Tips for Successful Negotiations

We’ve heard a lot about the importance of “deals” lately, especially with the political rise of President-elect Trump.

A release from The Negotiation Institute promoting the upcoming Women’s Insight on the Art of Negotiation (WIN) Summit offers five critical tips for success:

1. Always remember: the cost of asking is lower than the cost of not asking.
We understand that it can be nerve racking to enter into a negotiation with a superior, but it usually pays off. As Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So how does this apply to negotiations? Essentially, if you don’t ask for it nobody will. Whether it is for a higher salary, more vacation days, or a better assignment, negotiate for your yourself. You want something, then ask for it!
2. Know what the other side has to offer and make your requests accordingly.
In other words: be reasonable. While it is smart to ask for a little more than you expect to get, don’t start your negotiation asking for way more than you could possibly expect to receive. If you know your company’s budget, ask for a salary increase within that amount. If you want a few more vacation days, don’t ask for two months paid leave so you can backpack around Europe. Have high expectations, but not so high that your request is out of the realm of possibilities.
3. Know what the job requires. Asking for more also means more work, make sure you prepare for your new responsibilities.
Just like you should know what your company can reasonably provide, you should also know what are your capabilities. We all want that raise or promotion, but we are not all necessarily qualified for it. If you negotiate for a job or assignment that you cannot successfully complete, it will damage your credibility in your next negotiation.
4. Always aim to do what is best for yourself and for the group, it leads to a more successful outcome negotiation.
We all enter into negotiations trying to get exactly what we want. However, it is important to remember that the other person or group has the same mindset. Therefore, your goal should be to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone involved. Ask for what you want, but be ready to make some concessions. If the other side is angered by how the negotiation is going, they not agree to anything at all.
5. Negotiation doesn’t just happen at the roundtable, all aspects of life and work can be a negotiated. 
You might think that you only negotiate at work, and that you only learned to do it as an adult. However, it is likely that you’ve actually been negotiating your entire life. As a kid you bargained with your parents to let you eat an extra piece of cake or stay up an hour later. In college you negotiated with your roommates about living space rules. When you got married you negotiated with your spouse about all aspects of your wedding. As a parent you negotiated with your child to get them to go to school or go to bed. So, take skills that you’ve learned from these negotiations and apply them to work. You just might be an expert negotiator and just not know it yet!

Razor Sharp: Roanoke Barber Rex Ottinger Reflects on a Lifetime of Memories

Roanoke barber Rex Otttinger has seen it all – a steady stream of loyal customers, an unruly flood and leaner times during the long-hair trend of the 1970s.

And feel free to sleep in his chair, but interruptions like phones and TV are no-nos at this barber shop. In fact, Ottinger has never had a phone in the store – and never will.

Read about this Huntington County success story in the new BizVoice.

I’m Crowdfunding Nostalgia, and It is Delicious

In the midst of holiday package arrivals at my house, I recently found an unexpected one: a 12-pack of sweetened sparkling water that I had crowdfunded almost two years ago (and nearly forgotten about).

How could I forget, I ask myself? This is no ordinary fizzy drink. This is pure nostalgia in a bottle; a beautiful, light-blue, tear-drop shaped glass bottle containing the sweet nectar of my youth: Clearly Canadian. When I was young and was allowed to pick a drink when we’d stop at the gas station, I always reached for Clearly Canadian (usually the Mountain Blackberry flavor). It was the best.

At some point in the early 2000s, it was gone. (The company launched in 1987, and was also responsible for a wacky space-age drink of the late 1990s: Orbitz, which resembled a lava lamp complete with gelatinous floating blobs, and was only on the market for about a year.)

Alas, I moved on with my life and mostly forgot about the clear soda beverage, until May of 2015, when suddenly, there it was in my Facebook newsfeed: Clearly Canadian was coming back to life! And I could help through crowdfunding!

I had only crowdfunded one other thing (if you’ve seen the Veronica Mars movie, you’re welcome); and it was such a fun experience to see that come to fruition, and to realize I had a teeny, tiny part in making it happen.

Crowdfunding is still a fairly young concept. It has been around since about 2008 and emerged as a response to banks lending less to artists and entertainers in the wake of the economic recession, according to a World Bank report from 2013. It has expanded far past entertainment, however, and the World Bank report notes that by 2025, the potential for crowdfunding investment is $96 billion a year.

And in Indiana, rules passed in 2014 allow Hoosier entrepreneurs to raise up to $2 million, and investors to invest up to $5,000 per company (the JOBS Act of 2012 dealt with federal rules for crowdfunding).

Of course, there are risks associated with crowdfunding. As an investor, sometimes things don’t go smoothly and you risk the company or product not being executed. That was definitely the case for Clearly Canadian. Expected delivery dates (September 2015, then October 2015, then November 2015) came and went. Email updates mostly stopped. Apparently there were problems with vendors and at one point the production facility shut down in the middle of a production run.

Early in 2016 there was an update, but again, nothing happened. I basically thought I’d lost my $30 (the base-line contribution for this campaign was around $30 for a 12-pack). C’est la vie.

Until earlier this week, when I received a shipment on my doorstep. I’m not ashamed to admit there was squealing and dancing on my part. I am slightly ashamed to admit the first thing I did was take a photo of my prized possession and post it on Facebook to make my fellow ’90s friends jealous. It worked, they were jealous (except for the one that also participated in the campaign. We did a virtual “cheers” with our drinks).

Do you crowdsource? Has it all gone smoothly? Share your stories! I’m interested to hear your experiences, too.

Experience Eli Lilly’s Humble Beginnings at Indiana Historical Society

If you haven’t been to an Indiana Historical Society “You Are There” exhibit, you need to rethink some things. They are always artfully done and make for an incredibly engaging way to learn history.

The new “Eli Lilly at the Beginning” experience is no different. I visited the facility in November for a “Getting to Know” feature in BizVoice (stay tuned for the January/February 2017 edition). Actor Mark McNees was quite knowledgeable, both in and out of character as Col. Lilly, and helped me see Lilly in a way I hadn’t before. Like many central Indiana natives, I’ve always heard about the company and its impact on the pharmaceutical industry — and its dedication to philanthropy — but I was admittedly ignorant about its founder and his humble beginnings. This experience allows visitors to interact with not only Lilly, but his first employees (he only had three) and his son, J.K.

He developed his lab in 1876 in what is the heart of today’s downtown Indianapolis. But the industry climate was quite treacherous.

“In the papers, they called Indiana the dumping ground for bad pharmaceuticals,” McNees explained. “So they were what we call patent medicines – not patents like Lilly would have today – patents were like snake oils. So anybody could say ‘I came up with this hair elixir’ and all you needed to advertise in the paper was a testimonial.

“A lot of times they would go to a family member, who’d say, ‘I tried Uncle Joe’s hair tonic and I grew hair,’” he adds. “So they would sell it through wagons or stores. There was zero regulation at the time. Also, people were making medicines incorrectly and often killing people. We dealt with things like belladonna (deadly night shade), opium, strychnine, things like that.”

McNees relayed that Lilly grew his business largely because of his reputation for quality and consistency.

For more on the experience, which is scheduled to run until January 2018, visit the IHS web site.

Tax Man: Ice Miller’s Mark Richards a 2016 Volunteer of the Year

It’s immediately evident that Mark Richards is passionate about taxes.

As a lawyer for Ice Miller, LLP, specializing in tax law for the past 30 years, he is quick to explain how taxes are essential to the Indiana economy.

Richards points to changes – from a cash to credit economy, and from brick and mortar retail to online over the last few decades – as evidence of how interesting taxes can be.

“I’m using that as an example to show how our entire economic system evolves and the tax laws have to evolve to keep pace.

Some would argue (the laws) haven’t done that very well, but the result is there’s always a new frontier, a new area that’s undeveloped, unexplored, new issues that come up. This is fundamentally important,” he stresses.

Richards has been a member of the Indiana Chamber’s tax policy committee about as long as he’s been a lawyer. He views his role as a source of support and advice to the Chamber. He has been integral to several major tax policy initiatives over the years, including the repeal of the inventory and gross receipts taxes in 2002, and, more recently, the elimination of the throwback rule…

Read the full story in BizVoice.

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Don’t Be Scammed!

scamOur friends at the U.S. Chamber sent along the following useful information:

Did you know that small businesses and consumers across the country are falling victim to a group of criminals that are impersonating utility representatives?

That’s why the Energy Institute is supporting Utilities United Against Scams (UUAS) – a coalition of utility companies who have joined together to safeguard customers from fraud committed by scammers.

These scammers are contacting business owners and consumers via telephone, mail, email or door-to-door and demanding immediate payment or personal information. They are also falsely threatening to disconnect or suspend utility services if immediate payment is not received.

UUAS and utility companies are working with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to identify, and prosecute scammers as well as raise awareness of these scams and educate customers like you.

Here’s how you can spot and avoid being scammed:

  • If you are contacted, hang up the phone or close the door, and call your utility’s customer service office.
  • Decline to pay any caller or visitor claiming to be a company representative using a prepaid card, a wire transfer or similar forms of payment – especially those requiring an intermediary.
  • Ignore suspicious requests for personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords, credit card numbers or Social Security numbers.
  • Delete all emails that demand immediate payment or personal information or that are from a company that is not your utility company.

Stopping scammers requires utilities, customers and the community to work together year-round. Through collaborative efforts like the utilities United Against Scams coalition, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that customers like you are protected from these malicious scammers.

‘Take the Long Way Home’: Todd Miller of Myers Spring a 2016 Chamber Volunteer of the Year

Todd Miller grew up in the small town of Twelve Mile in Cass County. Ironically, it’s about 12 miles from Logansport, where Miller resides and runs his family’s business, Myers Spring Company.

Miller’s journey, however, is anything but a short drive. In fact, at one point, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to be involved with the company that his grandfather started in a garage in 1946.

When Miller attended Purdue University to pursue a degree in engineering, he followed his musical passion and joined the school’s glee club. Traveling throughout the state and country with the group opened Miller’s eyes to the possibility of meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. As manager of the glee club, he met fascinating people and at one event dined with astronauts Gene Cernan and Neil Armstrong.

Those were pivotal moments for Miller. His grandfather passed away in 1985, and Miller’s father took over the company. Miller’s intention was to join the business after he finished school.

Read the full story in BizVoice.

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Dynamic Duo: Edwin the Duck Creators Named 2016 Dynamic Leaders of the Year

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck … it’s likely a duck – as the idiom conveys. However, if it syncs with mobile apps, teaches life lessons and takes the Internet of Things to a whole new level, it might be better described as a groundbreaking, transformational gadget the likes of which the children’s toy industry has never seen.

That was the hope when Don Inmon and Matt MacBeth, two innovators with minds for engineering and a collective desire to navigate the turbulent skies of the tech spectrum, developed pi lab and its flagship product – Edwin the Duck.

Edwin is a rubber duck that includes a Bluetooth speaker, a thermometer that gauges bath water, a night light that works in tandem with apps and much more, allowing children to follow along with interactive stories, play games and enjoy sing-alongs.

Tens of thousands of units have been sold (via online and brick and mortar stores like Amazon, Apple Store, Best Buy, Target and Toys ‘R Us) and are already in the hands of children around the globe.

Read the full story in BizVoice.

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Seeding Success: Sonny Beck Named 2016 Business Leader of the Year

Stroll through the expansive Beck’s Hybrids operation in northern Hamilton County and one will find no shortage of inspirational messages. Speak to CEO Sonny Beck for any
period of time and many of those same sayings seamlessly flow into the conversation.

In other words, the “words” are much more than terms or expressions that are placed on paper and forgotten. They are the driving force behind the largest family-owned seed company in the country – one that has experienced tremendous growth over the past quarter century.

Sonny Beck was born three years after his father and grandfather founded the company in 1937. That was a result of Purdue University offering three acres worth of this “great new invention,” hybrid seed, to anyone who wanted it. Sonny earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue, returned to the family operation a short time later and has led – or maybe more appropriately been behind the wheel of – one of Indiana and the nation’s leading business success stories…

Read the full story in BizVoice.

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