Starting and Growing Your Business: Success Now and in the Future

All successful entrepreneurs are forward-looking. So much so that even when entrepreneurs are in the very early stages of starting their business, they are typically actively searching for future ways to improve it, grow it and expand it.

One of the greatest examples of successfully applying this approach is the disciplined and innovative mind behind Verity – Canada’s premiere Women’s networking club.  The club’s founder Mary Aitken began Verity as a stand-alone business where women could meet, network, relax and have fun.

But, Mary, who is a very successful entrepreneur, thoughtfully researched the targeted market and soon found the need to expand Verity to include a world-leading restaurant (George), an enviable spa (Sweetgrass) and most recently, a luxurious hotel (The Ivey).

For BusinessCast #125 — Starting and Growing Your Business, Mary sits down with Robert and me and shares her compelling and exciting story. She also highlights some key lessons relevant for all entrepreneurs. Whether you are starting, honing or expanding your business, Mary provides some practical tips as well as inspires you to keep looking forward — and thereby ensure your success.

Smart Book Smarts — Key Entrepreneur Resources

Every year a slew of business books arrive in stores claiming to help entrepreneurs become more successful. But which books are really going to help you tackle your short- or long-term challenges?

Since Robert and I are always searching online/offline for resources that are truly practical and relevant for entrepreneurs, in BusinessCast episode #122 — Smart Book Smarts – we review three books that effectively address some of the most common and critical entrepreneur challenges.

The books we review in this episode are the following:

1) Selling to the C-Suite. What Every Executive Wants You to Know About Successfully Selling to the Top;

2) The Inspiring Leader. Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders Motivate; and

3) Upstarts. How Gen Y Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the World of Business.

Listen to BusinessCast episode #122 — Smart Book Smarts to get a flavour of these resources and decide for yourself which one(s) are most appropriate for you.

A special thanks to McGraw Hill who graciously provided these leading-edge entrepreneur resources.

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Entrepreneurs — In Action

Robert and I are always looking to identify events that help entrepreneurs succeed. Given that there is such an array of online and offline activities, it’s difficult for any entrepreneur to know which events and forums are truly worth their time.

That’s why we’re so pleased to have been invited to be official media guests for the 7th Annual Business Networking Night. The event has become one of the most worthwhile and fun evenings for up-and-coming business leaders in the City. In BusinessCast #121 – Robert and I captured the energy and enthusiasm from the event — organized by Toronto’s leading business networking facilitator, Jennifer Beale.

While at the event, we spoke to dozens of entrepreneurs and asked them two key questions:

  1. What is their biggest business challenge today; and
  2. How are they overcoming that challenge.

Listen to BusinessCast #121 and tap into the secrets behind how entrepreneurs are successfully tackling today’s most difficult challenges.

BTW, we’ve just added a new title to our ever-growing library of books — available for any of our listeners at no charge. The new book: “Upstarts: How Gen Y Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the World of Business.”

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Guy Kawasaki — Serial Entrepreneur

Energy. Passion. Commitment. Entrepreneurs bring a never-ending amount of these qualities to their businesses — regardless of the industry, the size of the company or the age of the business. But, here’s what’s truly astonishing: while you might expect the day-to-day challenges and pitfalls of leading a business to erode these qualities in fact, the opposite happens.

Dipping into a deep pool of determination and enthusiasm is particularly true in the case of serial entrepreneurs — that special breed of entrepreneur that is hard-wired to continually innovate, challenge themselves as well as challenge conventional ways of doing business . That’s why in BusinessCast podcast #120 Robert and I sat down with one of the World’s best known and most successful serial entrepreneurs: Guy Kawasaki.

Guy is known the World over for launching successful businesses, funding successful business ventures and authoring practical and insightful books to boost entrepreneurs’ success. While Guy’s latest book, Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging and Outmarketing Your Competition may seem like it’s trying to be all things to all business owners/leaders, it certainly is filled with advice and tools that make it a valuable reference book for entrepreneurs.

Listen to BusinessCast podcast #120 and get a glimpse into the mind of a serial entrepreneur with an enviable track record — as Guy shares some of his approaches and secrets.

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Penetrating New Markets

One of the most exciting times in any entrepreneur’s business life is when they successfully penetrate new markets. Of course, “new markets” can mean a different segment, a different industry, a different geographic region, etc. But, whatever the focus, the key to success is applying discipline — but, where to begin?

To answer this question, for BusinessCast podcast episode #119 — Penetrating New Markets – Robert and I sat down with Tony Lourakis, CEO of Markham-based, Complete Innovations. Tony shares his insights about how, in under nine years, he has successfully taken an innovative niche business into new markets. At the same time, Complete Innovations has earned accolades such as being named in the Profit Hot 50 and the Profit 100.

Listen to BusinessCast podcast episode #119 — Penetrating New Markets – and you’ll gain practical insights on how and when you can penetrate your next new market!

A special thanks to Victoria Freeman at High Road Communications for introducing us to Tony.

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Green Business Trends: Ensuring Business Sustainability

Robert and I have always supported entrepreneurs like you in your quest for success. That invariably means creating a sustainable business  — one that is capable of ensuring wealth for investors,  fulfillment for employees and value for customers/clients and the community.  Over the last few years, sustainable has also come to take on another meaning: being respectful of the environmental impact and resources required to keep a business profitable.

Focusing on this new dimension, environmental sustainability,  for BusinessCast episode #118,  Robert and I sat down with Rob Colman — Senior Editor of Green Business magazine. Rob shares with us what he sees are the latest trends in “greening businesses” and the opportunities that presents for entrepreneurs like you.

At the same time, if you’re wondering if, when and how you should integrate environmentally sustainable practices into your business, also check out BusinessCast #112 — Greening Your Business where Rob Grand, President of Grass Roots Stores shares his practical insights.

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Looking after Your Wealth

We’ve all seen businesses rise and fall. But, why do some businesses implode while others flourish? We’re fascinated to find the different answers to this question which has perplexed entrepreneurs since the onset of commerce. That’s why Robert and I are constantly exploring the critical components and conditions that make entrepreneurs and their businesses succeed.

It turns out that one of the fundamentals to determining success or failure hinges on an often unspoken assumption: entrepreneurs equate business success with their wealth. But, what happens when that isn’t the case? What happens when an entrepreneur’s long-term wealth is hampered by their very own life’s work (i.e. their business)?

In BusinessCast #117 — Family. Business. And, Wealth – Robert and I explore how entrepreneurs can ensure long-term wealth by sitting down with Thomas Deans, author of the widely-acclaimed book: Every Family’s Business. Thomas takes a truly practical — and sometimes controversial — approach to ensure that entrepreneurs can build and sustain the wealth they’ve worked so hard to build…even if that means drastically changing their relationship with the business that’s been in their family for generations. While that might sound sacreligious to many, his disciplined approach and rationale is a wake-up call to every entrepreneur.

Whether you’re managing a family business, selling a family business, investing in a family business or purchasing a family business, you’ll want to listen to Thomas’ insights in this episode of the BusinessCast podcast.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

More Free Business Resources

Robert and I are constantly gathering and sharing useful business resources with BusinessCast podcast listeners. For example, last month, we gave away a Blackberry Bold to an intrepid entrepreneur in our Entrepreneur Be Bold!” contest.

And, we’re always adding to our library of practical business books. In fact, recently, we added several new titles including:

  • Business Lessons from the Edge – Learn How Extreme Athletes Use Intelligent Risk Taking to Succeed in Business
  • Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications
  • Financial Statements Demystified
  • Click: Ten Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships
  • Fearless Leadership
  • Winning Sales Letters
  • Every Family’s Business – 12 Common Sense Questions to Protect Your Wealth
  • Turn Small Talk Into Big Deals

To get any of these free resources,  just send a note to robert@BusinessCast.ca.

Later this week, we’ll be posting an interview with Tom Deans, author of Every Family’s Business. Because this book is focused, practical, easy-to-read and truly universal, it’s become  a “BusinessCast Essential” book — that is, a critical resource that we believe all entrepreneurs should spend time with. Tom takes a fascinating, controversial and unique approach to ensure that every entrepreneur — buying or selling a family business — can retain wealth.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Business by Inspiration – Part One

Every successful entrepreneur eats, breathes and sleeps their business. But, what keeps entrepreneurs constantly growing and striving for greatness? It’s rarely as simple as a desire for money or notoriety. Rather, it’s usually some intangible and perpetual pool of inspiration. When that source of inspiration is coupled with the ability to harness core business disciplines the outcome is, well…inspirational!

When we sat down with Jennifer Beale, public relations and networking professional, for BusinessCast episode #116 we clearly saw the outcome of her inspiration. At the same, her success reveals some  important business lessons that will truly inspire and direct every entrepreneur.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Business Trends – Part One

Successful entrepreneurs are always harnessing the latest technologies and processes to ensure that their business is as focused and efficient as possible. This requires entrepreneurs to constantly be on the lookout for broad trends (e.g. political, social, demographic) as well as industry-specific trends (e.g. market receptivity, competitors, access to resources and required skills).

So, in BusinessCast podcast episode 115 — Business Trends — Part One — we take up the discussion of the importance of trends with Sacha Ghai. Sacha is a Partner at McKinsey & Co — which is one of the world’s leaders in helping companies develop/improve their strategies, technology and operations.

In future episodes, Robert and I will also drill down with other experts on the trends that will have the greatest on entrepreneurs and their success.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

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