Ask a Video Producer: Pro-Tips for Great Productions

Videos have quickly become an important part of any marketing plan, no matter how small the business. Learn from the pros some tips that you can implement in your next production. And, scroll to the bottom of the article to watch the full presentation of this COSE WebEd Series webinar and for the downloadable PDF.

From a testimonial about your services to a how-to on a new product, videos are becoming the standard way to market a business. With a solid understanding of the production process, and these seven Pro-Tips, videos can easily become a routine part of your marketing plan.

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    Chris Karel, Master Teacher and Video Production Manager at Cinécraft Productions, was the featured speaker at COSE’s recent WebEd Series with his webinar on how to make professional-looking videos to market your business. Read on for a thorough understanding of the steps involved in video production and helpful tips that will have you making videos like the pros in no time. Scroll to the bottom of the article for the full presentation.

    Karel described a four-step video production process.

    Phase 1: Pre-Work First, you need to write a creative brief that identifies what problem your video will solve. A creative brief defines your target audience, key message, and call to action. Your creative brief will also identify the type of video you plan to create to best engage your audience.  The following types are the most in-demand: Testimonial, how-to, marketing-social and explainer. Lastly, your creative brief should identify the production roles that need to be filled (camera operators, a producer, set manager, editor, etc.), what part of the production process they fit into, and the fees for each person.

    Phase 2: Pre-Production In this stage, you’re going to take the creative brief you just developed and use it to help you with script writing, location scouting, planning props, finalizing budgets and other actions that are important to accomplish before the video shoot.

    Phase 3: Production - In this stage, you will physically create your content or assets by shooting video, taking photographs, creating graphic design elements and so on. Here you will set up lights, use professional audio techniques, rehearse, and direct talent to get the best performance.

    Phase 4: Post-Production - After shooting your video and creating other assets, you will edit everything into a final deliverable. In addition to choosing the best shots to support your message, editing typically involves adding special effects, music or sound effects.  Finally, you will export your finished video in the format in which it will be distributed.

    Karel offered seven Pro-Tips for creating top-notch videos.

    Pro-Tip No. 1: Use plausible dialogue - One of the keys to creating a professional video is to make sure the dialogue looks and sounds authentic. Ask yourself: What would really be said in this situation? What would the person look like in real life? If you’re creating a tutorial or describing a product, you can enlist subject matter experts to make sure your script uses the correct terms or names.

    Pro-Tip No. 2: Use a shot list - A shot list keeps the producer and the rest of the crew on the same page. Everyone should have a copy on the day of shooting to ensure the needed shots are taken. Shots should be numbered (so they can easily be found and referred back to), shot descriptions should be detailed, and preferred takes should be identified during the shoot.

    Pro-Tip No. 3: Have a makeup kit on hand - While you don’t need a professional makeup kit, your kit should be able to handle the most common issues: shiny skin, frizzy hair and hand close-ups. Essential items include:  oil-absorbing sheets, hand moisturizer, powder, hair spray, bobby pins, nail trimmers and a nail file.

    Pro-Tip No. 4: Always scout the location - Before the shoot (ideally a few days), find a quiet space, with natural light, and make sure you secure permissions so that you’ll be able to access the area when you need it. Pay close attention to the noises in the space—microphones pick up more sounds than the human ear so things like the hum of lights, an HVAC system, appliances, or the outside traffic can interfere with your audio.

    Pro-Tip No. 5: Use three-point lighting - Three-point lighting requires a key, fill and back light to help your subject stand out from the background. If you don’t have access to three lights, you can use a window as a key light and add a fill and back light as needed.

    Pro-Tip No. 6: Use good quality audio collection - Professional audio tools such as boom-shotgun mics and lavalier mics are essential. But no matter what you use, always make sure you are monitoring your audio the entire time you’re recording. This is the only way to identify noises not detectable by the human ear during the shoot that could affect the quality of your final product. If you’re closely monitoring, you can stop production and do it again when a problem arises. If you don’t have someone designated to monitor audio, you won’t hear it until you get back to edit, and by then it is most likely too late.

    Pro-Tip No. 7: Use a teleprompter if possible - Teleprompters are ideal for longer content, but it’s essential that on-camera subjects practice before the cameras start rolling. If you use a teleprompter, there should be a dedicated teleprompter operator to ensure this process moves smoothly.

    Understanding the following facts relevant to current video trends can help you create the most effective videos possible for your business.

    Fact No. 1: Mobile dominates - Over half of all video content created currently is being viewed on mobile. Plan for pocket-sized screens and fill your frame with close-ups. Make sure your text is large enough to read on a cell phone.

    Fact No. 2: Keep it short - Videos that are two minutes or less get the most engagement. Try hooking viewers in the first five seconds with a quick pace, fast edits, and by reducing the presence of talking heads. Karel recommended a three-act structure with 30 seconds per act (beginning, middle and end).

    Fact No. 3: Plan for Silent Viewing - Karel noted that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound and recommends framing your shots to accommodate text overlays. Create intrigue with something like a flash montage or animation, which is more evergreen than using a live actor and also gives you more flexibility to make changes.

    These facts and Pro-Tips were just the tip of the iceberg of what was covered in this informative webinar. Karel also discussed how to make someone feel comfortable on camera, how to provide appropriate actor direction and what to include in production notes, among other things. Click below to watch a video recap of the webinar. You can also check out Karel's slides in this downloadable PDF.

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    Next up: Proposed Federal Rules Could Impact Your Family-Owned Business

    Proposed Federal Rules Could Impact Your Family-Owned Business

    The U.S. Department of Treasury issued proposed regulations on minority discount valuations (referred to as the “2704 Regs.” after Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code).  The minority discount valuation issue deals with how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) values a partial-ownership stake in, for example, a family-owned business.  If the partial-owner does not own a controlling stake in the business—typically less than 50 percent—and cannot initiate a sale or liquidation of the business, then the value of the stake is given a “minority valuation discount.”  This is an important consideration when the IRS evaluates the value of business ownership for estate tax purposes, and any changes could have a significant impact on family-owned businesses.

    The U.S. Department of Treasury issued proposed regulations on minority discount valuations (referred to as the “2704 Regs.” after Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code).  The minority discount valuation issue deals with how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) values a partial-ownership stake in, for example, a family-owned business.  If the partial-owner does not own a controlling stake in the business—typically less than 50 percent—and cannot initiate a sale or liquidation of the business, then the value of the stake is given a “minority valuation discount.”  This is an important consideration when the IRS evaluates the value of business ownership for estate tax purposes, and any changes could have a significant impact on family-owned businesses.

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    This proposed regulation could significantly change family businesses’ succession plans and make it harder for family-owned businesses to transition to the next generation.  These changes would remove legitimate valuation discounts for estate, gift, and generation skipping taxes which businesses have used for the past two decades in order to prevent the IRS from overvaluing their businesses at death.  The proposal could further add challenges to family-owned businesses who are already dealing with complicated and costly estate and gift taxes.

    Want to learn more? 

    The National Small Business Association has arranged for Brian Reardon, president of the S Corporation Association and a senior advisor at Venn Strategies, LLC., to discuss how these proposed changes could impact your family-owned business.  Here are the details if you’d like to join the call:

    Call Information:

    Thursday, October 6, 2016

    2:00 p.m. Eastern

    Conference Call Dial-in: 1-712-432-3066

    Conference Code:  983852

    Will your business be impacted by this initiative?  Here’s how you can act today:

    Contact the Small Business Office of Advocacy

    The SBA Office of Advocacy is charged with defending the Main Street business community against harmful federal rules, and they need to hear from you on this issue, as they will be submitting comments on the proposed rule. You can share your thoughts with them at: advocacy@sba.gov

    Submit Your Own Formal Comments

    You are encouraged to submit comments to the Treasury Department before the end of the 90-day comment period deadline of November 1, 2016.  A public hearing on these proposed regulations has been scheduled for December 1, 2016 in Washington, D.C.

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    Next up: Prospecting and Lead Generation for Tech Firms

    Prospecting and Lead Generation for Tech Firms

    NEOSA hosts an annual, popular sales and marketing series for tech companies; our first seminar in 2010 was Prospecting and Lead Generation for Tech Firms.  Joining us to share their expertise were representatives from Concept Services, Lapis Business Solutions and Fathom SEO. 

    NEOSA hosts an annual, popular sales and marketing series for tech companies; our first seminar in 2010 was Prospecting and Lead Generation for Tech Firms.  Joining us to share their expertise were representatives from Concept Services, Lapis Business Solutions and Fathom SEO.  Each offered their insight into how a tech firm can develop and implement an effective lead generation system yo grow their business.

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    Next up: Public policy issues update

    Public policy issues update

    As we begin 2016, the COSE staff would like to take time to provide updates on a number of issues that are of high importance to our small business members. Some of the issues COSE has been closely involved with include:

    As we begin 2016, the COSE staff would like to take time to provide updates on a number of issues that are of high importance to our small business members. Some of the issues COSE has been closely involved with include:

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    Energy

    Ohio’s Energy Efficiency Benchmarks

    Since 2008, utilities have been required to meet certain energy efficiency benchmarks.  SB 310 passed last year freezing the benchmarks and required a study committee to give recommendations to the legislature.  The study committee called for an indefinite freeze of Ohio's clean energy standards and Gov. John Kasich's spokesman said the study committee's recommendation was "unacceptable".  Legislation addressing this topic is likely to be on the horizon in 2016.  COSE has taken a pragmatic, consistent approach when addressing the issue before policymakers.  There is evidence of savings for small business owners that take advantage of energy efficient programming and the standards have created previously unavailable opportunities.  However, COSE also understands that the levels should not be overly burdensome to utilities in order to keep costs down for consumers.  It’s worth noting the benchmark freeze will be in place for another year.

    HB 72 / SB 185:  Energy Special Improvement Districts (ESIDs) & Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Programs

    So often, while the desire to improve energy efficiency exists, the ready financing for projects and improvements does not.  COSE supports the following provisions in these unique bills that both address access to PACE programming in Ohio:

    • Allowing Port Authorities to start an energy district if they so choose.
    • Expanding the types of projects qualified for PACE financing.
    • And, not requiring businesses to be located in an energy district to access PACE financing.

    Our position has been effectively conveyed to the respective bill sponsors and SB 185 is being redrafted.  COSE is reviewing the language, will provide the appropriate feedback, and we expect a substitute bill to be introduced by Sen. Bill Seitz in 2016.

    Health Care

    Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs)

    While the Affordable Care Act has provided more access to health insurance – especially for sole proprietors that were previously unable to be guaranteed access – it has also increased regulatory burdens and costs – especially for “healthy” groups.  As many small businesses will be forced to transition to ACA in late 2016 and early 2017, we have been working to create new options.  A multiple employer welfare arrangement, or MEWA, is one such option that may provide some relief.  MEWAs are a form of self insurance that can be accessed by small businesses and that we believe could provide some alternative, more cost-effective plans to what will be available through the ACA.  COSE helped successfully advocate for language to be included in the state budget bill, now Ohio law, on MEWAs that expands the ability of organizations like COSE to provide access to MEWAs.  Rep. Jim Butler could include additional language on MEWAs in a separate bill that he plans to re-introduce in 2016.  COSE has provided him with feedback and we’ll continue to participate in any interested parties meetings related to Rep. Butler’s legislation.

    HB 248:  Abuse Deterrent Opioid (ADO) Coverage Mandate

    Mandates require health insurers to include coverage for specific kinds of treatments.  In general, they increase the cost of insurance.  HB 248 seeks to mandate availability of abuse-deterrent opioids that offer a hardened coating and a protective gel to lock in the active ingredients and make it more difficult to crush and snort the narcotic.  Under HB 248, an insurance policy, contract, agreement, or plan must provide coverage for all abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drugs if the policy, contract, agreement, or plan provides prescription drug coverage.  COSE is opposed to this mandate.  We support a more comprehensive approach to Ohio’s drug problem that includes education, counseling, treatment, and law enforcement.  While we believe HB 248 and the bill’s co-sponsors have good intentions, we do not support this legislation because it opens the door to additional increases in health care costs on small businesses.  In the words of one HB 248 supporter, “abuse-deterrent opioids are not a panacea”.  We are urging the state to continue focusing on reducing the use of opioids and using proven therapies for those that do abuse or become addicted.  HB 248 remains in the House Health & Aging Committee, but has not moved any further in the process.

    Labor & Human Resources

    SB 79:  Employment Application Questions

    This bill would prohibit employers from including on an employment application any question concerning whether an applicant has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to a felony.  COSE opposes this legislation because it can potentially open employers to liability in the hiring process for which the legislation has not adequately protected employers.  While SB 79 it was referred to Senate Committee in March of 2015 it has not seen any additional legislative action.

    SB 65:  Credit History

    COSE opposes this legislation as it would not allow an employer to take a person's credit history into account when making decisions regarding an individual’s employment.  Some employers deem this information valuable in the hiring process and we believe the employer should have the option to review that information.  The bill sits in the Senate Civil Justice Committee and has not received a hearing since March 25, 2015. 

    Rules & Regulations

    Business Filing Fees

    Every little bit helps, so COSE supported legislation that passed to reduce certain business filing fees charged and collected by the Secretary of State.

    Entrepreneur-in-Residence Pilot Program

    Sometimes it’s clear that government just doesn’t “get it.”  COSE has been working closely with the state to create an entrepreneur-in-residence program.  The goal is to put real entrepreneurs inside government agencies to work in tandem with the LeanOhio program to help improve state government processes to better serve and protect small businesses.  This program was authorized and the first group of entrepreneurs-in-residence have been named.  The entrepreneurs receive six sigma training, the agencies get help to better serve you, and you get your peers working to make government a better resource for your business.  COSE continues to provide LeanOhio and all the entrepreneurs with feedback on the agencies that they may consider working with to alleviate burdens for COSE small business owners.

    Common Sense Initiative (CSI) Representation, Toolkit

    Ohio’s Common Sense Initiative (CSI) has been a successful effort to get rid of old regulations and intervene on rulemaking that hurts more small businesses than helps them.  The goal is to ensure a state regulatory framework that promotes economic development, is transparent and responsive to regulated businesses, makes compliance as easy as possible, and provides predictability for businesses.  Two COSE small business members continue to serve on the statewide CSI Small Business Advisory Council.  Recent work has been focused on making CSI easier to access and help small business owners better navigate the state regulatory process.  We will be more aggressively marketing these tools to our members and helping CSI  to upload similar resources to their website in the near future.  COSE and CSI staff work closely together and we look forward to continuing to use this initiative as a way to alleviate real regulatory burdens for small business owners in the future.

    HB 77:  Home Improvement Contractor Registration

    HB 77 was introduced early this year and would require statewide registration of home improvement contractors.  In April 2015, COSE recognized the admirable intentions of HB 77 in an effort to protect consumers from “contractors” who scam consumers.  However, COSE members also encouraged further dialogue on this legislation with all interested parties going forward and formally opposed HB 77 as it was constructed.  COSE is concerned that the additional regulations HB 77 would impose on small business owners would not effectively achieve the intent of safeguarding the public from so-called “fly-by-night contractors”.  Since then two hearings have taken place on the bill and a substitute bill has been introduced.  COSE small business members reviewed and discussed the pros and cons of the substitute bill and remains opposed to the bill unless the state license program is: a.) voluntary and b.) exempts home improvement contractors from complying with additional requirements at the local level.  We believe this would actually better accomplish the goals of the sponsors and may even provide some advantage to credible contractors that are beleaguered today by multiple and differing requirements across municipalities.

    Taxes

    Income Tax Cut & Deduction, Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) Rate & Exemption

    Taxes are a sore subject for a lot of businesses.  And, small business taxes are different in a lot of ways than big business.  The Governor’s tax plan was controversial last year, but our approach was to stay focused on small business needs in that process.  We focused on maintaining and increasing small business owner business income tax exemptions and the way in which the personal income tax and commercial activity tax (CAT) uniquely affect small business owners.  The state budget bill reflected COSE Public Policy Agenda priorities and the final version of the tax package granted a 75% small business income exemption for the first $250,000 in small business income for 2015 and increases it to a 100% deduction beginning in 2016.  One COSE small business owner cited that when they filed their 2014 taxes they saved $6,250 on 2014 state taxes due to the first small business tax deduction which was at 50%.  Now, that exemption will double to a 100% exemption.  In addition, we staved off increases to the CAT tax and expansion of the sales tax to service companies.  And, we worked to maintain a reduction in the state income tax which affects most of our small business owners that are organized as pass through entities.

    2020 Tax Policy Commission

    As this Ohio General Assembly Commission reviews all current state tax policies in an effort to make recommendations for future years, COSE has already reiterated our positions on taxes with all Commission members and Sen. Peterson who chairs the Commission.  We will continue to advocate for small business owners using the priorities outlined in the COSE Public Policy Agenda as a guide.

    HB 394:  Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA)

    Most employers pay both a federal and a state unemployment tax.  Only the employer pays FUTA tax; it is not deducted from the employee's wages.  Without sufficient reserves when the economy took a hit, Ohio and more than 30 other states were forced to borrow from a federal trust fund to continue paying jobless benefits to unemployed workers.  Ohio began borrowing in 2009 and the state’s debt peaked at $2.6 billion.  The federal unemployment tax paid by employers was bumped up again on January 1, 2015 under the automatic repayment system for states that have failed to repay their debts.  This increase, on top of three previous ones, cost employers in Ohio an additional $84 per employee.  Rep. Barbara Sears and the Unemployment Compensation Debt Study Committee held hearings on the issue and Rep. Sears introduced a bill that suggests a fix for the long-term to both reduce costs to employers and provide the type of cushion required to avoid insolvency of the state’s fund from a future recession event.  Rep. Sears outlined the proposal before the COSE Advocacy Committee.  While we currently have not yet taken a formal position on this legislation, we will likely provide a recommendation to our small business advocacy caucus in the future.

    Workers’ Compensation

    Workers’ Compensation Prospective Billing

    Ohio’s workers’ comp system is one of only two state systems run by the state.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it needs to get updated every once in a while.  As part of ongoing efforts to modernize Ohio’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) operations, COSE supported legislation that is now law that transitions Ohio to a prospective billing system for private employers.  That law became effective July 1, 2015 for private employers. The switch to the industry standard of prospective billing provides many benefits, including:

    • An overall base-rate reduction of 2 percent for private employers;
    • Allowing BWC to better forecast the level of premium required to be collected each policy year;
    • Opportunities for more flexible payment options (up to 12 monthly installments);
    • Better opportunities for BWC to provide quotes online or via the phone;
    • Increased ability for BWC to detect employer non-compliance and fraud.

    Workers’ Compensation Successor Liability

    Can you imagine moving into a new space for your business and finding out that you’ve inherited someone else’s bad workers’ comp risks?  COSE led and convened interested parties meetings on this subject, advocated for change, and the General Assembly passed language that offers up a long-term solution.  The legislation was signed by Gov. John Kasich on December 22, 2015 and it will help to ensure entrepreneurs will not be penalized in the form of increased workers’ compensation rates, outstanding balances, or uncovered claims costs for assuming space that was previously inhabited by a completely separate business with negative claims experience; read here for more information on this victory for small business owners.

    HB 207:  Subrogation

    The bill passed the Ohio House in December of this year and our work will continue with the Ohio Senate in 2016.  COSE supports HB 207 and the goal here is to defer the charging of workers' compensation claims when a third party may be liable for the claim in an effort to keep workers’ compensation costs low for the employer.   

    Workforce Development

    Comprehensive Case Management & Employment Program

    The state budget bill contained $5M per Fiscal Year for the Higher Education Workforce Grant Program. The amendment adds provisions of HB 1 which provide the framework for the expenditure of those funds to make grants to students pursuing qualified degrees, certifications or licenses in in-demand jobs.  In addition, roughly 15 years after its passage, the federal government recently enacted the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA) which updated the Workforce Investment Act (WIA).  The state budget contained a number of provisions that began the transition of Ohio's workforce development programs to new WIOA requirements. This amendment makes conforming changes and aligns Ohio's employment and training activities with the new federal program guidelines.  COSE remains supportive of this workforce initiative, remains hopeful that it will help streamline the tools available to small business owners in Ohio, and we will monitor the progress made.

    Certificates of Qualification for Employment (CQE)

    The CQE program allows those who have a previous felony or misdemeanor conviction to apply to the court to lift the collateral sanction that bars them from being considered for employment in a particular field.  While only several hundred CQEs have been issued since the program’s inception, business owners – small and large alike – are always looking for greater access to the talent required to fill job vacancies.  One of the big concerns for employers in hiring an ex-offender, however, is the risk of liability.  While the CQE program provides Ohio businesses immunity from negligent hiring claims when the business is aware of the certificate at time of hiring, if the employer fails to take action when dangerous or criminal behavior is exhibited in the workplace after hiring and the employer retains the employee after such behavior, the employer can then be held liable for negligent retention.  COSE small business members are participating in talks with the Office of Workforce Transformation.  They Office of Workforce Transformation has expressed an interest in better understanding business owners’ workforce development needs – with the ultimate goal of understanding if there are improvements to the current CQE program that can be made to assist employers. 

    November Ballot Measures

    Ohio’s ballot has become a vehicle for constitutional initiatives that can make major changes to our state.  We have to remain vigilant on those issues that could impact your business.  We focused on four big issues on the ballot in 2015 and had success on each of those issues with the outcomes supporting our positions.

    • Issue 1, the state legislative redistricting proposal, passed with more than 70 percent of the vote.
    • Issue 2, an anti-monopoly amendment proposed by the Ohio General Assembly to protect the constitution from economic monopolies passed with just over 50 percent of the vote.
    • Issue 3, the Responsible Ohio led effort to change Ohio’s constitution to legalize medical and recreational marijuana was soundly rejected with 64 percent of voters opposing it.
    • Issue 8, the Cuyahoga County Arts & Culture Renewal Levy, enjoyed significant support from county residents, passing with nearly 75 percent of the vote.
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    Next up: Q-and-A: Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Talks About the 'Q' and NASA Glenn

    Q-and-A: Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Talks About the 'Q' and NASA Glenn

    The GCP recently sat down with Congresswoman Marcia Fudge to get her thoughts on a potential deal for Quicken Loans Arena and the impact that Nasa Glenn has had on Northeast Ohio. Take a look below at what she had to say.

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    Next up: Q-and-A: The Benefits of the 10,000 Small Businesses Program

    Q-and-A: The Benefits of the 10,000 Small Businesses Program

    Anne Caputo of J.A.C Business Communications discusses how the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program has helped her business.

    Anne Caputo of J.A.C Business Communications discusses how the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program has helped her business.

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    The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program is an excellent way to learn skills—such as negotiation, leadership and how to obtain capital—that will help your business grow. But don’t take our word for it. Mind Your Business sat down recently with Anne Caputo of J.A.C. Business Communications who is one of the graduates of the program. We asked her about what some of her takeaways from the program were, how she applied them to her business, and more. Here’s what she had to say:

    Mind Your Business: Why did you decide to apply to be a part of 10,000 Small Businesses?

    Anne Caputo: I heard about it and decided to poke around a little bit. I decided it would be a good thing for my business. It’s a family-owned business and I felt like I needed a little more business background. My expertise is in writing and grammar but when it came to running a business, I was not as experienced.

    MYB: Talk a little bit about what the program is like and what you took away from the program.

    Caputo: It was a great experience. It was very in-depth and challenging for me to just have to do numbers and things like that and take care of a balance sheet. What I took out of it is that I’m the one who is running the company. The decisions stop with me. I also learned that I needed to do more in working on my business and less working in my business. That was empowering.

    MYB: Did you end up implementing any of the skills you learned from the program to your business?

    Caputo: I did. I took a lot away from the owner, employee agreements, and job descriptions. I implemented some of that. I told my staff that you’re responsible for our clients’ projects; just keep me in the loop. It put the employees in a position where they had to take responsibility and also let them know that I was not going to bail them out. If a job is messed up, you’re going to be the one to call the customer and say, “I’m sorry we didn’t meet the deadline. No excuses allowed.” And be proactive, not reactive. Communicate!

    Another thing I ended up rolling into my business was that I needed to spend more time networking. Again, I was working in my business too much and not enough on my business. I went out more and was meeting with customers and calling customers just to check in, “How are we doing for you?” That definitely helped the business. I also started a newsletter and a direct mail campaign to stay more in touch with my customers and potential customers.

    It was just an empowering experience. It was overwhelming, but in a good way. I’m glad I did it. Every so often, I pull out my big binder I got from the program and read a section.

    MYB: What would you say to someone who is on the fence about whether they should apply to enroll in Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses?

    Caputo: I would tell them, “You’re where I was. You’re working the business all of the time. You need to learn how to work on not in the business. It will be the best decision you’ve made since you opened the doors of your business.”

    The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program was and is the best shot in the arm our business needed.

    Across the U.S., 10,000 Small Businesses Graduates have reported increasing their revenue by 69% six months after graduating the program. The deadline to apply is Feb. 23. Don’t pass up this free business growth resource that’s right in your backyard.

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