Business & Economy
Social Media for Small Business PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 14:53

5 ‘P’s” for Your Social Media Marketing Success
By: Jeremy Juhasz

Small businesses and nonprofits face a different set of circumstances when it comes to social media marketing than their larger for-profit counterparts, namely, smaller budgets, fewer employees and a greater priority on traditional forms of marketing.

For those charged with marketing, the biggest first step toward making social media an integral component of the plan may be convincing your organization. Despite widespread use of social networks for personal connections, the leadership of smaller organizations often questions its effectiveness as a marketing tool and whether they’ll see a return on their investment.

I’ve developed and implemented social media strategies for a variety of organizations -- for-profits, nonprofits, and individuals. For all of them, I’ve discovered, when it comes to social media, it’s important to remember the 5 P’s:

1.) Plan - Identify what you hope to accomplish and create a strategy to take you there. Too many nonprofits and small businesses dive into social media because they “have” to and don’t consider a plan of action before they do so. Make a list of what you want to accomplish. Is it to gain more donors? Get a higher attendance at your annual fundraiser? Increase sales?

Make it a priority to identify goals so you can create the social media strategies for meeting them.

2.) Patience - Nothing happens overnight. It takes time to develop relationships and establish credibility with your brand and your target audience. Over time, events and a steady pace will win out. Rushing leads to mistakes.

The type of patience I’m referring to is a long-term mindset. When day-to-day activities seem arduous and, at times, unfulfilling, know that each day builds to the greater goal. March on.

3.) Persistence - You must be stubbornly committed to your goals and your strategy. Keep plugging away and give your plan a fair amount of time and analysis before you pull the plug. If you know the plan is a good one, it’s not a good ideas to panic and change course simply because you’re not seeing results as quickly as you’d like.

That said, circumstances change, not every strategy works, and you need to also be willing to recognize that it is time to try something new.

Be persistent in implementing your plan and in monitoring whether you’re reaching the objectives that will take you to your goal.

4.) Pay (what you can) - These days, especially on Facebook, it’s a pay-for-play landscape. Pay where you can, if you can. The results can provide the spark you need to drive a specific campaign or to increase your overall visibility to your target market. It can also be a very affordable alternative to other digital advertising options.

5.) Prioritize - I can’t stress enough the importance of time management. If your marketing staff consists of only one or two people, it’s essential that you stay on top of your social media strategy by prioritizing your quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily objectives and goals. Nonprofits and small businesses face countless new daily challenges. Sometimes we lose track of what’s most important. Take the time to identify those tasks critical to your success and make them a priority.

You can succeed with social media even if your organization doesn’t have the brand recognition of a multi-billion dollar corporation. If you remain even-keeled and set realistic goals, the return on investment will follow.

About Jeremy Juhasz

Jeremy Juhasz is a social media strategist at EMSI Public Relations and a panelist for the Tampa Bay Marketing Summit, (www.tampabaymarketingsummit.com) on Aug. 8. Jeremy has  years of experience managing social media marketing for the nonprofit sector, including launching social media and online strategies for  Feeding America Food Bank and Goodwill affiliates. His multi-media background includes work as a newspaper reporter and as a marketing professional.  He’s a graduate of Alfred University and attended Kent State’s School of Communication and Information, public relations.

 
Governor Quinn Announces State's Backlog of Bills Falls to $3.9 Billion PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Abdon Pallasch, Asst. Budget Director   
Monday, 14 July 2014 13:12

Lowest Point Since Governor Quinn Took Office; Strict Spending Brings Backlog Down from High of $9.9 Billion in 2010

CHICAGO – Governor Quinn today announced that the state's backlog of bills has fallen from a high of $9.9 billion in 2010 down to $3.9 billion as of June 30, the lowest point since the Governor took office. Five years ago, Illinois was home to the worst pension crisis in America and the state’s backlog of bills was on its way to more than $9 billion. Since taking office, Governor Quinn has made tough decisions, enacted major structural reforms and cut state spending by more than $5.7 billion.

“Making the tough decisions has moved Illinois forward," Governor Quinn said. "Today Illinois is in a stronger financial position than we were five years ago and we have more work to do to continue moving our finances in the right direction."

The backlog of bills is now closer to the typical private industry 30-day billing standard – about $2.2 billion in Illinois’ case – and is a direct result of the Governor's willingness to make the tough decisions including overhauling the Medicaid program, reforming worker's compensation and unemployment insurance systems and implementing major efficiencies such as closing and consolidating more than 50 state facilities.

In March, the Governor submitted a balanced budget plan that continued paying down the state's bills, protected education and public safety and secured Illinois’ long-term financial future, but legislators instead postponed the tough budget decisions.

Governor Quinn recently cut Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2015 state budget, zeroing out $250 million for renovations of the state Capitol. In addition, as part of his ongoing budget review, the Governor directed state agencies to identify additional efficiencies, including selling nearly half of the state’s aircraft.

The Governor also directed state agencies to cut 80 paid parking spaces for state employees in downtown garages – more than 30 percent of the total spots reserved. The move will save taxpayers more than $100,000 annually. He also again reduced lease costs for government buildings that will save taxpayers an additional $55 million this year.

Governor Quinn’s budget cuts over the past five years include shrinking the state payroll from 54,000 to 50,000 – the third-lowest number of state government employees per capita in the entire country according to Governing Magazine.

For more information, please visit: http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Documents/Bill_Backlog_Presentation_7.14.14.pdf.

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Governor Quinn Announces State's Backlog of Bills Falls to $3.9 Billion PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Abdon Pallasch, Asst. Budget Director   
Monday, 14 July 2014 13:12

Lowest Point Since Governor Quinn Took Office; Strict Spending Brings Backlog Down from High of $9.9 Billion in 2010

CHICAGO – Governor Quinn today announced that the state's backlog of bills has fallen from a high of $9.9 billion in 2010 down to $3.9 billion as of June 30, the lowest point since the Governor took office. Five years ago, Illinois was home to the worst pension crisis in America and the state’s backlog of bills was on its way to more than $9 billion. Since taking office, Governor Quinn has made tough decisions, enacted major structural reforms and cut state spending by more than $5.7 billion.

“Making the tough decisions has moved Illinois forward," Governor Quinn said. "Today Illinois is in a stronger financial position than we were five years ago and we have more work to do to continue moving our finances in the right direction."

The backlog of bills is now closer to the typical private industry 30-day billing standard – about $2.2 billion in Illinois’ case – and is a direct result of the Governor's willingness to make the tough decisions including overhauling the Medicaid program, reforming worker's compensation and unemployment insurance systems and implementing major efficiencies such as closing and consolidating more than 50 state facilities.

In March, the Governor submitted a balanced budget plan that continued paying down the state's bills, protected education and public safety and secured Illinois’ long-term financial future, but legislators instead postponed the tough budget decisions.

Governor Quinn recently cut Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2015 state budget, zeroing out $250 million for renovations of the state Capitol. In addition, as part of his ongoing budget review, the Governor directed state agencies to identify additional efficiencies, including selling nearly half of the state’s aircraft.

The Governor also directed state agencies to cut 80 paid parking spaces for state employees in downtown garages – more than 30 percent of the total spots reserved. The move will save taxpayers more than $100,000 annually. He also again reduced lease costs for government buildings that will save taxpayers an additional $55 million this year.

Governor Quinn’s budget cuts over the past five years include shrinking the state payroll from 54,000 to 50,000 – the third-lowest number of state government employees per capita in the entire country according to Governing Magazine.

For more information, please visit: http://www2.illinois.gov/gov/budget/Documents/Bill_Backlog_Presentation_7.14.14.pdf.

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Top 10 Ways People Go Broke PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 14 July 2014 12:54
Self-Made Millionaire Shares Common Mistakes to Avoid

You don’t have to come from a wealthy family, have the next billion-dollar idea or work 18-hour days to become rich, says self-made millionaire Mike Finley.

“You don’t have to be extraordinary in any of the headline-grabbing ways; what you need is the self-awareness to avoid wasting money on short-term, retail-priced happiness,” says Finley, author of “Financial Happine$$,” (www.thecrazymaninthepinkwig.com), which discusses his journey to financial literacy and the principles and practices that allowed him to retire from the Army a wealthy man.

“Money used wisely can give you the financial security associated with the good life.”

Finley lists 10 of the most common money traps that lead to consumers going broke:

•  Make the appearance of wealth one of your top priorities by acquiring more stuff. The material trappings of a faux lifestyle, as seen in magazines and advertisements, are not good investments either financially or in long-term happiness.

•  Work a job you hate, and spend your free time buying happiness. Instead, find fulfilling work Monday through Friday so you’re not compensating for your misery with expensive habits during the weekend.

•  Live paycheck to paycheck and don’t worry about saving money. Live for today, that’s all that matters. Have you already achieved all of your dreams by this moment? If not, embrace hope and plan for tomorrow. (Appreciating your life today doesn’t require unnecessary expenditures.)

•  Stop your education when someone hands you a diploma; never read a book on personal finance. Just about any expert will tell you that the most reliable way out of poverty is education. Diplomas shouldn’t be the end of learning; they should be a milestone in a lifetime of acquiring wisdom.

•  Play the lottery as often as possible. While you’re at it, hit the casino! Magical thinking, especially when it comes to money, is a dangerous way to seek  financial security.

•  Run up your credit cards and make the minimum payments whenever possible. Paying interest on stuff you really don’t need is a tragic waste of money.

•  When you come into some free money, spend it. You deserve it. By that logic, you’re saying that a future version of you doesn’t deserve the money, which can be multiplied with wise investments.

•  Buy the biggest wedding and the biggest ring so everyone can see just how fabulous you really are. Nothing says “Let’s start our future together” like blowing your entire savings on one evening.

•  Treat those “amazing” celebrities and “successful” athletes as role models. Try to be just like them whenever possible. As far as we know, there’s only one you the universe has ever known. Don’t dilute your unique individuality by chasing an image.

•  Blame others for your problems in life. Repeat after me: I am a victim. The victim mentality is an attempt to rationalize poor habits and bad decision-making.

“If you’re feeling uncomfortable with your financial situation, don’t just sit there in a malaise of ‘If only I had more money,’ ” Finley says. “Instead, use it as motivation for a better life; that’s why the discomfort is there.”

About Mike Finley

Like most Americans, Mike Finley was raised with no education in personal finances. Joining the Army out of high school, he realized he didn’t understand money management and began the task of educating himself. After 26 years in the service, during which he practiced the principles he learned, he retired a millionaire. Finley is the author of “Financial Happine$$,” (www.thecrazymaninthepinkwig.com) and teaches a popular financial literacy class at the University of Northern Iowa. He donates much of his time to additional groups, including Junior Achievement of Eastern Iowa and organizations serving veterans and current military personnel.

 
Governor Quinn Announces Illinois Economy’s Growth Highest in the Midwest PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Abdon Pallasch, Asst. Budget Director   
Monday, 14 July 2014 09:23
CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today announced that Illinois economy’s growth is the highest in the Midwest, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve, which has historically provided an accurate barometer of state growth, announced that Illinois will have the largest economic growth in the Midwest over the next six months. According to the projections, the Illinois economy will increase by 2.49 percent during the second half of 2014 (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, "State Leading Indexes").

The projected rate for other Midwestern states are as follows:

  • Ohio 2.30
  • Nebraska 1.94
  • North Dakota 1.68
  • Iowa 1.46
  • Indiana 1.51
  • Wisconsin 1.36
  • Kentucky 1.20
  • Minnesota 1.05
  • Missouri .98
  • Michigan .93
  • South Dakota .50
  • Kansas .60

Illinois has added more than 242,000 private-sector jobs since the recovery began in 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports. The BLS also reports there are more people working in Illinois today than at any time since February 2009 —the first month of Governor Quinn’s administration. Illinois ranks 3rd in the country for corporate expansions and locations according to Site Selection Magazine.

For more information visit: http://www.philadelphiafed.org/research-and-data/regional-economy/indexes/leading/ (click on “revised data”).

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