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Category Archives: Coaching

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Business Coaching Parksville BC

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We provide Business Coaching in Parksville BC.  It is part of our company offering to clients in this area.  Although we do provide a complete suite of solutions for small to medium sized businesses, coaching can be applied to most situations.  My coaching career started over fifteen years ago.

I was up in the air travelling from the UK back to Ottawa in the Fall of 2001.  I had made this trip countless times to our head office in London. Part way across the ocean, the captain came on and told us that we were diverting to another airport and he would get back to us with details.  Of course we were upset, but did not think much about it.  The staff on the plane soon became a little more quiet but busier.  They seemed to be  anxious and I could sense something was amiss, having flown across the globe most of my career.  The captain came on to tell us to sit back and enjoy the flight though we would be landing in Montreal.  I did not think too much more as he seemed calm and professional but…

Landing in Montreal, I was chatting with a Brit from the same plane as we waited to grab our bags and then headed to the car rental counter. We were lucky enough to catch the very last rental car to drive ourselves to Ottawa.  The airport was in complete chaos and it felt like a war zone with military people everywhere ( guns and all).  We still could not get any information on what was happening at this point.

Finally, in the rental car with the Brit who I had offered a ride to, we plugged in our phones and listened to the news describing the horror of the planes that had struck the World Trade Center towers and 9/11 was about to play a significant role in everyone’s life.  I was in shock and the extra drive did not help matters much.  I let everyone know we were safe and got home hours later to a huge hug from my wife and daughter and right then, I decided it was time for a change.

A couple weeks after that, I left the high tech industry and enjoying a short break, took on some business coaching roles and eventually moved from Ontario to British Columbia.  I coached executives in the mining industry and in technology as well and my new career was on track.  Once we settled in Kelowna, BC in 2002, I connected with an associate and we started up StudioIMI (nee iMotion Marketing Inc) and I have run the company since then.  My friend and associate, went on to build a successful design and importing business.

I continued to use my Business Coaching skills in Parksville BC and other areas while building a network of new clients across the country.  business.1A Business coach has a very important role in working with a client: discover what the most important issue is for the executive (or company) and work on a strategy to overcome the issue towards a more positive business outcome.  It works for almost anyone who is willing.  In fact, what I discovered is that a cathartic moment in business coaching someone is when they actually start to anticipate things and in effect begin to “coach” themselves.

business-plansThese are life-long skills that can be applied to most businesses in Parksville BC.  When a client approaches StudioIMI to build a web presence, we dig deep into the key goals of the client.  Working from there, we devise a strategic plan, evaluate the budget and determine what the strategic and the tactical plans will be, to meet the long-term goals.  We are a different company at StudioIMI, our people have in-depth experience, are entrepreneurs themselves and this is how we provide real value-add.

StudioIMI has been in business since 2003. We have coached, consulted with and built hundreds of sites across North America.  Our target markets are: small business, tourism, hospitality, finance, retail, artists, recreation, agriculture, distribution, real estate and more.

Please contact us for more information about Business Coaching in Parksville BC:

http://www.studioimi.com/contact-us/

250-580-5250

 


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Business Start-Up Parksville BC

jan22v     At StudioIMI, we  are contacted regularly by entrepreneurs looking to put their great ideas into action.  We find it very interesting to work with start-ups… we were one ourselves a few years back, as well.  We never take for granted what it means to be at “Go”.  My first business start-up happened in 1996 almost accidentally.   I found myself in a situation with Motorola after ten years, of wanting to raise a family and stay in one city.  I decided it was time to give a business idea I had my full focus.  I took a severance package rather than move for a new role and decided to start up a technology sales firm.  It was a difficult time, people didn’t leave larger companies like Motorola, especially with a promotion in play but I decided it was time.

I started up my sales rep firm with just one software manufacturer contract in Eastern Canada.  It took exactly three months before I had a number of manufacturers calling me to handle sales for them in the same territory.

My first business needed a brand and a website which we pulled together quickly.  I had great contacts so this was somewhat of an easy part.  Motorola had provided incredible experience and I knew lots of engineers and marketing people.  In the late 90’s, marketing was more experiential; trade shows, direct sales calls and lots of references from the manufacturers. We didn’t really have to rely on the marketing tactics so necessary today.

It was an extremely fast ride and within three years, I was generating over $5M in sales and having the best time of my life.  It culminated with a firm from the UK offering to buy my company if I joined them as Global VP of Sales and Marketing. I took the deal.

swot2Today’s environment is so much more different. The proliferation of the internet requires companies to build marketing campaigns using so much more; SEO for long-term sustainability, PPC to get a fast start out of the gate, Social Media to promote the brand as well as  a lot of the traditional marketing tactics.

We treat StudioIMI (inc in 2003) today as if it is still a new business in many ways.  We are always looking for the next client and the the next project.  The difference is that we have over 300 projects under our belt and a better understanding of what is needed to be successful. We also do quite a bit of business consulting along the way.  This allows us to provide top to bottom solutions: web marketing, traditional sales and marketing support, lead generation and more.

If you find your self in a position of starting up a business and need some good advice, please call us for a free consultation.  Sometimes all it takes is for you to discuss the strategies with someone who has been there.  We’re happy to give you some time to determine what’s possible and where you can go with your own start-up.  Best choice we ever made, we can help you too.

StudioIMI has been in business since 2003. We have built hundreds of sites across North America.  Our target market are: small business, tourism, hospitality, finance, retail, artists, recreation, agriculture, distribution, real estate and more.

Please contact us for more information:

http://www.studioimi.com/contact-us/

250-580-5250

 

 


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Business Tips – Continuing Education

2016-homepage-2-cropAs a serial entrepreneur of more than 18 years, one thing stands out for me… I always have a voracious appetite to learn more!  Learning never seems to stop if you are inquisitive by nature and you should be as a business owner.  Ask you staff, ask your clients and ask your business associates for feedback about your business.  In particular, your clients will often give you the next ideas for your business.  They always want some tweaks to your software or some extra features added to your hardware.

In the technology market, while working for Motorola, we collaborated with clients (automotive, industrial, aerospace, medical, scientific) on projects for the real-time environment.  There were always variations of the defined projects.  Our engineering team was incredibly competent and listened to what clients said about our products.  In many cases, these ideas became the next revision of our product offering.  It’s a great lesson to learn and to try with your own business.

Don’t let your products idle because everything is running smoothly.  bus-plansAlways try to push the envelope and consider the business decision and revenue upside to these improvements.  Your competition is not standing still.  They’re always looking at ways to gain an edge and you need to think this way as well.  This is a great way to build your business plan projections, allowing you to think ahead to the company you will become.  This is critical planning for any business.

When you consider more formal education, think outside the box.  As a web design company owner of 14 years, I push myself to attend technical training but I’ve also picked up an Executive Coaching Diploma, an IFIC Financial Investor Diploma.  Most recently, I took a 2-day intensive course on the legal issues that impact business owners, sales people and other staff.  This will help make me a better owner.

Always look for ways to improve your management skills and business knowledge.  It will pay off very well for your business.

For more details please call 778.440.3031

 


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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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Are Good Sales Reps Worth the Investment?

Interesting question that businesses have been wrestling with every day, for years. In today’s internet world, the sales process has changed so much. Years ago, a sales call meant driving, maybe flying to the customer for meetings and sometimes all-day presentations and demonstrations. There were not the internet tools available to shorten the timeline between the prospect’s first call and the final close of a deal. Of course this face-to-face or “windshield time” still goes on however with services like Skype and Go-To-Meeting, a business can take advantage of keeping travel costs down and communicating with more clients in a given day, than ever before.

In reality, the wheels of most businesses start to turn when a sale is made. A sale usually involves the finance department, manufacturing, shipping, admin and support. The internet has changed the way products and services are bought in 2015 as so many items have become commodity products that can be sold via Pay Pal and on-line.

In many businesses however, where the art of the sale is critical to closing the deal, a professionally trained sales person will mean the difference in connecting with a new customer once or developing a long term relationship.

As an entrepreneur, I need to wear many hats including “sales” and another critical function “marketing”. Selling is not a dirty word, though it has become sullied because of the proliferation of  entry-level,  “commission-based” sales opportunities being offered. There are so many of these ads around and the approach has watered down the impact of the true professional sales person. Build a great product, hire a good accountant, then grab the first guy off the street to represent your product to the market. Great idea!

A year ago, I conducted a study. I interviewed for a number of the commission-only positions. What I discovered was quite interesting. The first interview was with a well-known telecom provider. The promises of a healthy income level were totally misleading. I was told I would have my own territory and be a manager (as part of a team). After a couple interviews, the formal offer was presented to me, I asked them to clarify what was on paper vs what they advertised  – what happened to the last ten candidates? What did the territory’s potential revenue? Did the area manager have experience managing people? It turned out to be nothing more than a camouflaged MLM model.

The answers from this well-known, Canadian company’s representative were astonishing. In fact their churn of “sales” people was beyond belief, they had no idea of the potential revenues, offered little training or coaching and simply wanted warm bodies looking for leads. They were not interested in building a good team, were simply looking for volume and had no real long-term strategy. I looked across the table at the “manager” who had no real skills, spoke poor English and who was shocked as I handed back the unsigned paperwork, stood up and walked out.

Hard to believe the management of this Canadian telecom company thinks this is the way to do business. As a result, I would never consider using their products for my business or personal life. Instead of working with champions on the group they were slapping together, they simply wanted volume and were prepared to sacrifice young careers for “unqualified feet-on-the-street”.

I went on the interview and receive job offers with a well-known car dealer in town, a paint contractor, a kitchen renewal business and even a home services company. If any of these businesses took the time to coach young sales people and help them learn the business, it would have paid huge dividends for them. Instead, like so many companies these days with very little management skills, they churn sales people, spend hours interviewing and continue to hire more rookies without any ideas as to helping them become more successful. This is such a waste of valuable time that could have been spent developing the sales team.

I ran a global hi-tech sales force twelve years ago and had the luxury of hiring the brightest sales executives I could find in most countries. They paid off in work efforts, ethics and growth of the business. Unfortunately it seems today that many small businesses are ruining their sales opportunities and even hurting their brand. Imagine hiring a shoe repair shop owner to be a chef in a fine dining venue or a car mechanic to manage a jewelry store. Doesn’t make a lot of sense and like the untrained and underpaid sales rep, you get what you pay for.

Having warm bodies out there flogging your products to the market may win you a few deals out of pure luck, however how many first impressions have been ruined and have soured prospects on your brand because you cut corners. Hire the right people, pay them reasonably well, train them, coach them and you stand a chance. Otherwise like the big telecom company hiring warm bodies to knock on doors, you get what you pay for – and your brand gets what it deserves.

In the end, sales people are important to all businesses, its simply that many unskilled managers take short cuts.


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Effectiveness of a Business Coach

Category : Clients , Coaching , Web Stuff

Have you ever had a professional business coach to work with? I referring to someone who has been trained to ask the right questions and has the business experience to help guide you on the road to success? One of the important things to do here is to tackle the major issue(s) you face, one at a time. You can’t fix all parts of your business at once so take issues on in bite-size pieces that you can handle.

Here are “triple-loop” questions you can even ask yourself as an entrepreneur.

  • What is the most important issue I face daily?
  • What would it feel like to be able to resolve that issue?
  • What is stopping you from taking steps to resolve the issue?

Great questions to ask yourself. If you can determine what the main challenge is that you face, envision what it would feel like to be be able to experience a solution to this problem and then think about why you are stuck, you are on your way to overcoming this issue. For many entrepreneurs, the answers can be complex.

It can be easy to determine the main issue you face. Is it staffing, bill collections, sales and marketing, project delays or just not enough hours in the day. It may even be fairly easy to imagine your business without some of the demands bearing down on you that may be holding you back from success.

The tough part of this process is to look at the reasons that may be preventing you from solving this main issue. You may need to offload your daily tasks to someone that would free up your time. You may have to spend the morning calling clients about money. You may need to have a chat with an employee about the quality of their work or their lack of a full effort.

We do tend to put off the tougher issues to another day. Unfortunately they will still be there tomorrow.

I recommend you start with small steps. Monday morning, write out on a sticky note a list of 2-3 serious objectives you want to achieve that week. Make it reasonable so you have a better than average chance of getting to each one. Scratch them off the list when they are complete or at least started. Tape the sticky note to your computer screen and review it every morning. Think of the satisfaction you get when by Wednesday you have one of these issues completed. Try to tackle the next one that day. By Friday, you may have them taken care of. Seems simple enough but it does work.

Setting yourself up to succeed or setting yourself up to fail. It’s your choice but it starts with a plan.

StudioIMI has been around for twelve years and has dealt with hundreds of solutions for clients. We have over thirty years of business experience in corporate environments, government contracts and as an entrepreneur. We may be able to help your business.

Call us 778-440-3031