My new book on Amazon:

How to Start A Successful Business The First Time!

the Definitive Business Startup Guide from Concept Through Financing and Operating Your Business The Right Way

Buy the book: here!

Paperback / Kindle

Gary Bizzo wrote "How to Start a Successful Business - The First Time" to address the issues and problems his clients faced in setting up a business through to the day to day operations of their businesses. Helping small businesses is his passion. Why This Book? He wanted to write a book that would allow new entrepreneurs ease of entry into the business world.  Read more!

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The obvious person who should read my book (you noticed I used should) is the youthful entrepreneur wanna-be who knows they have an idea bubbling in their youthful brain, can’t find a job in any field or maybe they are unemployable, but that usually happens later in life.

As I ponder, I realize my book wasn’t geared to a certain age bracket. I wrote it for those of us, at any age, who feel that they have something they want to do differently from the milieu, who want to be their own boss and determine their own future and yes, those who can’t find a ‘job’ in a chosen field.

As I went deeper I realized there are mainly two distinct age groups; the 25-39 age group (hey at 40 it all changes anyway) and the over 55 age group. Read the rest of this entry

Standing Out in A Crowded Market

Image credit: Shutterstock

Image credit: Shutterstock

A client asked me the other day what chance his new company had entering a crowded marketplace. Wow, there was a time when I would have relished that so I could spread my magic out there. I’m a bit too complacent now and certainly know better so I pondered it a bit before I answered.

 

I told him not to worry but to forge ahead after he did some research and planning. I knew he had a great product so I wasn’t that worried about his success. I told him he had a great USP and his demographics were solid. USP and demographics you say? What?

 

So let’s assume you are a commercial photographer in a crowded and seemingly diminished market like today. I have a photography company so this is right on track for me. I’ll keep my USP secrets to myself but suffice to say there are methods to survive in a crowded or competitive market.

 

Differentiation is the key. What do you have that the competition doesn’t and how can you formulate a plan to promote that among your potential customers? Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) will give you a heads up at least until the competition can copy you or figure a way to better your idea.

 

My photography partner developed a new product that we will soon launch that, as far as I know, has never been introduced into the commercial photography market. He has a talent for innovation; I have a talent for creative photography and business – a match made in heaven.

 

You can personalize the purchasing experience so that people come back to you. Remember how Cheers was pub where’ everyone knew your name’?

 

In differentiating your market try to find a slice of it that isn’t being adequately served at the moment that you can reach. A client I had owned a dry cleaning business. He realized he could offer a good deal to the nearby factory to clean their uniforms thus opening a new market for him.

 

Another way to succeed in a crowded market is to reinvent the product. A local hamburger restaurant I frequent started selling ‘sliders’. I know they were in the US for sometime but were new to Vancouver. I kind of like them because I have a small appetite and like to eat two of these min burgers and take one home for later. A new product worked on me.

 

One of the things most business owners fail to do when launching a business is to do market research. Imagine making and trying to sell eggplant muffins without researching if people liked them? Business owners need to research using demographics and psychographics.

 

Demographics is the characteristics of the people buying your product. In your mind you may think the world is your oyster and everyone must have one of your ‘widgets’. The truth is your widget (whatever you conceive it to be) might appeal to a married male, approx. 45, with two kids making $65,000 per year, owns one suit and drives a 10-year-old car. You need to know how to sell to that man; Facebook is great for selling to targeting audiences.

 

You might look at psychographic profiles. What type of people does your product appeal to, i.e. are they environmentally friendly, concerned about family, worry about retirement, hate GMO foods, like new products on the market and like driving cars with less emissions?

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of this entry

twitter I’m going to assume that you are not a big corporation with a pile of IT people who double as your Social Media gurus who plan out your entire business strategy for you.

 

I hear all kinds of advice on how to either brand your business or bring in more customers. Of course, branding your business well will bring in more customers but they are two different animals. Branding will tell people about you and provide name recognition but you must have an offering for people to actually buy your product or service.

 

When you look at social media, some are better than others to give you both results. Read the rest of this entry

Social Media – the New Singularity

kurzweilI remember getting into social media in 1993, particularly as a web developer in a brand new industry. Sales in 1993 on the internet were estimated ‘conservatively’ to be about $2Million. I heard recently,  that Alibaba did $2Billion in one weekend. Wow!

The information highway as it was originally called has now taken a different turn. It’s taken us everywhere to the point where 1/3 of the world is connected to each other. If you look at it that way futurist Ray Kurzweil’s theory that the internet has created a singularity is true. Kuzweil took over where Marshall McLuhan left off in the 1970’s.

The idea of a singularity means Read the rest of this entry

Things to Consider When Dissolving A Partnership

Credit: Entrepreneur.com

Credit: Entrepreneur.com

All of you entrepreneurs out there who are eternal optimists please standup. As you start your business do you find yourself believing all the sales guys, trust every supplier and have a partner you would place your life in his hands? Phew – be careful!

It’s funny because most partnerships don’t have written agreements in the event things go to hell in a hand basket. Whether it is a limited partnership or a corporate with equal shareholders your life is in each other’s hands as long as you are part of the business, and maybe longer.

Longer? Yes, if you dissolve your company many people forget to Read the rest of this entry

Repurposing Your Blog Content

all_about_contentFor those of you who enjoy writing but don’t write often enough or those of you who hate writing there’s hope to fill your blog’s content void.

 

We all know the web is content-based and marketing is content-driven so how can the average person keep up with providing consistent and quality content to the masses? Most people will post their blog on their specialty intermittently and write another post in a couple of weeks. If you are an expert in your field, there may be gold in those posts. So why post it once? Of course, Google likes original work and messes with your algorithm if you use non- original work. I prefer to repackage my work and I do it often. Here’s how it works. Read the rest of this entry

Workforce Reduction Should Not Be Your Only Option

CecilePageImageGuest Blogger- Cecile Peterkin

When your business comes to a point where your profitability and sales are not anymore in line with your goals and projections, there are many steps that you may need to take to prevent this downward spiral. You may try streamlining work processes, getting your people to get involved in making business development plans, or implementing a company-wide cost cutting project. The problem is that none of these strategies can guarantee that your business will be salvaged. In this case, you may need to look at perhaps your largest expense – your employees.

Is Workforce Reduction Always Possible?

For sure, you’ve got employees who are under a contract with your company. These are the people whom you cannot easily lay off. What you can do, instead, is Read the rest of this entry

Start-up and FEAR

gary bizzo start-ups
You have just begun a start-up; what scares the hell out of you when you wake up in the morning?   This is an open post to those of you wanting to start-up a new business. I’ve often said that the three things new entrepreneurs need are a plan, i.e. business plan, resources to accomplish the task of opening a business and a way to bring in customers.

It occurred to me that there is a more basic underlying issue at play when a person contemplates opening their new start-up – Fear.   Overcoming fear is the hardest thing to overcome and the place where all entrepreneurs go often. The fear of putting all their money in one basket – win or lose it all – for an unproven business idea. You fear losing face with Read the rest of this entry

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