Category Archives: Strategy

Anything that has to do with strategic planning, vision development, forward thinking, risk management, and business planning.

Branding Basics Your Business Can’t Live Without

There are a ton of reasons why your business needs branding. One big reason is that it makes selling easier, but there are other benefits that will help your business flourish.

This video walks through the following;

– Why brand? Learn why branding is critical to your business
– Understand the key components of a brand
– Defining Your Brand
– Next Steps

Contact Your Expert

Eloise Pasianotto
epasianotto@focalpointcoaching.com

New Product Development

85-95% of New Product Launches fail annually (FORBES article of March 24, 2010 based on approx. 250,000 global launches).
 

With this daunting figure, we want to do everything right to increase our product’s chance of success. Learn from the expert, Kevin Scanlan, who has over 30 years experience in new product development with enterprises and small business.
 
In this 30 minute video, you will learn:
 
– what invention is versus product development
– the importance of a roadmap and the process
– how to scan the environment
– the QUAD approach and the 4 different types of product development
– the components of a product specification
– the Gate process used by the most successful companies out there
– red flags and things to look for during the process
 
Plus, if you have any other questions you can always contact our expert.
 

 

Contact The Expert!

 
Kevin Scanlan
Anubis3D
tel: 905-963-9130
email: kevins@anubiscorp.com

Test A Business Idea In Minutes

Test whether or not your business will fly by going through the idea tester’s funnel.

 

This 30 minute session is delivered by Small Business Solver co-founder and the author of “Will It Fly? The Idea Tester”, Carla Langhorst. It will give you a solid process to evaluate quickly any great idea that you have. If you have a new product, service, or business, this is for you!

The process has been tested on 1000s of small business ideas and has been used by small business coaches throughout North America as a guide to highlight red flags in a business model.

Top questions that will be answered:
1. Will people buy your product?
2. Is it better than the competition?
3. Will you burnout?
4. Are your salary expectations reasonable?
5. Will you end up working more than you are intending?

Test your business idea for free through the Idea Tester.

Non Profit 101 & Social Enterprise

What makes a non profit? What makes a social enterprise? What is social entrepreneurship?

These are the first pieces to understand within selecting if your organization will be for profit, non profit, or social enterprise. Knowing the difference and knowing where you fit can be powerful.

Being a social enterprise can have a huge advantage to your organization as your employees are proud of where they work, your values are a guiding light and part of the vision which helps you move forward.

Just as important as figuring out how a social enterprise is different than other organizations, there are a lot of similarities. Specifically, just because you have a mission doesn’t mean that you can forget about profit. You still need to start with your customer and client needs, then build out what business model makes sense for you.

Your Expert

Norm Tasevski
Co-Founder and Partner, Venture Deli
Course Director, Social Entrepreneurship | Schulich School of Business | University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Engineering | U Waterloo Faculty of Environment
norm@venturedeli.com
(416) 624 8349

Matter To The World
follow us on twitter: @venturedeli
Want the slideshow? Venture Deli Slideshow

Amazing Customer Service!

Customer service is the backbone of customer retention and customer loyalty. Customer retention is the backbone of increasing your revenue year over year.

 

This webinar will walk through the basics that you need to know about customer service and what you should know NOT to do.
 

 
Customer Service for Products
 

If you are selling a product, here are your customer service metrics.

 

1. Available products: do you actually have the product that they want on the shelf or in stock? Think about Chapters/Indigo, and the fact that you can order books on computers in store or find out physical stores where.

 

2. On time delivery: think about anything that you’ve ordered online and if it is close to when you need the gift, let’s say Christmas, they have a cut off online when they can get it to you by. If they missed the date, you’d be upset!

 

3. Zero defects: Do you buy your new pair of jeans with a hole in it (that wasn’t for fashion?) How upset are you about having to exchange it. Sometimes you’ll simply return it as you are that upset. Or you may simply never buy from that store again.

 

4. Meets customer specifications: If you want something custom, like ordering a custom suit. If it comes to you with pink thread and you expected black, you might be a little upset.

 

5. Amazes customers: This is the extra step. Is there something unexpected like a thank you card? A bonus gift? A loyalty card? For the suit example, maybe they threw in a tie?

 
Customer Service for Services
 
If you are selling a service, it is tougher as it is intangible. Here are your metrics;
 
1. Proximity to customers. Location, location, location becomes increasingly important for many services. It is less likely that someone will go to a salon across town or in another town, than down the street. That’s why franchises make so much sense. You love the product/service, but you simply aren’t willing to make the trek. So they bring it to you.
 
2. Zero wait time. How often have you gone to Tim Horton’s or Starbucks, and decided to wait on your coffee because the wait was too long. That is part of customer service. Both of them ended up changing their processes and adopting payment cards to save time. You might have even seen the Mastercard advertising about their PayPass program that has saved millions of minutes of time. It is the wait time in customer service of why this is sooooo important.
 
3. Consistent delivery. Services are trickier, as it is easy to provide great customer service as a single owner/operator of a business. But if you plan on scaling up, this will become more and more challenging. Maybe get your new employees to watch the recording of this video to start understanding the bigger perspective of customer service.
Part of this is understanding your process, and writing it down. That helps to train your employees as well as to improve upon what you are doing.
 
4. No mistakes in the delivery or unexpected interference. Mistakes happen! At Tim Horton’s I always order Steeped Tea. But I often get coffee instead as they might not have heard me with the noise or it was assumed. Another problem is sometimes the customer makes mistakes! They were talking about mistakes at Tim Horton’s the other day on the radio. One of the stories was about a woman talking on her phone while going through drive through. Apparently she heard the order taker speaking to the car ahead of her, and she ended up giving her order to a garbage can rather than to the order taker. When she got to getting her order, it obviously wasn’t ready for her. She was overheard saying on the phone “they got my order wrong again!”. This is a classic case of the customer not always being right.
 
5. Meets customer expectations. Services are tougher, as often the customer doesn’t know what to expect. Think about your last hair cut, and explaining that you just want a trim. You don’t know until your hair cut is done if it compares to your expectations.
 
6. Amazes customers. One of my best examples is at a nail salon I once went to. They ended up giving me a 5 minute massage while my nails dried. Completely unexpected and appreciated!
 
From here you need to know the best practices where are;
1. Managing expectations
2. Being fair and equitable with all of your customers
3. Listening
4. Over communicating
5. Recovering from mistakes
6. Mass customization
 
The subject matter expert was Carla Langhorst, the President of Small Business Solver. You can reach her at carla@smallbusinesssolver.com

Making Sense of Customer Loyalty for Small Retail Businesses

The new customer is exciting, but not nearly as important as existing customers. Learn about customer loyalty, how to create it, and new ways to create customer stickiness.

 

Your customers are mobile, now you can reap the benefits. Join us on to learn about traditional loyalty and how mobile loyalty can impact foot traffic, sales, and marketing. This is especially impactful for small retail business’.

 

 
Contact the subject matter experts:

 
Ahmed El-Kadars

Ovahi Inc.

+1.416.948.1302

 

How Ovahi works: http://youtu.be/R27lS4uJWz8

Make Your Home Business Fly

Need some tools make your home business fly? This 30 minute video outlines some excellent tools that you will be able to use and incorporate immediately to:

– Set goals that you are more inclined to stick to
– Gain a better perspective on your time
– Learn how to evaluate and course-correct as needed
– Work on your business, not just in your business
– Rediscover the importance and power of communication

Above all, Sheri will inspire you to become even more committed to yourself and your work, reminding you of the value of ongoing study, learning, and dedication of time and patience necessary to bring about the meaningful success you desire.

Follow Sheri on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and her blog at www.ICPublishing.ca .

Copyright 2013

Strategic Planning 2013

This is the best time to sit down and iron out your strategic plan for 2013. But where to start?

This 20 minute video outlines how to create a vision, how to break it down into actionable tasks, and how to keep on moving forward.

Watching this video is a strategic thing to do!  Want to get started yourself, download your own Strategic Planner 2013.

 

Preparing For Change: Career (And Personal) Transition

Starting & running a business can be extremely stressful on a physical, mental, and emotional front. Get advice from a career coach and life coach on how to make this transition successfully.

 

Our subject matter expert is Andrea Bonsey, a Career Counsellor and Counselling Therapist at Navigation Counselling Inc.

 

Reach her at www.navigationcounselling.ca or andrea@navigationcounselling.ca

 

Scaling A Small Business

There are 5 major phases of the enterprise lifecycle from a small business in rapid growth to a mature corporate enterprise. What is important at each stage and how to accomplish this as you grow?

 

The subject matter expert is Adrian Davis, CEO of Whetstone Inc. (www.whetstoneinc.ca) is a professional speaker and technology advisor.