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BUSINESS
Connections
BUSINESS
SEPTEMBER 2009
•
VOLUME 3
•
ISSUE 1
Trailers of the East Coast
is a local vendor
with national reach
Managing Stress Overload
3
Pandemic Planning Overview
6
Trailers of the East Coast
4
Websites to Help You Plan
7
Why Buy Local?
5
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Connections
BUSINESS
Buying local,
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Business Connections is a publication of YVT, Inc.
1421 Courtney-Huntsville Road (P.O. Box 368),
Yadkinville, NC 27055.
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27055 – 336-463-5010.
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Marketing
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it could be argued, is a win-win-win-win proposition. It
is good for the seller. It is good for the buyer. It is good for our local economy.
And it is good for the environment. As a local business, Yadkin Valley Telecom
is proud to play an active role in helping our community grow and prosper. That
is why we chose to feature the “buy local” message in this September issue of
Business Connections.
Page 4 has a business spotlight on Trailers of the East Coast, a local company that
does business with Yadkin Valley Telecom and one that we do business with as
well. (We have their graphics department to thank for the new logos on our vehicles.)
Yadkin Valley Telecom was happy to be able to use a local vendor for that project
and encourages your business to choose local vendors whenever possible. To that
end, you will find a reminder of the advantages of buying local on page 5.
Also in this issue is information on managing stress in the workplace, and guidelines
to help your business be prepared for potential threats by developing a pandemic plan.
Remember — when you do business close to home, everyone benefits. You do not
have to go far to get exactly what you need.
Sincerely,
Kay W. Dunn
Marketing Manager
Stress Overload
Undermines
Productivity
Make a few simple
changes to your work
environment and routine
W
orkplace stress continues to grow
and has serious consequences for
individuals and companies. Experts at the
Centers for Disease Control and the National
Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
have found:
•Stress is linked to physical and mental health, as well as decreased willingness to take on new and creative endeavors.
•Job burnout experienced by 25 to 40 percent of U.S. workers is blamed
on stress.
• More than ever before, employee stress is being recognized as a major drain on corporate productivity and competitiveness.
If you start feeling stressed, begin by identifying things that are under your control.
You may not be able to control a project
timeline or a customer’s mood, but you can
control how you respond. A change of attitude
can go a long way in reducing stress.
Take a look at your personal workspace. An
organized environment can be a significant
stress reducer, since searching through piles
of paper to find an important document
wastes time and increases stress levels. Make
an effort to bring order to your desk so that
you can work more calmly and efficiently.
Next, consider the other elements in your
office. Are you experiencing stress due to
an uncomfortable chair or an awkwardly
positioned keyboard? Eliminating these
little annoyances can do wonders for your
mood. You may also want to add items that
help create a more calming environment
such as plants, a small water fountain or
family photos.
Once your office has been outfitted to reduce
stress, consider developing daily routines
that include desk exercises, breathing techniques and stretching. These can help you
more successfully face the inevitable stresses
of your job responsibilities.
Remember, in order to be highly productive,
breaks are necessary throughout the day to
“reboot” your mind. Make sure even your
busiest days include break times to refuel
and relax. Get out of the building for a change
of scenery and fresh air, have lunch with a
friend or do some light reading. You will
be less stressed, and more productive, when
you start working again.
Lastly, make an effort to unplug during your
breaks if at all possible. Wireless phones
and other devices are powerful tools but
they can result in an unhealthy 24/7 connection to work. If you are going to take
a brisk walk around the building during
lunch, for example, consider leaving your
BlackBerry® in your office. Or if your
stress level is high and you need to focus
on the problem at hand, use the Do Not
Disturb feature on your office phone and
close your door.
Remember, in order to be
highly productive, breaks are
necessary throughout the
day to “reboot” your mind.
You cannot eliminate stress altogether, but
you can take steps to reduce it. Start today,
and share these ideas with your employees.
Your whole company will feel better.
3
Business Spotlight
On the Road with Trailers of the East Coast
T
railers of the East Coast, located in Mocksville, North Carolina,
is a three-generation family business with this philosophy:
“You provide the customer with a good product at a fair price and
give them service after the sale.” It is a formula that works. The
business has enjoyed tremendous growth over the years and offers
a diversified inventory ranging from $800 trailers to $250,000
motorhomes. They typically have 275-300 units on their yard
and sell 80-90 of them per month.
Owner Clint Junker notes, “We try to run our business with a
small family feeling but still give our customers big service and
deliver everything they need. This approach is very similar to the
one that Yadkin Valley Telecom demonstrates in their customer
service to us.”
“When you speak with someone at Yadkin Valley, it seems like you’re talking to someone who truly cares. And they’re right here — not several states away.”
— CLINT JUNKER, OWNER OF TRAILERS OF THE EAST COAST
Yadkin Valley Telecom provides Trailers of the East Coast with a
PRI (Primary Rate Interface) for their dial tone service, as well as
DSL for Internet access. “I don’t want to think about our phone
and Internet services. I just want them to work,” says Clint. He
adds, “The PRI was a cost-effective choice for us and allowed us
to have direct phone numbers to different offices, reducing the
4
amount of work for the receptionist. In addition, we’ve had zero
problems with our Internet service at our 35 workstations. That
is important, especially due to the role of our website during the
trailer selection process.”
Clint cites the local presence of Yadkin Valley Telecom as an
important factor in their business relationship. “When you speak
with someone at Yadkin Valley, it seems like you’re talking to
someone who truly cares. And they’re right here — not several
states away. They’re local and you see them around town,” he says.
When you see Yadkin Valley Telecom vehicles around town, pay
attention to the new logos on them — done by the graphics department
at Trailers of the East Coast. “We like to support local businesses,”
says Yadkin Valley Telecom’s General Manager, Mitzie Branon.
She says, “We were pleased to be able to give this project to Trailers
of the East Coast and they did an excellent job for us.” Clint
explains, “Winning the Yadkin Valley vehicle project pushed us
into getting a new printing machine. Before, we outsourced the
printing of vehicle graphics. Now we do everything in-house. We’re
very proud whenever we see Yadkin Valley vans or cars on the
streets and feel good about the work we did for them.”
Sounds like Trailers of the East Coast and Yadkin Valley Telecom
are both on a roll.
Why Buy
Local?
We all benefit by boosting
our local economy
E
very time you choose where to purchase
goods or services, you have a powerful
opportunity to make a difference in this
community. When you choose local businesses and locally produced goods and
services, you are reinvesting money right
here and helping to create a stronger local
economy. Here are some of the top reasons
to buy local:
Greater Economic Vitality
The money you spend in locally owned
stores has two to three times the economic
impact of dollars spent at national retailers.
Studies show that for every $100 spent at a
locally owned business, $45 goes back into
the community and our tax base. By comparison, for every $100 spent at a chain store,
only $14 comes back.
More and Better Jobs
For every two jobs a national retailer brings
to a community, three higher-wage jobs are
lost due to local businesses closing. Small
local businesses are the largest employer
nationally and in our community, and they
provide the most jobs to our residents.
For every $100 spent at a locally owned business,
$45 goes back into the community.
Environmental Benefits
Big-box stores and other national retailers
usually require large undeveloped land to
accommodate their needs. Buying local
means shopping closer to home, which
means less sprawl and the resulting habitat
loss along with reduced driving and dependence on oil.
Increased Support for
Community Groups
Local one-of-a-kind businesses reflect our
unique culture and character, contributing
to the success of tourism.
Local nonprofit organizations receive an
average of 250 percent more support from
smaller, locally owned business owners than
they do from national companies.
Improved Product Selection
Efficient Use of Taxes
A multitude of small businesses, each
selecting products based on the needs of
their local customers rather than a national
sales plan, results in a much broader range
of product choices.
Local businesses typically require a much
smaller infrastructure investment as compared
to nationally owned stores that enter a community. This makes for a more efficient use
of public services.
Protection of Unique Culture
While we realize it may not always be possible
to buy what you need from a local business,
please remember to think local first.
Check Out Your Chamber
For information and resources to enhance your “buy local” efforts, contact
your local Chamber of Commerce:
• Yadkin County
Chamber of Commerce
www.yadkinchamber.org
•Davie County
Chamber of Commerce www.daviecounty.com/commerce
•Statesville Chamber of Commerce
www.statesvillechamber.org
5
Prescription for Pandemic Planning
Guidelines to help safeguard your business and employees
T
he current H1N1 flu (swine flu) pandemic has moved pandemic planning
to the front burner for businesses around the
globe. The potential severity of disruption
for a business depends largely on the planning it has in place. Advance preparation
is essential in order to maintain day-to-day
operations, keep employees safe and recover
as quickly as possible after the threat has
passed. Unlike other disasters such as a
tornado or flood, a pandemic is, by definition, widespread and can affect not only
your local area but distant customers and
vendors as well.
Continuity planning addresses a wide range
of preparations designed to avoid business
interruption. Though continuity planning
is highly important, many businesses still
do not have a written plan. Of those that
do, specific pandemic procedures may not
be included. Ideally, your business should
have a comprehensive plan that addresses
6
how to handle any potentially disruptive
situation including pandemic flu. Such a
plan includes:
•Identification of potential threats
•Identification of functions that are most critical and at greatest risk
•Contingency plans for each function
•A communication strategy for keep-
ing employees, customers and vendors informed
If you already have a continuity plan in place,
you can add pandemic-related directives
to it. If you do not have a continuity plan,
pandemic planning is a good place to start
in light of the H1N1 flu. Remember that
pandemics can continue in waves over
several months and are not completely
predictable. You can decrease the risks to
your business by staying informed and
prepared. The following guidelines give
you an overview of issues to consider:
Your Business
Assemble a team. Identify a team to take
responsibility for planning. This team should
solicit input from various groups within the
company, and act as a single point of contact for employees, customers and vendors.
Establish your exposure risk. Some
companies are at greater risk of exposure
than others. Employees who have minimal
contact with customers or coworkers are
at lower risk; those with greater exposure
to the public are slightly more at risk; and
those who work in the medical or healthcare fields are at the highest risk.
Determine critical functions. Keep in
mind that in a severe pandemic, as much
as 40 percent of your staff could be absent
at any given time. Ask yourself what it will
take for the business to continue functioning
through such a worst-case scenario. Do
you need to cross-train employees? Hire
Pandemic Resources
for Businesses
subcontractors? Temporarily shut down
specific operations or locations?
Identify alternative suppliers. Your
business will not be the only one affected,
and your suppliers and vendors may not
be able to deliver needed materials or
services. Determine alternative companies
to work with or how to manage without
these supplies.
Consider changing commerce patterns.
As people’s concerns and daily patterns
change during a pandemic, their need for
your products or services may increase or
decrease. Shopping patterns could be affected as well. Try to anticipate consumer
behavior in advance and plan accordingly.
Your Employees
Help educate your staff. You can help
your employees avoid exposure and cope
with the challenges of a pandemic by:
• Providing information about precau-
tions such as hand washing and social distancing.
• Making hand sanitizer and cleaning products readily available.
• Addressing your employees’ concerns about pay, leave and safety concerns.
Develop guidelines for behavior. Learn
workplace behaviors that decrease the likelihood of spreading infection and encourage
employees to exhibit those behaviors. These
may include steps such as minimizing travel
and staying home from work when symptoms appear.
Your Plan
Know when to act. Determine trigger
points for when you will enact your pandemic plan. Examples include “significant
human-to-human transmission reported,”
“cases reported within our state” and “cases
identified within 100 miles of our location.”
Decide which phases of your plan you will
implement at each trigger point.
Stay connected. Informed employees who
feel safe at work are less likely to stay home
out of fear. Make sure you communicate
with employees, as well as customers and
vendors, about changes as they happen:
• Establish an emergency chain of command and communication hierarchy.
• Identify media sources for timely updates so you have the most accu-
rate information available.
• Share resources and best practices with other local businesses.
Test your plan. Once you have your plan
in place, conduct drills and practice sessions
to ensure it will work as expected.
The following sites offer additional information for businesses about pandemic
planning including workplace checklists:
www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/tab4.html
Workplace planning takes many different
forms, based on each industry’s particular
needs. This site provides a wide range of
links to checklists for employers, specific
industries and the community.
www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu
The Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention maintains this site to provide
detailed information about the H1N1 flu
including strategies for staying healthy,
caring for a sick person and what to do if you get sick.
www.cdc.gov/socialmedia/h1n1
This section of the CDC site harnesses the
power of Web 2.0 to encourage information
sharing. Here you will find social media tools
like widgets, buttons, videos, podcasts,
e-cards and images.
www.osha.gov/Publications/
influenza_pandemic.html
While this Occupational Safety & Health
Administration document was prepared
prior to the H1N1 flu outbreak, it does
offer a comprehensive guide to preparing
workplaces for a pandemic.
www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/workplaceplanning/businesschecklist.html
Use the checklist on this site to plan for
the potential impact of a pandemic on
your business, your employees and your
customers.
Adjust policies. New behavioral guidelines
may require the adjustment of your company’s
policies in areas such as telecommuting
and absenteeism.
7
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