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May 2016

May 2016
In this issue:

“Ecosystem” strategy is seeing success

By David Powe, RPCN President

Back in December, I introduced a new theme to guide our programming and idea generation in 2016 – RPCN as a resource for the developing regional business ecosystem. Since the beginning of 2016, led by our very strong and active board, we have used our programs, TrendTalk and Gala to help educate our members and advance our brand with key business leaders. These activities have already begun to pay off in some new opportunities for the organization:
  • We established a significant connection with Eastman Business Park that will provide opportunities for our members to get visibility with the 62 businesses that reside there. The first of these opportunities, our blogging initiative, launches this month, and there is more to come.
  • Our Gala keynote speaker, Chris Whitman, invited us to participate in her Innovation and Entrepreneurship work group in the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council.
  • High Tech Rochester has begun to alert us when they are looking to outsource consulting opportunities with their clients.
  • A local economic development lending institution is interested in using our consultants to support their clients.
And I believe this is just the “tip of the iceberg.” There are many ways that our combined expertise and experience can be a resource for our community. We just have to continue to be flexible and innovative in our approach.

Of course, to take advantage of these opportunities, we need our members to step up and champion some activities. The benefits of getting involved can lead directly to the growth of your business. Talk to me, your officers and board members about ways you can help.
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success” … Henry Ford

Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala

Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Entrepreneur Wall of Fame awards. This gala event on Tuesday, April 19, included networking and a keynote speech by Christine Whitman, followed by presentation of the awards. The award winners are:
  • Special Recognition: Bob Lurz
  • Consultant's Consultant: Ralph Kraft
  • Community Champion: Linda Andreano
  • Community Champion: Leonard Brock
  • Linda Halliburton Friend of RPCN: Jean Kase
  • Dave Yound Dedicated Service: Michael Van der Gaag
  • Entrepreneur of the Year: Sebastian Maroundit

Click here to see a Facebook photo album. (Photos by Janice Hanson)

Lee Drake exults in being entrepreneur and employer

By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

While most RPCN members are one-person consulting businesses, “serial entrepreneur” Lee Drake is happily ensconced as CEO of OS-Cubed, Inc., a company he started in 2006 that now has six employees and a suite of offices in the Village Gate complex in Rochester.

“I don’t remember when I was not a serial entrepreneur,” Drake said. “I started as a paperboy and worked my way up.”

OS-Cubed stands for Optimal, Stable, Secure Solutions, and that “philosophy drives each solution we build for a customer problem.” Most of OS-Cubed’s clients today are in the medical field and manufacturing, along with some smaller nonprofits. “It’s about a 50-50 split between tech development and managerial activities; website engineering, tech support and services, managing IT, building support infrastructure, hardware and software, along with sophisticated things like e-commerce,” Drake said.

Drake’s advice for anyone considering becoming a consultant is to “be sure you’re really interested in running a business, not just being an expert” – even if the goal is a one-person business, but especially if it is to have employees or even a consortium of other consultants. Essential resources Drake says any aspiring business owner needs are:

  • a good lawyer
  • an HR person
  • an accountant
  • a mentor
For Drake, RPCN has been valuable as “an excellent source of collaborators.” “I enjoy being around smart people, and everyone in RPCN is smart,” he said. He’d like to see RPCN develop services for members who have employees.

To read the rest of the article, visit this page on the RPCN website.

And click here to watch a video of Drake talking about what he likes about owning his own business and having a team of employees to help him come up with solutions for his clients.
Upcoming events

Technical Forum
Friday, May 6, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Pittsford Community Library

Steve Royal facilitates this informal, roundtable discussion about any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

Blueprint for Financial Success
Friday, May 13, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; NeighborWorks, 570 South Avenue, Rochester

In this presentation by Tina Rohring, you will learn how to set a strong financial foundation to help you and your business achieve all your financial goals. At the end of this workshop, you will have your own personal notes, a budget in place, an illustration for building your personal financial house, ideas for becoming debt-free and some legal documents you may find helpful. 

Business Forum
Friday, May 20, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; Pittsford Community Library

Bob Lurz facilitates this informal roundtable discussion of issues about starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? Click here for a list from recent forums.

RPCN Board Meeting
Friday, May 20, 2016; 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM; Pittsford Community Library

RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

Smart Sales Strategies
Friday, May 27, 2016; 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM; NeighborWorks, 570 South Avenue, Rochester

Joe Morone, international speaker, trainer and author, will cover the basic elements of the Smart Sales Method, which allows sales leaders and sales personnel to improve their sales results by up to 100%. Sales teams will learn the statistically most proven way to win business-to-business sales in the shortest period of time. The primary focus of this program will be on prospecting or what we call today “lead generation.”

We want you!

The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Newsletter Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better. 

If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Newsletter Committee: Janice Hanson, Chair; Ruth E. Thaler-Carter; Steve Royal; Mary DeFranco. Please send articles for the June newsletter by May 15.

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