September/October 2009

In This Issue
Reflections From a Seasoned Business Executive
TTE Hires Technology Services Company
TTE Tidbits
Have You WrittenYour Letters of Love Yet?
A Dictation and Note-Taking Tool for Busy Professionals

Trends, Tips, and How To Thrive in a Challenging Economy

For the past 10 years Steve Larrick, a Mentor and Best Practice Chair with the organization Vistage International, has used his business expertise to help top executives grow personally and professionally in order to become better decision-makers and business leaders. Over the last nine months he and other Vistage leaders have taken their members through a rigorous analysis on how they are running their businesses. TTE recently caught up with Larrick to talk about trends, tips, and how to thrive during this challenging economy.
     The Vistage members Larrick works with are CEOs of small- to mid-size businesses. According to Larrick, 80% of those businesses have been affected by the downturn in the economy. Sales and finances are two common areas where businesses have been impacted. As sales drop and it becomes more difficult to get those sales dollars back, "Businesses need to be much more
tuned in to effective sales and marketing plans and techniques," Larrick says. Regarding financing he says, "It isn't like it used to be where you could walk into a bank and you'd get three or four banks competing for your business." Instead, companies find themselves having to focus on just one bank and go through that particular bank's multi-step process.
     To survive and thrive, Larrick stresses the importance of cash flow and quality team players. "Number one, make sure you have a positive cash flow every month," he says. While Larrick recognizes decisions regarding staff can be difficult in entrepreneurial companies, he recommends making sure that you have top performers on your team. He believes that the tough decisions are necessary to keep businesses strong and viable, especially during a challenging economy.
     Larrick also recommends companies persist in their marketing, advertising, and sales efforts. "Those are softer expenses that sometimes you do not see the value or benefit of directly or immediately, but by backing away from those efforts, you're basically reducing the chance you're going to do more business in the future," he says.
     Keeping your eye out for business growth opportunities is another way to survive and thrive. As you maintain a healthy company balance sheet, keep costs under control, have a positive cash flow, and show a profit margin, you can be ready to take on business as other companies lose clients or go out of business.
     While Larrick expects the economy to continue to be a challenge, he does feel there have been improvements over the last six months. And of the Vistage members he works with he says, "They've become stronger business people because they have been faced with challenges and overcome them. In the past, when the economy was roaring along, mediocre performance could produce good results. But now with businesses running much better, I think business people today are much sharper than they used to be."

Steve Larrick spent 25 years at Harris Chernin, a wholesale and retail shoe company, the last five as its CEO. Larrick has been with Vistage International for 15 years. He first came to Vistage International as a member when he was CEO of Harris Chernin, Inc., and then joined the Vistage International staff ten years ago. As a Mentor and Best Practice Chair, he currently runs two CEO groups and oversees the Chicago market.  


System monitoring and back-up. Disaster Recovery. Information Technology (IT) support is becoming increasingly important to companies everywhere as more and more work is done electronically and over the Internet. TTE is no exception, and has brought on the company Aqueity as its IT support partner.


  • TTE's CEO Terry Thompson recently joined the LinkedIn West Suburban Networking Group.
  • The 23rd Annual Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference was held on September 16th in downtown Chicago at Navy Pier. Sponsored by Women's Business Development Center, the day-long conference included workshops, forums, and a vendor hall. TTE's CEO Terry Thompson spent the day walking the vendor hall and networking.
  • Congratulations to Sue Rosenfeld on her published contribution to Quiet Reflections of Hope. Rosenfeld writes/edits the TTE newsletter, and has also worked on many other TTE writing projects.
  • Books on Thompson's reading shelf currently include To Kill A Mockingbird, So What's the Difference?, and The Doomsday Key.

Terry Thompson, CEO, TTE Transcripts Worldwide

I love when my family gathers for holidays, celebrations, and weekend get-togethers. Besides doing a lot of eating, my parents always talk about the "days of old" when they were kids - what they did for fun, what jobs they had growing up, and what my grandparents were like when my parents were my age. All of my grandparents died before I was 20, so I cherish any family stories my parents tell me. Now that my Mom is turning 79, and my Dad has just turned 81, I worry about being able to pass those stories down to my children and grandchildren.
     About three months ago, my mom decided she wanted to start writing down the stories we loved hearing, her thoughts, and her memories - the days of her childhood, living during World War II, the Cold War, what she was doing when JFK was assassinated, the dairy products delivered to her parents' home, and being the last family on the block to get a black and white T.V. She used a notepad to journal, but didn't always have it with her when she needed it. Many times she'd remember a story, recall an event, or reflect on a memory at the grocery store, in line at the bank, or while driving her car. By the time she got back home, she couldn't remember what she had wanted to write down.
     I suggested she use TTE's dictation system to record her "letters of love" and create a Legacy Journal that can be passed down from generation to generation. Now instead of a pen and paper, she picks up her cell phone. She doesn't have to rummage through her purse to find paper or pen or wait until she gets home to write in a journal. TTE archives her audio recordings for the time when she is ready to put her Legacy Journal into a CD or manuscript format.
     If you want to pass on the story of your generation, preserve the memories of times past, and create a Legacy Journal with "letters of love," call TTE today at 847-592-6211.


With TTE's IdeaScribeŽ, your virtual secretarial service, you never have to wait for pen and paper to get your thoughts, ideas, and observations recorded. Simply use your phone! Whether you are a business executive on the go, an entrepreneur just starting out, a detective short on time, a writer who likes to think out-loud, or a crime scene investigator who wants to focus more on investigating than manual note-taking, IdeaScribeŽ may be just the tool you need to work more effectively and efficiently.

IdeaScribeŽ, your virtual secretary, is available 24/7 and features a secure, easy-to-use, automated phone line. Your dictated information is skillfully and accurately transcribed by our competent professionals -- your virtual secretaries. The completed transcript is delivered via e-mail to your requested recipients.
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Call TTE today at 847-592-6211 to start using IdeaScribeŽ!


I always get a fast response when I send files for transcription. This service saves my company many hours in productivity. Without TTE, it would be difficult for us to complete our projects and meet our deadlines.
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JohnstonWells Public Relations

TTE goes above and beyond in their service.
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Draft FCB Healthcare

Where efficiency and accuracy is critical, TTE Transcripts really shines. Their customer service is always exceptional.
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