New Year, New Start: A business plan comes to life

In Blog, Entrepreneurship, Starting a small business by Lionel JohnstonLeave a Comment

January 1, 2017 Blog Header Image

It’s January 1, 2017. New Year’s Day is often a day for change; at least, the desire for change. For many people, they want to add to their life: add exercise, add fun or add a relationship. While others want to remove toxic people, bad habits and bad influences.

Personally, I have been around long enough to know that this is just another day for a lot of people. I am not a pessimist, in fact, I am very optimistic. But, I also realise that many don’t have the fortitude to stick to their new resolutions. Many life lessons have shown me that goals are far more important than resolutions.

The early days…

I really love marketing, telling stories and sharing ideas with others to help them achieve their goals. The last part leads me to sometimes to share my ideas even if someone isn’t as enthusiastic about hearing them as I am about telling them, but that is a discussion for another day.

I didn’t know it at the time, but as a young boy, I discovered marketing while watching a TV sit-com after school one day. A teenage girl surprised her family by introducing her fiancé at dinner – nobody even knew she had a boyfriend. Her dad went on a rant about how her boyfriend he was ‘probably a great guy’, but stated that she basically presented him to their family ‘on a garbage can lid’.

It’s funny how I still remember that analogy, but, it made me realize how important presentation was. Since that time, I have loved the art of telling stories, and I have been privileged to create and share many stories about some great products, services and ideas.

The start of a career.

During the first two decades of my career, I was drawn to sales, sales management and business development. I also built a small real-estate business with my wife. Not having a business background in school, I headed back to school and earned my MBA in 2011. My entrepreneurial and sales philosophies have served me well in the corporate world, as they have kept me focused on my customer’s need and experience, rather than just focusing solely on what we are trying to sell. My philosophies have also helped me take a long-term view and put things in perspective.

In my current role, I manage marketing functions for a major Canadian transportation company. This includes communication (corporate communication and events, sales collateral and advertising), content (copy, video, and graphic design) and web presence (marketing automation, blogging, social media, web content, SEO, PPC and email marketing). This company is a leader in many things, but, I am proud to state that it is a clear leader in marketing as well.

Being an entrepreneur is ‘hot’ right now.

Not ‘hot’ in the way Paris Hilton would use the word, but ‘hot’ in the sense that its popularity is at an all-time high. It was laughable when people predicted that geeks would one day marry super models, but that day has arrived.

Technology is a major factor for the love affair with entrepreneurialism.

There are tonnes of people making it big – or at least giving that impression – on YouTube, Instagram and in tech companies.

PewDiePie is estimated to be worth $61Million and is currently the top earner on YouTube.  With an impressive true net worth of $12 million, Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni is certainly successful in her own right. She is the top earner on Instagram currently.  Taking a local perspective, a Winnipeg local start-up tech company Skip The Dishes,  sold recently for $112 Million CAD!

Farmers Marketing begins…

The barrier for entry is virtually zero and the promotion of business opportunities are prolific. There are many entrepreneurs that don’t believe that you can be an entrepreneur if you have a job as well. I won’t plan on debating that here, but, there are many that work in marketing that would like to leverage their skill set and consult outside of their day job.

Where do we go from here?

So, whether those folks are entrepreneurs in the truest sense of the word or not, at least for this blog, is irrelevant. Through this blog, I will report on the steps I personally have taken to bring a business idea to fruition. We’ll discuss setting up a website and social network, attracting clients, building a reputation and building scale.

Let’s Talk.

I love talking about marketing – all aspects of it. Please let us know what brought you to our blog and what is that you are building. Thanks for reading.

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