Green Business Trends: Ensuring Business Sustainability

Robert and I have always supported entrepreneurs like you in your quest for success. That invariably means creating a sustainable business  — one that is capable of ensuring wealth for investors,  fulfillment for employees and value for customers/clients and the community.  Over the last few years, sustainable has also come to take on another meaning: being respectful of the environmental impact and resources required to keep a business profitable.

Focusing on this new dimension, environmental sustainability,  for BusinessCast episode #118,  Robert and I sat down with Rob Colman — Senior Editor of Green Business magazine. Rob shares with us what he sees are the latest trends in “greening businesses” and the opportunities that presents for entrepreneurs like you.

At the same time, if you’re wondering if, when and how you should integrate environmentally sustainable practices into your business, also check out BusinessCast #112 — Greening Your Business where Rob Grand, President of Grass Roots Stores shares his practical insights.

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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.

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Franchising for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, you eat, drink and sleep your business. It’s your passion — it keeps you going; it keeps you exploring; it keeps you growing.

So, it shouldn’t be any surprise that many entrepreneurs, just like you — somewhere in their business lifetime — tip their toes into franchising, either as a franchisee or a franchisor. Why? Because it can be a very effective method for:

  • Trying another type of business;
  • Investing in a proven brand;
  • Generating new or additional sources of revenue; and
  • Building lifelong business relationships.

It’s for these reasons that in BusinessCast podcast episdode #94 — Franchising for Entrepreneurs — Robert and I sat down with Lorraine MacLachlan, the President and CEO of the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA). Lorraine leads a team of dedicated professionals who share a core value with all of the BusinessCast podcast guests and loyal listeners: they want to see entrepreneurs succeed!

As a result, the CFA provides some great resources to help you determine if, when and how franchising is right for you.

Make sure you check out some of the CFA’s current research and publications and join us at the Canadian Franchise Show on February 21 and 22.  As recognized members of the business media, we’ll be gathering real-life stories ‘live’ at the show and sharing them with you.

BTW, keep an ear open for our podcast in two weeks (February 14), we’ll be hosting Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp — Part 2. Matthew Vernhout, the email marketing guru from emailkarma.net will be back. Matthew will share practical tips to get your email successfully delivered, opened, acted upon and measured. Email Marketing for Entrepreneurs – Bootcamp — Part 1 was a huge hit! So, you won’t want to miss out on the additional insights that will ensure the success of your future email marketing campaigns.

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Overrule Any Sales Objections

Sales Objections. They’re part of any sales process. And, how you deal with them can make the difference between you having a banner sales year or falling into a sales slump.

That’s why, Robert and I sat down with Nicole Jansen — a Toronto representative from Sales Partners Worldwide. In BusinessCast episode #86 – Winning the Sales Fight — Nicole gave us some tips that anyone can use when confronted with the most common sales objections.

But, because dealing with sales objections effectively is such an important topic, Robert and I put our heads together, did some research and summarize here some of the most fundamental principles you should use prior to, during and after a sales conversation when confronting objections:

1) Keep in-mind there is no “silver bullet” response to any real customer/prospect objection. Addressing real customer objections takes time, patience and commitment to understanding their priorities.

2) Anticipate objections. That means, prepare for ALL of the major objections and the subtle nuances that come with them. Role play with colleagues, friends and relatives. Don’t try to develop an ‘out of the box’ script. Rather, rehearse tackling each objection from several different angles.

3) The more you learn about the prospect/customer before your sales discussion, the more success you are likely to have dealing with objections. This also shows respect for your customer/prospect and helps to demonstrate that you care about helping them succeed.

4) Recognize that regardless of how well you probe, there are simply some objections that you cannot overcome during a particular conversation. That’s okay. Not everyone is going to be a customer in the short-term.

5) How you deal with sales objections sends a very strong message to your customer/prospect. As a result, always be respectful, enthusiastic, courteous, professional and honest.

6) Don’t take any sales objection personally. Objections are not a reflection of you or your product/service.

7) Apply what you learn through the discussion about the objections in subsequent discussions. That means, make sure that you always leave the door open to carry on the discussion at an other time. That means promise some kind of follow-up deliverable and meet that deadline.

Finally, while there are literally thousands of “how to deal with sales objections” resources available, here are a couple of the most practical:

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Taking the Risk Out of Your Business

As a successful entrepreneur, you are optimistic and energetic. You have to be in order to tackle all of the challenges facing you day-in and day-out. But, are you a realistic entrepreneur?

 

Well, one sure way to determine if you are a realistic entrepreneur is by asking yourself a simple question: “Have I identified the most likely risks that I’m going to face in the next few years and planned for them?

 

Well, in BusinessCast Podcast #82 – Risky Business, Robert and I sit down for a frank discussion (as always) — this time with John Klotz President of NorthWood Mortgage Life Insurance. The three of us share a few stories and provide some straight-forward advice to help entrepreneurs like you address common risks so that you can continue to operate and grow your business.

 

And, to help you better plan for business risks, here are some very popular resources ideal for all entrepreneurs – regardless of the size, age or industry of your company:

 

How to improve your cash flow

 

Answers to entrepreneur’s most common financial questions

 

Free entrepreneur resources

 

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How to Improve Your Cash Flow — Now

Every entrepreneur is in a constant tug of war — money comes in from clients/customers and money goes out to suppliers, staff, landlords, investors, etc.

Your ability to win this battle drastically dictates your ability to survive and thrive. So, this week, in the BusinessCast Podcast Show #81 – Show Me the Money Robert and I provide several tips that you can take now to improve your cash flow.

Whether you are an experienced money manager or new to keeping track of your pennies, you’ll find some practical steps that you can use. So, while cash may be indeed be ‘king’ — as the saying goes — you will be able to show it who’s boss!

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Great Book Give-Away (September, 2008)

Robert and I are offering our BusinessCast podcast listeners (and blog readers) leading-edge business resources — for FREE!

Currently the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Great Book Give-Away‘ includes the following titles — mostly from the folks at McGraw Hill:

  • The Four Pillars of Profit-Driven Marketing (2009) – Leslie Moeller and Edward Landry
  • Turn Small Talk Into Big Deals (2009) – Don Gabor
  • How to Talk to Anyone: 92 Little Tricks for Big Success in Relationships (2008) – Leil Lowndes (OUT OF STOCK)
  • Financial Intelligence for Entrepreneurs (2009) – Karen Berman and Joe Knight(OUT OF STOCK)
  • Sales Coaching: Making the Great Leap from Sales Manager to Sales Coach (2009) – Linda Richardson
  • The Inspiring Leader (2009) – John Zenger, Joseph Folkman and Scott Edinger
  • Blogging for Fame and Fortune (2009) – Jason Rich (OUT OF STOCK)
  • Business Lessons from the Edge (2009) – Jim McCormick and Maryann Karinch
  • Smart Networking (2009) – Liz Lynch
  • The Customer Rules: The 14 Indispensable, Irrefutable and Indisputable Qualities of the Greatest Service Companies in the World (2009) – C. Britt Beemer and Robert L. Shook
  • Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies (2009) – Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff (OUT OF STOCK)
  • The Extraordinary Leader (2009) – Joseph Zenger & Joseph Folkman
  • Get Content Get Customers (2009) – Joe Pulizzi and Newt Barrett
  • Am I the Only Sane One Working Here (2009) – Albert Bernstein
  • The Organizational Champion (2009) – Mike Thompson
  • The Purpose Linked Organization (2009) – Alaina Love and Marc Cugnon
  • Every Family’s Business (2009) – Thomas William Deans
  • Performance Intelligence at Work (2009) – Julie Bell
  • Databases: A Beginner’s Guide (2009) – Andy Oppel
  • Digital Strategies for Powerful Corporate Communications (2009) – Paul Argenti
  • Winning Sales Letters (2009) – Ralph Allora
  • PowerPoint Presentations That Sell (2009) – Adam Cooper
  • Mastering Communication at Work (2009)
  • Fearless Leadership (2009) – Loretta Malandro
  • Click: 10 Truths for Building Extraordinary Relationships (2009) – George Fraser
  • Financial Statements Demystified (2009) – Bonita Kramer and Christine Johnson
  • Upstarts: How Gen Y Entrepreneurs Are Rocking the World of Business (2009) – Donna Fenn
  • Succession and the Family Business (2009) – John Geddes
  • Loops: The Seven Keys to Small Business Success (2009) – Mike Chaet and Stephen Lundin

Some of these books or so new they aren’t even available in stores yet! So, why not get a jump on your competitors by sending an email to Robert (Robert@BusinessCast.ca) to get a FREE copy of one of these business tools.

*Note: These titles are among the BusinessCast Business Book Essentials List.

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