Franchising for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, you eat, drink and sleep your business. It’s your passion — it keeps you going; it keeps you exploring; it keeps you growing.

So, it shouldn’t be any surprise that many entrepreneurs, just like you — somewhere in their business lifetime — tip their toes into franchising, either as a franchisee or a franchisor. Why? Because it can be a very effective method for:

  • Trying another type of business;
  • Investing in a proven brand;
  • Generating new or additional sources of revenue; and
  • Building lifelong business relationships.

It’s for these reasons that in BusinessCast podcast episdode #94 — Franchising for Entrepreneurs – Robert and I sat down with Lorraine MacLachlan, the President and CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA). Lorraine leads a team of dedicated professionals who share a core value with all of the BusinessCast podcast guests and loyal listeners: they want to see entrepreneurs succeed!

As a result, the CFA provides some great resources to help you determine if, when and how franchising is right for you.

Make sure you check out some of the CFA’s current research and publications and join us at the Canadian Franchise Show on February 21 and 22.  As recognized members of the business media, we’ll be gathering real-life stories ‘live’ at the show and sharing them with you.

BTW, keep an ear open for our podcast in two weeks (February 14), we’ll be hosting Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp — Part 2. Matthew Vernhout, the email marketing guru from emailkarma.net will be back. Matthew will share practical tips to get your email successfully delivered, opened, acted upon and measured. Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp — Part 1 was a huge hit! So, you won’t want to miss out on the additional insights that will ensure the success of your future email marketing campaigns.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Email Marketing Bootcamp Part 1

Email is part of every entrepreneur’s life. But, email marketing remains a mystery for most. Why? Because to do it cost-effectively and to achieve the right business objectives has become increasingly complex. That’s where our guest comes in…

In BusinessCast podcast episode #93 Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp Part 1 our guest Matthew Vernhout, email guru and voice behind the authority EmailKarma.net spells out how entrepreneurs — of all sizes and across industries — can develop email marketing campaigns that truly work. In Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp Part 1 Matthew addresses:

  • The key players involved in any successful email marketing campaign
  • How to establish relevant and measurable goals
  • How to build and grow your database of email subscribers

In a few weeks, Matthew will be back to address the final stages of any profitable and effective email marketing campaign. So, in Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp Part 2, Matthew discusses how entrepreneurs can optimize their campaigns by:

  • Ensuring that email actually arrives after you send it
  • Getting your emails opened
  • Ensuring your email is acted upon
  • Measuring success and improving follow up campaigns

You’ll enjoy this, our first ‘bootcamp’ series because it mixes some high-level approaches and some practical to-do’s — all of which will help your email marketing campaigns work better for you. Chances are you’ll also be inspired by Matthew because he shares our philosophy of business which is: “by sharing best practices and tools, every entrepreneur wins!”

Make sure that you listen to next week’s episode as well — particularly if you’ve ever thought about franchising your business or investing in a franchise. Robert and I chat with Lorraine MacLachlan, President and CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association (www.cfa.ca). Lorraine brings passion and excitement to the topic of franchising. And, the timing couldn’t be better because the CFA is hosing the Canadian Franchise Show on February 21 and 22. FYI, Robert and I will be at the show gathering compelling stories, lessons and insights for you from franchisors and franchisees.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Networking for Entrepreneurs: Part 2

In BusinessCast podcast episode #92 – Networking for Entrepreneurs, Robert and I interviewed the inspiring networking guru and author of Smart Networking, Liz Lynch. She shared some of the background and core lessons that can be found in her book. But, do we think that her book is going to become the new networking benchmark? Short answer: yes!

Here’s a rapid book evaluation and review which outlines why this is an important resource for any busy entrepreneur looking for practical tools they can use in the short- and long-term. Specifically, Smart Networking:

1) Identifies and addresses the most common obstacles to effective networking. For the most part, these obstacles are ways that people feel about — and therefore approach — networking. Smart Networking addresses these mental blocks head-on rather than avoiding or ignoring them. This is a refreshing approach that will appeal to anyone who hesitates with the prospect of networking (pgs 11-32).

2) Succinctly outlines a straight forward approach to ensuring networking success: be found, be personable and be credible. This foundation may sound simplistic but, the reality is that everyone can build on at least one  of these principles (pgs 33-44).

3) Provides practical and foundation-setting tools that can be used by every current or budding entrepreneur regardless of industry (pgs 45-62).

4) Identifies actionable strategies that entrepreneurs can implement based on their own skills, willingness, availability and budgets (pgs 63-119).

5) Addresses available online tools and communites as a method to optimize networking efforts and results  (pgs 120-164).

6) Outlines a realistic and measurable networking plan (pgs 165-177).

Bottom Line for Entrepreneurs: Smart Networking is a critical networking tool — ideal for those who want to begin or hone their networking activities. Also, check out Liz’s site which complements the book with tools including an initial (and free) self-assessment.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Networking for Entrepreneurs – Part 1

Every entrepreneur recognizes that networking is essential to succeed. It’s the most effective marketing tool for building new business relationships and growing new revenues. However, the truth is that even the prospect of networking causes many entrepreneurs to cringe. But, that’s not because it is not seen as valuable. Rather, its because, mastering the art of networking remains an uncomfortable, and often unaddressed, mystery.

No need to worry. In BusinessCast Podcast episode #92, Networking for Entrepreneurs, Robert and I bring you a resource that is guaranteed to make you a better networker…regardless of your current networking skills.

We interview one of the World’s leading networking “gurus” — Liz Lynch, author of Smart Networking: Attract a Following In Person and Online. Without a doubt, this practical and easy-to-read book is destined to become the networking Bible. And, because Liz is so candid, realistic and knowledgeable, she (and her book) truly inspire!

Later this week, in the blogpost entitled, Networking for Entrepreneurs – Part 2, we build on our conversation by doing a book review/summary of Liz’s book to give you a real flavour of how this resource is a “must-have” for any entrepreneur.

Finally, Liz has so much insight to bring to help entrepreneurs become more effective networkers, we’re going to have her back as a BusinessCast guest in a few weeks. At that time, we’ll play out the most common networking scenarios so that you can see how you will achieve the best results in similar situations.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Mobile Marketing – The Ultimate Starter Kit

Mobile Marketing — it’s not only the “next big thing” that every entrepreneur needs to take advantage of to optimize their business, it is the “next big thing” NOW! That’s why in BusinessCast Podcast episode #91 – Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs — The Ultimate Starter Kit we interviewed MobileMarketer.com’s Editor-in-Chief, Mickey Alam Khan.

Mickey, who is an intrepid entrepreneur himself, answers the key questions that all entrepreneurs ask themselves when confronting an exciting new marketing channel like mobile marketing:

  • When should I invest in mobile marketing?
  • How do I start in mobile marketing?
  • What are the challenges that I will face?
  • What are the key trends that I need to be aware of?

In Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs — The Ultimate Starter Kit we also highlight our Entrepreneurs Be Bold Contest – where you can win a Blackberry Bold (courtesy of Research in Motion).

Finally, here are a handful of resources that, along with Mickey’s insights, can help your mobile marketing efforts be successful:

1) Mobile Marketer — The World’s largest/most popular mobile marketing publication. The site includes real-life case studies and guides to mobile commerce and mobile advertising. At the same time, the online journal provides timely, succinct articles and sector-by-sector insights.

2) An Introduction to Mobile Marketing — This BusinessCast blog post includes key resources to help you quickly become familiar with the key players, common myths and terminology associated with mobile marketing.

3) Common Short-Codes Registries — When you get underway with your mobile marketing, one of your first steps involves registering for a common short code (CSC). Here’s where you need to register these short codes:

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Building the Future

Robert and I refrain from predicting the future. However, we do go on record to identify the topics that we will be tackling in upcoming episodes of the BusinessCast Podcast. And, that’s what BusinessCast Podcast episode #90 is all about — a summary of upcoming topics.

Of course, we’ll dig deep into relevant issues that face all entrepreneurs across all business areas such as marketing, operations, human resources, sales, technology and finance.

This year, we’ll also delve into some new areas such as industry-specific issues/opportunities and key trends.

And, we’ll also be conducting interviews with high-profile entrepreneurs and authors as well as attending entrepreneur-focused events.

Finally, we know that entrepreneurs have been using the BusinessCast Podcast at “lunch and learns” to encourage discussion and stimulate creativity — with all levels of management and staff. If you want us to lead or attend such sessions, contact Robert at Robert@BennettGold.ca.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

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