If you want to learn how to run and grow a business, there is no better teacher than other successful business operators. Entrepreneurial peer advisory or peer mentoring groups were founded on that principle. However, just a tiny fraction of business owners belong to peer advisory organizations. Why is that? And what are they missing out on? To help answer these questions, Ian chats with Mike Desjardins, longtime member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and owner of Virtus, a business coaching and consulting firm that conducts peer advisory sessions for entrepreneurs and executives.
Angel investors form a crucial yet underappreciated part of the entrepreneurial financing market in Canada. They are also becoming more effective and easier to find. In this episode of the Business Coach Podcast, Ian talks to Bob Chaworth-Musters, who is the founder of the Angel forum, a semi-annual event where entrepreneurs pick their opportunities to prescreen Angel investors.
What is your company’s competitive advantage? Every business owner should know the answer to that question and the vast majority of business owners would say that they do. But nothing could be further from the truth. In this episode of the Business Coach Podcast, Ian talks to Jaynie Smith, the founder and principal of Smart Advantage Incorporated. She is also the author of Creating Competitive Advantage: Give customers a reason to choose you over your competitors.
Listen to your customers is one of the golden rules of effective business management, but how many companies pay more than lip service to it? Even if you are listening to your customers, you could probably be doing it better, not to mention the tricky task of turning feedback into action. In this episode of the Business Coach Podcast, Ian talks to Tyler Gompf. Tyler is the cofounder and CEO of Winnipeg based Tell us About Us Incorporated, which helps companies get feedback from their customers.
Now in its sixth season, Dragon’ Den mixes business with game show, with reality television in a show that has generated huge TV ratings for CBC Television, millions of dollars in equity financing for its contestants and more than a few lessons in the area of raising capital. In this episode of the Business Coach, Ian talks to Sean Wise, a professor of entrepreneurship at Ryerson University and the founder of Wise Metric Capital, a Toronto based Financial Consultancy. He is also a special advisor to Dragon’s Den and has been working behind the scenes of the show since it launched in 2006.
July 1 will be a very important day for Canadian businesses in 2010: it is the first day of the Harmonized Sales Tax in British Columbia and Ontario. Although the new taxation scheme will have a great impact on business owners in those two provinces, it also has repercussions for companies in other provinces, and the time to plan for them is running out. In this episode of the Business Coach, Ian talks to Heather Weber, a certified general accountant and the leader of the Indirect Tax Group at Meyers Norris Penny LLP, an accounting and business advisory firm.
The federal budget was recently announced and, as expected, it was a stay-the-course document bearing few surprises. But it did offer a few new goodies for business and, like any federal budget, it will affect economic fortunes to some degree in the coming years. In this episode, Ian discusses these issues and more with Doug Porter, Deputy Chief Economist at BMO Capital Markets.
If you are the owner of a small business, you can’t afford to waste your money on ineffective advertising. So how can small businesses maximize their marketing ROI? In this episode, Ian discusses these issues and more with Terry O’Reilly. Terry is the co-founder of Toronto-based Pirate Radio and Television, an award-winning advertising and creative agency.
How should small business owners market their professional services? How can you protect your practice from creditors? In this episode, Ian discusses these issues and more with Peter Merrick, president of Toronto-based MerrickWealth.com, and one of Canada’s leading specialists in financial planning for business owners.
Why is understanding social media so important to business owners? How can businesses leverage online tools like Twitter and Facebook to help network for new opportunities and drive results? On location at the Art of Management event in Toronto, Ian discusses social media with Mitch Joel, Canada’s most influential thinker on social media. Mitch is the President of Twist Image, an award winning digital marketing agency based in Montreal, and author of Six Pixels of Separation.
You don’t have to be a gullible investor to be the target of fraud in today’s increasingly complex and hectic business world. Entrepreneurial businesses are prime candidates for being duped out of major dollars. How big is the threat and what can you do to stop it? In this episode, Ian discusses these issues and more with Cathy Penny, Director, Fraud and Electronic Monitoring for BMO Bank of Montreal.
How efficient is the average executive or business owner is today? On location at the Art of Management event in Toronto, Ian discusses the issue of efficiency with David Allen, the founder and President of the David Allen Company and the author of the international best seller “Getting things done, the art of stress free productivity and ready for anything - 52 productivity principles for work and life.”
During tough economic times, all smart business owners try to reduce spending. However, not many address fixed costs and overhead, the biggest of which is often rent. In this episode of the Business Coach, Ian discusses these issues and more with Dale Willerton, Founder and CEO of the Lease Coach, which is an Edmonton-based provider of commercial lease consulting services with seven corporate and franchise locations in Canada and the U.S.
How does managing your strengths and weaknesses affect your overall proficiency? On location at the Art of Management event in Toronto, Ian discusses the importance of managing strengths and weaknesses with Marcus Buckingham, global guru and author of First, Break all the Rules, and Find your Strongest Life.
Will I have myself a merry little Christmas? That’s the question Canadian retailers are asking themselves as the 2009 Holiday shopping season approaches and they have reasons to be concerned. In this episode, Ian discusses this issue with Andy Buyting. Andy is the President of Green Village Home and is a past winner of the Business Development Bank of Canada’s Annual Young Entrepreneur Award. He is also the entrepreneur in residence and primary contributor to myretailer.ca.