All it takes is a few good seconds to make a positive first impression and grow your business. However, those few seconds can require hours of preparation to look natural, confident, and enthusiastic. And even then, it doesn’t always work. For example, at most meetings, conferences, and networking events, people are asked to introduce themselves and talk about their company. This is their time to shine! But many miss their chance at free advertising because they are uncomfortable or have trouble explaining what they do or sell.
It’s the dawning of a new era for the Iowa Lean Consortium, and Teresa Hay McMahon is focused on a new world of service. McMahon, executive director of the ILC since 2015, just finished leading the consortium through a new phase of its evolution. On July 1, the ILC formally moved under the CIRAS umbrella as part of a merger that’s intended to give both entities more resources to achieve their goals.
David Fierke still remembers the 30-year public works employee who looked him in the eye at one of the city of Fort Dodge’s first Lean events in 2009 and asked what Fierke, the then-relatively new city manager, really thought he was going to teach a veteran about filling potholes. Probably not much, Fierke acknowledged. But after Fort Dodge employees spent several hours that day looking for waste in the city’s pothole-filling process, they nevertheless managed to make it better.
CIRAS Director Ron Cox was one 15 College of Engineering faculty and staff who received Iowa State University’s highest honors during an annual awards ceremony on September 14.
Nathan Meyer was no stranger to CIRAS, but he wasn’t fully aware of all the technical expertise available at Iowa State University until he took a CIRAS-led tour of campus research labs in the fall of 2017.
A quick five years after its journey began, a Holstein, Iowa, door-maker’s quest to find new alternatives for one of its products has morphed into a massive new business and a new company-owned recipe for producing fireproof doors.
In September, leaders and subject matter experts from around the MEP National NetworkTM gathered in Kansas City for our biennial best practices conference. Why is this a big deal? The 300 or so manufacturing experts in attendance brought back lessons learned from working with more than 26,000 U.S. manufacturers in the last year alone. In addition to sharing operational practices that make us successful, this was an opportunity to get a pulse on American manufacturing.
For 33 years, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs) have helped expand the number of small businesses that successfully compete for and win federal, state, and local government contracts. This month, PTACs from around the country are coming together for one special day to celebrate the success of the tens of thousands of small businesses who have benefitted from training and technical assistance delivered by their local PTACs.
A small Maquoketa company that sells dog training equipment around the world is boosting production and expanding its product offerings—all after CIRAS helped the company arrange important testing and other steps to get it off the ground.
There are many things affecting your business that you can't control. Did you know that your personal attitude is something you can control? Your attitude affects the way you approach people and circumstances in business. Choosing to approach potential customers positively, confidently, enthusiastically, and with a helpful attitude – even when you're tired, stressed, or frustrated – may help improve your sales and grow your business.