Small Business Showcase Magazine - February 2024

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February 2024

Success Stories: Meet Gary Griner Redefining Success with a Journey from Legal Expertise to Community Impact p. 6

In the Beginning: Ray Fraser and the Rise of Vital View Technologies p. 8

A Book Report: “That Will Never Work!” by Marc Randolph p. 15

Baking Up Sweet Success: Amanda Garman’s Journey to Confection Perfection p. 18

Guerrillapedia: Mindset Part 2 p. 23



CONTENTS TOC & Our Sponsors


Letter form the President


Baking Up Sweet Success: Amanda Garman’s Journey to Confection Perfection 18


Mastering Your Business – What gives you an almost unfair advantage 20

Meet Gary Griner Redefining Success with a Journey from Legal Expertise to Community Impact


Ditch the Cubicle, Embrace the Freedom: A Beginner’s Guide to Freelance Marketing 23

In the Beginning: Ray Fraser and the Rise of Vital View Technologies


Turning Passion into Profit Transforming Your Hobby into a Thriving Business


Psyche’s Blueprint: The Matrix of Self-Image and Perception


Rooted in Wellness: Melissa Karasek’s Hands-On Approach to Healing


Understanding Liability Insurance: Safeguarding Your Business


Letter from the Editor

“That Will Never Work” by Marc Randolph A Book Report


Guerrillapedia - Mindset - Part 2



Carving Success from Faith and Necessity


Networking has been around as a buzz word for a long time




Greetings from the President Dear Valued Readers and Small Business Enthusiasts, As we usher in a new year, the echoes of the joyous year-end festivities still resonate within the Small Business Showcase Magazine community. The spirit of celebration and anticipation for the opportunities that 2024 holds is palpable, and we are eager to share our enthusiasm with all our esteemed readers. Small Business Showcase Magazine is gearing up to continue its mission of supporting and promoting small businesses throughout the year. Our commitment to championing the entrepreneurial spirit remains unwavering, and we are poised to embark on a journey that not only spans months but unfolds on a weekly and even daily basis. Looking back on the joys of the 2023 holiday season, we derive immense satisfaction from the connections made and the undiscovered gems unearthed. Our passion lies in shining the spotlight on businesses that may be considered diamonds in the rough, giving due recognition to business owners who genuinely believe they have something extraordinary to offer the public. In our pursuit of showcasing unique authority and homegrown small businesses, we envision a future where the need for events like “Black Friday” or “Small Business Saturday” becomes obsolete. By consistently highlighting the diverse talents and offerings of small businesses, we aim to propel them into the limelight, steering them away from financial challenges and towards sustained success. We believe that the responsibility for supporting small businesses transcends our role as a magazine; it is a collective effort that involves consumers as well. Small Business Showcase Magazine is committed to doing our part in this endeavor, but we also encourage each and every one of you to actively contribute to the growth of local enterprises. As we traverse the landscape of 2024, Small Business Showcase Magazine remains dedicated to unearthing hidden treasures and telling the stories of passionate entrepreneurs. We invite you to join us on this exciting journey, supporting and celebrating the resilience of small businesses that make our communities vibrant and unique. Thank you for being a part of the Small Business Showcase Magazine family, and we look forward to a year filled with discovery, inspiration, and shared success. Warm regards, Andy Garza, President Small Business Showcase Magazine 4

From the Editor-in-Chief Dear Readers, As February envelops us, our hearts beat to the rhythm of not just love but also the passion and ardor that define the entrepreneurial spirit. Welcome to a Valentine’s inspired edition of Small Business Showcase! In this month of affection and devotion, we’re turning the spotlight on a different kind of love story—one that involves the love affair between individuals and their businesses. It’s a tale told with determination, creativity, and an unwavering commitment to transform dreams into reality. Within the pages of our magazine, you’ll find narratives that beautifully illustrate the love affair entrepreneurs have with the art of business. From the first spark of an idea to the arduous but exhilarating journey of nurturing that idea into a successful enterprise, each story resonates with the passion that drives these remarkable individuals. We’re delving deep into the stories of entrepreneurs who fell head over heels for their visions and endeavors, sharing their experiences, insights, and the boundless affection they hold for their craft. From the innovative startups revolutionizing industries to the seasoned small businesses that continue to flourish through generations, every tale is a testament to the enduring romance between passion and entrepreneurship. This Valentine’s season, let’s celebrate the love stories that unfold behind the doors of small businesses — the late nights fueled by dedication, the triumphs born out of resilience, and the unwavering commitment to craft something extraordinary. Here’s to a February filled with the admiration for the love of business and the entrepreneurial zeal that propels dreams forward. With passion and admiration, All the best, Deb Ammerman Editor-in-Chief Small Business Showcase Magazine


Redefining Success with a Journey from Legal Expertise to Community Impact

Sometimes, discovering a new path takes an unexpected turn of events. This was certainly true for seasoned lawyer, Gary Griner, when the world went into lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic. With criminal cases on pause or moving to Zoom, the daily grind of the courtroom suddenly came to a halt. It was a time for rethinking and realigning. As the world slowly opened back up, he realized something crucial: the constant courtroom hustle wasn’t what he wanted anymore. This realization was a turning point in a career that had already seen many. Real estate law beckoned with a promise of less courtroom time and more opportunities to connect directly with clients. Gary Griner’s professional journey didn’t start in a courtroom, but in the world of finance, working for a major national bank. However, it wasn’t long before he realized that finance wasn’t his calling. The next chapter was law - a field he felt was a logical step forward. In 2000, he officially became a licensed attorney, initially eyeing a career in business law. Yet, it was the dynamic and challenging world of criminal law that captured his attention, leading him down an exciting path that eventually saw him become a deputy prosecutor. As thrilling as this phase was, Gary’s aspirations didn’t stop there. By 2005, the entrepreneurial spirit within him sparked a bold decision: to start his practice, Griner Law Group, P.C. This step was not without its hurdles. There was a sense of uncertainty because Gary was relatively unknown in the Michiana area. With a family to support, the stakes were high. To mitigate the risks, Gary adopted a strategic approach, taking on a role as a part-time public defender. This move provided a safety net, allowing him the breathing room to gradually build his clientele. During this period, he started to integrate real estate law cases into his practice, slowly diversifying his legal portfolio amid the more prevalent criminal cases. Griner Law Group, P.C. stands out in the competitive legal landscape for its commitment to personalized service and transparency, key aspects of its boutique approach. Gary and his team focus on forging deep, meaningful connections with their clients, understanding their unique situations, and tailoring services to meet their needs. This client-centric approach extends to their billing practices as well, where honesty and straightforwardness are paramount. Clients often find their final bills lower than expected, which is a testament to the firm’s avoidance of unnecessary charges. This commitment to integrity and personal attention not only fosters trust but also strengthens Griner Law’s reputation for prioritizing client interests. These core values, championed by Gary Griner, are more than business practices; they form the bedrock of his advice


to aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasizing the importance of genuine client relationships and ethical business conduct. Gary believes that self-assessment is key for anyone looking to start their own business. He advises taking the time to understand what you’re good at and what excites you, ensuring your career aligns with your strengths and passions. But Gary’s advice goes further than just self-reflection. He emphasizes the importance of understanding your industry’s landscape and finding a niche where you can stand out. According to Gary, sometimes it’s smarter to choose a less competitive field where you can make a bigger impact, setting yourself up not just for immediate success, but for long-term fulfillment. The future looks bright and full of potential for Gary and his firm. In 2021, he expanded his professional horizon by founding Michiana Title, LLC, a title insurance agency. This venture has already shown great promise, and Gary is optimistic about its growth prospects. He sees this new endeavor as a key part of the firm’s future and a testament to his commitment to diversifying and expanding his professional services. Gary’s vision for the future involves more than just the expansion of his businesses. He’s deeply invested in a personal dream: bringing his family into the heart of his firm. His daughter, currently studying law, is expected to join Griner Law Group, P.C. in two years. Gary’s long-term plan is to gradually pass the leadership baton to her, ensuring the legacy of the firm while he transitions into what he calls ‘semi-retirement.’ He strongly believes in the importance of continuing to work and contribute, no matter the age. In his semi-retirement, Gary aims to shift his focus from the more demanding cases to smaller, more manageable ones. He intends to provide mentorship and support to his daughter as she takes on larger cases, while simultaneously leading Michiana Title, LLC toward continued success. This blend of professional and personal aspirations reflects Gary’s philosophy: work is not just about building a business; it’s about creating a lasting impact and fostering a legacy. By gradually transitioning responsibilities to his daughter and focusing on Michiana Title, LLC, Gary envisions a future where he balances mentorship, leadership, and personal fulfillment. Just as a global crisis paved the way for a new direction in his career, Gary Griner continues to embrace change and growth, both for himself and for the community he serves. For those who wish to connect with Gary Griner for legal guidance or inquiries, he can be directly reached through his dedicated channels. Visit the Griner Law Group’s website at for an in-depth look at their services. Gary’s office is located at 2827 Lincoln Way East, Mishawaka, IN 46544. He can also be contacted via phone at (574) 255-1776, or through email at These contact points provide a direct line to Gary’s professional expertise, ensuring that your legal needs are addressed promptly and effectively. Written by Eleni Owens 7

In the Beginning: Ray Fraser and the Rise of Vital View Technologies

Our exploration of the entrepreneurial journeys of Notre Dame’s Idea Center MBA graduates begins with Ray Fraser, CEO of Vital View Technologies, Inc. His story is a remarkable narrative of transformation, from his roots in Hartford, Connecticut, to becoming a pioneering figure in the medical technology industry. It’s a tale that showcases the power of innovation, driven by personal passion and academic achievement. Early Beginnings: Family Influence and Academic Foundations Growing up in a family of Jamaican immigrants, Ray Fraser was immersed in an environment where entrepreneurship and innovation were a way of life. His father’s business ventures deeply influenced his outlook, igniting a passion for commerce and innovation early on. Ray’s academic journey began with a bachelor’s in business administration from the University of Richmond, where he specialized in finance and marketing, laying a solid foundation for his entrepreneurial future. MBA Insights and Real-world Experience Ray’s time at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business marked a significant phase in his journey. Here, he not only honed his business acumen but also nurtured a growing interest in technology and its potential applications in the real world. The MBA program, known for its emphasis on ethical leadership and entrepreneurial thinking, provided Ray with a broader perspective on the intersection of business and societal impact. During his MBA, Ray actively immersed himself in the startup world, a step that was both educational and transformative. He engaged with various startup initiatives and explored numerous entrepreneurial concepts. This period was marked by an important stint at Lime, a burgeoning company in the shared electric vehicle space. His role at Lime, ranging from brand management to strategic development, offered him a real-world laboratory to apply his academic learnings and gain invaluable insights into scaling businesses and leading innovative projects. 8

The Birth of Vital View: An IDEA Center Success Story The foundation of Vital View Technologies was laid during Ray’s transformative time at the IDEA Center at the University of Notre Dame. This hub of innovation and entrepreneurship was where Ray’s vision began to take concrete shape. It was here that he first came across a unique piece of technology emerging from the university’s faculty research department. This technology, initially explored for defense and industrial applications, captured Ray’s imagination with its potential for a different use — in the healthcare sector. This inclination towards healthcare was further fueled by a personal connection; Ray’s brother’s struggles with heart and diabetic conditions deeply inspired him to find a solution that could offer better care for patients with similar challenges. Ray saw an opportunity to pivot this technology towards medical applications. The contactless sensor, which could be used to monitor vital signs without physical contact or invasive procedures, held immense promise for patient care, especially for those with chronic conditions like heart failure. The IDEA Center provided an ideal environment for Ray to explore this potential. With access to resources, mentorship, and a network of like-minded entrepreneurs and academics, Ray began the journey of transforming this technology into a viable healthcare solution. The center’s focus on de-risking and enterprise acceleration was instrumental in helping him navigate the early stages of business development, from concept validation to exploring commercialization strategies. Transforming Patient Care with Innovative Technology Vital View Technologies stands at the forefront of a healthcare revolution, embodying Ray Fraser’s vision of a more patient-centric approach to medical care. At the heart of this revolution is their groundbreaking contactless sensor technology, which has the potential to transform how patient health is monitored, especially in home settings. This innovative technology allows for the continuous, non-intrusive monitoring of vital health parameters. Unlike traditional methods that rely on wearables or implantable devices, Vital View’s sensor is discreetly placed under a patient’s mattress. It is particularly effective in managing congestive heart failure, a condition where early detection of fluid buildup can be crucial in preventing hospital readmissions. By offering a more comfortable and less invasive option for patients, Vital View is changing the patient experience for the better. Moreover, Vital View’s technology is a significant step forward in the ‘hospital at home’ concept. It enables care providers to remotely monitor patients, significantly improving the management of chronic conditions. This approach not only enhances patient comfort and convenience but also has the potential to reduce healthcare costs and the burden on hospital resources. The data collected by Vital View’s sensors provide healthcare professionals with valuable insights, allowing for more informed and timely medical interventions. This level of monitoring and data analysis could lead to more personalized and effective treatment plans, further improving patient outcomes. Overcoming Challenges and Celebrating Milestones The journey of Vital View Technologies, like any startup, has navigated a blend of challenges and milestones. Among the primary challenges was fundraising, a hurdle faced by many new ventures. Ray Fraser successfully led the company in overcoming this obstacle, securing significant funding in a seed extension round. This financial achievement not only demonstrated the investors’ confidence in Vital View’s innovative approach but also highlighted the robust support network cultivated by Notre Dame and the broader Indiana business community. Furthermore, the journey saw a major milestone in the development of their prototype, a significant leap from concept to reality. This achievement was crucial in demonstrating the practical application and potential of their technology. Complementing this success, the completion of an animal study at Georgia Tech marked another key accomplishment. This study, critical in the med-tech development process, validated the efficacy of their product, paving the way for further advancements and eventual human trials. These milestones underscore Vital View’s commitment to innovation and excellence in the field of medical technology. Expanding Horizons and Visionary Goals Ray’s vision with Vital View Technologies extends beyond just patient monitoring. He sees the potential for this technology to be integrated into a broader spectrum of healthcare services, making proactive patient care more accessible and efficient. The aim is to create a healthcare ecosystem where technology and patient care converge seamlessly, offering a model for future healthcare innovations. Looking to the future, Ray envisions Vital View expanding its technological horizons. The company aims to Continued... 9

Continued: In the Beginning: Ray Fraser and the Rise of Vital View Technologies explore new healthcare areas, such as dialysis management and sports hydration, building on its initial success. Inspired by futuristic concepts like a diagnostic bed from an episode of Star Trek, Ray’s ultimate goal is to push the boundaries of what’s possible in medical diagnostics and patient care. A Guide for Aspiring Innovators Ray Fraser’s journey as an entrepreneur provides valuable insights for those starting their ventures. He stresses the importance of immersing oneself in the startup community to gain real-world learning and build a network of connections. Hands-on experience, whether through internships or volunteering, is crucial to understanding the dynamics of startups and the challenges they face. Networking, for Ray, goes beyond making contacts; it’s about forging supportive relationships that can offer guidance during challenging times. Resilience and adaptability are key traits he advocates for, as the entrepreneurial path is often unpredictable. Ray also encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to start their journey as early as possible. The world of entrepreneurship is rich with learning opportunities, and starting early allows for more time to grow, adapt, and navigate the complexities of bringing an idea to fruition. An Inspirational Journey of Innovation and Impact Ray Fraser’s story is more than a tale of business success; it’s a narrative of how passion, innovation, and resilience can create impactful change. From his early days inspired by family entrepreneurship to leading a medtech revolution, Ray’s journey with Vital View Technologies serves as an inspiration, showing that with dedication and vision, making a significant impact in the world is within reach. Stay connected with the latest developments at Vital View Technologies in the IoT sector by visiting or following their LinkedIn profile. We’ll so continue to bring you biannual interviews with Ray Fraser over the next four years, covering every critical step, challenge, and milestone in his journey. Written by Eleni Owens

Come check out our Facebook page and give us a follow! We’re eager to connect with you. Share your thoughts on the Small Business Showcase Magazine — we’d love to hear from you. Building a network is crucial in business. Connect with fellow business owners and join a community of like-minded individuals. 10


Psyche’s Blueprint: The Matrix of Self-Image and Perception The YouTube Video by Joseph Rodrigues delves into a profound exploration of the human psyche, reality perception, and the power of self-image. The review of “The Matrix” as a metaphor for our perceived reality and the subsequent discussion on beliefs shaping our experiences are thought-provoking to say the least. Rodrigues beautifully intertwines concepts from “The Matrix” theory with Maxwell Maltz’s Psycho-Cybernetics, emphasizing the intricate relationship between self-image, beliefs, and life experiences. He adeptly illustrates how our self-image acts as a blueprint, influencing our actions, thoughts, and ultimately, our reality. The narrative spans personal experiences, showcasing how identifying and addressing unhelpful subconscious beliefs can significantly impact one’s life. Rodrigues’ transition from IT to business consulting aligns with his deeper understanding of the power of beliefs, enabling him to help others transform their self-images for success. The discussion of subconscious mind programming, coupled with techniques like auto-suggestion and the importance of envisioning and feeling the desired reality, adds depth. Rodrigues provides practical steps and tools derived from various sources like Neville Goddard and Robert Dills, grounding the abstract concepts in tangible methods for self-improvement. The emphasis on emotional release, mindfulness, and the idea of staying committed to one’s vision while remaining fluid in mind is inspiring. The concept of Flow State as a means of purifying the mind from limiting beliefs, coupled with the encouragement to trust the creative subconscious mind, resonates deeply. Overall, Rodrigues’ YouTube Video is a comprehensive guide to reshaping one’s reality through reshaping the self-image. It’s a profound exploration that intertwines philosophy, psychology, and practical self-improvement methods, inviting readers to reconsider their perceptions and beliefs to manifest a more fulfilling life.

“DO NOT CONFORM, break free from THIS matrix!” By Joseph Rodrigues 12-12-2023 Joseph Rodrigues is an entrepreneur and eternal student of personal development. In 2009, after a decade-long career at TJX Companies, a Forbes Fortune 100 organization, he established an IT services business, which he and his team grew to success, eventually transitioning the client base to other IT service providers. In 2013, Joseph shifted his focus to business consulting, where he ran and collaborated on numerous multimillion-dollar marketing and sales campaigns across diverse industries. Simultaneously, he launched this YouTube channel dedicated to sharing his extensive experience in entrepreneurship and personal development. In 2019, he redirected his efforts exclusively toward his YouTube channel and initiatives from the channel to encourage others to 12 the life they truly desire. live Written by Deb Ammerman

Understanding Liability Insurance: Safeguarding Your Business In the world of entrepreneurship, a crucial aspect often overlooked is liability insurance. It’s the invisible shield protecting businesses from potential financial disasters caused by unforeseen circumstances. Whether you’re a budding startup or an established enterprise, comprehending the essence of liability insurance is imperative to safeguard your venture. What is Liability Insurance? Liability insurance is a type of coverage designed to shield businesses from financial losses arising due to legal claims made against them. These claims could involve bodily injury, property damage, or even lawsuits for negligence. In essence, it acts as a safety net, covering legal expenses, settlements, and medical costs, depending on the policy. Who Needs It? The necessity of liability insurance spans across various industries and business sizes. Sole proprietors, small businesses, and large corporations alike benefit from this protective layer. Consider the scenarios: a customer slips and falls in your store, a product causes harm, or an employee makes an error resulting in financial loss for a client. In each case, liability insurance steps in to mitigate the financial impact, preventing a single unfortunate event from causing irreparable damage. Why Do They Need It? Imagine running a business without liability insurance. Any legal claim or lawsuit against your company could lead to hefty expenses, potentially bankrupting your enterprise. Even if a claim is unjustified, legal fees alone can drain resources. Liability insurance offers peace of mind, allowing business owners to focus on growth without the looming fear of a single incident unraveling their hard work. Moreover, certain industries have specific requirements for liability coverage. For instance, contractors often need liability insurance to secure contracts, while healthcare professionals are legally mandated to carry malpractice insurance. Not having the required coverage can hinder business operations and credibility in the market. Types of Liability Insurance Understanding the diverse needs of businesses, there are several types of liability insurance available: • General Liability Insurance: Covers bodily injury, property damage, and legal defense costs resulting from accidents on business premises or caused by company operations. • Professional Liability Insurance: Also known as errors and omissions insurance, it protects against claims of negligence or inadequate work that leads to financial loss for clients. • Product Liability Insurance: Shields businesses from financial loss due to defects or issues with products they manufacture or sell. • Cyber Liability Insurance: Provides coverage against cyber-related risks, including data breaches and hacking incidents. Conclusion In business, uncertainty is a constant. Liability insurance serves as a vital safety net, shielding businesses from unforeseen risks that could potentially cripple their operations. Regardless of the industry or business size, having the right coverage can be the difference between survival and downfall in the face of legal claims. Remember, investing in liability insurance isn’t just a prudent financial decision; it’s a strategic move to fortify your business against the unpredictable nature of the modern commercial world. As the adage goes, “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” A solid liability insurance policy embodies this principle, ensuring that your business stays resilient and thriving despite the challenges it may encounter. STATE FARM® INSURANCE AGENT - Rick Reid - Rick Reid Insurance Agcy Inc 12657 State Road 23 Granger, IN 46530 We started our State Farm Insurance office in South Bend, Indiana May 1, 2011. After marketing Auto, Home, Life, Motorcycle, RV, Boat and other insurance products to the Michiana Community in South Bend for 12 years, we moved our State Farm Office to Granger in 2015. The GREAT thing about State Farm is we have been selling Home & Car Insurance for almost 100 years! What has made us a top brand for auto and home insurance, is not because we are the cheapest, but we offer valued prices, and provide GREAT LOCAL SERVICE and have TOP RATED CLAIMS RANKINGS. Near me? We are dual licensed in the state of Indiana & Michigan. With our office location in Granger, IN, we are centrally located to serve Car, Home, Life, Motorcycle, RV, Boat and other insurance products to the Michiana Area to include Mishawaka, South Bend, Osceola, Elkhart, Goshen, New Carlisle in Indiana & Niles, Edwardsburg, Buchanan, Berrien Springs, Three Rivers and Southwest Michigan! CALL US TODAY FOR GREAT AUTO & HOME INSURANCE PRICES....WE CAN’T 13 WAIT TO PROVIDE YOU THAT GOOD NEIGHBOR LOCAL SERVICE! 574-310-8100


“That Will Never Work” by Marc Randolph - A Book Report As an avid audio-book listener and business owner, I recently had the pleasure of listening to “That Will Never Work” by Marc Randolph. This captivating memoir details the fascinating journey of co-founding Netflix, one of the world’s most renowned streaming platforms. In the following article, I will share my personal insights on Randolph’s story while also including reviews from other individuals who have found inspiration within the pages of this book.

Personal Review “That Will Never Work” is an engaging and thought-provoking memoir that provides an intimate glimpse into the early days of Netflix. Marc Randolph, the co-founder and first CEO, masterfully narrates his entrepreneurial adventure, capturing the ups and downs, the successes and failures, and the relentless pursuit of creating something truly innovative. Randolph’s writing style is refreshingly conversational and filled with genuine anecdotes. As I listened to the book, it felt as though I was sitting across from him, listening to his captivating storytelling. He recounts various pivotal moments, lending readers valuable insights into the early start-up culture of Silicon Valley, the challenges of securing funding, and the critical decision-making processes. One of the most captivating aspects of the book is Randolph’s unwavering determination, even in the face of adversity. He shares the struggles and sacrifices made by the Netflix team, laying bare the reality of launching a groundbreaking business. It serves as a reminder that success is not always immediate, but rather a result of persistence, hard work, and the willingness to evolve. Overall, “That Will Never Work” is a must-read (or listen) for aspiring entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts. It offers an invaluable perspective on the trials and triumphs of building a disruptive company from scratch. Reviews from Others: Here’s what some other individuals had to say about “That Will Never Work”: • “This book is a breath of fresh air for anyone who dreams of making a difference. Marc Randolph’s honesty in sharing his struggles and doubts inspires readers to push beyond their limits and embrace the unknown.” - John D., Startup Founder. • “Marc Randolph’s storytelling effortlessly weaves together personal anecdotes and invaluable business lessons. ‘That Will Never Work’ is a transformative read that will ignite the entrepreneurial spirit in anyone who picks it up.” - Samantha L., Business Insider. In “That Will Never Work,” Marc Randolph skillfully narrates the fascinating journey of Netflix, providing readers with an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs of building a revolutionary company. This memoir serves as a source of inspiration and invaluable wisdom for individuals eager to embark on their own entrepreneurial endeavors. With its engaging storytelling and valuable insights, this book is undoubtedly a worthwhile read for 15 Written by Deb Ammerman anyone interested in innovation, business, or the power of relentless determination.

Guerrillapedia - Mindset Part 2 In our recent issue, we delved into the importance of adopting the Guerrilla Marketing Mindset, a powerful approach that every savvy business owner should embrace. Today, we’re going to explore how this mindset, starting at the top, can shape the destiny of your business and elevate it to new heights. As a business owner, your mindset is the driving force that sets the tone for your entire organization. The Guerrilla Marketing philosophy emphasizes that the mindset you embody will inevitably be mirrored by every individual within your company. It all starts with you, the captain of the ship. Attitude, as they say, is everything. Your perspective on your business becomes the lens through which your employees view their roles. Your attitude becomes contagious, influencing the entire atmosphere of your workplace. Actions speak louder than words, especially in the dynamic realm of business. Your actions, decisions, and strategies become the guiding light for your team. The Guerrilla Marketing approach underlines that your business practices will be mirrored by your employees, emphasizing the importance of leading by example. Effective utilization of marketing opportunities is another crucial aspect highlighted by the Guerrilla Marketing Mindset. Your ability to seize every available chance for promotion sets the tone for your team’s approach. Your employees will follow suit, capitalizing on marketing opportunities that arise throughout their daily activities. The power of a Guerrilla Marketer lies in their consistent, all-in attitude towards recognizing and leveraging marketing opportunities. Every interaction, whether it be a phone call, a delivery, an installation, a product sale, or a service call, presents an opportunity for subtle, yet impactful marketing. Guerrilla Marketing is not about being overly aggressive; instead, it thrives on careful planning and execution. It’s about turning every encounter into a chance to promote your brand without being pushy. While there are tactics that may employ shock and awe, the essence of Guerrilla Marketing is in its subtlety and strategic planning. The mind, as a potent tool, plays a pivotal role in harnessing the full potential of the Guerrilla Marketing Mindset. When understood and embraced, this mindset becomes a catalyst for other effective tactics. In our next issue, we will delve into these tactics, unveiling a comprehensive guide to help businesses thrive in the dynamic landscape of Guerrilla Marketing. Stay tuned for the strategic insights that will transform the way you approach marketing in your business.

Andy Garza is well known as the Guru of Guerrilla Marketing. He has over 30 years of experience using Guerrilla Marketing to launch 4 businesses. Andy has also reached top-level sales status in 4 different industries including Flooring, Auto, Furniture, and Senior Financial Planning. Presently the President and CEO of Big Gorilla Sales and Marketing Training, Andy has become a sought-after speaker for entrepreneurial groups, including a featured speaker for Notre Dame’s Entrepreneurship and Adversity Program as well as his own training seminars in both Marketing and Guerrilla Sales. Andy has extensive experience in Magazine Publishing having owned New Homeowners Guide and Senior Financial Digest. Now one of the Founding Partners and the President of Small Business Showcase. 16


Baking Up Sweet Success:

Amanda Garman’s Journey to Confection Perfection In the quaint kitchen of Mini Snack Confections, a home-based bakery, the aroma of freshly baked treats fills the air. This cozy space is the heart of Amanda Garman’s thriving business, a dream turned reality born from her desire to balance work and family life.

Amanda’s journey into the world of entrepreneurship began with a significant life choice. After the birth of her last child in 2020, she decided to step back from her demanding role managing ophthalmologist offices to focus on her growing family. This decision marked the start of a new chapter, one that allowed her to explore her passion for baking and creativity. Before this pivotal shift, Amanda had already been making waves in her family’s kitchen with a delightful creation she called “snack crack.” This beloved treat, known for its addictive deliciousness, laid the foundation for her future endeavors. In 2015, she began experimenting with baking wedding and party favors, a venture that expanded notably once she found herself spending more time at home in 2020. Amanda’s success comes from a combination of her culinary skills and business know-how. She carefully studied the market, paying close attention to what other home-based bakers were doing, and identified a niche that was unexplored yet in demand. Her strategic approach included a thorough analysis of profits and costs, ensuring that her prices were competitive without compromising the quality of her products. One of Amanda’s most significant innovations was the introduction of bundle packages and table setups for events. These offerings weren’t just about the treats; they included the entire experience - from the table display to the setup and tear-down. This all-inclusive approach, combined with her natural eye for design and love for art, created memorable “wow moments” for her clients. As her business grew, Amanda faced the challenges of rapid growth head-on. She made necessary adjustments to her home to accommodate more fridges and workspace, enhancing the flow of her baking process. Recognizing the importance of customer interaction, she also hired staff to manage social media and customer service, allowing her to focus on what she loves most, which is baking. Amanda’s connection to her community runs deep. A local through and through, her journey has been supported by friends and family. She understands the power of word-of18 mouth marketing, often giving free samples to community

members to spread the word about her delightful creations. A defining moment for Mini Snack Confections came with a rebranding effort. Expanding beyond “snack crack” and party favors, Amanda introduced a variety of baked goods and intricate table setups. This move catapulted her business to new heights, with a particular fondness for catering to weddings and large events. Despite often not meeting the bride and groom during the hustle of event preparations, Amanda finds joy in contributing to their special day. Her partnership with Michiana Small Business on their free wedding giveaway stands out as a particularly heartwarming experience when the groom came up and thanked her personally with a huge hug, it reinforced her love for bringing joy to others through her baking. Looking ahead, Amanda has big dreams. She envisions owning a piece of land with multiple buildings to host baking classes, a client area, and potentially delve into the wholesale market. While she’s enthusiastic about growth, her priority remains her customers’ satisfaction and maintaining the work-life balance that led her to start Mini Snack Confections.

To explore more about Amanda’s delightful creations or to book her services for your next event, visit her website here: You can also connect with her and keep up with the latest from Mini Snack Confections on social media. Amanda and her sweet treats are just a click away on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn - search for ‘Mini Snack Confections’ and join her community of confectionery enthusiasts. Amanda’s story is a testament to the power of passion, hard work, and adaptability. Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to be consistent, talk about your business, and show up for your customers. Her love for baking is a tribute to her late mother, who instilled in her a love for cooking and trying new things in the kitchen. These memories fuel her passion and remind her of the importance of family time, the very reason she embarked on this sweet entrepreneurial journey. Mini Snack Confections stands as a beacon of what one can achieve with determination, creativity, and a heartfelt connection to family and community. Amanda Garman’s journey from a full-time corporate manager to a beloved local baker is an inspiration, proving that with a pinch of passion and a dash of hard work, dreams can indeed become a delightful reality.

Eleni Owens – Writer

Creative Freelance Copywriter / Crafting compelling Narratives

Storytelling is more than a skill, it’s my passion. I dive into the heart of Michiana, seeking out the rich, often overlooked tales of small businesses and the people behind them. My goal is to craft stories that not only inform but resonate deeply, connecting readers with the diverse and heartfelt narratives that define our community. Each article I craft is a tribute to the diverse and vibrant stories that make Michiana unique. 19

Mastering Your Business – What gives you an almost unfair advantage…

Face it, today’s business owners have more resources than ever to model, launch, create profits, scale, and create a legacy for decades. So why do small business closures rates continue to grow? I look to an Indiana Jones movie line “choose wisely” as the great determinate. Ask 100 small business owners do they believe their business has much more potential than they have achieved so far… on average 75% raise their hand. When you ask them can they or someone on their payroll map out a pathway to unlock that potential and make sure action is taken each week, month, and quarter less than 4% raise their hand! If we ask the same question in sports, entertainment, or personal fitness then anyone looking to be more competitive in a highly competitive arena would say:

“Yes I have a coach who does that! Hang on, are you saying there are coaches just for business and that I should have one? Yes and No – yes there are people with experience and processes who specialize in working with owner operated businesses to set out a growth Pathway and then a step by step Action Plan with scheduled discussion and training to make sure things get implemented. Many people have had a stab at planning and implementing but just like New Years resolutions, life happens, pressure comes on and those great ideas get lost in the day-to-day firefighting but with a coach you put in the effort to break through to the next level you know is there in yourself and your business. OK how does coaching in a Business work? Business coaching is an ongoing process of assisting you to grow personally and professionally because as you grow your business does. A business coach provides resources, processes, experience, insight, and motivation to guide business owners to take charge of their own success. They do this by improving sales and marketing, time management, productivity, teamwork, performance, and leadership skills. Just like in sports, coaches drive results and make sure business owners succeed in a way they haven’t found possible on their own. Who usually Hires a Business Coach? Business owners who want to take their success to the next level by increasing profits, improving their teams, and striving for a better quality of life should hire a business coach. We know that business owners are working 60, 70, or even 80 hours a week to make their business successful. Business doesn’t have to be that way. Having a coach can help you see where you can make small changes for big results. Does Business Coaching Really Work? Yes, a local tree service company wanted to grow into a more diverse exterior home services provider with a new emphasis on winter offerings. The client worked to uncover his strengths and establish a new approach that would generate higher profit revenue sources. After the first year he achieved his revenue goals, reduced his workforce insurance risks, returned to a higher profit margin, and set his next year expansion goals in place. His investment in our fees was repaid twice in new profits. His next year is planned to leverage the growth and increase his profits. Your Takeaway: This all sounds great but the best way to find out what a great business coach provides is to invite them into your business and explain where you want to go and in what time frame and then have the coach outline exactly how they would get you there and, if they are very good, how working with them more than pays for itself along the way. 20

Who is Mike Ronchetti?

With more than thirty-five years of real-life, on-the-ground small business experience across various industries, Mike has owned, operated, and successfully exited seven businesses. Mike lived in Plainfield, IL, St. Paul, MN, Anchorage, AK., and returned in 2013 to Plainfield. In 2020 Mike and Becky, his wife, relocated to South Bend to be closer to family. In 2021 he became an ActionCOACH certified business and executive coach and opened a local office. His mission is to work with businesses owners to create vivid dreams, establish aggressive goals and then crush them. 21

Ditch the Cubicle, Embrace the Freedom: A Beginner’s Guide to Freelance Marketing Gone are the days of the chained-to-your-desk, fluorescent-lit office grind. Today, the world of marketing is brimming with opportunity for the adventurous souls who crave flexible hours, unlimited coffee breaks, and the thrill of being their own boss. Welcome to the exciting realm of freelance marketing! But before you dive headfirst into this liberating career path, let’s equip you with the essentials. Think of this as your freelance marketing starter pack, filled with tips and tricks to navigate your journey from wide-eyed newbie to seasoned pro.

1. Build Your Digital Doorstep: Crafting a Captivating Website Your website is your online storefront, your virtual handshake, your “look at me, I’m amazing!” bullhorn. It’s the first impression you make on potential clients, so it needs to be stunning, informative, and easy to navigate. Think clean lines, professional photos, and a clear value proposition that screams, “I’m the marketing wizard you’ve been searching for!” Showcase your skills and experience prominently. Include testimonials from happy clients, and don’t forget a call to action that invites visitors to contact you for a free consultation or project quote. Remember, your website is your 24/7 salesperson, so make it work overtime!

2. From Rookie to Rockstar: Building a Portfolio that Shouts Success Experience may be king, but in the freelance jungle, a killer portfolio is your crown. This is where you take your theoretical knowledge and transform it into tangible results. Don’t have any client work yet? No worries! Get creative. Volunteer your skills for a local non-profit, create a mock campaign for a brand you admire, or develop a fictional case study that showcases your problem-solving prowess. 22

3. Social Media Savvy: Befriending the Algorithm Gods In the digital age, social media is your megaphone. Use platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram to connect with potential clients, industry influencers, and fellow freelancers. Share valuable content, engage in conversations, and participate in relevant online communities. Remember, it’s not just about broadcasting your services; it’s about building relationships and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field. Post insightful articles, offer marketing tips, and host interactive Q&A sessions. Show your personality, your passion, and your expertise. The more valuable you are to your online audience, the more likely they are to see you as the go-to solution for their marketing needs.

Remember, freelance marketing is a journey, not a destination. There will be ups and downs, moments of doubt and bursts of excitement. But with the right tools, the right mindset, and the unwavering belief in your abilities, you can carve your own niche in this dynamic and rewarding field. So, ditch the cubicle, grab your laptop, and get ready to write your own freelance marketing success story!

Bonus Tip: Don’t underestimate the

power of networking. Attend industry events, connect with other freelancers, and build a strong support system. The freelance community is full of talented individuals who can offer guidance, share resources, and celebrate your victories.

Now go forth and conquer the freelance marketing world! And remember, if you ever need a cheerleader, I’m just an email away.

Happy freelancing! Melissa Rowe-Lane Author • Bachelor of Science in Design • 3 Years

Melissa(Mel) believes in the power of design and has a Bachelor of Science in Design from Full Sail University. She has worked as a Freelance Designer since 2020 and works as a visual designer for M&D Advertising. When not working on design projects, she spends her free time crocheting and spending time with her husband of over 20 years. 23

Turning Passion into Profit:

Transforming Your Hobby into a Thriving Business Many dream of turning their beloved hobby into a flourishing business, but the transition from leisure pursuit to profitable venture requires strategic planning, dedication, and a leap of faith. Whether it’s crafting, baking, writing, or any other passion, here’s a roadmap to guide you through the journey of monetizing your hobby. 1. Passion Meets Market Demand The first step is evaluating the market for your hobby. Research and understand if there’s a demand for your product or service. Assess competitors, identify gaps, and find your unique selling proposition (USP). Your passion might be knitting intricate designs, but is there a market seeking those creations? Balance your passion with market needs to ensure viability. 2. Develop a Business Plan Craft a comprehensive business plan outlining your objectives, target market, pricing strategy, marketing plans, and financial projections. This blueprint will serve as your roadmap, guiding decisions and actions as you transition from hobbyist to entrepreneur. 3. Validate Your Idea Before diving headfirst, validate your business idea. Test the waters by selling your products or services on a small scale. Engage with potential customers, gather feedback, and refine your offerings based on their responses. This iterative process helps fine-tune your business to better align with customer preferences. 4. Build Your Brand Invest in building a strong brand identity. From a catchy name and logo to a compelling story behind your venture, create a brand that resonates with your audience. Consistency across your branding elements fosters trust and loyalty among customers. 5. Legalities and Logistics Ensure you comply with legal requirements for starting a business. Register your venture, obtain necessary licenses, and understand tax obligations. Set up an organized system for inventory, shipping (if applicable), and customer service to streamline operations. 6. Scale Up Strategically As your business gains traction, consider scaling up operations. This might involve hiring employees, expanding product lines, or exploring new markets. Keep an eye on market trends and customer feedback to adapt and evolve your offerings accordingly. 7. Marketing and Promotion Develop a robust marketing strategy to reach your target audience. Utilize social media, online marketplaces, influencer collaborations, and traditional advertising methods to expand your reach. Engage with your audience through captivating content and storytelling that highlights the essence of your brand. 8. Financial Management Effective financial management is key to sustaining and growing your business. Keep track of expenses, revenue, and profits. Reinvest profits smartly into the business to fuel expansion while maintaining a healthy cash flow. 9. Seek Support and Mentorship Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from mentors, join networking groups, or participate in workshops and seminars related to your industry. Learning from others’ experiences can offer invaluable insights and shortcuts to success. 10. Adaptability and Persistence Lastly, be adaptable and persistent. The journey from hobby to business is often filled with challenges and learning curves. Embrace failures as opportunities to learn and adapt your strategies accordingly. Persistence and resilience will be your greatest allies on this entrepreneurial path. 24

Transforming a hobby into a successful business requires a blend of passion, strategic planning, and business acumen. While the road might be demanding, the fulfillment of turning something you love into a thriving enterprise is unparalleled. So, take that leap, armed with determination and a well-thought-out plan, and watch your hobby blossom into a fulfilling and lucrative venture. Written by Deb Ammerman


Rooted in Wellness: Melissa Karasek’s Hands-On Approach to Healing

In the heart of Michiana, a unique wellness oasis is flourishing, led by the visionary hands of Melissa Karasek. Rooted Balance Massage, Melissa’s brainchild, stands as a testament to her commitment to sports and medical massage. Unlike the conventional one-size-fits-all approach, Melissa’s practice is deeply entrenched in an outcome-based methodology, meticulously tailored to resolve her clients’ issues over time. Melissa’s journey began unexpectedly at Indiana Wellness College, where what started as a placeholder before pursuing psychology transformed into a lifelong passion. This comprehensive education laid the foundation for a holistic approach to her craft. Melissa’s initial foray into the corporate spa environment, though short-lived, was rich with insights. She swiftly realized the stark contrast between the industry’s emphasis on sales and her own values centered on client care. The predominant focus on selling packages and upgrades, coupled with the hurried nature of appointments, did little to address each client’s individual needs. This realization was a pivotal moment for Melissa. She envisioned a practice that not only prioritized each client’s unique requirements but also allowed her to achieve a more fulfilling quality of life. Thus, the seeds for Rooted Balance Massage were sown. Embarking on her journey as a business owner, Melissa faced a unique set of challenges. Juggling a part-time job while nurturing her growing client base was essential, particularly following a significant car accident. This personal ordeal not only tested her resilience but also deepened her dedication to catering to clients in similar circumstances. It inspired her to provide specialized services like processing car insurance claims for her clients, a service born from her own challenging experience. This commitment is a hallmark of Melissa’s client-centered approach, demonstrating her willingness to go above and beyond in addressing the specific needs of those she serves. What truly sets Melissa apart in the massage world is her control over her schedule. This autonomy allows her to dedicate ample time to each client, ensuring a deep understanding of their unique needs and health issues. Her success stories are a testament to her skill and dedication. Clients with conditions like frozen shoulder and concussion have experienced significant improvements under her care, regaining mobility and reducing symptoms like headaches. For Melissa, the reward lies in witnessing her clients’ journey from pain and limited movement to freedom and improved quality of life.


Melissa’s entrepreneurial journey reflects a blend of autonomy and authenticity, key to her satisfaction and success. The freedom of running Rooted Balance Massage allows her to balance her professional responsibilities with personal commitments, ensuring she remains present for family and personal events - a balance she considers crucial for an entrepreneur’s happiness. Her philosophy, deeply rooted in authenticity and passion, underscores the significance of truly believing in and enjoying one’s work. Melissa believes this sincerity is essential not only for effectively promoting a service but also for navigating the unpredictable nature of the entrepreneurial path. She emphasizes that a deep commitment and a genuine connection with one’s work are vital in surmounting the inevitable challenges encountered along the way. Rooted Balance Massage, under Melissa’s stewardship, is not just a business; it’s a manifestation of her belief in the power of targeted, patient, and personalized care. Her journey from a part-time job to full ownership of her practice is a story of determination, passion, and the relentless pursuit of a dream. For Melissa, each day is not just about running a business; it’s about making a difference in people’s lives, one massage at a time. To book one of Melissa Karasek’s many specialized massage services, visit In addition, for the latest updates, wellness tips, and insights into Melissa’s holistic approach, follow Rooted Balance Massage on Facebook and Instagram. These social media platforms offer an engaging way to stay connected with Melissa’s work and become part of the community she has nurtured, one that prioritizes health, balance, and comprehensive well-being. Written by Eleni Owens27

Carving Success from Faith and Necessity In the quaint workshop of KC Wood Words, amidst the scent of fresh timber and the hum of machinery, Kent Carlson crafts more than just wood. Each chisel stroke and laser engraving tell a story of faith, resilience, and innovation. For Carlson, the genesis of his now-thriving business is deeply intertwined with personal necessity and a profound spiritual journey. Kent’s foray into woodworking began as a hobby, a means to create beautiful, custom-made pens and other items for missionaries. These handcrafted pieces were more than just objects; they were tools for fundraising and assisting on humanitarian missions. However, life’s unpredictability soon steered Kent towards a path he hadn’t envisioned. In 2016, his wife, a retired elementary school principal, faced a debilitating disability that put an abrupt end to her cherished career. Her doctor’s prognosis was clear: she could no longer work. Following numerous falls and subsequent surgeries, Kent faced a heart-wrenching decision. To care for his wife, he left his job, stepping into uncertainty but fueled by determination and love. The transition from hobbyist to professional wasn’t smooth sailing. In 2017, Carlson ventured into craft shows, hoping to transform his woodworking skills into a sustainable business. Yet, success was elusive. His creations, while skillfully made, didn’t resonate with the market. Years of frustration and failed attempts could have deterred any entrepreneur, but Kent’s story took a divine turn. In April 2022, during a moment of reflection in his workshop, he prayed for guidance, seeking a breakthrough idea to revitalize his faltering venture. The answer came unexpectedly at a Bible study session. A young attendee’s wish for a bedroom plaque featuring her favorite Bible verse, 2nd Timothy 2:15, sparked a moment of inspiration in Kent. Excitedly texting his wife, “A Plaque!”, he received an immediate and supportive response: “Do it!”. Kent’s woodworking journey took a significant turn when he reconnected with Andy Garza, a local marketing expert and the president of the magazine for which this article is penned. Their initial meeting years ago at a craft show was a casual introduction, but it was their reconnection that marked a significant turn. During this later encounter, Kent faced a challenge while engraving a pen commissioned by Andy, which unfortunately broke in the process. In an admirable display of integrity, Kent crafted a new pen for Andy, refusing payment due to the mishap. Impressed by Kent’s honesty and craftsmanship, Andy offered his marketing expertise in exchange for the pen. This beneficial partnership became a turning point for KC Wood Words. With Andy’s guidance, Kent plunged back into the world of craft shows, his primary source of inspiration. By actively listening to his customers, he could tap into their creativity, leading to the development of products that resonated with the market. This customer-focused approach led Kent to a niche yet fruitful idea: crafting for crafters. These individuals, regulars at craft shows, not only provided valuable input but also appreciated the craftsmanship of Kent’s work. His creations, always regarded as works of art, began to attract even greater appreciation for their unique blend of functionality and artistic expression. Kent’s distinct approach to woodworking centers around innovation and uniqueness. He often contemplates whether everyday items used by crafters can be reimagined in wood, blending aesthetics with durability. Collaborations with other artists have also enriched his portfolio. For instance, a partnership with an artist friend resulted in a hand-painted, handcrafted wooden fly box, ideal for storing “memory flies” from cherished fishing trips. This piece beautifully merged the artistry of painting with the natural texture of wood. Another innovative idea that emerged at a craft show was Kent’s creation of book-shaped wooden plaques, onto which he engraved the image and opening lines of classic books like ‘Moby Dick’ and ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.’ This unique concept was received with great enthusiasm. “Despite his artistic success, Kent acknowledges the challenges in managing the business aspects of his venture. He compensates for his limited experience in business by utilizing online resources and seeking help from knowledgeable individuals. For Kent, business is more than transactions; it’s about building relationships, understanding needs, and offering help, leading to unexpected friendships and a strong network, including continued connections with the missionaries he initially supported. 28

Looking ahead, Kent aspires to expand his workspace, balancing business growth with the necessity of caring for his wife. He sees craft shows as an ongoing part of his business strategy, not just for sales but for inspiration and networking. The follow-up business generated from these contacts is where he envisions significant growth. Kent offers invaluable advice for fellow artisans, emphasizing the importance of flexibility and customer feedback in creating marketable products. He suggests not taking it personally if a handmade item isn’t exactly what a customer wants. Instead, being adaptable, actively listening to customers, and incorporating their feedback can lead to products that truly resonate in the marketplace. Additionally, Kent highlights the significance of having a well-designed website. He advises finding someone skilled in website design to handle this complex and vital aspect of business, as it can be challenging to achieve a professional result on one’s own. Kent Carlson’s story underscores the power of faith, the value of customer-centric innovation, and the importance of adaptability in the ever-evolving world of craftsmanship. Kent Carlson’s story is a testament to the power of faith, the strength drawn from a deep commitment to family, particularly in caring for his wife, and the support of a like-minded community. His journey in woodworking is as much a narrative of personal devotion and spiritual guidance as it is about craftsmanship and business savvy. For those interested in exploring his unique creations, or for inquiries and collaborations, visit Kent can be reached at 574-302-5412 or via email at Additionally, follow KC Wood Words on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated with the latest designs and insights into Kent’s creative process.” Written by Eleni Owens


Networking has been around as a buzz word for a long time. In the late 1980’s and 1990’s is when it became the main way to gain new professional connections, new prospective clients, new ideas and new social contacts. Many times we leave an event feeling on top of the world because we made new connections, handed out our business cards, collected cards from others and we felt our time was well spent. Let’s explore a little more in-depth how to make sure your time is well spent. When another business owner invites you to a Networking Event, what is your reaction? 1. Great! I need to meet people in this community. 2. Well, it won’t hurt to go, however I am not sure that just meeting people will benefit me. 3. Or, What time and where? What should I bring? Is it more casual or is their a more formal program? The first response shows eagerness and is one of the reasons to attend an event. What is doesn’t show is what you are bringing to give at the event. The second, either shows you are an introvert and moving into an uncomfortable situation, or you don’t see the value in what you are attending. The third response, is a business owner who prepares to make the most of the benefits of networking. Benefits include: Building Social Capitol* “You’ve heard of financial capital, but do you know about social capital?....Social capital is the accumulation of resources developed in the course of social interactions, especially through personal and professional networks. These resources include ideas, knowledge, information, opportunities, contacts, and of course, referrals.”* Prospective Clients Further Opportunities to expand your Visibility… Opportunities to share your wisdom and experiences with other professional partners Here are a few tips that have benefited me over the years at a Social Networking Event— I plan to attend by making sure I have my business cards accessible but not visible. Create a little mystery about yourself and don’t be too eager to simply push your card into someone’s hand. Be sure to ask for their cards after you have asked them questions about themselves that allow you to decide if you want a connection with them going forward. Here are a couple of Questions that will begin you on your journey of discovery: Tell me about you and your business. How long have you been in business? What types of clients do you usually work with? Where are you located and what radius do you serve? How did you get started in this field? Remember, it is a chance to connect, not interview or interrogate someone! Allow the conversation to flow like a river past a couple of these questions. We all like talking about ourselves and our activities, which is great for the introvert who isn’t sure how to begin the conversation. Action Plan: You are investing time into an event, if you don’t take action after the event, you have wasted valuable time. What is your action plan for following up? Did you set the next meeting with those you connected well with? It is a beginning opportunity to be visible. I have mentioned visibility a couple of times in this article. Because attending an event provides exactly that, it makes you and your business visible. What you do with the connections you made after the event is what will move you into a profitable position. Here are a couple of suggestions: 1. Write a hand written note (when possible) letting them know how much you enjoyed meeting them. This will allow you to be more than just visible. 2. Schedule a time if applicable to visit their business. Show interest in them first. It will eventually create interest in you. 3. Find a way to make a connection that would be beneficial to their business. A prospective client or another business connection in your connections. This is the law of reciprocity in action. However, this should never be the reason you take action of this sort. 4. It takes 3 connection points (meetings, coffees or notes) to make a strong connection. Face to face is always strongest. With all this activity after 1 networking event, be strategic. Don’t just go to everything so people SEE you doing a lot. Especially today, people want to know you, and your passions. Choose carefully the type of Networking events you will engage in. Ask yourself, what are my interests? Who is my target market? What do I want to be known for? Align myself with? How will this event align with my business growth plan? This leads to Quality Connections and makes you excited about attending an event, even if you are an introvert by nature. *A concept shared in Networking Like a Pro written by Ivan Misner, David Alexander and Brian Hilliard Kathy Hoover, Independent Sales Director with Mary Kay, Inc. Kathy’s Connection Hub:

Director Consultant Northern Indiana Region of BNI Email:

Kathy has traveled the world to begin businesses for others. She is an experienced Sales Director with over 35 years of experience in Finance, Marketing, Business Management, Inventory Management and is a CEO of her Mary Kay Organization. She leads teams of women and men in both her Consultant Roles and coaches them to success. She is highly skilled in Interpersonal/ Public Communications, Teaching, Sales, Retail, Business Coaching, Skin Care, and Color Applications. She is also a sought after arts and design professional with numerous professional certifications and awards. Kathy enjoys giving back to the community. She has been instrumental in building an Adult Day Care program from the ground up that is still in operation today, serving as a volunteer, Board President and Fundraiser. She has worked with the Optimist Organization as well as mission trips. Small Business Showcase Magazine Email: © 2023 Small Business Showcase Magazine, All Rights Reserved Authors:

30 Andy Garza, Deb Ammerman, Eleni Owens, Melissa Rowe-Lane, Rick Reid, Kathy Hoover

Photos: Gary Riggs Photography / Marie June Photography


2 5 TH A N N U A L

S T.

M A R G A R E T ’ S


Celebrating 25 years of walking a mile in her shoes!







Sunday, February 18 Be a sponsor. Walk as a team. Volunteer to help. Show the community that your business supports women and children! This popular one-mile solidarity walk begins at the SJC Main Library and finishes at St. Margaret’s House with a celebration featuring homemade cookies, hot cocoa, tours, art demos, music, and more! To learn more, contact us at 574.234.7795 or 31


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