Thursday, August 15th, 2013 at
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
Friday, January 16th, 2015 at
Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press
Canadians will know this but for those of you outside Canada, Target, the large US retailer, announced January 15 that they would close 133 Canadian stores immediately laying off 18,000 employees. The sell-off started the same day with Senior Executives getting their pink slips first. In a year that saw major economic turmoil this was another blow to the economy, or soon will be, as this filters down.
How could a big US giant retailer lose $2.5B in each of the last 2 years since it opened across Canada to much fanfare? It seems inconceivable on the surface that a successful chain could lose so much so fast. It all comes down to Business 101.
I tell my clients some basic truisms when we start our mentoring sessions; study your customer, have enough stock and grow slowly so you get it right the first time. Sounds simple enough but… Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, January 15th, 2015 at
I’m part of the baby boomer generation and have a darn good handle on my demographics, buying habits, wants, needs and desires. I know what makes me tick, how to sell to people like me and how to keep people like me as a customer. We either want or need to retire, or hold onto our jobs or businesses for dear life thinking we will become irrelevant if we retire. None of my friends have or want to retire.
Each generation creates different rules, parameters and challenges for marketers. You need to know your generational market dynamics
Generation X or the lost generation born between 1965 -1980 roughly came after the baby boomers. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 at
I met with a former client now turned close friend, Gerardo, today. Gerardo owns an office janitorial business, Techniclean Industries that he been running for a few years. He does a great job doing office cleaning in vancouver and employs his family to run the business at night when the offices are closed.
One would think that would be enough for a young man with a family to accomplish since he arrived from his home in El Salvador, but wait a minute, he is an entrepreneur and a hard working one.
He gave me a new business card he just had printed at Printing Peach with the name of a laundry business cum eatery. On his day off, as if he has time to take one, he bought a small Surrey laundry that has as a bonus a small Spanish influenced lunch restaurant inside. Granted it’s small, has a limited menu and seating and is an odd choice of a combination but you have to give this entrepreneur credit; he is always on the lookout for an opportunity. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, January 9th, 2015 at
I haven’t done much in the way of exporting because it has always been out of my comfort zone. I don’t like seeing product out of my sight. Exporting gives me a better feeling than importing because unless you have someone on the ground in China, or wherever, watching the product go on the ship you won’t have control over poor quality, wrong products and damaged goods.
My current project is to export chocolate candies to China. Wow, there is a lot to consider. Do you buy the product yourself then ship it at your cost CIF (cost insurance freight) to China and await a Letter of Credit payment or do you sell it to the customer Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 at
I want to talk about something most corporations don’t worry or care about – the environment.
When I was a commercial photographer in Vancouver, I was hired by an internationally based remediation firm in Pennsylvania to photograph their environmental cleanup of False Creek, a future multi-tower hi-rise community in downtown Vancouver. I remember clearly walking on the site wearing shorts, t-shirt and sandals while shooting the grounds under construction. Within seconds of my arrival I was surrounded by men wearing hazmat suits and breathing apparatus telling me I was in an environmentally hazardous area as dangerous Love Canal in the US and my life was in danger.
Ok, having said that I must clarify. My concern is not that dire. I’ve been consulting with a Vancouver plastic recycling company for the past year, big in its field and committed to taking corporate plastic waste and sending it to recycling/production facilities in Texas and, China, of course. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday, December 21st, 2014 at
… And why would a funded company want more capital in the early stages.
Of course, some people thrive on risk and others want to mitigate it. If I can convince someone to invest in my company and provide an offer that I can live with and feel comfortable that it is fair, why not seek more money?
The Startup’s business model
A proven business model that is trending, unique, and exciting is a magnet for people to invest in. The business model may be on the edge of a new technology, is offered for the first time to millions of consumers who want it (e.g. Medical marijuana) or has been somewhat proven in other markets. This follows risk assessment in that people would rather have a proven model that addresses the risk factor of the investment. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday, December 21st, 2014 at
A Startup is a dynamic exercise to find the right mix of talent, idea, money, mentors and skill in the shortest period of time to define success. Phew, having said that it is a scary proposition and not for the faint of heart.
While the entrepreneur is building his startup and addressing all these issues I usually suggest he find an advisory board that will give of their time to offer advice when needed and being a support just by being there.
The startup entrepreneur also needs a strong mentor. A mentor who can help the entrepreneur avoid the pitfalls he will face and offer advice based on experience is a necessity for stable growth and success. You wouldn’t start a major startup with out a plan it also makes sense not to start a business without a mentor.
Consider your strong suit of skills and look for a mentor who is complementary. Sometimes it’s more important to find a mentor with specific skills that work with you rather than finding a mentor with good business skills. Read the rest of this entry