Sunday, May 18, 2014

Stress Management Tips

Almost by definition as a small business owner you face a variety of tasks daily that pull you in many directions simultaneously. At times it seems you may buckle under the pressure of impossible demands but this good news is these anxiety attacks are temporary.

Here are a few things you might do to keep stress down:

1. Think Positive. Often stress starts with negative thoughts. Thinking positive weeds out the bad thoughts. That doesn’t mean wearing rose coloured glasses and ignoring issues it just means dealing with problems and emphasizing the positive.

2. Let it go. Many things are beyond our control. Accept whatever your limitations are and don’t worry about factors over which you have no control
3. Stay Fit. Learn to relax, stretch and find some quiet time to ward off anxiety. Find the time to exercise regularly; being in shape helps deflect stress. A well balanced diet also improves fitness levels. Finally, get enough sleep to allow the body to restore itself. Deadlines may be more flexible than you think.

4. Say no. As owner you become a jack of all trades and get stuck doing it all. Sometimes the hat just doesn’t fit so you have to say no and get someone with the appropriate skillset to do the task.

5. Manage your time. Find a method that works well for you. Tools are available on line to manage daily workflow. Strengthen your skills for delegating, communicating and using the team.

Those are some of my thoughts for keeping the fun in the job and reducing stress. Let me know what you think.

Monday, May 12, 2014

This week’s blog is written by Andrew Adam, President, Stature Marketing. The blog provides an outline of the benefits of event marketing. I hope you find the outline of interest.

Simple Event Marketing Tips That Make Business Sense

Promoting your business at events such as trade shows, fairs, conferences, and event small community gatherings should be part of your businesses marketing mix.  You can send out all of the flyers, e-blasts, newspaper and radio ads that you want, but nothing quite compares to the power of face-to-face marketing. Explaining, or better yet, demonstrating your product or service in person is the absolute best way to connect with your audience.

There are hundreds of events happening each year in your community and being able to identify those that fit best with your business is an exceptional skill to have.  Here are a few tips to help your decision making:

1. Analyze every event quickly and efficiently

Your email is a great place to start.  Good event organizers target businesses that are a fit for their events.  They are actually doing the work for you, so give them the attention they deserve and hear them out. Open the attachments, and call the organizer or sales representative. It should only take 5 minutes or less to review and make a decision if the event is a good fit.  Good questions to ask are: Who is your organizing team and why will this event be successful? What is your marketing campaign? Who is your target audience? The answers should be immediate and spoken with confidence.

2. Keep a budget available at all times and don't be cheap

When a good promotional opportunity arises it should not be missed. Good quality events can be very costly but are also much more successful.  $10 or $20 for a table at an event is great, but $500 for a booth at a major show could be just what your business needs to grow at the pace you desire.

3. Commit early 

The earlier you commit to being involved the more exposure your business will receive. Organizers get asked on every sales call “who else is on board?” and your business could be mentioned time and time again to other exhibitors who could be potential clients or partners. Not only that, but organizers who promote events very early, need content to promote and that could be you! Organizers greatly appreciate dedication exhibitors and go above and will often go above and beyond to ensure you are recognized.

Spotlight Event: The North American Sport & Hobby Expo  May 30 – June 1, 2014  WFCU Centre

Now here is a community focused event that is doing everything right.

- Major attractions? Check!
- Large and Creative Marketing Campaign? Check!
- Professional Organizers? Check!
- Targeted Audience? Check!
- Reasonable Cost to Participate? Check!
- Sold out well before the event date? Check!
- Promoted well in advance? Check!

You are probably very eager to learn more about this great sounding event. You can find out more at

Or contact:

 Andrew Adam, President

Stature Marketing

Monday, May 5, 2014

Need to Finance Growth?

Do you have plans to expand? Perhaps buy a new piece of equipment, expand staff or relocate?
Your plans will cost money—so how will you pay for them?
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of paying for growth projects out of everyday cash, instead of using a financing source.

Growth issues
A business may be profitable and still be forced out of business. A growing business may have higher concentrations of payables, receivables, and heavy inventories. Revenue increases may not keep pace with cash drains as business is ramped up. The key is to match financing and expenditure type. Working capital and lines of credit should be used for short term recurring expenditures for operating the business.

Match funding and assets
If the business needs equipment or some other capital asset, use business term loans and match the term to the expected life of the equipment.

Plan ahead so financing agencies can be approached ahead of time. This shows the bank or agency that you have a strong management approach and understand needs. It also can provide conditions for improved borrowing terms.

Early planning may allow the business to negotiate not only lower interest rates but lower administration fees, deferred principle payments, and length of term. Flexible terms may free up additional cash.

I hope some of these ideas help manage your business growth. Let me know what you think.