Bradley Winter 2007

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Bradley University/ 141 Jobst Hall / Peoria, IL 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Bradley University/ 141 Jobst Hall / Peoria, IL 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm (unless otherwise noted)












MAY 29


March 20








Turner Center for Entrepreneurship


Foster College of Business Administration 1501 W. Bradley Ave. • 141 Jobst Hall • Peoria, IL 61625 • • 309.677.4321

April 12 April 24 (5:00 pm – 7:30 pm)

To register for a seminar listed above, call (309) 677-2992. A PARKING DECAL (available at our office) is required. For full details and registration information, visit: The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Bradley University. All SBA programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact our office at (309) 677-4321.

Foster College of Business Administration

Turner Center for Entrepreneurship

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Peoria, IL Permit No. 688

1501 W. Bradley Ave. • Peoria, IL 61625

GIVING NURSES THEIR BEST SHOT: InformMed The Turner Center for Entrepreneurship leads a collaborative effort. See page 2 for details.

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WINTER 2007 Cover Story Small Business Education Events Calendar

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continued from cover

Administering medication requires great care and excellent information. With its flagship product, pac2J, a local company, InformMed, can supply nurses with the tools they need to treat their patients with confidence, linking hospital drug data with nurses at the bedside to ensure correct dosages. However, while the company’s founders had developed a valuable technology, they still needed help making it available.

The Turner Center for Entrepreneurship was established in 2001 by a gift from Robert Turner ‘77 MBA ‘78 and his wife Carolyn. The Center brings together entrepreneurial education, research and related programs to provide business and technical assistance to individuals interested in starting their own business and to existing businesses who want to expand or take advantage of new business opportunities.

Turner Center for Entrepreneurship

1501 W Bradley Ave, 141 Jobst Hall, Peoria, IL 61625 PH: 309.677.4321 Fax: 309.677.3386

Small Business Development Center PH: 309.677.2992

International Trade Center

PH: 309.677.3075

NAFTA Opportunity Center

PH: 309.677.3075

Asian Trade Center Program

PH: 309.677.3075 2

Launched last year as a statewide business plan competition, Innovate Illinois will take on an exciting new look for 2007. Kickoff for Innovate Illinois will be the week of February 26 as part of the National Entrepreneurship Week with applications accepted until April 23. The goal for this year is to identify, select, recognize and reward innovative, highgrowth business ventures in each of four regions (Central, North, Southern and Chicago). The Turner Center will again be coordinating Innovate Illinois for the Central Region.

“We knew we had a great idea. It’s really exciting to create a product that can help save lives,” said Katharine Francis, founder of InformMed. “But we needed advice about how to start a business from the very first step.” Katharine sought the help of the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network (IEN) and ended up working with almost every business assistance center at Bradley University. Ken Klotz at the Small Business Development Center taught her how to protect the company’s intellectual property, then incorporate and establish the business. Jim Foley of the International Trade Center helped InformMed plan for international markets and raise initial funds. Nancy Wright of the Heartland Illinois Technology Enterprise Center (HITEC) helped with business planning, presentation coaching and introductions to potential partners, venture capital sources and angel fund access. Through it all, Roger Luman of the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship has been InformMed’s regular contact, helping the company network and identify critical funding sources. “This didn’t happen overnight,” Roger said. “They’ve been at it for close to six years. And we anticipate being part of their growth well into the future.” Because of its great promise, Roger and a special review board made InformMed the


For those business ventures selected from each region, they will participate in a 6-month program; receive $10,000, and the assistance of a mentor to develop and execute an accelerated Growth Plan. Growth Plans will include key milestones, growth strategies and educational

first recipient of an IEN Entrepreneurship Grant, and later awarded them a second time, too. The grant, funded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, is awarded to companies with high growth potential for help in developing the next stage of their business. Because there appears to be great demand in the medical industry for InformMed’s technology, IEN has gone out of its way to boost the company’s ability to meet its potential. “The people behind the Illinois Entrepreneurship Network are part of the InformMed family,” Katharine said. “I know we can count on them to be there during every stage of InformMed’s growth.”

components. Periodic (at least monthly) meetings of the selected businesses, with their mentors and Entrepreneurship Center directors are anticipated to review, revise and update progress on meeting Growth Plan objectives. With the formal announcement of Innovate Illinois 2007, during the week of February 26, the Innovate Illinois website ( will go live with detailed information, program guidelines, and the application to enter Innovate Illinois 2007. Information about Innovate Illinois will also be available on our website at Details of the program are currently being finalized and there may be changes to the dates so watch for the official kickoff of Innovate Illinois starting the week of February 26.

On October 10, 2006 Katie Beard from the IRS lead a seminar focused on training CPA about e-filing options. The IRS and the Illinois Department of Revenue sponsored the event that was hosted by the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Bradley University. A total of 47 CPAs attended the training and learned about efiling, electronic payment options and other important e-services available from the IRS and Illinois Department of Revenue.

business plan workshops Foster College of Business Administration

Turner Center for Entrepreneurship Small Business Development Center

Schedule for 2007 Meeting from 3pm-5pm

Tuesday Tuesday Thursday Tuesday Thursday Tuesday

February 27 March 20 April 26 May 29 June 28 July 31

To register for a seminar listed above, call (309) 677-2992 or e-mail

These free, informal workshops are offered by Bradley University’s Small Business Development Center Topics covered will include: • How to organize your Business Plan • What the bank/investor expects to see • How to prepare projections of revenue and expenses • Step by step explanation of each Business Plan section • Examine a sample Business Plan • Loan programs available and their requirements • Every participant receives a Business Plan Checklist and sample plan

The Small Business Development Center is located on Bradley University’s Campus at 922 Glenwood Ave. (corner of Main and Glenwood; Jobst Hall 141), Peoria, IL. Parking for this seminar is on the west side lot of the Fieldhouse. A PARKING DECAL is required in this parking lot. 7

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Springboard Business Plan Competition Added for Entrepreneurial Students

aes direct: a better way to file your sed

by Heather McCord, International Trade Specialist

transferring most of the necessary trade data into the system, leaving few additional fields to complete. This program saves the exporter from purchasing a software program; something that prevented numerous businesses from switching from SED paper-filing to filing through AES.

Competition, offers over $20,000 in prizes this year and will grow even larger next year. Sponsors, in addition to Junction Ventures LLC, include Converse Marketing, Coyle Insurance, The Leiter Group, and Saturn of Peoria. Teams can also receive mentoring from faculty or community volunteers.

Bradley students interested in entrepreneurship already have a major developed just for them, an entrepreneurship club, a free trip to an entrepreneurship conference, and entrepreneurship magazine subscriptions. Now they get to participate in a business plan competition with the

possibility of winning significant cash to start the business. A local entrepreneur, Alexis Khazzam of Junction Ventures LLC, approached Bradley with the offer to underwrite a business plan competition for students. The competition, called the Springboard Business Plan

Business plan teams will consist of three to five members, all of whom must be undergraduate students at Bradley. Teams must file a letter of intent to compete by February 15, 2007 and will submit a final plan by April 15. Six finalists will later be judged by venture capitalists and others with interests in new ventures. An awards dinner will be held in late April. The first place team will receive $10,000, second place will receive $7,500, and third place will receive $5,000. In addition, winning teams will receive marketing assistance, insurance advice, legal assistance, and possibly even the use of a car for a year. Winners will also have the opportunity to receive additional funding by outsiders.

Students Receive Accounting Study Abroad Award

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Emily Johnson, senior 3-2 accounting major, and Alyceson Hughes, sophomore accounting & finance major, were awarded the first of eight $1,250 study abroad awards. Alyceson will be traveling to Mexico as part of IB208, and Emily will go to Helsinki with Econ399. The travel awards are made possible by contributions from USA Funds, the nation’s leading education loan guarantor, and alumnus Blake Devitt ’69, who serves on their board. For details of the awards for accounting majors, please contact Jim Foley at (309) 677-3075.

Amy Doering has been hired as the Springboard Business Plan Competition coordinator. More information can be found on the Foster College of Business Administration website ( or by e-mailing Amy at

U.S. firms exporting goods (with some exceptions) must file a document called the Shipper’s Export Declaration or SED*. This document is used both in compiling the official U.S. export statistics and for export control purposes. Companies may now be required to file this document electronically over the Automated Export System (AES) rather than filing an individual paper SED for each shipment.

AESDirect is a free online internet filing system for exporters, forwarders and others to file SED information electronically with the U.S. Government. AESDirect was introduced to further reduce the reporting burden on U.S. exporters and is seen as a considerable advancement due to its widespread use and acceptance in the trade community. It helps reduce the reporting time as it interfaces with commercial business web applications,

The main benefits of AESDirect are reduced costs, time savings, elimination of paper documentation, and a better sense of export compliance. By filing through AESDirect, the exporter knows the shipment information has been received, edited, verified, and accepted by Customs, reducing reporting errors from 50% to 3%, greatly increasing the accuracy of U.S. Trade Data statistics. For more information on AESDirect, go to, and for “The Correct Way to Complete the Shipper’s Export Declaration,” go to www.census. gov/foreign-trade/regulations/forms/.

search engines are getting friendlier

by Ross Miller, Illinois SBDC Assistant Director The major concept learned at a recent Search Engine Strategies Conference in Chicago is: search engines want good content from webmasters. Representatives from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Ask Jeeves answered questions and provided valuable information. It was clear that these search engines wanted to make it easier to work with webmasters. Google has created Webmasters Central ( that provides a tool to monitor what the search engines’ spider sees of your site. The tool can show errors the program found and even view a page’s rank on

keywords in the search engine. These are all great tools to lift that veil of how to increase the rank of pages. Yahoo has also reached out to the webmaster community with developer. Yahoo’s site doesn’t provide as many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specific tools as Google, but it shows a definite progression to include webmasters. Another major advancement is in the way you submit your site to the search engines. The 3 major search engines, Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, have agreed to a single format for sitemaps

and the specific guidelines are listed at This allows a developer to create one file with the URL of each page that should be listed on the search engine and submit that to the 3 major search engines. Search Engines are constantly evolving and the algorithms for page rank change over time. Utilizing tools provided by the top search engines will make it easier to reach the top of the results list for primary keywords for a site. For help in creating a Search Engine Optimization plan for a site, call Ross Miller at (309) 677-2992 to set an appointment. 3 2/2/2007 2:38:08 PM



changes to harmonized tariff schedule/schedule b classification system in 2007

by Anthony Cambas, NAFTA Trade Specialist Companies in International Trade need to be aware that the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS imports) and Schedule B (exports) are undergoing massive changes in 2007. In addition, the harmonized codes that apply in other countries are affected by these modifications and their codes may undergo different changes than those in the United States. Harmonized Tariff Codes are used primarily to establish product admissibility and license requirements, determine duty rates, and define eligibility for free trade agreements such as NAFTA.

The Harmonized Tariff nomenclature is an international system used to classify all products that are imported and exported. This system is used by the vast majority of countries including the United States and is administered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) based in Brussels, Belgium. In the United States, the International Trade Commission (ITC) oversees the Harmonized Tariff Schedule and the United States Census Bureau is in charge of the Schedule B. Both of these governmental agencies must ensure that the United States is in

compliance with its international obligations in this area. Companies engaged in import/export should review their product lines to see if they are impacted and immediate steps must be taken to correct the tariff codes that have changed. In some cases, binding rulings will need to be analyzed to determine if they are still in effect. For further information, please contact NAFTA Trade Specialist Anthony Cambas by e-mail or by phone at 309-677-3075. c

State of Illinois Certificate in International Business & Certified Global Business Professional Series In Fall 2005, Bradley University hosted the State of Illinois Certificate in International Business & Certified Global Business Professional Series (CIB). The CIB is designed to improve knowledge and strategies in international business and assists in preparation for the NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) exam. It provides in-depth exposure to global business management, international marketing, economics, trade finance and supply chain management. 4 Winter_2007_Final HP.indd 4

The course was held consecutively in Peoria and Chicago for the first time. Chicago’s course was held at Illinois Global Partnership on Michigan Avenue

with fifteen participants while Peoria’s course was held at Bradley University with nine participants. Both groups of participants came from diverse backgrounds, including students from Brazil and Africa. Each class worked on international marketing research projects for assigned companies to give them hands-on experience on what they learned in the class. This year, the CIB is planned to be held in Rockford and Quincy; please go to turnercenter/cib for updates.


by Ken Klotz, Illinois SBDC Director

Mass merchandisers, particularly the discount general merchandisers such as KMart and Wal~Mart, have captured market share from smaller competing firms. It is possible for smaller firms to survive in such an environment, but substantial changes in operations are usually required. The following suggestions are offered with regard to merchandise mix, marketing, and service: • Try not to handle the exact same merchandise. This helps to avoid direct product and price comparisons. Distinctive looking packaging helps. • Sell singles instead of pre-packaged groups. Mass merchandisers often sell prepackaged merchandise that contains multiple items. Customers often need only one item. • Expand product lines to be more complete than giant competitors. Instead of selling every conceivable item, focus on depth in fewer products. • Look for voids in the mass merchandiser’s inventory. Sell items that others cannot or will not provide. • Consider upscale merchandise. Not all customers desire or demand lower-priced merchandise.

Plus, it is difficult to win the low price game against larger companies.

• Focus your advertising. Stress your competitive advantage over larger competitors.

• Extended operating hours are a necessity! Lifestyles have changed dramatically in the last generation. Many people simply cannot get to local stores that stay open only from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

• Superior service can become an important competitive advantage for many smaller businesses. Emphasize expert technical advice not available at large stores.

• Look for ways to improve your returns policies.

• Offer deliveries and on-site repairs where appropriate.

• Many local merchants have gotten a “bad rap” on price image when they have not been careful in pricing some of the “hot items.” Determine which items customers tend to know the price of and make special efforts to keep these prices competitive.

• Develop special order capability. • Develop many loyal customers by offering “how to do it” classes, gift wrapping, rentals of items that will boost sales of collateral merchandise, etc.

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