Saturday, January 12, 2013

Restructuring your Corporate Credit with a Business Turnaround

Have you bitten of more that you can chew?
Restructuring your Corporate Credit with a Business Turnaround
Debt and its management are at the core of a financial restructuring process for your business.
In a typical business turnaround, it is the debt to suppliers, landlords and the government that has become unmanageable.
Some of the symptoms are:
  • collectors are calling daily
  • credit accounts are frozen awaiting payment
  • threats are being made
  • bailiffs and court documents arrive
  • bank accounts are seized.
In our experience, the business owner has already unsuccessfully sought solutions. The visit to the bank, sweaty palms clutching the company financials, ended badly with the bank saying no to a refinance, consolidation, further loans or extensions.
The owner’s house was mortgaged to the hilt in the last few years. Personal credit has been used up and the credit cards are now maxed out. Friends and family have already been tapped on the shoulder for a loan. Factoring of the receivables yielded enough cash to continue for another 2 months. A lease back of the company equipment produced enough to buy materials for another month.
There is nowhere else to turn.
At this point the company is hollowed out. A glance at the balance sheet would show no value. The owner’s credit and company credit are in the tank. The company is technically bankrupt. Even at the Fiscal Cliff there is still hope.
Dire situation: What do you do?
A circumstance like this requires a third party intervention to solve the problems. Caught early enough, the issues can be worked around. Caught too late, it is painful and expensive because the courts might get involved.
Canada is blessed with probably the most enlightened legislation on the planet to allow companies to seek a dignified exit or to buy the time to get back on track.
At Floodlight we have the 50 years of experience and know how to use all available tools to salvage the company and pull it back from the brink. Floodlight will help to illuminate the dark corners of your business and to expose things that the business owners don’t always look at closely enough. Our goal is to help the business owner maximize results and achieve a business turnaround.
Floodlight first assesses the situation: which creditors are most dangerous; who owns the debt; which debt is secured and which not secured. Then we move to protect all possible assets.
Then Floodlight assembles a written and detailed plan. This plan is built to convince the creditors that working with the company instead of torpedoing it is in their best interests.
Not all creditors can be convinced but the presence of third party of professionals is often enough to persuade them to give it a try.
Floodlight deploys a 3 pronged approach to the plan: create a time out with the creditors, re focus the marketing of the company to increase sales and work with the owners to build strategic plans for growth.
On the financial side the plan is first to work on cash only which usually involves teaching the company and owners to operate on C.O.D.   Then a deal is struck with the creditors whereby the debt is repaid in a structured way over a period of time according to the capacity of the company to pay. In this way the debt is reduced to manageable levels.
Meanwhile the marketing arm of Floodlight raises the profile of the company to increase sales, often re-defining the target markets and finding new strategic partners.
At the same time we meet with the business owner’s weekly working on the business to refine management goals and apply new business strategies.
This process can take from 90 to 180 days to develop and 12 to 18 months to see through to a successful conclusion.
What our clients like best is that they have regained their self esteem and with a new confidence can begin to build their business with a strong foundation for growth.
When we first met Floodlight we were floundering in a financial quagmire, not knowing which way to turn or who to call on for help. 
We had approached one financial institution after another in an attempt to secure debt amalgamation but we were refused. 
Floodlight has extensive back ground in financial and business matters.  Upon meeting with Floodlight we immediately felt at ease with their approachable and helpful manner. 
Although we met with them several times, they never once made us feel ill at ease regarding our financial situation.  They showed empathy and were very pragmatic in outlining a financial path for our consideration. 
We feel very comfortable in recommending Andrew Gregson and Donald Robichaud to anyone who is seeking sound, well thought-out, financial and business advice. 
Neil and Sandra 
Article written by Andrew Gregson and Donald Robichaud

Monday, December 17, 2012

Business Tips From ‘A Christmas Carol’

I came across this article by By Jen Schiller  with business tips from A Christmas Carol one of my favorite this time of the year. Enjoy, Don
As the holiday season bulldozes on it’s sometimes hard not to feel like Charles Dickens’ infamous boss Ebenezer Scrooge in the classic ‘A Christmas Carol.’
And business owners and entrepreneurs, feeling the pinch of the holidays, can unintentionally develop some Scrooge-like tendencies.
Therefore, I’m putting on my best Jacob Marley ghost costume to bring  business tips, courtesy of ‘A Christmas Carol.’
The Ghost of Company Past:
To start with, I bring you the Ghost of Company Past. If you are a business owner try to remember the roots of your company. While change and progress are critical to the sustained success of a company, so too is the adherence to the principles and values set forth originally. Many young entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in the future that they fail to recognize what made the company successful in the first place. As the boss it is your job to keep employees on an ethical path.
Ghost of Company Present:
Next, we sail off with the Ghost of Company Present. Here’s the time for business owners  to remember to enjoy the current path of your company and view the positives of your current situation. Just like Tiny Tim saw the good in people despite all the obstacles he faced, you too should enjoy what you have. There is room for ambition in business, sure, but there’s no joy if you never stop to experience it. Bosses can use the holiday season as an excuse to celebrate company culture and instil a sense of pride for the company within the company.
Ghost of Company Yet To Come
Finally, we find ourselves in the presence of the Ghost of Company Yet To Come.
As the New Year dawns closer, business owners should take this time during the holiday season to envision their goals for the future of the company- remembering the lessons learned from the past and present. As the boss you may not find your grave unkempt or yourself stolen from, but outlining future plans to fix any issues you saw in the past or present iterations of your company is a noble and important goal this holiday season.
So there you have it, entrepreneurial tips courtesy of a trio of holiday ghosts. Maybe Dickens planned to write a compelling ethical and moral tale, but his story of the world’s most notoriously stingy boss set the stage for a set of holiday season-themed business ideas.
Don’t be a Scrooge this holiday season. Instead, be the entrepreneur and boss who is able to run a flourishing business, and an ethical one.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Growth and Succession Planning - The Big Decision

What is your Big Decision?
CBC is now broadcasting Season 2 of its new show The Big Decision which is a spin off from The Dragon’s Den.

The candidate’s on CBC’s The Big Decision programs have, to date; been well vetted and weekly they bring the different struggles of running a business in Canada to the forefront.

The present format has Arlene Dickinson and Jim Treliving alternate weekly, with both having the opportunity to invest in the companies that they are examining. All companies are given specific direction and have approximately 2 to 3 weeks to accomplish the tasks.

This is the second of our analyses of the programme to highlight what Canadian business owners can learn.

So let’s examine week 4 episode of season 2:
In this episode, Arlene finds 2 companies that have lost their way. Both companies are looking for cash investment to allow for a business turnaround. But interestingly, this episode illuminates the sticky problem of succession and the inner struggles between family members and their lack of knowledge to actually make the proper decisions for running the business.

Overview: Redwood Apparel
Faced with cutthroat competition, Scarborough, Ontario-based Redwood could see their "100% Made in Canada" clothing line shut down. With a history spanning three generations, owner Kathy Cheng will need Arlene to keep her family legacy alive.
Redwood feels that they must find a niche market in corporate apparel in order to survive the competition from low cost producers outside Canada. Dad has built his business without marketing aids and is reluctant to let his daughter chase her dream even when she gets a fat preliminary order from Sears.
At Redwood, the daughter is poorly equipped to run a business. She has no grasp of the numbers and is given a failing grade in marketing.

The Test
At Redwood, the two tests were to revamp the amateurish sales brochures and to move the company to the retail apparel market.
Arlene brought in a top notch retail executive to mentor Kathy Cheng. The executive recommends going after the retail sector but Kathy snubbed her nose at her recommendations. She never revamped the corporate brochure or the direction of her marketing focus.
The executive secured a presentation to Sears but Kathy’s presentation was pitiful at best but; Sears did place a trial order for the Heritage line of 3000 units in both men and women’s as Sears recognized in the sales pitch that price was secondary to being nimble in the marketplace.
Dad withheld support and funds for new marketing material and they snubbed the recommendations by industry expert to move into the retail market.  Redwood Apparel did not complete any of Arlene’s tests and she pulled the plug and did not invest.

Overview: Viberg Boots
Across the country in Victoria, BC, a footwear company attempts to get a grip on their evolving product line. Once known strictly for their tough men's footwear, Viberg Boots has expanded to offer more fashionable products, leaving owners scrambling to keep up with demand. Will the owners reshape their business and rise to Arlene's challenge? Or will they be given the boot?
Redwood Apparel  of Victoria faces the challenge of go big or go home. The eighty year old boot manufacturer’s market for logging boots has collapsed with slowing demand in the forest industry. The son wants to chase the fashion market but Dad is squeamish about a market he does not know.
Arlene recognises that there are leadership problems with the son in Viberg who stares at the ground while talking to his Dad or Arlene especially when people disagree with his ideas. He has strong character but lacks confidence and this shows up in many situations of the episode.

The Test
At Viberg, the three tests were to prove firstly that they could manufacture a high quality but feminine boot – a complete departure from the thoroughly masculine, working market being served. The first efforts were pronounced a failure by the footwear consultant hired by Arlene and the son responded to the criticism by sulking and walking out of a meeting.
A second effort was better, sufficient to convince Arlene. But Viberg failed miserably in the 2nd test – to get out of their comfort zone and demonstrate their products to new markets. They were invited to a party to feature their product at an upper scale shoe store in Vancouver to possibly get their boots on a celebrity and get a photograph. They decided not show up and did not even call to advise that they were not coming.
Arlene did try on a new pair of ladies boots and  because Viberg regrouped and built a secondary pair of boots  as suggested by the expert Arlene decided to invest.

Quickly Arlene established the root of the problem; that both Dads discounted the views of their children but don’t see an alternative to the driving of the business over a cliff.

The other side is that in either instance the family members: the children did not have the skill set to behave like business people and in both instances looked more like spoiled children not getting their way.

At Redwood they continued doing business in the same old way while at Viberg they were willing to regroup after their initial mistake and create a more feminine product.

In both scenarios this week the experts were brought in but the kids in both situations literally thumbed their nose at the recommendations. They did not seem to grasp that the experts recommended by Arlene would actually help the business grow.  But of course that would mean they would have to accept that they cannot know all the key areas of their business themselves and must look for outside support.

I am happy that this theme has been examined on The Big Decision. Too many companies face the dilemma of growth tied into succession planning. Many business owners are nearing retirement age but the children are ill equipped to run any business or have no interest in replacing the long hours endured by previous family members.

In their present state neither Viberg nor Redwood could have been sold on the market for anything like their real worth without changes. And to have worked an entire career building something to see it sold for next to little profit would be the ultimate slap in the face.

Bringing in outside assistance to help turnaround the business and address the issues highlighted in this episode could have improved value; or give the much needed stimulus for change to the owners; and in both scenarios with the right business coach could have educated the children to run the business.

I highly recommend this programme for any business that is looking to expand their knowledge and get great insight into what will help you Build Your Business or begin the first step of a business turnaround.

All episodes can be viewed on line – Click here

Article written by Andrew Gregson and Donald Robichaud

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mission Impossible charge more, sell more and Build Your Business

Mission Impossible charge more, sell more and Build Your Business

Donald RobichaudPresidentFloodLight Consulting - Build Your Business - 250-768-9415

Sunday, October 21, 2012

At Westin, our brand mission is to be a partner in our guests’ well-being before, during and after their stay.
That’s why we create programs and environments using our Pillars of Well-Being – Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well and Play Well – to enhance our guests’ experience at every turn.

Inspired by our Move Well Pillar; this new gear lending program makes staying fit on the road more convenient than ever. Now, Westin guests can have fresh, clean New Balance shoes and clothing delivered to their room to use during their stay, allowing them to pack light and stay fit.

To celebrate the global launch of Westin’s gear lending program, we’re holding 5K runs/walks at our 190 hotels around the world, and we want you to be aprt of the Westin Ottawa team.

 5K RUN & WALK Thursday, November 1, 2012- 9:30 am Join us in the lobby after the event for a SuperFoodsRX breakfast with Executive Chef Kenton Leier, and enter to win a full set of New Balance Gear.

The Westin will make a donation to Soles4Souls Canada, The Shoe Charity that collects gently worn shoes and monies to provide shoes to those in need.

Participants will also be able to drop off gently used shoes for this charity on race day.

For more information contact:

 The Westin Ottawa 11 Colonel Drive Ottawa, ON K1N 9H4 Toll-Free: (866) 716-8101 Phone: (613) 560-7000 Fax: (613) 234-5396 Email us Directions

Friday, October 19, 2012

The death of Yellow Pages – What to do to Build Your Business in 2013

The death of Yellow Pages – What to do to Build Your Business in 2013

Donald RobichaudPresidentFloodLight Consulting - Build Your Business - 250-768-9415

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What is your Big Business Decision?

CBC has recently launched a brand new show The Big Decision which is a spinoff of  The Dragon’s Den.
What we like about the show is the substantive business acumen that can be derived from the show.
Canadian business owner’s can actually learn something about the running of a business and get a handle on how business investors think without the theatrics of The Dragons Den. (I am sure some businesses are chosen on the Dragons Den because it makes good television and not necessarily a good business idea)
The candidate’s on CBC’s The Big Decision program have to date; been well vetted and weekly they bring the different struggles of running a business in Canada to the forefront.
The present format has Arlene Dickerson and Jim Treliving alternate weekly, with both having the opportunity to invest in the companies that they are examining. All companies are given specific direction and have approximately 2 to 3 weeks to accomplish the tasks.
The format of the show is as follows:
Each 1-hour episode of The Big Decision documents two Canadian businesses desperately in need of expert advice and a cash injection. With the banks calling in their loans and financiers tightening their wallets, Jim and Arlene are their last hope.
If the companies can rise to the challenge of changing their ways, they could be given a life-changing investment from two of the most revered business leaders in the country. At the conclusion of each episode, Jim and Arlene have to decide whether they’ll invest in one, neither or both of the companies vying for their cash. 
So let’s examine week 3 episode:
Jim Treliving has very considerable business skills,   and an ability to get to the heart of business problem in very short order. On CBC’s Big Decision, Treliving met with a brewery in Aldergrove BC., and a manufacturer of screws and bolts in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Overview: Dead Frog Brewery – Independent Brewery
Jim chose to invest in the brewery because he could roll in some financial controls very easily and the owners still had a passion for the business.
They needed sales help – the NEW campaign they designed was innovative but amateurish. They responded well to Jim asking for reduction in the number of labels they manufactured from 10 to 6 (Like a sample 6 pack …no charge for the marketing idea!!!).
Their 10 lines of beer surely contributed to the quality control problems that bedeviled the small brewery and quickly they made an effort to make their production line more efficient by eliminating unnecessary product movement and by making the line flow naturally and smoothly from vat to door.
The absence of good financial information and a business plan were exactly the things that Treliving could bring to the table and make the company perform well so he decided to invest.
Overview: Westland Steel – manufactures screws and bolts
The fastener company on the other hand could have been salvaged but only by an injection of very hard work. After Treliving asked his questions and poked around the plant, the plant managers tinkered with the sales incentives. But the sales people had just gone on record as saying they had nothing to sell. They didn’t have the cash or credit to buy the raw materials for their orders.
Jim sensed the company’s lack of direction. The complete absence of leadership from anyone in the plant, the deadness behind the eyes of management and the energy to find to find a solution was missing. Jim knew that. To save the company he would have to drop in tons of cash and parachute a new General Manager into the building with a remit to overhaul the company from top to bottom. That would have taken months and perhaps years.
Further, the state of the company’s finances would have meant a partial receivership (a Chapter 11 in US speak) in order to buy time to re-arrange the finances and seek accommodation with suppliers and landlords. . At the very least Jim’s money would have had to finance the purchase of raw material.
What intrigued me about the fastener company is that in spite of the huge slowdown, nothing for the salespeople to sell, and no plan, they still had revenues of $200,000 per month. With that kind of revenue most companies are salvageable. With that kind of revenue, jobs could have been saved. It would have been a long turnaround project with some pain all around but do-able.
At the fastener plant, there could have been the satisfaction of seeing the back end of delivery truck shipping to a customer. At the brewery, you could always crack open a beer on a bad day!!!
What is evident so far in the first three episodes this season of The Big Decision is the lack of direction by management for any business plan, sales plan, marketing plan and company direction.
It is very interesting to watch the reaction of business owners when they are asked to do specific tasks by Arlene and Jim.  Some of them cannot take direction and due to their inflated view of themselves lose the opportunity to get investment money and put their whole livelihood at risk.
Jim and Arlene are very successful business people who know how to run successful businesses and they are not willing to put up with people who are not keen to change and grow.
I highly recommend this show for any business that is looking to expand their knowledge and get great incite to what will help you Build Your Business.
All episodes can be viewed on line – Click here
Article written by Andrew Gregson and Donald Robichaud
If you need help with your  business give us a call.
Build Your Business

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Does my business need a mobile app ?

There’s no doubt that consumers are using their mobile phones to buy more and with increased frequency on their mobile phones.
Recently Time Magazine – The Wireless Issue dedicated a whole issue to the launch of their own app and an explanation of how the mobile phone has changed how we communicate, explore, do business and pay for items we want.
The business question is should you rely on a mobile optimised website, or should you be considering a mobile app?
The answer appears to be that more users will probably uninstall your app than will use it if it does not meet their needs.
Currently the most prevalent retail mobile apps are Amazon and eBay and those being used by major chain restaurants like Domino’s and others to check on the delivery of your order.
Other apps used regularly by small and midsized business are vouches/discount sites, journey planning, and booking apps. Smartphone users are likely to find their way with Google Maps, check plane times on their mobiles and read the news so what will your app offer?
Who will use your app? 
Nearly 40 percent of American mobile subscribers accessed downloaded apps in June 2012. And, according to a consumer survey conducted earlier this year by MTV Networks, 91 percent of respondents said apps expose them to new things; 77 percent compared apps to personal assistants; and 83 percent of daily mobile app users reported believing they're "addicted" to apps ( Gamers and highly evolved hand held users)
Whatever your company does online, can also be done on smart phones, which adds portability, location targeting and other cutting-edge technological enhancements to the mix. The potential of mobile apps extends far beyond marketing.
Sure, companies can leverage applications to promote their products and services, reaching on-the-go consumers looking for compelling places to shop or grab lunch. But mobile apps can also support online purchase transactions, customer loyalty programs, turn-by-turn directions and social media interactions.
As a business owner what should I do?
All businesses looking at apps need to plan carefully. They should plan a budget and a road map. Knowing what you want the app to do and which consumer segments you wish to reach. This can pose a bigger challenge.
Things to look at before you move ahead with an app:
             Know what message you want to send
             Understand your audience
             Clarify what you want your app to achieve
In a recent interview with Ben Duckworth of Duckworth Consultants in Kelowna for this article Duckworth said “Business owners need a plan and what we do at Duckworth Consultants is offer a mobile app solution that is completely customizable, so you can design your app specifically around your business, what your business goals are and how you want your customers to interact with you."
When speaking about their own customers Duckworth pointed out: “What customers like about our app’s is that our platform is unique to apps in that each feature can be changed, turned on or off and even added to when the app is live.”
How will an app help me increase my business sales?
That’s the big question right now. People tend to think of mobile apps as novelties and games or small utility apps for people to use for tasks and calendars.
Here is what you need to consider for why your business needs its own app:
  1. You put Your Business in your Client or Prospects Pocket!
  2. You can add mobile value by including content and functionality that are time sensitive
  3.  Provide content that adds value to client’s and prospect’s daily lives
  4. Your app will become a part of a person’s daily life and become indispensable
  5. It’s about convenience for your clients and prospects.
  6. You can use the App to drive traffic to your brick and mortar store with a Push “Call to Action”
  7.  Announce “Specials” to your app subscribers (online shoppers love a bargain)
  8. You can announce an “Event” and have the app user keep it in their calendar so they don’t forget. If it’s a ticketed event, tell them how to get tickets or give them links to purchase tickets, or have a cart system to purchase tickets in the app
  9. The mobile internet market is growing at a much faster rate than fixed internet
  10.  It will differentiate you from your competition
  11. You create deeper engagement through a device.  Statistics show people are within 15 feet of their mobile Smartphone 24 hours a day
  12. Drive more loyalty to your brand by engaging people with the devices they are so addicted to
  13. You are constantly branding your business on your customers phones
  14. Your business is provided with great feedback through mobile app two way conversations
  15. It is going to drive more revenue and ultimately more profits with its ability to “Push” information to app users instead of waiting for them to “Pull" information like a website
  16. It enables easy social sharing of your content between mobile users with in-app sharing features
  17.  Reduce costs to your business through automation. With a mobile app that has back end software you can change the information yourself.
So when considering an app for your business or any other  marketing tool  it’s easy to forget what your really  trying to achieve because sometimes we get so focused on the look and feel of the marketing piece.
The best marketing tools not only look good but they actually help solve a problem for your clients and that will   Build Your Business.
If you need help with your  Social Media Strategies or Internet Marketing Strategies contact:
Donald Robichaud
Floodlight Business Solutions Group
Build Your Business

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Increase your Productivity – Emails and cell phones can be productivity Time Wasters

In the last couple of weeks I have been reading many books and one in particular has struck a key note with me. 
Daily I deal with clients and friends who are slaves to technology, specifically emails, cell phones and their own struggles with time management.The book “The 4-Hour Work Week” by Tim Ferriss is about how to radically change your lifestyle or go from ‘living to work’ to working (as little, but effectively as possible) and making life as big as possible.

Here is a summary from chapter seven (Interrupting Interruption and the Art of Refusal) that is focused on step-changing one’s personal efficiency. With these tips you can get 15 times as much done in a normal workweek”.
The key is to do things quicker, faster better and to enjoy the things that are really important in life. Interested?
Donald Robichaud- FloodLight Consulting
Eliminate time wasters:
  • Severely limit e-mail consumption and production
  • Turn off the audible alert if you’re on Outlook or a similar program
  • Turn off automatic send/receive (which delivers e-mail to your in-box as soon as someone sends them)
  • Check e-mail only twice per day, once at 12:00 noon and again at 4:00 pm.
  • Never check e-mail first thing in the morning…instead, complete your most important task before 11:00 am to avoid using lunch or reading e-mail as a postponement excuse.
  • Before implementing the twice-daily routine, you must create an e-mail auto-response that will train your boss, co-workers, suppliers, and clients to be more effective
  • Suggested e-mail template: “Due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12:00 noon (PST) and 4:00 pm (PST). If you require urgent assistance that cannot wait until either 12:00 or 4:00, please contact me via telephone @ 626-321-4107. Thank you for understanding this move to more efficiency and effectiveness. It helps me to accomplish more and serve you better.”
  • Do the same type of template with your phone voicemail.
Create systems to limit your availability via e-mail and phone and deflect inappropriate contact:
  • Get the auto-response and voicemail script in place now, and master the various methods of evasion.
  • Replace the habit of greeting “How are you?” with “How can I help you?”
  • Get specific and remember – no stories
  • Focus on immediate actions and practice interruption-killing policies.
  • Batch activities to limit set-up cost. Where in my life can I create a routine in my life by batching?
  • What tasks (like laundry, groceries, mail, payments, sales reporting, etc.) can I allot to specific times each day, week, or month so I don’t squander time repeating them more often than necessary?
Need Help?
FloodLight Consulting provides objective feedback about what you need to do to get your business on track. A healthy business coach relationship provides you honest ongoing assessment of your Business Development Activities, assisting you to focus your efforts in the areas that will have the greatest long term positive impact on your business and your life. If you need help creating your goal-plan Click here!!
Donald Robichaud – FloodLight Consulting
Floodlight – Build Your Business
Kelowna. Kamloops, Calgary, Edmonton. Regina, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto Moncton, Halifax and across Canada

Monday, September 10, 2012

Build Your Business with LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool

As a business coach and marketing consultant I am always looking for the next new social media tool to give my clients the edge in their marketing.

Recently I decided to spend a little more time on an older Social Media tool called LinkedIn which is a social tool for businesses to business decision makers.

LinkedIn is a place where you’d keep things pretty buttoned-up and formal. No need to mention your vacation in Las Vegas on LinkedIn.

But that white paper you wrote? This is just perfect for LinkedIn.

My past sales training and business experience has always guided me to the highest level position in any organization when negotiating or making a sale. And on LinkedIn, this is where the decision makers preside in the rarefied air of top management.

If I am going to spend my time and money on marketing to search out leads only to be told no to my business proposition ......I’d rather that it come from a top decision maker than a lower level bureaucrat.
Here is the reason I make that statement:
  • LinkedIn - known as the network for professionals is a very powerful network that is quickly growing in popularity with 120-million worldwide users.
  • LinkedIn users attract a much older and typically more educated user base. Many users find it difficult to learn the network at first, due to its professional atmosphere and intimidating user base.  CEO, s CFO, s Presidents, Vice Presidents and Senior Managers.
  • LinkedIn has an excellent reach to the decision makers of companies because of its professional setup. Below is additional information on the typical LinkedIn user:
    • Average Age: 43 (as of end 2010)
    • Average Annual Income: $109k
    • Average # of Friends: 63 plus
In the last while I have concentrated my social marketing activities to focus more on LinkedIn and specifically to joining groups that are relevant to the services of Floodlight.

I also joined groups that had larger followings.  The larger the group meant that the information within the group must be more relevant or the association was more predominant for one reason or another.

In total I joined 30 plus groups and extended my reach to over 40 thousand people!!!!
Over the four week period I posted 8 articles to LinkedIn and the results to my overall business were amazing.

The different approach to LinkedIn caused a 12% increase to my website with 178 visitors directly from LinkedIn spending more than one minute on my site.

My posts were commented on 15 different times with relevant comments and interaction.

The best of all was that Floodlight received a qualified lead and a large sale was closed.

Since it is largely focused on B-to-B connections, LinkedIn should be a big part of your social media 
marketing strategy to help Build Your Business.
If you need help with your LinkedIn Social Media Strategies contact:
Donald Robichaud
FloodLight Consulting
Top dog Social Media LinkedIn Specialist  Melonie Dodaro

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer, a great time to plan your Fall Business Strategies

When the long days of summer begin and your business starts to be affected by clients’ holidays, it’s a great opportunity to develop your fall marketing plan.
There are two great times of the year to do planning and the one that is most often overlooked is summer.
In July and August, conduct a review of the first part of the year and set forth a plan for the fall to finish the year with a bang.
Develop a top 10 list of things to accomplish in July and August that will help you through the summer doldrums and accelerate your business through the fall. If you wait till September to start you won’t be ready until Thanksgiving.
Start now with 10 summer business development ideas
1. Deepen your relationships. Catch up with that client or business associate and ask “how ya doin’? It will pay off in the fall when you need to leverage the relationship to assist you with your project or new venture.
2. Build your sales team. Think about the ideal person to help you with your business and spend the summer interviewing people for the busy fall months. Use the summer to train part-time staff for the fall.
3. Time-line for your fall marketing strategy. You can think about things like the dates that you will host your major event or the dates for your press release.
4. New product launch. Put the final touches on you new product launch. By September 15th the kids are back in school and most people are back into full business mode and more receptive to your call or product push.
5. Work on your video strategy. Plan and shoot the videos you’ll need for your September marketing launch. It’s perfect weather to capture the video (or line up the testimonies) that will enable you to recruit new clients to your business.
6. Clean up your database. Whether you’re using Outlook, Act or any number of contact management software, review that pile of business cards you’ve collected and add them to your data base and then import them to your newsletter database.
7. Update your website. This is something we have done for the last 5 years in a row. In fact the new Floodlight site will be launched shortly. A new or updated website will ensure that all of your information is current.
8. Create your blog. It always amazes me how many people have not added this simple technique to their marketing arsenal. A blog enables you to speak directly to all of your clients past, present and future, providing them with relevant information and ideas.
9. Develop your Social Media strategy. The big 3, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Learn to use these tools and add their Icons to your website which will encourage your followers to share your content with their personal networks
10. Plan some Rest and Relaxation. We get so wrapped up in the daily running of our business that we often forget to take time off for ourselves to recharge our batteries.
Summer means renewing old friendships, meeting with long time business associates, taking care of you and preparing to Build Your Business in the fall.

Have a great summer, from the team at Floodlight Business Solutions Group

Donald Robichaud
FloodLight – Build Your Business
Kelowna / Ottawa / Toronto Kingston


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