Category Archives: Small Biz Events

The Art of Entrepreneurship is Heading to Toronto

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Over 1200 like-minded business professionals are expected to attend The Art of Entrepreneurship, taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on October 7th, 2013.

Whether you’re just starting your own company or have been in business for years, this conference is sure to get those entrepreneurial juices flowing. Some of the key speakers on this day will include Gary Vaynerchuk, Chris Guillebeau, Debbie Travis, Eric Ryan, Alexis Ohanian.

Small Businesses represent 98% of all business establishments in Ontario, this event aims to provide the entrepreneurs currently driving the Canadian economy with the tools and knowledge needed to scale their business.

SPECIAL OFFER:

The Art of Entrepreneurship and BizLaunch have partnered up this year to offer our blog readers an exclusive discount allowing you to save $50 per pass. To take advantage of this special offer, simply use promo code BIZLAUNCH32 at the checkout.

We hope to see you there!

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Why You Should Be Investing More In Design and Less in Strategy

 

KellyRobertson

Photo credit: The Art Of

By Eric Ryan, Co-Founder & Chief Brand Architect, Method & Author of The Method Method

In our MBA-saturated culture, strategy-based thinking tends to overshadow design- and idea-based thinking. Wary of the big idea, investors would rather bet on the big strategy, no matter how unoriginal it is. We’ve seen companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on strategic reports from big consultancies like Bain or McKinsey, only to balk when the same experts advise investing fifty grand on new product outside their comfort range. But a poor strategy well executed is always better than a great strategy poorly executed. After all, consumers don’t see the strategy; they see the execution.

What consumers see, feel, taste, and experience is what they remember. And this is the result of what we do, what we execute, not the strategy behind it. For example, Virgin America’s strategy is probably no different from that of Alaska Airlines; the difference is the creative execution of the brand and in flight experience—and what a huge difference. After all, consumers don’t buy PowerPoint documents. They buy the product, the result of all the design decisions that have gone into it. Imagine a wife yelling to her husband during the commercials, “Honey, quick get in here! There’s a great strategy on TV!” Don’t get us wrong, we’re definitely guilty of occasionally dropping a simple thought into the middle of a triangle on a PowerPoint slide and calling it “strategic thinking,” but there’s a limit.

The good news is that we live in the design age. But we also live in the age of information and accountability. Today, no business decision gets made without in-depth analytical data and clear proof points about its impact on the bottom line. The new corporate mantra is “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” It’s hard to assess the emotional impact of design on the success of a business, but we believe design drives return on investment, making it one of the few tools that create a tangible statement for your brand or business with every dollar you spend. A common thread in any company that successfully uses design as a competitive advantage is the unwavering belief that design makes good business sense.

Over the years, there has been some compelling data that we may be guilty of overusing to justify design expenditures. The London School of Economics found that on average, every $1 spent on design yielded a $3 ROI, and packaging design guru Rob Wallace has preached that on average, every dollar invested in package design generates over $400 of incremental profit within CPG companies. Whichever number you believe, our proof is empirical; Method has vaulted to leadership status in one of the biggest industries on the planet by investing in design—and we’ve done it profitably.

Understanding ROI from design is challenging because great design has an emotional impact on consumers that is inherently hard to measure. Great design is also about great consumer experiences through every touch point, so pulling apart different aspects of a design for testing is inherently flawed. For years, we debated the role of design, and often some among us would argue that design is not needed everywhere. For example, team members understood the value of design on a hand wash that assumes a decorative role on the sink, but less so its value on a toilet bowl cleaner, which will probably get shoved in a cabinet no matter how beautiful the bottle. Our argument is that if we are going to be design driven, we need to take every opportunity to elevate design for a higher experience for the consumer. If you break that promise in any one spot, the entire design experience of your brand falls apart. Great design is in the details.

Don’t miss Eric at this year’s Art of Entrepreneurship conference on October 7th at Toronto’s Metro Convention Centre, where he’ll discuss how to take advantage of your business’s small size by bringing innovations to market faster than your large bureaucratic rivals.

BizLaunch has partnered with The Art of Entrepreneurship to offer our blog readers an exclusive discount allowing you to save $50 per pass. To take advantage of this special offer, simply use promo code BIZLAUNCH32 at the checkout. 

We hope to see you there!

The Art of Successful Networking

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Regularly attending industry-related events is critical to any business’s success. Entrepreneurs can meet new customers, suppliers and mentors at such occasions; and the key to getting the most out of these important relationships is to cultivate them through inexpensive, simple and highly effective networking techniques.

If you’re attending any conferences, trade shows or seminars before the year’s end—The Art of Small Business is one event that’s on our calendar this month—then here are five easy tips to help you network successfully.

1. Prepare your 30-second commercial

You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Write, edit and rehearse a short summary of what your business does, who you serve and why people love to deal with you.

2. Take notes

Write down the gist of your conversation with a new contact on the back of their business card. Refer to your chat when you follow up.

3. Focus on one objective per event

Contrary to popular belief, your goal isn’t to hand out as many business cards as possible. Your goal for any business networking event should be to meet one supplier, meet one colleague or meet one prospect.

4. Keep it short and sweet

Don’t engage a new business contact for ten minutes. Give them a brief introduction to you and your business, and let them do the same. You’ll have time to expand on what you do during post-event follow up.

5. Follow up

What you say isn’t as important as what you do. Within a few days, be sure to contact each person to arrange a coffee, informal meeting or phone call to explore a business relationship.

Networking is an important aspect of any business. By attending industry events, joining mastermind groups and socializing with like-minded business owners, you’ll find that your creativity, productivity and passion for your company will soar.

Try and keep abreast of conferences going on in your field, and if you want to put your newly-discovered networking tips into practice, join us at The Art of Small Business event on October 21st, 2013 to hear experts such as Michael Gerber, JJ Ramberg, Chris Guillebeau and Mitch Joel talk small biz.

For this this year’s inaugural event, we’re partnering with The Art Of to share a preferred rate for the conference with our small business community. Use promo code BIZLAUNCH26 and save up to $100 off your full-day pass.

We hope to see some of you there, but for those who can’t attend, we’ll also be live tweeting from the event using hash tag #TheArtOf.

People.Planet.Profit. — Leadership Prioritized

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The People.Planet.Profit. — Leadership Prioritized team aims to help business owners do three things: develop high performance teams, implement cost-saving, eco-friendly initiatives, and create more profitable, resilient businesses.

Like what you hear? Then consider attending the People.Planet.Profit. — Leadership Prioritized event on Wednesday November 13th, 2013 if you’re local to the Toronto area.

The goal of People.Planet.Profit — Leadership Prioritized seminar is to provide attendees with a new perspective on business leadership, including the various strategies of realizing the full potential of leaders and teams and developing a planet-friendly business.

So if you’re a business owner, director, CEO, manager, team leader—or just generally interested in learning key collaborative leadership skills and business sustainability practices—this could be the event for you.

If you’d like to attend the People.Planet.Profit — Leadership Prioritized event, register here.

Event Details:

Where: The Old Mill, Toronto

When: 9am – 4:30pm

Cost: RRP: $297 (BizLaunch Blog readers can receive $50 off this price by entering discount code ‘BIZ50’ when you place your order.)

To find out more about People.Planet.Profit, their upcoming event, and what they do, visit their website.

Small Biz Event of the Month: The Art of Small Business

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The Art ofthe group behind the The Art of Marketing, The Art of Sales, The Art of Management and The Art of Leadership eventsis trying its hand at a new segment this year: small business.

Attending any industry-related conferences, trade shows or seminars is always a worthwhile exercise for small business owners, but if you’re only planning on attending one more event before the year’s end, consider making it The Art of Small Business.

The new conference—which targets small business owners, startups and entrepreneurs— features seven internationally renowned bestselling authors and thought leaders, who will share an exciting blend of cutting edge thinking and real world experience on today’s most critical small business issues.

Whether you’re looking to gain some valuable insight into the areas of marketing, sales, technology or leadership, this event gives access to the very latest thinking directly from those who are setting the agenda.

Speakers at the inaugural Art Of Small Business conference include:

  • Michael E. Gerber – Small Business Guru & Author of the Mega-Bestseller E-Myth Revisited
  • Chris Guillebeau – New York Times Bestselling Author of The $100 Startup – The $100 Startup
  • John Jantsch – Small Business Expert & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Duct Tape Marketing, The Referral Engine & The Commitment Engine
  • Jonathan Fields – Award-Winning Author, Entrepreneur & Founder of The Good Life Project
  • Stephen Shapiro – Innovation Consultant & Bestselling Author, Personality Poker & Best Practices Are Stupid
  • Mitch Joel – President of Twist Image & Bestselling Author, Six Pixels of Separation & CTRL ALT Delete

Over 1200 like-minded business professionals are expected to attend The Art of Small Business at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Oct 21 2013, so why not be one of them?

This year, we’re partnering with The Art Of to share a preferred rate for The Art of Small Business conference with our small business community. Use promo code BIZLAUNCH26 and save up to $100 off your full-day pass.

We hope to see some of you there!

For those who can’t attend, we’ll also be live tweeting from the event using hash tag #TheArtOf.