3 Things to Know: Vacationing as a Small Business Owner

Before you decide that you can't get away for some time off this summer, check out these three things to know about vacationing as a small business owner. It will have you packing your bags in no time.

Even small business owners need to take a break from their work from time to time. Since we are in peak summer vacation season, here are three things you should know when it comes to stepping away from your business.

The first thing to know: It’s always a good idea. Vacation time, paid time-off, unplugging—whatever you call it, it’s an important part of any workplace wellness program and an effective way to better your bottom line. With a little time off, morale can be improved, stress can be lowered—leading to lower healthcare costs, and your business can witness increased productivity—among other benefits.

The second thing to know: Your business doesn’t have to suffer. With the proper advanced planning and an effort toward blocking off your schedule, as well as making sure you prepare your clients (and staff) for your time away, you can make the most of your time off. Click here for four ways to recharge without neglecting your business.

The third thing you need to know: You don’t have to stop learning. Lounging on the beach, being confined to the car on road-trips, and hanging out at home for a stay-cation are all great times to get caught up on topics of relevance to your work and to your growth as a business owner. In fact, here are 11 business books you should have read by now—and if not then add them to your reading list for your next vacation. And, if you’re the one doing the driving, you need to multitask, or the sun glare from your spot on the beach is just too much, learn why audio books and podcasts are good options.

Speaking of learning, Mind Your Business would like to start featuring books, podcasts and other resources that have had a positive impact on you as a business owner, have helped you grow your business, or that you have personally had a role in writing, creating or producing. Contact us for more details or if you have a story to tell for this new series.


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  • Next up: 3 Things to Know: Success in Sales

    3 Things to Know: Success in Sales

    In our 3 Things to Know series we explore a variety of topics popular on the Mind Your Business site. This month we’re focusing on what our experts think is important to know when it comes to being successful in sales.

    When you own a small business, you are in the business of sales. Sometimes this is not a hat you like wearing, or a role that comes naturally. Luckily, our resident sales experts have thoroughly tackled this topic. Take a look at these three things they want you to know when it comes to having success in sales.

    First thing to know: Every salesperson or company should adopt a selling system that works well for them. This is the process by which you develop an opportunity from start to finish. Whether that finish is closing the sale or closing the file, you must have a defined beginning and end. Check out the flow of the selling system that Sandler Training uses.

    And, once you have a system that works for you and your company, it’s important that those involved in the process receive the necessary training. Proper sales training can mean the difference between keeping and losing a customer. Here’s what you should look for in a sales training program.

    Second thing to know: You must make people feel confident about their decision to work with and buy from you and your company. From managing successful transitions to being engaging and innovative, here are five tips to being successful in sales.

    Third thing to know: You don’t have to become a sell-out just to land the sale. Don’t roll over like a puppy dog; do keep in mind that the customer may not always be right. Don’t perform a “dog and pony show” every time you pitch your business; do subscribe to the line of thinking that sometimes less really is more. Keep the integrity of your business and your confidence high with these do’s and don’ts of selling.



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  • Next up: Bill to Prohibit Bag Bans Clears House Committee

    Bill to Prohibit Bag Bans Clears House Committee


    On Wednesday, the Ohio House State & Local Government Committee approved Ohio House Bill 242 (HB 242), a bill to prohibit taxes, fees, or bans on auxiliary containers like plastic grocery bags.

    When Cuyahoga County introduced and later passed an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic bags countywide, GCP supported an amendment to delay the implementation of the ban pending further examination.  GCP recognizes plastic bags are harmful to the environment but bans like these have the potential to drive up use of paper bags, which are economically and environmentally costlier to produce. In the case of the Cuyahoga County ban, GCP was also concerned about the potential impact on retailers that make up our membership.  For example, Heinen’s, a Cleveland-based, family-owned grocery store, could see costs for bags increase by $2 million per year because of the switch to paper.

    The GCP submitted written testimony supporting HB 242 earlier in June, urging lawmakers to further study how to reduce the use of plastic bags while preserving the economic vitality of Ohio’s small businesses and retailers.  You can read more about GCP’s advocacy work regarding this issue here.


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  • Next up: Energy Subsidy Bill Passes

    Energy Subsidy Bill Passes


    GCP has continued to encourage policies that provide incentives for utilities to offer businesses opportunities that leverage energy efficiency programming. GCP members did not take a formal position on all provisions within controversial legislation, House Bill 6 (HB 6), that aims to keep Ohio’s two nuclear power plants running.  GCP recognizes it is important utilities are provided a level of elasticity needed to meet state mandated energy benchmarks, but we also have strongly encouraged the continuation of those benchmarks to spur growth and economic development.

    On Tuesday and by a vote of 51-38, the Ohio House concurred with an Ohio Senate substitute version of the bill. And, the Governor signed the bill just hours after lawmakers sent the final version to him. Click here for a recap of the bill and the proceedings to this point.

    GCP businesses weighed-in on this initiative throughout the year and advocacy staff worked with high-level state officials to reinforce or position. Click here to read more on GCP’s consistent, pragmatic statement on the issue from last year.

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  • Next up: GCP Hires Consultant to Perform GCRTA Financial Analysis and Presents to GCRTA Leadership

    GCP Hires Consultant to Perform GCRTA Financial Analysis and Presents to GCRTA Leadership


    Earlier this month the GCP Advocacy team provided an update to the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (GCRTA) Board regarding its ongoing efforts to complete a fiscal analysis and economic forecast for the transit agency. Last fall, GCP assembled a taskforce of GCP member companies to guide this work. At a recent GCRTA board committee meeting, GCP’s Vice President of Government Advocacy, Alesha Washington, shared that GCP has hired a consulting group to complete this work. The team combines national expertise in transit finance and operations with a strong local understanding of GCRTA and its fiscal constraints.

    Since this work began in June 2018, GCP has actively worked with GCRTA leadership to develop an approach to studying the current system that will eventually allow GCP to make recommendations about its future, including the structure of a potential levy request. The first step of this effort was to secure a consultant—and now that a team is onboard, GCP will continue to work closely with GCRTA to produce a comprehensive and rigorous analysis. The GCP Advocacy team hopes to wrap up this work—which will culminate in a final report—in fall 2019.


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  • Next up: GCP Holds Seventh Annual DC Fly-In

    GCP Holds Seventh Annual DC Fly-In


    Last week, GCP held the Empowering Local Leadership Conference—it’s seventh annual DC Fly-In event. The conference was hosted in partnership with Northeast Ohio’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation—Congressman Dave Joyce, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and Congressman Anthony Gonzalez. Thanks to the leadership of the House delegation and their staff, attendees from across the region connected to federally elected officials and policymakers.

    Throughout the conference, attendees heard from a range of White House officials, including James Carroll, Director of the U.S. Office of National Drug Control, who spoke about Ohio’s ongoing challenges with the opioid epidemic. Andrew Wheeler, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, addressed the group regarding EPA support for local municipalities. Finally, attendees heard from a host of White House officials about community revitalization efforts like Opportunity Zones, which GCP has played a key role in locally.

    During the opening night reception on the Hill, Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman spoke and connected with local leaders. Day two of the conference convened on the Hill again with an Ohio Delegation Breakfast. Participants heard from a range of Ohio delegation House members, but also from national leaders like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Officials from the EPA, Department of Homeland Security, and White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council rounded out this year’s conference, providing valuable information about available federal resources.

    GCP thanks its sponsors for their support of this event, including leadership-level sponsors Westfield Group, Dominion Energy, MetroHealth, and BakerHostetler. Additional sponsors included CT Consultants, NOPEC, University Hospitals, and Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District.


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