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The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
April 8, 2010     The Perkins Journal
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April 8, 2010

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Thursday, April 8, 2010 By Cindy Sheets Contributing Writer Tough economic times serve as a great motiva- tor to look for ways to stretch the dollar, and a new Stillwater business recently opened to serve that need. "Recycling is really big n.ow," Larry Baker, Still- Water Shoe Repair owner, said. "But you don't hear about people recycling shoes." Baker said the current recession has caused people to rediscover what they had forgotten. "Shoe repair is cost- effective," Baker notes. He added most people don't think of bringing new shoes in for preven- tative maintenance, but that will save money in the long run.. Protective soles can be put on new shoes, then replaced over and over again, Baker said. Protective soles are also helpful for older people as it helps keep shoes from being too slippery. Stillwater Shoe Repair, which opened March 1, can repair and restore a variety of footwear, such as work boots, cowboy i boots, and women's and men's dress shoes. Baker also offers dis- count resoles on Danner boots for POlice and firefighters. "i do them for $60; the usual cost is around $90." Besides resoles, Baker can also patch and stitch shoes and boots. "This is modern shoe repair," Baker said, noting he stays on top of the Current technolo- gies and methods of shoe repair. "I blend newtech- nologies with traditional ones," he said. "I'm a little different than people around here are used to." Baker owned and operated two of the top three shoe repair shops in Omaha, Neb. for 19 years. He said after his three children grew up, he tired of big city life, sold his stores, and decided to look for a small city where he and wife Lucinda could enjoy retirement. During a short road trip, he discovered Stillwater and knew he was home. That was four years ago. "Retirement sounds good until you get there," Baker laughs. He kept himself busy volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, but finally realized'a need for a Shoe repair shop in Stillwater. ,I think it's a real underserved market," Baker said. He invites anyone to bring their worn footwear by for a quick quote or. repair.. "I can usually do repairs while you wait," Baker said. "It's a great benefit for out-of-towners." During his career, Baker worked on most kinds of footwear and has even presented seminars on "Repairing the Unrepair- ables." He also offers advice on maintaining your footwear. "You can double the life of your shoes just by conditioning them with a leather conditioner like Lexol," he said. Most importantly, Baker emphasizes shoe repair is a great way to save money while salvaging those favorite shoes .or boots. He also carries a vari- ety of shoe maintenance products, such as Lexol Larry Baker, owner of Stillwater Shoe Repair, offers repair and maintenance for a wide variety of footwear. The shop, which opened March 1, is located at the corner of Burdick and East Sixth Avenue in Stillwater. Photo by Cindy Sheets conditioner, Lincoln dress shoes (which usu- wax and other polisheS, ally runs $45). He can also order other Stillwater Shoe Repair products, is located on the corner of Stillwater Shoe Repairis Burdick and East Sixth ' offering several specials Avenue, in front of Locke through April, including Supply and Sears. half soles and heels for "All work is completed cowboy boots for $39 on premises quickly and (which usually costs efficiently with most around $50) and $39 for shines and heels com- pleted while you wait or shop," Baker said. "Almost everyone can benefit from my service even though most people don't realize it." For more information, just drop by the shop or call (405) 269-4098 or email info@stillwatersh oerepair.com. T'p lsF Last month, I introduced you to the business fan page on Facebook. This month's article will pro- vide some tips for acquir- By Dr. ing fans and for making your page more enjoyable for your current fans. It's a concept that Internet Business Consultant, Peter Fletcher. calls "building community, "" It's interesting to note that "building commu- nity" does not necessarily include sales. This is a somewhat strange concept Suzette Barta for businesspeople, but the Faceb00k business fan page is not designed for sales. Hopefully, however, you will connect with fans who are interested enough in your business commu- nity that they will decide to follow a link to your website. It is there that' you complete the sale. In fact, it is considered some- what tactless or gauche to try to "close the sale" on your Facebook fans. You may lose them if you try to d.o it too often. .If you are serious bout bringing fans to your business page, one option may be Facebook ads. (30 to www.facebook.com/ advertising for more information. One really cool feature of Facebook The national celebration of Arbor Day happens On the last Friday of April, although some states have designated other dates invest, consider putting whatever you can afford, however minimal, into an IRA and a 401 (k) or other employer-sponsored retire- y Matt Hull Edward Jones Investments for their own Arbor Day observances. Over the. years, Americans have planted millions of trees on this day, improving the environment, reduc- ing erosion and leaving an invaluable gift to future generations. But the con- cepts behind Arbor Day can also be transferred to other realms such as investing. So this year, why not take steps to establish your own Finan- cial Arbor Day? Here are some ideas to consider: Plantsome "seeds. "Even the mightiest trees started out small -- and the same is true of the portfolios of many successful investors, If you're just beginning to merit plan. If you've been investing for a while but still need to move closer toward your goals, you may have to seek out some new fields of opportunity and invest in them. Nurture the "roots." To grow, roots need to be fed through water, oxygen and minerals. Once you've planted the seeds of your investments, they need to be nourished, too. For example, once you've opened a 401(k), try to boost your contributions whenever you get a salary increase. Also consider fully funding your IRA Until yott've reached the annual limits. Seek out variety. If you look around your neigh- borhood,, you will likely find many different types of trees. And that's a good thing, because when Dutch elm disease or some other ailment strikes one type of tree, you and your neigh- bors still have others that can thrive. The same prin- ciple applies to investing: If an economic downturn or some other event pri- marily strikes one type of asset, and most of your money is tied up in that asset, you could run into trouble. That's why you should diversify your investment dollars among stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), Treasury bills and other securities. While diversification, by itself, cannot, guarantee a profit or protect against loss, it can help reduce the effects of volatility on your portfolio. Be patient. When you plant a seed, you know it will take many years for your efforts to reach frui- tion. Over time, your tree will lose some branches and bark, and it will be ads is that you can set up also announce your new a daily budget, so you can fan page at a local Cham- definitely do this on a shoestring budget if you so choose. Other inexpensive ways to advertise your fan page include adding it to your business cards and brochures. If you've already had brochures and ber of Commerce event or write a press release and send it to area newspa- pers. Having a fan page is not all about increasing your fan numbers. It is also extremely important to make the page valu- give your fans a reason to interact with your page. Perhaps the worst thing you can do is to create a page and then forget about it. Have you ever become a fan of a page and then heard nothing more about it? If you will go look at that page, you'll discover that the owner posted cards printed up, add your Faceb00k information to a simple mailing label and stick it on the back of the card or brochure. It costs nothing to add it to all your outgoing emails. You can buffeted by heavy winds, scorching sun and driving rains. However, if it has a strong set of roots, it can survive and grow. You need to show the same patience with your invest- ment portfolio, because it, too, will face a variety of challenges over the years, and at times it may appear beaten down. But if you follow a consistent strat- egy, supported by a mix of quality investments that reflect your risk tolerance, time horizon and long-term goals, and if you have the patience and discipline to ride out downturns, you can help yourself reach your objectives. When. people use their shovels and hoes on Arbor Day, they can create some- thing that will literally last a lifetime. And the same thing can happen when you declare your own Financial Arbor Day -- so get out Four investment "tools" and get to work. Matt Hull is a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments in Stillwater. able to your current fans. something when th,ey first Pages become valuable created the page, but has when you... 1) make the page engaging and 2) add value to the page. A page becomes engag- ing when the fans can have fun with it and will interact with it. For example, not all of your posts have to be strictly about the busi- ness. On Aspen Coffee Company's fan page, they asked their fans to list their favorite Will Ferrell movie character. This has noth- ing to do with coffee, but it is fun and a lot of fans left comments in response to it. Another technique for getting your fans to interact with your page is to post pictures. For example, posting pictures of employees wearing company t-shirts in front of famous landmarks serves two purposes--it promotes the t-shirt and it shows the personal side of the company. Even better, ask your fans to upload their pictures and videos. You add value to a page when the fan gets more than they expect from it. For example, if you sell .herbs, a posted recipe adds value. So does a link to a YouTube cooking demon- stration. If you sell jewelry or clothing, links to infor- mation on how to dress for your body shape add value. These little extras not posted since. For the fan page to be worthwhile for your business, you have to consistently post on it. Remember, every time you post something, your fans see it on their walls. You don't want to go over- board, but a post per day is certainly reasonable. (Try posting at different times during the day to catch dif- ferent users.) Plus, if you get fans to respond to some of your postings, be sure to respond back to them if possible. Admittedly, this will be difficult to do if you have thousands of fans. but not so bad if you have a couple of hundred. If you would like more information about a pub- lication that discusses Facebook fan pages in greater detail, just email me at suzette.barta@okst ate.edu. Dr. Suzette Barta is an Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development, with Payne County OSU Extension. She is also an active member of the Perkins Community Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Perkins Area Economic Development Authority.To contact her regarding the content of this or other articles, e-mail her at sbarta @provalue.net.