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Golfing For Good

IGS-UBC-Golf

Imagine Growth Strategy recently had the pleasure of sponsoring the 2015 UBC Elite Youth Basketball Fundraising Golf Tournament. This event benefitted the Utah Basketball Club, the state’s leading non-profit basketball development program providing expert coaching and guidance for responsible and promising student athletes.

Our only goal was to help this great organization, but we did get plenty in return.

We had the opportunity to network with a group of prominent leaders from companies in Utah’s local business community. Companies like iTok, Vivint, GoSolar, and Dearden & Associates. And, we had the benefit of brand visibility through our hole sponsorship. Above all, we had a great time with some fun out-of-the-box tournament challenges – for those of us who aren’t quite pro-level golfers!

If nothing else, you can see that hosting these kinds of events is a powerful tool for several reasons, not the least of which is connecting business leaders and clients to each other and to their local community. A lot can be achieved, whether for philanthropic or business reasons. And a summer golf outing is a natural choice for this kind of event. Also, be sure and check out Corporate Golf Events, the organizers of the 2015 UBC Fundraising Golf Tournament.

A Jump Start on the New Year

Imagine-Growth-Strategy-Strategic-ManagementThe New Year is still almost a month away, but at Imagine Growth Strategy, we already feel renewed and ready to roll up our sleeves for the New Year!

Hopefully you have had a chance to look at our newly redesigned website. We’re excited about it for many reasons, particularly because we’ll be able to roll out some great content that you’ll find useful – blog articles, videos, white papers and more. We want it to be a truly interactive resource for anyone needing insights on marketing, sales, expanding across international borders, or raising capital.

Beyond that, we’re excited about our website because it reflects our business philosophy. IGS has a unique way of operating that focuses on our dedicated service to our growing client base. Our clients will never be viewed as “accounts” – but they will always be our PARTNERS. And we work hard to ensure they see us the same way.

Plain and simple, our model is unique to the “consulting” industry. We offer highly customized advisory and project execution stemming from a deep understanding of your company, industry and operations. This can only come about through a close working relationship – up to and including having one of our people stationed at your headquarters for a period of time – and through the highest standards of responsiveness and client service.

Our commitment to your success is never less than 110%. It’s unthinkable and unacceptable to throw out standard cookie-cutter marketing or growth strategy solutions without knowing you well and listening to what you have to say.

Again, our goal is to ensure that our website facilitates great and frequent dialogue. Whether via the comments section, our social media platforms or even by email, we encourage you to send us questions, suggestions on topics you’d like to read about, or just telling us what’s on your mind!

Wishing you all the best for this holiday season.

Support Local Charities on Giving Tuesday

Unselfie-We survived the ultimate weekend of indulgence – stuffing ourselves with more calories than we should consume in an entire week, then shopping ourselves silly in search of a good deal. Now, I think we’d all agree, it’s time to give back. Thankfully #GivingTuesday is here – a day dedicated to giving back.

On Tuesday, December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students, and more will come together to give back. It is absolutely crucial that we do what we can to support local charities and individuals in need. Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to not only support a charity, but celebrate the opportunity and ability we have to give back.

So, take a moment and find a way to give back, then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. You can share your good deeds with your social media network with an “unselfie” – a photo of yourself holding a card explaining how and why you are giving this year. Use the hashtags #unselfie and #GivingTuesday.

Happy #GivingTuesday!

Imagine Growth Strategy Attends AAHPERD National Conference

Funky Moves at the 2013 AAHPERD National Convention

Each year, Imagine Growth Strategy attends multiple events and conventions to stay up to speed on the latest innovative technology and products available on the market. IGS Partner, Ryan D. Hoggan, recently spent the week at the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dr. Lisa Hansen demonstrates Funky Moves

The AAHPERD National Convention hosts the industry’s leading researchers and professionals from across the globe. It offers innovative sessions, demonstrations and workshops, highlighting an array of technology and products. While at the AAHPERD convention, Ryan was able to help UK-based Funky Moves debut its latest product in the United States. Funky Moves was presented using hands-on demonstrations in two special sessions at the AAHPERD conference: Technology Innovation to Promote Learning, Movement, and Adventure and Driving Toward a Healthier Generation Through Technology and Exergames. The Funky Moves launch at AAHPERD was well received by the researchers and professionals in attendance!

Imagine Growth Strategy Offers Global Start-Up Services

Is your company preparing to launch a new product? We can help. Imagine Growth Strategy offers the following global product launch services:

  • Opening of new sales channels.
  • Sales rep staff building.
  • Company infrastructure building to operate in the United States.
  • Marketing and communications.
  • Business development.
  • Pro forma work.
  • Capital fundraising and investor management.

Contact Us Today!

Konami's Dance Dance Revolution using a screen and 10 dance pads

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?

USA's Slow, Costly Internet

Our Internet access is slow and expensive here in the USA. The problem is, “a few companies control access in America and it’s not in their interest to bring that fast, cheap access to us all.”

Recently, telecommunications policy expert Susan P. Crawford visited with Bill Moyers about this “digital divide” developing in American society. The link previewed below will take you to the entire enlightening conversation.

Susan Crawford, former special assistant to President Obama for science, technology and innovation, and author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the New Gilded Age, joins Bill to discuss how our government has allowed a few powerful media conglomerates to put profit ahead of the public interest — rigging the rules, raising prices, and stifling competition. As a result, Crawford says, all of us are at the mercy of the biggest business monopoly since Standard Oil in the first Gilded Age a hundred years ago.

“The rich are getting gouged, the poor are very often left out, and this means that we’re creating, yet again, two Americas, and deepening inequality through this communications inequality,” Crawford tells Bill.

How would Faster and Cheaper Internet access affect your small business?


For the past 5+ years, the United States’ Internet speeds have not ranked higher than #15 among the worlds’ top 35 most developed countries. (Source, 1g, Six year historical time series, penetration [June 2012])

With both of our major political parties focused on getting our economy back on track, how is it that not all US citizens have Internet access, and those that do, have the 15th SLOWEST connection speeds in the world?


According to Akamai Technologies‘ Q3 2012 report, the average global Internet connection speed is 2.8 Mbps with an average global peak of 15.9 Mbps. The US has respective averages of 7.2 Mbps and 29.6 Mbps.

That sounds peachy, but South Korea’s average speed is 14.7 Mbps with an average peak at a whopping 48.8 Mbps…and that’s just one of the countries surpassing us in Internet speeds. (Source)

Want to know your connection speed? Head to http://www.speedtest.net/ to conduct your own speed test. Let us know your results in the comments!

Here in Salt Lake City, Utah using Comcast high-speed Internet, my average download speed is 14.75 Mbps and average upload speed is 4.38 Mbps. Not too awful…


We still have counties in the United States with less than 5% broadband Internet availability. How is this even possible in this day and age?!


Picture from Wikipedia.


What do you do while waiting for your slow Internet connection?

Equalizing America

“…one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Is our country indivisible and left undivided?  It sure doesn’t seem that way any more. We feel conned by our political system, pushed aside by the outrageously wealthy “one percent,”  and Constitutionally abandoned by our politicians.

One of the most confusing aspects of our political system in which every citizen is encouraged to participate is our Elections and our…dun dun dun…Electoral College. Rather than debating its usefulness, legitimacy, and fairness, let’s instead look at an artful alternative to the Electoral College – a United States made of 50 states with equal population.

by Neil Freeman (fakeisthenewreal.org/reform)

Does this feel better?  Which state would you live in if this was the division of our country?


We are all well aware of the wealth inequality in our country, but interestingly enough, surveys show we think the inequality is more equal than it is in reality!  The video below recently went viral:


What’s your reaction to this harsh reality check on the spread of wealth in the USA?


Out Of Reach” is a side-by-side comparison of wages and an area’s Fair Market Rent for housing by the National Low Income Housing Coalition. Their 2012 report is humbling.

The picture you see here shows each state and the number of hours one would need to work per week at minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom unit at Fair Market Rent. Ouch.

Here’s a link to a similar map showing what minimum wage would need to be in each state if working 40 hours a week and affording a two-bedroom unit (PDF): http://ow.ly/itggq

Here’s that map in list form (PDF): http://ow.ly/itgkb

In summary, the most expensive places are:
1. Hawaii
2. Washington D.C.
3. California
4. New Jersey
5. Maryland

While the least expensive are:
48. Kentucky
49. South Dakota
50. West Virginia
51. Arkansas
52. Puerto Rico

Keep in mind, the US minimum wage is $7.25 per hour…

How does your state stack up? How do we fix this?


Lastly, the male-female pay gap.  Even with moves toward equalizing the pay discrepency between women and men, men still make nearly 20% more money than women in nearly every industry.  Check out this infographic from Learn Stuff (it’s long, but it’s really neat):

Why is this still happening?  How can we change it?


Continuing with this pay gap theme, a report was recently released listing the 10 worst paying cities for women.  We here at Imagine Growth Strategy are largely based in Salt Lake City, Utah – so you can imagine our dismay when we saw the top two worst paying cities in the country.  Click the picture to link to the article.


Now it’s your turn!  What do you think?

Respond to all of the topics above or pick the one(s) you’re most passionate about – we want to hear from you!

Imagine Growth Strategy Becomes Sponsor of Westminster Griffin Athletics

Imagine Growth Strategy - Proud Sponsor of Westminster Athletics

Imagine Growth Strategy, Inc. is pleased to announce its official sponsorship of Westminster Griffin Athletics. The Westminster College Intercollegiate Athletics program serves more than 260 students annually, with 17 varsity and club sports teams for men and women. Imagine Growth Strategy’s sponsorship will help support the college’s student-athletes striving for both athletic and academic excellence.

In addition to its sponsorship of Westminster Griffin Athletics, Imagine Growth Strategy, Inc. has contributed to the Tommy Connor Scholarship fund, which benefits the Westminster basketball program.

For more information, visit the Westminster Griffin Athletics website.

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?

 

Five Growth Tips for Emerging Companies

Helping emerging companies develop a solid plan for growth and long-term success is our main focus here at Imagine Growth Strategy. Our team has a great deal of experience and expertise in business strategy and execution, as well as business development and sales. With specialties in business model analysis, corporate strategy, social media marketing, business development, fundraising, strategic marketing, and financial management – just to name a few – we have the tools that emerging companies need to take their business to the next level.

We’ve been working with emerging companies, as well as companies in need of a turnaround for several years now, and we understand the constraints companies are facing in our current economic climate. With so many companies looking to recharge their batteries, there’s a lot of information out there about how to grow small business, and it isn’t always easy to rifle through it all.  We thought that Fast Company had some great practical tips for growing small business in its recent article, “5 Essential Principles for Growing Your Small Business.” The five points Fast Company elaborates on in the article include:

  1. Timing is everything.
  2. Brand, brand, brand.
  3. Scale your sales.
  4. Embrace technology.
  5. De-stress for success.

This article is a must read, and when something good like this comes along, we just have to share!

Tell us, what do you think of Fast Company’s tips? What does your company need to focus on for that extra edge?   

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