Category Archives: General

Dialing Changes Coming to Southern Indiana in Early 2015



How you dial out on your your cellphone or land line phone will be affected by some changes coming in early 2015. Our friends at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce sent out this great summary on the upcoming dialing changes that will affect the southern third of our state. Take a moment to read through and check out the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) web site or view their FAQs at

We, and many others, have told you about the new area code coming to the southern third of our state. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, and its IN 812 industry group, prepared the following update (including effective dates and equipment upgrade procedures, if necessary) for Indiana Chamber members and the broader community.Consumer Counselor, and its IN 812 industry group, prepared the following update (including effective dates and equipment upgrade procedures, if necessary) for Indiana Chamber members and the broader community.

To ensure a continuing supply of telephone numbers, the new 930 area code will be added to the area served by 812. The new 930 area code will serve the same geographic area currently served by the existing 812 area code, which generally covers the southern third of the state of Indiana serving communities such as Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, New Albany and Terre Haute. This is known as an area code overlay.

What is an area code overlay?

An overlay is the addition of another area code (930) to the same geographic region as an existing area code (812). An overlay does not require customers to change their existing area code.

How does this affect Chamber members?

As a result of the overlay, a new local dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number. This means that all local calls in the 812 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using area code + telephone number.

Chamber members that have services and equipment currently located in the 812 area code and programmed to dial only seven digits must be updated or reprogrammed to dial area code + telephone number for all calls in the 812/930 area code.

What will be the new dialing procedure?

To complete local calls, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number. This means that all calls in the 812 area code that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using area code + telephone number. The same dialing procedure will apply to telephone numbers assigned to the new 930 area code.

When will the change begin?

Beginning February 7, 2015, you must use the new dialing procedures, as described above for all calls. After this date, if you do not use the new dialing procedures, your calls will not be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again.

Reprogramming of alarm equipment should take place between March 1, 2014 and February 7, 2015. This period allows either the old or new dialing procedure to be used to complete calls. All chamber members must make their programming changes during this period.

To enable you to verify that equipment can complete calls to the new 930 area code, a special test number, 930-930-1930, will be in service beginning July 7, 2014 and it will remain active through April 7, 2015.

Beginning March 7, 2015, new telephone lines or services may be assigned numbers using the new 930 area code.

What will remain the same?

• Your telephone number, including current area code, will not change.

• The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change due to the overlay.

• What is a local call now will remain a local call regardless of the number of digits dialed.

• You can still dial just three digits to reach 911.

• If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are currently available in your community, you will still dial these codes with just three digits.

Who may you contact with questions?

Customers with questions about the dialing procedure change should be directed to their local service provider, or they can visit the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) web site.

Start Strong: Indiana Business Taxes for New and Small Businesses

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce is pleased to share this opportunity with our area businesses.  If you are a new or small business, we encourage you to attend the September 4th presentation offered here in Bloomington.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently offered a sobering statistic for anyone following their business dreams: forty-nine percent of businesses fail in the first five years.

download (1)One factor that can contribute to business failure is failing to understand taxes. When new and small businesses have difficulty with taxes it is often due to not understanding regulations regarding filing and paying Indiana taxes.

To address this issue, the Indiana Department of Revenue is partnering with the Indiana CPA Society to host three free presentations throughout the state. The presentation, Start Strong: Indiana Business Taxes for New and Small Businesses, discusses pertinent tax information for new businesses, and attendees will have the opportunity to have questions answered by an experienced business tax auditor and network with community business members.

Register for a free Start Strong presentation on Sept. 4, 2014 in Bloomington, Ind. here.

If you’re interested in attending a different Start Strong presentation, or hosting the presentation for your community, visit

“Am I Management Material?”

Leadership-TraitsYou’ve been in the same position for years… not that it bothers you since you love the organization you work for, but you are beginning to naturally yearn for more challenge and responsibility. As you begin to look up the career ladder to plan out your next vertical promotion, you must first ask yourself: Am I management material?

This should not be an easy question to answer immediately; however Aaron Hurst, CEO of Imperative and author of The Purpose Economy, offers these questions to consider when trying to determine if you’re ready to make the leap into management: How does my boss define management, and how could promoting YOU better serve the organization’s needs?

Some bosses won’t explicitly list the traits he or she is looking for in a future manager, some haven’t even thought about it…so what can you do? First, you should determine your boss’s working definition of “management material” by observing what your organization looks for in a manager based off its hiring history and company climate. Hurst offers these questions to start your search:

·      Who have they promoted in the past and who has been passed over?

·      How do they seem to make decisions about promotions relative to other managers in the organization?

·      Do they promote, as they should, to balance their skills and capacity? What do they perceive as their skills and capacity gaps?

·      What threatens them and their security in their role? What would threaten them and make them biased in a promotion decision?

·      How can your promotion help them get promoted? What do they need to do to get promoted and how could you be part of that solution?

·      What parts of their job do they dislike that you could do? How could your promotion increase their job satisfaction?

·      What are you doing now that your boss values and might be afraid they would lose if you moved into management? How could you backfill your work?

The next step? Be honest with yourself.  Are you the right person for the situation? You could fit the definition of “management material” to a T, but might not ideal for the particular organizational challenges. Also ask yourself: Would I make effective leader in this position?  There’s a big difference between managers and leaders.

By incorporating this logical assessment of yourself and your organization, you can get a better idea if management could be the next step in your career path. Just ask yourself the right questions!

self-assessmentAdapted from “Am I Management Material?”


Conscious Capitalism: Finding Your Higher Purpose

A special thank you to Tim Tucker, co-owner of Express Employment Professionals ( for the great following submission!

For some time now, businesses have been gaining a bad reputation. Ideas like capitalism, profits, wealth, and entrepreneurship once inspired and garnered praise, but now they are increasingly being vilified. There are many reasons for this, some justified and some not, and the reality is that some blame lies on both sides of this argument. But, as business owners, it is within your power to help change this image and show that at least your business has a conscience.

In the recently released book “Conscious Capitalism,” authors John Mackey of Whole Foods Market and professor Raj Sisodia “argue for the inherent good of both business and capitalism.” They propose that “entrepreneurs are the true heroes in a free-enterprise economy, driving progress in companies, society and the world.” To support this, they present four specific principles that companies should follow to not only communicate this reality to the world, but also grow their organization. The first principle to consider is to find your higher purpose.

Make a Difference:
Forbes defined the process of finding your company’s higher purpose as uncovering the difference it is trying to make in the world. This is something the most profitable and highest esteemed companies have in common – they all know their purpose. Disney exists to use our imaginations to bring happiness to millions. 3M is in the business of improving every company, every home, every life. The American Red Cross is daily enabling Americans to perform extraordinary acts in the face of emergencies. Do you know what your business purpose is?

Create Value:
Mackey and Sisodia believe that “business has a much broader positive impact on the world when it is based on a higher purpose that goes beyond generating profits and creating shareholder value.” Psychology has shown that it’s vital for individuals to find purpose and meaning in their lives. And it’s just as important to the business itself. Finding a higher purpose for your organization is all about creating value, an idea that is all too often confined to just marketing or advertising. Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, explains their stores “are our canvas upon which we can paint our deeper purpose of bringing whole foods and greater health to the world.”

Discover Your Business’ Purpose:
Defining the value that your company brings to the world is a step that some owners naturally do during the strategic planning part of the start-up process, but sometimes that purpose can get lost. For other business owners, this is something they never even consider. But it’s not too late. You can uncover your company’s ultimate purpose by asking and honestly answering some questions:

• “Why do we exist?”
• “Why do we need to exist?”
• “Why is the world better because we’re here?”
• “Would we be missed if we ceased to exist?”
• “What core values animate the enterprise and unite all of our stakeholders?”iStock_000011979035XSmall

As you uncover your business’ purpose, it’s important that you don’t negate growing your company or being profitable. Mackey and Sisodia believe that profitability is best achieved by not making it the primary goal of the business. After all, you can’t fulfill your higher purpose of fueling growth and progress within your community if you don’t generate profits. As a business owner, you have the unique opportunity to run an organization that serves a higher purpose and to change peoples’ lives for the better, which will ultimately prove that businesses have a conscience, too.

Make Sure Your Customers Can Find You!

How many times have you attempted to contact a business or a specific person at a company, only to find the information is incorrect?  Remember the frustration you felt?  Now, think about your own behavior…Did you continue to look for the correct information or did you simply move your business to a new vendor?

Most people will not put the time and effort into trying to figure it out. It’s easier to find someone else to work with — whose contact information is correct.

That’s why it’s important for our members to keep their business contact information up-to-date!  The Chamber website is the most trusted source of business information and the place most people turn to in order to find products, services and businesses.

Now is the time to double-check your information as The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce heads into the production of its printed Membership Directory.  By taking a few minutes to check your business listing on our website, making any necessary edits – your customers will always know how to reach you.

Check out my #constantcontact newsletter for more information on how to do this easily!

Proactive Crisis Management

You find out that a video has been uploaded to YouTube that refutes your product. What do you do next? Where do you start?

No matter how much effort you put into increasing your brand perception, incidents may occur that challenge your business’s product or service.

An example of such a media crisis occurred in 2004, when a BIC Pen brought the company, Kryptonite Locks, to its knees. A video of a BIC Pen breaking a Kryptonite lock went viral after its update to the site YouTube.  Kryptonite Locks didn’t respond publicly on social media networks until a week after the original YouTube post was published. A week equals eternity on social media. Thus, it isn’t surprising that critcis bombarded the company. Kryptonite Locks could’ve lessened the blow of the incident if it had a social media disaster plan in place, and acknowledged the situation sooner.

Nowadays, social media allows issues to become viral. So why wait until after a crisis occurs to take action?

Think proactively and plan for a crisis before the incident occurs.

The first step of instituting a disaster plan is ongoing monitoring and tracking of the sentiments of customers and stakeholders. Listening long before a situation escalates may help avert the crisis from even staring or spiraling out of control. If Kryptonite Locks monitored its social media network, the company could’ve acknowledged the negative sentiment and decreased the media attention.

Possible software and tools a business may want to utilize to monitore its social media platforms are: Klout, Peer Index, Alltop, Ad Age Power150, and Twitalyzer

Additionally, institute strategies for different channels that may cause the crisis. Anticipate situations that may occur, and know where the occurrence is covered in the company policy. Actions cause reactions, which in turn cause another action. Therefore, you must have a system in place to keep actions and reactions positive and moving toward a resolution.

When making a social media crisis plan:

  1. List all of the brand’s communication channels
  2. Pre-craft unique messages for each channel
  3. Then decide what messages are appropriate for certain situations and what channels would be better to use

Although planning for all possibilities may be taxing, it will prove worthwhile in the end. 

Adapted from “Social media and public relations: Eight new practices for the professional” by D Breakenridge


Goal-orieneted Business Practices

Most businesses recognize the need for forming goals, but many struggle with setting them. Some businesses will set a goal, but never detail a method of accomplishment. Creating company goals is irrelevant unless you have clearly stated objectives. Additionally, without detailing possible barriers a business might find itself in a rut before it even has moved forward.

Here’s how to create successful business goals:

1. Compose goals. A goal is a general intention or direction. It normally has a long time frame, and is a purpose to which an endeavor is directed. Increasing awareness, advocacy or sales are all reputable business goals.

2. Establish objectives. Once goals are established a company must decide what efforts or actions will be put towards the attainment or accomplishment. Objectives should be narrow and precise methods with a short term time frame. In addition, successful objectives are reachable, measurable and relevant. For every business goal, include three to five objectives.

3. Identify barriers. Distinguish problems that will hinder your business from reaching its goals. Barriers can include money, time or competition.

4. Form tactics. A tactic is an action to execute your objectives and overcome barriers. A tactic should include an action, purpose, schedule, and a way to measure result.


Goal: Increase awareness of our business in the Bloomington community.

Objective: Be rated the number one business in the Bloomington area in XYZ magazine.

Barrier: Competition from similar stores.

Tactic: Put an ad about our business in the local newspaper to gain awareness by Nov. 10.


Adapted from “Going for the Goal” by David B. Rockland, PH.D.




Ethical Conduct in the Workplace

I begin my third year at Indiana University, I’ve become accustomed to my professors stating guidelines for ethical conduct in the syllabi they issue the first class. Such guidelines include class conduct, professionalism, and forms of plagiarism. Although most students already have some awareness of what common class conduct entails and to avoid all forms of plagiarism infraction, I for one welcome the refresher. This refresher on ethical conduct led me to question how ethical conduct is established in the workplace.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ethics as: a set of moral principles: a theory or system of moral values.

I highly doubt, every few months, a firm issues its staff a guideline pertaining to business ethics. So how does a business institute ethical conduct and continue to maintain and build from the guidelines? To figure out how to enact ethical practices in a business, I looked over a presentation Kirk O. Hanson, executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, recently gave.

Hanson built his ethical business presentation on a model he devised in 1984 and has continually revised this model over the years. Although there are many elements to this model I’ve picked out a few key practices which I believe best address the important dimensions of managing ethics.

Those essentials include:

Value Statement – A firm’s value statement must be related to the firm’s decisions and actions. The statement cannot illuminate upon practices and values which the firm does not uphold, it must mirror current practices. The statement must not just be “fluff” but share the company’s aspirations with their public. Additionally, a value statement should not just be a declaration of a company’s goal to their audiences but also to the staff. The statement must connect with the staff and act as a “guiding principle.”

Code of Conduct- An ideal code of conduct applies to all employees and doesn’t capture last year’s incidents Hanson detailed.  All employees should be able to interpret the code and explicate any questions regarding certain elements. A code of conduct may go wrong if it details specific incidents which the business didn’t have authorization to handle, such as dealing with specific reimbursements and use of computers.

Training and Communication- Best ethical practice are continually reinforced not only to new hires, but also on a regular basis to all employees. Trainers and executives must not just lip service the values or training may come up short. Constant communication of values is a fragment of good ethical practices.

Renewal Process- Top companies such as Johnson & Johnson continually re-evaluate their value statements and codes of conduct on a regular basis. Revising values and conducts periodically maintains freshness of the message and employees engaged in the new message. Hansen explained every three years evaluating and producing new conducts and standards is ideal for a company. This renewal step is a basic component for the model because it allows a company to re-educate its employees consistently on guidelines and build upon their past practices.

For Hanson’s entire ethics model go to:

Adapted from “Toward an Ethical Culture: Characteristics of an Ethical Organization”, by Anne Federwisch

Lessons from Olympians

As the 2012 London Olympics recently ended, we looked towards the United States record number of medals and there is no doubt that this year’s US Olympic team was full of talent. From the 16 year old all-around gold medalist, Gabby Douglas, to Michael Phelps the most decorated Olympian of all time -there was no lack of dedication or vigor.

What is so exceptional about the few who achieve Olympic success, and what can individuals learn from these outstanding Olympic athletes?

Check out these business lessons to see what you can learn from Olympic athletes:

1. Keep mental health in check.

Olympic athletes must be the essence of sound mental and physical health if they want to handle the tough training which comes with winning an Olympic medal. If your mental health is not in check then when it comes to your career, you may not be able to effectively deal with hurdles in your workplace. While Olympians are dedicated to keeping in perfect, physical health they must also have the right state of mind when going for the gold.

2. Search for purpose and meaning.

Most Olympic athletes have been training since their childhood for their spot on the award podium. Although you may not have a singular set goal in mind for your career, you must identify what kind of work you truly enjoy. There is no reason to pursue a career in a field you aren’t passionate about, despite other external factors.  If you’re doing something you love, you are more than likely to excel.

3. There is always room for improvement.

US Olympic runner, Richards-Ross, put her unsatisfying bronze medal from the 2008 Olympic trials in the past as she ran for the 400-meter gold at the 2012 London Olympics.  Knowing the need for constant improvement Richards- Ross improved her strength so she would not relive the 2008 outcome.

Too many people fall in auto-pilot once they land a job. To combat such mentality, it’s pertinent to be an advocate for change and improvement. Do not just go through the motions- promote change and continue towards excellence in all endeavors.

Take these lessons as you continue to relive the 2012 Olympic Games and remember Olympic athletes are not the only ones who can achieve success.

Adapted from  “Career Lessons from Olympic Athletes”

First Things First- Managing Your Time

When I was younger my dad required me to read, 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen, by Stephen R. Covey.  He of course, read it as well, and continually lectured me on the importance of the 7 habits.

As I got older, and my dad finally assumed I encompassed those 7 habits, I became liberated of the daily references he made to Covey’s book. However, I should’ve known better, Covey reappeared when I began college.

As I faced deadlines, a constant flow of emails, and meetings as any usual employee or college student, I found the saying “Time is of the essence,” is in fact, spot on. There are only so many hours in the day I can mark tasks off my list no matter how late I try and stay up or early I drag myself out of bed.

Once again, my dad began persistently referencing Covey as a solution to my lack of time. Only this time, he referred to Covey’s adult version of the 7 habits- 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Person.  Due to I am not the only college student or employee facing the crisis of time management, I decided to for once, listen to my dad and Covey’s advice.

Therefore, today, I want to give credit to Stephen R. Covey’s time management method which all people may prosper from – Habit 3 Personal Management. Many methods of time management exist- checklists, calendars, and prioritizing our daily tasks.  One method Covey recommends which you may find more effective in the workplace and in your daily home life is a matrix of quadrants of importance.

Quadrant I- Urgent activities that cannot be ignored

Quadrant II- Important activities, but not urgent

Quadrant III-Urgent activities, but not important

Quadrant IV- Not important or urgent


In the matrix, the key to time management comes from Quadrant II.  If Quadrant II activities are done on a regular basis, you will find a tremendous improvement in your daily life. The time for Quadrant II activities comes from Quadrant III and IV. Covey believes that effective people do not spend time in Quadrant III or IV because such activities are unimportant to your goals in life.  One must find time to take on Quadrant I because procrastinating this quadrant results in the task getting bigger and bigger until you must deal with it. Relatively, Quadrant I will shrink with attention to Quadrant II as well with practice of classifying activities. Classification of quadrants requires: 1. Prioritization 2. Organization of priorities, and 3.Self- discipline. However, always be careful of confusing Quadrant I and II.

A critical skill for time management also requires delegation. Being able to effectively delegate tasks to others is highly important in the workplace when dealing with time management. Delegating allows you to devote your time to higher quadrant activities while enabling personal growth for other individuals.

I truly recommend utilizing or at least trying Covey’s personal management method to help you put your responsibilities into perspective. Performing time management and following Covey’s quadrants of importance will allow you to create a life congruent to your goals and values. For example, by following Covey’s method I managed to find time to write this blog!

 Adapted from “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Person,” by Stephen R. Covey