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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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

Business by Association

If you’re like most successful entrepreneurs, you’ve found great value in belonging to professional associations. But, what about getting involved in the leadership of an association? What’s involved? What are the benefits? Is it right for you? Is it right for you now?

To answer these questions, in BusinessCast Podcast #111 — Business by Association, Robert and I gather practical insights about this topic from the President of one of Canada’s most prestigious and dynamic associations — the Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs (www.CAWEE.net). As a successful entrepreneur herself, Beth Parker speaks candidly about the realities of leading this forward-looking association.

After listening to Business by Association, you’ll know if/when it makes sense to pursue a role in leading an association — for you and your business. Finally, here are some resources that you can tap into about association leadership/management:

Resource Centre for the American Society of Association Executives/and The Center of Association Management; and

List of Publications by the Canadian Society of Association Executives.

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Business Succession — Making the Most of the Opportunity

All entrepreneurs, at one time or another, must contend with business succession. For example:

  • Are you buying a business from someone?
  • Are you planning to sell your own business?
  • Are you taking a back seat/different role in the business you’ve built?
  • Have you taken over the helm of a business for an aging/exiting family member?

Regardless of the circumstances, you’re going to face succession issues and challenges. And the way, you deal with these issues will have a tremendous impact on you, your friends, your family and your business.

That’s why in BusinessCast Podast #110 Robert and I sat down with succession-management guru John Geddes who recently authored one of Canada’s business top sellers Succession and the Family Business: A Road Full of Potholes or Paved With Gold“. The old school of thought for succession had been “get the legal and accounting issues dealt with and everything would be fine.” But, John’s worked with enough entrepreneurs to know that the interpersonal challenges unique to family businesses must be dealt with properly to ensure a successful and smooth succession. And, that rule applies whether you’re an entrepreneur taking over a family business or an entrepreneur making plans to leave a family business to take on other opportunities.

But, John’s wisdom is universal. His insights about the emotional dynamics that play out in family businesses during succession can help any entrepreneur who serves or sells to family businesses going through difficult transitions.

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All the Money You Ever Needed — Winning The Entrepreneur Lottery

Congratulations, you’ve done it — you found investment funds for your business!  But now, what can you expect from those who have invested in your dream? Is all the hard work really over?

To answer these questions, in BusinessCast Podcast #106, we sat down with John Loewen, CEO of Loewen & Partners, a specialty private equity investment bank, to help provide clarity about what life is like for entrepreneurs after receiving investment funds. It turns out that this can be a great time — if the “fit” is right. John brings a wealth of experience as well as provides some straight-talk and practical insights.

After listening to BusinessCast Podcast #106, you will be much better informed about what you can expect after you receive investment and therefore when it’s truly the right time for you to seek and secure investment.

When you are ready for investment make sure that you listen to BusinessCast Podcast #74 – Money Magnet -- where we review one of the finest and most effective resources to help entrepreneurs secure investment funding.

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a Blackberry Bold! All it takes is 100 words (or less) on why a Blackberry Bold will help your business.

Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Cost Savings for Entrepreneurs

We know the cost pressures that entrepreneurs are facing today. So, Robert and I sat down to identify practical advice that entrepreneurs can take to save costs now. And, that’s why BusinessCast Podcast #100 – Cost Cutting for Entrepreneurs is very straight-forward.

Of course, keep in-mind, before cutting costs across your company, ask yourself two key questions:

  • Are we acting as efficiently as we can?
  • Are we doing anything that we should not be doing?

Often answering these questions for yourself generates the greatest cost-savings for your business.

Finally, here are two other good resources for cost-savings tips:

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a Blackberry Bold!

Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Transformative Change: Start with the Digital Mindset

Every successful entrepreneur knows: to be successful means constantly changing. And, therein lies the irony — to be successful you’ve got to change something…and something that has allowed you to be successful up to now. But, where do you start? What needs to change? When should you change? How do you implement change? How do you make the right changes “stick”?

Now, combine that leadership reality with your day-to-day management challenges such as: the entry of new competitors, the rising price of doing business, new technologies, greater business risks, evolving customer expectations and your team’s desire to grow professionally.

So, at the end of the day, who’s got time to plan, implement and measure the kinds of changes that will ensure your continued success? Since this is the reality in which all entrepreneurs work, check out BusinessCast Podcast episode #99 — Grown Up Digital where we talk with Futurist (and pragmatist) Don Tapscott. The internationally renowned author shares insights and principles that you can apply now to ensure your future success.

The core of Don’s insights revolve around the values and behaviours that businesses need to embrace to succeed. And, not surprisingly these are brought to your business (and your competitors’ businesses) by the current generation of workers — those who have, you’ve guessed it , Grown Up Digital. Together, we touch upon issues that span all areas of business such as Human Resources (e.g. recruitment and retention), Marketing, Operations and Finance.

Once you’ve got a handle on the Digital generation and what they expect out of their workplace — as well as the opportunities and costs of adapting to leverage this generation’s strengths, you’ll also want to get a handle on how to manage the mix of generations within your workplace. Three resources that can help you in this regard include the following:

1. A Boomer’s Guide to Communication with Gen X and Gen Y. This Business Week article summarizes how these two generations approach items including: technology, compensation, collaboration, workplace gossip, attire, socializing and corporate loyalty.

2. If your business requires the energies of those who are currently graduating, review the recent Globe and Mail article, The Class of 2012: Mr. Google’s Children.

3. The American Management Association’s “Generations at Work“ has become a seminal piece of business literature that clearly and concisely explains the core values, assumptions and expectations of each of the current/evolving generations. To get you inspired, read Robert and my book review.

Don’t forget to enter the contest to win a Blackberry Bold!

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Bringing Out the Passion

Robert and I are always talking about passion — particularly when it comes to passion that entrepreneurs have for their businesses. Over the last few months, we’ve interviewed business entrepreneurs who truly exude passion in everything they do. In fact, they eat, sleep and breath their business.  In BusinessCast Podcast #88 – A Business Passion Play, we sat down with Paul Chato – President of Your Web Department and member of the hilarious Canadian comedy troup the Frantics – who is passionate about his business because he sees it as a tool to re-connect entrepreneurs with passion about their business! Paul provided some keen and entertaining insights as well as a handful of very unique ways for tapping into and extracting passion about business. This podcast will make you laugh and think! Enjoy!

After speaking with Paul, we asked ourselves, “How is that people lose passion for their business?” After all, why have a business unless it energizes and inspires you! So, we spoke to a number of BusinessCast Podcast listeners and fans and came up with a shortlist of reasons. Here are the top seven reasons why entrenpreneurs lose passion for their business:

  • Frustration with the time, effort and expense required to have customers understand the benefits of products/services
  • Keeping pace with rapid fluctuations in product/service development and marketing costs
  • The inability to consistently anticipate costs and revenues accurately
  • Losing touch with customers’ demands
  • Experiencing turnover of key staff
  • Spending considerable time and expense recruiting and hiring staff
  • Feeling the burden of needing to control every aspect of work

But, hope is not lost if your passion is waning. We address many of these issues head on other episodes of the BusinessCast Podcast.

Finally, read 12 one-and-a-half page stories of how entrepreneurs with passion solved today’s most common business challenges .

BTW, if you want to see Paul in action, here are a couple of classic Frantics skits from YouTube -

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Piercing the Business Fog for Entrepreneurs

Wow!! Have you ever wanted to learn key insights from the senior level of the most respected and successful brands in the World? Well here’s you chance!

This week on the BusinessCast Podcast we have an exceptional guest — Bruce Hunter — a seasoned business leader and manager. In fact, Bruce has been a senior executive at several Fortune 500 companies and completed strategic deals for these companies valued at billions of dollars!  On BusinessCast episode #87 – Coming in from the Fog, Bruce shares some valuable lessons from his new book that are applicable to all businesses — regardless of size, geographic location, age, industry or vision!

After listening to the show, check out Bruce’s book, Fog Lights, Piercing the Fog of Everyday Business which is available at:

You can also read a sample about *pricing* from the book at Bruce’s own website. Enjoy!

Finally, it turns out that several of the themes that Bruce highlights in this show, we’ve covered in detail during previous BusinessCast Podcasts. For those of you who want to dig a bit deeper, here are a few episodes well worth re-visiting:

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

The Perfect Business Partner – BlogPost #2

We know how important business partners can be to the short-term and long-term success of your business. That’s why BusinessCast show #84 – How to Find the Perfect Business Partner has been so very popular.

So, as promised, here are some links to useful resources to help you optimize the relationship with your business partner:

Remember: This month, we’re launching an exciting contest where you can win a Blackberry Bold. So, make sure that you listen to future episodes of the BusinessCast podcast and return to this blog for details.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

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