Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Fraud Awareness Week: How Much Do You Know About Cybercrime?

This week has been coined “International Fraud Awareness Week”, and it didn’t come any too soon. Organizations worldwide lose an estimated five percent of their annual revenues to fraud, according to a study conducted by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Old National Bancorp- a proud member of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce- is joining companies throughout the world in an effort to educate and raise awareness about fraud to proactively fight fraud and help safeguard business and investments.

 “Banks are on high alert for fraud associated with cybercrime, including malicious emails, malware, phishing attempts, zero day exploits, or card breaches at retailers,” said Old National Chief Risk Officer Candice Rickard. “A recent study by the American Bankers Association indicated that more than two thirds of cyber security incidents were the result of phishing attempts.”

 Here are some fraud prevention tips from Old National’s online security center:

 Mobile banking precautions

  • Log off of your Mobile Banking session when finished and close your browser.
  • Do not use the Password Save or Auto Complete function in your browser.
  • Do not save your user ID or password on your phone and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Do not use your mobile device to connect to unsecure networks.
  • Protect your device against theft and/or use by others.
  • Use anti-virus/anti-malware software on your mobile device.

 Social media tips

  • Do not choose usernames and passwords that are the same or similar to ones you use to access your online banking.
  • Never share personal information such as user IDs, PINs and account numbers.
  • Never include information that can help thieves steal your identity, such as your address, phone number or even employment information.
  • Always use privacy settings to limit access to your information, but realize that information posted on social media sites is permanent and may still be accessible.
  • Never announce on social media sites when you will be out of town.

  Monitor your account information

  • Look over your bank statements as soon as they arrive.
  • Sign up for Old National Online Banking so you can view your account history and transactions 24/7. You can also set up eAlerts to receive notification of certain activities on your accounts.
  • Regularly review your credit report for suspicious inquiries, unexplained accounts, incorrect balances and typos. You are entitled to one free credit report per year from each major consumer reporting agency – Experian, Trans Union and Equifax – under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. To order your free reports, go to the official site or call 1-877-322-8228. Avoid companies that ask you to pay for a copy of your credit reports.





“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.

3 Sure Signs of Effective Leadership

Everyone has their own opinions of what characteristics make up a good leader.

From well-spoken and patient to charismatic and forceful, the list of qualities

can run the gamut. But, sure-tell signs of effective leaders aren’t in their traits,

but in their results. As you look within your own company and try to gauge the

effectiveness of your own leadership, or the leadership of others, look for these

three indicators.

Consistent Growth

True leaders know they are neither perfect nor omniscient. They are always looking

for ways to be better and never veer from the path of self-improvement. One of

the best signs of a good leader is a slight spirit of discontent. You have to be able

to recognize that you are better today than you were a year ago, but still focus on

becoming even better a year from now. And, growth can never take a backseat to

your busyness. In the book Great Leaders Grow, by Mark Miller and Ken Blanchard,

they point out that, “If you get too busy with your job to grow, your influence and

your leadership will stagnate and ultimately evaporate.”

Continual Success

If the proof is in the pudding, then a good leader’s team will achieve success again

and again. This is true in the business world and on the football field. Take Terry

Bradshaw, former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback who led his team to multiple

Super Bowl victories, for example. You could not be an ineffective leader and

still lead your team to win four Super Bowl titles. A poor leader might have a few

victories, but continual success is the result of good leadership. A recent Forbes

article echoes this assertion with its statement, “The result of good leadership is

high morale, good employee retention, and sustainable long-term success.”

Contagious Spirit

Another quick way to determine the quality of someone’s leadership is to look

at their teammates, co-workers, or employees. Are they excited about what they

do? Are they stepping up and taking on leadership roles of their own? A leader’s

power doesn’t just rest in his or her ability to do a task well, whether it’s throwing

a football or running a business. The real power lies in their ability to inspire

greatness in their team. You are not a true leader if you simply inspire fear or

mediocrity. Good leadership begets good leadership.

Many people proclaim themselves to be good leaders. After all, no one wants to

be told that they’re a bad or ineffective leader. But, good leadership is proven

through results, not words. If you really want to gauge the effectiveness of your

own leadership, consider your growth, your team’s success, and your teammate’s

attitudes. Those three elements will tell you what you need to know.

7 Steps to Productive Business Use of Social Media

forbesForbes posted and article written by Ric Dragon, an expert on online marketing, about the best ways that a business can use its social media. Here is our summarized version of the article.

1. Focus on desired outcome first

Figure out what your “platform” is. Is it to increase brand awareness, lead generation, service and support, management? And make sure you focus on it. Pick one or two

2. Incorporate brand personality and voice

Make sure that all team members that administer your social media use the same voice. Customers these days want a “humanized” voice.

Ex: NPR has a twitter account called “today in 1960″ that tweets headlines from the corresponding day in 1960. How unique is that?!

3. Find the smallest segments of your constituents

Dont make your tweets, Facebook posts or what have you so general. Try to create a community that will engage with you and feels a connection with your company.

Here’s an example, Lady Gaga refers to her fans on twitter as “Little Monsters” and she is “Mother Monster.”Of course we do not suggest you calling your customers this, but you get the idea.

4. Identify the communities for these micro-segments

This aligns a lot with number 3. The best communities become your best advocates.

5. Identify the influencers of these communities

In the generation of social media, feedback is immediate compared to the old days of waiting months for results. Use this to your advantage and spend those months “influencing the influencers”

6. Create an action plan with metrics

Create a plan that aligns with your goals. The most common/useful plans include a listening plan, channel plan, SEO plan etc. Also make sure that you are using social media to build relationships and to start conversations.

7. Iteratively execute and measure results

You cannot expect to get the results you want immediately. So you have to make sure to tweak and adjust your plans according to the results you get. And its not something you do once.



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


3 Tips for Follow-ups after a Business Expo

One of the biggest business expo mistakes is not following up with contacts and leads after the event. Instead of falling into the “I will follow up with them eventually” mindset, be proactive and follow up within 24 to 48 hours after the expo.

Keep these three follow-up tips in mind after you attend the 2013 Bloomington Business & Technology EXPO on April 18:

1)      Ensure multiple points of contact. If you call a lead and get put through to voicemail, send a quick email to make sure they have your information.

2)      Offer to set up a face to face meeting. A midday coffee or lunch meeting is one effective way to clearly communicate with your lead. You can start to build a business relationship by listening to what your lead’s needs and problems are and by offering specific ways your business can help with their specific needs.

3)      Do not be discouraged by an uninterested lead. Not every lead you come across will immediately feel drawn to your company. Someone who is not in need of your business’ help or service today might eventually need your assistance a few months from now. Even if a lead seems uninterested, it is important to hang on to contact information. You can even send a quick email three or four months later to check in on them, see how their business is doing and check if their needs or problems have changed.

Adapted from “MLM Leads From a Business Expo – Step By Step Instructions” by Jeremy Howie.


Use Google Tools to prepare for the 2013 Bloomington Business & Technology EXPO

Preparing for a business expo can seem like a time-consuming, labor intensive & expensive process. You can save time & money by using a few free online tools from Google to prepare your business for April 18th’s 2013 Bloomington Business & Technology EXPO. While it may be surprising to some, Google offers much more than just a simple way to search the Internet. Google offers many easy to use free online services that your business should be utilizing.

Google Places

Google Places is a free way to get your business’ information out on the web. Google hosts local “place pages” for businesses. You can claim your business’ free Google Places page and load it with contact info, coupons, videos and photos. Google Places also has a section where you can collect and view customer reviews about your business.

Learn more about Google Places.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a smart way to save your important documents online and instantly have access to them anywhere you have Internet access. Google Drive is essentially a free 5 GB virtual flash drive. Never lose an important business file again with Google Drive. Google Drive also offers an online word processor similar to Microsoft Word for online document creation and collaboration.

Learn more about Google Drive.

Google Forms

Google Forms, a component of Google Drive, is a free and simple way to create surveys and setup forms to collect contact info. Your business can setup a Google form and have it open on a laptop at the expo. Individuals who stop by your booth can type in their contact info and it will instantly be saved online and can even be emailed to you.

Learn more about Google Forms.

Google Drawing

Google Drawing is a free online tool that allows you to create drawings, charts and graphics from images on your computer, text, simple shapes, or freehand designs. You can create graphs and web-friendly images for your business and share them online, by email or print them out.

Learn more about Google Drawing.

Bonus tool: Google Fusion Tables

For the tech-savvy, Google Fusion Tables is a tool to help you get the most out of your raw data. Fusion Tables enables you to create interactive graphs and eye-pleasing visual displays of data. For instance, you can take contact information you collect at the expo and use Fusion Tables to display it in interactive charts and graphs.

Learn more about Google Fusion Tables.

 2013 Bloomington Business & Technology EXPO

This year’s business-to-business event will include an emphasis on technology. Be sure to attend the Kick-off Booth Registration Event on Feb. 20 at KRC Banquets & Catering from 9:00 a.m.-1:00p.m. to secure your business’ spot at the expo. The free Kick-off Booth Registration Event will feature three separate drawings to determine the order of  booth registration. Doors open at 9:00 a.m. with the first drawing scheduled to take place at 9:30 am. Those exhibitors that arrive after the close of the first drawing will be entered into the second drawing, which is scheduled for 10:15 am. Finally, the third drawing will take place at 10:45 a.m. for all those who might have missed the first two opportunities. For more information, visit the Chamber’s website:


New Year, New You as a Boss

Welcome to 2013! As a leader in your company, you’ve most likely been busy during the past few weeks thinking about what your team or department can do in 2013 to take business to new heights in terms of production, customer service and innovation. But with a new year comes new opportunities for you to develop and grow as a leader and boss.

Here are just a few ideas for you to put into action in 2013 to be the best leader you can be for your organization.

Get Social Media Savvy

If you haven’t already come to the realization that social media is changing the way business is conducted, you’ll need to this year. According to VerticalResponse, a small business marketing company, nearly 90 percent of small businesses are on Facebook, while nearly 70 percent have a presence on Twitter. Those businesses are participating in networks with more than one billion and 140 million people respectively. People are no longer just talking about their experience with a business to a close circle of friends; they’re letting their entire social network know what happened. And if your business is great at customer service, engaging consumers online could lead to some great brand advocates for your company. However, customer loyalty can easily go in the other direction as well. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to research and find out where and how your company can be active in the growing social media space.

Read, Read and Read Some More

If you are not reading one book a month, whether it’s on business, leadership or your industry, you’re going to be left behind and possibly put your career or business at risk. Don’t let a lack of time be an excuse for you to miss out on the knowledge and opportunities that reading can provide. The leaders of some of the most successful companies today are avid readers. The late Steve Jobs of Apple had a collection that included Shakespeare and Plato, Phil Knight of Nike had a library of books behind his office and Microsoft’s Bill Gates lists Catcher in the Rye as one of his favorite books.

It’s quite simple: the better the leader, the more they typically read. Take advantage of a new year and new start by setting an achievable goal of reading a few books each quarter in 2013. No matter what format you prefer to read on, you can really read anywhere you go.

Be a Mentor, Get a Mentor

Think back to how you came into the leadership role you are in today. Who inspired, taught, counseled and listened to you? Now think about a person in your business or personal life that you could offer those same skills to. Not only will being a mentor to someone allow you to pass on your knowledge and advice to another generation of leaders, you will be challenged to learn more and grow more so you can offer more to your mentee.

The best leaders also know that having a mentor leads to more success and increased fulfillment in their work. A study by the American Society of Training and Development showed that 75 percent  of executives believed mentoring played a key role in their careers,  and companies reported that managerial productivity increased by 88 percent when mentoring was happening. Take some time and think about who’s around you that could be the person you learn and gain insight from.

2013 is full of opportunities and possibilities for you, including being proactive in becoming the best boss you can be. Take advantage of this fresh start and see what new business trends, good books and new learning relationships can offer you.

For More Information Contact:
Tim Tucker
(812) 333-6210

Manage your multiple roles

With the holiday season among us, I believe it’s beneficial to highlight the importance of balancing family and work.  No single formula exists for gaining balance. It is a personal decision how one will integrate family, friends and work into a whole. The holiday season makes this balance even more of a challenge.  Equilibrium will help reduce stress, and allow you to lead a fulfilling life both professionally and personally.  This holiday season make a goal to develop a solution to manage the responsibilities and joys of your multiple roles.

In a study done by Oklahoma State University, the number one strategy to balancing work and family is to identify and build a support group. Allow yourself to ask others for help. Be realistic, you can’t take on all of the chores at home and assignments at work. Recruit friends, family and work colleagues to lessen your load.

Balancing work and family requires flexibility. With kids things can change at a moment notice. Therefore, forgive yourself when things don’t get done on schedule. Learn how to negotiate. For example, if you have to give up an original goal, substitute with an equal but new challenge.  A part of being flexible is organization. If you’re organized, then substituting a new goal for another will be simple with lists of priorities to lead you to your next task.  Setting priorities will allow you to work smarter, not harder.

Being a good parent, partner and professional means setting time aside for yourself. Taking some time to relax will relieve tension and stress, which will allow you to be more diligent at work and home. Working and keeping a home running smoothly takes persistence and effort. Take a few moments to make some affirmations for yourself.

The holiday season is a time to enjoy your multiple roles as a parent, partner and even as a professional. Come up with creative solutions which work best for you and enjoy the holidays!

Adapted from, “The Top 10 Tips for Balancing Work and Family Life”