Business Crisis? What Crisis?

No-one likes a crisis. That’s why it’s far too common for even the most successful entrepreneur to overlook crisis planning. The challenge is that once you’re in the middle of a true business crisis, you rarely have the time or the resources to deal with it as well as you would want to.

After all, you could find yourself thrown into a very tense situation — trying desperately to deal with members of the media, angry clients, disenchanted employees, wary investors, intrusive regulators and other critical stakeholders.

It’s an emotional time and all it takes is saying ONE wrong word and your business can suffer. That’s why in BusinessCast episode #123, Robert and I “pick the brains” of one of the Nation’s leaders on crisis communications. Dr. Allan Bonner and his team have advised Canada’s most senior business leaders, political figures and sports figures to successfully avoid a crisis, deal with a crisis and turn around a crisis to their advantage.

Listen to BusinessCast episode #123 and get some practical insights on how you can make sure that you’re prepared when a crisis hits your business.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs: Part 1

Mobile marketing – it’s more than those ‘short codes’ you punch in your phone to vote for your favourite Canadian Idol. Mobile search, mobile advertising, mobile payment, mobile browsing….well, you get the point.

In fact, if you have any of the newest generations of ‘smart phones’, you have in the palm of your hand a communications/business tool that will very soon dramatically change the way you market to your customers.

But how do you take full advantage of this mobile technology and all of the new marketing opportunities that it creates? To get a handle on the current/upcoming opportunities, take two simple steps:

1) Review Mobile Marketing – Part 1 - a blog post that includes a handful of very focused resources to get you comfortable with mobile marketing fundamentals;

and

2) Listen to the BusinessCast Podcast Episode #75 – Don’t Hang Up: Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs.

Our very special podcast guest is Michael Younder — one of the senior product marketers at Research In Motion (R.I.M.) — home of the ubiquitous Blackberry!

Michael shares entertaining stories, insights and trends about mobile marketing, product development and branding. At the same time, Michael — along with Robert and I — highlight those lessons relevant for every business entrepreneur.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Mobile Marketing For Entrepreneurs: Pick Up! Opportunity is Calling!

Have you ever wondered how you were going to leverage the ‘next big thing‘?

Well, it’s here and it’s time! It’s mobile marketing!

Mobile marketing is quickly becoming one of those rare phenomenon in business where a number of technologies and markets converge so powerfully that thousands of new and exciting opportunities emerge for entrepreneurs– semingly overnight.

So, to get a handle on the current/upcoming opportunities, take two simple steps:

1) Review Mobile Marketing – Part 1 - a blog post that includes a handful of very focused resources to get you comfortable with mobile marketing fundamentals;

and

2) Listen to the BusinessCast Podcast (Episode #75 – Don’t Hang Up: Mobile Marketing for Entrepreneurs) which will be posted on the BusinessCast Archives on Sunday, September 21, 2008.

Our very special podcast guest is Michael Younder — one of the many ‘movers and shakers’ at Research In Motion (R.I.M.) — home of the ubiquitous Blackberry!

Michael shares entertaining stories, insights and trends about mobile marketing, product development and branding. At the same time, Michael — along with Robert and I — highlight those lessons relevant for every business entrepreneur.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Music In the Workplace: “Happy Together” or “Don’t Bring Me Down”?

Now that portable music devices like the iPod and mp3-enabled phones have revolutionized the way people listen to music — more and more people are listening to music (and podcasts like the BusinessCast) at work.

So, where do you stand on listening to music at your work place? Sooner or later, you’ll need to put a ‘stake in the sand’ and define a policy around this practice — particularly, if your team consists of people in their 20s.

Of course, your policy about listening to music at work will vary according to the nature of the work. But, here are some practical questions for you to think through as you pull together guidelines about music at work:

Clients. To what degree does listening to music prevent employees from responding to or interacting with clients?

Deadlines/Concentration. Are there specific times of the day, week or month that require special attention to ensure accurate completion of highly technical and/or deadline-driven tasks?

I.T. Department. Does listening to music cause an unacceptable drain on the I.T. infrastructure – to initiate or support? This can be the case if ‘streaming music’ is being used.

Reputation. What image are you sending to people coming to your place of work when people are seen listening to music at your work place? Is it an image that you’re comfortable with?

Employee Recruitment/Retention. Do your employees look upon listening to work as a ‘right’ or as a privilege?

Management. Do the rules about listening to music at work apply to everyone — including you and your senior management team?

Productivity. Does listening to music at work make for a more pleasant and productive environment?

Finally, whatever your policy, you’ve got to work through how it will be introduced, monitored, measured and maintained.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Make sure you check out the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Blog Review’ Episode where we outline how you can get some practical business – books for free!**

Effective Sales Tips for Entrepreneurs: Summary

Over the last few months, Robert and I have spoken and written about a number of new and well-established tools/techniques/tips for sales.

So, here’s a quick Summary of Effective Sales Tips for Entrepreneurs - which is a collection of the sales-related BusinessCast blog entries along with links directly to the sales-releated BusinessCast Podcasts:

Nurturing Leads

Customer Incentives

Sales Collateral: Brochure vs. Website

How/When to Use Blogs

**Make sure you check out the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Blog Review’ Episode where we outline how you can get some practical business books for free!**

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Lessons from Serial Entrepreneurs

Every entrepreneur eats and sleeps business. That means that even when your business is thriving you continue to search for and tackle new business challenges. That’s just who you are. But, are you a ‘serial entrepreneur‘ — someone who embraces one business after another with an insatiable thirst and passion?

Robert and I have gathered lessons for success from several members of this particular breed of entrepreneurs. For example, listen to BusinessCast Podcast episode #44 where we interviewed Sheldon Waters, President, DSM Computing Solutions. You can also get some additional insights from nine of Canada’s leading serial entrepreneurs.

**Make sure you check out the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Blog Review’ Episode where we outline how you can get some practical business books for free!**

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Mobile Marketing – An Introduction

Mobile marketing. It has been around since the phone existed in one form or another. But now, with the integration of email, the web, call centres and point-of-sale, mobile marketing is truly taking off!

But, why, when and how should entrepreneurs take advantage of the opportunities that come with mobile marketing?

Here are a handful of some useful articles to help you to determine if mobile marketing is right for your business — and how to optimize this new channel for getting a better understanding of your market and targeting them with your brand/offers:

1. High-Level Introduction to Mobile Marketing

2. Overview of the Types of Firms Involved in Mobile Marketing

3. Introduction to Terminology/Popularity/Trends

4. Mobile Marketing Myths

5. A (Canadian) Mobile Marketing Expert Tackles Common Challenges

**Newsflash: We’ve just secured a representative from the home of the Blackberry — Research In Motion (RIM) — to be a future BusinessCast Podcast guest! **

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

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