HBA continues partnership with business school

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

The Helena Business Association held its first 2017 meeting with guest speakers Dr. Cliff Eason and Dr. Chad Carson from Brock School of Business, Samford University.

For the fourth year, Brock School of Business will partner with a selected Helena business to implement marketing strategies and research via BSB students working hands-on.

Dan Dearing, right, shares with HBA members and Johnny Carcioppolo, left, a monthly book selection pertinent to business owners. (Contributed)

Dan Dearing, right, shares with HBA members and Johnny Carcioppolo, left, a monthly book selection pertinent to business owners. (Contributed)

Helena Business Association itself was the starting point for this partnership.

HBA past president Bob Van Loan noted that HBA membership tripled as a result.

The organization finalized a single logo, updated and refined their website and established the mission statement: Advocate, Educate and Associate.

Within HBA, local business owners make themselves available to help new businesses that come aboard.

Drs. Eason and Carson shared that, “The Marketing Strategy team consists of MBA students who get to know the business owner and their products. They discuss pricing, how to broaden your market and how to differentiate themselves from the competition.”

In conclusion, specific recommendations are shared with the chosen business owner when they make their final class presentation, which can be attended by those interested.

Research Analysis is conducted by undergrads and delves into surveys and what the business is or is not currently doing right.

Helena businesses benefitting in 2015 and 2016 were Gretchen B. Photography and Helena Health Club.

Jan. 15 is the current deadline for Helena businesses to join HBA (dues are $75 annually) and apply for consideration to work with BSB, which will be selected the week following.

HBA member Johnny Carcioppolo, a certified business coach and corporate trainer d.b.a. FocalPoint Coaching noted that being selected for this opportunity with Brock School of Business is the equivalent of hiring a $10K consultant.

HBA attending members are also presented with business-related reading material suggestions by Dan Dearing, director of Jane B. Holmes Public Library.

This month’s recommendation was “Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations” written by Dan Ariely. It is a TED Book.

HBA is a 501(c)(6)(non-profit) organization.

Current HBA Officers are John Burch, president; Kristi Scozzaro, vice-president; Eric Fort, secretary; and Rodney Parker, treasurer.

Learn more online at: Hbahelena.com.