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.

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Greening Your Business…For Business

Greenyour business?  Why should you? After all, you’re busy dealing with day-to-day business challenges in the middle of a soft economy. Do you really have time to be thinking “green“? What’s the payback? Will it really matter to your top line or to your bottom line?

Well, “greening” your business means a host of different things to different people. So, in BusinessCast Podcast episode #112 – Greening Your Business — we sat down to get a perspective on greening from an entrepreneur who has a strong track record of successfully implementing green practices. Rob Grand, the President of Grass Roots Store has a relevant perspective for all entrepreneurs. For the better part of 15 years, Rob has worked through the various ways that businesses can become more green. In so doing, he’s weeded through the hype and chosen strategies that have seen his business grow its customer base, its revenues, its brand and achieve operational efficiencies.

If you’ve ever wondered about the value of greening your business, listen to BusinessCast Podcast episode #112.

Here are some additional resources to help you to determine if, when and how you should green your business:

  • A carbon footprint calculator that allows you to play out various scenarios regarding the impact of items such as servers, travel, facilities, etc.

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Kijiji – An Entrepreneur Story Within eBay

We know that entrepreneurship is an unquenchable thirst that provides focus, energy and purpose. But, can it really be sustained inside a company that has grown to be wildly successful?

You bet! In BusinessCast #102, we spoke to Senior Marketing Manager, Eric Pierni at Kijiji, an eBay company. He shares with us just how the spirit and discipline of entrepreneurship thrives within Kijiji — one of Canada’s outstanding online success stories.

It turns out that the entrepreneurial approach that gave rise to Kijiji is also the secret to its continued and future success. Eric’s passion and approach is inspirational. You can find out more about how you can apply Kijiji.ca ‘s formula for success when Eric presents at the upcoming eMetrics Summit.

A special thanks to Wendy Vincent at c2e.ca for connecting us with Eric.

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

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Scenario Planning: A Look Into the Future

What if…?” is one of the most commonly asked questions by busy and foresightful entrepreneurs when conducting short- and long-term planning. The challenge however isn’t coming up with plausible answers to this question but making sure that:

1) The “what if?” question is asked at the right times 

2) Answering the “what if?”question involves the right people

3) The possible answers to the “what if?” question are accurately evaluated

4) Resources are prioritized to address the most likely responses to the “what if?” question

Fortunately, there is a proven method to help entrepreneurs increase their ability to address these practical day-to-day planning issues: Scenario planning. Here is an overview of the approach — along with some related resource links to help you determine if/when to incorporate scenarios in your business.

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

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Business Resource Give Away Starts Soon!

Robert and I have been in discussion with the good folks at McGraw-Hill. We asked them for a number of exceptional business books that we could pass along to you — our loyal BusinessCast Podcast listeners and BusinessCast Blog readers.

We were able to secure copies of some first-rate, practical and leading-edge business resources. Topics of books we secured include various aspects of: marketing, finance, human resources, operations, people/project management and leadership.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll identify the books — either in this blog or in the BusinessCast Podcast — and let you know how you can get them from us for free!

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Heads-Up!

These are the final days of the Summer and yet, Robert and I are still getting hundreds of requests for us to tackle many of the pressing/common challenges faced by entrepreneurs.

So, we’ve identified some of the most popular requests. And, by way of giving you a heads-up, here is a partial list of the topics that we’ll be tackling in the BusinessCast podcast and (on this blog) over the next few/several weeks:

Marketing

  • Word-of-Mouth Marketing
  • Referral Marketing
  • Tag Lines
  • Fine Print Marketing
  • Luxury Marketing
  • How to Leverage Marketing Demographics (Boom, Bust, Echo…Belch)
  • Popular Marketing Tools (i.e. Newsletters, RFPs, Email, Presentations, Events)
  • How to Acquire New/Right Clients

Human Resources

  • How to recruit staff that really works
  • Effective and Cost-Efficient training

Finance

  • Alternate Sources of Funding

Leadership

  • Knowing How/When to Delegate
  • Succession Planning

Operations

  • Logistics

Finally, we’re also be interviewing a handful of business entrepreneurs and business book authors.

So, keep tuned. Keep listening to episodes of the BusinessCast podcastAnd, keep your comments coming. We’ll be here to help you get the most out of your business.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Beyond Experience: Your Advisors Need to Bring More

In show #51 – How to Get the Most Out of Your Business Advisors – Robert and I tackled one of the most common questions that entrepreneurs have to struggle with every day – and at the most critical times of their business’ growth. That question is: How do you get business advisors that are capable of helping your business thrive and attain its true potential….as opposed to those who just dole out familar advice that they’ve given out to others in the past?

One of the key lessons: you’ve got to use a different set of rules when choosing, evaluating and working with your business advisors. The old rules of engagement – which usually means implicitly trusting those with years upon years of experience – needs to be carefully scrutinized. The reason for this controversial advice is simple and should be intuitive: If your advisor has 25 years or more of experience that means that much of how they see business (i.e. technologies, motivations, solutions, leader and management approaches, business tools, etc.) is rooted in the 1980s. And, business has changed alot since then.

Listen to show #51 – How to Get the Most Out of Your Business Advisors to review how you can get the best of both worlds – that is, well-founded, experience balanced by practical business advice that is relevant for your current and future business needs.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes