Regulatory Reform Clears Ohio Senate with GCP Support Behind it

Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) would require state agencies to review and reduce regulatory restrictions incrementally by December 31, 2022. GCP Vice President of Government Advocacy, Sante Ghetti, testified on behalf of our members in support of the bill in late February, stating regulatory restrictions should continually be evaluated and focus on consistency and predictability–-especially for small or middle-market businesses that may struggle to comply. 

As stated in the 2019 - 2020 Public Policy Agenda, GCP members believe regulatory challenges should not prevent future entrepreneurs from starting their own businesses and that policymakers should act to reduce the complexity of compliance to ensure enterprises are not disproportionately burdened. 

On May 8, the legislation passed the Ohio Senate. 

Among other provisions that were added to the bill that passed last week, the substitute version of SB 1 clarified the formula for calculating the net reduction of regulatory restrictions.

SB 1 now heads to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration and GCP will remain engaged.


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  • Next up: The outlook for 2016: Resources for small business

    The outlook for 2016: Resources for small business

    There are plenty of resources for small business owners as they plan for the New Year and years ahead. “As small business owners look to 2016, they should develop plans with clear objectives and measures of success,” says Greg Dooley, co-founder of Estrela Consulting.

    There are plenty of resources for small business owners as they plan for the New Year and years ahead.

    “As small business owners look to 2016, they should develop plans with clear objectives and measures of success,” says Greg Dooley, co-founder of Estrela Consulting.

    “Keep in mind and accept that the plan is likely to change; be flexible so that you can quickly learn and adapt as necessary,” Dooley added.

    Here are a few resources small business owners should keep an eye on or consider taking action on in 2016:

    • SBA’s resource partner network: This network comprises Cleveland SCORE, Small Business Development Centers and Women Business Centers. These organizations all provide free and low-cost business counseling. Resource partners are available that specialize in providing export assistance and government contracting assistance. Check out www.sba.gov/tools/local-assistance or call SBA’s Cleveland office at 216-522-4180 for more information.
    • Business Model Generation: If small business owners are working on their business plans, Estrela Consulting’s Dooley recommends reading “Business Model Generation”, specifically the Business Model Canvas.
    • COSE: Leverage resources available through the Council of Smaller Enterprises and your local chamber. Visit www.cose.org for more information.
    • Invest in continuing education: “At the beginning of the year, we’re all reading about trends and forecasts and what’s going to happen and what we should be aware of and all those kinds of things,” says Steve Millard, president and executive director of COSE.

    But he says that sometimes small business owners don’t take the time to get themselves up to speed on the different areas that can affect their business.

    “So a small investment in continuing education, a seminar, a retreat—getting away from your business for a little bit to think about the bigger trends for your business is well worth the investment,” he says. “Your business can survive without you for a day or two, but you should really take the time to sharpen the saw of the small business owner; it’s important to keep yourself fresh and also keep your business ahead of the trends.”

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  • Next up: RNC Illustrates the Power of Partnerships & How You Can Contribute to the Region’s Growth Leading Up to Election Day

    RNC Illustrates the Power of Partnerships & How You Can Contribute to the Region’s Growth Leading Up to Election Day

    Both the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia are in the books. The DNC made history by nominating our country’s first female candidate for President. And, after years of revitalization and careful preparation, Cleveland truly shined brightly at the RNC as state delegates, visitors, and media from all over the world raved about our city and the individuals and organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors who made the experience possible.

    Both the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia are in the books. The DNC made history by nominating our country’s first female candidate for President. And, after years of revitalization and careful preparation, Cleveland truly shined brightly at the RNC as state delegates, visitors, and media from all over the world raved about our city and the individuals and organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors who made the experience possible. 

    In the weeks and months ahead candidates for equally important local and state offices will also be making their case and debate each other on the issues; Clevelanders will vote on crucial local ballot measures affecting the business community; voters will ultimately have their say on Election Day.

    Aside from voting, you can contribute to Cleveland’s growth and momentum going forward. 

    The Greater Cleveland Partnership Political Action Committee (GCP PAC) is an important tool in our efforts to ensure the collective voice of our members is heard in state and local government. By contributing to the campaigns of officials who have demonstrated a desire to work with Northeast Ohio businesses for the good of the greater community, the GCP PAC helps advance policies and projects in line with the common goals of our members. 

    The RNC in Cleveland showcased our region with fireworks over Northcoast Harbor, dining in the re-energized Flats, and the use of our new world-class facilities like the Convention Center and redesigned Public Square. Our city’s revitalization is the result of productive partnerships and behind the scenes victories fostered through years of targeted advocacy efforts. Elected officials at the state and local levels played crucial roles in advancing much of the progress we enjoy today. But, there is much more work to be done. In order to continue this unprecedented rate of revival, it is necessary that we continue to build relationships with government officials that bring about meaningful change for our members.

    If you are interested in increasing the strength of our region’s voice by accelerating these developments even further, please consider making a contribution to the GCP PAC and be a part of the movement. Your contribution helps maximize the impact we have and ensures elected officials understand the policy priorities that are important to our members and helps drive investment in our region. 

    Our visitors witnessed the power of effective partnerships firsthand a few weeks ago. The GCP PAC helps our members realize those gains and reinforce the relationships that directly impact the businesses that serve our communities so well.

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  • Next up: Sales Compensation: 8 Ways to Build a Solid Foundation

    Sales Compensation: 8 Ways to Build a Solid Foundation

    Here are the eight things you need to know about putting together (and maintaining) a solid sales compensation program.

    Have you given much thought to how your sales compensation plan is structured? Have you even started putting together a plan for your sales team? Attendees of a recent COSE Strategic Planning Course roundtable learned 8 things they need to know about how to build and maintain a salesforce that will keep their team happy and motivated. 

    1. Link to your company’s goals

    Having a competitive sales compensation plan in place is a crucial part of how you manage your team. But before you set out putting your plan together, ask yourself a few key questions. How fast is your company growing? How fast can it grow? Do you have the cash to even grow that fast? Are you OK if a member of your sales team is making more money than you are? If you don’t have these basic questions answered first, you risk losing a member of your sales team who might not be happy with the direction of your program.

    2. The art of cross selling

    Is your sales team incentivized to cross sell to different products or departments your company might have?

    3. Pay for results

    Don’t get caught up paying for deals your salespeople have in the pipeline. Pay for results and the sales they’ve closed instead.

    4. Make your plan realistic

    Is your sales team able to look at your plan and think the goals you’ve set are attainable? If the goals are too lofty, your team won’t take the plan seriously.

    5. Keep it simple

    Don’t turn the plan into a contract. A 10-page-long program is no good. Make it clear and concise and include details that will motivate your sales team to get results.

    6. Compensation levels

    Include different pay levels for the top performing members of your team. This will keep them involved.

    7. Get everyone involved

    Don’t act solo when you put this plan together. Gather feedback from your team. They’ll appreciate being involved and will provide valuable insight as to what’s currently working and what’s not.

    8. Manage and adjust

    Don’t set your sales compensation plan in stone. Refer to it once or twice a year to make sure things are still working and the plan still fits with your company’s goals. As your business grows, you’ll need to make changes to the compensation plan. That said, don’t make constant changes to it throughout the year; that’s not fair to your sales team who are trying to make their numbers.

    Learn more about the COSE Strategic Planning Course and how it can help your business grow. 

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  • Next up: Sales & Financial Resource Directory

    Sales & Financial Resource Directory

    As a small business owner, you’re bound to run into some questions that leave you stumped. That’s what our Resource Directory is all about. In each of the four Resource Guides published by Mind Your Business each year, we will feature a Guide that focuses on a different aspect of your business. This month’s feature is all about the experts who can help answer your sales and financial questions.

    As a small business owner, you’re bound to run into some questions that leave you stumped. That’s what our Resource Directory is all about. In each of the four Resource Guides published by Mind Your Business each year, we will feature a Guide that focuses on a different aspect of your business. This month’s feature is all about the experts who can help answer your sales and financial questions.

    Download the Sales & Financial Resource Directory as a PDF or an Excel file.

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  • Next up: Sales is a Game, a Contact Sport

    Sales is a Game, a Contact Sport

    Running a small business can be a lot like managing a sports team, and understanding the relevant, performance-based metrics involved can help enhance your business’ success. Check out this Moneyball analogy and learn how you can buck conventional wisdom to benefit your business.


    Selling is a game based on numbers and, like many sports, the use of performance-based metrics has dramatically increased to help managers and leaders make better and faster decisions to improve results, to achieve growth and to win.

    In 2003, the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game was picked up by many leaders around the world in many professions and fields. The movie came out in 2011 and interest in the lessons and advice from the story expanded across private and public organizations looking for ways to attract, select, upgrade and retain talent. 

    RELATED: Get better at selling with these sales tips.

    From Challenge to Triumph
    There were several challenges that the team’s general manager in Moneyball, Billy Beane, faced in this true story that apply to leaders of many organizations. 
    Challenge No. 1: The reality of needing to rebuild the team after losing several high profile star talent to better contracts with more powerful teams.
    Challenge No. 2: Rebuilding that team with the constraints of a team owner in a small market with a tight budget. 
    Challenge No. 3: Thinking differently and creatively about how to be competitive against teams with more resources and more talent. 
    Challenge No. 4: Changing the fixed mindset, conventional wisdom and long-held beliefs and biases of many in the game. 

    The new strategy and game plan Billy came up with to rebuild faced immediate pushback and strong resistance requiring his persistent selling to convince the manager, coaches, scouting staff, public and most importantly, players.

    Billy’s four keys to victory were based on a game plan and model his competitors were not using at the time.

    Billy’s First Key to Victory: The use of statistics and analytics to evaluate player’s performance and averages to identify undervalued attributes that fit his model.
    Billy’s Second Key to Victory: Making sure his model is implemented.
    Billy’s Third Key to Victory: Changing the team’s priorities to change and align behaviors.
    Billy’s Fourth Key to Victory: Not allowing the old methods and biases to interfere with or sabotage the model.

    RELATED: Read more columns from Wayne Bergman by clicking here.

    Billy was introduced to the use of statistics and analytics by Peter Brand. During one of the many conversations between the two of them, Peter told Billy: “Okay, people who run ball clubs, they think in terms of buying players. Your goal shouldn’t be to buy players. Your goal should be to buy wins and in order to buy wins, you need to buy your run.” 

    Conventional wisdom focused on individual stats like batting average, homeruns, RBI’s, slugging percentages and many other non-quantitative measures and beliefs. All good but not consistent across the line-up and the full roster. The focus here was consistency across the team’s roster.

    Billy’s new model was focused on filling the roster with players he could afford with the statistics that show they can consistently get on base, play fundamentals and help score more runs to beat the “better clubs.” An example stat the data analytics focused on: On base percentage formula includes hits + walks + hit by pitch, the three major activities that a batter can be measured on, and can work to improve, to get on base.

    From Baseball to Business

    So if business and sales are games and were to focus on metrics and statistics to grow sales, what would that look like? 
    It is proven that better data and better metrics help business leaders and managers make better decisions. Metrics and data help align people and provide clarity to the actions and desired results leader and owners expect from marketing and sales investments. Cold hard facts on performance helps managers target a specific need for coaching and training in order to improve individual performance (like patiently taking more walks, etc.) and overall results.

    As in the Moneyball example, a barrier or obstacle many businesses face to unlocking the full potential of KPI’s and Performance Based Metrics is conventional wisdom, organizational bias and an overall resistance to change the status quo. 

    What are the equivalent business stats or metrics you could use like “buying wins,” or “buying runs” and “on-base percentage?” Here are five areas you may want to invest time tracking and improving.

    Conversion Rate. As in the Moneyball model, it is not about depending on the “home run” hitter (Super Star Rain Maker) that makes the plan, it is the consistent and sustainable on base percentage of each sales person. The focus on metrics helps each member convert more and better deals to meet current and future revenue needs. Where could you increase conversion rates?

    Pipeline Velocity. How many, how fast and what are the sizes of the opportunities progressing through the stages of your sales pipeline to achieve your revenues cash needs? Each deal has a unique value and level of complexity based on the buying process of each customer. Your team needs to be managing the progress as opportunities are qualified, prioritized, converted and invoiced through the stages of your sales cycle. What could you do to increase velocity?

    Sales Cycle. How long does it take for an average sized sale to “run all the bases” to be counted as a “run?” Are all the steps, all the activities, in your sales process clear, understood and necessary? Your sales cycle can start from initial contact to realizing revenues and could include tracking to the cash being deposited in your bank account. Your sales cycle lines up with your weekly and monthly operations schedule and your financial cycle. It is true that you will win some deals and some deals will be lost, impacting your monthly forecast. Where could you shorten your sales cycle?

    Profitability. As in the Moneyball example, there is the reality of budgets and costs with every deal. Not all customer revenues are of equal value as measured by profit. There are costs to acquire a customer, costs to make the product/service, overhead to recover, and costs to serve a customer in order to realize the profits from revenues. How could you improve profitability of your major opportunities?

    New Customer Acquisition. Based on desired growth rate, retention rate of existing customers and loss/churn rate, how many new customers have to be attracted and converted to achieve goals? What do you need to do to attract and convert more new customers?

    So can any of this help your business grow sales? 

    Many leaders follow professional, Olympic and college sports because of the competition, the loyalty to the team or the social and entertainment aspects from investing time and energy with other fans. For business owners, leaders and managers, there continue to be valuable lessons from the strategies, training and player development, and roster management presented in examples like Moneyball.

    The principles of data analytics and statistics, accountability for executing models and processes, challenging and overcoming the “status quo” of conventional wisdom and changing mindsets are all consistent with what sustainable and healthy businesses need from their owners and sales leaders.

    Wayne Bergman is a business and executive coach and founder of Consistent Business Growth. Questions or comments about this piece? Email him directly at wayne@cbgrowth-gfm.com.


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