The author of this article, CEO of Steiner Sports, draws on his 30+ years in business to share the lessons he’s learned along the way – especially, these two: first, in order to succeed you have to build meaningful relationships with partners and potential partners and learn ways to bring value to them; and secondly, be prepared for the inevitable losses that come on the road to winning in your business. Winning, he states, really is all about growth, meaning long-term growth. He writes, “It’s true in sports, but also in business, that understanding what losing feels like can be somewhat therapeutic. Motivation is never lacking when you have a goal, fail to reach that goal and then have the opportunity to reset and re-establish what it will take to reach your goal.”
Designed to help SME businesses in the Toronto region scale up, develop, and execute an export plan, Canada’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) is now accepting partner nominations and direct applications for its August cohort. Applications can be completed online at: https://wtctoronto.com/tapgtaapplication/. All applications are reviewed by the TAP team to ensure the program is a good fit, and will be assessed on their merits. World Trade Centre Toronto (WTC-T) will partner with Canada National Exhibition (CNE) for the TAP August cohort, with an intensive two-day workshop to orient participating companies on the program, at the CNE August 28th and 29th.
Although digital technology and media have caused a tectonic shift in lead generation, it is far from threatening corporate events. In fact, the industry is thriving as it incorporates new technologies into the event experience. Now event organizers can offer attendees a personalized experience throughout, from pre-event buildup to post-event lead generation, while affording businesses the opportunity to collect real-time data. Here, the author details the “five big technologies that have, and continue to, help planners create incredible corporate events”: social media; event apps; wearable technology; digital signage; and lastly, VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality).
The daily operational issues for startups are more than plentiful, let alone the issue of finding an office space and dealing with its related set-up costs. So it’s not surprising that serviced offices have grown to become a helpful alternative for startups by offering the flexibility that traditional commercial offices lack. As the term implies, serviced offices provide core internet and phone services, and offer several other notable amenities: flexible leasing options; state-of-the-art facilities; prestigious business addresses; and finally, networking opportunities with other like-minded business professionals. All in all, by eliminating the legal expenses and long-term lease contracts of traditional offices, serviced offices are the perfect solution for startups looking to stay solvent and agile.
A Toronto-based weekly podcast, The Art of The Fail, directly addresses business failures through candid, real-time conversations with entrepreneurs and innovators. Now in its second season, the show (both audio and visual) is designed not only to remove the stigma around failing, but highlight the importance of it. Borne out of their own entrepreneurial experiences as well as the failures of those they looked up to, the podcast was started by Kristian Borghesan and Chris Buttenham in September 2017. You can find out more about the podcast and listen to the most recent episodes at their website, http://theaotf.com.
Drawing on her own experience with launching a logo design contest, the author describes how, in spite of her trepidations about crowdsourcing – specifically that she might receive low quality work while wasting both her time and money – she was “pleasantly surprised and impressed” with both the quantity and quality of logo designs submitted using 99designs. Here, she offers tips to expedite the crowdsourcing process and achieve better results, and discusses how she plans to improve her next crowdfunding project, as well as the pros and cons of crowdsourcing for small business owners.
This self-described productivity writer begins with a daunting stat: “The average person sends and receives about 235 emails a day and spends between 2.5 and 4.1 hours a day in their inboxes, depending on which study you believe.” So what to do with all those emails? She shares that one of the recurring pieces of advice she’s received is to not use your inbox as a to-do list. Admitting that that was precisely what she was doing, one day she deleted or moved all her email messages and achieved “inbox zero.” Here, she discusses the origins of “inbox zero,” how she attained it, and how to keep it going for your own inbox.
A few years ago, a Google research team was tasked with finding out what makes teams successful. After analyzing dozens of teams and interviewing hundreds of executives, team leads and team members, they found that while a number of factors contributed to a team’s effectiveness, the single greatest factor was that team members felt something referred to as “psychological safety.” In a nutshell, this means that members feel safe to take risks around their team members, or in other words, “great teams thrive on trust.” The author lists nine behaviors to practice to build trust between yourself and others, from simply listening carefully to showing concern for the “person,” as opposed to the “employee.”
From time to time, you may need to find a consultant to help you with your business, whether it be for something high level, like setting strategy, or specific, like search engine optimization. Here, the author outlines how to best fill your business consulting needs with both general tips, such as being clear on what you are looking for and leveraging your networks, and specific ones, including consultant marketplaces and freelancer websites for specialized point solutions.
While it’s a great starting point to have the product you want to build solve a problem for which people crave a solution, your product has to solve the problem better than any other product out there. So now the question becomes, how do you design “better”?
The answer to defining what’s “better” lies solely in the hands of its end users, of course, but solid research that helps you identify your product’s competition, as well as identify and understand your product’s users, is integral to any successful product development process. Here, the author delves into two primary kinds of research that are used to support software product development efforts, and issues a word of caution about entering into a product development partnership.