Tag Archives: Dragon’s Den

Stand for something

stephen2By Stephen Rhodes

Earlier week I listened to Dragons’ Den star Arlene Dickinson speak to a sold-out business audience at an event hosted by the Mississauga Board of Trade. The advertisement for his event said Ms Dickinson was to speak about Drug Runners, Arctic Sovereignty, Entrepreneurs, Jobs in the GTA and the Royal Canadian Navy.

Initially I couldn’t make the connection; why was one of Canada’s most renowned independent marketing communications entrepreneurs, CEO of Venture Communications,  speaking about piracy and drugs on the high seas.

Clearly, Arlene is a draw no matter what she is speaking about; the event was sold out two weeks early.

MBOT_Nov_12_201304She spoke passionately about the Royal Canadian Navy and encouraged Mississauga business people to support the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy because it could provide 1,600 new jobs for Ontario.

She is an Honorary Captain in the Navy and a huge supporter of the role the it plays in keeping shipping lines open around the world, stopping drugs from entering our schools and protecting Arctic Sovereignty.

But she is also one the country’s best marketers and in a room of business people it was inevitable that her advice would be sought. In the Q&A she was asked how to grow a business and provided three tips

  1. Invest in yourself
  2. Invest in other entrepreneurs as you are able
  3. Make sure you have a strategy – be clear in what you stand for and amplify it.

The last point resonated with me because I see it most often. It’s surprising how many businesses don’t have a plan. It’s equally surprising how many businesses have not thought about how they are different from their competitors, and why someone should buy their product or service.

Stand for something yes, but stand for something that your customers can relate to and let them tell your story. It takes some thought and some planning.

Pictured Karen Ras, Chair of Mississauga Board of Trade (MBOT), Arlene, Sheldon Leiba President and CEO MBOT and Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion. More Photos Here

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Filed under Branding, Marketing, Stephen Rhodes, Strategic Planning

Get Dragon ready

By Stephen Rhodes

The Dragon’s Den on CBC is a fun TV show that teaches the great unwashed a bit about the dog eat dog world of venture capital.

Dragon's DenThe Dragons, of course, ramp it up for television but their fundamental approach is sound business. These people didn’t make millions individually by taking stupid risks.

So, how is it so many presenters know so little about the world of investment? I can’t imagine the Dragons are their first stop along the food chain so I am assuming TV needs fodder for the machine. If every pitch was good, where would the drama be?

The successful candidates  have an innovative idea, a good presentation and a plan of sorts.

Be prepared. It’s a lesson for anyone entering the business world. Know your product or service and get help if need be to go to market.

Also check out RIC – Research Innovation and Commercialzation Centre in Peel Region. They help entrepreneurs prepare to take innovation to market in the areas of advanced manufacturing, aerospace, life sciences and technology.

Are you Dragon ready?

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Filed under Managing, Sales, Stephen Rhodes