Franchising: A Business Model for the Times

A few weeks ago — in BusinessCast Podcast #94 – Franchising for Entrepreneurs, Robert and I had a lively discussion with Lorraine McLachlan, President and CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association (www.cfa). We wanted to get a clear sense of the role that franchising can play for current and future entrepreneurs. And, Lorraine provided us some keen insights and plenty of enthusiasm!

To help you decide if/how you can leverage this powerful business model, the CFA undertakes some powerful research. And, recently, they released some news on the latest franchising trends . Given the current state of the economy, it turns out that this may be the best time in years to explore franchises — whether you’re a potential franchisee or franchisor.

Robert and I will be at the Franchise Show on February 21st and we’ll bring you the real scoop from franchisors, franchisees and other entrepreneurs just like you who are wondering how to tap into the wealth of franchising experience, this tried-and-true model and the CFA.

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

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Connecting for Business Success

Today, it’s hard to find real business “truths” because everything that impacts your business changes so quickly — for example: the new technologies you need for your operations, dramatic swings in customer demand, new competitors entering your market, the rising cost of production and sales, the challenges in securing investment resources, evolving employee expectations etc.

But, one truth is constant: your business will only succeed if you are connected to the right people at the right time.

Finding, nurturing and leveraging the right business connections is exactly what Donna Messer, President, ConnectUs Communications Canada — guest for BusinessCast #95, Connecting for Business Success — does day-in and day-out.  Just like every entrepreneur, she has a network of suppliers, customers, advisors, colleagues, media… and the list goes on and on. But, unlike most entrepreneurs, Donna has honed a process for efficiently connecting them with each other so that participants find value in the connection and in the initiator of that connection, Donna. The result: Donna has become an important influencer in dozens of different industries.

Listen to BusinessCast #95, Connecting for Business Success and you’ll find some practical nuggets of wisdom that will help build your connecting skills/opportunities — and therefore ensure your business’ succeess.

If you want to read about how entrepreneurs just like you tackled some of the other most common business problems, check out Your Business Success Stories.

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

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Win a Blackberry Bold — Contest for Entrepreneurs

****Update June 8, 2009:  The “Entrepreneur Be Bold” Contest has a winner: the intrepid entrepreneur “Soccer Girl”. Listen to the brief BusinessCast Podcast episode #109b where we announce the exciting news.****

A few months ago, we were fortunate enough to interview Michael Younder, Senior Product Manager at Research in Motion for two episodes of the BusinessCast — episode 75 where Michael discussed mobile marketing trends and episode 83 where he talked about Blackberry hardware and business applications for entrepreneurs.

Since then, Research in Motion has generously provided us with a Blackberry Bold!

So, we’re running a very simple CONTEST that should appeal to every entrepreneur.

Here are the rules:

1) Tell us in 100 words or less how your business would benefit from a Blackberry Bold smartphone.

2) Send this description/story to us via email to Robert@BennettGold.ca.

3) A winner will be chosen based on how compelling their reason for needing a Blackberry Bold smartphone. Winners can also choose to be highlighted in an upcoming episode of the BusinessCast podcast where over 30,000 listeners will hear about your business per month!

4) Finally, the contest is open to any business owner/manager — regardless of industry, geographic region (i.e. Country/State/Province), age, size or revenues.

You should know that we will contact the winner before announcing it on this blog or in the BusinessCast podcast. Furthermore, we will not share your email address with anyone.

Good luck!!

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

Critical Business Resource and Two Contests

Three quick items:

1) On Sunday November 30th, we’ll be uploading BusinessCast episode #85. Robert has interviewed a very special guest and learns about a critical and readily accessible business resource that is relevant for all entrepreneurs/independent business owners.

2) Also, during BusinessCast episode #85, we’ll be going over the details about our exciting Bold for Entrepreneurs Contest“. In a nutshell, tell us how you would use a Blackberry Bold to help your business and you could win one of these popular smartphones. We know that entrepreneurs are bold. Now’s your chance to have it turn into the latest technology!

3) We appreciate all of your feedback and now, we’re asking for a little more. If the BusinessCast podcast is a valuable resource for you and your business, vote for us as Best Canadian Podcast.

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

The Perfect Business Partner – BlogPost #1

Sooner or later you’re going to ask yourself a question that ALL entrepreneurs face: “Should I have a business partner?

Given your vision for the future, your plans for growth, your evolving skills and your finances, it’s only normal to want to fast-track your business by drawing on the experience and resources of a trusted business partner.

But, then you’re faced with all of these key questions:

  • What would be the right partner be for me and my business?
  • When is the best time to bring on a partner?
  • How do I go about recruiting for a partner?
  • How do I know if I’ve found the right partner?
  • How should I work with a partner?
  • What do I do if the partner doesn’t work out?

Robert and I know all too well the benefits and pitfalls of finding, choosing, working with and separating from business partners. So, we provide some practical advice in BusinessCast show #84 – How to Find the Perfect Business Partner. Listen to this episode, and you’re well on your way to finding the “ying” to your “yang”.

Over the next few blog posts, we’ll also provide some links to useful resources that will help you find and work with your next/current business partner(s).

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