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Archive for category: Entrepreneurs Take Note!

Finding the Potential in Personality

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
-Dr. Seuss

Personality. We all have one, and no two are completely alike. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, especially when exploring how to properly channel the unique features in our personalities to create success in business. It seems to be pretty easy to let some of our more distinctive traits take the back burner as we are swamped with the monotony of our daily tasks and responsibilities. As we explore the importance of utilizing our personalities in business, it is important to take a deeper look into understanding our personality traits and how to best utilize them.  Knowing who we are and what makes us tick can help us gain profound insights into how to understand ourselves and how to approach others to achieve greater success in business.

One great online resource for learning more about who you are in both business and life is www.archetypeme.com. According to archetypeme.com, an archetype is defined as a “universal pattern of behavior that motivates everything we do.”  The site offers a free archetype quiz that will give you insight into the different aspects of your personality.  You can stop there, and use that information to learn a little bit more about yourself and make more informed decisions, or you can create an account with archetypeme.com and connect with others and receive specialized content and information tailored to your archetype.

A couple of us on the StrategicallySavvy team decided to take the archetypeme quiz. It was interesting to see what our archetypes are and think about how we can utilize that information to enhance our daily business interactions.

Eric’s archetype was pretty diverse and evenly distributed with athlete at 36%, advocate at 22%, intellectual at 22%, and other at 20%. With a balanced archetype, encompassing many interests and behaviors, Eric is able to easily relate to a variety of people – he can talk sports, history, or the latest in politics. Recognizing that, Eric is able to develop sound business relationships using his talents to relate with clients, co-workers, and competitors alike.

My archetype type is 44% caregiver, 23% fashionista, 13% intellectual, and 20% other.  I am a people pleaser, and want to make sure that everyone around me is well taken care of, and apparently if it can be done fashionably, I’m all set! In all seriousness, recognizing my caregiver traits and using them to make a connection with my clients will help me create strong business relationships with the people I come into contact with on a daily basis.

Jason’s archetype was quite the contrast from mine, with 55% intellectual, 14% king/executive, 11% gentleman, and 20% other.  Jason can focus on utilizing his intellectual side to solve problems and his executive side to put those solutions into motion. Knowing the archetypes of his colleagues, he can turn to them for support, advice and aid throughout the process.

It was fun to get some insight into what our archetypes were, and it provided some good information on how we can approach one another and how we conduct business.

Tell us, what’s your archetype, and how does it affect your business?

Play More for Success in Business

We’ve all heard the adage “work hard, play hard.” Unfortunately, it’s difficult to take the time to play when there always seems to be a deadline to meet, a tweet to type, a status to be updated, and twenty emails to be answered. As difficult as it is to disconnect from work, it’s a definite necessity – not only for a balanced life, but a successful business too.

Here are some of our favorite ways to play, and a few of our thoughts on how they can benefit your business:

Golf – Turn off your phone and spend an afternoon at the golf course. Not only is golfing an excellent networking sport, it will help you develop patience, precision, and integrity (mulligan, anyone?) – all qualities that will benefit you in business.

Take some of your charitable contribution budget and buy a foursome at a local charity golf tournament. Call the tournament organizer and ask for an attendee list to see if there might be someone attending the event that you would like to meet. Many golf tournaments take pairing requests in advance of the tournament for a small fee, or even for free. Regardless of your handicap, you’ll have a fantastic chance to meet new contacts and network on the golf course, all for a good cause of course.

Just for fun, check out this this list of Famous Golfers And Their, Um, Handicaps from CEO.com.

Basketball – We have to admit, we’re partial to basketball here at Imagine Growth Strategy. NBA, NCAA, High School, and anything and everything basketball related we love! Basketball can benefit your business if you play your cards right. For example, you could organize an office basketball team and join an adult basketball league. Spending one night a week letting off some steam on the court can be a major benefit to your business. Basketball is all about team work, and in order to be successful, you and your teammates must be able to come up with a game plan and execute it. A night of basketball might be just what you needed to refresh your ability and desire to take your team at the office to the next level.

One piece of obvious advice before you kick off your season…just don’t get into any fights – like the Georgetown Men’s Basketball Team did during a recent off-season trip to China. Wow, what a mess!

Running – Set a goal and train for an upcoming race. Running might be tough to get into at first, but eventually it gets easier and the benefits of your hard work will be evident. Training for, and completing a race, whether it’s a 5k, a full marathon, or another type of race, you’ll develop your endurance, follow-through, and ability to overcome challenges. All of these qualities will serve you well in the conference room.

Here is a list of some fun races to check out:
The Dirty Dash – A ridiculously awesome mud run obstacle course…think military boot camp!  Races are held in several states, includingUtah,Montana,Idaho,New Mexico, andColorado.
The Big Sur Marathon – Run through some of the world’s most breathtaking coastline inCalifornia’s Big Sur Marathon. With all of the gorgeous scenery, you might just forget that you’re logging more than 26 miles!
Amasa Back Trail Race – If you’re interested in a more extreme sort of race, check out the Amasa Back Trail Race inMoab,Utah.  You’ll find yourself running either 6.5 or 14.5 miles onMoab’s majestic (and steep) slick rock terrain. It’s not for the faint of heart, but you’ll have some stories to tell when it’s through!

Rock Climbing – Release some endorphins climbing rocks. Start out in a local rock climbing gym and work your way to the mountain.  Rock climbing, and other extreme sports will not only give you an adrenaline rush, they will help you to overcome your fears and move forward with confidence.  In this economy, the ability to conduct business with confidence, even when the slope feels dangerous and steep, could make the difference between great success and falling short.

Skiing/Snowboarding – Escape the winter blues (and inversion if you live along the Wasatch Front in our home state of Utah) with a day on the slopes. Skiing is all about balance and calculated risk.  Going down the black diamond may be dangerous, but if you can keep your balance, the risk is worth it.  Same goes for business – sometimes you have to take some risks, and maintain balance throughout the process, to reap the best rewards.

At the end of the day, we say go play! Don’t be afraid to disconnect for a while, and see your business thrive.

Tell us, what is your favorite way to play, and how do you think it benefits you in business?

 

Mobile Payments & Small Business

Forget cash and credit cards!  Mobile payments are the way of the future!

Mobile payment systems can save small businesses money by paying per-transaction fees to companies like PayPal and Square rather than starting a long-term, complicated contract with a credit card company.

We all know PayPal has been doing this for years because of eBay – a small business star nursery!  It makes sense PayPal is involved in paving the way for widespread use of mobile payments – they have the infrastructure already in place!

For much more information, check out this article from USA TODAY.

Mobile Payment Projections

iBert: The Future of Family Biking

After a long week in the office, nothing feels better than getting my family together for a leisurely bike ride along the beach. Not too long ago, a two-year-old may have cramped our boardwalk biking style…that was before the iBert toddler bike seat came along.

The iBert is a product of six years hard work from a husband-and-wife team out of Riverton, Utah. Frustrated with the less than ideal bike seat options on the market, the couple invented a twist on the usual rear bike rack seat.  The iBert mounts on the front of the bike.  Unlike other front mounted bike seats, iBert offers a smooth bottom and is set high enough to provide comfort for bikers with longer legs.  The front mount also offers a safe, stable ride and is a lot more fun for the passenger. My toddler loves the wind in her face, and she gets to see what I see, rather than being forced to ride staring at my back.

iBert has not only created an extremely functional product, its lime green color and sleek design is also quite attention-grabbing. Nearly every time I take the iBert out, I get stopped by curious passers-by wanting to know more about the product. And with celebrities like Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber being chased by paparazzi toting their kids around New York City in the iBert, the interest is far-reaching.

Now available in REI stores nationwide, it looks like this Utah basement business is booming.  Founded in 2005, sales have been growing swiftly, starting out with about 1,200 annual sales in 2005 and growing to roughly 24,000 annual sales just a few years later. The founders of iBert told KSL.com in 2009 that it was a real leap of faith to make the decision to apply for a small business loan. Fast forward seven years and I’m sure there are no regrets for this highly successful, innovative small business.

Moral of the story – if you have a good idea and a smart plan but are feeling a bit apprehensive about making the plunge, maybe now is the time to really consider taking that leap of faith. No more wondering what might be; it’s time to see for yourself. Innovation coupled with a good plan and hard work could turn into something big.

(Visit iBert’s Facebook page here)


We’ll Take that To Go

If you live in or have visited Southern California lately, you probably noticed that the area has become a Mecca of mobile confections. With around 6,000 food trucks in LA County alone, and thousands of others popping up across the country, we think this is one trend in small business worth watching. 

With empty stomachs and budding curiosity, we decided to see for ourselves what the food truck hype was all about. The Burnt Truck, one of Orange County’s most popular food trucks, seemed like the perfect place for a proper introduction into the vast world of gourmet food on the go.  The Burnt Truck features an ever-changing menu of gourmet sliders cooked up by a team of classically trained chefs with a passion for all things comfort food. After a wait in what seemed like a never-ending line, we had high hopes that the food wouldn’t disappoint. It didn’t. The sliders were original and delicious, but what really hit the spot were The Burnt Truck’s tater tots – hot and crispy with a dip of nostalgia.  Just as impressive as the food was the service. It was easy to see, these guys were doing what they loved and loved what they were doing. The food truck business has been good to them.

These days, many top chefs are opening food trucks instead of brick and mortar restaurants and they aren’t looking back. The decision to go mobile seems to be largely about the money. The cost of opening a food truck is significantly less than starting up a restaurant, and in this economy that’s exactly what today’s entrepreneurs are looking for – small risk with high payoff. According to the Washington Post, it’s difficult to pinpoint exact sales figures for the food truck industry, but the rising number of trucks on the streets is telling. 

If reading this has gotten the chef in you thinking about a food truck venture of your own, our observations point to four key ingredients in opening a successful food truck:

1. Concept – first thing’s first, you need an innovative food concept that will work on the street. What’s missing in your neighborhood? What will resonate with people?

2. Brand Identity – branding is key. People don’t want to eat from a dirty old hot dog cart. A tricked-out truck with a strong brand identity is essential.

3. Social Media – for success in the food truck industry, you must become a social media guru. Get on Facebook and Twitter and let your fans know where you are going to be setting up shop. You are mobile after all, and people need to know were to satisfy their cravings.

4. Location – the food truck business is all about location. If you don’t have a good spot, you will be in a world of hurt. Find a good route, scope out spots with hungry pedestrians, or join forces with a group of popular food trucks to draw in the crowds.  

What's Your Long-Term Road Map?

Many emerging enterprises are so focused on the here and now that they haven’t even considered or discussed their long-term product road map. Think about it for a few seconds… Does your company’s long-term plan consist of a couple of new product ideas with a blank in the “launch year” column? If so, you might want to take another shot at mapping out a solid, detailed plan for your company’s future. We all know that short-term planning is important, but planning for the future is critical to sustaining your company for the long haul.

Consider PayPal CEO Scott Thompson’s recent blog post (via TAXI) predicting that our wallets will be long gone by 2015 in lieu of prolific digital currency. Regardless of whether you believe PayPal’s assertion or not, the thinking is surely on par with its long-term product road map. We would love to take a gander at PayPal’s 10-year plan and 20-year plan. We guarantee they have them, and we are willing to bet they’re pretty bold.

 

Incubating to Hatch a Successful Business

Eagle Mountain City, about 35 miles south of Salt Lake City, Utah recently launched a Business Incubator Development Program (BIDP), offering local emerging companies an opportunity to lease office space for three years at no cost during the first year, then with minimally increased rent during the second and third years. Businesses will also be given free basic phone and internet service and shared resources including a reception area, conference room, copy and fax equipment, audio visual equipment, and a break room.

The consensus here at IG Strategy is that the real value for companies involved in projects like the BIDP program stems from the opportunity to collaborate and work with other incubating businesses. With access to other entrepreneurs and expert business professionals, emerging companies don’t have to navigate the early growth stage alone.

In order to successfully work through the start-up phase and achieve long-term success, incubating companies must build a strong foundation for future growth. It is important that they do their homework, finding appropriate and relevant statistics to make sure that their product is right for the market.

The moral of the story – whether they are involved with an incubation program like BIDP or not, emerging companies should take advantage of opportunities to collaborate with their peers and they should be willing to hang their hat on objective statistics rather than subjective inclinations.

 

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