12 million in life insurance proceeds for more than 9,000 Rhode Islanders. So far, almost $2.3 million has been returned to more than 1,100 rightful owners and more than $9.5 million remains to be claimed by about 8,000 Rhode Islanders. The average amount of each claim is more than $1,000. Tracking down these unclaimed life insurance proceeds is an example of government working for people, especially in these challenging times. Recently, my office launched three videos featuring Rhode Islanders who have found their missing money. These Rhode Islanders participated in this film project in the hopes that their stories would inspire others to search. Maureen King of Warwick, RI searched for her husband’s name on Rhode Island’s Unclaimed

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Gina Raimondo Rhode Island General Treasurer


Protecting Your Supply Chain To Avoid Trade Secret Theft | SMALL BUSINESS

P R O T E C T I N G Y O U R S U P P LY C H A I N

To Avoid Trade Secret Theft by Megan M. St. Ledger

Over the past few years, several high-profile data breaches have captured news headlines and left consumers scrambling to change their credit cards and passwords. Although cyber attacks command a great deal of media attention, your small business may be leaving itself vulnerable to more traditional forms of theft. Your company is likely sharing confidential information and trade secrets with every member of your supply chain, including both employees and third-party vendors. As your company grows and you begin to outsource production, distribution, or warehouse functions, the risk of exposure increases. But fear not. There are measures your small business can take to secure your supply chain and reduce the risk that your company’s valuable intellectual property will be stolen. 1. Conduct a Strategic Assessment of Trade Secrets A trade secret is useful commercial information (including formulas, programs, methods, or techniques) which is not generally known to the public and which provides a competitive advantage to its owner. Common examples of trade secrets include consumer profiles, supplier lists, manufacturing methods, or strategic business plans. Unlike patents or copyrights, which last for a fixed duration, trade secret protections last as long as their secrecy is maintained. Accordingly, it is paramount for small businesses to take necessary steps to maintain the confidentiality of trade secrets throughout the supply chain. A strategic trade secret assessment identifies and inventories the company’s valuable proprietary information, categorizes the information by type, and assesses its value. This assessment then informs company policies regarding confidentiality. For example, your company may consider restricting access to

documents, databases, or aggregated confidential information to reduce the risk of disclosure. 2. Train & Educate Your Staff Most intellectual property losses occur as the result of employee disclosures. Employee cooperation is essential to maintaining confidentiality. It is not enough to hand an employee a nondisclosure agreement and hope for the best. Instead, as part of the hiring process and throughout the employment relationship, companies should provide training about the obligation to maintain confidentiality, reinforce best practices for protecting company intellectual property, and discipline lapses. Companies should train employees to report potential breaches and have rapid reaction contingency plans to mitigate losses. 3. Employ Strong Contractual Protections As a small business, minimizing legal fees is always a goal. However, engaging counsel to review (and if necessary, renegotiate) the company’s contracts will likely save the company substantial money when and if the company’s trade secrets are misappropriated. To avoid trade secret misappropriation, your counsel should review all employee non-disclosure agreements and policies, vendor contracts, and intellectual property licenses. It is essential that anyone who receives confidential information from your company has a contractual obligation to maintain the secrecy of this information. You can further strengthen your vendor contracts by including audit rights and penalties for confidentiality breaches. 4. Monitor Departures & Enforce Contract Rights After Termination of a Business Relationship When employees are terminated, they should be reminded of their ongoing contractual obligation to maintain the confidentiality of company trade secrets and proprietary information. Once the business relationship ends with an employee or vendor, the company should also require the return or destruction of any proprietary information obtained from the company, monitor compliance with contract provisions regarding confidentiality, and if necessary, swiftly pursue litigation to protect the company’s intellectual property rights. The failure to aggressively protect the company’s trade secrets may result in lost profits and damage to the company. Intellectual property rights are often a company’s most valuable assets, and small businesses must remain vigilant to maintain the secrecy of trade secrets to preserve their value. Megan M. St. Ledger Litigation and Intellectual Property Associate Duffy & Sweeney, Ltd.

www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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SMALL BUSINESS | What is Factoring?

What is Factoring? Who Factors? Why do CPAs Love Factoring? by Hope Hallett

What is factoring? Factoring is a B2B (business-to-business) transaction where you are selling your invoices for immediate cash. The factor waits to be paid 15-30-45-60 plus days instead of you. With factoring you are giving your customers time to pay but you get paid immediately by the factor. The best of both worlds! You get paid immediately for your accounts receivable instead of waiting. Why is factoring so popular? It is the speed and flexibility of factoring, as it is the fastest and easiest way to get working capital for your business. Factoring is also dependent upon your customer’s credit and not your own credit. You get your money within 24-48 hours of submitting an invoice. It extends time for your client to pay either in the USA or internationally. Start-ups to Fortune 500 companies use factoring. Why is factoring flexible? Companies can factor one large invoice, aging invoices, international invoices, or continuously created invoices for cash now (in one to three days) instead of waiting any number of days to be paid on accounts receivable. Factoring allows clients to take on the occasional large jobs without creating cash flow problems. Why would a company factor? Factoring is used for growth spurts when an infusion of working capital is needed. Factoring is used by start-up companies. Start-ups move ahead at their own pace of sales without debt usually for a year or two. If the IRS has a lien on your accounts receivables, the IRS will

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RISBJ | rhode island small business journal

subordinate the UCC to a factor so the receivable can be cashed in immediately. Banks will also subordinate to a factor on the company’s accounts receivable for numerous reasons. How can factoring help a company that does business internationally? Companies are more competitive in the foreign marketplace if they allow time for their customers to pay. Factoring can be extended to most countries as long as there are not sanctions and political unrest. Why do CPAs like factoring? Accounts receivable funding (factoring) is not debt on your balance sheet and reduces the need for working capital. Factoring improves your balance sheet and increases your net worth and equity position. It is also a business expense. Factoring could reduce your taxes. Check with your CPA. Fortune 500 companies have used factoring for this reason.

How does factoring work? Factoring does not depend upon your company’s credit; it depends upon the credit of your customers, though the factor will want to get a feel for your business. The factor will run a D& B credit report on your chosen customer or customers to decide if they are creditworthy, and then send you the proposal; you can get started factoring in a matter of 1 to 2 weeks of application. Once you are started, you will be getting the money from your invoices in approximately 48 hours. What are the drawbacks? Does it cost more than traditional lending? It comes down to the financial situation the company is in, how they think about debt, and the speed with which they need money. Factoring is not debt on your balance sheet. You pay a bit more initially on short-term factoring, but you control it with invoices submitted and it is different than amortizing a loan over many years.

Who Factors? Staffing, Subcontractors, Payroll, Trucking, Freight, Medical Insurance, Home Health Care, Biotech, Consumer It, Construction, Oil & Gas Industries, Manufacturing,Cable & Telecommunications, Equipment, Auto Glass, Satellite Dish Installers, Armored Service,Engineering, Supplemental Education Providers, Clothing & Textiles, Distributors & Suppliers, Service Providers, Government Contracts, Agriculture, Distributors, Logistics, Etc... Just say everyone who is B2B with pending invoices.


The Face Of New Innovation | SMALL BUSINESS

With factoring you are giving your customers time to pay but you get paid immediately by the factor The cost is presently 1% and a fraction for every 30 days, and sometimes close to 2%. It is a fraction of a percent for every 15-day increment thereafter. Companies selling just one large invoice will have a higher fee as well as companies selling medical insurance accounts receivable more like 2-3% for 30 days. Factoring gives you instant injections of cash whenever and however you chose to use it by submitting your chosen invoices. How do banks look at factoring? Factoring can be a temporary solution for companies to stay bankable or become bankable. When a bank gives us a referral, we later send them back to that bank. A bank has to say “no” to money for a start-up company or “no” to more money for an existing client because of banking guidelines and underwriting. That is when factoring is the easiest and quickest way to go. What is reverse factoring? Reverse factoring is when a slow paying client has a factor (business) pay their vendors immediately with the factor’s money. The factor is paid by the prompt pay discount offered by the vendor for immediate payment. The factor gives part of the prompt pay discount back to the client in cash for their general fund. The client reimburses the factor in his usual payables cycle, changing nothing. The client has the best of both worlds as they keep their money for 40 to 60 days and still get a portion of the prompt pay discount, or even longer and forfeit any discount. Hope Hallett Factor/Cash Flow Funder www.capitalfreedomfunding.com

THE FACE OF NEW INNOVATION by Scott Andrews

For the past 20-30 years, experts in the health and wellness industry have rolled out “innovative” programs and services based on the latest data and research. How have companies benefited from this “innovative” approach? Unfortunately businesses haven’t built healthy cultures based on this approach. That’s not to say that the programs and services haven’t improved as we’ve learned from science and experience. Our knowledge base about population health risks has grown tremendously. The problem is not the programs. The issue is making it a natural way of doing business. The current approach is simply to make it an employee benefit line item. In fact, the landscape of building healthy companies looks like this: medicalize the workforce, shame people into changing without equipping them with the ability or motivation, and offer hundreds of dollars in incentives per employee to complete program tasks. The leadership teams, in turn, watch medical costs and insurance rates sky rocket, they experience a disengaged workforce (as much as 70% 1), and by and large their strategic initiatives continue to fail (70% fail 2). The new face of innovation isn’t a new program or gadget. It’s thinking 10 times bigger (something Google champions). So what’s 10 times bigger look like when building healthy companies? Here are 3 ways to leave the old innovation mindset behind:

1. Hold the executive team accountable: Building a healthy company sits squarely in the lap of the leadership team. In particular, the CEO. HR professionals know about human capital benefits and legal issues. But in order to build a healthy culture, the CEO must make it a priority and be held accountable. 2. Call out the “pink elephant” in the room: Organizational auditing and analysis highlights in black and white what the values and perception gaps are between leadership and the workforce. Bridge the gaps and you’ll create an environment where the workforce naturally chooses healthy, productive behaviors without hitting them over the head with a stick. 3. Systematic, Systemic, Sustainable: Innovation means creating a new process (systematic) that allows the organization to align their health/ wellness strategy with the organizational strategic plan (systemic). Between 6 months and 2 years, organizations will experience what an engaged, healthy organization looks and feels like. It will be a natural way of doing business (sustainable). 1 http://businessjournal.gallup.com/content/247/the-highcost-of-disengaged-employees.aspx 2 http://hbr.org/2000/05/cracking-the-code-of-change/

Scott Andrews Pansalus Consulting Senior Health and Productivity Practice Leader www.risbj.com | volume three issue four 27


SMALL BUSINESS | How Can Lessons Learned from A Lighthouse Help Our Businesses?

How Can Lessons Learne

A Lighthouse Hel Our Businesses?

by Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro

Numerous projects and institutions have been named after lighthouses. Illustrations of lighthouses have served as symbols for these projects and institutions through the years. One might assume that this is because the projects and institutions were close to lighthouses or had some sort of relationship to building, repairing, servicing, maintaining or educating people about lighthouses, but this is not necessarily the case. As a lighthouse enthusiast, I recall following signs to the lighthouse only to find that it was a church far from the water. My physician’s billing company had lighthouse in its name. A very significant learning project for Fortune 500 Executives used to be called the Lighthouse Project, though it was not located near a lighthouse. Why are institutions attracted to lighthouses? Perhaps, because the lighthouse serves as a guide to people, or

The entire staff of the ligh

turning every visitor into be the lighthouse. They do this

special events year round, mem

accommodation for all 28

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How Can Lessons Learned from A Lighthouse Help Our Businesses? | SMALL BUSINESS

ed From

lp

possibly it is because the lighthouse keepers serve heroically under good as well as adverse conditions to meet the needs of their traditional customers, crews of ships at sea. Maybe it is because the lighthouses are picturesque. Maybe (but less likely) it is because lighthouses are complex businesses which serve many masters. In Rhode Island, we are fortunate to have numerous lighthouses which make our state more attractive to tourism. One of the lighthouses is Rose Island, and it is about 1 mile from the Newport Jamestown Bridge. The lighthouse still functions today to guide boats. Its beauty enhances views of Newport Harbor. Additionally, it is a wildlife sanctuary and a great place to visit during a day tour or to spend the night. The Rose Island lighthouse is also a not-for-profit organization that needs to raise money, sell services, make purchases, and transport items. It has numerous customers and is regulated by the Coast Guard. Various challenges faced by both the Rose Island Lighthouse and some of our businesses are described below. Reviewing the Rose Island challenges and experiences provide us with a model of how to be more productive and efficient. Challenge #1: Raising Money. As a not-for-profit, the Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation is dependent upon grant money, private donations, and selling services. Executive Director David McCurdy has demonstrated that by offering some suggestions, simply asking benefactors and customers how they would like to see their money spent, and spending the money according to the benefactors’ and customers’ wishes has dramatically increased the organization’s financial success. So, David says, “Be sure to listen to your customers!” Challenge #2: Conserving Resources. The Rose Island Lighthouse is heated with oil heat. There is no pipeline from the mainland to the island. There is

hthouse is dedicated to

eing a spokesperson for

no oil delivery service via boat available. There is no natural gas pipeline, either. Instead, Chris Papp, the lighthouse property manager, needs to place 55-gallon drums on the Starfish (the boat owned by the lighthouse), fill them with diesel oil, drive the boat to the lighthouse, and set up fuel lines to pump the oil into two tanks (which are similar to the ones you may have in your basement). Clearly, this is not a job Chris wants to do more frequently than necessary (and the oil is expensive, too). To reduce the need to carry out this laborious job, the lighthouse recently replaced all of its windows and reduced the diesel oil consumption by 30 percent. While the window replacement project was expensive, it is expected to pay for itself within 5 years just in fuel savings. Chris recommends checking your windows at work and at home to save money. Challenge #3: Government Regulation. If you think your business is over-regulated, consider that the lighthouse is regulated by the Coast Guard (because it is a functioning lighthouse), the RI State Office of Historic Preservation, the Department of Interior, and the City of Newport. The foundation recently replaced the lens (the “light”) with a beautiful new one which was custom-made. The new lens had to meet all government regulations, be made cost effectively, and have a long lifespan. David found that working the various agencies was a challenge, but it was greatly facilitated by not overreacting to regulations. A government official will work with you if you navigate the regulatory task with little complaint and if your attitude is one that assists the process. Challenge #4. Collecting Payments. There is a $5.00 landing fee per person to use the island facilities for island maintenance. As with every business, it is essential to collect payments. At Rose Island, visitors need to be encouraged to land their boat at or near the dock, as opposed to on the more distant beaches, and pay the fee. David anticipates that it will be much easier to collect payments when he sets up a booth right at the docks to pay. He looks forward to reporting back on whether having the more noticeable payment process improves cash flow. Challenge #5. Turning Visitors/Customers into Ambassadors. The entire staff of the lighthouse is dedicated to turning every visitor into being a spokesperson for the lighthouse. They do this by offering great tours, special events year round, memberships, and a great accommodation for all overnight guests. Tour guide Nora Eschenheimer, a recent college graduate who has been giving tours since the age of ten, has found that demonstrating true enthusiasm and encouraging visitors to explore are the keys to success. She recommends that all business owners demonstrate enthusiasm for their business (and also, where practical, involve their families in the business from a young age).

by offering great tours,

mberships, and a great

l overnight guests.

Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro Independent Consultant in Human Factors Learning & Human Resources

www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

Providence Ranked No. 2

on List of Best Downtowns in America

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence has proudly captured another national award for its quality of life. Rhode Island’s Capital City has been ranked the second best downtown in the nation Coast by Livability.com. The award recognizes Providence among cities that foster creativity, inclusion and innovation by offering a diverse array of local architecture, art, lifestyles and things to do. “Above all, the top-performing downtowns must maintain a high level of energy and give all residents in a city a reason to come on down,” according to Livability.com, an online publication that surveys metropolitan areas on a range of social issues. Included in the assessment of cities it reviewed were population growth, ratio of residents to jobs, income growth, home vacancy rates, affordability of housing and retail and office vacancy rates. http://livability.com/top-10/top-10-bestdowntowns-2014/providence-/ri “This recognition reaffirms that Providence is among the very best nationwide for quality of life and opportunity,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “Rhode Island’s Capital City has enormous

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assets and an incredible quality of life that attracts residents and visitors and encourages them to stay.” The editors of Livability.com noted that while they measure metrics for population gains, income growth, unemployment and the ratio of people who live and work downtown, “numbers alone can’t tell you what makes a downtown great. For that you need to see the skylines, hear the street sounds and talk to people who’ve been there.” Providence – ranked No. 2 among the nation’s best downtowns for 2014 – was the only New England city to make the list. Providence was second only to Fort Worth; Texas; and was ranked ahead of Indianapolis; Indiana; Provo; Utah; Alexandria; Virginia; Frederick; Maryland; Fort Lauderdale; Florida; Bellingham; Washington; Eugene; Oregon and Birmingham; Alabama. Providence also received high marks for the “significant investment downtown with new construction, major renovations and businesses moving in.”


SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

Sons of Liberty American Craft Distillery Wins “World’s Best” at Whisky Magazine’s World Whiskies Awards in London SOUTH KINGSTOWN, RI – Sons of Liberty craft distillery located in South Kingstown, Rhode Island, has brought home the most prestigious award a craft distillery can receive from this year’s World Whiskies Awards in London, England. Sons of Liberty Founder, Mike Reppucci, accepted a “World’s Best” award on Thursday, March 20th in the category of “Best Flavored Whiskey” for its seasonal Pumpkin Spice release at this year’s annual awards presented by Whisky Magazine. First held in 2007, the World Whiskies Awards are Whisky Magazine’s product awards searching for the very best whiskies in the world. This year’s competition saw more than 350 whiskies put through their paces during three rounds of rigorous tastings to win the coveted titles of “World’s Best.” Only 10 “World’s Best” awards were given out. “A little known fact, even among regular whiskey drinkers, is that all whiskey starts as beer,” says Sons of Liberty Founder Mike Reppucci. “For years, craft brewers have been producing outstanding seasonal brews, and we saw the opportunity to advance the trend to American craft whiskey.” Exuding a true pumpkin flavor lacking the sugary, saccharin taste common to flavored spirits, Pumpkin Spice is aged in American Oak barrels and each batch is infused with over 2,500lbs of fire roasted, locally grown pumpkins and a toasty mix of seasonal New England flavor. Pumpkin Spice comes on the heels of Sons of Liberty’s Summer Release – Hop Flavored Whiskey, quenching a craft lover’s summertime thirst with light, citrusy notes of lemon and grapefruit, born from a traditionally brewed IPA. “We founded Sons of Liberty to redefine American craft whiskey from a corn-based bourbon to complex whiskies distilled from flavorful beers,” says Reppucci. “It is a tremendous honor to receive the ultimate recognition for our efforts with this year’s “World’s Best” award, not only for us, but for everyone who helped make this whiskey. From grains to bottle and all the pumpkins in between, so many Rhode Islanders are part of this win.”

School and was inspired to create something as drinkable in the U.S. with a uniquely American flavor. Reppucci has spent the past 5 years changing the question from “Why can’t America make great craft whiskey?” to “What took so long?” About Sons of Liberty Spirits Co.

Sons of Liberty’s Pumpkin Spice will be available again this fall in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

The Sons of Liberty (www.solspirits.com) believe that being American means taking a stand without compromise and fearlessly pursuing your dreams no matter what stands in your way. Sons of Liberty Spirits was founded to revolutionize and redefine American Whiskey. They are now leading the rebirth of American Whiskey by challenging century old traditions with American Single Malt Whiskies born from distinctly flavorful beers (UPRISING and BATTLE CRY) and the first ever seasonal line of whiskies (Sons of Liberty Seasonals).

An Ivy League college graduate of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, Reppucci became accustomed to drinking high-end Scotch while attending London Business

The Sons of Liberty distillery is located in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. Please visit www.solspirits.com/where-to-buy to find locations carrying Sons of Liberty products.

www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

Rhode Island Foundation Boosts Farm-to-table Industry maybe 15 minutes out of the city to have a marketplace for their product,” says Noah Fulmer, who handles special projects for the Pawtucket-based nonprofit. “The farmer’s markets we run here are not just in one type of neighborhood. We have them all across the state and we have programs in terms of education that try to bring people in,” he says. “What we’re trying to do is, when we’re at the farmers market, put farmers in direct contact with the consumer and make that connection stronger.”

PROVIDENCE, RI — Rhode Island’s 1,200 farms still generate a healthy $65 million in sales, but an innovative new movement is hard at work turning Rhode Island into a national leader by adapting an old model – small, organic farms – to modern times. To promote the farm-to-table industry, the Rhode Island Foundation is promoting the leaders of the movement in a PSA that local TV stations and cable providers are running. Pat’s Pastured in North Kingstown is one of the “stars.” The 100-acre spread combines a grass-fed, pasture-raised livestock operation with a farm store. “We believe in kind of creating a farm environment where animals get to express their full potential and grow in a healthy and humane way,” says owner Patrick McNiff. “Our business in Rhode Island is really unique in that agriculture had been on the decline for many years. Now it’s kind of growing more and more as more people are interested in the local food movement,” he says. “So we’re seeing more and more farmers come back and be involved in Rhode Island agriculture and the Rhode Island economy.” McNiff sees a lot of economic potential in the changing face of farming, pointing to groups like Farm Fresh Rhode Island, which promotes local farms as a means to providing fresher, healthier food while strengthening community-based businesses. “Rhode Island is the perfect place for Farm Fresh because we’re a small state. It’s a really amazing opportunity for farms that are

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McNiff of Pat’s Pastured points to another growth area. “We have some of the best restaurants in the world, in the country here. We sell to them and they’re really interested in buying local and supporting their local farmer’s and fishermen. I think it’s a great opportunity to kind of link up with the farm-to-table movement through different restaurants that are based here in Rhode Island,” he says. McNiff is not alone in his belief that the growing farm-to-table trend has a lot of promise. Melissa Denmark, pastry chef at Gracie’s Restaurant and Ellie’s Bakery in Providence, says using locallygrown foods enables chefs to bring diners back again and again by offers menus that change with the harvest. “Here at Gracie’s we work really hard to use the seasons as inspiration for our menus. Farm-to-table for me means that we wait all year for some of these seasons. And we take everything we can out of them,” she explains. One of Melissa’s colleagues at Gracie’s is another believer in the farm-to-table movement. “My experience with Farm Fresh has been great over the years. They’ve really expanded immensely over the past few years. It’s been great to see them grow. It’s what makes sense to me as a chef, to utilize local and sustainable products from the great state of Rhode Island,” says Executive Chef Matthew Varga. The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2013, the Foundation made grants of more than $31 million to organizations addressing the most pressing issues and needs of the state’s of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. A complete list of 2013 strategy grants is posted at www.rifoundation.org.


SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

Small Business Administration Announces 2014 Rhode Island Small Business Award Winners Rhode Island Financial Services Champion of the Year: Denise DiDonato, Vice President, Small Business Lending Freedom National Bank Rhode Island District Director Award: Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts In addition to the SBA awards, the Joseph G.E. Knight Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence will be awarded by the Rhode Island SCORE chapter to Herrick & White Architectural Woodworkers in Cumberland. PROVIDENCE, RI – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the 2014 Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year and other small business awards. Winners will be honored during the Rhode Island Salute to Small Business Awards Luncheon on June 4th at the Alpine Country Club in Cranston. Awards will be presented in 11 categories. The 2014 Rhode Island Small Business Person of the Year is Lisa Mattiello, owner of Pranzi Catering & Events in Providence. Lisa started her catering business in 1997 in a small storefront. Today, Pranzi is one of the area’s premier catering and event planning companies. THE OTHER SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS AND AN ADVOCATE WHO WILL BE HONORED ARE: Rhode Island and New England Minority-owned Small Business of the Year: Miguelina Dominguez and Roberto Castellano, co-owners RCM Cleaning, LLC, Providence Rhode Island

“Again this year we are pleased to honor an outstanding class of small business owners and a financial champion,” said Mark S. Hayward, director of the SBA Rhode Island District Office. “These are truly the ‘best-of-the-best’ and are deserving of this recognition for their hard work and demonstrated success.” Mattiello will join small business persons from the other 49 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam during National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C. on May 15 and 16. One of the small business persons will be selected as the 2014 National Small Business Person of the Year. While in Washington the winners will have the opportunity to meet with top SBA officials and national business leaders. Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week. SBA recognizes outstanding small business owners for their personal successes and contributions to our nation.

Veteran-owned Small Business of the Year: John H. Wood II, owner The Green Grocer, Portsmouth Rhode Island Woman-owned Small Business of the Year: Dr. Lori A. Duquette, owner Duquette Family Eye Care, Inc., North Smithfield Rhode Island SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Bianca Alicea, owner ChubbyChicoCharms, LLC, North Providence Rhode Island Microenterprise of the Year: Laura M. Ernst, president Land & Coastal Services, LLC, East Greenwich www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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SMALL BUSINESS | Uncomfortable Communication! Help to the Rescue!

Uncomfortable Communication! by Donna Mac

There’s nothing better than great conversation that flows between you and another. This occurs when you deliver an idea and the other person can “see” the picture you’re painting. You articulate the steps to achieve your goals and your counterpart builds upon them, sometimes contributing ideas you hadn’t even thought of yet. Before you know it, the two of you have created a solid plan of action. And you’re ready for greatness. But what happens when you generate an idea that receives little or no accolades? You’ve taken the time to research your ideas and then develop a plan to communicate them to the “powers that be.” However, the “receiver” is clearly not inspired or even close to being aligned with your thought process. For most communicators, this is when disappointment sets in. With that can come a sense of regret for wasting time and possibly being wrong. Despite the fact that you put great energy into your ideas, the fact that they weren’t well received means they were simply no good…right?

So the next time you’re preparing for an important conversation, take some time and put yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask yourself, ‘What do THEY need?’

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Before you crumple up your theory and/or vision, take a step back and assess. It’s always good to review what you brought forth and it’s even more important to take some time to try to understand the personalities involved in the interaction that led to disappointment. You see, sometimes the reason your ideas are not being well received has nothing to do with their validity. The problem might lie in the way they were communicated. What’s the best way to determine that? Ask yourself the following questions. 1. Did I take time to understand who I was speaking with? 2. Did I work to align my energy to that of the other person? 3. Did I understand their communications “style” and deliver with that in mind? 4. Did I articulate how my idea was a win/win for everyone concerned? UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCE When developing your communication skills, we know it’s imperative not to try to be anyone other than who you are. Consequently, it’s important to be keenly aware of who you’re communicating with. For instance, you’d address a roomful of doctors differently than you’d address a roomful of musicians. So the next time you’re preparing for an important conversation, take some time and put yourself in the shoes of your audience and ask yourself, “What do THEY need?” As the great communicator Steven Covey reminds us, it’s always more important to seek to understand BEFORE you try to be understood yourself. So be sure to make this conversation focused more on them and less on you. If you do this, they’ll feel it. And more importantly, they’ll appreciate it. ALL people have the need to be seen and heard.


Uncomfortable Communication! Help to the Rescue! | SMALL BUSINESS

Help to the Rescue! WHAT DO THEY NEED As we know, every person on this earth is different. Some are outgoing extraverts, others more left-brained, quieter types. When preparing for an important conversation, take a moment and gauge your audience’s personality and their way of being and THEN while delivering (and working to influence), be cognizant of the amount of energy your audience emulates, depending on their personality. Then, do your best to match it. It’s imperative to be mindful of the amount of energy YOU emulate when you’re speaking. Remember you can adjust your energy simply by being present to how your audience is reacting. Are they still interested in what you’re saying? Ask them, and be sure to keep them part of the conversation. This way you can be sure that they know that, again, this conversation is NOT all about you. It’s clearly for their benefit, too! THE GREATER GOOD When you listen to someone speak, can you quickly determine whether or not they actually care about you; that they truly want to make your life better? That, while they may have a product or service to share with you, it’s more important that you engage or buy ONLY if you feel like it’s the right thing to do after stringent consideration? Guess what? This is the way of the world. As we move further

into this decade after what has been called the “Economic Renaissance,” businesspeople are spending critical time to ensure they make wise decisions. They also want to do business with people who are truly genuine and are looking out for EVERYONE’S best interest. Yes, selling is important but, guaranteed, if you throw in a dose of humility, which is cultivated by always seeking the greater good over a quick sale, people will know you as someone they want to do business with AND someone they will want to refer to their friends. SPEAK LESS, SELL MORE Have you noticed that much of what has been written here has more to do with quieter communications as opposed to the more verbal type? That’s the good news. As we move forth in this world, the days of the noisy, overachieving speaker are gone. Of course, it’s still important to speak clearly and intelligently but it’s MORE important to speak concisely and authentically. And the best new communication skill you can place into your toolbox is: consciousness. That means being consciously aware of yourself and your audience and how you can best serve them, which depends on many factors, from things as simple as the time of day to how they respond to the world around them. These consciousness skills take time to understand, cultivate and measure but they are an investment into your career that has a huge ROI. Your return will indeed be in sales. Your return will also be the relationships you build and nurture for years to come.

Donna Mac Owner DMac Voice & Media

www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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AVA I L A B L E P RO P E RT I E S

400 South County Trail, Exeter:

Great location!! Design Award of Excellence. Private baths. Centrally located 6 minutes South of Home Depot in North Kingstown. Easy access at the gateway to South County. Taxes are approximate. Assessment as unfinished. 900-4,000 sq.ft. available. From $105,000

1755 Smith Street, North Providence:

Former Dunkin Donuts for over 30 years (they bought & moved across the street). Seats 30+. Has a drive-thru. Parking for 20+. GREAT for ANY fast food concept. 2000 sq. ft. $2,500/mo.

1950 South County Trail, East Greenwich: 20,000 SF warehouse space with 5 dock height doors, 24’ clear height. Ample Parking, Located off Route 2, Great Access to Route 4. Lease at $5 psf.

65 Montebello Road, Warwick:

Great block building with two overhead doors, heavy power, and 2nd floor office. Great access to highway, train, and airport. $175,000

111 Airport Road, Warwick:

Very nice 2nd floor office space near Hoxsie 4 corners. Tastefully decorated, good paint & carpet, possible office furnishings (nice stuff!) Three offices, conference, reception, lav., plus large basement storage. $180/month condo fee. $77,500

222 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick:

Class “a” law office includes conference room, 4 private offices, lavette, reception, storage, kitchen. over 1450 sq ft, plus 500 sq ft storage! Reduced $179,900

TION DUC E R E HUG

10 Southern Industrial Dr, Cranston:

111 Hopkins Hill Road, West Greenwich:

2220 South County Trail, East Greenwich:

2240 South County Trail, East Greenwich:

Great contractor space, building is expandable 5000’ footprint. First floor =3000 office, 2000’ wh. Second fl. =3000’ part finished office . First floor rented to national company. 20*50 covered canopy in rear and plenty of vehicle parking. Located Between Scituate Ave and Plainfiled Pike, Close to I-295. Building is expandable on 3.44 acre lot Asking $525,000

One year lease offers buyer(s) time and income to space plan & seek permits. Close to Exit 7 on Rte 4 across from Stanley Bostich and adjacent Stork’s Nest Child Academy. Lease at $14 psf.

Commercial • Investment • Residential

½ acre – 16 acres Very fast growing area off Exit 6A near GTech, Amgen & Centrex. Front pad is busy Dunkin Donuts, balance of site permits office, retail, warehouse & light industrial. Traffic count 15,000 and growing! Multitude of possibilities- 6 other avail. lots. From $150,000

All spaces include utilities except warehouse. Warehouse space includes 1,200 SF of office space and shared loading dock.Located in expanding business park with ample parking. Quiet, wooded site. Direct highway access to Route 4. On Route 2, near intersection of 402 (Frenchtown Rd.). 6-12 sq ft warehouse from $6 psf. Call for details.

7265 Post Road, North Kingstown:

7.82 acres on US Rt.1. Zoning permits apartments/office/medical/retail. Many possibilities!! Will build to suit, sale or lease, or land only. Great location. Dozens of acres and walking trails behind property. Adjacent 5+- acres also available. Call For Details!

39 Nooseneck Hill Road, West Greenwich:

2,000 to 20,000 sq. ft. flex space for lease. Warehouse, office, classrooms, thearte, recreational, 6 acre site with 500’ front on route 3 land lease available for outdoor storage, nursery greenhouse, ect. Only 1.2 mile from Exit 6. Next to retail plaza. From $5 psf.

Many more Commercial Properties

www.RemaxCommercialRI.com or email Jeff Butler at jab@ButlerRealty.us Trusted Real Estate Service Since 1977 Looking to Buy or Lease? Call the Butler!

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Small Businesses: Coping With A Tight Credit Market | SMALL BUSINESS

SMALL BUSINESSES: COPING WITH A TIGHT CREDIT MARKET by Ted Donnelly

The ongoing tight credit environment continues to impede growth among small businesses. And with the threat of possible inflation and rising prices, available credit will be more and more difficult to secure. Indeed a Small Business Credit Survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York revealed that 49% of small businesses blame tight credit as a large factor in limiting growth.1 Among firms operating with a loss, 66% had difficulty getting credit, while 36% of profitable firms were concerned about obtaining credit. But there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Using a little ingenuity and effort, there are several simple ways to help stretch those business dollars, according to a recent online Small Business Trends article, “5 Quick and Easy Tips to Boost Your Small Business Cash Flow.”2 Open an interest-bearing checking account. If you keep your business funds in a checking account, upgrade to an interest-paying checking account. When you maintain

the minimum balance, you’ll avoid paying any monthly fees or service charges. While the interest you’ll earn on a daily basis will be negligible, you can earn a little more by directing most of your business funds to a bank savings or money market account, and transferring funds to the checking account as you need it. Make the most from your credit. You can save a good deal of money on a variety of business expenses by using a points and/or cash rewards loyalty credit card. Look for one that offers rewards you can use on a daily basis. Pay bills when they are due, not too early. While it’s certainly important to pay your bills in a timely manner, it’s not necessary to pay your bills earlier than required. Take advantage of any 30- to 60-day grace periods so you’ll have the money on hand to pay for any unexpected or emergency expenses. Also, set up electronic transfers from your checking account on the bill’s due date. Go green. By using paperless systems, you’ll be environmentally correct while saving considerably on postage and printing. Consider using electronic invoicing and direct deposit payments for your employees.

Speed up your collections. Instead of sending out invoices at the end of each month, try invoicing upon delivery or completion, so you’ll get paid sooner versus later. Additionally, you can offer incentives like rewards or discounts to those who pay early. So, hopefully, with a little extra cash and a little patience, your small business will be back on track to grow once the economy stabilizes. Ted Donnelly Agent New York Life Insurance Company

www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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29TH ANNUAL WORLD TRADE DAY

THE CHAFEE CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AT BRYANT UNIVERSITY This May will mark the 29th year that the Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University has hosted its annual World Trade Day event on the Bryant campus in Smithfield, RI. When the event first began, it was one of only a few World Trade Days held nationally and attracted fewer than 100 participants. Over the years, the scope and popularity of the event has grown as the region’s interest in international trade has increased and more companies are seeking the information necessary for success in a wide range of global arenas. More than 500 business, government, and academic leaders from across the region will convene at this year’s World Trade Day on May 21, 2014 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Under the theme “Back to the USA: Partnering for Global Success,” the conference will explore ways in which New England organizations can expand globally as they increase their U.S. manufacturing and expand their local capabilities. Crucial to their success are partnerships, and the day-long agenda includes 15 different breakout sessions that will explore a variety of different kinds of partnerships. Ranging from regional partners such as banks, lawyers, and freight forwarders, to industry partnerships within the food, marine, and aerospace industries, experienced local company executives and industry professionals will discuss best practices for creating and working with global partnerships and how these partnerships can support successful international growth. Over the years these testimonials from local companies and respected business leaders have both inspired and motivated participants and created a surge of interest in learning and doing more internationally. Cheryl Merchant, CEO of Hope Global is the Chair of this year’s World Trade Day Committee and encourages everyone to consider participating in World Trade Day as she believes international trade is one way to grow a business, which in turn creates jobs and supports the local economy. “Your participation in World Trade Day adds to the excitement and potential of the day. For all of us, the goal is sustainable growth. With growth we create jobs; with jobs the economy of New England improves. As the saying goes: it’s a win-win. There are few things more exciting and inspirational than winning!” Through Tom Tanury of Tanury Industries, Bryant is excited

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to welcome Dr. Jakob van Zyl, Ph.D., associate director at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as the luncheon keynote speaker. Dr. van Zyl’s dynamic presentations will include a video of some of NASA’s recent space exploration projects and share how to take business capabilities and create partnerships with NASA for future success. In addition to Tanury Industries, the World Trade Day 2014 keynote speaker is also sponsored by two additional companies, Raytheon and Banneker Industries, both strong local businesses that also have a large international presence and support international growth. “Strong organizations cannot grow and thrive if they operate only in one country. Today, success requires a global perspective and an understanding of the interconnectedness of cultures and economies. Even in local markets, strategic resources can be found to initiate global business expansion,” said Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley. “NASA’s successful global partnerships set a high standard for effective international relations and expanding into new markets.” The morning keynote will feature Peter Friedmann, Washington, D.C. counsel for the Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT). CONECT is New England’s leading pro-trade policies advocate and widely recognized as one of the strongest regional groups pushing for “free and fair trade.” Friedman leads CONECT in conveying this message to Congress and Executive Branch agencies, and his lively presentation will provide a unique insider’s perspective on the U.S. International Trade Agenda from “inside the beltway.” Following his presentation there will be an opportunity for questions and answers, including discussions with a panel of local business representatives. Feedback from previous World Trade Day events has highlighted the need for educational sessions that help companies keep abreast of latest best practices, introduce them to new business opportunities, inspire them with practical advice from companies similar to themselves, and provide opportunities to network. Participants will have a choice from 15 one-hour breakout sessions during the morning from 9:15 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. In addition, this year for the first time the day will include “Advice Clinics” in which attendees will have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with industry experts from various organizations on specific questions related to their business. The three featured Advice Clinics include banking/finance/insurance, Export Compliance and Free Trade Agreements, and Trade Association and Industry assistance.


BRYANT UNIVERSITY MAY 21ST, 2014

WORLD TRADE DAY 2014 The World Trade Day program has been designed to appeal to all sizes and types of businesses, whether an individual working out of his basement or a multinational company, in the jewelry or textile business, or making sausages. The opportunity to come together and share stories, experiences, and learning is invaluable for any organization and should be taken advantage of. According to Raymond W. Fogarty, director of the Chafee Center for International Business, exports have a crucial impact on both regional and national economic growth. Citing the U.S. Department of Commerce, Fogarty noted that nearly half of all U.S. economic growth in 2013 was attributed to exports. Through World Trade Day and other programs and services offered by the Center, companies have a valuable resource that they can tap into to support their growth. Named after the late Rhode Island Senator John H. Chafee, a longtime advocate of international trade, Bryant University’s John H. Chafee Center of International Business serves the regional business community and also offers hands on opportunities for Bryant students to develop a global perspective and learn about international business. As part of the International Business degree program at Bryant, companies have an opportunity to participate in the senior IB Practicum, whereby students are grouped in teams to work one-on-one with a company on a specific international

business project. This Practicum experience is rewarding for both the students and the company, as the students gain valuable real life experience and the companies receive a professional, in depth actionable report that helps them make important global business decisions for their company. As the leading organization promoting international trade for Rhode Island and working in close collaboration with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, the Chafee Center offers training programs, strategic consulting, trade events and business development assistance to support international and economic growth for the State. The Chafee Center also houses the World Trade Center and Export Assistance Center for the state of Rhode Island. Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., is a leading private university offering an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education. It has approximately 3,500 graduate and undergraduate students from 27 states and 85 countries. Bryant University regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Business Week, Forbes and Barron’s.

For more information and to register: www.bryant.edu/worldtradeday or call 401-232-6407

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29TH ANNUAL WORLD TRADE DAY

CHEMART COMPANY

Celebrating a longstanding relationship with Bryant University ChemArt Company has been noted for its attention to detail and craftsmanship of quality keepsakes since 1976. All products are designed, manufactured and assembled by hand at our facility in Lincoln, RI. Our decorative etching process allows us to create unique keepsakes, beautifully packaged, with award-winning results. ChemArt has been the sole manufacturer of the White House ornament since the collection’s inception in 1981. This tradition, spanning three decades, celebrates each presidential legacy starting with George Washington. The single largest ornament program in the United States, the White House ornament sells over 1 million pieces each year. ChemArt also has many other well-respected clients, among them the State of Texas Capital Restoration, the Danbury Mint, The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and many more. ChemArt has had a longstanding relationship with Bryant University; both with World Trade Day and the Chafee Center. ChemArt has produced metal invitations, finished in 24kt gold, for World Trade Day for the past 3 years; we have also been a sponsor and exhibitor at the event for many years. ChemArt has also participated in the International Business Senior Practicum from 2010-2013. “Bryant University has been a great resource for ChemArt throughout the years. Each year we work with the students, we are astonished at the quality and quantity of work they provide. We would recommend the Practicum to any local business looking to expand internationally.” – Allison Houle, Marketing Manager “Being involved in World Trade Day has been an experience that has opened my eyes to what exactly world trade means and the impact that it can have on Rhode Island’s economy. Many companies throughout the state have yet to tap into the vast potential that exporting has to offer. World Trade Day is a fantastic tool to learn and explore how exporting can really help your business. Working on the World Trade Day committee has exposed me to some great people who really care about our State and its economic health. Committee work has helped me to grow at both a personal and professional level. I found the work to be challenging but when I look back at what I’ve learned from those experiences the time and effort was well worth it.” – Dave Marquis, President

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BRYANT UNIVERSITY MAY 21ST, 2014

TANURY INDUSTRIES

Reaching global opportunities Business Practicum Program, Tanury has identified global opportunities within the mega yacht industry, as well as with interior designers for palaces and private jets in the Middle East market. Although initially dubious about how to service companies in that region, Tanury is learning how to be a successful exporter of their service. Tanury has also learned that their company’s expertise in services is in demand around the world and there is an opportunity for them to successfully compete in these and other foreign markets. Tanury has spent the last several years traveling to Europe and the Middle East, investing time and money in developing relationships and contacts. By learning more about these markets, establishing sales networks, and participating in International Trade Shows, the company expects to significantly expand their global sales.

“For over seventy years, Tanury Industries has worked in metal finishing and has been known as a precious metals electroplating company transforming unfinished materials into some of the most beautiful, durable and recognizable products in the world. Originally founded in Providence, Rhode Island in 1946 as Tanury Brothers, Inc., over the years they have become known as a leading finisher for the jewelry industry. Today the company known as Tanury Industries is located in Lincoln, Rhode Island and services many other industries besides jewelry. Led by Thomas A. Tanury, Chairman, Michael Akkaoui, President and CEO and Joseph Accaoui, Senior Vice President, their work can be seen on high-end motorcycles, automotive parts, and VIP jet interiors, as well as in the marine industry, architectural pieces, and many other industries. Tanury’s commitment to technology and developing new solutions to satisfy their customers’ needs never stops. Being technologically advanced, ISO and FAA certified, and having a state of the art quality system, sets them apart from other metal finishing companies. By focusing on innovative service, they work with their clients from the inception of a project through development of their products, to turn a simple idea into a reality with a beautiful finish. Recently Tanury Industries has been investing heavily in time and effort in expanding into global markets in Europe and the Middle East.

Tanury has been affiliated with the Chafee Center at Bryant University for many years and has served on the World Trade Day Committee for over 20 years including as World Trade Day Chairman. With Tanury’s assistance and sponsorship, this year’s World Trade Day event will include a key note presentation from Dr. Jakob van Zyl, the Associate Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Building on this year’s theme, “Back to the USA: Partnering for Global Success”, Dr. van Zyl will talk about new programs at NASA and how local companies can partner with the JPL on future projects.

With assistance from the Chafee Center’s Business Development Team and Bryant University’s International www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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29TH ANNUAL WORLD TRADE DAY As part of World Trade Day 2014, The John H. Chafee Center at Bryant University proudly presents:

Exploring the Solar System and Beyond: Are We Alone?

SPEAKER Dr. Jakob van Zyl Associate Director NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Tuesday | May 20, 2014 | 2-4 p.m. at Bryant University | Smithfield, R.I. All college students and faculty are invited to Bryant University to hear Dr. van Zyl discuss the new directions for NASA and exciting

Registration Fee: $25.00 per person Open to college sudents and educators To Register www.regonline.com/JPLeducationalforum Bryant University 1150 Douglas Pike | Smithfield, RI 02917

JPL pursues NASA missions to explore our planet, our solar system

For more information Call (401) 232-6407 or go to events.bryant.edu and click on May 20th

and the universe. His presentation will incorporate dynamic videos

Free parking on campus

educational program and career opportunities being generated as

from NASA missions, including the landing of the Rover Curiosity on Mars. This presentation and interactive discussion will be a unique and exclusive opportunity for New England educators and both undergraduate and graduate college students.

Presented in Conjunction with

WORLD TRADE DAY Back To The USA: PARTNERING FOR GLOBAL SUCCESS

Register early as space is limited. www.bryant.edu/worldtradeday SPONSORED BY

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BRYANT UNIVERSITY MAY 21ST, 2014

NASA EDUCATIONAL FORUM

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 From 2:00 – 4:00pm

As part of World Trade Day 2014, the Chafee Center at Bryant University proudly presents “Exploring the Solar System and Beyond: Are we alone?” featuring Dr. Jakob van Zyl, Associate Director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. This interactive Educational Forum is open to all college students and faculty and will be held at Bryant University on Tuesday May 20th from 2:00-4:00 pm.

Space” from 1997 to 2001. Since 2002, he has been teaching the class “Physics and Techniques of Remote Sensing” at Caltech.

Dr. van Zyl will discuss the new directions for NASA and exciting educational program and career opportunities being generated as JPL pursues NASA missions to explore our planet, our solar system and the universe. His presentation will incorporate dynamic videos from NASA missions including the landing of the Rover Curiosity on Mars. The presentation and interactive discussion will be a unique and exclusive opportunity for New England educators and both undergraduate and graduate students.

Registration for the Educational Forum can be completed at: www.regonline.com/JPLeducationalforum. Pre-registration is required and the event is open only to students and educators, with a nominal registration fee of $25 for each attendee. Seating is limited and is available on a first come, first served basis. We have included flyers in this mailing for posting on your campus.

Dr. van Zyl’s participation in the Educational Forum and World Trade Day is being made possible through the efforts of sponsors Tanury Industries, Banneker Industries and Raytheon Corporation.

If you have any questions, please contact Linda Woulfe, Assistant Director of the Chafee Center for International Business at Bryant University, (401) 232-6525 or lwoulfe@bryant.edu.

JPL has been at the core of the space program since 1958 when JPL built and helped launch into orbit the first U.S. satellite, Explorer 1, which gave the world the very first space science discovery - the Van Allen radiation belts that surround Earth. JPL missions have visited every planet in our solar system. In January JPL celebrated the 10th anniversary of the landings of the Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The latest Mars rover, named Curiosity, was designed to assess whether Mars ever had an environment able to support small life forms and determine the planet’s “habitability.” JPL is deeply committed to education and works with educators to provide tools, resources and ideas for teaching Earth science, space science, mathematics and robotics. JPL also runs a wide range of internship programs, sponsored by NASA, JPL Caltech, and partner institutions. These programs are geared to students who are interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Dr. van Zyl joined JPL in 1986 and has held positions of increasing responsibility in the synthetic aperture radar program. In addition, he managed the Radar Science and Engineering Section, the Earth Science Flight Missions and Experiments Office, and the Focused Physical Oceanography and Solid Earth Program Office. He was appointed deputy director for the Astronomy and Physics Directorate in 2002. He has been an adjunct faculty member in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, University of Southern California, where he taught the class “Remote Sensing Systems from www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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29TH ANNUAL WORLD TRADE DAY

TACO, INC.

Providing Products and Innovations for the North American Industry Taco, Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of hydronic-based heating and cooling equipment, systems and accessories for use in commercial, institutional and residential applications worldwide. The company, which has been based in Cranston, RI, since 1954, is privately owned and operated by the White family. The company was started in 1920 in Elizabeth, NJ. 2020 will mark Taco’s 100th year in business. Taco has introduced many important product innovations and improvements to the North American heating and cooling industry over the years, starting with the wet rotor circulator. Taco products are well known in the HVAC industry for their ease of installation and field reliability. Taco’s commercial product line for chilled water applications include a range of variable speed pumps, valves, controls, heat exchangers and air-dirt separators. The company now offers self-sensing variable speed pumps featuring an integrated pump and smart controller for enhanced energy efficiency. Taco sells its products throughout the U.S, and Canada, in Mexico and the Caribbean, and its commercial products overseas in the Persian Gulf and within several countries in Eastern Africa. The company’s International Sales department is headed up by Larry McCarver, Vice President Sales & Marketing – International. He can be reached at l.mccarver@ taco-hvac.com. An ISO 9001-registered company, Taco employs about 500 people in facilities located in Cranston, RI and Fall River, MA, USA and Milton, Ontario, Canada. Hydroflo Pumps, a manufacturer of vertical and submersible turbine driven pumps for use in a range of industries, is a wholly owned division of Taco, as is CHOD Vietnam, an engineered products foundry. Taco sells direct to OEMs, through leading wholesalers nationally, and overseas through in-country sales reps. www. taco-hvac.com Taco has been a proud sponsor and participant in World Trade Day events at Bryant for a number of years and is a Platinum Sponsor for this year’s event.

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BRYANT UNIVERSITY MAY 21ST, 2014

Hope Global

Presenting a Chairwoman with 30 years of manufacturing experience What do you get when you bring a Chairwoman with 30 years of manufacturing experience, a University known for their internationally recognized business programs and over 500 business leaders and industry experts together to explore supply chain best-practices? The answer is simple. You get World Trade Day 2014, Back to the USA – Partnering for Global Success. Chairwoman Cheryl Merchant, President and CEO of Hope Global, an international manufacturer of braided, woven and knitted textile materials for the automotive, defense and consumer products industry, located in Cumberland, Rhode Island is excited to chair this important event. “We rely on our suppliers and service partners to help us serve our customers with the highest quality of products, deliver them on time and at a competitive price. Supply chains are a critical component to our business. Learning the best way to navigate them and creating relationships with all our partners enables Hope Global to continue to grow our business,” said Merchant. “When we bring together bright and motivated people to share and learn from one another, it is a win-win for all involved.”

the credit for her success. “I have an amazing team of people behind me that work every day to create innovative products and meet customer requirements.” Merchant is also known for her work in the community to address workforce development issues, youth mentoring and business involvement which is how she landed as the cochair for World Trade Day in 2012 and 2013 and chair in 2014. “Bryant University and the Chafee Center do an amazing job at creating meaningful programs to help businesses. They go above and beyond to bring in speakers with great experience and inspirational stories. At this year’s event, we have Dr. Jakob van Zyl, the Associate Director at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as our keynote speaker, Peter Friedmann from CONECT and 15 breakout sessions with experts in all areas,” said Merchant. She added, with tongue in-cheek, “This event is going to be out of this world.”

Merchant, a veteran of manufacturing, knows supply chains. As a customer and supplier to industry giants such as GM, Ford, Honda and Lear Corporation, Merchant has an intimate insight into how supply chains work. She also knows first hand that when they don’t work, the ripple effects can be dramatic. When the auto industry came upon hard times in 2008, so did many of its suppliers. “We went through a period of time from 2008 to 2010 where we lost multiple suppliers who couldn’t survive and dealt with 15 customer bankruptcies,” stated Merchant. “It made us rethink our supply chain strategy in a big way. Supply chains had been contracting for a long period of time before then. After 2010, companies started to look at diversification and risk of their entire supply chain. I knew that for Hope Global to make it into the next decade, we had to do a better job at fostering partnerships with our suppliers and customers.” Hope Global not only lived through the economic recession but is thriving today. Merchant’s leadership is one of the main reasons. Recently named the 2014 New England Business Woman of the Year and the winner of Providence Business News’ 2014 Manufacturing Leadership and Strategy Award, Merchant is a force to be reckoned with. Known for her energy, directness and enthusiasm, Merchant refuses to accept all of

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F E AT U R E D

Central Rhode Island Chamber Lauren E.I. Slocum President/CEO 3288 Post Road, Warwick, RI (401) 732-1100 www.centralrichamber.com

As an organization, the Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce seeks to support and advance the business community in Rhode Island. We provide a myriad of benefits to our membership, and continually strive to find new ways to help our members succeed. The Central Rhode Island Chamber is a leader in pro-business innovation and advocacy. We have approximately 1,000 members statewide in towns including Warwick, West Warwick, Coventry, and West Greenwich. Our members’ loyalty is the best yardstick of our performance, and they continue to speak very highly of our services. The Central Rhode Island Chamber’s members have had numerous successes over the last year. As the economy continues in its recovery, our members have leveraged the benefits of membership with their own ingenuity to realize strong results of their own. Together, we seek to build on these

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successes moving forward, revitalizing Rhode Island’s economy in the process. The Central Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce is a member of the Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Coalition, which speaks with the voice of over 7,100 Rhode Island businesses. Through the coalition, we successfully advocated against many pieces of bad legislation that would have adversely affected our members. The Coalition’s E-Advocacy network allows us to mobilize our members and get them involved on the issues that matter most to the small business community. If you help support any of the issues at the State House through www. RIBUSINESSVOTES.com, thank you. If not, please visit the site and click on the “Take Action” tab to see how easy it is to get your message heard. Steve Kitchin, Chairman of the Board, is a firm believer that the Chamber plays a vital role in keeping our membership informed of legislation and its


implications, while also providing “a valuable voice for the business community in Rhode Island.” Our many and diverse events provide our membership with great networking and business development opportunities. Chamber membership yields greater company visibility within the community, according to Rich Hittinger, Alliance Environmental Group LLC. Business Assistance: Our business assistance services are the meat and potatoes of what we do at the Central Chamber. Our staff meets with members and potential startups to help them realize their goals and attain new successes. Through our Central Rhode Island Business Information Center, we provide business consultants who help current and would-be small business owners. Joseph Oakes, VR Industries Inc., called the Chamber a “wealth of information,” and “a great business resource,” that is “very responsive.” Networking: The Chamber offers a myriad of networking opportunities with events such as Business After Hours and LEADS Luncheons. “The number of networking opportunities that the Chamber provides is impressive,” according to Steven Kitchin.

Additionally, Rick Nagele of Fort Adams Trust spoke to the value added to his organization by events such as the Business After Hours, saying, “It was a great experience, which has broadened my business contacts throughout the state.” Save Money: We strive to create as many ways as possible for our membership to save money. Our current benefits include discounted rates on advertising and rental space, money saving coupons from local businesses, and other special promotions. Opportunities for Growth: We host various workshops, seminars, roundtables, and presentations on a broad range of topics. These events offer our members the chance to further their knowledge and broaden their opportunities for success. Communications: The Chamber provides our members with a plethora of media through which they increase their communications effectiveness. We offer such services as direct mail and email, press releases on member news, and the monthly “ChamberWorks” statewide publication. Jeremy Doran, Signs By Tomorrow, and his company turned to the Central Rhode Island

Chamber for help with their effort to reach out to the community, and he was pleased with how much easier the process was on his business thanks to our facilitation. Tourism: We distribute brochures for local businesses to hotels and car rental agencies throughout the area. In addition, the Chamber provides information and encouragement to businesses and individuals nationwide who are looking to relocate to Rhode Island. Community Support: Through the participation of our members and staff in a wide array of local events and initiatives, the Chamber is an active member of the community gaining the tangible benefits of increased community visibility and networking opportunities, as well as the intangibles of being good business citizens and giving back to the community. The Central Rhode Island Chamber provides many important benefits to our membership. The menu of benefits is extensive. We will continue to work to advance Rhode Island’s business community and we hope to realize many more successes in the coming year with the help of our members.

Newest Members: Barrington Printing Buffalo Wild Wings Enterprise Rent-a-Car Brad McLane Agency The Shanty Verizon Wireless (Bald Hill Road) www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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Welcome to Our Backyard, a state brimming with global industry and cutting-edge innovation, thriving entrepreneurship, world-class universities and a vibrant arts and culture scene.

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Post your great Rhode Island news and then spread the word. Invite your network to join us in celebrating what’s great about our state.

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ourbackyardri.com/blog info@ourbackyardri.com


Success Stories: Tips for Telling Stories that Make Sales | SMALL BUSINESS

Success Stories: Tips for Telling

Stories that Make Sales

by Adam Harvey

You love stories. Everyone does! Ever since you were a child, a good story has had the power to entertain, teach, communicate ideas to you and ultimately influences your thoughts and behaviors. This is true of everyone—including your customers. In sales, storytelling is particularly effective because most decisions are made on an emotional level. We can show a customer all the facts and statistics we want, but ultimately, it’s emotion that pulls the trigger on a decision. Adding a great story to go along with your numbers is a way to tap into those emotions. WHY STORIES WORK Stories work because they engage the right side of the brain. The left side handles all the logical things like facts and statistics. It’s analytical, skeptical and neutral. The right side handles the emotions and creativity. It’s the side of the brain that experiences light bulb moments and decides, “I want that,” or “I need this.” Without adding stories to back up your dry facts, you could actually be making it harder for your customer to make a decision. Stories also relax people. When customers hear a story coming, they tend to drop their guard and go along for the ride. This relaxation is naturally going to leave people more receptive to your message, but it’s also going to establish a very valuable connection between you and your audience. Clearly, stories are pretty awesome, but telling a good one is a bit of an art. Here’s how to do it well: HAVE A HERO Every great story has to have a sympathetic main character, so make sure your hero is someone your customer can relate to. If you happen to be the hero of your story, that’s even better— being able to connect your own personal experiences to your customer’s will go a long way in making them feel heard and understood. It will also establish you as an expert who has “been there, done that.” DEFINE THE CHALLENGE Of course the hero can’t be a hero unless he or she encounters

a challenge. Define and explain the challenge your hero faced and remember to relate it back to your audience. How is this challenge like theirs? Here’s a good place to add in some statistics, too. CREATE TENSION What kinds of obstacles did your hero encounter on the way to saving the day? Describe the thought process behind some of the solutions that were tried and failed and explain why they didn’t work. THE RESOLUTION Here’s the part where your hero, after trial and error, finally comes across the perfect solution. Now you get to swoop in and help turn things around because your product or service turned out to be just what the hero needed to succeed! MORAL OF THE STORY Here’s where you insert the call to action that will motivate your audience to pursue the same solution as your hero did. You can, through storytelling, tell your customer what you want them to do: make the right choice. Your choice. As a salesperson, you’ve collected a lot of stories over the years as you’ve spoken with many people and helped solve all kinds of problems. The stories can be about anything, really: Tell the tale of the beginning of the business. Tell what is special about the geographical location. Tell how the back end of the company works. Talk about the “making-of” story of how your company takes raw material and pumps out finished product. Keep it simple so that people will remember it and hopefully even tell one of their coworkers or friends. By incorporating the main elements of storytelling (and even adding in some vivid details and humor to make it more human) with the intent to showcase or highlight a product, you can transform those experiences from engaging stories into sales Adam Harvey GLAD WORKS www.gladworks.com

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FEATURED NONPROFIT | The Kent Center

Improving Rhode Islanders’

Quality of Life Since 1976 A leader in the field of community behavioral healthcare (mental health and substance abuse), The Kent Center for Human and Organizational Development has been helping Rhode Islanders achieve happier and healthier lives for almost 40 years. Our dynamic team of compassionate individuals is dedicated to improving the quality of life for adults, teens, children, and families through a wide range of comprehensive community-based programs that are recovery-oriented, trauma-informed, and family-focused. Headquartered in Warwick, Rhode Island, The Kent Center is a 501(c)3 notfor-profit that offers case management services, psychiatric evaluations, medication monitoring services, mental health counseling, housing services, intensive outpatient substance abuse treatment, and 24-hour emergency care. We recently added adult primary care services at our Post Road facility so that we can help our clients achieve a healthy balance from their heads to their toes. Additionally, our qualified clinicians treat hundreds of children who have emotional or behavioral disorders, and we offer a therapeutic environment for learning at our Eleanor Briggs School. Our staff collaborates fully to ensure a holistic approach to care that treats the person, not the illness. Above all, The Kent Center is dedicated to effective,

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compassionate service in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. The number of adults with mental health and substance abuse challenges that live in Kent County and throughout Rhode Island is significant. A report from October 2007 from the Rhode Island Department of Health, Center for Health Data and Analysis, published the following findings: • •

Nine out of every 100 adults in RI (approximately 80,000 people) have moderate to severe depression. Only half of these individuals get the emotional support they need, and a third of these individuals are “dissatisfied with life.” 25% of people with depression more frequently report having compromised health.

The statistics are even more dramatic for children who reside in our beautiful Ocean State. According to a 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) published by the Department of Health: • • •

24% of high school students stated they were depressed. 11% high school students reported that they were planning to commit suicide. 9% of high school students shared that they had already attempted suicide.

Depression and suicidality are not the only indictors of children in need of mental health services. Rhode Island youths often engage in risky behaviors that indicate underlying mental health issues and/or difficult situations in their environments and families. Based on YRBS statistics: • • •

24% reported being in a physical fight 34% reported that they had used alcohol 26% reported that they had used marijuana

The Kent Center wants to change these statistics. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life in our communities by promoting growth, mutual interdependence, and recovery– at all age levels. Our services focus on mobilizing the strengths of individuals and systems to achieve desired goals. We strive to create an atmosphere where dignity, respect and equality are commonplace, thus enabling the fullness of the human potential to develop. If you or someone you love is suffering from depression, substance abuse, or mental illness, we can help. To learn how—or to schedule an appointment— call (401) 691-6000. Need help immediately? Contact our Emergency Hotline today at (401) 738-4300.


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SMALL BUSINESS DIRECTORY

local small bus APPAREL

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

J Hilburn Contact: Rae Medgyesy Rae.Medgysey@jhilburnpartner.com www.Jhilburn.com 3 Wagon Lane Attleboro, MA 02703 401-258-3656

Butler Realty www.butlerrealty.us jab@butlerrealty.us Contact: Jeff Butler 655 Main Street East Greenwich, RI 02818 401-884-6050

BUSINESS SERVICES The Business Develoment Company pdorsey@bdcri.com www.bdcri.com Contact: Peter Dorsey 40 Westminster Street, Suite 702 Providence, RI 02903 401-351-3036 Lyoness America (Local Loyalty Partners) www.lyoness.net/us Localloyaltypartners@gmail.com Contact: Ernie Pitochelli 130 Darwin Street Woonsocket, RI 02895 401-368-6911

COACHING & CONSULTING Redwood Environmental Group Gkaufman@redwoodenv.com www.redwoodenv.com Contact: Gary Kaufman 10 Elmgrove Avenue Providence, RI 02906 401-270-7000 The Growth Coach D.Marantz@thegrowthcoach.com www.thegrowthcoach.com/dmarantz Contact: Daniel Marantz 33 Urso Drive Westerly, RI 02891 401-612-4769

MG Commercial www.mgcommercial.com mike@mgcommercial.com Contact: Mike Giuttari 365 Eddy Street Providence, RI 02903 401-751-3200 Scotti & Associates www.scottirealestate.com pmbgs@scottire.net Contact: Peter Scotti 246 Hope Street Providence, RI 02906 401-421-8888

DESIGN & MARKETING Artinium, Inc. www.artiniuminc.com Darren@Artiniuminc.com Contact: Darren Marinelli 5 Division Street, Building D, 2nd Floor Warwick, RI 02818 401-729-1997 Big Fish Results www.bigfishresults.com Tony@BigFishResults.com Tony Guarnaccia 5 Division Street Warwick, RI 02886 401-484-8736

DISASTER RECOVERY Lynch’s Cleaning & Restoration www.lynchsrestoration.com

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Contact : Shawn Lynch 25 Starline Way Cranston, RI 02920 401-464-8937 PuroClean Disaster Restoration www.purocleanri.com Tabbruzzese@puroclean.com Contact: Terri Abbruzzese 5 Minnesota Avenue Warwick, RI 02888 401-633-5565

ENERGY Super Green Solutions www.supergreensolutions.com Robert Cagnetta 300 Quaker Lane, Box # 6 Warwick, RI 02886 401-932-1985

FINANCE J.P. Matrullo Financial www.jpmatrullofinancial.com jpmatrullo@matrullofinancial.com Contact: Jonathan Matrullo 10 Orms Street, Suite 410 Providence, RI 02904 401-276-8788 Morgan Stanley www.morganstanley.com Rick.Bellow@ms.com Contact: Rick Bellows 1 Financial Plaza, 19th Floor Providence, RI 02903 401-863-8400 The Ameriprise Financial Planning www.ameripriseadvisors.com/Eric.Coury Eric.Coury@ampf.com Contact: Eric Coury 1 Citizens Plaza, S. 610 Providence, RI 029O3 401-996-7660

Want To Get Your Busines Email sales@risbj.com fo


SMALL BUSINESS DIRECTORY

siness directory FOOD AND BEVERAGE

HOSPITALITY

RENTALS

3rd Rock Coffee Company www.3rdrockcoffee.com Newell@3rdrockcoffee.com Contact: Newell Brown 21 Old Town Trail Narragansett, RI 02882 401-413-4925

Choice Hotels www.choicehotels.com Keastman@teamadvantech.com Contact: Kate Eastman 360 Airport Road Fall River, MA 02726 978-290-0515

Ocean State Rentals www.oceanstaterental.net Oceanstaterental@gmail.com Contact: Jim Baldwin 530 Wellington Ave Cranston, RI 02910 401-941-4002

HEALTH & WELLNESS

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

SIGNS

Aflac Allen Miller 29 Crafts Street Newton, MA 02458 617-658-1820 www.aflac.com Allen_Miller@us.aflac.com

Thrive Networks www.thrivenetworks.com npacitto@thrivenetworks.com Contact: Kevin Ellis 836 North Street, Building 300, S. 3201 Tewksburry, MA 01876 978-243-1432

AA Thrifty Signs www.aathriftysign.com mcahill@aathriftysign.com Contact: Linda Iannotti 221 Jefferson Boulevard Warwick, RI 02888 401-738-8055

Amethyst Biomat www.mindfulness-abundance-healing.com healingartsri@cox.net Contact: Maria Sorensen 1130 Ten Rod Road N. Kingstown, RI 02852 401-932-6820 Jennifer L. Wilkicki, LMT & Esthetician www.styleseat.com/jenniferwilkick jlw531@aol.com Contact: Jennifer Wilkicki 51 Sockanosset Cross Road, s. 204 Cranston, RI 02920 401-935-3549 Qivana www.blessedwithhealthandwealth.com Janetdeleo@gmail.com Janet DeLeo 66 Club House Road Coventry, RI 02816 401-524-2339

ss Listed In Our Directory? or more information

TIMIT Solutions, LLC www.timitsolutions.com tmontgomery@timitsolutions.com Contact: Tim Montgomery 100 Randall Road, Unit 93 Wrentham, MA 02093 774-307-0652

INSURANCE Allstate Benefits www.allstate.com Jeff.Davide@allstate.com Contact: Jeff Davide 98 Hollis Avenue Warwick, RI 02889 401-500-3748

PAYROLL Paychex www.paychex.com apachomski@paychex.com Contact: Andy Pachomski 501 Wampanoag Trail Riverside, RI 02915 401-663-6677

TELECOMMUNICATIONS Wireless Zone www.wirelesszone.com j.sorensen@wirelesszoneri.com Contact: Jason Sorensen 76 Gate Road N. Kingstown, RI 02852 401-886-8484

TRANSPORTATION A Airlines Express Limousine & Car Service, Inc. www.aairlineexpresslimousine.com cottongin@cox.net Contact: Virginia Coulley P.O. Box 222 Saunderstown, RI 02874 401-295-4380

RESIDENTIAL SERVICES Rescom Exteriors www.iwantnewwindows.com Jrousseau@Iwantnewwindows.com Contact: Janette Rousseau 714 A South Bridge Auburn, MA 01501 508-832-5202 www.risbj.com | volume three issue four

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SMALL BUSINESS | Why You Need Both A Facebook Personal Profile And A Business Page

WHY YOU NEED BOTH

A Facebook Personal Profile AND A Business Page by Dana D’Orsi

Since launching my business, I have taken advantage of Facebook to market my business, and I have seen a great return on the time and effort I invest there. I often get asked the following question: “Dana, if I already have a personal profile on Facebook, do I also need to have a business page?” The short answer? Yes! Want to know why? Read on to find out. First off…What’s the difference between a Facebook personal profile and a business page (sometimes referred to as a “fan page”)? Your personal profile on Facebook is intended for personal, noncommercial use. You can only have one and it must be in your own name. A Facebook page, on the other hand, is for professional use and allows you to promote your business and sell to prospective customers and clients. Now that you understand the differences, let’s get into the main reasons you need both. REASON #1: You can keep boundaries between your personal and professional life. Having both pages allows you to keep your business life separate from your personal life. Sure, there may be times when you share some personal tidbits on your business page and some exciting business news on your personal page, but most of your friends and acquaintances don’t want to be bombarded with your marketing if they don’t fall into your ideal client profile. And depending on what your industry is (particularly if it’s more “professional” in nature), your business contacts may not be interested in the ins and outs of your daily life, like what you ate for dinner and the fact that your three-year-old is now potty trained. One warning I will share here: There is a big difference between personal and private! If you are a business owner, anything and everything you post online will reflect on your business and your personal credibility. So here’s a friendly warning from the former PR professional in me: Never post anything on social media (on either your business or personal pages) that you wouldn’t want seen published on the front page of The New York Times. REASON #2: You can have an unlimited number of connections. With your personal profile, you are limited to 5,000 friends, but you can have unlimited fans on your business page. Even if you’re just starting out in business and think that 5,000 seems like a lot now, trust me–your connections can quickly add up. If you’re marketing

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yourself consistently and effectively, and getting out there to network and meet new people regularly, you will likely find yourself up against the upper limit. Why risk that? Begin with the end in mind and set things up the right way from the start. REASON #3: You can grow your list of targeted prospects faster. The truth is that without a list of targeted prospects to promote your products and services to, you don’t really have much of a business. Facebook provides great opportunities for businesses to grow their lists. First off, you can use third-party apps like LeadPages or Heyo to integrate opt-in forms directly on your business page to capture your leads. Then, those who visit your business page can just click on a tab to sign up for your listbuilding freebie. The other opportunity I advise taking advantage of with business pages is Facebook ads. For a relatively low investment (compared to other advertising options out there), you are able to promote your business page, content and list-building freebies to a targeted population. You can target based on demographics (e.g., gender, age, geographic location, level of education, etc.) as well as psychographics (e.g., those who also follow pages similar to yours, have interests that correspond with your niche, etc.). Because of this ability to target, you’ll likely see a high return on your investment–money well spent! Unfortunately, you’re not able to integrate opt-in forms or target with advertising with your personal profile. REASON #4: You’ll have access to data to help you optimize your posting strategy. Facebook provides business pages with “Insights,” a dashboard which gives you powerful information about what content your fans are engaging with the most (so you can do more of that), when they are typically online (so you know the best time to post) and more. This data can help you be more strategic when planning your content and promotions. Facebook profile pages don’t have access to this tool. ONE LAST NOTE: One thing I hear a lot from business owners is that they have both a personal profile and business page, but they get more interaction and engagement on their personal profile. In response, I like to ask: “Well, where are you spending the most time?” As a general rule, you will get more engagement wherever you invest the most time… Dana D’Orsi Business and Marketing Coach, Dana D’Orsi International


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Volume 3 Issue 4 Featuring World Trade Day