Most home-based workers dont fit the popular image of a woman who provides childcare or sells crafts out of her house, according to new research.
In fact, a study of 899 home-based workers in nine states found that nearly 59 percent were male. The average home-based worker was 44 years old, married, had some education beyond high school and had been involved in work at home for nearly a decade.
The traditional view is that home-based workers are dominated by home knitters and quilt makers who fit their work around childcare and household responsibilities, says Kathryn Stafford, associate professor of consumer sciences at The Ohio State Universitys College of Human Ecology. But we found that most home-based workers are men performing traditional work in fields like sales and construction.
The findings of Stafford and colleagues at Purdue and Montana State universities also suggest home-based work has a strong economic impact. Researchers estimate the total income generated by home-based businesses in the states studied is $19.7 billion annually about 3 percent of the total personal income generated.
We found in Ohio, for example, that home-based work contributed more to total income than did farming, says Stafford.
The sample included home-based business owners, often referred to as self-employed, as well as those who worked at home for outside employers. The most common occupation among those surveyed was marketing and sales.
States included in the study were Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Iowa, Missouri, Utah and Hawaii. Although these states were selected due to their interest in funding the study, Stafford says theyre fairly representative of the United States, with the exception of the Southeast. Stafford says she is also involved in new research extending the study to all 50 states.
How to reach: Kathryn Stafford, 292-4564, Stafford.firstname.lastname@example.org
When an employee at Columbus Capital Fire Protection Co. slipped on a job and twisted his ankle, he couldnt drive to the pharmacy to fill his prescription for pain medication.
He didnt have to find a relative or neighbor to do him the favor, however; Capital Fire Protection sent help. This act of generosity actually saves the company money in the long run.
To us, when it comes to safety and an injury, there is no limit were going to go all the way, says Troy D. Gattshall, the companys director of purchasing and safety.
In fact, since the company gave it renewed focus in 1995, Capital Fires safety plan has reduced injuries and time away from work for employees so much that it cut the companys workers compensation premiums by $10,000 in just two years. In 1997, Capital Fire received a Governors Excellence in Workers Compensation award for its efforts.
Capital Fires primary focus is protecting its 62 workers from being injured in the first place. To do that, employees at every level work together to identify safety hazards and take precautions while theyre installing sprinklers and fire alarm systems.
Before each job, the estimator, project designer and fitter, or system installer, meet to discuss possible job hazards. Dangers include falls from ladders, being struck by falling objects and working in confined spaces where employees could be trapped or injured.
This meeting, whether by phone or in person at the job site, gives estimators a better idea of what a fitter is getting into and helps designers know what they can do to make a job easier and safer for the fitter.
All three of them have to go through the job together from estimating the job to signing off on it, Gattshall says.
The site-specific safety focus teams, along with other safety programs at Capital Fire, have reduced the number and severity of injuries at the company, resulting in less time off work for employees.
Having a better safety record has improved Capital Fires rating with the Bureau of Workers Compensation by nearly 50 percent between 1995 and 1998. That means money savings: Capital Fire paid $78,000 in workers comp premiums in 1995 and reduced that to $68,000 by 1997.
Weve worked with them for about the last five years, says J.C. Benton, BWC spokesman. Theyve taken a real aggressive approach at training for their employees, including bringing all their field employees in for a 10-hour training class run on their company time. Weve worked with them to incorporate a written safety program and assist them in updating it on a regular basis.
Capital Fire also takes advantage of programs offered to businesses through the bureau, Gattshall says, such as on-site surveys, a group discount with Builders Exchange of Central Ohio, and counselors and a video library available through the bureaus Division of Safety & Hygiene.
If an employee is injured on the job, Capital Fire managers and employees are prepared.
The last thing we want our employees to do is worry about problems, says Gattshall, explaining the companys procedures for handling injuries:
- Any time employees are at a job site, they know the location of the closest medical facility.
- The company keeps track of employees medical preferences, including the name of their family doctor.
- If an employee suffers a severe injury that needs immediate attention, we drop what were doing, Gattshall says.
Fellow employees call the company to tell safety staff the medical facility where the employee will receive treatment. Employees at the companys headquarters access injury packets prepared ahead of time for just such emergencies with the appropriate paperwork to send, for example, to third party administrators or medical providers.
They fill out the paperwork and fax it to the medical facility.
The intention is before the employee walks into the medical facility, they have in their hands everything they need. Our guy, all that he has to worry about is getting medical treatment, Gattshall says.
Not only do these steps help ease the process, Gattshall says, they also are corporates way of showing concern for employees.
We want them to get back to work as soon as possible. It benefits us to get them back to work. Its a benefit to them to get back to work, he says. We dont want bad feelings about anything. We want them to know were looking out for them.
How to reach: Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation, (800) 644-6292 or www.ohiobwc.com.
Where would you go for money and for marketing assistance?
TEAM America gets both from its bank.
In January 1998, TEAM America Corp. arranged a deal with National City Bank whereby some of the banks employees refer small business clients to TEAM America.
At National City, we look at ourselves as relationship managers for our clients. We try to match them with services that will assist them in growing their businesses, says Anne Jennings, vice president of the banks business services group.
For example, Jennings had two clients, a husband and wife running a local business, whose time spent on employment issues could have been used in sales and operations. Jennings recommended they use the professional employer organization services of TEAM America to handle personnel matters, and the two have repeatedly thanked her for the suggestion.
Theyve commented to me that through the benefits TEAM America offered, theyve been able to enhance benefits offered to their employees at a reduced price to what they were paying themselves, she says. They felt the money they were paying TEAM America to process payroll and other things was literally paying for itself.
While National City gets kudos from its clients, TEAM America gets an additional marketing outlet key at a time when the industry is just starting to make its mark, says Shankar Ramachandran, TEAM Americas assistant vice president of sales and marketing for the Midwest region.
What we find is the PEO industry, especially in the Ohio market, has fairly low penetration, Ramachandran says, adding that hes seen figures showing 3 percent or less of those businesses employing fewer than 75 use professional employer organizations. So theres a huge potential market out there. A lot of the reason the industry penetration is so small is there isnt that much awareness of these services as you would expect. People often dont understand what PEOs do and think of them as temporary agencies.
Through National City, however, TEAM America gets a referral from someone the potential client already trusts and a more promising prospect than a simple cold call can yield.
The thing that works best is if the relationship between the referring person and the client is a good relationship, Ramachandran says, so that when we call to set an appointment, the client is very interested in what we have to say.
Ramachandran and Jennings, citing competition and proprietary reasons, declined to say how many referrals have resulted from the partnership, which is still in a test phase. Ramachandran, however, points out that of those referrals that have become clients, all so far have stayed with TEAM America, and Jennings says National City has heard positive comments from its clients.
To make the partnership more successful, National City invited TEAM America to make a presentation at a breakfast of bank clients. In addition, National City employees have attended training sessions to better understand TEAM Americas services.
About 12 people are actively involved in the referral partnership; 10 others are learning about it.
The idea is not that theyre going to become experts on TEAM America services and go sell the product to their client, Ramachandran says. Its just so they can see how this might benefit their client and who would be a good candidate and who would not so they could effectively refer.
Profit margins are not guarded secrets at Excel Business Systems. In fact, President Mike Warren is so confident he runs a lean operation that he freely shows not just his companys gross profit, but its net profit after operating and occupancy costs, to prospective clients.
He says its simply a better, more honest way to do business.
Its such a shell game how we price in this industry, says Warren, whose Grandview Heights-based company has been selling office furniture for five years. I didnt like all the deceitfulness and all the hidden agendas. People are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and they dont know why. Its intentional that they dont know why ... I think the customer has a right to know those things. We have nothing to hide.
Maybe so, but will customers embrace or even understand this tell-all pricing strategy?
It would not influence me, says Bob Valentine, president of Design Collective Inc. in Columbus, who negotiates furniture deals for heavy-hitting corporate clients including Sterling Commerce and Cameron Mitchell Restaurants. But it probably would appeal to a first-time buyer. They might get the impression that theyre being more open on the cost of furniture.
It could get sticky if [customers] want to question different markups, Valentine cautions. Any time youre exposing the cost, I think its an advantage to the end user. I think youre making yourself kind of vulnerable.
Bucking the system
A desire to sleep better at night and enjoy his work during the day led Warren to explore open-book pricing for his business.
Furniture sales is just so adversarial, he says. At some point in the day, youre going to be fighting and arguing with somebody.
By breaking down his companys costs and desired profit margin, Warren found the pricing game became much less abstract and less confrontational. He could plainly show clients how much of an orders price went toward reimbursing Excel for purchasing products from the manufacturer, how much went toward Excels office and administrative expenses, how much went toward rent, utilities and insurance, and exactly how much fell to the bottom line.
We can figure up our cost, not to the penny, but to the dollar, Warren says. Our customers know we need to make a profit and were not embarrassed to show it to [them].
Excels pricing even takes into account the cost of collecting on an account thats more than 30 days old and specifically outlines the customers timetable for delivery and installation. Penalties can also be built into Excels part of the contract in case the project doesnt get finished on time, but Warren is quick to point out, Ive never had to pay one.
By having conversations about expectations, and how long it takes to pay, it makes the end of the project go smoother, Warren says. Besides, he adds, its fairer to get everything out in the open from the beginning.
Dan Crowley, division senior buyer for Time Warner Communications in Columbus, seems to agree.
Ive been in purchasing and buying for 12 years and working in inventory and Ive never, ever seen anything like that, Crowley says. I think its a great idea. When youre dealing with people, trust is a great part of doing business. When you know theyre disclosing that sort of information and laying it right on the table for you, it takes out part of the mystery of doing business with people.
Time Warner has been a customer of Excels for about a year, and in that time, has purchased a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of products from the company.
Its like buying a car, Crowley says. Do you really know if you got the best deal? This takes some of the guesswork out of it.
One of Excels competitors, Mike Gorman, president of Thomas W. Ruff & Co. in Grandview Heights, also compares Warrens lay-it-on-the-line pricing strategy to the car-buying experience but in a whole different way.
Do you believe $1 over invoice? Gorman asks. Do you believe $100 over invoice? You dont believe any of that stuff. I think its just a smoke-and-mirrors marketing and sales ploy. The marketplace dictates the price.
Customers dont need to make a decision based on what our markup is, what our efficiencies are. Its the product. Its the right stuff at the right price with the right processes around it. Free enterprise and competition bring the best value to the customer. I cant say it any better than that.
A harder sell
Warrens extremely detailed pricing approach has created at least one significant challenge for Excel. Its harder to work with office managers and junior purchasing executives wanting to gather price quotes for their bosses, who ultimately are going to make the buying decisions. Excels system simply is too different and sometimes confusing for lower-level executives to grasp.
We need to be in front of decision makers, people who are used to looking at profit/loss statements, Warren says.
He points to a recent bid request from Ricart Ford.
Theyve been talking to Thomas Ruff and Continental [Office Furniture] about this project for a while, Warren says. Now they have two bids from large dealerships and were going to upset the process because were going about it in a different way.
Even as an existing customer, Crowley sees the potential for initial apprehension by his higher-ups at Time Warner when trying to compare costs under Excels radically different system.
When I present it to my supervisors for approval along with other quotes, I think their eyes will open up a little wider and theyll say, What is this? Crowley says. Im sure it will take a little getting used to. I think its going to be a selling [job] on my part, too.
But in the long run, I think people will become more accustomed to having that relationship; people will be more accepting to it over time.
Warren began practicing his new pricing method on select Excel projects in August 1998, and only started using it on a more widespread basis in January.
I wasnt sure what the reaction was going to be, he says.
Warrens decision to try open-book pricing came easier once he spoke with other companies who have tried bucking traditional systems within their own industries. These trendsetters included Saturn Corp., the Spring Hill, Tenn.-based subsidiary of General Motors, and Gateway2000 Inc., the South Dakota-based computer retailer.
There were some parallels, Warren says. Theyre in huge industries that, after all these years, are changing how they distribute products. It gave us some confidence.
When Warren rolled out Excels line-by-line pricing structure, however, he quickly learned he couldnt convert everyone to the new system.
Not everybody wants to do it this way, he admits. Some people still want a bid. We have to do what the customer wants us to do ... but theyre crazy not to do it this way.
Gorman begs to differ.
Would I feel any better buying a copy machine from IKON if they told me, This is what I paid Toshiba for it and this is how much money I want to get from you for it? Gorman asks. Im still going to compare it to a Canon. A customer ought to question, Why do you need that much money? and Is this the right price from the manufacturer?
He could inflate any of those numbers as well, Valentine agrees.
All the same, Crowley remains fascinated by the whole concept.
I think its good for people to actually see all the components of whats involved in a business arriving at a price for an item: payroll, delivery, actual cost of the item, he says. Every step involved in getting the item to the customer, theres a cost involved in all of that. Its good when you can see the nuts and bolts of all of it. Its amazing to me hes going to take this step and disclose this.
Its obviously not the standard, adds Valentine.
So has exposing Excels financials been a good move for Warrens youthful furniture company? He says its still too early to tell.
Company revenues havent increased or decreased, for that matter due to the new system, he says, but hes getting more project work rather than single-item orders. That, he says, is a step in the right direction. In addition, Excel is on track to repeat last years $10 million performance, despite an office move that disrupted business. Its not about growing sales each year, he says. We wanted to make an impact.
Thats exactly what Valentine figures Excel is trying to do. Theyre fascinating to watch because theyre really trying to position themselves apart from other dealers, he says.
This move may accomplish that, since Gorman says Excels willingness to disclose profit margins and operating costs wont change the way Thomas W. Ruff & Co. does business.
Were not at all embarrassed by our efficiencies or by the prices we charge customers, Gorman says. I wish him a lot of luck ... but I just dont get it. I dont think its relevant to the customer.
Warren insists disclosure is, in fact, important to customers. And hes determined to make his new pricing system a success despite the initial obstacles.
Its hard to sell this way because its different, he says. You have a lot more explaining to do. People are resistant to change. But I know were trendsetters.
Nancy Byron (email@example.com) is editor of SBN Columbus.
When Paula Inniss started Ohio Full Court Press just four years ago, the company consisted of only her and one employee. Since then, it has blossomed into a full service digital print shop employing 32 full-time and four part-time employees. Revenues stand at approximately $3.6 million, showing a growth rate of almost 100 percent each year since the business began.
Today, Ohio Full Court Press provides services ranging from digital and full color printing to bindery, document management and fulfillment. Says Inniss, If a job involves being able to provide all services, I can do it.
Inniss credits her companys tremendous growth to several factors, the most important of which is a strong foundation.
I went into a business that I knew a lot about, she says, mentioning that her 15 years working with high-volume sales at Xerox Corp. taught her plenty about digital printing and quite a bit about big businesses. Still, it required more than her expertise to make the company soar.
It became clear that if we were going to do business with major businesses, we had to be more than a quick copy shop, Inniss says. Thats why Ohio Full Court Press is now positioned to provide a complete line-up of services.
Inniss learned early on to take advantage of some powerful mentoring relationships. One of these was Craig Taylor, owner of Marketing Services by Vectra Inc., who teamed up with Inniss to provide traditional printing services. Another mentor, Stampp Corbin, president and CEO of Retro Box Inc. and Resource One Computer Systems, taught her about the challenges of running her own business. In the beginning, Inniss says she sought out mentors such as Corbin, using a straightforward introduction like, I need you to mentor me. He and others did.
Last year, Inniss put all her experience and knowledge from mentors to work when the company signed a contract with the State of Ohio Department of Education, raising revenues dramatically.
My plans for next year are to have Ohio Full Court Press II at another location, Inniss says.
The current office will mostly likely become the hub or main office, with a smaller office at another location.
Written by Lori Murray, a Columbus-based free-lance writer.
Lois Fisher is a picture of perseverance.
When a July 1987 flood swept through Marion, severely damaging the entire town, including the 164-room motel, banquet hall and restaurant Fisher had purchased just two years earlier, she couldve thrown in the towel on business ownership. Instead, Fisher called in family members from across the state to help her and her employees clean and repair enough of the Harding Motor Lodge to keep it operating while she sought funds to restore the rest.
By September of that year, shed secured a $452,600 disaster loan through the Small Business Administration. Good thing. Since the building had actually floated off its foundation during the flood, the entire structure needed to be replaced. In fact, roughly half of the structure was torn down during the restoration, leaving just 99 motel rooms in the facility. Suddenly, Fishers income potential had been significantly reduced.
Once again, Fisher showed her determination to succeed in business. She collectively acquired and built about 100,000 square feet of office space, which she could lease to supplement her motel business income. In addition, she added a 30,000-square-foot medical office to her growing real estate portfolio.
In recognition of her ongoing business success, despite this potentially crippling natural disaster, Fisher was honored earlier this year with the U.S. Small Business Administrations 1999 Columbus District Phoenix Award.
Mrs. Fisher is truly one of Marions outstanding entrepreneurs, says Pamela Hall, president of the Marion Area Chamber of Commerce, in her letter nominating Fisher for the SBA award. She is extremely active in the Marion business community and is highly respected for her business skills and investment success.
Fisher is a founding member of at least four business groups in Marion County, including the Marion Womens Business Council, Entrepreneurial Alliance Inc. and South Marion Business Association and she continues to serve on the boards of these three. She is also on the boards of Leadership Ohio, HealthFirst/HealthOhio Inc., Marion Bank and the Marion Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Last year, Fisher was also honored with the first ever ATHENA Foundation Award by the Womens Business Council, an affiliate of the Marion chamber.
Nancy Byron (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of SBN Columbus.
Step into Scioto Downs, and at first glance, you might think youve traveled back in time. Fans view the races from a 1959 grandstand; in fact, the newest building on the site is the penthouse, which is more than 25 years old.
A 1976 Cadillac lumbers along the track as the start car for the horses.
And the assistant race secretary watches the action with binoculars in her role as clerk of course, using a tape recorder to note the position of horses during each race.
Dont be fooled. A behind-the-scenes look reveals an operation run with technology that:
- Brings in a diverse audience with simulcasting via satellite.
- Provides customer service with computerized betting.
- Assures accurate race results through television recording.
- Keeps off-site customers in touch via the World Wide Web and a call-in phone system for results.
Racings all of a sudden getting very up to speed on a lot of things other sports have already been into, says Anne Doolin, director of publicity and marketing.
Heres how technology keeps Scioto Downs on track.
A broader customer base
In 1959, Scioto Downs opened on Route 23, about two miles south of I-270. Nearly four decades later, in 1997, the track began offering patrons another option: viewing and wagering on other harness and thoroughbred races across the United States.
Simulcasting the transmission of other races to television screens at Scioto Downs via satellite brings fans race coverage from an additional 13 tracks during the day and 12 more at night. Simulcasting is available seven days a week, and gates open at noon instead of just before the evening post time for the live races.
The additional coverage enables Scioto Downs to satisfy more customers than it can with its own nightly offering of 10 to 13 races.
In the past, we were open for live racing, and they could only bet on harness racing here, Doolin says. Now, the thoroughbred fan who doesnt understand or want to learn about harness racing can bet on thoroughbred races all over the United States.
Scioto Downs races also are simulcast to more than 20 primary locations, with dozens more satellite facilities.
Simulcasting helps Scioto Downs in the long run. As other race tracks and outlets take Sciotos signal, more people bet on the races. That means more money is added to the pool at Scioto, making the betting more attractive. Simulcasting has the same effect on races elsewhere, Doolin says. Its sort of a snowball effect.
Technology coordinates the wagering for all the races. An electronic system by AmTote International, run for Scioto Downs out of a Grove City office, allows fans to bet with the same odds and the same payoffs as if they were at those other tracks. It also keeps track of the live betting at Scioto Downs.
Its hard to get an accurate count of how all these changes have affected attendance, Doolin says, because admission is not charged around the clock. Even though evening attendance is lower now, overall attendance is up.
The handle, or total amount bet, really tells the story. In 1996, before simulcasting was added, about $37.5 million was bet annually at Scioto Downs. In 1997, simulcastings first season, that figure exceeded $53 million; 1998s total was about $56.1 million.
In June, Scioto Downs made a move to reach yet another audience television viewers outside the Columbus area when it signed on with The Racing Network, which broadcasts racing via satellite to subscribers all over North America. The direct satellite-to-home service offers more than 20 harness racing tracks and 25 thoroughbred tracks in North America, as well as some from Australia and England.
Already, the track was reaching local viewers with Scioto Downs Spotlight, a monthly half-hour feature show airing on cable in the Columbus area.
Customer service and quality assurance
Technology also helps Scioto Downs better serve its customers. Self-bet machines, added approximately eight years ago, allow race fans to place their own wagers rather than using betting windows at the track.
A lot of people like the privacy of using that rather than saying it to somebody, Doolin says, noting that use of the self-bet machines has increased approximately 25 percent since simulcasting was added.
For the 1997 racing season, Scioto Downs Web site, www.sciotodowns.com, was up and running. Race fans can view results from the local track, updated about every third race.
I can tell people are using it, Doolin says, because if the interns are late posting results, I get hate e-mail.
The Web site includes general information about the track, drivers, trainers, statistics and schedules. It also helps the horsemen, who can check the Internet site before calling in their choice of race.
Another way Scioto Downs keeps fans updated is through a results hotline. Four phone lines hooked into a computer give outcomes of each race, designated by mailbox numbers in a voice mail system. The lines are used by horse owners and by fans who placed bets but did not attend the race.
Often at night, its hard to get in, Doolin says. At 7:46, by God, they keep calling for the first [race results]. Late at night, you have to keep trying, trying, trying until somebody hangs up and you slip in.
Technology also helps the race judges. Three cameras, all with different angles, record the races, viewed by the judges on television sets. The races are recorded for use in case of appeals.
Doolin says changes in the race bikes, which carry the jockeys behind the horses in harness racing, as well as veterinary care, nutrition and supplements for the horses are just as trendy as the technology changes that help run Scioto Downs, but the human factor remains.
The interaction between people and horses requires time, care and attention, she says. Thats something technologys never going to change, thank God.
Joan Slattery Wall (email@example.com)is a reporter for SBN.
- Women-owned businesses employ more people than all Fortune 500 companies combined.
- Women-owned businesses are the fastest growing segment of the economy.
Source: National Association of Women Business Owners
The Columbus NAWBO chapter has scheduled the following meeting topics for the remainder of 1999:
- Sept. 16: Branding How to Create Brand Recognition. This meeting, which begins at 11:30 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m., will feature a guest speaker whose expertise is in setting a product, service or company apart in a competitive marketplace.
- Oct. 13: Legislative Issues and Candidate Night. This dinner meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m., will target local and state candidates, challenging them to discuss issues that affect women business owners.
- Nov. 11: Tax Tips Heads Up for 2000! This meeting, which begins at 11:30 p.m. and concludes around 1 p.m., will feature Lindagrace Hickey, a partner with Whalen & Co. CPAs, who will explain changes in the tax law and share hints for better tax planning in 2000.
- Dec. 15: Are We Fulfilling Our Vision? This dinner meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m., will include networking, a holiday program and inspirational speaker touching on questions of personal and professional fulfillment as well as goalsetting for the millennium.
All locations are to be announced closer to the meeting date. For more information or to register, contact Programs Chair Tricia Smith at 444-7455.
Where was Dick Jacobs five years ago? I cant be the only one wondering.
Where was he when plans for the malls at Tuttle Crossing and Easton were announced and retail experts began predicting the demise of Northland Mall? Where was he 10 to 15 years ago when safety issues including a late-afternoon assault on a 75-year old woman in the parking lot of Northland and the shooting of a teen-ager boarding a bus at the mall began scaring away shoppers? Where was Dick Jacobs, the absentee owner of Northland Mall, when our community really needed him?
After all, the deterioration of Northland Mall has been long in coming. Sure, a new sign here, a new food court there made for nice, if short-lived, Band-Aids, but the deep, underlying gashes in the malls once-stellar image have never fully healed.
A new mall at Polaris wont kill Northland no matter how loudly or publicly Jacobs insists it will. Northland is all but dead now. Jacobs is just looking for someone else to blame for his own neglect. Herb Glimcher and his Polaris mall project have become the hapless scapegoats.
Funny how we didnt see Jacobs storm into town and stomp his feet over the roughly $30 million in tax increment financing sought and received by Les Wexner three years ago to build public parking garages and improve roads in and around his massive Easton development. Perhaps Jacobs hesitated at the thought of taking on a man whose net worth ranks 11th in the world despite the fact that industry insiders forecasted Eastons success would devastate Northland.
With or without competition from Polaris, Northlands fate as a traditional mall was all but sealed when Easton opened this summer. The aging, lackluster collection of stores located a few miles down Morse Road from Wexners new crown jewel just cant compare with the glitzy shopping and entertainment combo at Easton.
If Dick Jacobs really cares about the Northland community, he ought to quit fighting this ridiculous media battle with Glimcher and turn his attention to finding a new use for Northland Mall. Glimcher has already proposed some plausible ideas and even offered to finance them but Jacobs prefers to play the stick-in-the-mud role.
His inflexibility should be alarming to the residents and businesses of the Northland area. Theyre the ones who will truly suffer if Northland Mall is reduced to empty, boarded up storefronts and a vacant, weed-strewn parking lot simply because Jacobs insisted on going down with the ship instead of steering it onto a better course.
There are plenty of alternative uses for a sizable chunk of real estate like Northland Mall, which also happens to be located near a major highway. Glimcher has mentioned a hotel and conference center or a Lenox Town Center-type development.
Both are fine ideas. Both have the potential to be lucrative investments. Both are better than a last-ditch effort to save Northland Mall with an overpriced facelift. Northland Mall is much farther gone than that. The writing has been on the wall for years. Dick Jacobs just chose to ignore it and now its too late. Shame on him. The Northland area deserves better than that.
Nancy Byron (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor of SBN Columbus.
Karl Insani distinctly remembers Ross Products 1993 sales awards ceremony.
The then-vice president of sales for the Columbus-based company was master of ceremonies at the San Diego event. Insani wasnt feeling well that day, so he took a breather after rehearsals while his crew set things up.
He skipped dinner, then returned in his tuxedo ready to make the presentations.
I went to the preparation area to go on stage, and I was just in a corner of the room by myself and slithered down to the ground, Insani says. That was it; and the next thing I knew there were people trying to carry me.
Insani had suffered a heart attack and was taken to a nearby heart hospital before he was transferred home to Grant Medical Center to continue his recovery.
Insani had never had heart trouble before.
Hed also never had an exercise regimen.
It was no surprise, then, that less than a month into his rehabilitation program at Grant, he wasnt making much progress.
Of course I felt like I was the worlds biggest wimp and had not given any thought at all to going into a physical exercise program, he says. But when a nurse recommended intensive one-on-one training, he agreed and began working with Mark Mayes, president of Fitness Resources Inc. of Columbus.
I didnt know what was motivating me except I didnt want to die, Insani says.
Six weeks into the exercise program, he started to see definite improvement, he says.
I started having more energy and saw that my appetite picked up, but I didnt worry about it because I knew I was exercising, he says.
A few short months later, hed face another problem. He returned to his regular work routine, which included lots of travel 60 percent of his time, in fact.
How would he keep up the three-times-per-week exercise training program that was bringing back his health?
First of all, you make the commitment that you want to be able to live your life to the fullest, says Insani, 52, who recently retired and does consulting work, and if you want to do that, youve got to make exercise part of that. Doing it when you travel is just proving to yourself that youre serious about this.
Step by step
Insani, who admits he could not have been as successful at exercising if he did not have a personal trainer, says his travel would have been a definite obstacle had he not found ways to continue exercising on the road.
I flew everywhere all areas of the country, coast to coast, he says.
Preparing a client to exercise while traveling is key to Mayes work.
Were basically trying to teach people how to exercise properly, Mayes says. Our whole goal is to educate the person so they can go off individually.
Mayes and Insani offer the following advice to business executives who want to keep up an exercise program while traveling:
n There are things you can take with you in the suitcase and you can work out in the room, Mayes says.
One of Mayes clients, who often travels to Hong Kong, takes running shoes and exercises by doing laps up and down the stairs at his hotel. Dynabands, rubber tubing that allows the individual to work the upper body, are another possibility. There also are inflatable weights that can be packed and filled with water before use, Mayes says.
You can do things in your room like using chairs and doing dips between the chairs to work the triceps or like doing types of pushups or types of squats, he says.
- Make arrangements to stay at hotels that have fitness rooms or that have agreements with local fitness centers for day rates.
I never found a hotel that wasnt willing to drive me there in their van, Insani says.
- Schedule exercise into your daily travel routine.
Once you make the commitment youre going to do it, its no more than saying, Ive got a 3 oclock meeting, Insani says. Id say be flexible in your schedule; dont say, I have to work out at 6 in the morning.
Insani was motivated knowing hed return from trips to his regular training with Mayes.
He didnt expect me to lose ground because I was out of town for 10 days, Insani says. He knew I was very goal-oriented, so he used that to help me.
Insani says hed often exercise in the afternoon, and when hed arrive to a dinner banquet where hed have to make a speech, hed hear people regretting they had spent the previous two hours in the bar or munching.
Quickly you see, by observing people you are with, you are feeling a lot better about yourself and what youve got to do, and its because you allowed your body to exercise rather than sitting there like mashed potatoes, Insani says. That would be one of the bigger motivators to do it while youre on the road.
- Watch your eating, which is 50 percent of the fitness equation, Mayes says.
This tip is one of the hardest for executives who travel, Mayes admits.
A lot of times theyre in a meeting and theyre served [a meal]. They dont pick out what they want, he says. If youre in a situation where you cant pick stuff, I would say use moderation. You have to eat something. Try to pick whatevers best. Then when youre away from the meeting, try to get something healthier.
- Drink plenty of water.
Flying can dehydrate you anyway. Thats one of the reasons you have jet lag, he says.
The old adage of drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses of water is especially hard to fill while traveling, he says.
I tell clients to get a liter bottle and carry it with them, he says, adding that executives could keep it in their hotel room. At least that way you can physically see what youre drinking. If you rely on drinking fountains or just drinking from glasses, youll typically not get enough.
- Find a fitness professional in the area where you are traveling. One place to do this is through the American Council on Exercise, Mayes says. Search geographically by state at the councils Web site, www.acefitness.org/profreg, or call (800) 825-3636.
In the end, Insani says, the ability to exercise while traveling helped him continue his exercise regimen and improve his health.
His doctor has stopped prescribing heart medications for him, and his annual stress tests are a breeze. Hes progressed from a limit of three minutes on an exercise bike or treadmill to an hour. He can do 200 sit-ups nonstop, where previously he was proud if he could muster five. Mayes says Insani can lift weights that would be difficult for men 20 to 30 years his junior.
I try to dwell on the fact that the energy has picked up greatly, Insani says. Im pleased with my body image. Im toned. I dont feel like a weakling. I dont get colds and flus like I used to. Your self-confidence builds up when you have a good image of yourself.
Mayes credits Insanis success to his gung-ho attitude, but he says any exercise program, especially for an executive who travels often, can be successful with a bit of dedication.
Nothings easy, he says. Theyre going to have to take some time to plan this out. I dont think it takes a lot of planning, but it does take some.
Joan Slattery Wall (email@example.com) is a reporter for SBN.