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Business Edge

MARISSA MAYER IS A HERO, NOT A VILLAIN

BY MARTA H. MOSSBURG, Independent columnist

Lost in the self-righteous clamor to demonize Marissa Mayer for making employees at Yahoo work in the office is a sense of perspective. Everyone from feminist icon Gloria Steinem to Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group, have criticized the CEO of the struggling tech company for recently ordering those who telecommute to return to the office full time by June 1. Ms. Steinem, in an interview on PBS NewsHour on Feb. 26, cattily dismissed Ms. Mayer for her decision. She said that not everyone included in the PBS documentary “Makers,” which profiles influential women including Ms. Mayer and Ms. Steinem, is a “heroine.” She leaves no doubt about her view of herself, however. And like so many vultures feasting on road kill, legions of others pointed out that the 37-year-old Mayer, a new mother, built a nursery in the office — with her own money — so that her son could be near her. “Hypocrite!” they yelled. Women of all political persuasions owe a lot to Ms. Steinem and early feminists for giving us a voice and demanding equal treatment under the law, but the uniformity of their criticism reveals they believe we must act one way: in accordance to feminist commandments. This undermines what feminists worked so hard to achieve — the freedom to choose one’s own path. It also assumes that women should have the right to flexible work schedules, regardless of the situation. The current debate over mandatory maternity leave also speaks to that sense of entitlement. Let’s start with the first issue. Ms. Mayer has never claimed to be a feminist. In the “Makers” interview she said, “I

don’t, I think, have sort of the militant drive and sort of the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that (feminism). There are amazing opportunities all over the world for women. I think that there’s more good that comes out of positive energy around that than negative energy.” That makes her sin seem to be that she does not give enough credit to her forebears for making her position possible.

But the bigger issue is that she is the head of a large company in need of a turnaround. If she does not change Yahoo’s performance, no one will have a job, which would be really bad for everyone at the company. She should be given the flexibility to make decisions best for Yahoo, where some were running startups from home while earning a paycheck from the company. In regards to the entitlement issue, Ms. Mayer’s great wealth insulates her from the problems faced by all but a few working mothers. But that does not mean all women should be able to

telecommute or receive other perks. Great if companies can offer them and use them to attract the best talent, but what about the millions of women who work for themselves (like myself) or for small firms that can’t afford benefits like paid maternity leave or for whatever reason can’t endorse telecommuting? The government could have mandated paid maternity leave during my pregnancies but I wouldn’t have been able to give it to myself. That is my choice and I am not asking for sympathy, just some perspective on the fact that not every company can provide what would be wonderful benefits if it were financially possible. In addition, there is no way to eliminate all the challenges of motherhood. Anne-Marie Slaughter addressed this issue with honesty in her widely read piece, “Why women still can’t have it all,” in the July/August Atlantic. As the former director of policy planning at the State Department from 2009 to ‘11 said, “Women of my generation have clung to the feminist credo we were raised with, even as our ranks have been steadily thinned by unresolvable tensions between family and career, because we are determined not to drop the flag for the next generation. But when many members of the younger generation have stopped listening, on the grounds that glibly repeating ‘you can have it all’ is simply airbrushing reality, it is time to talk.” So let’s give Ms. Mayer a break as she struggles to make Yahoo an enduring and valuable company like Google, the search giant she left. And I hope those who have brayed the loudest against her will also be the ones most vocally praising her if she succeeds because a woman who creates thousands of high paying jobs is a heroine.

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Business Edge

FEATURE

Cinda Kelley has overseen remarkable growth as executive director of the Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership.

ECONOMIC ENGINE Cinda Kelley overseeing tremendous growth leading the JECO employees Josh Burdine (left) and Andrew Swearinger pour the virgin resin into the Little Ford which is a rotation molding machine. Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership

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It’s not uncommon for Cinda Kelley to be in her office by 6:30 a.m. most days. The Hendricks County Economic Development Partnership executive director’s brain generally kicks in about 5:30 to 6 a.m. Just don’t try talking to her at 10 p.m. “It’s amazing what you can get done when the phone isn’t ringing and e-mails aren’t coming in,” said Kelley, who’s helped lead remarkable economic and job growth in the county since joining the HCEDP. She attributes her schedule to growing up on a farm in Rensselaer, the county seat of Jasper County in northwest Indiana. Her family still has 800 acres of farmland there. Kelley worked in the family business until adulthood. There wasn’t much choice. With four daughters and no sons in the immediate family, that was the workforce. It wasn’t what Kelley wanted to do for the rest of her life though. She remembers her father giving her a tractor for her 12th birthday. “It was not on my wish list,” she said with a laugh. By then Kelley was thinking of what she could do to move beyond the farm’s confines. “I am a true entrepreneurial kind of gal,” she said. “I’ve always had some type of business I’ve been running.” Her first was baby-sitting. She had limited clientele and means, given her young age and where she lived. But there also was limited competition in the hinterlands. “I quickly became a hot commodity among young families,” Kelley said. She baby-sat all through high school, which inspired her to study early childhood education. In the meantime, Kelley also started designing gowns for events like weddings and pageants — a skill she learned from her mother that was almost a necessity when living on a farm. On top of all that, she was heavily involved in charitable causes through her church and various local non-profits. After college, Kelley moved to neighboring White County, where she eventually raised five children. Once they reached high school, their superintendent recruited Kelley to lead a local program called Step Ahead, which

offered early childhood education for the working poor. It was developed through the state’s Bureau of Child Development. “It was for children who didn’t have the same opportunities that my children had, like being able to attend preschool and having that reading experience at home,” Kelley said. “A lot of families have to be worried about putting food on the table and paying their rent as opposed to how they’re raising their children.” It was a continuation of Kelley’s love for early childhood education. In fact, she helped build such a strong coalition for Step Ahead in White County that the Bureau of Child Development asked her to do the same statewide. Kelley accepted and focused on a 15-county area in northwest Indiana. “It was a great opportunity,” she said. “I loved doing that work. I felt like I was making a bigger impact on the future. I’m always looking at least an arm’s length away. To me, we’re always building for the future.” It’s that mindset that helped lead her to economic development. She just didn’t know it initially. After a few years with the Bureau of Child Development, the president of the White County Commissioners asked Kelley to lead their economic development department. She was skeptical. Other than now owning a small manufacturing shop with her husband — as well as her previous entrepreneurial efforts — Kelley didn’t think she had the background for such a role. She did agree to discuss it further, however, and eventually took the job. It turned out to be a life-changing decision, which Kelley didn’t realize at the time. She admits her economic knowledge then was sparse, but she knew how to make strategic plans and that’s what the commissioners wanted. She also had White County memorized and could fundraise and get people committed to a cause. “I missed that community engagement,” Kelley said of her job with the Bureau of Child Development. “I loved working statewide, but that piece wasn’t there. I liked being able to see and feel the change you’re making.” Kelley considers herself a person of faith, in that opportunities arise which

you can easily doubt whether to pursue. But if it feels right and at least part of it fits you, go for it. “One of my sons said, ‘We all paint our own family portrait,’” Kelley said. “And that portrait doesn’t stay the same. You have to be open to the possibilities of where you’re supposed to be.” She learned quickly that economic development suited her. Kelley partly credits her background in small business for that. “I understand the impact of small companies,” she said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about what we can do for each other to help us be successful.” While Kelley has worked on economic development in both rural and urban/ suburban areas, Hendricks County is where she’s experienced it the most. It’s the second fastest-growing county in Indiana, 14th in the Midwest, and top 100 nationally. And that part about the impact of small businesses? It’s definitely true here. “We’re in an urban-metro area, but 90 percent of our companies have fewer than 10 employees,” Kelley said. “We don’t think about ourselves in that way.” In fact, these companies comprise almost half of Hendricks’ workforce, which is more than 79,000 jobs. “I’ve always said let the numbers speak for themselves,” Kelley said. It’s important, she added, to know where the jobs are in your community, who’s creating them, and then build a comprehensive program around that. Startups, it turns out, are a big part of that equation. There were more than 2,100 of those in 2010 alone. One thing Kelley has learned in her economic development experience is that in recessions many people who lose their jobs decide to use their skills to start their own businesses. Ultimately, though, half of them fail because they don’t have enough of a support system. “They knew that they knew how to do something, but didn’t know the rest of the story,” Kelley said. That includes networking, business plans, feasibility studies, and marketing. HCEDP works with the state to help provide those services to fledgling businesses here. “Every community has access to that,”

Business Edge

BY WADE COGGESHALL

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“There will always be a need for all levels of income,” Kelley said. “Some industries pay higher wages than others.” Here again she’s armed with a bevy of statistics. The medical device and motorsports companies that have set up shop here pay their employees more than the warehouse distribution facilities. The average for the latter is $12.68 an hour. They start at $10 to $11 and can go up to $25. Medical device jobs, by contrast, average more than $30 an hour. In motorsports, it’s $24 to $25. Kelley adds that those numbers are based solely on the jobs created in Hendricks County. They aren’t distorted by corporate-level positions because those generally aren’t located here. The overall average wage of jobs created in Hendricks County is $15.75 per

hour. In the past, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation’s benchmark for lowest wage was $13.36 an hour for a family of four. “One of our goals is to create quality jobs,” said Kelley, adding that every year they tell at least one company they won’t get any incentives from the county based on the wages of the jobs they’re offering. “They may lease a building with an abatement already on it and reap some benefit from the landlord, but the community isn’t going to incentivize those jobs,” she said. So far, that’s not diminishing Hendricks County’s hot economic streak. With a number of projects still in the pipeline, Kelley says current trends forecast a continuation of what we’ve experienced since 2008 through 2020. “It’s a pretty bright future,” she said.

Business Edge

on the company high so it has a better chance of succeeding. Kelley compares a business tax abatement to a homeowner filing for a homestead tax credit. “It’s an abatement by another name,” she said. “The difference is, as long as you have a mortgage, you get that tax credit. It’s not the same for a business. It’s a time-limited phase-in.” The other common misconception she has to dispel is the notion that most of the new jobs the county works so hard to attract here are low-wage. Kelley says the HCEDP sets a base for pay scale on the companies they choose to work with. Incentives like tax abatements and training dollars are based on the number of jobs created, the average wage of those jobs, and the investment in the community.

EPA REGULATIONS COULD HARM STATE’S ECONOMIC GROWTH

The Indiana Manufacturers Association (IMA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released a new study by ndp|consulting, A Critical Review of the Benefits and Costs of EPA Regulations on the U.S. Economy, which examines the harmful impact of several Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations on Indiana’s economy. The study finds that the annual compliance costs of the EPA’s proposed Utility MACT, Boiler MACT, and Coal Combustion Residuals regulations on Indiana will be $1.2 billion. “The regulations coming out of Washington continue to dampen growth and job creation in Indiana,” said Patrick Bennett, vice president of Environment, Energy and Infrastructure for the Indiana Manufacturers Association. “Just the implementation of the EPA’s regulations will cost our state billions of

dollars and shed jobs at a time when we are faced with an 8 percent unemployment rate. Indiana’s businesses are struggling to gain momentum, and these regulations are only holding us back and costing jobs.” The EPA’s Utility MACT, Boiler MACT, and Coal Combustion Residuals regulations’ impact on Indiana includes: • Annual compliance costs: $1.2 billion; • Annual manufacturing sector compliance costs: $647.5 billion; • Total upfront capital expenditures to comply: $7.3 billion; and • Total manufacturing sector upfront capital expenditures: $3.9 billion. “This study clearly illustrates the layer upon layer of regulations that are weighing down manufacturers’ ability to help lead our country’s economic recovery,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “If we don’t return to a more

sensible regulatory process, manufacturers in Indiana will face even higher energy prices, skyrocketing compliance costs, less investment opportunities, and significantly fewer jobs. A devastating ripple effect will be felt throughout our entire economy, causing some manufacturers to close their doors for good.” Formed in 1901, the Indiana Manufacturers Association is the second oldest manufacturers association in the country and the only trade association in Indiana that exclusively focuses on manufacturing. The Indiana Manufacturers Association, representing more than 1,400 companies, and is dedicated to advocating for a business climate that creates, protects, and promotes quality manufacturing jobs in Indiana.

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Business Edge

CHRONIC CORPORATE DISEASE How to detect and protect against workplace bullying

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Stories of workplace bullying are commonplace throughout the United States. Some real-life examples: Mavis: “When I started there, I was told that someone had been acting in the position and had expected to get the job. This person continually undermined me and turned other staff against me. I endured 12 months of hell, and felt as if I was sinking in quicksand.” A male employee at a different company: “The misery took over my whole life. I turned nasty and bitter and treated my wife and kids like whipping posts. After many visits to a psychologist, I was able to think of all the positive things in my life. Now I look back and think I wouldn’t want to go through that experience again.” In general, there are no legal repercussions for non-physical bullying except in specific cases, such as sexual harassment. In fact, bullying is a character trait that tends to be condoned in American society. Consider our national obsession — football. The object of this celebrated game is to get the ball to the other player’s goal, no matter what it takes: trampling, hitting, pushing, screaming. If football is a metaphor for American society, then the winner is the person who pushes others out of the way and wins, no matter the cost.

Bullies win by controlling situations and people around them. They crave power and the attention that comes from getting what they want. Working with a bully Adults have a difficult time performing their jobs effectively when subjected to bullying by a co-worker. It takes a toll physically because of our physiological responses to emotional stress. Typically, victims endure feelings of depression, guilt, and shame, and they suffer sleep loss and fatigue. In some cases, victims begin to believe the bully’s behavior is warranted, and they develop feelings of worthlessness. They cannot complete tasks at the same level as others in their units. Victims of bullying may suffer from panic disorders, post traumatic stress syndrome, agoraphobia, and stressinduced high blood pressure. If they leave the job or are docked because of resulting lowered performance, they face economic issues. Some even take their own lives. The abuse takes a toll on victims in every way imaginable. Are you a bully? Being accused of being the bully can be difficult to accept. You may believe your actions were unintentional, or a justified emotional response to provocation. Perhaps you see yourself as the only one in the office qualified to do anything right. However, whatever you

have said or done, whether purposefully or not, you have created a culture of negativity for at least one person and you need to honestly assess the situation and your role in it. Symptoms that you may be the bully include: • Insulting a coworker (remember, one person’s “joke” may be another’s insult). • Undermining another employee’s work by creating a hostile environment or perhaps by consistently calling their attention to “flaws.” (Bullies focus on a person, while constructive criticism focuses on a task.) • As an employer, ignoring your employees’ suggestions. • Humiliating your employee in front of others. If any of these sound like something that you may be doing, it is important to address this immediately with your victim. You may want to speak with your doctor about getting help, such as counseling, sensitivity training, anger management, and other seminars. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of a bully in order to help the victim and the victimizer deal with and exterminate the behavior. If you are a victim, diligently record workplace bullying events. If you choose to make a formal complaint, you will be responsible for providing information should there be charges brought against the bully.


I saw a “pat on the back” news release from the Federal Trade Commission recently. The headline said, “FTC Settlement: Tax Relief Scammers Agree to Pay More Than $15 million.” If you go down a couple of sentences, it notes that the scheme bilked consumers out of $100 million. Crime does pay. Making $100 million, with the cost of getting caught at $15 million, is an $85 million profit. Most business, legitimate or illegitimate, will take an $85 million profit any day of the week. The seminal book on crime, The Godfather, said, “A lawyer can steal more with his briefcase than 100 men with guns.” Alexander Seung Hahn, the “leader” of the group American Tax Relief LLC, obviously used some of the $100 million to hire some excellent attorneys as he and American Tax Relief got a sweetheart deal. In theory, the settlement order imposes a $103 million judgment but, according to the news release, “The judgments will be suspended once the defendants and relief defendants have surrendered assets that total more than $15 million, including cash, a home in Beverly Hills and a condo in Los Angeles, jewelry and gold items, and a 2005 Ferrari.” In other words, everyone goes away happy as long as Hahn and his people fork over $15 million. If they had walked into a tax relief center with a gun and robbed it of $85, not $85 million, they would spend several years in the pokey. Instead, they have to suffer the indignity of giving up their Ferrari. To some in Beverly Hills, giving up the house and Ferrari may be the same as breaking rocks, but it doesn’t seem the same to me.

I have never understood two things. One is why no one has cracked down on the “tax relief ” people a long time ago. I rarely watch television, but see their non-stop advertisements. The Internal Revenue Service has a program called an “Offer in Compromise” where it is theoretically possible to have your tax burden reduced, but it is rarely successful. In 2008, the last year that I have statistics for, the IRS received 48,000 Offers in Compromise and accepted 11,000. I suspect very few of the successful offers came via the companies that advertise on television. If anyone should be doing hard time, it should be the people running “tax relief ” and “debt relief ” scams. They prey upon the most desperate members of society. If you are so far behind that you think that someone on the Internet or answering an 800 number can help you, you are obviously at the end of your rope. You are also probably financially disconnected. There are legitimate bankruptcy attorneys who may be able to help. I would rather take a chance walking into a local attorney’s office than paying an unknown “tax relief ” specialist with a Ferrari. Since a lot of poor and desperate people ponied up over $100 million, the tax relief scam business must be a good one. The other thing that the “settlement” does is to show the ineffectiveness of the Federal Trade Commission. I am not sure why they are still in business. When Elizabeth Warren and others pushed for and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the bureau seemed like a perfect “one stop shop” to go after things like “tax relief scams.”

Business Edge

TAX RELIEF SCAMS: WHERE CRIME DOES PAY

BY DON MCNAY, Columnist for CNHI Media

In theory, tax relief scams could be something that the IRS goes after. It also could be something where the Justice Department, state attorney generals, state consumer protection agencies, or the Federal Trade Commission might consider their turf. I’m hoping that the FTC settlement does not preclude the CFPB or other groups from going after tax relief scams. Or even worse. The FTC settlement showed that crime can have a big payoff. I just hope it does not encourage others to get into the same line of business. As Glenn Frey said, “The lure of easy money has a very strong appeal.” Especially to the tune of an $85 million profit.

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Business Edge

EDGE Business Briefs Realtors honored for excellence Carpenter Realtors has announced award winners from the Brownsburg off ce. Jamie Hall, sales associate, has been recognized as the 2012 company-wide sales leader. Hall was also the sales leader the previous four years. “We are very proud of what Jamie has acHALL complished,” David Caveness, senior vice-president, said in a press release. “She has led our f rm for f ve years now and has done so while demonstrating the highest degree of professionalism.” In addition to leading the f rm in sales, Hall was also named the 2012 Listing Leader for the Brownsburg off ce and ranked fourth in listings for the entire company. Stan Comer, who ranked eighth overall in the Carpenter company in sales, and Reba Evans, who ranked 15th overall, were also recognized for outstanding client service and sales production in 2012. Comer was also in the top 20 in listings company-wide. Also recognized from the Brownsburg off ce COMER for outstanding sales production and client service were the Melson Dennis Team (James Melson and Jayne Dennis), Kim Nash, Cathy Burris, Michele Allison, Tommie Hamilton, Yvonne Jenkins, Susy Bishop, and Ted Bitting. The Carpenter Realtors Brownsburg off ce was also awarded the Off ce of the Year award at the company’s recent Sales and Awards Rally. EVANS

MELSON/DENNIS

NASH

BURRIS

ALLISON

HAMILTON

JENKINS

BISHOP

BITTING

Local advisors qualify for leaders conference Troy Lingley and John Bouvy, Edward Jones f nancial advisors in Brownsburg and Plainf eld, qualif ed for the f rm’s 2013 Financial Advisor Leaders Conference. The conference recognizes f nancial advisors who are among the leaders in the f nancial services f rm. It will also provide additional training to help them serve more individual investors in their communities. Lingley and Bouvy were two of only 793 f nancial advisors who qualif ed out of the f rm’s nearly 12,000.

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The 2013 conference will be in May at the f rm’s headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. Lingley and Bouvy acknowledged that the success of their branch off ces would not be possible without a strong team. Working with Lingley and Bouvy are Melodie Riley and Kimberly Burl, and Beverly Johnson and Nancy Neal. Edward Jones provides f nancial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its aff liate, in Canada. Every aspect of the f rm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch off ces, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The f rm’s f nancial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals — from college savings to retirement — and create long-term investment solutions that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today. In January 2013, for the 14th year, Edward Jones was named one of the best companies to work for by FORTUNE magazine in its annual listing. The f rm ranked eighth overall.

SBL to open Lebanon branch Michael Baker, president of State Bank of Lizton, recently announced the bank has purchased a lot in Lebanon and will build a new branch. The branch will be at 2440 N. Lebanon St. (in front of Walmart). This will be the 11th full-service banking center in the bank’s market areas. “Proximity to major roadways, quality of work environment, space, location to retail and commercial sites, and a strong community have made the Lebanon location a viable option for our growth needs,” Baker said in a press release. This banking center is the second location in the county seat. The other Lebanon branch is at 1801 Indianapolis Ave. Opening is scheduled for December 2013. The timeline for other activities will be announced in the future. State Bank of Lizton is an independently owned and operated community bank celebrating more than 100 years of service. Current locations include Lizton, Pittsboro, Brownsburg, Avon, and Plainf eld in Hendricks County, and Lebanon, Jamestown, Dover, and Zionsville in Boone County. For more information, visit the website at www.statebankof izton.com.

Pittsboro company earns service award Lindley Heating & Cooling has earned the service industrycoveted 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor awarded annually to about 5 percent of all companies rated on Angie’s List, a provider of consumer reviews on local service companies. Lindley Heating and Cooling has been in business for more than 16 years in the heart of Hendricks County. The company services all brands of standard heating and air conditioning systems, as well as all geothermal units. The company specializes in installing new high eff ciency heat-


from do-it-yourself to full-service. With headquarters in suburban St. Louis, United Van Lines maintains a network of 400 aff liated agencies. For more information about United Van Lines and United Containers, visit the websites at www.UnitedVanLines.com or UnitedContainers.com.

Business Edge

ing and cooling systems, with many of their clients going green with new geothermal systems. Lindley Heating and Cooling is in Pittsboro and may be reached by calling 892-6024 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Community Chiropractic raises funds The staff at Community Chiropractic raised more than $1,700 for Habitat for Humanity of Hendricks County. During their partnership, patients donated funds and received a consultation, examination, X-rays, and a report of f ndings for free. Dr. Vicki Danis is the owner of Community Chiropractic. The doctors have a general family practice, in addition to specializing in maternity and pediatric care. New patient specials are always available. For more information, call 272-7988 or visit the website at www.communitychiroavon.com.

Nelson Jewelers honored for service

Nelson Jewelers in Brownsburg was named “Business of the Year” by the Brownsburg Chamber of Commerce. Owner Jeff Nelson said they were honored with the distinction. “We have been members of the Chamber of Commerce since its inception and feel that it is important to support its efforts to promote business and the interest of their members,” he said in a press release. Nelson Jewelers was founded in 1958 and offers a full range of services, two gemologist appraisers, f ner diamonds and gemstones, custom design services, and in-house jewelry repair. “I would like to thank Brownsburg Chamber of Commerce for this award,” Nelson added. “I am humbled. Nelson Jewelers feels it is very important to be a good citizen. Supporting the Chamber is a priority that we take seriously. Again, thank you.”

United Van Lines honors Indy facility

Planes Moving and Storage of Indianapolis, an agent of United Van Lines, has been honored by the worldwide transportation company for exceptional professional achievement. Announcement of the recognition, conferred as part of United’s annual awards program, was made by United CEO Richard H. McClure during the company’s 2012 convention in San Francisco with more than 500 United representatives in attendance. Planes Moving and Storage of Indianapolis received the President’s Club Award, $2 million level — honoring agents who have generated at least $1 million in sales for the United system during the past year. In cooperation with its sister company, United Containers, United Van Lines is able to offer a full range of moving solutions

Sharper Image celebrates anniversary

Sharper Image Signs and Graphic Screen Printing/Ultimate Trucks Plus opened for business nine years ago at 1621 E. Main St., Danville. Brent Peak owns and operates the business and can place graphics on all types of items such as cars, trucks, boats, and planes. For more information, call 745-2198, visit the website at www.sharperimagesignsandgraphics.com, or e-mail to info@sharperimagesigns.com.

Business

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If you have any story ideas, would like to write a column or just want to leave us some feedback on how we are doing, let us know on our Facebook page or via Twitter. TheHCFlyer

HENDRICKS COUNTY

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Business Edge

FEATURE

SKY ZONE

The Sky Zone in Plainf eld is a 21,000-square-foot facility featuring wall to wall trampolines for all ages 22


The dodge ball court is set up for 10 to 18 people. The facility operates with the help of court monitors — their version of lifeguards — who help facilitate the games and make sure people are safe. “It is a workout,” Martino said. “We have some fitness classes but a lady burned 960 calories the other day playing dodgeball with her husband. The

fitness aspect is an added bonus.” Sky Zone is a unique combination of active family fun, fitness, and recreation appealing to a range of demographics. Offering two private party rooms, the facility is ideal for birthday parties, youth groups, school outings, fraternity and sorority events, corporate events, charity events, and any other functions where fun is a priority.

Martino recommends signing up for specific jump times on the company website. “Time slots do fill up,” she said General admission, which includes shoe rental and sales tax, is $9 for 30 minutes, $13 for 60 minutes, $17 for 90 minutes, and $20 for 120 minutes. Birthday party packages and other special events are priced separately. The facility is open from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. To view video of Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, visit the website at www.skyzonesports.com or facebook. com/skyzoneplainfieldin.

SKYZONE

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There are always plenty of snacks ready for visitors in the Sky Café.

General admission includes shoe rental and sales tax

$9 - 30 minutes $13 - 60 minutes $17 - 90 minutes $20 - 120 minutes

SAVE THE DATE Annual Chamber Golf Outings

Danville Chamber June 13th, 2013 Twin Bridges Golf Club

745-0670 email: dorothy@danvillechamber.org

Plainfield Chamber June 27th, 2013 Deer Creek Golf Club

839-3800 24

chamber@town.plainfield.in.us


Best places to work in Indiana

Crack your iPhone screen? Have trouble with the new operating system? Accidentally spill some water on your device? Instead of driving 45 minutes and waiting in a sea of people at the Apple Store, Hendricks County residents can now stay local and go to iShop Repair for all of their Apple products repair needs. The iShop Repair at 6748 E. U.S. 36, Avon, works on iPhone, iPod, and iPad fixes. Owner Josh Royer opened the store in mid-December 2012 with what started from just tinkering around with a broken iPhone his brother had given him. Royer made $25 for his first repair and $50 for changing the color of the front and back of an iPhone. “I started doing it on the side as a hobby for fun,” Royer said. “I was keeping a tally and then I started realizing there’s some actual money in here.” After glancing around the central Indiana area, Royer chose Avon, right in the heart of Hendricks County. What started as a hobby has turned

into an effective repair business. “When you see the sales of Apple products, you can’t deny that there are people out there breaking these things like crazy,” Royer said. “It’s just a matter of really where to go.” iShop Repair can help with broken or cracked screens, apps crashing, operating system updates, and water damage. A free diagnostic test for a water-damaged phone can tell the customer the likelihood of getting the phone fixed. There is an 80 percent chance that information will be able to be pulled off of the phone and a 50 percent chance the phone can get working again, Royer said. The most common repair that Royer deals with is replacing cracked and broken screens on the iPhone 4/4S and the fourth generation iPods. iShop Repair will also buy gently used iPhones from those who upgrade and have old phones collecting dust. Royer acknowledges that the Apple Store is effective. But he believes he beats them in one area for Hendricks County residents. “I would think the biggest thing I have over the Apple Store is convenience and then customer service,” Royer said. “What I mean by that is when one customer comes through the door, I’m going to be helping them or someone else. It’s going to be one or two people, we’re going to remember you the next time you come through the door. Apple has everything in there written down that makes you feel like they know but actually they don’t remember you. They have too many people going on.” Royer is also a military veteran, having served two tours in Iraq. He was a member of the 5th Group Battalion Special Forces during the first wave of the invasion. When Royer got back from Iraq, he finished his degree from the University of Southern Indiana. With some hearing loss from the first tour and a degree, Royer spent his second tour working in the administration side of things. “They saw I had a degree, they saw I

was pretty high-speed, so they gave me a stack of books that big and told me to learn them,” he said. “I learned the admin side of things and how to organize and structure an office to where it’s functional.” That work helped Royer in starting his own business as it has allowed him to help formulate the layout and design of iShop Repair. The business helps provide an easy solution for a difficult problem. For anyone who is not the most techsavvy, Royer will do his best to explain any difficulties. “I’ll talk you through it and we’ll figure it out together,” he said. With many different models and generations of Apple products, there are a variety of issues that can arise. But for iShop Repair, hardly anything is unfixable. “There’s nothing that I can’t fix, it’s just a matter of how much you want to spend,” Royer said. Apple’s surge as a company really reignited with the introduction of the iPod and continued to grow that much more with the iPhone and iPad. The easiness of using the products are part of the reason for their popularity and continued success. As customers have used the phone, it’s hard to break routine and switch to something different. “I just know I enjoy the iPhone,” Royer said. “It works for me. It does everything I need and every time I try to use one of those Android phones, it never really works out. I just end up going to my iPhone because I get frustrated and can’t figure something out.” Looking forward, Royer is getting married in July and he also wants iShop Repair to grow to where he’ll be able to open a store in downtown Indianapolis. “I want to be a cool, hip store that you can go to for your iPhone products,” Royer said. Prices for most of iShop Repairs’ services are found on the company’s website. For more information, call 721-7137, follow on Twitter at @The_iShop1, or visit the website at ishop.co.

Business Edge

BY JUSTIN WHITAKER

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generous timeoff situation — getting at the least 22 days off. He said another thing his employees like is a program that was instituted to help offset the rising price of gas. “When gas prices really began to go up ... (and) when we moved to Hendricks County, it was a farther drive for a lot of our people, because we were on the southside of Indianapolis, so we put in place a fuel surcharge for our employees,” Sharp said. “We look at how far they actually live from work and then we have a formula for calculating their fuel costs. Then, as gas prices go up, or down, they get a little stipend in their paycheck to help them offset the cost of gasoline to get to and from work. I think that’s one of the things that employees like.” On a more philosophical level, Sharp said he’s tailored his company to appreciate good ideas. “This is not a very political company, in the sense that everything’s based on merit,” Sharp said. “You can say anything you want to say to anybody. Good businesses don’t want to intimidate employees into not speaking their mind, because you can get some great insight into what’s wrong with your business by employees. But if you surround yourself with nothing but ‘Yes’ men, you’re going to end up with real trouble.” He said this mindset allows his employees to know that their input is valued, and in turn, creates a better work environment. HR Manager Jody Zack said the company has also been looking at ways to help make the workforce more healthy. “Right now I’m checking to see about perhaps putting some (exercise) equipment on site, which we have to check liability and things like that,” she said. “(We will) maybe do some partnering with Planet Fitness, here in Plainfield. I thought about SkyZone ... I would love to be able to take groups over there, because that’s exercise (and) it’s very fun.” She said prompting employees to eat healthier and cut out other health-risk factors is an important focus. “We bring in a lot of fresh fruit and nuts every week for all of our employees,” Zack said. “We have a pop machine, but we don’t have vending machines anymore (and) if you are a smoker you are awarded a $500 bonus if you can quit smoking for six months.” Sharp said overall, the recognition of

2013 BEST PLACES TO WORK

Business Edge

“We are a third party logistics company, which means we manage transportation for other folks and we do have trucks and put our assets into the mix for our clients where we think it makes financial sense for them, not for us,” Sharp said. “Our job is to help, whether it’s a manufacturer who’s shipping freight, or a distributor who is shipping freight from a warehouse, our job is to help lower their transportation costs and either maintain or improve their service levels. We’ve been able to do that pretty successfully for folks like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Niagara Bottling, and then a whole laundry list of other companies.” As for the sizes of companies Magnum Logistics deals with, Sharp said what’s offered can be tailored specifically to each company on a case-by-case basis. “We deal with companies that are $100 million a year businesses and we do business with companies that are multibillion dollar, multi-national companies,” he said. “Anybody in the Fortune 500 ... is a prospective customer for us and then a lot of larger, privately held businesses. We tailor it to the customer ... and tailor is a perfect analogy for what we do, because there are a lot of really big providers in our industry and they tend to have ... a set solution and they’re going to somehow squeeze you into their solution. Our approach is we look at your business, help you evaluate what your needs are, and then we tailor solutions specifically to your needs. (In doing that) we’ve been able to save our clients a lot of money.” At the Plainfield office, Sharp said there are about 75 employees, which is a breakdown of about 50 truck drivers to 25 office workers. In addition to the Indiana office, he added there are also satellite operations in Charlotte, N.C., the Raleigh Durham area in S.C., and Peoria, Ill. Sharp said he felt the surveys are valuable because they showed areas where improvements were needed. “We were on it last year as well, and it showed the things our employees were most happy with and the things where they felt we needed improvements,” he said. Sharp said an area where some improvements could be made was the health care program, which garnered an 80 percent acceptance rate, but on the other side, his employees enjoy a very

SMALL COMPANIES (15-74 U.S. employees)

Magnum Logistics Plainf eld

MAJOR COMPANIES (1,000+ U.S. employees)

Hendricks Regional Health Danville

being named as one of the best places to work isn’t something he takes lightly. “(Being on the list is) a big deal to us, this is the second year in a row we’ve been recognized,” he said. “Last year we took the results we got from our employees and used them to create an action plan for our management team on how ... we can get better in the areas the employees think we need to get better. That’s been our focus this year — to try to get better in those areas. You can always get better and a lot of it boils down to, if you value your employees and respect them and you let them know it. If they feel like they work in a place where not just their quality of work life is important, but their quality of life is important, that makes ... for a better employer.” As for one of the biggest employers in Hendricks County — Hendricks Regional Health — CEO/President Kevin Speer said he was happy the hospital was recognized after failing to make the list last year. “In the last four years, we were on three,” Speer said. “We fell off last year, and we came on this year. To me, it’s a very affirming fact of the process. We didn’t make it last year, and we needed to change some things, which we did, and clearly our employees have felt that and responded.” He said a survey like this, which was sent to between 400 and 600 of the hos-

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Business Edge

2013 100 BEST PLACES TO WORK IN INDIANA

Devin Gilmore, R.N., gathers information in the medical unit at Hendricks Regional Health.

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pital’s approximately 1,700 employees, is a good indication of overall company morale — among other things. “I think from my perspective and the management team who’s here, we’re here to provide the highest quality health care possible and do that in an environment where our associates thrive,” Speer said. “An indicator of that is how they feel in a survey like this. I think it’s very affirming to the institution that not only do you provide good health care, but the people who are doing it are happy, feel appreciated, and feel like they are valued. To me, that’s the ultimate goal of why we’re here.” As to why the hospital fell off the list last year, Speer attributes to a period of uncertainty. “There was a search for a leader and there was a lot of turmoil in the health care marketplace,” he said. “We had come off of some poor financial years and we were focused on cost cutting and being fiscally prudent with our resources.” In the search for who would fill the CEO position, Speer said he thought the hospital employees like being involved in the process. “As the year started to develop, I think the associates felt included in my selection, which I’m ecstatic about,” he said. “There were open forums for the candidates that were interviewing to talk with the associates. I think they felt vested in that decision.” Speer said he also feels it’s important to reward success. “We rewarded the associates at the end of the year with a year-end bonus for the great work that they did and for the performance the hospital had had,”

Magnum Logistics has started several wellness initiatives like replacing vending machines with healthy alternatives like these.

he said. “It’s very important to me, it’s very important to the hospital that we celebrate successes. We had a holiday party at the end of the year with our associates. I gave Aimee (Ketterer, marketing communications specialist) and her team three weeks basically to put an event together and we had 700 people come out for the evening. We’re going to continue that celebratory nature of what we do. I think our associates feel that stability and they feel the gratitude from the board and from the management team. Hopefully we’re going to continue that tradition moving forward.” Many businesses are also instituting health or wellness initiatives, which for a health care provider, is something Speer feels is especially important. “I’m trying to lead by example,” he said. “I’ve lost about 30 pounds since I started my job. In fact, I’m at a record low for me since I passed this number on my way up, (when) my wife and I were just getting married ... I think people appreciate the fitness center we have here at the hospital.” He also referenced other wellnessbased initiatives as perks HRH employees can enjoy. “Our partnership with the YMCA is something that our associates appreciate,” Speer said. “Our wellness coordinator and all that she does to help people eat right, think about what they’re eating, think about their lifestyle choices that can impact their quality of life, I think people enjoy it. Speer said one of the best aspects of these types of surveys is the opportunity to use them to get better from year to year.

“Last year when we dropped off the list, we took the survey results to our board and shared with them what people were saying and thinking,” he said. “We formed hospital committees, made up of associates to address the various concerns that showed up in those results. One of the things that came through heavily, they felt like there was a lack of communication. They didn’t understand what the hospital was doing, or how it was doing, and why it was doing the things that it was. We’ve implemented all sorts of communication opportunities now.” Going forward, Speer said the management teams will utilize the results from this year’s surveys in a similar fashion. “We’ll take these from this year and see what we can learn from them,” he said. “When we get them absolutely, we’ll use these as a tool to try to improve the way we’re doing things ... We’re going to address whatever concerns folks have and hopefully not only be on the list, but be the best place for people to work.” Since 1962, Hendricks Regional Health has served as the area’s leading health care provider by delivering innovative care with a personal touch. Licensed by the Indiana State Department of Health and accredited by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program, Hendricks Regional Health staffs a full complement of physicians in a variety of specialties at locations in Danville, Avon, Plainfield, Brownsburg, Lizton and Bainbridge. For more information about HRH, call 745-3627 or visit the website at www. hendricks.org.


Business Edge

WHEN THERE IS NO COMPROMISE

BY SUSAN ROZZI, Executive director of Leadership Hendricks County

Leadership Hendricks County sessions in February and March were spent at the Indiana Statehouse and the Hendricks County Government Center, learning how our state and local governments work and how we as citizens of the state and county can get involved. One of our legislators was asked, “Have you ever voted for a bill that you disagree with?” The response was, “Yes, but never for a bill that is in disagreement with my fundamental beliefs.” This legislator understood the point in which there is no compromise. As a leader, we all need to know that point in which there is no compromise for us. Each of us has a set of guiding principles, whether we know it or not. It is our fundamental belief system, which may be based on faith, family values, or world view. Those guiding principles come into every meeting, discussion, and decision we make, and they are what lead to our own point of no compromise. What are your guiding principles? What are your points of no compromise? A friend and local business owner recently had an issue with an employee. The employee violated company policy and was fired. There was no compromise for my friend; yet it did not come without cost. He spent several hours with an attorney and human resources consultant discussing the best course of action. The other employees were shaken by the firing. He lost a once-trusted employee and friend. Although this situation cost him time, money, and energy, he stuck to his guiding principles and his company will be better for it. I recently attended a meeting where

participants were invited to share their ideas on how to develop the new W.S. Gibbs Memorial Park. There were some fantastic ideas. Will all the ideas come to fruition? Probably not. Hendricks County Parks & Recreation will use these ideas to create a master plan. This will become their “guiding principles” for the new park. What a wonderful addition to our county! As leaders, one of our roles is to keep those we lead within the guiding principles of the group. Sometimes, we may have to ask the group to step back and define their guiding principles. Other times, the guiding principles may be well established but a reminder is needed. Other times, the group naturally functions within the guiding principles. The groups we lead will be

better off when we are respectful and gently remind them of their points of no compromise. Since 1993, Leadership Hendricks County has given citizens the background and inside information they need to take on effective leadership roles in the Hendricks County community. Each graduating class within the program has completed a Team Discovery project to address a current community need. Leadership Hendricks County, Inc. is a non-profit organization whose mission is to seek, prepare, involve, and sustain leaders from diverse backgrounds to address community and countywide changes. For information, call 718-6178 or visit the website at www.Leadership HendricksCounty.org.

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Business Edge

FEATURE WGU offers a scholastic model for adults onthe-go, even in their kitchens doing homework at a pace that allows students to learn what they don’t know, not re-learn what they already do.

WGU TAKES AIM AT ADULT EDUCATION

Western Governors University (WGU) seeks help from business owners 34


According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Indiana ranks a paltry 42 nationally in education attainment, meaning that less than a third of four-year college students graduate on time and only around half after six years. To Allison Barber, chancellor at Western Governors University (WGU), that’s not enough. And, empowered with the continuing education support of local business owners, she hopes to take it straight to the Statehouse. So the school has launched a business and civic leader outreach program that aims to get at least 100 signatures by Gov. Mike Pence’s 100 days (April 23) in office pledging by these community and business leaders that they will be active at their places of business to increase degree attainment. “If you look at research by the Lumina Commission of Higher Education, there are over 740,000 (one in five) adults in Indiana with some college and no degree,” Barber said. “Take that research and put it up to the new jobs in Indiana. We have a lot of new jobs coming for an educated workforce — by 2018, 900,000 jobs. Half of those will require a postsecondary degree.” Barber said the only way to get those positions filled is to reach out to adults. WGU is a non-profit university that caters to adults. She says the average age of a WGU student is 37. “The 100 signatures in 100 days is really just a starting point for us,” she said. “It’s really about creating dialogue. Gov. Pence’s focus is so much on workforce development and there’s a connection with that momentum. We really believe that business leaders can have an important voice around the issue of degree attainment.” She hopes business owners heed the call of education for their employees. “We’re asking business owners to talk about the importance of an educated workforce,” she said. “Education helps people take care of themselves and their families. It’s good for economic development. The more businesses we have in Indiana, the better we are. The first thing we’re asking them to do is simply talk about it. The second thing is to share the options potential students may have.”

“We’re asking business owners to talk about the importance of an educated workforce. Education helps people take care of themselves and their families. It’s good for economic development.” ~ Allison Barber Barber also said that any time businesses can give tuition reimbursement, it also helps create an additional incentive for adults to go back to school. She said WGU representatives will to come to any business to discuss options, but adds that this measure is not about promoting WGU. “We happen to be built for working adults, but there are several great options in Indiana,” she said. “It’s about going back to any Indiana college or university because they’re all great. We want business owners to leverage their platform by speaking about the opportunities in education. Let universities come in to talk to adults about how they can go back to college.” Barber said WGU tries to keep tuition low at $6,000 per year, so even a small amount of tuition reimbursement could go a long way. “There’s a gap between the jobs that are open in Indiana and the people that are skilled in Indiana to have those jobs,” she said. “We need to roll up our sleeves and be serious about going further in education so they’re marketable.” So far, the promotion has been well received.

“We’ve had great support from Gov. Pence and Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann,” Barber said. “When you think about it, being able to educate your workforce, that’s pretty exciting for anyone in leadership. They’re thrilled with the campaign we’re doing and offered support for the pledges we’re working for. I think what we’re seeing is the continual support from any political leader that we engage with.” Among those who have already signed and pledged to promote education are Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts; Jim Morris, president of Pacers Sports and Entertainment; and Nancy Huber, president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank. WGU notes that by 2018, more than half of the jobs in Indiana will require a college credential while as of ‘10, only one-third of adults had obtained a college degree. The average annual income of someone with a college degree versus someone with a high school education is $1 million over the course of 40 years. Of the 500 graduates from WGU to date, Barber said only 12 have left the state. For adults interested in moving up the career ladder as more jobs come to Indiana, she has definite ideas on where those jobs will be coming. “There will be a big boost in information technology space here in Indiana,” she said. “Health care also definitely continues to grow, and I think our new governor and lieutenant governor are working very hard in the agriculture area.” Barber said WGU tries to vet out the obstacles facing adults who seek to go back to school. “We don’t measure seat time, we measure learning,” she said. “We’ve made it non-profit, so it’s affordable. We have full accreditation so it means you can compete for jobs. And we took away a big barrier, that a lot of times adults are intimidated by going back to college.” Barber said they do that by having the work online as well as having a full-time faculty member assigned to interact with every student on a weekly basis.

Business Edge

BY BART DOAN

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Business Edge

Which cellphone provider is right for your business? If you’ve reached your limit with paying for unused minutes and features, overage fees, and long-term contracts, it may be time to shop around for a new provider. With cellphone service providers being as numerous and diverse as today’s phones themselves, it can be a daunting prospect. However, with a little legwork, you can find a cellphone company that works for you and your changing needs. It’s not hard to learn which companies are considered the best cellphone service providers in the country. A quick Google search for the best in the industry will provide a number of independent reviews and ratings, taking into account various features and services. Also, you can poll family and friends for recommendations on companies they’ve found to be customer-friendly and worthy of consideration. Once you narrow down the possibilities, do some additional research to learn how long the provider has been in business and the results of its tenure. For instance, Consumer Cellular has been around for more than 15 years and has been named the No. 1 cellphone company in the country for two years in

a row by the leading consumer reporting magazine. While you may be able to get the latest, most expensive phone for a discounted price through a big-name carrier, you may also find that you’ll be tied into a two-year contract with severe penalties for early termination. It is possible to get a top-tier phone at a reasonable price without a long-term agreement, as many no-contract providers now offer phones from leading manufacturers. A phone may only be as good as its plan, and it’s important to shop around for a plan that fits your anticipated needs. However, needs may change, and it’s helpful to have some flexibility to upgrade — or downgrade — your minutes, texts, or phone model without penalty. Look for a provider that offers a range of plans and the ability to move between them without penalties. Don’t be surprised to find that some of the best cellphone plans could end up costing you the least. At some point, you’ll likely need to call upon your cellphone provider for some assistance, and companies can vary greatly in what is considered good customer service. Think about features

that are important to you, such as 24/7 phone or online availability, a domestic call center to minimize miscommunication, and flexibility in selecting and changing your plan. Also, consider how well a provider will help you avoid fees, such as alerting you when you may be reaching your plan’s limits. Cellphone charges can add up quickly, particularly when you start finding hidden charges, such as activation fees. Spend some time reviewing a company’s pricing structure and history to answer a few questions: How often does the provider raise its fees and prices? What is the least amount you’ll need to budget for each month? Are there lower cost options for casual users? How much will shared plans increase your costs? With some providers, basic services can run as little as $10 a month. Finally, consider a cellphone provider’s coverage area. If the price seems too good to be true, there may be some gaps in coverage or you may be looking at steep roaming fees. Some providers use the networks of the largest cellular networks in the country, ensuring topof-the-line coverage without the price to match.

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Business Edge

WRITING A BOOK CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS Writing a how-to business book or CEO memoir has become a recognized tool for business professionals marketing and branding themselves and their companies. It helps them establish their expertise while sharing useful information appreciated by readers. Plus, it can introduce them to a vast new audience of potential customers. It’s a phenomenon public relations professional Marsha Friedman first noticed years ago. “Everything else being equal, I saw that it was much easier to get clients invited on TV and radio talk shows if they’d written a book,” says Friedman, CEO of EMSI Public Relations. “After exploring the reasons, I realized just about anyone with the right message can use a book to boost their visibility. Professionals can do it; people interested in securing public speaking engagements; philanthropists; homemakers who turn their books themselves into a business.” So Friedman wrote her own book, “Celebritize Yourself,” explaining her three-step process for developing and using a book to get publicity. Today, more than 11,000 business books alone are published each year — and that doesn’t include self-published e-books, according to the authors of “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.”

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“Whether you’re using your book to generate media, speaking opportunities, or new customers, it is the most powerful marketing tool in your arsenal,” says Adam Witty, CEO of Advantage Media Group, an international publisher. “When you consider that the average book sells less than 2,000 copies, getting rich off of book sales becomes a far away fantasy. But if you use your book to get a feature in your industry trade journal, what is that worth? If your typical customer is worth $5,000, and you use your book to attract and generate new leads into your business, how much more valuable does your book become?” You don’t have to be a great writer to produce a great book. But, as New York Times best-selling author Michael Levin, CEO of Business Ghost, Inc., explains, you do need to make sure the end product is clean and professional. “You wouldn’t walk into a sales call with a stain on your shirt, and it’s the same with a book,” he says. “The last thing you want to do is publish a book full of typos that gives people the impression you’re sloppy.” If you don’t have the time or skill to tackle a book on your own, you can hire someone to put your ideas into words.

Levin offers these tips for selecting a ghostwriter: • Make sure ghostwriting is their primary business. Many writers list ghostwriting as one of the services they provide, but if you dig deep, you may find that they have never written a book or have only written a few. Don’t let them learn how on your dime! • Read the blurbs on the ghostwriter’s website. Are they from famous people, top business leaders, celebrities, and the like? Or is there a run-ofthe-mill feeling to the testimonials? Or worse, are there no testimonials at all? • Contact at least three prior book clients of the ghostwriter. If the ghostwriter can’t give you three names of satisfied customers, game over. The next step is publishing. While e-books are an inexpensive self-publishing option, Friedman says printed copies are best for marketing. “As an author, you simply need to determine which publishing model best helps you reach your goals,” says Witty of Advantage Media Group. He offers these thoughts to consider:


Business

EDGE

Business Edge

E-BOOKS CAN BE THE FIRST STOP FOR AUTHORS

• Ownership of rights and intellectual property: If you plan to re-purpose the content of your book into articles, blog posts, or other products like home study kits, ensure your contract gives you that freedom. Typically, traditional publishing contracts don’t; self publishing or working with co-publishers (where the publisher and author or investor share expenses) oftentimes do. • Speed-to-market: How quickly do you want your book to be published? With self publishing, it is really a matter of how fast you work. The traditional publishing process can take the better part of two years. Co-publishing options often turn a book around in three to six months. Friedman concedes that the idea of writing and publishing a book can be daunting, but it’s worth the effort for its marketing value, she says. And there are even greater rewards. “Having written and published my own, I can tell you it was one of my proudest accomplishments and worth every bit of my time and hard work,” she says. “The greatest feeling — one I never anticipated — was hearing from readers who said that my book had made a difference in their lives. “That’s priceless,” she said.

Anyone who has been following the publishing industry or has bought a book via Kindle, Nook or another e-reader device has witnessed a monumental change to this industry in recent years. Since e-books and readers debuted, their popularity has grown consistently. Estimates from the Association of American Publishers showed that e-book sales went up almost 116 percent, to $69.9 million, during the December 2010 to January 2011 holiday season. Mass market paperbacks sold $30 million less than e-book sales during the same period. The numbers of e-books sold continues to grow. Many mainstream publishers saw e-books account for 13 to 25 percent of their revenue in the first quarter of 2011. Furthermore, reduced costs associated with e-publishing make it easier for aspiring authors and publishers like Newman and Lind to self-publish and keep costs more manageable.

If you have any story ideas, would like to write a column or just want to leave us some feedback on how we are doing, let us know on our Facebook page or via Twitter. TheHCFlyer

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Business Edge

FORECAST FOR THE YEAR IS UP, DOWN, AND SIDEWAYS

BY NICK MASSEY Financial columnist for CNHI News Service

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The remainder of this year will be full of surprises and perhaps even more challenging than 2012. This bull market is getting pretty old and nothing goes up forever. Over the past 110 years, except for the unusual decades of the 1920s and ‘90s, a bear market has come along an average of every 4.4 years. The last one began in December 2007 — five years ago. All indications are the next slowdown for the economy and market will likely take place this year or in 2014. The current long term bear market, which began in 2000, probably has four to five years remaining. Within that period, there should be one more recession and cyclical bear market. The catalyst being austerity measures to fight the “macro” problem of record government debt. However, I don’t expect the next cyclical bear market to be as severe as the last one in 2008. That doesn’t mean there won’t be great opportunities this year, but you need to be much more tactical in what you do with your investments. If you are a good trader, 2013 might be a lot of fun. If you’re not, you’ll get whipsawed. With GDP growing at a feeble 2 percent, and corporate earnings topping out at $105 a share on the S&P 500, those with a traditional “buy and hold” approach to the stock market will do alright, provided they are willing to sleep through some gut churning volatility. Here is my forecast for the year. 1. Stocks will finish higher in 2013, but there will be hard work along the way as a classic “sell in May and go away” pattern happens for the fifth year in a row. We start with a ferocious rally that takes us up to the all-time highs or slightly higher, then a heart stopping summer selloff, followed by an aggres-

sive year-end rally. I would guess we go up 10 percent, then down 20 percent, then up 25 percent to give us an up 10 percent year. Investors will be slow to comprehend the impact of all of these events and will not get fully invested until spring — just in time to get hosed again. By then, the S&P 500 will be at 1,600, the top of a 14-year range, where it always fails in a 2 percent growth economy. Get ready to fail again. 2. The next leg of the European sovereign debt crisis comes back triggering the summer downturn. It will be started by Spain, but then spreads to Italy and France. This creates a hiccup in China, so the recovery slows there. A nasty, public slugfest in congress over the debt ceiling will further give stock owners ulcers. The way is then cleared for a 20 percent swoon down to 1,300. 3. Bargain prices in the fall will give us a nice springboard to rally into the end of the year as the Federal Reserve will use any substantial weakness in the market to launch another quantitative easing program. Japan’s new, more aggressive monetary easing and epic public spending should be reaching its stride by then. China seems to always have another $500 billion stimulus budget that it can pull off the shelf at any time. 4. The Treasury bond market has finally peaked but is not ready to pop the bubble yet. That day is coming but not this year. Bond yields will just move to a higher trading range. The range for the 10-year Treasury bond yield was 1.40 percent — 1.90 percent in 2012. We probably move in a new range of 1.90 percent to 2.50 percent, but not much higher than that.

5. The U.S. government runs another $1 trillion deficit for the sixth year in a row. 6. Gold is not dead; it is just resting. The Fed’s QE3 is entirely focused on the housing market through the purchase of mortgage backed securities, so the effect on the broader money supply is delayed. However, I expect the effect to start kicking in sometime this year, bringing a new high for gold with it. Until then, the pain trade for gold holders is on. 7. For the economy, the second lost decade continues. I am sticking with a 2 percent GDP growth forecast for the year, but mostly because of the momentum left over from the fourth quarter of 2012. 8. Forget about employment. The news will always be bad. At this stage of the economic cycle, we should be generating a robust 400,000 jobs a month, not a paltry 150,000. I believe that the U.S. has entered a period of long-term structural unemployment. Yes, we may grind down to 7 percent, but no lower than that. So there you have it. We’ll check back next January and see how I did. Stay tuned for updates in what will be an important year.


WHAT IS A CHAMBER OF COMMERCE?

Business Edge

NEWS FROM THE CHAMBER

BY REBECCA TODD, Marketing coordinator for the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce

Belong



Engage



Succeed

When I began working for the Plainfield Chamber, I was amazed by the number of people who really didn’t know the functions of a Chamber of Commerce. We get many interesting calls in our office from people who just don’t seem to understand what a chamber does. People call for a wide range of reasons, from complaints about their neighbors to directory assistance. We even have some who just want to chat. We don’t have a problem talking with these people and helping them to find the correct channels to solve their problems, but it just makes me wonder; does the general public really understand what a chamber of commerce does? Most people are surprised to learn that chambers are not government agencies and receive no state, federal, or county funds. In a nutshell, chambers are non-profit agencies whose purpose is to provide services to their membership and promote business, economic development, and involvement in the community. Some of the functions of the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce include: • The Chamber exists to serve its members and the public, including welcoming tourists and new members of the community.

• The Chamber supports and promotes local businesses and services. • The Chamber offers networking and education opportunities for members. • The Chamber offers scholarships to new and continuing college students. • The Chamber acts as the community “mailroom,” distributing business and community information. • The Chamber presents the Quaker Day Festival and Parade offering carnival rides, entertainment, a vendor tent, car show, talent show, and parade. The Chamber donates the proceeds of the festival to a charitable cause in the community. • The Chamber purchases and maintains Christmas lights for the town of Plainfield. • The Chamber operates the Plainfield Farmers’ Market offering fresh, healthy products and information to the community. As a Chamber member you have many business advantages including the following: • You are part of a network of local

businesses with similar community interests and concerns and are able to interact with like-minded business owners and professionals. • You have several platforms from which to offer information to the public including the Chamber website, events calendar, weekly e-newsletter, member meetings, events, and much more. • You are eligible for member-only discounts and services. • You have an exclusive referral service. The average number of referrals a member receives every year from the Chamber is 1,251. • You are listed in the Chamber’s business directory and online directory. The online directory receives more than 1,500,000 hits per year. • Your investment in the Chamber means an investment in and commitment to the community. For more information on the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce, call the Chamber at 839-3800 or e-mail chamber@town.plainfield.in.us. Visit our website at www.plainfieldin.com.

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Business Edge

SPOTTING OPPORTUNITY IN TOMORROW’S ECONOMY Take a moment to consider some of today’s largest, most recognizable companies — “some of them may not be around after the next several years,” says G. Michael Maddock, CEO of Maddock Douglas, which advises Fortune 100 players like GE and Wal-Mart. “Napster was a rule-breaking company that paved the way for iTunes and the complete disruption of the music industry,” Maddock said. “When someone who has no business being in your business comes along and puts you out of business, we call that a ‘Napster Moment.’ And Napster Moments are happening more and more often.” In a recent radio interview, hit maker and former Sony CEO Tommy Mottola (think: Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Beyoncé) said that seasoned record execs saw Napster as a “mosquito unworthy of swatting,” and in hindsight realized that if they had just purchased the company, they would have “beaten iTunes to the punch.” The lesson? To succeed, company leaders must not only be able to innovate, they must recognize opportunity and ensure they’re poised to seize it. Maddock offers these tips for getting there: 1. Balancing act — Wherever you find an innovative culture, you will see

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two primary personalities in leadership: the “idea monkeys,” who have no shortage of great ideas but do not have the follow-through to see a project to completion, and the (ring)leaders, who specialize in execution and managing details. Every great enterprise needs a Yin for a Yang — Walt Disney had Roy Disney; Steve Jobs had Steve Wozniak; Wilbur Wright had Orville Wright. Ideally, an innovator needs a (ring) leader at their side, and vice versa. Too much of one of these personalities spells disaster for any organization. 2. Outside the jar — There’s a great saying in the South: “You can’t read the label when you’re sitting inside the jar.” If you’ve been at the same company for longer than six months, you’re likely in the jar. You’ll find your response to new ideas is typically, “We’ve tried that and it didn’t work,” or “Yes, but…,” or silence, or even a dumbfounded “huh?” Fortunately, there are several ways to get your head outside the jar: Accept ideas from junior personnel, seek perspectives from different departments, and switch up leadership roles, i.e., have a senior marketer switch from retail to manufacturing for a period of time and, most important, infuse perspective

from outside your industry. Diversity is the key to a fresh perspective. 3. Laughter (more than stress relief) — As a response to humor, laughter is uniquely human; as far as we know, no other living thing can laugh. In business, laughter is the antithesis of fear. It is impossible to innovate effectively if you are afraid — nothing kills great ideas like fear. Fun-loving environments where workers are free to laugh are healthy places for creativity. One more thing ... if lots of people laugh at an idea, there is usually a meaningful insight there worthy of much deeper exploration. 4. Failing forward — History is filled with people who risked and lost much, yet went on to change the world. From religious leaders to Christopher Columbus to Winston Churchill to today’s budding entrepreneurs, learning how to efficiently experiment and learn is key to innovation success. 5. Be ruthless — Ultimately, the buck stops with leadership, and managers get the team they deserve. Most well-adjusted people do not like firing employees; however, people stuck in the “victim” mindset are incapable of innovation because they are always looking for fault or blame instead of possibility.


Business Edge

EDGE Events april - july 2013 Feb. 2

Avon Women’s Evening of Indulgence is from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at 6990 E. C.R. 100 N. For more information, call 440-0255.

May 2

Celebrate the faces and voices of recovery at the Fairbanks Circle of Hope Dinner on May 2 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. Honorary chairman of this year’s event is Mickey Maurer, National Bank of Indianapolis board chairman. The keynote speaker is former national news anchor Laurie Dhue, who will share her experience, strength, and hope to shed light on a disease that affects millions. Ellen K. Annala, retiring president and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana, will be honored with the prestigious Richard M. Fairbanks Circle of Hope Award for her commitment to addressing the needs of the community. Proceeds support the programs and services at Fairbanks and Hope Academy. Website: www.fairbankscd.org/coh Phone: 572.9384 Email: straylor@fairbankscd.org

May 4

Avon World War II Memorial dedication ceremony will take place on the corner of Dan Jones Road and C.R. 100 South at 3 p.m. For more information, call 272-0948.

May 5

March for Babies is the premiere fundraising event for the March of Dimes that is held in more than 1,500 locations across the nation and has raised $1.6 billion since 1970. Representing local companies, organizations, and family teams, walkers in Central Indiana and surrounding counties raised more than $700,000 in 2012 to ensure the health of mothers and babies. The town of Plainf eld will be the host site for the Hendricks County March for Babies. The walk will be at Hummel Park on May 5. Walkers will gather to raise nearly $50,000 to help win the battle against prematurity, infant mortality, and birth defects. March for Babies offers numerous opportunities to enhance a company’s visibility with the March of Dimes audience of walkers, as well as observers, pedestrians, and motorists along the threemile route.

There will be a community yard sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 11 at the Recreation and Fitness Center. For more information, contact Stan Wilson at stanwilsonjr@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 745-3015.

May 11

There will be a Model Boat Regatta from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 11 at the lake at Avon Town Hall. For more information, visit the website at wwww.indyadmirals. org.

May 13

The Plainf eld Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Plainf eld Town Hall.

May 16

There is a meeting on the impact of health care reform on businesses May 16 at the Plainf eld Recreation and Aquatic Center, 651 Vestal Road, Plainf eld. Registration will be from 8 to 8:30 p.m. and the seminar will be from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Refreshments and a light snack will be provided. The event is sponsored by HBG Wiggins Insurance & Bonds and The Plainf eld Chamber of Commerce. Seating is limited. Reservations may be made by e-mailing to dornelas@ town.plainf eld.in.us or by calling 839-3800. There is no cost for the seminar.

May 18

May 25

The Hendricks County Senior Services 5K Walk is May 25 at Avon Town Hall Park. The event time has yet to be determined.

May 27

The Town of Plainf eld off ces will be closed in observance of Memorial Day.

May 27

The Plainf eld Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Plainf eld Town Hall.

May 29 to June 2

The 10th annual Historic National Road Yard Sale, which will reach from Baltimore, Md., to St. Louis, Mo., will run from May 29 to June 2. There will be about 824 miles of space to look for bargains, antiques, fresh produce, furniture, and more. The yard sale will also provide the attentive traveler with the opportunity to traverse one of America’s most scenic byways. For more information, call Patricia McDaniel at 765-478-4809.

May 31 to June 2

The Miracle Ride – Draggin’ for Riley is a three-day rally at Lucas Oil Raceway, for open and competitive drag racing, regional poker runs, and the 20th Miracle Ride benef tting Riley Children’s Hospital Foundation. This is the state of Indiana’s largest motorcycle event. There will be drag racing, vendors, music, entertainment, and camping. For more information, call 2914090 or visit the website at www.lucasoilraceway.com.

The Avon Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Avon Town Hall.

Lemonade Day is a free fun entrepreneurial experience: starting, owning, and operating a lemonade stand business. State Bank of Lizton locations are serving as registration and backpack pickup sites in both Hendricks and Boone counties during regular banking hours. The bank’s employees recently distributed backpacks at the inaugural Hendricks County Home Show and plan to register youth and distribute backpacks again at the Boone County Home and Garden Show from 4 to 8 p.m. April 18-20 at the Boone County Fairgrounds. In each backpack children receive two workbooks, an “Entrepreneur’s Workbook” and a “Mentor Guide.” At home the children work through 14 lessons about how to start, own, and operate a lemonade business. They also have the opportunity to participate in free workshops and contests (optional) in the Indianapolis area. Participants may choose to apply for their startup capital for their lemonade businesses from Lemonade Day via the new Seed Fund. For the workshops, contests, and Seed Fund, visit the website at www.indianapolis.lemonadeday.org. In addition to the backpack, State Bank of Lizton is offering The Most Valuable Lemonade Lesson of Them All — a $10 promotional deposit for every young entrepreneur who registers and picks up a backpack at State Bank of Lizton, operates a stand on May 18, and opens or adds to a youth savings account at the bank with a minimum of $50. The promotional f yer is required and is available in the Lemonade Day backpacks picked up at the bank’s locations.

May 10 - 11

May 18

June 15

May 20

June 17

May 23

June 24

May 6

The Danville Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Danville Town Hall.

May 8

The Greater Danville Chamber of Commerce Membership Meeting will take place on May 8 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds, located at 1900 E. Main St., in Danville. The event will consist of networking opportunities, lunch, and a speaker.

May 9

The Avon Relay for Life will take place at Town Hall Park from 5 p.m. May 10 to 5 p.m. May 11. Join friends, family members, and co-workers at the American Cancer Society’s signature event where teams of people raise funds to f ght back against cancer. Join us at the Relay For Life of Avon on May 10 and 11 at Avon Town Hall. Cancer survivors are invited to participate in a special ceremony at 11 a.m. May 11. Call 1-800-227-2345 or go to the website at RelayForLife.org to learn more.

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May 11

An Oriole Open Disc Golf Outing will take place at the Town Hall Park on May 18. The beginners’ clinic will be at 7:30 a.m. with the start of the outing at 8 a.m. The Danville Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Danville Town Hall. The Avon Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Avon Town Hall.

May 31 to June 2

The Antique Tractor and Machinery Show Spring Gas Up 2013 event runs from June 31 to July 2 at Chandler’s Orchard, 6180 W. U.S. 40, Stilesville. Admission is free and the event is open to the public to attend and exhibit. The event will include antique tractors and machinery displays, tractor drives, plowing, an open f ea market, a tractor pull, food, demonstrations, and games. For more information, contact Jerry Kittle at jerrykittle@att.net or Brad Beeson at BradB5812@ sbcglobal.net.

June 1

Join the f rst annual Avon Outdoor Table Tennis event at Avon Town Hall Park starting at 3 p.m. June 1. For more information, call 272-4333.

June 3

The Danville Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Danville Town Hall.

June 10

The Plainf eld Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Plainf eld Town Hall.

June 13

The Avon Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Avon Town Hall. The Park 2 Park Relay race is June 15 at various parks throughout the county. For more information, visit the website at www.park2park.org. The Danville Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Danville Town Hall. The Plainf eld Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Plainf eld Town Hall.


Avon Freedom Day will feature several events: • Run for Education: 5K Run/1 mile Family Walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Town Hall Park. For more information, visit the website at www.facebook.com/ Run4Ed; • Disc Golf Tournament will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Town Hall Park. For more information, visit the website at www.hcdgc.com; • Community Resources Day will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Avon-Washington Township Public Library. For more information, visit the website at www. avonlibrary.net; • Declaration of Independence Public Reading will be from 11 a.m. at the Avon-Washington Township Public Library; • Hendricks County Rib Fest will be from 5 to 10 p.m. at Kingsway Church. For more information, visit the website at www.avonchamber.org.

July 1

The Danville Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Danville Town Hall.

July 8

The Plainf eld Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Plainf eld Town Hall.

July 11

The Avon Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Avon Town Hall.

July 15

The Danville Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Danville Town Hall.

July 18

The Avon Community Night at the Hendricks Regional Health YMCA runs from 6 to 10 p.m. July 18.

July 20

Race Across Hendricks County is July 20. For more information, visit the website at www.danvilleindiana. org/recreation.

Business Edge

June 29

July 22

The Plainf eld Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Plainf eld Town Hall.

July 25

The Avon Town Council meets at 7 p.m. at Avon Town Hall.

To have your calendar information listed here, e-mail to Kathy Linton at kathy.linton@f yergroup.com and list “EDGE calendar” in the e-mail subject line.

NEW PRODUCTS CAN HELP HOOSIERS STAY UPDATED

A trio of legislative resources for the upcoming General Assembly — including a new mobile app — are available from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. For decades, the Indiana Chamber has published the Indiana General Assembly Legislative Directory, which includes legislator biographies, photos, committee assignments, and more. The 2013 handbook also provides contact information, including social media profiles, and a map showing where each legislator will be seated in the House and Senate chambers. In addition to the traditional handbook, Hoosiers can opt for the new Indiana Legislative Directory App,

which will provide all of the same information in a mobile format for tablets and phones. It will be available for both Apple and Android platforms. The interactive version will complement the printed guide, with additional real-time features (committee schedules, bills authored by each legislator, and more) and updates available through the app. Also new for 2013 is the Legislative District Poster Set. The wall-size, color posters (one each for the House and Senate) identifies all 150 members of the General Assembly and the new districts in which they are serving. There are 29 newcomers this session: 25 in the House and four in the Senate. “All three products will really aid

anyone interested in following what goes on in our state government,” offers Glenn Harkness, Indiana Chamber technical marketing director. The directory handbooks start at $7 (bulk discount pricing is available). Poster sets are $29.97 (which includes tax and shipping) and the mobile app is $19.99. The products can be ordered online at www.indianachamber.com/publications (Legislative and Governmental Issues section) or by calling (800) 8246885. Poster sets are available for shipment now, with the Legislative Directory and the app available near the beginning of the 2013 session.

UPDATED LABOR AND HUMAN RESOURCES GUIDES ARE EMPLOYER MUST-HAVES With labor and employment law rules and regulations constantly changing, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is offering new editions to two popular publications that will help keep Hoosier employers in compliance in these vital areas. Indiana Employment Forms — Fourth Edition is a comprehensive collection of more than 120 human resource forms and letters for Indiana employers, with topics ranging from the interview process to discipline and discharge procedures. Authored by the employment law division of Ice Miller LLP, the fourth edition contains new and revised forms, including Rights Under Fair Credit

Reporting Act form, government contractor/subcontractor forms, benefit plan forms, Family and Medical Leave Act and Military Family forms, and worker’s compensation forms. Cost is $111.75 for Indiana Chamber members and $149 for non-members. An e-Pub (electronic) version of the guide is available for $99. Written by the law firm of Barnes & Thornburg, the Indiana Guide to Labor Relations — Second Edition is a complete overview of how employers can deal effectively with union issues in the workplace. It includes easy-to-understand legal advice and recommendations for Hoosier employers on topics that

range from bargaining techniques to contract administration, methods of union organization, effective employer/ employee communication, and more. The 2013 edition covers recent changes in National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) law, new union election rules being contemplated by the NLRB, Indiana’s right-to-work law, and an updated analysis of employers’ ability to lockout employees during bargaining. Cost is $66.75 for Indiana Chamber members and $89 for non-members. The publications may be purchased by visiting the website at www.indianachamber.com/publications or by calling customer service at 264-6885 or (800) 824-6885.

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Business Edge

WOMEN MAY BE SURPRISED BY THEIR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE BY MARSHA FRIEDMAN CEO of EMSI Public Relations “What’s your best advice for women in business?” It’s a question I hear frequently as more and more women strike out on their own, whether it’s to start their own company, write a book, turn their great idea into a product, or otherwise monetize their talents. The number of women-owned businesses in this country is growing 1.5 times faster than the national average. From 1997 to 2011, they increased by 50 percent. I love seeing this surge of confidence. Putting yourself out there is risky, but it’s better to try and fail then to spend a lifetime wondering, “What if?” Yes, I do have a favorite piece of advice for women in business but first, a word about self-employed women. Did you know that our businesses added 500,000 jobs over 10 years while other privately held firms lost jobs? That in 2007, we accounted for $1.2 trillion in sales receipts? Unfortunately, we’re also less likely than men to borrow money to expand, so our businesses are smaller. They’re also more likely to fail and, despite that huge number of sales receipts, we ring up disproportionately less than our male counterparts. That information, by the way, comes from an interesting report produced by the U.S. Department of Commerce: “Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century.” It details the progress we’ve made and some of the hurdles we still must overcome. The latter include the legacy of a long history of discrimination; our tendency to be risk-adverse; and even some of the ventures that we choose. The report says we can help ourselves by creating more supportive networks, having access to more information, and finding mentors.

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That last point gave me pause. When I launched my first business, there were comparatively few female CEOs, and certainly no Internet to foster communication among them. I learned how to run a business mostly through good old trial and error. That’s also how I figured out how to balance that work with my roles as mother, wife, and daughter, and how to fit in time volunteering for the community organizations I valued. But women don’t have to go it alone anymore, and nor should we. Which is why I welcome questions like, “What’s your best advice for women in business?” I’d like to see the new generations of self-employed females blow through the hurdles that still remain before us and create even more opportunities for the generations to come. So what’s my best advice? That’s impossible to say, but here’s one for starters. Know your audience. And guess what? It’s you! Women account for 73 to 85 percent of all consumer decisions, according to several studies. From the grocery store to the automobile dealership to the tech industry, women drive purchasing. You need to communicate with that audience in mind. No, you don’t want to exclude men, but you also need to be sure your message appeals to women. When I’m writing anything, whether it’s an e-mail or a media pitch, I make a point to read over what I’ve written from the perspective of my audience. If I’m writing for industry peers, technical language is prob-

ably fine. If my audience is the media, concise and direct is best. If it’s clients, I want to be sure whatever I write also reflects my appreciation of them. And then there’s the feminine factor. As a woman, I’m a sucker for honesty and sincerity. I’m turned off by condescension. Unless the writer is somebody I already know and respect, I have little tolerance for preaching, judgment, or demands. Any message that takes those things into account will work for men, too. Whether you’re writing marketing copy, posting on social media, or working on an article or newsletter, if your goal is to turn your readers into buyers, you need to write with your audience in mind. That’s not so hard — if you’re a woman.


Your Community Bank Is..... Growing! Safe. Easy.Local. North Salem 765.676.5100

Danville Main 317.745.7190

Greencastle 765.653.6541

Danville Old Farm 317.745.8544

Waveland 765.435.2675

www.nssb.cc

Lebanon Coming Soon


EDGE Spring 2013