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Opportunity Returns: Around the County with the State of Illinois

DCEO Bureau of Business Development
Edward S. Piatt | B2B contributors

This month I would like to highlight DCEO’s Bureau of Business Development, which administers a wide array of programs and services designed to help Illinois businesses thrive in today’s economy. DCEO offers expansion incentives, technology support services, access to capital, global marketing expertise and job training and education for workers. Our trained staff is committed to forging partnerships with the private sector in an effort to build upon Illi-

nois’ reputation as a world-class center for business and industry. This includes a strong emphasis on programs designed to provide small businesses — particularly minority and female entrepreneurs — with the resources they need to succeed and grow their business opportunities. The Participation Loan (PLP) program is designed to work through banks and other conventional lending institutions, to provide subordinated financial assistance to Illinois small businesses that employ Illinois workers. A business with 500 or fewer employees may apply for a PLP loan of not less than $10,000 nor more than $750,000. Loans shall not exceed 25 percent of the total project and may not be used for debt refinancing or contingency funding. The Rural Micro-business Participation Loan Program is a variation of the Participation Loan Program designed to provide subordinated loans of up to 50 percent of a project (maximum $25,000) to Illinois Rural Microbusinesses through participating lending institutions. A rural micro-business is a for profit business that: (1) employs five or fewer full-time employees, including the owner if the owner is an employee, and (2) is based on the production, processing, or marketing of agricultural prod-

ucts, forest products, cottage and craft products, or tourism. The borrower is required to provide equity of at least 10 percent of the project up to $1,000 (10 percent of a $10,000 project). Funds cannot be used for debt refinancing or contingency funding. The Manufacturing Modernization Loan Program is designed to provide manufacturers with access to adequate and affordable financing for upgrading and modernizing their manufacturing equipment and operations. The Enterprise Zone (EZ)/PLP is a variation of the conventional PLP Program, in that DCEO subordinates the loans through participating lending institutions, but the EZ/PLP may be able to provide small businesses located in an enterprise zone a more attractive loan rate than a conventional PLP. The Illinois Capital Access Program (CAP) is designed to encourage financial institutions to make loans to small and new businesses that do not qualify under conventional lending policies. CAP is a form of loan portfolio insurance, which provides additional reserve coverage to the lender on loan defaults. By participating in CAP, lenders have available to them a proven financing mechanism to meet the needs of financial institutions and Illinois small businesses. 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 direct at Ed.Piatt@illinois.gov. Until next month, see you around the county…

Edward S. Piatt is the northeast senior account manager for the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

Want a “Yes” Decision From Anyone? Trigger It
Russell Granger | B2B contributor

You can have anything you want, yes, anything! All you have to do is to persuade someone to decide to do what you want. The most successful people in the world are those who can get things done with and through others. By applying new scientific breakthroughs, it’s now quick and easy to get “Yes!” decisions and actions. Let’s face it; life is a challenge. From the minute our eyes pop open in the morning until they close exhausted at night, we deal with an avalanche of decisions. All day long, requests and decisions drive activities. If we had to use logic, reason and cognitive thinking for every decision, we’d be trapped, locked in place, unable to move in any direction as we analyze, evaluate, contemplate, measure and critique options. We’d wind up dazed and immobile. Fortunately, our emotion-based limbic system has provided us with a highly effective and simple solution enabling us to easily get through each decision-making opportunity. Our “internal navigation system,” referred to in the book and PBS series as “The Secret Life of the Brain,” resides in our brain’s emotional center and is activated by our personal databank of emotion-based internal triggers. The take-away summary from the breakthrough live brain research is that, ‘We are not thinking machines. We are feeling machines that think.’ A trigger is an emotion-based gut-feeling shortcut that helps us avoid the pain of rational thinking, of laborious cognitive mental

evaluation. We are pre-programmed to comply with other’s requests when the request activates the appropriate triggers. The smart manager, leader, sales rep understands this need and prepares her requests accordingly. The exciting new science of live brain imaging documents that one emotion based brain element, the amygdala, receives most outside stimulus and requests for decisions. Reason and logic do not persuade; that is now a scientific fact. They might back up an emotional decision, but they do not heavily influence the decision. To get what you want through others you must activate their emotion-based triggers. One of the seven primary emotional triggers is the Authority Trigger. What do you do when your doctor, the “authority,” gives you a prescription? Do you search the Internet and research the chemical compounds? Do you check the FDA website to evaluate the documentation for safety and efficacy? No, you get the prescription filled. The doctor’s authority triggered you to make a quick automatic decision. How do you persuade with the authority emotional trigger? Be the authority! We give unthinking automatic compliance to those who have done the hard digging for us. Show the other person you are fully informed about your subject and that you can be trusted to give expert information. Each of the triggers can be activated to produce easy, automatic decisions and actions. In the most simplistic form these triggers are: • The Friendship Trigger Activates trust and agreement through bonding

• The Authority Trigger Activates acceptance through expertise • The Consistency Trigger Motivates consistency with past actions • The Reciprocity Trigger When you give, you get • The Contrast Trigger Structures contrasts to make one approach better than another • The Reason Why Trigger Emotional reasons to make decisions and actions • The Hope Trigger Instills positive expectations that persuade agreement Activate a combination of these triggers and you will get anything you want. Twenty-five hundred years ago, Aristotle wrote, “The best route to persuasion is with reason and logic.” It took science 2,500 years to learn he was wrong. The brain just doesn’t work that way. Activate the brain’s emotional triggers and achieve the results you seek. Russ Granger is the founder of ProEd, an international training consultancy specializing in management, sales and personal productivity courses. To become more successful getting “Yes,” the decisions and actions you want from others, visit www.seventriggers.com.

Seven Public Relations Secrets That Get Your Business Noticed
Pam Lontos | B2B contributors

Publicity can come from anywhere, and in many different forms. It can be as simple as having a letter published in the editorial column of your local paper, or as dynamic as having a front-page article with your name splashed across the headlines. But a successful publicity campaign is harder than you may think. It takes huge effort on your part to get your business noticed by the media. The effectiveness of your publicity campaign will ultimately determine the success of your business. It adds credibility to your message and develops name recognition in your field. Essentially, publicity makes you stand out, above all the other businesses, to the buying public. Now, you don’t have to be a public relations expert to maximize the results of your publicity campaign. Use the following trade secrets to increase your visibility and sell more of your product or service:

audience, you should gain an understanding of what issues are important to them and what interests them. Understand what they find newsworthy, and develop your publicity around these issues. Tie your topic to current events and target your audience directly when you pitch stories. And remember; create news that interests your audience, not that interests you.

they want, you make their job much easier. And when you make a media professional’s job easier, they will come back to you for more quotes and more interviews. So ask them what other stories they’re working on, and for what other publications they write. Ask how you can help them and what other topics they’d like to see. Establish working relationships with media professionals and develop strong contacts for increased publicity.

6. Give a Great Interview
Do you know what it’s like to talk to a boring person? They drone on for hours about topics that don’t interest you, and all you can think about is getting rid of them. Keep this in mind when you talk to the media, because if you’re boring, they won’t want to talk with you ever again.

3. Send Press Releases
Press releases are the easiest and quickest ways to advertise to a large audience, and they inform the media that you have something to offer. Press releases are also a good method for getting your product or service reviewed in publications. Watch the breaking news, and if something ties to your business, send a press release to the newspapers, radio and television shows, and magazines offering your take as an expert to interview about the situation.

7. Follow up
Once you’ve established contact with media professionals, maintain the relationships and follow up for more exposure. Avoid nagging with “did you decide yet” calls, but do ask when the article will be published or when the show will air. Maybe you can offer a new bit of information in your follow-up call. With these seven secrets, you can maximize your public relations success and secure free publicity for your product or service. Pam Lontos is president of PR/PR, a public relations firm based in Orlando, Fla. She is author of “I See Your Name Everywhere” and is a former vice president of sales for Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting. PR/PR works with established businesses, as well as entrepreneurs who are just launching their company. For a free publicity consultation, e-mail Pam@prpr.net or call 407.299.6128. To receive free publicity tips, go to www. PRPR.net and register for the monthly e-newsletter, PR/PR Pulse!

4. Develop a Winning Media Kit 1. Get to Know Your Audience
According to a survey conducted by Jericho Communications, the typical Fortune 1000 CEO is more likely to have watched The Simpson’s than to have watched all three presidential debates. So, what does this mean for your publicity? Simple, it means that you can’t make assumptions about your audience. Understanding your audience and what appeals to them is important if you want to get noticed. As you approach the different media outlets, you’ll need to send them a media kit. Think of your media kit as your resume; it tells the media professionals about you and your business. A professional media kit should include your short bio, a summary of your product or service, and your contact information. Also include sample questions about your topic that the writer or host can use during the interview.

5. Solve Your Contact’s Problems 2. Create News
By familiarizing yourself with popular publications within your When it comes to stories, each reporter and producer has a unique personality and unique needs. If you can figure out what

Submit Your News and Articles to B2B Illinois
Part of the ongoing success of B2B Illinois is found in the quality of the articles we receive from business people just like you. Articles should be about your field in business and informative in nature. Visit www.b2billinois.com/submissions for additional guidelines. To submit an article, or if you have any questions, please contact Andrew Wheeler at 815-929-5416 or awheeler@b2billinois.com

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