Be Prepared for any old thing

By Stephen Rhodes

Be Prepared. That’s the motto of the Boy Scouts.

“Be prepared for what?” someone once asked Baden-Powell, the founder of Scouting.

“Why, for any old thing,” said Baden-Powell.

Boy scouts be preparedThe RIC Centre is part of Ontario’s commercialization framework – a collection of stakeholders and partnerships among businesses, institutions and local governments all focused on promoting entrepreneurs and innovation. It’s public money at work in an area that can keep Ontario competitive.

Most of us have seen the Dragon’s Den on CBC, an elite group of venture capitalists and a rag-tag bunch of innovators looking for the big payday. I wrote a blog not long ago, Get Dragon Ready that talked mostly about preparation and why it’s so important to emerging businesses.

Boy scouts be preparedAs a marketer, I meet some very creative people with incredible minds, who have not considered the essential elements of business like strategy, marketing or even a business plan. I used to think it was amazing that some of these napkin planners actually got a product to market. Sometimes the product is unique, without competition. Sometimes sheer passion wins the day. Sometimes the product or service sells itself. But rarely.

For most of us it’s hard work and that requires preparation – something RIC excels at – preparing entrepreneurs to take their product or service to market.

Innovation starts with an idea.

It’s useful to know, before investing much time and money, whether someone else has had the same idea, how you might position your idea in the marketplace and to whom you plan to position it. Developing a strategy helps you better understand the long term but in the short run you need to develop a brand with strong messaging that is targeted at your perspective buyer. You need to hone that message because unless you are independently wealthy you may have to pitch your idea to let’s say Kevin O’Leary, who has a finely tuned sense of the possible in business, and doesn’t much like bad pitches.

RIC can help prepare entrepreneurs for market with research, analysis and even pitch polish.Visit for more information.

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