Why the shotgun marketing approach is failing your business

How to come up with strategies that entice your ideal customer to reach out to your business

Why the shotgun marketing approach is failing your business“Our ideal customer is anybody who’s breathing,” was the response to my question of who this businessman’s ideal customer was. “Really?” I said. “Are you serious?” Unfortunately, his reply was “Yes.” That affirmative answer was probably the reason this business owner was turning to me for help with his company. Many businesses are only marginally…

What every business can learn from Alberta’s failures

Add value, diversify, take control of your destiny, do long-term planning and be fiscally responsible

What every business can learn from Alberta’s failuresIt should come as no surprise to anyone that the failure of the Alberta government over the past 40 years to protect the interest of its citizens has resulted in a province that’s up to its neck in debt. The woes of the province cost the Progressive Conservative Party its reputation, future generations their Heritage…

How running a business is like getting married

Big weddings don't happen without planning and attention to detail. Successful businesses require the same focus, plus strategic plans

How running a business is like getting marriedI’m told that a lot of planning goes in to weddings. Twenty years ago, when I got married, I don’t remember there being so much planning. Yes, I had to go here and there and look at stuff. But as far as I was concerned, I was planning to show up on the day and…

When a culture of fear dominates, organizations crumble

Without accountability within our organizations, we lack credibility. Without credibility, we lose our respect and become irrelevant

When a culture of fear dominates, organizations crumbleThe Catholic church has faced increased – and justified – criticism of its handling of abuse cases. There are allegations that the highest authorities of the church turned a blind eye to the misdeeds of some of its leaders. The results were catastrophic at so many levels, especially for those people who were abused by…

Does reading financial statements scare you?

Knowing how to read your monthly report card is essential for keeping your business profitable

Does reading financial statements scare you?My brothers and I would sometimes get into trouble, both at school and at home. Though we generally had good grades, my mother would always make a point of reading our report cards as soon as we brought them home. Walking home from school on that warm day in June, when I was in Grade…

Why has WestJet lost its fun (and competitive advantage)?

When we value minimization over people, morale begins to suffer because nothing is rewarded except saving money

Why has WestJet lost its fun (and competitive advantage)?There was a time when you could take a WestJet flight and walk away from the experience wanting more. Ticketing staff, flight attendants and even pilots seemed like they really enjoyed working there. There were jokes on the flights, gags and laughter. That sense of fun made you want to fly with them. It was…

Say yes to opportunity, change and challenge

As entrepreneurs, when we say yes to opportunities that make sense, we become invigorated – and that spurs growth

Say yes to opportunity, change and challengeIn 1988, Louis approached me one day and asked if I would join him in building a business. I knew I was taking a chance but I said yes. By saying yes, I had to turn down an offer from Tom that would have made me three times the income over the short term. There…

Should hunting be banned in your business?

Discover ways of baiting your customers so they come back to you and you will never starve

Should hunting be banned in your business?Hunting season is just around the corner in many places in Canada. In northern communities, people rely on moose or deer meat to sustain themselves through the winter. Rituals and skills of hunting are passed from one generation to the next as families and friends go into the forests. These tracking and hunting skills are…

Why business failures are a good thing

Don't be afraid to fail. The most successful people in life are those who have made big mistakes and learned from them

Why business failures are a good thingMy very first business venture, besides selling lemonade, was selling worms with my brothers – and it was disastrous. Our family lived on a small acreage outside of the city limits. My brothers Rob and Paul were close in age and always looking for new exciting things. I was 13. This particular summer, we needed…

Greyhound lacked the vision and adaptability to survive

The bus service let complacency rule and its leadership failed to deliver a vision of what could be

Greyhound lacked the vision and adaptability to surviveDear Dave, I think you should write an article about Greyhound bus service. It's no marvel they are going out of business. When I took the bus to Edmonton last year, it was the same bus as the previous time I had ridden one … 30 years previous. The guy who was trying to board…

Are your new leaders headed in the right direction?

Launching a leadership career should not resemble a game of pin the tail on the donkey. But too often we fail to provide the support to gain needed skills

Are your new leaders headed in the right direction?I was blindfolded and had been spinning for what seemed like minutes (it was only a few seconds), before being pushed toward the donkey. I was dizzy and had no idea where I was. I wanted to cheat so I could have a chance at winning but the blindfold was too tight. In the end,…

Ways to curb your loneliness as a leader

Create a team that can drive success, have a support network and keep trusted advisers close at hand

Ways to curb your loneliness as a leaderRecently I wrote about why leaders are lonely. “Great article!” people told me. “I get it, but what do I do if I’m a leader who’s challenged by those exact reasons?” To refresh your memory, here are the four reasons that business leaders are lonely: The buck stops here. As leaders, we make tough decisions…

Why business leaders are lonely

The truth is that when when you’re the leader and owner of a company, you often feel you have no one to talk to

Why business leaders are lonely“Let’s go for coffee today,” he said. “I just need to get out of the office and talk to you where no one is going to overhear us!” Our conversation over coffee was deep and as we walked back, he told me that one of the reasons he retains me as his business coach is…

What businesses can learn from Iceland’s World Cup soccer team

Many times in business, we face competitors who have more talent and money. Rarely do we have a strategy to humble them

What businesses can learn from Iceland’s World Cup soccer teamIceland tied Argentina in a World Cup soccer game last week. It was a David-and-Goliath match. A tiny nation, home to only 300,000 people, against a country more than 100 times as large. On paper, Iceland didn’t stand a chance against the much more experienced, highly professional Argentina, which was led by one of the…

Why business coaching is a humbling career

I get to work alongside superheroes in the various fields who use their amazing powers to get their clients real results

Why business coaching is a humbling careerAs a business coach, I’ve been gifted with the opportunity to meet some of the greatest people on the planet. These are not the rich and famous, the lofty or the well heeled, though I’ve met and worked alongside some of these. Through my career as a business coach, I come in contact with some…
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