Protect Your Greatest Asset: Your Time

  • By creekmoremarketing
  • 31 Jul, 2015

Employees at small and mid-size firms spend more than half their days on necessary but completely unproductive tasks, according to a survey by business phone system Fonality . Roughly 14 percent spent their time duplicating information, including forwarding emails, calling to confirm information and dealing with spam and unsolicited phone calls. With so much time wasted, it’s difficult to know how to streamline your day to stay as productive as possible. Here are a few automation and productivity hacks to help keep your office focused:

Organize internal communication

Some business believe there can never be too much internal communication. If your company falls into this category, streamline your system by carving out a time and space to share information. Hold a weekly staff meeting to discuss internal matters or set-up an account on  Asana  to keep conversation in one place. The software works to unify team members without endless emails. Managers can set up tasks, mark them for follow-up, approve them or set-up a calendar as needed. It keeps communication in one interface without circulating chain emails for weeks to get one thing accomplished.

Go paperless

According to PC World, printer ink alone runs a whopping $20 to $35 per cartridge. But how much documentation do you really need to store in your office? Scan old files, contracts and receipts and store them in a secure cloud system like  Mozy . Such systems allow you to set security features and restrict file access to specific team members. Share links to download paperwork as needed or forward on to clients. Uploading paperwork to the cloud also serves as a back-up to your important documents and files.

Automate tasks

Which tasks do you find yourself doing over and over? Email marketing and correspondence often tops the list. Outsource your  email marketing campaigns  to AWeber or Mail Chimp to automatically deploy specific marketing messages when a customer buys a specific product or inquires about your services online. Consider hiring a remote, virtual assistant to deal with spam, common email questions and client requests to filter and organize into appropriate folders. Simply log in and field important correspondence without ever seeing the mess.

Lease equipment

Skip the hassle of finding a lender to purchase your office equipment and  lease it instead . Negotiate a lease with a maintenance plan to save yourself time and money servicing your equipment and furniture repairs. Want the latest technology in your office? It may prove too expensive to purchase it yourself, but could be well within reach when leasing.

Hold yourself accountable

What are you really doing online at the office? Services like RescueTime can track and chart your daily habits online and time spent on applications. For example, it can tell you exactly how much time you spent on a client call or email, and generates reports to see exactly how you’ve spent your time. It also sets up alerts to let you know when you’ve spent a specific amount of time on an activity, and can even block distracting websites that might tempt you away from real work.

Kevin Norvell
Web Project Manager

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By Robbi Meisel 16 Dec, 2015
LEXINGTON, Ky., (Dec. 7, 2015) –The Kentucky Small Business Development Center recognized its staff members for their achievements at the annual fall conference held at The Campbell House.

KSBDC state director Becky Naugle presented the year’s biggest awards. Top honors went to the University of Kentucky center at Elizabethtown, named 2015 Center of the Year. This award is bestowed upon the Small Business Development Center posting the highest results based on the annual goals.

The Morehead District SBDC received the Spirit Award for 2015. This award recognizes the center that demonstrated the SBDC spirit of service to the network and clients during the year.

The Northern Kentucky University center was awarded the Michael Rodriguez Traveling Trophy to acknowledge the largest goal increase achievement during the final six months of the fiscal year.

Lois Decker, of the Owensboro SBDC, was named 2015 Team Player of the Year for exhibiting extraordinary leadership and willingness to assist others. During her tenure, Decker has gone above and beyond in upholding the KSBDC’s mission of creating economic growth and aiding others in achieving success.

Tamela Darnell, of Murray State University SBDC was named 2015 Administration Person of the Year. Darnell was recognized for her diligent work on behalf of clients and fellow co-workers.

David Stevens, of the central office, was recognized as the 2015 Sutton Landry State Star. This honor is presented to an individual who is considered an example of excellence, makes a significant contribution to their center’s program and exhibits dedication to assisting small businesses.

Marge Berge, of the UK Central Office SBDC, was presented the first KSBDC Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her 32 years of exemplary service and dedication to the betterment of the organization as a whole.

In addition, 11 staff members were inducted into the exclusive Kentucky Small Business Development Center Million Dollar Loan Club. This honor is reserved for management consultants who help business clientele secure $1 million or more in loans to start, expand or purchase their companies. Statewide, KSBDC consultants aided entrepreneurs with more than $32 million in loans during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The 2015 inductees were:
Fausto Sarmiento, UK Bluegrass SBDC
Steve Heil and Patricia Krausman, UK Elizabethtown SBDC
David Oetken and Toni Sears, UK Louisville SBDC
Kim Jenkins and Mark Murphy, Morehead SBDC
Lois Decker and Chris Wooldridge, Murray SBDC
Rebecca Volpe, NKU SBDC
Miller Slaughter, Western Kentucky University SBDC
Gordon Garrett, UK SBDC Central office

KSBDC presented 11 staff members with service awards. Five years of service recipients were: Becky Marefat, UK Bluegrass SBDC; Vallorie Henderson and David Oetken, UK Louisville SBDC; and Miller Slaughter, WKU SBDC. Marking 10 years of service were Shirie Hawkins, UK Bluegrass SBDC; Gordon Garrett, UK Central Office SBDC, and Janet Flaugh and Toni Sears, UK Louisville SBDC. Celebrating 15 years were Dee Dee Harbut, UK Central Office SBDC and John Preston, Eastern Kentucky University SBDC. Hitting the 30-year milestone was Mike Morley from the Morehead State University at Pikeville SBDC.

Dee Dee Harbut, director of the Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center, presented the first annual Three Cheers award to Debbie McKnight. This award is chosen by the clients to recognize a consultant’s hard work with government contracting assistance.

“The impact of KSBDC staff’s hard work reaches every county in Kentucky. I am so proud of the contribution SBDC and PTAC staffs make to our ‘Common Wealth,’ and it is an honor to recognize their accomplishments,” Naugle said.

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 17 offices located throughout the state that helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. The KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .

Photo provided by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center –2015 KSBDC Lifetime Achievement Award winner Marge Berge with state director, Becky Naugle. ©KSBDC

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.
By Robbi Meisel 22 Sep, 2015
LEXINGTON, Ky., (Sept. 22, 2015) –The Kentucky Small Business Development Center announced David Stevens, principal accountant, as the recipient of the 2015 Sutton Landry State Star for Kentucky. Stevens was recognized at a private reception during the recent America’s SBDC Conference in San Francisco.

The America’s SBDC honors a state star from each SBDC annually. The award is presented to an individual who is considered an example of excellence, makes a significant contribution to their center’s program and exhibits dedication to assisting small businesses.

“I was honored to accept the state star award at the ASBDC annual conference. I want to give special thanks to our State Director, Becky Naugle, for giving me this wonderful award and opportunity,” Stevens said. “In addition to receiving the award I was given a special tour of Silicon Valley visiting Intuit, Google and Facebook. It was a very educational opportunity which I will never forget.”

Naugle said, “This award is a wonderful way to honor David’s dedication and exemplary service to the small business community and KSBDC.”

Stevens began working at the University of Kentucky in 1980 and joined the KSBDC as the principal accountant in 1989. He is a UK graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.

His dedication to crunching the numbers, proposal preparation and superb budgeting has contributed to the many successes the organization has realized over the past three decades. During his tenure, the network of Kentucky SBDC offices has been noted for extraordinary work, receiving statewide recognition for performance and productivity.

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 15 offices located throughout the state that helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .

Photo provided by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center - 2015 State Star Award winners at ASBDC Conference in San Francisco, CA ©KSBDC

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.
By creekmoremarketing 31 Jul, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky., (May 6, 2015)   – The commonwealth’s best were celebrated in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort on May 6 with an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding small businesses and small-business people. Kentucky Celebrates Small Business was presented by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, the Kentucky district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Lexington chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners.

“Small Business Week is big in Kentucky! These three organizations share the mission of supporting and encouraging small business and are proud to celebrate the wonderful entrepreneurial talent in Kentucky,” said Becky Naugle, KSBDC director.KSBDC selects Kentucky Pacesetter businesses based on how the nominees are changing Kentucky’s economic landscape by introducing innovative products, increasing sales and/or production, boosting employment and serving their communities.

This year’s outstanding Kentucky Pacesetters are:
• A.C.E. Compressor Services Inc., Mayfield
• Green River Appliance, Owensboro
• Stewart and Stafford Inc., Pikeville
• Sustainment Solutions Inc., Lancaster

Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes outstanding small businesses and entrepreneurs with awards across the country. The Small Business of the Year winner from each state has the opportunity to be acknowledged at both regional and national levels.

The 2015 Kentucky Small Business Administration award winners are:
• Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year: Scott Shinn, president and CEO of Sustainment Solutions Inc.
• Kentucky 8(a) Graduate of the Year: Kathy Mills, president and CEO of Strategic Communications
• Kentucky SBA Resource Partner of the Year: David Oetken, director of Small Business Development Center Louisville
• Kentucky Financial Services Advocate of the Year: Mark Strother, president and CEO of Commercial Bank of Grayson
• Kentucky Home Based Business of the Year: Nicole Mueller, president and owner of Startup Productions LLC
• Kentucky Woman Small Business Advocate of the Year: Michelle Gorman, small business specialist at U.S. Bank of Bowling Green
• Kentucky Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Shane Hamilton, president and owner of Service Maids LLC

“Entrepreneurs are the engines who drive our economy forward,” said Ralph Ross, district director of the Kentucky office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “Every year we honor them during Small Business Week, and this year we have an extra reason to celebrate. The Kentucky unemployment rate has dropped to 5.1 percent, and demand for SBA loans has increased 30 percent over last year. Our Kentucky entrepreneurs are hard at work, and we cannot thank them enough.”

The Lexington chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners strives to propel female entrepreneurs to spheres of economic, social and political influence through strengthening economic development, creating innovative and effective changes in the business culture, building strategic alliances and transforming public policies.

Their Winners’ Circle Award is presented annually to a Kentucky woman who has shown outstanding leadership, financial stamina and control, contributed to her community through time and resources, understands and resolves complex issues, and is dedicated to furthering women in business through personal support and mentoring. The 2015 recipient is Dr. Ardis Dee Hoven, past president of the American Medical Association and a Lexington-based infectious disease physician.

The chapter also presented the following awards:
• Woman Business Owner of the Year: Dr. Jennifer Fuson, owner of Lexington Women’s Health
• Member of the Year: Karen Boone, owner of Kreations by Karen
• Tribute Award: Ericka Harney, executive director of Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance
• Rising Star Award: Kelly King Bakehorn, owner and president of The Grand Reserve and The Barrel House
• Legacy Award: Kathy Gornik, president and CEO of Aperture Consulting

“With the latest census statistics showing that the majority of all workers in America are employed by small-business owners, we are reminded that small-business owners are the true unsung heroes of our times,” said Janey Moores, NAWBO Lexington chapter awards coordinator. “That same census also shows that women now own at least a third of all businesses in the U.S. As more and more women follow the dreams of their hearts by owning their own businesses, America grows stronger by the day and remains the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 15 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .

Writer: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-7668

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.

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