Small Business

Here's a bright idea: Focused marketing:Restricted Content

August 28, 2006
Lorraine Ball
Even companies as large as Coca-Cola know that effective marketing begins with a clear definition of their target customer. Ask yourself this: When was the last time you had a Coke? Not the caffeinefree, diet, cherry, vanilla or whatever variety, but Coke-real, regular Coke. For some, the answer is today; for others, it might be last week, a few months ago, or so long ago they don't remember. I know I have not had a Coke since 1982, and more...
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25A-32A All in the family: Good relationships key to living and working togetherRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Tammy Lieber
25A-32A All in the family Good relationships key to living and working together The family that plays together stays together, as the old adage goes. But what about the family that works together? Many-if not most-of the estimated 450,000 small businesses in Indiana employ more than one family member, local smallbusiness experts say. In some cases, family involvement might be limited to a spouse who helps out with the books part-time or a child who comes into the office occasionally...
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Get a handle on customers, competition:Restricted Content

August 28, 2006
Jerry Clifford
To succeed, small businesses must attract and retain a growing base of satisfied customers. This activity is called marketing. There are two overriding principles: Company policies should be directed toward satisfying customer needs. And profitable sales volume is more important than maximum sales volume. To best use these principles, smallbusiness owners should: Determine the needs of their customers through market research. Analyze the company's competitive advantages to develop a market strategy. Select specific markets to serve by targeted marketing. Determine...
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IEDC shelves proposal to copy Ohio initiative: Program matches promising startups with capitalRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
An Ohio program launched in 2003 to urge development of extremely earlystage companies has already spurred investments worth $239 million in 68 Buckeye startups. Venture capitalists would like to duplicate the program here. But their proposal has been languishing at the Indiana Economic Development Corp. for a month. "We have the application. We haven't done anything with it," said IEDC Director of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Bruce Kidd. "This is a classic steeple chase. You've got lots of hurdles to...
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Woman sets sights on freedom: Disability isn't keeping shop owner from goalRestricted Content

August 28, 2006
Candace Beaty
Two doors opened for Pam Evans on Aug. 5-one to her own clothing store and the other to her independence. The Cherry Shop represents both to Evans, who lost most of her sight over the course of a weekend in 1998 to a genetic eye disease called angioid streaks. Left with only her peripheral vision, she also lost her career in real estate and corporate sales. After a period of depression, Evans decided she wouldn't lose it all. "I felt...
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Workers can help lower health costs:Restricted Content

July 31, 2006
Philip T.
Health care costs keep small-business owners up at night. According to Forbes magazine, the cost of health care is rising at three times the rate of inflation. Because demand for medical treatment will continue to grow as Americans age, insurance premiums will continue to increase. Some small-business owners' first reaction is to shift rising costs to employees. Others simply eliminate health insurance benefits altogether. While this reduces expenses and raises profit in the short term, it ruins a company's ability...
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Venture Center's Beck plans seed capital fund: Former Rose-Hulman Ventures prez returns to townRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Peter Schnitzler
Over the last three years at the helm of Indiana Venture Center Inc., one thing became all too clear to Steve Beck: Not much money is available locally for early-stage companies. So he's going to raise some himself. Last week, Beck, 59, announced he's stepping down as Indiana Venture Center president to become co-managing director of IVC Equity Partners, a new local seed capital fund. His IVC Equity cofounder is Scott Prince, 38, a Columbus native and Indiana University graduate...
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ECONOMIC ANALYSIS: Impact from small biz smaller than we think?Restricted Content

July 31, 2006
Patrick Barkey
The images are out there, reinforced almost every day. Big business is bad, led by overpaid executives who are out of touch and hire lobbyists to get laws changed in their favor. Or, worse yet, they drive smaller companies out of business. Small business, in contrast, is noble, led by energetic people following their dream, facing special challenges and deserving of our support. Nobody, it seems, is rooting for Wal-Mart to get bigger, and no one ever made a movie...
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE: JP PARKER CO.: Business blooming for specialty florist Flower farm, retail shop feed green thumb's growthRestricted Content

July 31, 2006
Jo Ellen
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE JP PARKER CO. Business blooming for specialty florist Flower farm, retail shop feed green thumb's growth More than 300,000 sunflowers are in various stages of growth on Needham, Ind., farmland, where a third generation carries on the family tradition with a modern twist. These tall summer annuals follow a spring where 1,000 blooming peony plants yielded at least 11,000 stems for a Chicago broker. Smaller plots of delphiniums, larkspur, zinnias, coneflowers, mints, herbs and other greenery also...
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State awarenesss initiative targeting investment fraud: Program touts knowledge to prevent financial scamsRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
Conservative estimates put the amount of money Hoosiers are bilked by investment fraud scammers at $100 million a year. The high-end estimate for victims of pyramid scams, bogus gas and oil ventures and unscrupulous mortgage practices is closer to $800 million. Those involved in catching and prosecuting the scammers say proactively educating people about investments in general and scams in particular would go a long way toward helping the problem. "Our financial illiteracy is high," said Mark Maddox, managing partner...
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VOICES FROM THE INDUSTRY: Consumers rarely raise banks above commodity statusRestricted Content

July 24, 2006
Jeffrey A.
Toothpaste. Laundry bleach. Cat food. Banking services. Despite the hopes of many bank executives, vast numbers of consumers rarely elevate their banks beyond everyday commodity status. Through traditional advertising and marketing, many banks attempt to differenti ate themselves as the bank of choice or the bank that makes a difference. Repeat the tag line often enough and hopefully potential customers will start to believe it. One fact underscores this unfortunate commodity service status: According to recent market research, the No....
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New business incubator is made for minoritiesRestricted Content

July 17, 2006
Scott Olson
Black business owner Bob Logan is one of four entrepreneurs chosen by the Indiana Business Diversity Council as inaugural tenants of its unusual new incubator, which caters solely to minority-owned businesses.
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FINANCE: How will higher interest rates affect my loan?Restricted Content

June 26, 2006
Jean Wojtowicz
Every time the Q: Fe d e ra l Reserve raises rates, I expect to pay my bank more for financing. I guess I understand the reason for this-the government says it wants to guard against inflation-but the Fed's actions still make it hard for the small-business owner who needs to borrow money. How can I get the lowest possible rates? And what will my bank require of me that they don't now? Or is there any way around this...
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Builder targets entire block: Centex in talks to buy land from Shapiro's Deli, others for downtown developmentRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Jennifer Whitson
A national home builder is negotiating to purchase an entire downtown block for a retailand-residential development-a project that could temporarily displace the landmark Shapiro's Deli. Dallas-based Centex Corp. says the block southeast of the planned Lucas Oil Stadium is among several downtown-area locations it is reviewing for its first local foray into urban residential development. Brian Shapiro, owner of Shapiro's Deli, 808 S. Meridian St., said he has not reached a final agreement to sell his property. But he hinted...
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE: A-1 VACUUM CLEANERS AND JANITORIAL SUPPLIES: Vacuum dealer on his own Franchise dissolution gave owner freedom and more responsibilityRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Jo Ellen
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE A-1 VACUUM CLEANERS AND JANITORIAL SUPPLIES Vacuum dealer on his own Franchise dissolution gave owner freedom and more responsibility For his entire adult life, Tony Stahl has been helping other people clean up their messes. From the time he graduated from John Marshall High School, Stahl has had A-1 Vacuum Cleaners as part of his work life, first as an employee and, most recently, as an owner. In fact, Stahl's work with vacuums and customers was so...
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Scrapping it: Flurry of area shops close the books on once-hot business

June 26, 2006
Matthew Kish
Forget-Me-Not in Greenwood will soon be forgotten. The store, which sold scrapbook albums and supplies, closed last month. It was the latest of at least seven scrapbook stores to close in the past few months in central Indiana. Business analysts are calling the rash of out-of-business signs a cautionary tale for proprietors who invest in "silo businesses" that base their bottom line on a trend or product that may soon be out of style. "A lot of the mom-and-pop [scrapbook]...
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BIZ BASICS: Legal help doesn't have to cost a fortuneRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Daniel Kehrer
We're a start-Q: up and constantly need answers to basic legal questions about business structures, the hiring process, contracts, wages, safety, trademarks and more, but can't afford expensive lawyers. What are some options? Legal issues often present a dilem-A:ma for cost-conscious small businesses, especially startups. You want the best information but paying legal professionals for every little thing gets expensive. The range of legal issues facing entrepreneurs is immense, from naming a business and obtaining licenses to complying with tax...
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Driving through adversity: First-time team owner uses business fundamentals to help reach the finish lineRestricted Content

June 26, 2006
Matthew Kish
It's been a bumpy ride for Michael Crawford this year. Scratch that-it's been like driving into a concrete wall at 190 miles per hour. Repeatedly. The rookie race team owner put his financial livelihood on the line this year to buy two cars and run them in the Indy Pro Series, the open-wheel racing equivalent of AAA baseball, one step below the major leagues. IBJ is following Crawford's progress in hopes of shedding light on the challenges startups face when...
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Ex-Chamber chief buys Daleville testing firm: Deal gives LaMothe one-third ownership, CEO post

June 19, 2006
Matthew Kish
Now, he's an owner himself. This month, he teamed with two prominent executives to buy Dalevillebased Sherry Laboratories, a 180-employee company that does product testing for firms in such fields as aerospace and automotive. "I've been interested in Sherry for about 10 years," LaMothe said. "I had approached them two or three different times ... . I was intrigued with the company because I believed it was needed and necessary and adds value to society." LaMothe will serve as chairman...
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FINDING the RIGHT FIT: Program to put execs in board seats, but will firms be willing to pay for it?Restricted Content

June 19, 2006
Andrea Muirragui
Ruth Purcell Jones knows the statistics well. Nearly 1.8 million board seats at not-forprofit organizations turn over every year, presenting a challenge for charities already trying to fill the 1.2 million positions open at any given time. And anecdotal evidence backs up the national research. "If there's one thing I hear over and over, it's, 'We can't find board members,'" said Jones, president of Indianapolis-based governance consultant Trustee Leadership Development. "It's really a 'Who do you know?' kind of thing....
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Site gets people involved: Institute uses Web to link volunteers with opportunitiesRestricted Content

June 19, 2006
Scott Olson
When Roger Williams began approaching local not-for-profits early this year about his idea to post their volunteer opportunities for teen-agers on his Web site, many were skeptical. "What's this guy trying to sell me?" they wondered. But six months after launching www.helpindyonline.com, part of his larger Emergent Leadership Institute, Williams has more than 80 charities promoting nearly 300 positions on his site for high school and college students interested in volunteering. The 36-year-old Carmel native and former youth pastor founded...
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Kroger shops for land: Grocer gathering property for full-size downtown storeRestricted Content

June 12, 2006
Matthew Kish
Downtown residents might finally get their second full-service grocery store. Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. has purchased an acre of land immediately west of its store near the intersection of 16th Street and Central Avenue in hopes of razing the existing store and replacing it with a new, and much larger, grocery. "We would like to build a brand new store that incorporates all of the amenities that [we] have at our newer stores," said Jeff Golc, a Kroger spokesman. Neighbors are...
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Plug in professionals when tasks seem overwhelming:Restricted Content

May 29, 2006
Sharon O\'donoghue
Running a small business is daunting, to say the least. Small-business owners wear many hats and are expected to be a master of everything: from hiring workers to coordinating group health coverage, from developing marketing materials to hitting sales goals, from assessing technology needs to making tax and insurance payments, from issuing invoices to paying vendors-all while keeping an eye on cash flow. Whew. Larger businesses may rely on individuals or entire departments responsible for each task. For small-business owners,...
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Entrepreneurs keep day jobs: Moonlighting helps owners mitigate startup risksRestricted Content

May 29, 2006
Tracy Donhardt
Inventions at various stages of development are scattered around Qamar Shafeek's ranch-style home on Indianapolis' east side. An unnamed doohickey attached to a curtain rod pulls drapes open and shut along with the sliding glass door. A voice box gadget tells the single father when the garage or side doors open, alerting him to his children's comings and goings. And a plastic pinwheel with tennis balls attached to the ends is making its way from a napkin-sketch idea to a...
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Good banking relationship can help business:Restricted Content

May 29, 2006
Ken Carow
Capital is the lifeblood of any business. But fresh infusions of money are particularly important for startup and small businesses, since they often can't fund new equipment, employees or facilities out of their cash reserves or profits. The top three sources of new capital for small business are owner's equity (33 percent) bank loans (20 percent) and trade credit (15 percent). Let's focus on bank loans and simple ways that small-business owners can improve their chances of getting a loan...
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  1. Can your dog sign a marriage license or personally state that he wishes to join you in a legal union? If not then no, you cannot marry him. When you teach him to read, write, and speak a discernible language, then maybe you'll have a reasonable argument. Thanks for playing!

  2. Look no further than Mike Rowe, the former host of dirty jobs, who was also a classically trained singer.

  3. Current law states income taxes are paid to the county of residence not county of income source. The most likely scenario would be some alteration of the income tax distribution formula so money earned in Marion co. would go to Marion Co by residents of other counties would partially be distributed to Marion co. as opposed to now where the entirety is held by the resident's county.

  4. This is more same-old, same-old from a new generation of non-progressive 'progressives and fear mongers. One only needs to look at the economic havoc being experienced in California to understand the effect of drought on economies and people's lives. The same mindset in California turned a blind eye to the growth of population and water needs in California, defeating proposal after proposal to build reservoirs, improve water storage and delivery infrastructure...and the price now being paid for putting the demands of a raucous minority ahead of the needs of many. Some people never, never learn..

  5. I wonder if I can marry him too? Considering we are both males, wouldn't that be a same sex marriage as well? If they don't honor it, I'll scream discrimination just like all these people have....

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