The event I chose to Attend was hosted by Algonquin college in partnership with the CPA (Charter Professional Accountants) and the SBA (Small Business Association) this was a seminar work shop for business
entrepreneurs on creating a proper business model strategy and a proper network to help push you above your competition featuring guest speaker Michael Lachapelle a consultant from Business Fulcrum who provide feed back to companies on creating the proper business model. Although the attendance was poor I must say it was very well put on, and I did pick up some great things that can help me in the future I will admit right now I didn’t take any pictures of the even because I thought busting the old camera phone out in the middle of a workshop was a little unprofessional. the Event started off by having the attendance walk about the food and drink table mingling and talking about their professional life’s and adventures, I on the other hand felt completely out of place, as a 21 year old “Kid” I didn’t have the professional stories everyone else did, in fact I dint have any stories I just had a handle full of dreams I was aiming for in my future, but I did find that everyone wanted to talk to the young guy and see why I was in attendance and what I had to offer. this “cocktail hour” helped me spread my network by meeting a couple business men who have friends working in professional sports, I field that I dream to be apart of someday. the event start off with a nice introduction of who Michael Lachapelle was and a quote that I loved right away “starting a small business is much like life, you stand on the edge of a cliff looking at blue waters below you and all you can do is jump and hope for the best” Michael talk primarily on the business model canvas a tool he was adamant on that would improve your business and he used the nespresso machine as his key example. he explained to us early on that nespresso, which is now a billion dollar company almost failed because they had the business Plan all wrong. he talked about failing before you can be successful, and thinking outside of the traditional norms, he used Steve Jobs and his wacky research models where he would walk the streets asking question instead of conducting expensive and timing studies.
Business model Canvas
the event switched over to a more hands on aspect when he brought out the business model canvas and asked us to try one, and I must say it really does encourage you to focus on the important things in a business, your customer relationships and networks, without these two things you will not achieve the maximum revenues every business wants. This canvas Showed how all 9 sections are linked and survive off each other. Using the nespresso machine as an example again Michael explained to us how Nestle was able to turn out its max revenues, because you can only by capsules that work in the nespresso machine from nestle you are locked in, this in return enables them to spend more money an buying the best coffee available, he used this to transition into a workshop on networking, Nestle was also to save money on costs because they were able to develop partnerships whit different companies that allowed them to expand, for example in Europe Nesspresso actually has its own recycling division that picks up the used capsules and completely recycles them allowing the company to save many while making more money. he went on to explain proper networking and encouraged us to spread our network here and that I was confident I had done. This event was out standing and certainly opened my eyes I’ve taken home a few new contacts that have already helped me with building my career and I learned so many things about business, its ok to fail and we must fail to learn on how to be successful, building good relation ships and having multiple sets of eyes looking at a business plan can help you, also think out side of the box and try to look at all the angles, but most importantly just jump and be prepared to deal and work around whatever obstacles may be ahead of you.
I think everyone can appreciate the value of a strong solid network, they can make or break you in the business world. A network holds the opportunity to expand your contact list along with giving you great resources and a second set of eyes on new projects. I must admit I use the old fashion way of networking myself but I’m starting to catch on with the new tools available, i believe in word of mouth, an old fashion conversation to help spread my ideas to people a simple conversation can hold more information than an entire research project can, ask Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs took to the streets when researching about new products, he would walk up to a Stranger and ask them questions on a piece of technology they had on their persons; what they liked, what they didn’t like about it, he expanded his network through a simple conversation.
LinkedIn- an app i am just getting used to I must say but i can see the potential that this app holds. An online network that can connect small entrepreneurs to business tycoons, Sounds Good to Me!! i must admit i haven’t spent much time on this app yet but I have scanned it and I can quickly see the benefits it beholds. LinkedIn allows you to share new ideas with people in the similar field and also allows you expand you contacts through already established and trusted contact lines. the thing I loved the most about linkedin was that I can always have an email address for my contacts, even if they switch jobs and companies. There is nothing more annoying to me than sending an email to a no longer registered account. I have linked a quick “welcome video” to this Blog about the benefits linkedin holds please give it a look! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVlUwwgOfKw I must admit I was rather annoyed when I was constantly receiving the “join my network on linkedin” emails, they drove me nuts actually, i have twitter and contacts of my own already i don’t need another stinking app on my phone. Well I was wrong, since joining LinkedIn I have actually applied to a new job that a found through LinkedIn and it is a gate way to my dream job, a job I thought I was at least 5 years away from but now it seems to be with in my grasps, for this reason I give LinkedIn a big thumbs up.
Twitter- or as I like to call it the Tweeter, I am a twitter addict, no seriously I’m on the stinking thing for hours on end and its becoming a problem. I use twitter for keeping up with gossip, sharing ideas , heated debates, or just sharing a funny memory with friends, safe to say I love the thing. I truly didn’t realize how valuable twitter can be until I was in an interview with a sports franchise whom I guess you could say gave some flack for not improving their team, a heated debate broke out between myself and another fan in which I was called ” a Armchair GM” “stupid idiot” my immediately response was “an armchair GM”, but in al seriousness I responded with some of my off-season moves I thought would improve the team and help with salary cap issues, the moves I would have tried to make would have brought more fans in also, sitting in this interview my tweets were brought up in discussion and I was asked to explain my self, so I did and as a result this sports franchise agreed with me and they wished they had seen the same thing I had but now it was too late. a great example of how a network can expand without you even knowing
With all this technology available to expand, create and improve networks i still believe in the old fashion and shake and conversation, after all we are selling our selves to business partners not our product, and conversations are the best way to quickly impress someone.
For this blog I decided to find a couple strong and week social media organizations in the automotive sector primarily because I have been car shopping this past month. like most people searching for a sweet new ride I did my homework and research and visited just about every automotive website there is and I found that all use social media to attract attention but it most mostly dealerships such as New market Nissan in Toronto who’s owner Greg carrasco uses twitter for promotional give always such as this contest http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac0js3e9-pM
with out a doubt the strongest company to use social media was Ford, primarily with there ford fiesta campaign that target youth buying their first car. Ford needed a new way to reach youth. In this campaign Ford gave 100 cars away on an extended 6 month test drive and also cover the insurance and gas for the vehicle; the only kick was Ford recorded the “honest” reactions in the car for an the entire time thanks to video cameras set up in the vehicle, the video would be eventually used in a marketing campaign used for the Fiesta. the selected 100 were also asked to tweet and post videos on multiple social media sites, The results of the campaign was unbelievable, the interest of the posts on twitter generated what ford called the “Fiesta Movement” generating chatter and trends all over twitter and made the easiest and most honest ads ford has ever produced, the campaign worked so well Ford Motor Company has decided to revamp the project for the 2014 Fiesta. Ford has used Social Media to target a new generation of car buyer and to expand there profit margin by aiming the social media marketing movement at young adults. Ford has also redesigned there website to feature “The Ford Story” which is a blog for consumers to right about purchases and advice for other buyers interested in Ford vehicles the website also features quick links to nearly every social media sight on the net (I discovered about 5 new ones on the website).
I found that GMC or primarily General motors actually had the weakest social media with nothing more than a twitter and Facebook account that just retweeted or promoted the sponsorship with the NFL. GMC didn’t have any promotions or marketing strategies to gain new customers, GMC focus was on its pick up line the GMC sierra which can been seen plastered all over every NFL game and in case you missed the NFL adds just check out their twitter account to see pictures posted of the adds at the NFL games. GMC has targeted the working class man and family with Sierra and that’s what they are happy with selling apparently with no focus on competing against the Japanese and European market like ford has done with the fiesta. You could argue that GMC isn’t popular with social media because the target market for their products is the dirty covered in sweat country working man who’s idea of social media is discussing the daily news at the local dinner, so why bother with a social media campaign, I suppose this does make sense but it certainly made finding reviews and hints and tips for purchasing very difficult.
in the end I decided to go with buying a ford because I could find more information on the vehicles, information that wasn’t biased thanks to twitter trends and apps ford had created. although its not a fiesta i’m still pretty happy with it
I must be brutally honest before I begin this Blog, and I will probably be brutally honest throughout the entire thing, I have never written or cared much for Blogs. having said that I am I fan of other social media such as Facebook, twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and now the new and popular vine. I find my self-interested in these social media tools for one reason and one reason only, they’re short and sweet. The social media tools I listed all with the exception of Facebook have character limits or time limits. I personally find that with other tools and often blogs I find my self disengaged and no longer have interested in the story, I find they can be too long and dragged on. Personally I feel that social Media is a quick way to get the facts of a story’s as quick as possible, which is why my two preferred and favourite Social Media tools are twitter and Facebook.
My hands down favourite Social Media tool which I find my self on at least 3-4 times an hour is Twitter. As a huge sports enthusiast and as someone who wants to work in the professional sports field twitter allows me to keep updated with trades scores injuries and even what the players are doing in their down time. Twitter usually comes from a First hand source, for example if the Ottawa Senators have a trade they want to announce the Media rep will send out a tweet, a message directly from the Ottawa Senators, not a fan or reporter. Twitter’s 140 Character count prevents what I call “novels” it forces the user to get straight to the point almost like a headline in a news paper article except a tweet gives you all the key information right away unlike news paper articles that try to catch your eye ill-use the Sens again as an example, when the Sens traded for the very talented forward Bobby Ryan news papers had headlines such “Sens center of Block Buster Trade” the headline catches your eye and has you wanting to read more. Twitter on the other hand simply says the Sens traded for Anaheim Forward Bobby Ryan and may include a link to the teams website where more details on money and contracts are listed. Twitter also has the ability to tag people and use “Hashtags” once again the sens tweet I was able to like “@b_ryan9” and see his response to being dealt to the senators I was also able to click the hashtag #sens and see what other people were saying about the trade. For me twitter almost makes you feel like you are apart of the team you can stay updated with franchises players or even business all from your cell phone now.
The second Social media tool I find my self using is Facebook, But I do not use it for the same purpose as I use Twitter. Facebook to me is more of a “Keep in touch” tool, I primarily use I to see what friends are doing, who did the most embarrassing things on the weekend ect. When ,Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook his intention was to find out who was dating or sleeping with who in his school, and that pretty much what I use it for. Facebook does come with great features for small business also the ability to upload photos and link blog posts, it’s an online scrapbook for businesses. Facebook Really puts the Social in social media, people these days upload everything to Facebook just by logging onto Facebook and checking your news feed you can tell about some ones mood, where they ate lunch and where they have been thanks to the current location tool Facebook created, before Facebook if you wanted this kind of information on people you had to go to a small town dinner for breakfast to get the “scoop”.