In this issue...
• Welcome to our May issue of Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success
• 10 steps to a better '___' business
• A Point to Ponder
• Maximizing your 'promotional' architecture
• Coming in our June 2005 issue
• Edmonton's Bill Comrie off to World Entrepreneur Finals
• Thanks Mom!
• Thanks for reading this issue...
Welcome to our May issue of Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success
"Every great business is built on friendship." J.C. Penney
Welcome to our May issue of Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success
Welcome to our newly re-designed and expanded Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success e-zine. If you are new to our Ideas At Work! family, welcome aboard. If you've been with us a while, I hope you'll enjoy our new expanded format. You can jump ahead to the articles if you have already read this introduction note.
We publish this e-zine to share ideas and keep in touch with our friends, readers and audience members who wanted to remain in contact and share in the lessons we acquire along the way.
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Each month you'll find a feature or longer article or two to assist in profitably moving your career, company or organization and its leadership to the next level.
You'll also find a thought provoking quote or short point to ponder.
You'll also see book reports on leading business books from time to time.
We will include tips, techniques and resources that will assist you in being more productive, competitive and profitable on the job - to help you in your career.
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May 2005 Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success: All contents Copyright © 2005, Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey, www.ideaman.net except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved worldwide. Duplication or reprints only with express permission or approved credits, as indicated.
Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey's articles may be copied or used for non-profit purposes, without the consent of the author, subject to the following being included: "© Copyright 2005 Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey www.ideaman.net All rights Reserved. Used with permission of the author, from 'Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success, an electronic newsletter." Visit: www.businesssuccess.ca for more information and articles.
PS: If you were wondering about the two ladies kissing me? My friends and fellow speakers from the CAPS BC Chapter, Elaine Allison and Cathy Osborne, did a session at one of our CAPS National conferences as the 'Web Wise Gals'. On our opening night, they ambushed and surprised me on our main stage, leaving big RED lipstick marks. I did eventually wash the lipstick off. Made quite an impression on me!
10 steps to a better '___' business
The following ten ideas (or steps) have proven effective for the enhancement of 'any' business. Fill in the '_______' with your industry or field and apply accordingly.
Since I have been primarily in the speaking and training business, (information entrepreneur), I will share ideas based on what I am learning in my quest to make what I do more productive and more attractive to my potential clients. Ideas to make sure I stay competitive in this growing field. Ideas I am using as I expand my Ideas At Work! Group of Companies to better serve my clients. I am sure you will be able to see how you can apply them to your specific business or areas of concern.
1. Use client testimonials:
People hire speakers and trainers based on several factors. They have heard us speak personally, someone they trust has heard us, or another speaker or client has heard us and says nice things about what we did for them. They do not normally hire on the basis of a cold call. They may, if the timing is correct, but will still go back to one of the above three factors as a part of their decision process. Think about how your customers find you. What is their selection process?
In the personal or professional services area this is very true as well as for effective, profitable, long-term businesses. In my case, I have found this helpful, as the majority of my engagements come from referrals or via contact through my various websites. This applies to any business model, as it helps minimize the risk factor in the decision process to engage or do business with us. How can you ensure your clients talk about what you've done for them? How do you get them to do so?
Two points: 1) Do a simply outstanding job and keep in touch afterwards - remember, "out of sight out of mind and out of business," and; 2) Ask them to give you feedback on what you did and how it affected or assisted them in their business. Ask for quantified answers, if you can get them, as they are more effective tools. Ask permission to quote!
Here is a sample from one of my presentation skills, coaching clients:
"Without doubt, I have gained immeasurable self assurance. Bob, your patience and your encouragement have been much appreciated. I strongly recommend your course to anyone looking for self-improvement and professional development." Jeannie Mura, Human Resources Chevron Canada
2. Make your website a resource:
If you are not already on-line, you are in a positon to be be lost, ignored or left behind in your potential client's mind. Out of sight is out of business! The internet is rapidly replacing the yellow pages as a form of research for customer use. It is also becoming a source of credibity as well as visibility.
Start with making sure you are on-line and that your website covers the basics: Who you are? What you do? What you offer? What do real' people say about you (client testimonials)? You can do that with a simple one or two page website and build your value from there. You may even end up with a series of websites as we did.
Then, move into the process of making your website a resource base that people will want to put on their favorites and return again and again. Have some helpful articles or tips. Include some inspiration. Give me (your potential customer) more information on the behind the scenes workings of your business or services.
We've been working to do just that! For example, we revamped our Articles Page into 'A Creative Collection of Wisdom and Writing' website. I invited some of North America's top experts and speakers to share their wisdom along with my own and will keep adding over the years.
We will be archiving our new Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success e-zine on this MyMailout site as well as here: Visit: www.businesssuccess.ca for more information and back copies.
If you visit our main site, www.ideaman.net you'll see some of these examples as you click through the various pages; eg. my Business Enhancement Success Tools, and my click on the program title for full program details on my programs page. I've found this to be one of the most productive things I've done to assist my potential clients in the last five years.
We also noticed quite a few of our contacts were from new or inexperienced meeting planners. We created a resource based website to assist them in planning and hosting a successful meeting, training event or conference. Visit: www.successfulmeetings.ca
The majority of my promotion directs people to my site, as it is a great sales tool. In the past few years, with all its turbulance, my website has accounted for more than 40% of my new clientele.
3. Build rapport with clients ...teach or provide something new:
I got my start in the speaking and training business, while I was a kitchen designer, by offering in-house and continuing education programs to assist my potential clients in their quest for a better kitchen. Along the way I wrote, "How to Remodel Your Kitchen & Stay Married!" as a tool to help them prepare and survive the marriage stressing kitchen rennovation. In any business, we are more successful when we are perceived as value-added, solutions-oriented or as experts in our field.
Make sure they see that you are there to help them and are committed to their success. I often thank my clients for allowing me to be a part of their success team in their training program or conference. It is a statement of commitment on my part and a reminder to me to always seek to add value and build on the relationship. Hey, and it helps with the referrals as well.
Please note: This new format allows us to use longer articles with the second portion on a landing page. Simply click on the link below this section to read steps 4 through 10.
>> Click here to read the rest of Bob's article
A Point to Ponder
I celebrated a birthday in April. One of my close friends sent me a card with some interesting sentiments.
I share this with you and challenge you to spend one minute each day thinking about how you can apply this in your own life.
"My birthday wish (each day) for you is that you always have people to laugh with, and be close to, things to dream about and work hard for, places you can go to rest and reflect on all that is good in the world, and especially in you... "
Drop me a line if you wish and share your thoughts on this focus over the next month. email@example.com
Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey
Maximizing your 'promotional' architecture
The back of your business card is very valuable 'architectural' space that should be used. Building on this primarily under-utilized white space can move you into the ranks of the well promoted, well positioned and well paid professional.
At least 85% of the cards I've collected over the years have nothing on the back. What a waste of time, money and promotional opportunity! Just think, you can double the effectiveness of your card by simply printing a valuable tidbit on the back. Amazingly, the additional cost, including set up, is marginal from the cost of your one-sided business cards.
I often counsel my professional clients to enhance their effectiveness by transforming their business cards' into mini-brochures.
Here are some ideas you can build on:
1 - Your business philosophy: why not share it with prospective customers who might just choose you over your competition.
2 - A list (or partial list) of your programs, services or divisions: make sure your current and prospective customers know what you offer.
3 - Directions to your office or place of business: make sure you are easy to find and even easier to do business with than your competition.
4 - Your guarantee: and you should stand behind your efforts.
5 - An affirmation or favorite saying: similar to philosophy, sharing this might just be the bridge to launching a profitable relationship.
6 - Three benefits of doing business with you: (only three?)...share the three major benefits with your customers. Why should they choose you?
7 - Your picture or caricature: personalize your business or organization. People like to deal with real people - be one of them.
8 - Trivia about your business or niche industry: Whet their appetite, make them interested, and give them a behind the scenes peek.
9 - A mini-notepad: with lines to make notes; at the very least provide a small service with your card.
10 - A short joke: make them laugh and perhaps they will remember you?
11 - Your recipe for success: share something they can blend into their own marketing or best practices efforts.
12 - A calendar of upcoming presentations, promotions or events: strategic planning for the year can be a competitive edge.
13 - Tips: on how your products or services can save money or make money.
14 - Your rates: unless prohibited by law, why not differentiate yourself from the timid that are uncertain of their worth in the market?
15 - Third party testimonials: letting other people brag about you is a very effective, yet under-utilized promotional and credibility technique.
You've spent your good money, invested time and effort in naming your business or organization, and built some branding or awareness in the marketplace. Wouldn't it make sense to capitalize on every opportunity to share your advantages and benefits with prospective customers?
If they haven't heard of you they will not hire you. If they don't know what you do, they may hire someone else. I've had that happen numerous times when I was just beginning this career path.
What do you need to do to avoid these two challenges? Call your designer now and order some mini-brochures...
Coming in our June 2005 issue
Our June 2005 issue will introduce a couple of new additions to your business and career enhancing tools.
- We'll be reviewing former GE CEO Jack Welch's new book WINNING
- We'll also be offering some comments and concerns on training. Training is the foundation for long term business and career growth, profitability and success. We'll at a peek at what some of the top companies such as IBM, Sprint and Pfizer are doing.
- We'll have another Point to Ponder
- And more...
Tell your friends about Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success. Forward your copy of this first revamped issue with a personal invitation for them to join our family. Use the 'Send this to a friend' link on the upper right hand corner to send this along to a friend today.
See you next month...
Edmonton's Bill Comrie off to World Entrepreneur Finals
The Brick's founder, Bill Comrie is off to Monaco as Canada's representative in the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year® finals later this month.
Bill Comrie was selected as Canada's 2004 Entrepreneur of the Year and will be judged along with the best entrepreneurs from 35 countries for this top honor.
19 year old, Bill Comrie stepped off the ice (he had been drafted by the NHL's Chicago Black Hawks) to purchase the family business following the sudden death of his father. He launched out on his own and started The Brick in Edmonton, Alberta with only $8,000 and a dream on Sept 1st, 1971. Over the past 33 years he built a dynamic team of over 6000 Brick, United Furniture and Home Show Canada employees.
The Brick Group is Canada's largest volume retailer of household furniture, mattresses, appliances and home electronics. They've earned the distinction as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for the past three years. They are an amazing group of people to work with and invest in the growth of their teams.
In July 2004, Bill Comrie stunned the Canadian business community when he announced he had successfully completed his IPO and the launch of the Brick Group Income Fund. He went on to give close to $45 million dollars to his employees. As he said at the time, 'It was the right thing to do."
This fifth annual presentation of Ernst & Young's World Entrepreneur Of The Year® (WEOY) award will take place on 28th of May 2005 in Monte Carlo, Monaco. It was first awarded in May 2001, in recognition of the increasing impact that entrepreneurs are making to the global economy.
When asked what it meant to be selected to represent Canada, Bill Comrie had this to say,
"Canada is a country that inspires entrepreneurial spirit. It was a true honour to be selected from so many deserving candidates to represent my country. I want to make it clear that, The Brick's inspiring growth and long-term success has not been just about Bill Comrie; it is about the support and love of my family, a network of friends and the outstanding efforts of over 6,000 Brick team members, everyday."
"I believe top entrepreneurs have one common thread woven through their successes: the ability to surround themselves with the strongest team members and lead them to a common goal. I hope my achievement may spur others to follow their passion, not simply a pay cheque."
We wish Bill Comrie all the best in this event! He is in good company. He is a great man who has done so much in both business and the community. His contributions have touched the lives of millions of Canadians and people around the world. Bill Comrie is a very worthy representative for Canada.
May 8th is Mother's day. Thanks to the greeting card companies, we have a day designated to honor those special women in our lives. I advocate that we should honor and share our appreciation on a more regular basis.
My mom has been gone now for almost 6 years and I still miss her. She used to make me laugh, cry and sometimes she really got me upset when we disagreed on something. She also proof read my writing. As a former high school English teacher, she would go over my earlier attempts and return them marked with big red correction marks. I remember a couple of weeks prior to her death in August 1999, she was reading through my 4th book. I remember her saying, 'Where'd you learn how to do this?" I had lived long enough to surprise her and gain her respect.
I created 'Thanks Mom! A gratitude journal for the 'special' women in our lives' in March of 1999. My dad had recently passed away and I wanted to make sure mom knew she was still loved. I had been invited to speak at an International Women's day and agreed to do so, if I could dedicate it to my mom and video tape it. I still remember mom watching the video, wiping the tears from her eyes and holding her copy. That time, well-spent, still gives me a sense of joy and makes me smile. I was privileged to have spent a lot of time with her, before she too passed away. I would not trade a moment of that time for anything!
So, if you happen to read this before tomorrow is over and haven't told the special women in your life how much you appreciate them...pick up the phone, pick up a pen, log on-line, or jump in your car...and do so NOW! It will be important to you and even more so to them. Don't wait until they have gone out of your life to share their impact.
If you don't read this until Monday or Tuesday; remember, it is never too late to show your appreciation. Who do you have in your lives: Moms, daughters, sisters, cousins, neices, assistants, co-workers, etc. Let them know!
>> Click here to get your own copy of 'Thanks Mom!'
Thanks for reading this issue...
"Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it." Peter Drucker
Thank you for reading our May issue of 'Ideas@Work! - Strategies for Success'. We know your time is valuable and our commitment is to make sure each issue has some solid value for you and your team.
Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a part of your success team and to work with you for your conference, meeting or event. For more information about customized keynotes, professional/personal leadership training and coaching, seminars/retreats, please visit www.ideaman.net
or call our Creative Office at: (780) 736-0009
Ask about a customized conference, coaching or training package to suit your specific career, company or organizational needs.
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