Re-Wind: The Recession Sessions

When Robert and I began our successful Podcast partnership, we promised ourselves, and you our listeners, that we would provide practical advice for entrepreneurs — recognizing that this often meant tackling unpopular, contentious or difficult subjects.

That’s why, 10 months ago, long before the current upheaval in the financial markets, Robert and I started dealing head-on with the recession. Our position was painfully practical: Entrepreneurs can emerge from the economic downturn only by acknowledging, addressing and planning for a recession rather than hoping it will never happen.

So, here we are ten months later and we’re in a global recession. If you haven’t yet heard them, give a listen to some of the BusinessCast episodes that were designed specifically to help you, the entrepreneur, successfully navigate through the recession storm – no matter how fierce it turns out to be:

#42  The Recession Session Part 1 – with Gold ‘n’ Brown

#43  The Recession Session Part 2 – with Gold ‘n’ Brown

#44  How To Achieve Business Success – with Gold ‘n’ Brown

#45  OMG Wow Client Service – with Gold ‘n’ Brown

#46  Firing A Client Before You Get Burned – with Gold ‘n’ Brown

#49  Steal Your Next Customer! – with Gold ‘n’ Brown – and Guest Alex Allan of Alex Allan Integrated (

Talkin’ ‘Bout Whose Generation?

Entrepreneurs know: To be succesful – i.e. functional and adaptive – leaders need to employ and inspire the insights and skills of people of various ages. At the same time, entrepreneurs know that while mixing people of different generations sparks creativity it also gives rise to some very real challenges.

We pick up this topic in our second interview with business coach Robin Kennedy in BusinessCast Podcast #80 – Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation.

Of course, business owners can lead and manage the mix of generations by better understanding how generations view their at-work and out-of-work lives. And three key resources that can help you successfully build upon your understanding 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. Finally, regardless of how broad the age range of people working at your company is, you can get a solid foundation on managing different generations by reviewing the American Management Association’s highly readable, “Generations at Work“. This has become a seminal piece 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. Then, visit the authors’ site which provide some additional resources.

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Come in From Out of the Cold-Call Chill – Part 1

A few weeks ago, we were bombarded with requests and comments when we interviewed one of Research in Motion’s Senior Product Marketers.

Blackberry’s Michael Younder shared insights about mobile marketing, product development and branding relevant for all entrepreneurs.

Well, we’re continuing our efforts to help entrepreneurs use traditional and evolving telephone technology with a series of practical tools and tips for cold-calling.

In BusinessCast #79 – A Cold Call Warm-Up– Robert and I begin with some key do’s and don’ts to help you/your business’ cold calls be as cost-effective as possible.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Cold Calling: A Warm-Up for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are, as a general rule, social, enthusiastic and assertive. And yet, there is something about the prospect of making “cold calls” that brings out the “shy” in many entrepreneurs.

So, in BusinessCast Podcase episode #79 (available here on Sunday October 19th), you can put your mind at ease because Robert and I begin tackling this business-development tool by examing the do’s/don’ts and should/shouldn’ts of how to get the most out of cold calling.

Of course, we also touch on the newest cold call related challenge to surface since the hold button: the Do Not Call Registry.

Over the next few weeks, we will be posting and hosting some related materials so that by the end of this calendar year, you’ll have everything you need to determine if, when and how to hone your cold call.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes 

Coaching for Entrepreneurs

Whenever entrepreneurs share their success stories with Robert and me, we hear a lot of common themes. One of the most prominent themes is the importance that a trusted and compassionate mentor plays in short-term and long-term business success.

It’s because entrepreneurs — at every stage of their personal and professional lives — place such a high value on mentoring that it shouldn’t be a surprise that an industry has arisen that draws on many of the principles of mentoring. That industry: “business coaching”.

We recently had a chance to sit down with Robin Kennedy — an enthusiastic business coach — to hear about her success and how she ignites it in others. Listen to BusinessCast Podcast #78, Coaching for Success and decide for yourself if/when business coaching can help you achieve your goals. At the same time, learn how to squeeze the most from any advisor by listening to How to Get the Most Out of Your Business Advisor.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes 

Get Good Employees…For Keeps!

Just a few weeks ago, Robert and I posed a question to our BusinessCast blog readers and BusinessCast Podcast listeners. We asked: “How often do you update your employee orientation program?”

We were surprised to find that despite the time involved in finding good employees, the cost of losing good employees and the importance that employees contribute to every entrepreneur’s success, the answer was “less than once a year” – over 95% of the time!

So, in our BusinessCast Podcast, Get New Employees Up and Running we answered a host of practical questions, including:

  • How important is a good employee orientation?
  • What should a good employee orientation look like?
  • What are the key components of an effective employee orientation program?
  • Who should design, participate, lead and measure your employee orientation program?
  • When does orientation truly begin?
  • How do you know that your employee orientation is successful?
  • How can you/when should you review and improve your employee orientation?
  • Well, if you’re still wondering how much effort you should put into ‘on-boarding‘ you new employees, the researchers Booz Allen Hamilton have some sobering findings – that should intrigue, inspire and incite you to action, now.

    Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes 

    The Office. Party.

    It’s that time of the year again! Yes, the time for the office party.

    But, the truth is that regardless of how social most entrepreneurs are, there are still some serious concerns about these events.

    Never to shy away from potentially contentious issues, Robert and I delve into how to help entrepreneurs make sure their parties are a resounding success. In the BusinessCast Podcast episode #77 – The Office. Party – we tackle questions including:

    • Should you have an office party?
    • Who should you invite?
    • When should you have your office party?
    • What role should you, as the company leader, play before, during and after the office party?
    • What are some of the key challenges associated with a successful office party?

    Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes