Covering Oceanside to Victoria

Monthly Archives: March 2016

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A Competitive Edge – Part One

Category : Web Stuff

Maintaining a Competitive Edge

similogo621x154At StudioIMI, we have worked with more than 300 entrepreneurs and corporations. The new breed of entrepreneurs have an edge and have been educated and trained to have a bit of an edge. When I started my first business, I bought a round of golf with a senior Manager of a Telecom company I respected to ask him some questions. One of the best pieces of advice he gave me during those five hours was this: make sure you hire a good lawyer to insure everything meets legal requirements when you incorporate and hire an excellent accountant. I took that advice and my business soared very quickly. I had originally considered taking on partners and had two experienced associates who were interested in joining me. My golf associate asked some tough questions and in the end convinced me that I was company and should go it alone.

In the end, I went at it by myself and hired the resources I needed. It turns out that I was actually the intellectual property of the business and the reason that several manufacturers were interested. Business in Ottawa was booming back in 1996 and the contracts I took on with software and hardware providers had instantaneous traction. Definitely a great time to be an entrepreneur and I owe a large share of success to the advice I received during that game of golf.

In fact looking back, it was the best thing I have ever done and the next four years were wildly successful and ultimately resulted in me selling the business to become a VP of Global Sales for a company that went public and expanded globally. It was like a real-time MBA; establishing worldwide sales operations, going public with an IPO, creating acquisition targets of smaller companies and building a team of sales engineers and technical resources in the USA, Canada and Europe as well.

We were an aggressive, edgy organization, very competitive with unique software solutions and we engaged with companies including Intel, Motorola, Phillips, Newbridge, Alcatel, Schlumberger, General Motors, Ford and many other large and mid-sized companies. We definitely had the competitive edge needed to succeed. My team was like the early 90’s Blue Jays…easy to manage, superstars, great people overall and hitting lots of home runs that won two world series.

During those years through to 2003, we were busy and on top of the world. If you treat your business like the business you expect it to be, surround yourself with the best people, lead by example and step aside to allow the entrepreneurs to succeed, you can do the same with any size business. My philosophy at that time was open-door policy and the team members were treated as peers and truly were a part of the process.

padgett250Padgett Small Biz Pros offer the same ability to build a competitive business and through the franchise operations and systems, a new company stands a great chance at starting with that competitive edge. The ongoing training and the corporate culture inspire franchise owners to be competitive, to build smartly and to look at the long term. Padgett is interested in expanding into British Columbia as well having great opportunities in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan if you have an interest in an accounting/small biz consulting business.

Eventually the company I worked for was acquired by a large, well-known hardware manufacturer and I became a business coach. To this day, I still do some executive coaching for exclusive clients. If you have an interest in understanding the value of a business coach for your business, whether it’s a franchise like Padgett, a start-up or a growing business, please give me a call to chat anytime. My door is always open.

Call us at 778-440-3031

Contact StudioIMI today


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Starting a Business – Part 3

Positive Thinking

padgett250One of the things that is stressed during the training for Padgett Small Biz Franchise owners is to try to think positively. When starting your new venture, it may be easy to overwork the process of getting your first few customers. There are so many ways that you can make things happen fairly quickly. A brand new website is usually one of the slower ways because it simply takes time to gain traction with the search engines in the first few months. Within franchise systems, you do immediately have some traction through their corporate advertising and website. There are however things you can do to help speed things up a little. It is a fairly common strategy to use Google ad-words also known as pay-per-click. Be aware that there are a variety of businesses claiming to get you on the first page miraculously and you need to make sure your business’s website is not penalized because of unscrupulous promises. This is an expensive way to go however it can work to attract some immediate leads. Hire a company that has been doing this for years and start with small campaigns.social media strategy

You can network right off the bat. Join associations in your area such as Rotary, Business Clubs, Meet-ups and more. Social Media is another way to promote your business quickly. You have a number of contacts in your database that you can take advantage of. These can become your friends and followers and if you are comfortable writing blogs like the one you are reading, this can build your base the smart way. It’s not about selling to friends and business associates however it is useful to make sure they know about your new venture. Writing a blog a week about something relevant and pushing it out on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram can slowly build that momentum. At StudioIMI, we perform successful social media campaigns for many of our clients. It still takes time. It is a journey and patience if a must in order to grow your marketing.

wordpressIt is important to know your demographic and to understand who your customer is. There are three prongs to this concept. The first is based on a product or service that customers want, need and will ultimately purchase. The second is founded on offering  your product and service at a reasonable price. The third requires you make a profit while providing this service and product these customers want, and can afford. In the beginning you may take some clients on to get the cash flow going. Make sure the business is profitable.

If you approach your new business professionally and treat customers the way you like to be treated, academy-logo-cropuse all the marketing strategies you can afford and build the business with a long-term approach, success will follow. Padgett Small Biz Pros have franchise operations across Canada and the USA. They have been very successful in expanding into the provinces and cities. If you need more information on this or other franchises, we would be pleased to help.

Call us at 778-440-3031

Contact StudioIMI today


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StudioIMI 2016 Promotional Pricing

StudioIMI  offers 2016
pricing specials to new clients:

2016-promotion-small

 

We are looking to grow our portfolio and our team is ready to start your new website immediately. We have an excellent team of web designers, PHP Programmers, Graphics Specialists and Social Media campaign Specialists. We would love to work with your business and help you with your brand. We are a high end, cost effective solution to help you in start-up or fast growth stages of business.

Do you need help with your Social Media Campaign?download
We have a number of packages that will meet your budget and requirements. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other formats are well within our capabilities.

Are you looking to have content provided?
Custom writing for your website, blogs, e-newsletters, white papers, press releases or other content. We have the experience, having written over 1000 of these types of collateral pieces.

Need a new or re-built website?wordpress
Website design by WordPress is an industry standard and we find the plug-ins and ease of customer use, makes this formula work almost everywhere. Shopping carts, Pay Pal, calendars, secure login, image galleries are all available through WordPress. Of course, if you need more in-depth work, our Programming skills are extensive for PHP code.
Call us 778-440-3031 to discuss your custom needs.

Use Shopify?
We love to take on Shopify management for you. Need help with the myriad of apps provided through Liquid, no problem! We have the skills to handle this professionally and quickly. Our philosophy is to help you when you get stuck and guide you in the ways that will make you fell like you have some control.

Consulting services?
StudioIMI has very experienced professionals with over 25 years backgrounds with companies like Motorola, Arrow Electronics and Intel Subsidiaries. We can quickly drill down to determine your most important issues and start to build better systems. This can include help with your sales and marketing, your brand and your systems. We have coached organizations from Hi-tech to Mining, to Education services and Business associations.

Franchising of interest?padgett250
We have years of experience with: The UPS Stores, Tutor Doctor in-home tutoring services, Padgett Accounting, Academy of Math & English schools and more. We can help you with web design, social media, marketing, lead generation, lead management and related areas of your business.

If you want to have a discussion with us please call 778-440-3031

Contact StudioIMI today

 


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Starting a Business – Part 2

The Transition From Traditional Employment.

Many of the common reasons people start up their own business have to do with becoming a little older or having been “down-sized” from current employment. Often this includes a severance package which helps with the financing. I worked for Motorola for almost 10 years and took a nice severance package rather than move to another city. It made it simple to start up my own Rep firm and the odd thing was that I actually starting selling Motorola products as if things had not changed that significantly.

One of the biggest changes of self-employment was working out of a much smaller office, not having the infrastructure a large corporation provides and a staff initially of Me. It was at times, difficult yet liberating. In my case, I had forged some strong relationships with business associates and had made some life-long connections. It became easier to network and keep in touch. It also helped me to ask for references and business opportunities.

For anyone making this big shift into starting up on your own, I highly recommend looking around at your contacts and maintaining friendships, which included a few lunches and breakfasts on my part. It is usually less costly and more productive to do lunch than dinner because alcohol doesn’t come into the picture. It was worth it to remain friends and business associates with my network for practical as well as emotional reasons. I was being empowered, realizing the friends I met along the way were true friends and not just through convenience. To this day, almost twenty years later, I still contact old friends from business through LinkedIn and Facebook even though I moved from Ontario to live in British Columbia. It is a small world indeed.

Of course conserving capital and spending wisely is critical in the beginning. You may be starting a service business and working out of the home or acquiring a franchise and laying down thousands of dollars. For me, it was mostly about taking advantage of my intellectual property assets (sales skills) and this was innate after many years as a District Sales Manager and Vice President. I was able to launch a business, rent  a few small office spaces and grow as needed. I highly recommend the shared office environment when starting up. It allows a bit of comradery  and you can keep the initial costs in line. Home Office environments, if treated like real offices can also be a huge benefit, keep costs under control and allow small tax write-offs as well.

If you want to have a discussion about start-ups, please call 778-440-3031

Contact StudioIMI today