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The Weekly Business-to-Business Forum
Editor: Andrew Wheeler 815-929-5416 firstname.lastname@example.org B2B Illinois is a product of The Daily Journal Advertising Department.
Catch the WAVES:
Ken Whiting | B2B contributor
Five Principles for Motivating Today’s Young Workforce
Employing teens has always come with challenges, and that’s more true today than ever! Raised while multi-tasking on life’s super technology highway, they can confuse, complicate, and at times, consternate. Still the reality for many businesses is teens are the employees closest to the customer…the face of their company! This is an age group, most born since 1990, whose entire lives have been enveloped in a world of technology, information and communication change, as well as major cultural and societal shifts. They simply have never heard about the importance of being on time and in uniform, giving respect to a supervisor, communicating clearly, making eye contact, or job commitment significance. So what’s an employer to do? Plenty! The following are guidelines to an effective strategy for working with teens. We call it catching “WAVES.” Way of Life: Appreciate the fact that young staff members are the way they are. It’s not wrong, it’s not right, it just is. Meet them where they are. Allow some failure. Don’t focus on what they’ve done wrong. Build your relationship by encouraging them on what they are doing right. They can become fiercely loyal if they are taken seriously and treated with respect. Attitude: They come with an attitude of independence and “what’s in it for me.” If you learn how to feed this you’ll find highly motivated teens. Provide flexible scheduling and provide incentives for performance…and don’t make them wait. Recognize positive behaviors and catch them doing something right. Promote strong performers quickly and give them more responsibility. Patience is not a virtue with teens, so provide variety in job duties. Establish goals and empower them to come up with the answers. Verbal, Video and Visual: This age group has watched 20,000 hours of TV by the time they are 18. Over six hours per day are spent in front of a video screen. You need to use this technology to your advantage. Include some examples here, such as create a training video for your staff to watch, use computer programs to train new hires, etc. Names are important, so use their nickname. Applications should be online and your work schedules posted on your Web site. Don’t print mounds of paper and expect the information to be read and retained. Make handbooks and memos less complicated and smaller, while focusing on the most important items for your business success. Enhance communication by using email and text messaging. Education… not Just Training: If training is the “how,” then education is the “why.” This age group requires to know the purpose, the why, behind tasks. Never assume anything, confirm their knowledge and explain the purpose behind every task. Style Matters: Style is how employees look, the image of your company and how they are treated at work. Teens care about how they look and how they’re treated. Uniforms shouldn’t embarrass your staff, and your grooming policy should be relevant. Be prepared to justify both to your employees. Teens can be inspired, motivated and productive. Today’s teens are the most knowledgeable and adaptive group ever. Don’t judge them through the eyes of when you were a teen…look through theirs. You have nothing to lose, everything to gain, and you’ll have a positive impact on the lives of the teenagers you employ.
GET YOUR POINT ACROSS
Special Sections and Feature Pages can be a cost-effective way to reach thousands of readers with a particular interest. Plus, these sections generally have a longer shelf-life than the daily newspaper allowing your business’ message to be seen again and again!
Month August August Section Fall Home & Yard Publication Date Thursday, Sept. 4 Tuesday, Sept. 2 Thursday, Sept. 4
Pick the Pros Fall Home & Yard Directory
*Publication dates are subject to change. For more information about any of these Special Sections, contact your Advertising Consultant or call 815.939.6642.
Ken Whiting is an industry expert on providing solutions for entry-level workforce challenges. His WAVES for Success program teaches companies what inspires young adults and teens to participate, contribute and excel at work. His new book, “WAVES for Teenage Workforce Success,” provides insights on recruiting, motivating and retaining. For a free copy of the “WAVES 101 Best Ways to Recruit, Retain, Educate and Motivate Today’s Teens” visit WAVESforsuccess.com. For speaking and consulting, call 831.423.1890 ex.2 or email email@example.com.
Selling the Intangible:
How to Effectively Market a Service-Based Business
Sheryl Batchelder | B2B contributor
In some respects, selling a product is easy. You have an item you can show and demonstrate to people when in person, and something you can take photos of for your marketing pieces. Even more important, your prospects can use multiple senses to make a buying decision. You have numerous ways to make the product “real” for your prospects. Selling services, however, is a completely different animal. You don’t have an item to show people, and there’s nothing to photograph for your marketing pieces. That’s why so many service-based companies are now going the extra mile with such things as leather presentation binders, gold embossed and natural fiber proposal folders, and other touches that help create marketing materials that truly stand out. The more high-end your services are, the more that people expect your marketing materials to be unique and ornate. In these cases, your materials are not just marketing pieces; they’re who you are. Here are a few keys to make that happen:
they want their marketing pieces to convey, but they’re not confident that their image is correct or even marketable. If you are unsure what your company’s image is or how strong it is, then hire the services of a marketing professional who truly understands your vision and who can help you articulate it.
Creativity = Profits.
Do your research.
Be sure you find a manufacturing or printing partner that is willing to work outside of the box. Since you’re selling a service, you can’t have run of the mill marketing pieces or packaging. For example, a fine-dining restaurant wanted their menus printed on wallpaper rather than standard paper. They chose a natural material, which meant it would show oil and grease—not a good choice for a restaurant. The restaurant spent $300,000 printing their menus, and two weeks into the restaurant’s operations the menus had to be redone. Some materials work and some don’t. You certainly don’t want to find out your idea won’t work after it’s created.
Many companies offer similar services for similar pricing, and that is why you need an immediate edge over the competition. Your marketing pieces and packaging are the perfect way to set your company above the crowd. In fact, if everything else is equal, your prospects will go with the company who has the best image—and they’ll make that decision based on the marketing items you send them. When it comes to selling services, a little creativity goes a long way to positively impacting your company’s bottom line.
Spend the money on a prototype.
When you have a marketing piece that is complex or using a unique material, you definitely want a prototype. Depending on your marketing piece’s complexity and the design time involved, your prototype can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, but it’s money well spent. You want to eliminate all surprises and know what your final product will look and feel like. Sheryl Batchelder is an expert who specializes in bringing branding ideas to life. She can be reached at 407.423.7575.
Decide on the look or feel you want to convey to your prospects.
Before you can design any marketing piece, you need to be clear on your image. Many companies have a rough idea of the look or feel
Around the County with the State of Illinois
The Bureau of Energy and Recycling
Edward S. Piatt | B2B contributor
Energy Efficiency Portfolio
Incentives are available to customers in Ameren Illinois and ComEd’s electric service areas. DCEO will provide incentives for the public sector, and ComEd and Ameren Illinois will provide incentives for businesses and residential programs.
This week I would like to highlight the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Bureau of Energy and Recycling. The Bureau of Energy and Recycling seeks to demonstrate the economic development benefits, including job creation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and recycling through a variety of programs and services. Further, Bureau programs will demonstrate that economic development, sustainable energy, recycling practices and environmental protection go hand in hand. In addition, the Bureau will continue to promote the leadership of the State of Illinois, through its own energy and recycling policies and practices, at state facilities. Individually tailored programs are available to assist Illinois citizens, communities, non-profit organizations, businesses, industry and other government agencies in an effort to achieve the Bureau's mission. Program areas include the following:
Link to ComEd Smart Ideas Business Energy Solutions programs: www.comed.com Link to additional information on Energy Efficiency Standards: www.ileeps.org For further information regarding programs in the Bureau of Energy & Recycling, please visit our web site at www.Illinoisbiz.biz, or you may contact them at 217.785.3416. I would also like to take this opportunity for anyone interested in the Opportunity Returns program or seeking business assistance to contact me at 312.636.0739 or email me directly at Ed.Piatt@illinois.gov. Until next time, see you around the county…
Public Sector Energy Efficiency Programs
For help finding energy professionals and vendors, there are two sources for you to utilize: 1) SEDAC (Smart Energy Design Assistance Center) Energy Services Providers: http://smartenergy.arch.uiuc.edu/html/ search_serviceprovider.html 2) ComEd Participating Trade Allies: http:// www.exeloncorp.com/ourcompanies/comed/comedbiz/energy_savings_products_and_services/tradeally/participatingallies.htm Link to Ameren Illinois Act On Energy Business Program: www.ActOnEnergy.net
Edward S. Piatt is the northeast senior account manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.
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