Birol Growth Consulting Helps Jeffrey J. Morella and the Complete Captive Solution, LLC Grow Quickly and Profitably Toward Long-Term Success.
Filed under: Business Growth, Pittsburgh, Profitable Growth, Uncategorized
In 1991, Jeffrey J. Morella opened Morella & Associates, A Professional Corporation and has built it into a successful practice focused on meeting the legal and tax planning needs of business owners. Over the years, Jeff’s expertise continued to grow as his clients faced increasingly sophisticated tax, insurance and business planning challenges. In 2005, Jeff began assisting his business clients in creating captive insurance companies as a cost-saving vehicle and to provide more flexibility for their companies.
Then in 2010, as Jeff watched the Federal Government’s punitive tax policies create an ever-increasing burden on the plans and dreams of small business owners, Jeff knew he had to find new ways to bring needed relief to his clients. In response to his large base of business owners’ pleas to reduce their insurance costs and preserve more income, Jeff began expanding his expertise in the captive insurance field of creating alternative insurance structures that reduce insurance costs, as well as provide opportunities for asset protection, wealth transfer, estate and tax planning, and business succession planning. These alternative insurance structures, specifically known as series captives, allowed Jeff to create, build and manage customized, independently owned Series Business Units (“SBUs”) for his clients.
As Jeff Morella’s expertise and success continued to grow with Series Captives, he knew it was time to spin off this growing practice into a standalone business that could establish and run captive insurance companies under its own brand. But how could Jeff do this? After watching his competitors stumble when trying to run similar businesses as a sideline to their legal, accounting or insurance practices, he was determined to correctly and independently build his business right from the start. But in 2012, as his questions of how to price the services, establish the distribution network and build the business infrastructure mounted, Jeff knew that these decisions called for business growth expertise outside of his legal training, and he needed help now. That is when he called in Andy Birol of Birol Growth Consulting. As Jeff states, “I was impressed by Andy’s out-of-the-box thinking, as well as how quickly he built his business growth practice in Pittsburgh, so I called him in, dumped my files, business challenges and goals on his lap, sat back and watched how he would react. To my delight, Andy quickly grasped, synthesized and framed all my thoughts into four key tactics for us to build my new business.”
Birol Growth Consulting Solution:
Upon his engagement, Andy tore into Jeff’s financial analyses and interviewed his business partners and clients. Andy quickly recognized that while Jeff had created a breakthrough, proprietary approach to providing “The Complete Captive Solution” (a/k/a the new company), without an equally sophisticated approach to marketing, selling, distributing and delivering its value, Jeff could not achieve the results he expected. What specifically did Andy accomplish for Jeffrey J. Morella and his new business, The Complete Captive Solution, LLC (“CCS”)?
Andy worked with Jeff to:
1. Develop CCS’s clear go-to market strategy and its tactics, before designing the organizational chart and key company positions.
- Andy designed the needed roles and responsibilities and defined the COO position and actually identified CCS’s new COO, Mr. Shep Werth.
2. Frame CCS’s marketing challenge as a distribution problem, instead of a demand problem.
- Andy suggested Jeff take his message directly to his ultimate clients, business owners, with the support of their advisors.
3. Andy outlined key sales and marketing tactics and located the resources, people and tools needed to have it up and running in months.
- He simplified the complexity of communicating the details of what a series captive is, who it is for, and how it works best for certain business owners.
- By introducing and overseeing a professional marketing communications specialist, The Karol Company, Andy assured CCS’s messaging was simple, engaging and consistent, starting from its website through its sales collateral and finally throughout actual client proposals.
Within months of Jeff, Andy and Shep establishing its strategy, The Complete Captive Solution, LLC is up and running as a going concern, having secured it’s licensing, established its key business partners and landed its first 10 clients. Sales are on budget and both business owners and their advisors have recognized CCS as the premium provider and clear expert in the emerging field of series captives and how a business owner can best use them.
When Jeff Morella was asked, “What was Andy Birol’s contribution to the genesis of CCS?”, Jeff replied, “Andy Birol took my vision of offering an innovative service and guided me in turning it into a standalone business, built on a strong foundation and driven by clear business principles. This assures it becomes a very strong, profitable business with sustainable growth. Andy’s creativity, business experience and tenacity were the missing ingredients I needed as a lawyer to help me build an independent business. I would encourage any business owner and their advisors to bring Andy into the job or case. His unique style of independent thinking, business judgment and relentless follow-up make him a special breed of consultant. I am fully confident that my dream of building a standalone, sustainable business is being realized and I am proud of the results that CCS has already achieved.”
Filed under: Business Growth, Marcellus, Marcellus Shale, Pittsburgh
At this point, you know where to point your business to put food on your table. You know your core customers and target markets and can read the signs that tell they will or won’t buy more from your firm. For example if you:
- Sell technology to early-stage companies, you’ll pounce on those who get venture backing.
- Are in the building trades; you study the Dodge reports to see which owners and contractors are bidding jobs and work to get approved as a small or minority-owned business.
- Target the federal government, you are GSA and military-spec approved and watch what Congress is funding.
But now there’s all too much talk about the Marcellus and Utica Shale opportunity. If you’ll think of your core business as your “steak” consider the emerging energy sector as your “dessert.” While it won’t sustain your business it would be a very nice way to supplement your main “course.” So, what are the signs that its time to pounce? How do you approach this trillion-dollar segment especially when your services or products aren’t a neat fit with what gas drillers, landowners or energy companies buy?
First, here’s a quick review of Shale Gas 101. Watch and mimic the owners who are successfully targeting energy industry suppliers — and those who supply their suppliers, for example, trucking companies and those who supply their trucks. For more of a brush-up, visit www.marcellusshaleboom.com.
Here’s the next step: Learn the key signs when your business should pounce on its Marcellus or Utica opportunity? With gas prices down and environmental concerns up, what are your leading indicators that now’s the right time for your business to enjoy its just Marcellus desserts? Here are three signs (of many) that I’m seeing that might apply to your business.
1. Find Your Catbird Seat. Medium and small technology firms who can aggregate content and deliver it over the cloud are thriving. By exchanging information between “Tier 1’s” (CONSOL’s) and their Tier 2 and 3 suppliers, these firms are adding value in the safety, environmental, HR and any other field where compliance and record keeping is imperative.
a. Your Sign to Watch For. Watch for where and how the Tier 1’s are creating MSAs (Master Service Agreements) to manage their vendors. How can you become their go-between?
2. Hype Where’s The Pipe! Despite the apparent slowdown in drilling and gas prices, midstream pipelines are being built and furthermore, Hart Energy’s Marcellus Midstream Shows grow each time they come to Pittsburgh.
a. Your Sign To Watch For. Constructors announcing pipeline projects that move gas from local stockpiles to consumers can mean business for you. Watch what’s happening in your target markets. Pipelines create countless follow-on projects and potential work for your firm. The more piping that is sold, the more likely Tier 2 and Tier 3 shale gas-related businesses will bloom for you to approach and close.
3. This Isn’t Your Father’s Gas-Guzzler! Look who’s converting their oil or coal operations and vehicles to natural gas! And coal plants are closing or converting to LNG along with schools and residences. With impending new regulations for green trucks and the need to scrub diesel trucks, more and more gas is being used for local consumption. In rural areas, there is a kit being sold to convert a vehicle into a “hillbilly hybrid”
a. Your Sign To Watch For. Look for coal-related businesses. They need your help in “converting” their businesses to serve gas-fueled customers. Remember, conversions for consumption means the gas opportunity is growing regardless of the low price of gas because businesses are using LNG here and now.
Understanding the leading indicators of how the shale gas opportunity can benefit your business may not be critical to putting food on your table. After all, if your core business has survived this long, it’s likely to prevail regardless of whenever the local shale gas industry matures. But if you look forward to dessert, then consider put some of your “energy” into learning what signs point to your firm’s growth in the energy business.
Filed under: Business Growth, Pittsburgh, Profitable Growth, Uncategorized
Recently I lived the dream of every rock music fan: For four and a half days my friends and I sailed on the MS Legend Of The Seas alongside 27 classic rock bands who played nonstop on three separate stages. And sailing with 3,400 like-minded baby-boomer fans alongside our rock heroes created an instant community relishing the soundtrack of our lives.
What did I see, listen and learn from bands whose prime passed 30 years ago? Seeing rock leaders sustain their talents and keep performing for their fans inspired me to consider how business owners can do it too. If you wonder how you can keep on thrilling your next generation of customers, who like, rock fans may not even have been alive when you first got started, here are my five lessons and implications for your business along with some great concert photos courtesy of my friend Vickie Sullivan.
1. Keep your band performing like the headliners they once were. Paul Rogers of Bad Company, Free and The Firm struts and delivers a great show as if he was at Madison Square Garden.
- Implication for you. Passionately believe in your business’s value and keep delivering it powerfully and perpetually.
2. Ensure your band always has an inspired front man. When Foreigner’s leader Mick Jones replaced his lead signer Lou Gramm with young Terry McDermott, he saved the band and added decades to its life.
- Implication for you. When your business leadership requires you to replace founding members with energetic stars, put your business’s needs ahead of its past.
3. Love your core fans and they will create the next generation. The Marshall Tucker Band are the masters at drawing their audiences into their music. After hearing their leader Doug Gray tell their story, you want to sing his band’s praises as much as their songs.
- Implication for you. Your business undoubtedly has customers who care for you above and beyond just what they buy from you. Remember them and you’ll see cheerleaders you didn’t dream you still had.
4. Assume it’s all about you and you can lose your legacy. We can accept that our idols are getting old, but cannot listen to them live in their past instead of connecting to us in our present. Watching Black Oak Arkansas’ self-indulgent behavior onstage was off-putting.
- Implication for you. Double-check your business isn’t banking on its history but is building on its current successes to serve its customers in the future.
5. Classic fans know your band; new audiences want your hits. Rolling Stones’ saxophonist Bobby Keys, surrounded himself with a fresh young band and delivered his timeless songs like “Brown Sugar,” “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” “Whatever Get’s You Through The Night,” and “Delta Lady” as if he was still playing with Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Joe Cocker.
- Implication for you. Project your business legacy and value forward through new channels and voices. Your voice will be recognized as the founder as it carries on loud and clear!
For many of us, the music of the 70’s and 80’s is the soundtrack of our lives. As I watched Bachman and Turner sing “Taking Care of Business” it stirred me to recall my loves, triumphs, and challenges and then to think about you, my clients and your needs. As they play their hearts out in their later years, let’s be inspired by their legends and lessons as we EXTEND our business legacies!
With this January’s debut of the MCI, WPA business owners are taking a new and important way to voice their business confidence as well as where they intend to grow their businesses. Here are early results:
- Consistent with national polls, WPA owners plan to invest the same dollars in 2013 vs. 2012 in their businesses, but employ the same people or fewer to get their work done. Regardless, respondents expect to increase their business’ profitable sales in 2013.
- When asked to rank, “Where’s your firm’s next sources of growth?” a majority chose domestic US, then locally (from non-Marcellus sources) followed by Marcellus sources and lastly internationally.
- By general business sector, respondents see their growth coming first from wholesalers and distributors followed next and equally from manufacturing and government markets.
Finally you have a simple, regular way to join your peers to answer and learn an accurate, local and timely answer to the age-old questions, “How’s Business?” So take 3 minutes now and state your confidence on your MCI.
The MCI was developed by business growth expert and author Andy Birol and SMC Business Councils to professionally gather analyze and report back on your critical feedback.
Filed under: Business Growth, Pittsburgh, Profitable Growth, Uncategorized
Is your family business or privately held company doing better today, but not as well as it did before the recession? Have the low prices business buyers offered for your company derailed your retirement, exit or succession plans? You’re not alone. Many of my clients have faced similar situations and had to choose between the unacceptable and the uncertain.
They could unacceptably settle for less and sacrifice the value of their firms and the legacy of their ownership. Or, they could accept uncertainty, decide to refocus their efforts back to running, fixing, growing and preparing their businesses to be sold.
If you and your firm face this choice, and wonder what’s involved with choosing uncertainty, here are the questions my clients answered as they chose to run, fix, grow and prepare to sell their firms.
The first step to successfully reignite your company is to commit to more actively running it. Regardless of being the leader, do you need to increase your personal commitment to running your business? Given your company’s track record, or your latest take on its prognosis, what personal sacrifices must you make to reassert yourself as the leader of your business? Refocusing on running your business for further profitable growth starts with rolling up your sleeves and getting back to basics.
Does your company need some internal repair before it can really grow? Are your costs too high? Is your culture unsupportive? Are your sales, marketing or service efforts failing? What key disciplines do you need to demonstrate to show you mean business? Do you need to change your people or change people?
Does your company have the real potential to grow? Do you feel it when you watch your staff, talk to customers or see your competitors growing and taking your share? Is your firm focused on its Best and Highest Use®?
If you’re interested in creating organic growth, many ways exist to do this. The truth is, your marketplace may have punished your business but it has probably created new opportunities as well.
Do you need to reposition your company in the eyes of buyers and business brokers before you can fairly sell it? Do you need a better story to tell about the improvements you’ve made and the opportunities you can seize now?
If your company is in play or you’re getting ready to sell it, what does your organization need during the transition? Who is advocating for your company’s customers, employees, suppliers while the players are bargaining for their share of the sale?
After reviewing these questions, please know that your best decision is to make a decision. It’s now time to address the key factors to run, fix, grow and prepare your firm for sale. If you can’t see yourself doing so, then sell your business for what you can get for it. The owners I know who choose neither path suffer the most.
But if you’re ready to get down to business about your business, call me at (412) 973 2080.
Filed under: Business Growth, Pittsburgh, Profitable Growth, Uncategorized
My recent article for TEQ WWWWW: Why Don’t Wonderful Websites Work?, spelled out why my new website, would ignore the best advice of website gurus and would focus purely on generating conversations with visitors.
Well, I ate my own dog food and did what I told you I would. I created a blog–based website. It has no other purpose than to make it easy for visitors to qualify me, self-qualify themselves, get to content of value, and contact me. My new tag line for businesses is: Run it. Grow it. Fix it. Sell it.
The new site features case studies and success stories for three, tightly defined target markets–business owners, advisors, and meeting planners.
I made the centerpiece of the site the Growth Potential Index (GPI), a free, confidential, instant, non-promotional assessment visitors can complete. As they do, they self- profile themselves and demonstrate their interest in needing help.
My new website has been up only for three weeks, so I don’t know for sure how it’s going work. I’m told it’s too soon to tell. The spiders and crawlers haven’t yet picked it up. And I’ve chosen not to invest in keywords or other more traditional means to make the site sticky.
Instead, I use the native content that Google valued so deeply on my previous site because of my 500 articles. This approach propelled my former site to first-page status without any investment in keywords, clicks, or other artificial methods.
Thus far, I’m getting a steady flow of business owners who engage with me by taking the GPI. Their engaging with this tool gives me information I would otherwise lack on how they score on five criteria. For example:
- Best And Highest Use (BHU): Owners’ average confidence that they are focused on their own BHU is at the 53rd percentile.
- Personally Indispensable: 50% of business owners consider themselves personally indispensable to their businesses. The other 50% say that they are not.
- Focused Business: Nearly two thirds of owners report that their businesses are sufficiently focused on the right opportunities.
- Alignment: Surprisingly, owners’ average confidence level stands at the 56th percentile that their businesses are aligned with their own Best and Highest Use.
- Demand for Their BHU: Owners are at the 63rd percentile of confidence that the market will continue to demand their firm’s Best and Highest Use.
Website experts, designers, and social-media mavens may scoff. But frankly, I don’t care. If my strategy generates 10 conversations a month with business owners that I can turn into three meetings and close one sale, I’ll be pleased. Stay tuned.
Filed under: Business Growth, Marcellus, Pittsburgh, Profitable Growth
Ponder WPA’s small business history and prognosis before Marcellus. Pre-1980, Big Steel and other corporations paid big and fast–in 30 days. By doing so, big business financed their small-business suppliers’ growth and success. But in the early eighties, steel’s meltdown soured Western Pennsylvania’s economy and delivered the main blow that knocked small businesses out of their comfort zone.
Then, in 2007 the Great Recession challenged the very survival of small businesses as credit and demand dried up. Many survived, only by financing their big businesses customers in settling for payments up to 120 days. Fast payments by big business customers became a fond memory.
To cut their costs, big businesses started purchasing through third-party buying groups, further squeezing small-business’ margins in return for guaranteed, if only break-even customers.
To cut costs further, large businesses have outsourced functions. One employee now does the work of three and forces his small businesses vendors to work more and harder without getting paid for extra service.
In response, WPA’s small businesses have indulged their customer bases by providing too much value for the money and avoiding high-risk debt and expansion beyond low-risk, opportunities with existing customers. Deprived of margins for their extra services, too many small businesses have abandoned differentiating themselves to save thin profit margins. They simply don’t charge for needed research and development or for product or service customization. Consequently, small businesses have settled for “safe,” predictable results and abandoned selling and marketing high value for the money.
And now, the Internet has fulfilled its potential, enabling big companies to buy ever-cheaper goods and services worldwide. This has further disadvantaged small businesses. Finally, nonprofits and government entities, who, apparently view small businesses as merely their funding source, continually pressure small businesses to give, give, give regardless of what they need to survive or reinvest. Small businesses must do well before giving to do good.
Social responsibility and the green economy makes sense, but can’t substitute for small-businesses’ need to exchange real value for real money. Social entrepreneurism has never substituted for paying customers.
Going forward, WPA small businesses will succeed only when it exchanges its differentiated value with customers’ money who need them to solve their problems. Thereby, they can operate independently of large corporations, non-profits and government entities.
Small businesses can abandon serving big business at any cost, and serve customers who value their expertise and experience and pay a fair premium in return for these values.
They are free to rely on themselves and extend their comfort zones beyond serving only existing customers with under-priced, guaranteed products and services.
On this new path, small businesses are running on higher margins and charging more for improving the conditions and outcomes of their customers, especially the bigger bullies. Small businesses now offer charity and pro-bono services to those who value and honor it rather than demand and devalue it.
As the economy improves, small companies are hiring, investing, and thinking in terms of years not months. They’re running on lower credit lines and avoiding financing their customers. Hopefully gone are the 100-plus days of average accounts receivable. And small businesses are raising prices on unprofitable customers.
Small businesses know that the goodwill they’ve leveraged with larger companies may be fully depreciated. The big businesses they’ve served have declined, micromanaged as they are for high-volume sales and low margins.
Company buying behavior has also changed for the better. Customers now expect to pay more for what’s related to energy and transportation and for services tied to these sectors. Charging for these services shows that the worst is past, and that small businesses can take positive steps to succeed.
The key to further small-business growth is realizing that value is dynamic, not static. It matures and declines over time. It’s up to small businesses to fulfill customer needs as they emerge without relying on outside forces to improve their condition and to immunize them from value volatility. And that’s without even considering our impending trillion dollar Marcellus windfall!
Filed under: Business Growth, Marcellus, Pittsburgh, Profitable Growth, Uncategorized
When was the last time you’ve heard the old adage, “It takes 20 years to become an overnight sensation?” Lately I have been feeling this snappy line really applies to the Marcellus Shale boom! The inflection point when Marcellus really takes off won’t take a whole generation, but whenever the shale boom explodes, it will probably surprise many of WPA businesses just as any overnight success would. So, if you take this attitude, I suggest that waiting for a clear sign of when to invest your time, money and energy to grow your Marcellus business is a waste of your time and passion. Why? Because, just like all the breakthroughs we dream of and love to see, they never come exactly when or how they are expected.
For every positive sign like the new $1 billion Shell cracker plant, there are equally dismal predictions that the price of natural gas will never rise to make it profitable.
But I am an optimist (and there is far more evidence supporting an inevitable economic boom) so, as in all other parts of our lives, let’s be realistic and accept that we can never control the timing or the actions of others, but we can control our planning and our reactions to an expected boom.
So what reactions to an uncertain timing of the Marcellus Boom can we as business owners plan and control?
We can be deliberate in our planning and execute our intentional reactions, which, we should be doing anyway! So, if you want to know if you should grow your business when the shale gas boom hits, please ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have experience doing business in WPA?
- Do I need to find new markets and customers to grow my business?
- How many new customers have I met and sold in the last three years?
- Has my business reinvented itself under my leadership?
- Have my employees and I changed responsibilities and accepted new duties in the last five years?
- What new expertise have I recently gained in selling to the energy sector or any new industry?
I believe that energy money flowing into the WPA economy can mean opportunity for my business. I am growing convinced that the timing and the nature of the opportunity is not the real challenge that we as WPA business owners face. Instead it has much more to do with whether we can seize the moment, will we seize the moment and finally how will we seize that moment? Having these questions answered will make Marcellus work for you and your business, whenever it comes and whatever it looks like.
Andy Birol, Veteran Business Growth Consultant, to Deliver October 6, 2012 Keynote at IMC’s International Conference “Grow”
Filed under: Business Growth, Pittsburgh, Uncategorized
For Immediate Release
April 13, 2012
Washington, DC – The Institute of Managment Consultants USA (IMC USA), announced that Andy Birol, Founder of Pittsburgh based Birol Growth Consulting (www.andybirol.com), will deliver the keynote address on October 6th 2012 in Orlando, Florida at IMC’s International Conference, “Grow.” In his keynote, titled ”Crossing the Consulting Valley of Death: Lessons and Learnings from a Lone Wolf”, he will share his personal lessons in recapturing success following business setback, breakdown, and trauma amidst financial meltdown, client bailout and family heartache. Through examples and anecdotes of setback, breakthroughs and belly laughs, Birol will describe how he navigated his 15 year-old business past these challenges and how he rediscovered his Best and Highest Use®.
Dr. Gayle Carson, CMC, CSP, Conference Co-Chair says, “I have known Andy for over 10 years and his knowledge, innovation, business acumen and genuine concern and care for his client is stellar. He is the perfect example of how a one person boutique firm can become a giant in the consulting industry.”
Click Here to read more.
Filed under: Marcellus, Pittsburgh, Profitable Growth, Uncategorized
If you are more confused than ever as to if, when, and how the gas boom will impact your business, you are absolutely lucid and sober. Every month brings new confusing signals and contradicting advances and setbacks. While the fundamentals aren’t changing, it is can be hard to reconcile the following:
- Shell Corporation announces it will invest a $1 billion to build a cracker plant which will convert natural gas into plastics
- 7 coal-fired plants will be retired in WPA in anticipation of diminished reliance on coal
- Critical midstream pipelines to transport Marcellus gas across the US are being announced and funded.
- Governor Corbett signed the severance tax enabling PA municipalities to start benefitting from local gas well revenue.
- Shortages of housing, employees and skills continue to prove that the Marcellus footprint presents a short-term economic bonanza for those who can supply these scarce resources.
- Seismic concerns in the form of tremors in Eastern Ohio have spurred deep concerns and unclear scientific responses from both pro- and anti-drilling parties.
- There is a huge glut of natural gas in WPA creating the world’s natural largest gas storage field with 13,000 dormant wells.
- Low domestic prices of natural gas (around $2.00) continue to be less than half the breakeven cost of production given current market conditions.
- Weak state and local governments in most Marcellus shale states and counties mean gas drillers must lead in setting standards and assuming risks, liability and public distrust. In other words, they can be damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
- Portions of eastern Ohio have instituted moratoriums on new drilling, but have not taken steps to resolve issues or questions to settle differences.
I am more bullish than ever on the potential for companies who don’t work in or even understand the energy business. Every company in the Marcellus footprint can and must decide how they can benefit from the billions of dollars and thousands of jobs entering our region on a yearly basis. My focus will continue to be on helping growing businesses that are twice removed from gas drillers, landowners and energy giants.
And my growing client base aside, many small businesses are catching on and figuring out how to benefit from the Marcellus Shale. At the Hart Energy Marcellus Midstream Conference, I saw:
- Urgi-centers, selling health care and testing, are actually loading their services onto “health RV’s capable of delivering care to visiting remote gas drilling sites and fracking ponds
- Rental home services. With housing in tight supply and non-existent in Greene County, realtors and other parties are getting creative. Fractional rentals and room-rental brokers are setting up shop.
- Websites like www.themarcellushale.com are springing up offering visibility and educational opportunities for any and all who want to grow and learn.
- Luxury Port-O-Johns for upscale energy customer/client events at gas well sites is also a booming business.
So there is no silver bullet or straight line to opportunity in Marcellus but in anticipation of a future “Marcellus Lesson,” I am beginning to believe that the single biggest obstacle to growing a small business in the Marcellus Shale is the enormous clash between local and “outside business” culture. Specifically, how can a deeply proud and parochial region accept the inevitability of a profound, unstoppable economic change that brings both good and bad? In my workshops, interviews and client work, deep into rural areas in WV and PA, I have seen a level of distrust of outsiders as high as in any of the 68 countries I have visited. Incoming businesses and interlopers who want to start, grow and run businesses must learn to understand and respect the local values and culture of these rural areas. This will continue to be a challenge and underestimated by many newcomers to the region. But just as importantly, local business owners, citizens and governmental leaders will find themselves needing to compromise and open their hearts as well. There is work to be done and I will write more about this in coming months. Keep focused on Marcellus and how you can grow your non-energy business because of the shale opportunity.