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Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2016
Small Business Saturday (11/23/16)
Holiday season is here. There is no denying the holiday music in the store or the twinkling, sparkling decorations beginning to take over. And in just a week, 'Black Friday' will be upon us. But, following Black Friday and gaining steam each year, is 'Small Business Saturday.'...
Where Will Technology Take Your Small Business? (11/16/16)
Lately it seems we hear a lot about the “Internet of Things.” Friends have thermostats in their home that allows them to monitor and operate it and calls them if the home gets too cold. There are video security system and baby monitors where you can watch them from your smartphone. ...
Enhance Your Own Efficiency through Ongoing Education (11/14/16)
The key to maximizing small business prosperity, productivity, and potential is efficiency. Small business owners often neglect to optimize their most important asset, themselves, as they are too busy devoting so much attention to processes and people...
Security Basics for Small Businesses (11/07/16)
Recent news has been filled with security breaches of large companies. Is this something that could that happen to your small business? Small businesses are quickly becoming a target of hackers and thieves intent on stealing credit card and other sensitive information. Both the data theft divisions of Verizon and the United States Secret Service saw data theft reports at small businesses jump 400% last year...
10 Things to Do Before Starting Your Start-up Business (11/02/16)
If you are beginning to think about entrepreneurship here are 10 easy steps to get you started. 1. Scope out your industry. Find the best industry to fit your style and talents. Your local library, the Internet, business schools or local colleges and industry associations can be a great resource for information and contacts...
Making Your Business Part of the Community (10/17/16)
In the business world today, one of the most widely talked about issues is corporate social responsibility. This is where a company works to have a positive effect on the public. Corporate social responsibility isn't just limited to large companies. Small businesses have a proud and extensive tradition of “making a difference,” on a local level. Businesses and companies often support and encourage their employees to volunteer in the community...
CAEDC Action Report (08/26/16)
Starting a business can sound like a gigantic task, but the truth is, it's not. Getting your business set up is really just making sure you have "all the boxes checked". Here we have broken these tasks down into categories to help you get started on your newest venture...
CAEDC Action Report (02/22/16)
Some of you know us and some of you don't. It's a bit of an alphabet soup and gets confusing. Let's start with CAEDC, which stands for Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation. CAEDC is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to retain and attract business, agriculture and residents to Cherokee County. ...
CAEDC Action Report (11/20/15)
The biggest shopping season is upon us and we here at Cherokee Area Economic Development would like to encourage people to shop locally! Have you taken the time to stop in our local businesses and see just what they have to offer? You would be amazed by their unique offerings as well as the variety available. ...
CAEDC Action Report (11/11/15)
It is very normal for business owners to believe that all growth is good and that growth is the sign of a healthy business. Of course we believe this...we hear it on the news, we read it in publications, and "experts" say it is so. Nevertheless, it's critical to have a plan for growth. It needs to be part of a business strategy. Without a plan, growth can actually cause more harm than good. Knowing the pitfalls and developing a good strategy will increase your chances of success...
CAEDC Action Report (10/28/15)
As you're reading this, the fourth quarter is upon us. As retailers, you know that this is the time of year that will make, or break, your year. There are a number of things you can do to help your sales this Christmas season.
 Word of mouth is the most effective marketing tool. ...
CAEDC Action Plan: More About Business Plans (10/16/15)
Business Plan use grew dramatically in the beginning of the dot.com era. They were submitted primarily to venture capitalists. Lending institutions necessarily have always required documentation that a potential borrower would be able to repay the loan. ...
CAEDC Action Report: The Role of Business Plans in Starting Companies (10/05/15)
A business plan is a formal statement of a set of business goals, the reasons they are believed attainable, and the plan for reaching those goals. It may also contain background information about the persons in your management attempting to reach those goals...
CAEDC Action Report (02/26/14)
Content marketing, what is it and what can it do for your business? Odds are, if you're doing any marketing at all -- you're at least accidentally dabbling in content marketing. It takes many forms. Some people call it custom publishing or branded content, others label it social or digital marketing...
CAEDC Action Report (02/14/14)
I believe some high school students have always been entrepreneurs. They have mowed lawns and babysat. Nowadays they create products and services that can compete in the open market. The economy has also changed. A college education does not guarantee a secure, well-paying job. Students need to be equipped with the skills to be self-sufficient in this new marketplace no matter what their plans are after graduation...
CAEDC Action Report (02/03/14)
The health of the US manufacturing sector has been at the top of the news agenda for some time. The United States has seen a dramatic reduction in manufacturing jobs over the past decade, and many of those jobs are not coming back. U.S. manufacturers face big challenges, including skill shortages, deteriorating highways and bridges, and higher taxes than most major foreign rivals...
CAEDC Action Report (11/25/13)
Indeed, the manufacturing industry has been touted by President Obama, Republicans and Democrats in Congress, and state leaders -- actually, just about everyone agrees that a strong manufacturing base is key to our nation's future success. Iowa is forefront in plugging manufacturing as it is the largest component of our State's economy. ...
CAEDC Action Report (12/20/12)
This is the time of year when we are most productive, just not at work. The holiday frenzy, shopping, parties, shopping, children's plays and concerts, church programs and did I mention shopping. It all leaves little time for productive work. But don't give up hope yet. I think there is still a few things we can get done before we all sing Auld Lang Syne. Here are the five things to complete as the year winds down...
CAEDC Action Report (12/07/12)
Iowa's workforce is constantly evolving. But can we help shape that evolution? Recently released data for 2011 demonstrates a growing divide between Iowa's workforce and the emerging jobs, 38% of Iowa's workers are still classified as low skilled. The job opportunities for low skilled workers however are only 18% of the jobs available...
CAEDC Action Report (11/28/12)
In these tough economic times one of the interesting situational contradictions that is present is a high unemployment rate while at the same time companies have jobs going vacant because they are unable to obtain qualified applicants. We are promoting several initiatives to tackle this problem and I will speak to these in the next several articles to appear in this column...
CAEDC Action Report (10/31/12)
Twenty years ago, businesses were wondering whether or not they needed a website. Ten years ago many wanted one but didn't know how to implement it. Today you need one. You need a fast, accessible website that tells people your story and can help you sell your products or service. You need a professional constructed and highly functional site...
CAEDC Action Report (10/24/12)
Many people long to live in a community where people know and care about each other. Surveys on happiness and quality of life indicate that the aspect most often correlated with satisfaction is regular contact with a network of friends-community. It ranked higher than income...
CAEDC Action Report (06/14/12)
I am often amazed that many businesses or communities have no idea what their brand represents. When asked, "What is your brand and what does it represent?", their responses range from "I don't know," to a long-winded recital of their mission statement. The next question needs to be "If I were to ask your customers or your citizens this question, how would they answer?"...
CAEDC Action Report (05/16/12)
Cherokee County business executives are our favorite people. They provide jobs, capital investment, and quality of life that make our County a great place to live. Cherokee Area Economic Development is charged with keeping the local economy strong. Part of that effort includes contacting all of our primary employers on an annual basis through the use of the Synchronist software. The purpose of these meetings is to be visible and accessible to primary industry in the Cherokee...
CAEDC Action Report (05/26/11)
This article was sent to CAEDC by Jack Schultz. He is the CEO of Agracel Inc., an industrial development firm majoring in rural America, and author of 'Boomtown USA - The 7 1/2 Keys to Big Success in Small Towns.' Please read the following article and be sure to keep in mind the great things that could be done with funds given to the Cherokee County Legacy Foundation. ...
CAEDC Action Report (05/12/11)
In the 1990s, we rode the tech breeze and in the 2000s we rode the easy money of the construction trade winds. In 2008, we ran into a major headwind. Each had its expansion and contraction in the economy. The most recent one being the most severe most of us have seen in our lifetime. Now we search to identify a structural trend that would provide the tailwinds necessary to create meaningful expansion in the economy...
CAEDC Action Report (05/06/11)
There has been much speculation and conversation of late about U.S. manufacturers considering "on-shoring" or "re-shoring," essentially bringing production operations back home. Certain American manufacturers have learned the hard way that they could not best meet the needs of their U.S. ...
CAEDC Action Report (03/31/11)
You know what drives me nuts? When I am ignored, like I'm barely visible. The silence is deafening. You have a vendor/partner who does very good work. But they have a cultural habit that is resulting in you deciding to look for new vendors. They go silent...
CAEDC Action Report (03/02/11)
Local economies are driven by small business. The vast majority of existing local businesses are small. Small businesses create local jobs, increases local taxpayers, and improve the quality of life for local residents. Business firms with fewer than 20 employees are the main source of job creation in the economy...
CAEDC Action Report (02/24/11)
Are you a victim of herd mentality? You've seen the shows on TV where the beautiful herd of wildebeests is stalked by predators such as lions and hyenas. The massive group slowly moves across the lush plain, grazing as long as the grass holds out. The lions, hovering nearby, carefully observe the herd, looking for the weaker animals that can easily be separated from the herd and turned into a meal...
CAEDC Action Report: Just vote (01/21/11)
I would like to present you with an opportunity to help and community and economic betterment. If we all do this it won't take any of your money and very little of your time. All you have to do is vote. The Cherokee County 4-H Betterment Committee is pleased to announce that the Cherokee Country 4-H Expo Center's entry in the Pepsi Refresh Project has been accepted...
CAEDC Action Report (12/17/10)
Want to create a sales increase in your business before the end of the year? Here are four simple keys that every business owner should be doing right now, but most aren't. First, identify the sales increase you would like to have. This seems obvious, but many owners can't tell me what percentage increase they would like to achieve by this year's end. It's also important to be specific about the amount of dollars you'd like to generate...
CAEDC Action Report (11/08/10)
It is that time of the year when we look to the citizens and businesses of Cherokee County to help Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation gather the funds necessary to continue to offer the support and services to help local business ventures, expansions and entrepreneurs achieve business success...
CAEDC Action Report (10/07/10)
We receive multiple web letters from different sources. These informational pieces are free of charge, are educational and very helpful to those operating a small business. We suggest that you sign up with Drew and get his helpful tips throughout the month. He always shares important marketing ideas some old time favorites and others that are new innovative ideas...
CAEDC Action Report (09/22/10)
The economy is a tough terrain to maneuver today. Business owners must be smart with every dollar they spend so as to reap the largest monetary reward. Advertising dollars must be used as wisely as possible. But how do you reach out today? Website advertising is essential today. ...
CAEDC Action Report (08/16/10)
Welcome to our new Cherokee Area Economic Development board members! At the June 30 meeting the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation said goodbye to two Board members who have completed their terms and have made the decision to leave the Board at this time. ...
Volunteers needed (07/29/10)
Everyday volunteers make a difference in our life, our community and our world. Just take a look around you and you can see their mark everywhere. In Cherokee County you can look at the Public Library in almost every town, Cherokee Regional Medical and Wellness Center, Western Iowa Tech Community College and Convention Center, Bacon Aquatic Center, the Cleghorn and Aurelia Community Center, just to name a few...
CAEDC Action Report (05/20/10)
While the economy continues to cause problems with many in the nation Cherokee County continues to adapt and to support business growth. Over the past month we have been fortunate to see economic progress march forward with the opening of two new businesses and several groundbreakings...
CAEDC Action Report (04/15/10)
Much of the information shared in this article comes directly from the Census 2010 website (www.2010census.org). I hope if you have time you will take a moment to go there and check it out for yourself or if you wish to speak to someone at the Census Bureau call 1-800-923-8282...
CAEDC Action Report (01/18/10)
It's not enough these days to simply say "Hi, welcome to our store." You should have a reason why your business is the perfect spot for them to have entered. That doesn't mean every day has to be some kind of Open House celebration-event. It just means that you should be prepared to tell customers what they are going to find today when they are in your business...
CAEDC Action Report (12/30/09)
2010 is just around the corner and this is a good time to review an earlier article from the Action Report. This will be a great year to learn something new to help strengthen your business. We recognize how difficult it is to find time in your already busy schedule to do some of these things. ...
CAEDC Action Report (12/16/09)
As the end of the year rolls around we all begin to take a hard look at the past year. It's a time to look for all the good things that have happened, count our blessing and to take time to thank friends, family and our community for any help that we received. It is also a good time to review what we have done to help our community, friends and family and make a commitment to better serve our fellow citizens...
CAEDC Action Report (12/14/09)
As the end of the year rolls around we all begin to take a hard look at the past year. It's a time to look for all the good things that have happened, count our blessing and to take time to thank friends, family and our community for any help that we received. It is also a good time to review what we have done to help our community, friends and family and make a commitment to better serve our fellow citizens...
CAEDC Action Report (12/03/09)
On Thursday, Nov. 19, we attended a workshop presented by UNI at the Northwest Iowa Community College Campus in Sheldon. The workshop was offered to government, economic development and citizens interested in helping entrepreneurs, a part of the business assistance program "myentre.net."...
CAEDC Action Report (10/23/09)
A "Downtown Workshop" was held on Wednesday Oct. 7 here in Cherokee at the Gathering Place. The program offered through the Iowa Department of Economic Development afforded us this free workshop to share information with retailers and civic leaders...
CAEDC Action Report: State to review Mental Health facilities (09/09/09)
In the last legislative session a task force was created to review each of the Mental Health facilities within the State for possible closure of one institution. This task force will be coming to Cherokee to on Tuesday, Sept. 15, on a fact-finding mission to gather the information they will need to present their recommendations to State leaders...
CAEDC Action Report (08/20/09)
This time every year there is a change in the Cherokee Area Economic Development Board of Directors as the three-year terms come to an end. Many times our Board members stay well beyond their first term as is the case with Mike Hunter. Mike, the President of Cherokee State Bank is retiring from service on the CAEDC Board of Directors after thirteen continuous years of service. ...
CAEDC Action Report : CEO Roundtable (07/30/09)
Northwest Iowa Development would like to invite you to a C.E.O. Roundtable. The purpose of this event is to allow you to network with your peers from the area, to learn from experts on pertinent issues and to give you the opportunity to seek synergistic opportunities with your peers...
CAEDC Action Report: International Food Technology Show (07/15/09)
I recently had the opportunity thanks to our membership in the Northwest Iowa Development who sponsored my attendance to be at the 2009 International Food and Technology Show in Anaheim, California. There were over 800 exhibitors in Anaheim and nearly 200 educational sessions with more than 14,000 food professional attending the show to hear about the latest food science and technology developments, learn about the newest products and trends, and build stronger professional relationships...
CAEDC Action Report (07/08/09)
Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to play the "Future Games". The concept of this game is to give individuals the opportunity to make the hard decisions that need to be made concerning economic development and then to see the outcome of those decisions, two (2), five (5), twelve(12) and even thirty (30) +years down the road. It was a great learning experience everyone involved...
Mark Buschkamp, CAEDC Executive Director
CAEDC Action Report