Category

Business Growth

Transform Your Customers Into Brand Advocates

By | Wish Group, Success & Inspiration, Business Insights, Business Growth, Foundations of Success | No Comments

Transform Your Customers Into Brand Advocates

Brand advocates are those who enjoy your product or service so much that they’ll happily spread the word about it. The customer’s ability to rate and review a company’s online reputation empowers them to speak out more when they use your service. Turning your customers into brand advocates is an important process since they’re your biggest advertising tool.

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Ask Frank

By | Wish Group, Comments & Opinion, Business Insights, Business Growth, Business Health, Foundations of Success, Leadership | No Comments

Ask Frank

Today highlight some of the comments and questions you submitted and getting Frank’s response on all topics.

As discussed previously funding is hard to obtain especially when asking from friends/family. It’s important if you go that route to understand at all times this is a business transaction. It’s not your money, and there is risk associated with borrowing money from people close to you. Notify them of the risks involved, possible obstacles and a realistic time frame to see an ROI, in addition, how you will handle these obstacles. Treating it like it’s an official pitch to a bank or investor helps take the emotion out of the situation and keeps everything professional.

Making a move to hiring a finance person is always tricky because it depends on what stage your bootstrap startup is currently at. Most time you may be able to sustain with an in-house bookkeeper a few times and transition them into a full-time position. The risk in going to a senior accountant before necessary is the cost associated can be expensive and sometimes unnecessary. Instead, consider having a person who can perform the daily accounting procedures until you reach the point where a CFO is needed.

How to Set Up Your Finance Department

By | Wish Group, Business Insights, Business Growth, Business Health, Planning for the future | No Comments

How to Set Up Your Finance Department

Everyone is well aware that having a finance department is essential for any business in all industries to progress. However, when comes to startups its more about when is the right time to set one up, and who will be responsible for overseeing the company’s finances. We’ve seen the difficulties many startups are having with this conundrum and came up with a few tips to help you get started on setting up your finance department.

When a company is just getting started and can’t afford an accountant one of the best moves is look into accounting software programs. Options such as QuickBooks is reasonably priced and will do the number crunching for you. Most startups do their own accounting using multiple spreadsheets, ledgers etc. but technology has created a way for startups to save time on doing math and more time on marketing the business. Utilize the ability to let a computer do the work for you and start figuring out a way to get paid from any outstanding receivables.

Live within your means when it’s time to expand. As the business grows in revenue, you’ll need more help handling the finances, and hiring an accounting firm can be very time costly experience if you don’t know what you’re doing. Research both large and smaller firms, be clear about your expectations and budget when speaking to their agents. Do not discredit smaller firms because on occasion they can produce the type of financial assistance you require within your budget and building business relationships never hurts. A lot of startups can get swept up in the appeal of a large financial firm taking over but unable to maintain the costs associated. There is nothing impressive about going with a big firm if you don’t have the big budget to match it. Keep it simple.

Finally, consider hiring contract, part-time, or freelance bookkeepers to complete your finance department. Not every business needs a full time dedicated finance department. Take advantage of these options and seek outside help who can pick up some of the workloads where your business may be falling short. It’s usually just as effective and keeps costs low while you wait for your business to take that next step up in revenue to hire full-time staff.

Hiring for a Startup

By | Wish Group, Business Growth | One Comment

Hiring for a Startup

The process of hiring a new employee can be complex and tiring, let alone if your business is a start-up. Start-ups are unique business’ and rely much more on their staff achieving their goals and overcoming challenges that most larger business no longer require.

A key strategy in hiring for a start is, hire for potential not just track record. Past success is always great, but in a start-up, industry potential may be greater. Look for a person who has a strong interest or passion for the type of work your start-up is doing and see if their values align. Measure what potential you can unlock their skills and determine if the job position will give the applicant a chance to succeed and you’ll likely see results.

The culture fit is crucial. This is usually the hardest to pinpoint but it’s always important. Basically, it’s the fit between personality and organization. You will need to examine the behavior, attitude, and mentality of an applicant to see if they’re the right culture fit for your business. There is no guide to fitting into the right culture, it’s more of a feeling and unspoken understanding. Trust in your hiring staff to make the right decision and ensure they ask applicants questions non-work related to find out more about their personality.

Lastly, look for trainable people. Regardless of experience and culture fit, you will always need to train the new person. In a start-up industry training is essential to continued success. If the applicant is hesitant to new ideas or training styles and prefers to do things “their way” you may be setting you and them up for failure. Furthermore, ensure their ability to adapt to changing environments since the start-up field is constantly changing. Being unwilling to be coached or help coach others is how most new hires fail in their first year with a start-up.

Find time Today and for the Future

By | Entrepreneurial, Achieving Wealth, Business Insights, Business Growth, Business Health | No Comments

As you’re reading this I hope this finds you well. How was your Canada Day? I hope it was relaxing. This day means a lot of things to many different people but for me besides getting a chance to kick back and celebrate the birthday of one of the greatest countries on earth, I like to remind myself how wonderful it is to be in a country where anyone with a dream and a product or service that people need and can afford can compete in the free enterprise system.

This week I want to address an issue I’ve heard leading up to this holiday which is the question of time. I’ve heard this so many times: “but I don’t have time for that”. While it’s true that time is limited, time is our most precious and limited resource, when I start talking to people about why they don’t have enough time, the picture becomes a little clearer as to how they could take their power back and really clean their calendar. I’m going to share with you some of my real time-saving strategies, because ultimately if it’s not on your calendar and if it’s not a routine or a ritual in your life, it will not come into fruition. Whatever you want to create, whether it’s an incredible healthy body or a successful business or whatever it might be – whatever you want to create requires time to be scheduled in your calendar and requires you to actually show up!

If your calendar is full of all kinds of other stuff from other people you’re never going to find time for you, and unfortunately you’re just going to slide into a mediocre boring life. You will become so resentful that you either just resign and say that’s just the way life is, or you get fired up and you hit a bottom and you say I’m never going to let this happen again. Maybe you’re at that place where you’re feeling frustrated that you want to do that creative project or work on your exercise and diet but just don’t have the time. If your ambition is to become successful, time shrinks the more successful you become. I found I had more time when just getting started than I do now with all these pressures and different deadlines. The key is to get your time and calendar right, and here’s how you got to do it. It’s very simple:

Learn to say NO: That’s the word you want to learn. No is how you detox your calendar, because if you look at your calendar and all the time that you’re spending with other people or on projects that you don’t want to be on, you would probably be shocked. Or if you’re honest, how much time are you spending on Netflix, HBO, twitter, Instagram, Facebook, doing things where you just let time pass by? People ask me all the time, how do you manage all those companies and still find time to travel, golf, give back to students and young entrepreneurs? It’s because I’ve become really good at saying the word no to distractions. When you have a hard time saying no, there’s usually two emotional issues. The first one is being okay with letting people down from time to time. You can do this without being out of integrity by being in communication with that person and re-negotiating the timing of when you can be present with them. The other emotional issue is when you create time to work on your projects, usually you’ve been spending so much time focusing on other people that there’s usually unfelt negative emotions inside you that you’ve been running from such as fear, guilt, or anger. We got to work on those emotions, because ultimately if you want to work on yourself and really take your business to the next level, exercise and take your body to the next level, or take your relationship to the next level, you’re going to have to work on yourself.
When you clear your calendar, all those emotions are going to well up, mainly the emotion of fear. Fear of whether it’s going to work out or fear if whether you’re good enough. Then we get to the real issue, which is not time, but rather the negative emotions and fear. How well you manage unfelt negative emotions and fear will determine the quality of your life. If you want to detox your calendar, believe in yourself and develop a daily ritual or a behavior every single day that leans you in the direction of getting all of your goals met.

For me, I need to read and do yoga or work on my body every single day. I always struggled with the time to do both with all the pre bedtime routines so I found that I can perform some stretches while reading every night before I go to sleep. It gives me time to distress and tune out all the distractions before bed so I can have a sound sleep and be recharged for what always seems to be a powerful day. You want to set yourself up so that you can actually do the behaviors and the rituals that make you the most fulfilled.

With that said, that would be my advice for you this week. Really take your calendar back to get the business results you want, the body you want, the relationship you want and ultimately the life you want.

Yours,

Frank.

The Art of Doing

By | Entrepreneurial, Business Growth, Business Health, Leadership | No Comments

Leading a company takes a lot of guts and hard work. It starts with having a vision, and an idea that you’re passionate about but it doesn’t stop there. You must assemble a team, and bring that concept to life. The ability to successfully execute your vision or idea is what separates the dreamers from the entrepreneurs.

Here are some key qualities that every good leader should possess, and learn practicing every day:

Honesty

Your business and its employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit. Honesty and Integrity is everything. Be as transparent as you can with your team to ensure success.

Delegating:

As a leader you must learn to delegate tasks accordingly and in the right way. Your brand’s vision is everything and it is essential to creating a trust with your team to help progress to the next level.

As things continue to grow for your company, more and more work will begin to pile up, and the more you stretch yourself thin, the lower the quality of your work will become, and the less you will produce great results. In addition, you want to keep your team motivated towards the continued success of the company, and keep the energy levels up. Keep the office mood a fine balance between productivity and playfulness.

Confidence

Confidence is key to leading the success of any business. It’s very important to keep your confidence at a high level especially when things are going in a downward spiral. Your team will look to you for support and leadership to help pick things up. There’s nothing worse than a leader who’s lost all confidence in his/her abilities.

Communication

“Miscommunication leads to complication.” I’m sure you understand where I’m going with this. Knowing what you want accomplished may seem clear in your head, but not always to everyone else. Being able to clearly describe what you want done is extremely important. If you can’t relate your vision to your team, you won’t all be working towards the same goal.

Ability to Inspire

This is very important. Creating a business often involves a bit of forecasting and speaking things into existence. Do we all know what the future holds? Probably not. But it’s important to write your goals down and work towards them. Especially in the beginning stages of a startup, inspiring your team to see the vision of the successes to come is essential to success. Make your team feel invested in the accomplishments of the company. Being able to inspire your team is great for focusing on the future goals, but it is also important for the current issues. It is your job to keep spirits up, and that begins with an appreciation for the hard work.

I wish you a great and productive week.

Frank.

Work & Life Balance

By | Business Growth | No Comments

Here in Canada we’ve just had our family day. A day off in February for us to spend time with or without family. If you’re reading this, I hope that you had a great weekend. As I think, life gets so crazy and busy sometimes that we don’t have any time to spend valuable time with our loved ones. As I’ve grown through my professional carer, I’ve always found that it’s important to find balance. Especially, in your business and personal relationships.

Life is a cycle and in order for positive things to happen in your life you must ensure that you put effort in all things that matter to you. It’s never a good idea to bring personal situations in to your work place. Nor is it better to bring work back home. In my career, I’ve found that separating the both has helped me sustain a healthy relationship between both.

I’ve come to understand that the workplace is also a family. We spend at least 8 hours a day around fellow employees 5 days a week. Sometimes more than our immediate family. So do what you can to maintain healthy relationships at work. The better your relationships are at work, the happier and more productive we’re going to be. Good working relationships give us several other benefits. Work is more enjoyable when we have good relationships with those around us. We’re more innovative and creative. I find that good relationships give us freedom, instead of spending time and energy overcoming the problems associated with negative relationships, we can, instead, focus on opportunities.

So as you start another work week remember to do what you love, and love what you do, with the people that you love.  Make your career your vocation. Your calling, something that keeps you excited for the next day.

Have a great week.

Frank.

Work & Life Balance

By | Business Growth | No Comments

Here in Canada we’ve just had our family day. A day off in February for us to spend time with or without family. If you’re reading this, I hope that you had a great weekend. As I think, life gets so crazy and busy sometimes that we don’t have any time to spend valuable time with our loved ones. As I’ve grown through my professional carer, I’ve always found that it’s important to find balance. Especially, in your business and personal relationships.

Life is a cycle and in order for positive things to happen in your life you must ensure that you put effort in all things that matter to you. It’s never a good idea to bring personal situations in to your work place. Nor is it better to bring work back home. In my career, I’ve found that separating the both has helped me sustain a healthy relationship between both.

I’ve come to understand that the workplace is also a family. We spend at least 8 hours a day around fellow employees 5 days a week. Sometimes more than our immediate family. So do what you can to maintain healthy relationships at work. The better your relationships are at work, the happier and more productive we’re going to be. Good working relationships give us several other benefits. Work is more enjoyable when we have good relationships with those around us. We’re more innovative and creative. I find that good relationships give us freedom, instead of spending time and energy overcoming the problems associated with negative relationships, we can, instead, focus on opportunities.

So as you start another work week remember to do what you love, and love what you do, with the people that you love.  Make your career your vocation. Your calling, something that keeps you excited for the next day.

Have a great week.

Frank.

Find Out What’s Important in 2015

By | Comments & Opinion, Entrepreneurial, Achieving Wealth, Business Growth, Business Health, Planning for the future, Leadership | No Comments

1325784419new-years-resolutionLet’s be serious – there is no doubt going to be an overabundance in blog posts detailing the importance of setting resolutions for the new year. Be it lose weight, get a promotion, go traveling or anything in between, resolutions are something that most of us set at this time of year.

If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, you’ll know that last year I had mentioned that New Year’s resolutions are something that I’m not a big fan of. Personally, I find that this time of year has people motivated to make this year all their own, but then usually give up by February (gyms are the perfect example of this). I believe that you shouldn’t have to wait for a new year to motivate you to get what you want. You should always be striving to be the best person that you can be, and taking the proper steps in order to reach that goal.

I think it’s much better to use this time of year to set some guidelines for the bigger picture. I feel that the whole point of resolutions is to start thinking about areas of your life that you want to improve. Once you’ve figured out what exactly needs changing, it’s dramatically easier to make a list of objectives that you need to accomplish to reach your final destination. The main difference between setting a goal and a resolution is essentially the thought that you put into them.

This of course doesn’t mean that I’m completely against New Year’s resolutions though. I’ve known many people who don’t even state a resolution unless they’re completely adamant about accomplishing it. The difference between these people and those who I’ve known to not accomplish them is the fact that they turn these into long-term goals – much like I stated above.

And while the goals I’ve discussed are all personal, there’s no reason that they can’t be adapted for growing your business. Be it with a specific sales target, company revenue or anything else, don’t simply make a bold statement to your employees without backing it up. Rather, make them into a long term goal, and discuss with your team what it will take to reach these goals.

No matter how you do it, make sure that you do everything you can to grow personally, and professionally in 2015.

Adapt When Your Plans Fall Through

By | Comments & Opinion, Achieving Wealth, Business Growth, Foundations of Success, Planning for the future, Personal Accountability | No Comments

If you went to the mall this past weekend (or anytime this month really) then you’ve been elbow to elbow trying to get some last minute shopping done. This could have all been easily avoided of course if you had just made a plan beforehand and then tackled it strategically.

The interesting part is that not everyone leaves all of their shopping to the last minute on purpose. I know many people who make detailed shopping plans that list everything from who the gift is for, to where they’ll buy the gift and even the exact price. With such a detailed plan, you would assume that getting everything done would be simple since all you have to do is tackle each piece one at a time. Things don’t always go as planned though, and even the most detailed plan can fall apart due to unforeseen circumstances…. See what I’m getting at?

Most entrepreneurs easily recognize this scenario, as a detailed business plan or planned acquisition can fall apart, leaving you scrambling to find alternatives if you’re ill prepared. Cases like this is where you need to be adaptable enough to find other solutions, instead of staying stuck on what could have been. But how?

Always Have A Contingency Plan – No matter how bullet proof a plan may appear to be, you always always need to have an ace up your sleeve. There have been many instances where an organization has been brought to their knees because they had all their hopes on a major acquisition or something similar, only to have it fall through. In essence, since these organizations thought that this one particular action item in a plan would pan out and essentially set them up for success, enough to the point where they don’t even attempt to get new business. Once things fall through, there’s a period of time where everything slows down because you need to build up momentum again and get over the failure – which not everyone does. This is where the contingency plan is useful, because you’ve already detailed what you need to do in the worst case scenario. All that’s left afterwards is to follow that plan.

Don’t “Fall In Love” And Rush In – An old Elvis song says “Only fools rush in”, and I think this ties in nicely with the previous point because the reason a lot of companies don’t have a back-up plan is because they’re completely in love with the potential ROI one of their created plans has to offer, and blindly chase it without considering the downsides. I’m not saying that being determined on a certain item is a bad thing, but I am saying that you need to be realistic about certain things. Get your team together and objectively assess whether or not this plan can come to fruition, and if you’ll have to change details that you might have been “in love” with.

At the end of the day, you can’t depend on anything realistically working out for you. Even those who work their tails off can have things blow up on them. It’s in these moments though that true leadership shines, as how you navigate these stormy seas can sometimes determine your organization’s success.