10 Easy Steps for Small Biz business planning (in one day!)

September 11th, 2012

For a long time I have immersed myself in the topic of how small business CEOs and owners can better leverage “big business” best practices without fear!

Specifically, many smallbiz CEO reject big business practices because they fear (and loath) getting bogged down in what they view as pointless processes and bureaucracy.

I do consulting type work for small businesses and I frequently see areas for operational and strucural improvement. But the CEO is reluctant to implement change because of their aforementioned fears or, frankly, they just have a bias against big business.

So the imperative is to introduce more rigour in the business coupled with simplicity and pragmatism. Rigour = accountability leading to performance.

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Small Biz Case Study: Improve systems with interim management.

August 29th, 2012

Today’s small business challenge in the Globe & Mail features a company called Magpie Jewellery, an Ottawa area retailer with 3 locations. It is a $4 to $4.5 million company with 28 employees. CEO is Martin Wright.

The CEO’s issue: With all this success and physical locations, the Mr. Wright is concerned that his own business acumen is not keeping pace with his company’s growth.

“Personally, I don’t have any business background. I know a lot about jewellery. I know a lot about our company. But I really don’t know how to run a business in some respects.”

His need is to find someone who can “fill in the management blanks”.

This is a very interesting case study because Mr. Wright is very clear on what he wants (and doesn’t want) and also what he’s willing to do (or not do).

Consider:

  • He’s not interested in taking courses to improve his own acumen
  • He’s not necessarily looking for a “merchandiser”.
  • He is looking for a systems thinker, not a management thinker.
  • He’s looking for improvements to day to day operations to improve efficiency and systems.

You can read the full story here called Growing business outgrows owner’s business acumen.

What to do? Read the rest of this entry »

B2B and Small Business Miscellany for August 24, 2012

August 24th, 2012
B2B and Small Business Miscellany for August 24, 2012

Word cloud for all the content from this week's favourites.

Throughout each week, I share what I consider to be interesting articles, blogs or web pages/sites about B2B and small business. I appreciate quality so I’m somewhat selective about what I pass along.

The best way to keep track of these is to follow me on Twitter at @bizcompare. But in case you missed any, here’s a list of my faves that I sent out this past week.

Sales & Marketing:

Leadership, Management & People:

Entrepreneurship:

Social Media:

Thanks for reading my blog and please visit again.

Vincent out.

Authored by: 


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This is a very groovy SEO tool.

August 16th, 2012

OK, so I’m clearly giving away my general age bracket by using the word groovy. I contemplated saying “neato” which has its own groove but I’ll save that for another blog.

In any case, I’m just a bit fatigued saying “awesome” to describe superlative things so I simply dug back a few decades to describe the following tool for SEO.

Its called the Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool and it comes to us courtesy of Darren Slatten at SEOMofo.com. (BTW, I didn’t discover this tool on my own. I was pointed to it by an excellent SEO consultant named Jim Rudnick)

What this tool does: It visually simulates how Google displays your information on their search engine results pages. For example, if you do search for “sales compensation calculator” in Google, you will see a page with 10 search returns, one of which looks like this:

seo title description serp

  Read the rest of this entry »

B2B and Small Business Miscellany for August 10, 2012

August 10th, 2012
B2B and Small Business Miscellany for August 10, 2012

Word cloud for all the content from this week's favourites.

 

Throughout each week, I share what I consider to be interesting articles, blogs or web pages/sites about B2B and small business. I appreciate quality so I’m somewhat selective about what I pass along.

The best way to keep track of these is to follow me on Twitter at @bizcompare. But in case you missed any, here’s a list of my faves that I sent out this past week.

Sales & Marketing:

Leadership, Management & People:

Entrepreneurship:

Social Media:

Thanks for reading my blog and please visit again.

Vincent out.

Authored by: 

Can Entrepreneurs Make Good Managers?

August 7th, 2012

Someone once defined entrepreneurship as jumping out of an airplane with all the components needed to make a parachute. That seems about right.

An entrepreneur is also someone who isn’t afraid to fail or take risks. He has a passion coupled with a dream and good instincts with the ability to make quick decisions without the benefits of having all the facts. Entrepreneurs also have a knack for negotiation and love the thrill of the hunt.

You could also say that entrepreneurs are unusually optimistic and self-confident, or they wouldn’t forgo the security of a steady paycheck and risk their savings and reputation to go out on their own.

Can Entrepreneurs Make Good Managers?

Can Entrepreneurs Make Good Managers?

While these are all admirable traits, entrepreneurs can also be impatient, and at times, even intolerant with employees who don’t share an equal amount of passion for their roles within the company. Office politics gnaw on their nerves like dogs gnawing a bone. And those people who waltz in a little after eight and burn out the door at five as if there is a fire in the building will rarely get in the owners’ good graces.

Read the rest of this entry »

B2B and Small Business Miscellany for August 3, 2012

August 3rd, 2012

Throughout each week, I share what I consider to be interesting articles, blogs or web pages/sites about B2B and small business. I appreciate quality so I’m somewhat selective about what I pass along.

The best way to keep track of these is to follow me on Twitter at @bizcompare. But in case you missed any, here’s a list of my faves that I sent out this past week.

Sales & Marketing:

Leadership, Management & People:

Entrepreneurship:

Social Media:

Thanks for reading my blog and please visit again.

Vincent out.

Authored by: 


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Geoff Vincent

July 30th, 2012

Name:

Geoff Vincent

Bio:

Marketing roles at Amex, FedEx, CCH Canadian,  Dun & Bradstreet Canada, Owen Media Partners and Simply Audiobooks (Fusenet). Having built substantial knowledge of CPC, CPA, SEO, SEM, web commerce & monetization and various Google applications (AdWords, AdSense, Analytics, AdManager), I recently launched a web publishing site.

Home page:

http://www.bizcompare.com

Google plus:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/102834944392286151714/?rel=author

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/bizcompare

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/pages/BizComparecom/135055303182021

LinkedIn:

http://ca.linkedin.com/in/geoffvincent

Blog URL:

http://www.bizcompare.com/blog


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B2B and Small Business Miscellany for July 20, 2012

July 20th, 2012

Throughout each week, I share what I consider to be interesting articles, blogs or web pages/sites about B2B and small business. I appreciate quality so I’m somewhat selective about what I pass along.

The best way to keep track of these is to follow me on Twitter at @bizcompare. But in case you missed any, here’s a list of my faves that I sent out this past week.

Sales & Marketing:

Leadership, Management & People:

Web & Social Media:

Entrepreneurship:

 

Thanks for reading my blog and please visit again.

Vincent out.

Authored by Geoff Vincent


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Yo Marketing, what have you done for me lately? Roles & Responsibilities.

July 17th, 2012

A very short blog today starting with an anecdote:

About 15 years ago, I started  a new role as a Director of Marketing. I reported to the VP who also had Sales and Customer Service under his belt.

This role was, admittedly, a step up for me. Perhaps sensing my green-ness, the Director of Sales, decided to be play provocateur with me.

At a weekly status meeting, after being grilled for his sales numbers, my peer turned to me and essentially said “so what are you going to do to help us make our numbers this month?”. Before I could defend myself with references to my team’s ongoing or new marketing programs, our mutual boss interjected and with this piece of wisdom (paraphrased):

The role of Sales is to get us revenue this month. The role of Marketing is to get us revenue 3 months from now.

Brilliant! And not because it momentarily shut the sales guy up, but because its such a cogent approach to roles and responsibilities of sales and marketing.

Hey, I do believe that marketing should have major skin in the game when it comes to revenues. I have eagerly signed up for goals and compensation plans that have been very highly weighted with revenue metrics. I believe that Sales and Marketing should be tied at the hip this way.

However, I have also been at the leadership table on the 15th of the month and being asked by my CEO and others about what marketing can do to help make this month’s numbers (context: all my marketing roles have been B2B). While well intended, that’s knee jerk stuff.

Yes, its possible to put out some sort of coupon or something that MIGHT bring in a few dollars. But at what cost and what downstream negative impact (i.e. asking the marketing group to throw together a program for immediate implementation means they are diverted from working on more cogent plans for the next month or two).

My message today:

There are things that Marketing should be doing all the time to help bring in immediate sales mostly in the area of product management (demo’s, providing subject matter expertise, client presentations, etc.). But a sizable chunk of a marketer’s daily effort should have a 30-90 day horizon to it. This is an appropriate (and required!) balance to the more immediate horizon that largely belongs to Sales.

What do you think? Where do you land on Marketing’s role in monthly revenue targets?

Thanks for reading my blog and please visit again.

Vincent out.

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