10 ways to be more effective at work

Our friends at Priority Management posted the following article and I though it might be helpful as everyone knuckles down at work for the winter. The original post by John Rampton can be found at http://www.prioritymanagement.com/newsletter/2018_02/effective_0218.php If you aren’t familiar with Priority Management, it is a worldwide training... 

7 ways to be more successful in 2018

Our friends at BDC have come up with some suggestions to help small businesses be more successful in the new year. We thought you might be interested in hearing about them. 1. Track your cash flow Making cash flow projections is easy, and you will have a tool to anticipate times when cash will be tight. This allows you to better plan your financing... 

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays to you and yours, and our best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2018! We would like to thank all of our clients for their business over this past year. We appreciated the opportunity to work with you. Market Metrics will be closed for the holiday season from Monday, December 25 through Friday, December 29, re-opening on Tuesday,... 

5 tech trends that will redefine your business

Information Week says that digital transformation will require fundamental changes to a business. Is your business ready yet? If you’re not thinking about how the following trends affect your business you need to start doing so now. Artifical Intelligence Robotics Process Automation (RPA) Cross-Functional Analytics Mobility Agility You can... 

5 D’s of business loans

As we mentioned in our last post, bankers are very cautious when making loans to small businesses — they really want to be confident that your business will be able to make the payments and if not, that they can seize sufficient assets to get their money back. Our last post discussed how to make bankers feel comfortable by providing them with... 

How banks look at small-business loan applications

Bankers don’t see themselves as being there to take a risk on your business, so they want to ensure that your small business have the ability to make the payments on your loan. Based on our experience, this usually means that they check on four basic items before approving your loan. These items might not be done in any particular order, but the process... 

Blue Monday? It’s just marketing!

Apparently the third Monday in January is the gloomiest day of the year, named “Blue Monday”. Marketing fans might be interested to know that Blue Monday — just like Mother’s Day — was originally a marketing tactic. Created for a British travel company, the date came from an analysis of when people book holidays. Many factors... 

Are you starting 2017 with the same old resolutions?

Get in better shape. Learn new stuff. Grow your business. Volunteer. Actually take a real vacation. Same old, same old. Just like last year — and the year before and the year before that. Mix in the winter blues, Trump, Brexit, Syria, and a slow economy. Here’s something that I found inspirational, courtesy of Tim Wackel. Hope you do too. Make... 

Back-to-work marketing ideas

September is the time when everybody gets back to work after vacations, time at the cottage, back-to-school prep, and the many other pleasant distractions of summer. What’s a consultant to do if they’ve let their marketing efforts taper off? Here are half-a-dozen simple back-to-work ideas that don’t take hardly any budget. Call that... 

Difference between market research & intelligence

So, what’s the difference between market research and intelligence? We get asked this question a lot. Most business people are familiar with market research that is based upon focus groups, questionnaires, interviews, and surveys. This type of research usually describes past customer behavioural and future intentions. Market research is helpful... 

Round-up of 2016 tech trends & impacts

Need a review of technology trends for your strategic plan? Below is our round-up of the top technology trends for 2016 as predicted by consulting and market research firms Gartner, McKinsey, and Deloitte. Our comparison table lets you see where the three firms agree, and includes potential functional impacts. GARTNER MCKINSEY DELOITTE IMPACT/S Device... 

UPDATE: The Office Preppers EDC

My blog post back in July 2013 (The office preppers EDC) described a small everyday-carry kit that could help office workers cope with emergencies. Since then, we’ve seen plenty of nasty winter storms and other events that would indicate this isn’t a bad idea.These days I’m driving to visit out-of-the-city clients more often. Many... 

Safeguarding your IP in a global market

How can a company protect its intellectual property when its products and services get copied in other countries? This is the question that Milton Kotler, chairman of both Kotler Marketing Group USA and Kotler Marketing Group China, asks in the March edition of “Marketing News”. He comes up with four options. 1. Confine your business to your domestic... 

Thinking about getting your business ready to sell?

Most entrepreneurs want establish their start-up and then sell it. But potential buyers will want to assess the odds of sustaining the business without you, and growing it in the future. So you can improve your chances of being acquired if you work towards making it obvious to potential buyers that this is the case. In general, this means creating a... 

Business continuity: How to prep for winter

Winter’s coming, and according to the City of Ottawa, so are increased chances of encountering an emergency situation. We’ve all heard the advice about householders stocking up on water, a few days worth of non-perishable food, flashlights, a radio, batteries, and a first aid kit, but businesses should also prepare. Fortunately the City... 

No business plan? That’s like Ready, Fire, Aim!

Developing a business plan takes effort, and many entrepreneurs prefer to just jump in and get started. We understand why. It feels good to be doing something and seems like it will save time. Unfortunately, execution without strategy usually yields poor results. Remember the Charge of the Light Brigade? The British cavalry didn’t even know where... 

The difference it makes when you don’t use Other People’s Money

Developing a business plan is one thing, being able to execute it is another. We’ve worked with lots of entrepreneurs who have big ideas but bank accounts whose size don’t match up. Their hope is that they will find an investor who will realize the potential of their business concept, and provide them with the means to fund their business... 

Don’t fail the bozo test when negotiating with big companies

If your small business is going into a negotiation with a much larger company, it’s vital that you present yourself as a credible partner. Remember that you — the entrepreneur — are as important as the product. Be professional, reasonable, prepared, and passionate about what you do and what you are trying to accomplish. Don’t fail... 

10 things successful people do differently

Here’s a great article that I found inspiring. The original post is at http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/10-things-successful-people.html — Bill Gates. Oprah Winfrey. Steve Jobs. These names all come to mind when we think of successful people. And even though all three are great examples of success, there are lots of other people... 

How to get your Canadian tech start-up acquired

Canadian entrepreneurs looking for a liquidity event can find it tough going. I recently heard about a sure-fire path to getting your Canadian tech start-up acquired. Although it smacks of a get-rich-quick scheme, amazingly enough, it does make some sense. Here is the though process in seven steps. 1. Recognize that Canada is not where the action is.... 

Peter Drucker on how to use objectives

A common theme in entrepreneurship is self-management, and key to self-management is setting objectives. Of course, entrepreneurs must be able manage themselves effectively before being able to mange others. Here’s some useful advice from Peter Drucker, the consultant’s consultant, on objectives (courtesy of our friends at Priority Management,... 

Mark Cuban’s 12 rules for start-ups

Mark Cuban is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder of Denver-based cable network HDNet, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. He is an active investor and regularly appears on ABC’s reality series, “Shark Tank”. This is an edited excerpt from Mr. Cuban’s book “How to Win at the Sport of Business: If I Can Do... 

Rules for entrepreneurs from Shark Tank’s Daymond John

I didn’t know much about Daymond John, creator of the FUBU clothing brand and one of the investors on the popular reality TV show “Shark Tank”, so when I came across a “Behind the Brand” interview with him on YouTube, I took the time to watch it. At one point Daymond articulates his rules for entrepreneurs. Here’s... 

How to nurture your prospects for the future

I was at a professional networking function, chatting to a fellow who mentioned that he tries to contact his past clients once a year. After we spoke some more, it was obvious that he didn’t really have any formal method of regularly staying in touch with his clients — let alone sales leads and prospective clients (qualified leads). He didn’t... 

Peter Drucker on effectiveness

More on being effective in 2014 — sterling advice from Peter Drucker, the consultant’s consultant, courtesy of our friends at Priority Management. The following seems to be a summary of Drucker’s business classic “The Effective Executive”, first published in 1996 and still in print. You can find out more at Peter Drucker... 

How to get things done in 2014

I was inspired by this article in the recent Priority Management e-newsletter, and thought you might be too. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year! Your performance this year, to have any meaning at all, must not be vague New Year goals or good intentions. Rather it must be actions and good practices. Priority Management... 

The importance of quantifying your value prop

A client was excitedly telling me about his marvellous new product under development, and the tremendous benefit that customers would get from using it. Since the new product targets the enterprise market, I asked if he had an economic justification or ROI calculation. Business customers tend to like to see how potential benefits can actually turn into... 

“We have widgets” is not a value proposition

I was speaking to a prospective client the other day who was looking for help attracting more leads to their web site, and converting more leads into sales. The company offered useful technology, an impressive self-serve portal, free trials, and on-line payment processing. So why wasn’t this thing taking off? The problem was the value proposition... 

The office prepper’s EDC (Every Day Carry kit)

The recent floods in Calgary and Toronto made me think about what it would mean for people at work, or commuting to work, if a disaster were to occur here in Ottawa. And I realised that I’m often meeting with clients in unfamiliar buildings. I don’t want to be an alarmist, and while the chances that anything like this will happen here are probably... 

The single most important marketing metric

We believe that the single most-important marketing metric for growing businesses is the cost of acquiring a new customer. This is sometimes called the Customer Acquisition Cost or abbreviated to CAC. Every Director of Marketing needs to know their CAC and, fortunately, the math is easy. To calculate your own cost of acquiring a new customer, take all... 

“The value of promotional marketing” infographic

This infographic is a great summary of the costs of typical B2C promotional vehicles, in some cases, the total U.S. annual expenditures on these promotional vehicles. We pass it along with thanks to the folks at iaspromotes.com  Read More →

Get ready for 2013 with a quick business tune-up

Instead of making a long list of New Year’s resolutions, here are five concrete things business owners can do right now to prepare for the year to come. Each item only takes between 30 and 60 minutes, and all you’ll need is last year’s financials and some yellow stickies. 1. Rough out a sales forecast If you don’t already have a sales forecast... 

Kaspersky developing super-secure operating system

Earlier this month Eugene Kaspersky confirmed in a blog posting that his IT security company, Kaspersky Lab, is developing a new super-secure operating system for industrial control systems that will be “exploit-proof” — meaning safe from viruses, malware and cyber-attacks — to protect critical facilities such as nuclear reactors,... 

More tech predictions for the year to come

Icreon Tech, a global IT services, recently released its top-10 predictions for technology trends that are expected to drive innovation and influence decision-making around IT spending in 2013. “Technological advances that connect the digital and physical world will make 2013 the year of integration,” said Himanshu Sareen, CEO of Icreon Tech. “From... 

Gartner’s top technology trends for 2013

Gartner, a leading global IT research firm, presented its top-10 list of strategic tech trends for the year to come at the annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo event held in Orlando, Florida on October 23-25, 2012. The event gathers together CIOs, senior IT executives, and key technology providers. This posting was prepared using information from the Gartner... 

Attracting investors | Real-world investment criteria

Here’s a real-world example of the investment strategy used by an extremely successful private equity firm — one that claims it has completed $27 billion of leveraged transactions and other private equity investments involving 450 properties since being founded in 1989. That averages out to over $1 billion and 20 properties (companies)... 

Attracting investors | Presenting the opportunity

Presenting a business opportunity usually entails at least one discussion followed up with a written document. Your potential investors will want to understand the opportunity and — unlike the popular TV show Dragons Den — will probably wish to thoroughly discuss it instead of simply bombarding you with snide questions. Your initial discussion... 

Kickstart 2012 with a 5-point business tune-up

This is a repeat of a post we made at this time last year. But we feel it is worth repeating. Best wishes for a successful 2012! Instead of making a long list of New Year’s resolutions, here are five concrete things business owners can do right now to prepare for the new year. Each point should only take 30-60 minutes, and all you’ll need is last... 

DOD’s headache? Save $3.5 billion a year on IT!

The lead story in the November 28th issue of InformationWeek (you should be able to read the story online at www.informationweek.com in another week or so) is about the challenges faced by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Pentagon has an IT budget of US$38.4 billion (that’s BILLION with a b!) and needs to slash it by tens of billions over the... 

Attracting investors | Moving past the numbers

So far we’ve looked at the aspects that are table stakes for potential investors in your business — profit potential, IRR, and early cash flow. We also discussed quantifying risk and reward. Let’s say a potential investor hasn’t screened you out yet. What does she do next after setting down her calculator? Can she make a decision... 

Attracting investors | More numbers for start-ups

As we discussed in our previous posts, if your company can provide credible financial statements that indicate a positive financial position or outlook, you’ve passed a potential investor’s first hurdle. Explicitly, that means: the profit potential should be high, at least 10% to 15% after tax; a high internal rate of return, ideally 25%... 

Attracting investors | The numbers that count

We’ve blogged before about the need to step back and take a hard, cold look at whether your business plan will be attractive to bankers, lenders, and investors. This is particularly true for small private companies seeking investors, or those going public with an over-the-counter (OTC) issue. Over the course of my career, I’ve personally... 

New links on Resources/Social page

We have just added some links to the “Links:Social” page of the “Resources” section on the Market Metrics web site that helps you perform a PEST analysis. As you probably know, a PEST analysis is a required step in developing a business plan. It examines the external business environment by considering political, economic, social, and technological... 

Are you ready for a disaster at work?

After the recent tsunami and earthquake in Japan, I started to wonder about what — heaven forbid — it would be like if a disaster should ever hit our business premises. If you are able to, please donate or participate in a fund-raising activity to benefit the victims. The Japanese Embassy has a comprehensive list at http://www.ca.emb-japan.go.jp/canada_e/JapanCanada/Earthquake_fundraising_events.html I... 

Why setting the right price is so important

“If you’ve got the power to raise prices without losing business to a competitor, you’ve got a very good business. If you have to have a prayer session before raising the price by 10 percent, you’ve got a terrible business.”  — Warren Buffet A while back I was working with a software company and we were discussing the price... 

A reality check for your business plan

When working on a strategic marketing or business plan, you need to step back every so often and take a reality check. Is your plan feasible? And will it be attractive to bankers, lenders and investors? Naturally, this depends on your goals. The first checkpoint is that your plan must achieve your goals, or at least complete a first major phase towards... 

Can your U.S. web site serve the Canadian market?

For our readers’ convenience, we’ve combined two previous blog posts into a downloadable PDF and made it available on our Resources/Downloads page.  The download is divided into two parts. Part 1 shows how you can ensure that your U.S.-based e-commerce web site can accept, bill, fulfill, and support orders from Canada. Part 2 discusses... 

Software review: Business PlanMaker Professional

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, there are more business plan templates, lists of suggested business plan content, and samples out there on the net than you can shake a stick at. There also are free on-line (commonly offered by banks in case you’re seeking a loan) and commercial software products intended to help you develop a business... 

Canadian market tips for U.S. e-commerce sites, part 2

In last week’s blog posting we discussed the most common barriers that U.S.-based e-commerce web sites face in serving Canadian customers. If your site can deal with those issues, you’ll be able to accept, bill, fulfill, and support international orders from Canada. But what’s the next level? Manufacturers that do business internationally typically... 

Canadian market tips for U.S. e-commerce web sites

In today’s connected world, your customers may not come from your home town, state, or even country. If you operate a U.S.-based e-commerce web site, an easy way to expand your potential market by an extra 30 million people is to make sure that your web site works as well for your Canadian customers as it does for your domestic customers. Whether... 

Forget resolutions! Here are your back-to-work essentials

Instead of making a long list of New Year’s resolutions, here are five things business owners can do to prepare for 2011. Each one should only take about 30 minutes, and all you’ll need is last year’s financials, pen and paper, and some yellow stickies. Or your shiny new iPad if Santa was kind to you! 1.  Rough out a sales forecast If you don’t... 

Better presentations, less PowerPoint

Recently I went to see a presentation by Jim Gray, who is described as “a leading speaker, communication skills coach and media strategist”. A former CBC journalist, Mr. Gray lives in Toronto and contributes to the Globe and Mail. You can find him online at www.jimgray.ca In an age when we all seem addicted to bloated PowerPoint presentations -–... 

Gartner’s tech trends for 2011

This posting presents what Gartner believes are four converging trends that will impact enterprise business and IT for the next decade. Headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, Gartner, Inc. is a leading global information technology research company with 4,300 associates, including 1,200 research analysts and consultants, and clients in 80 countries. On... 

10 tips for planning your business

People often ask us for tips about creating a marketing or business plan for their small business. We believe that the following steps are essential and can help you successfully develop an effective plan for any size of business. 1.  Make the Time to Put Together a Plan The stereotype is that entrepreneurs fly by the seat of their pants. But according... 

3 reasons why you shouldn’t use on-line business planning tools

There are more business planning templates, outlines, and articles on the Internet than you can shake a stick at. Some are terrific; others, not so much. But while you can shift through loads of online material and find some useful stuff, I really don’t recommend using the on-line business planning tools that you’ll probably come across. Sure,... 

Just what is a strategic marketing plan, anyway?

This is a pretty common question. A strategic marketing plan is much like a traditional business plan. It has a thorough analysis of your business’ current situation and should include a business description; a description of the firm’s products and services; industry background and analysis; and a thorough market analysis that includes sizing,... 

Help for the first-time entrepreneur

With pragmatic advice for the would-be entrepreneur, case the “Aboriginal Business Planning Workbook”  provides a realistic approach to figuring out if running your own business is really for you. The workbook is one of a series of business guides developed by Alberta Aboriginal Business Services in conjunction with The Business Link, buy a not-for-profit... 

A sad day for Silicon Valley North

It was a bittersweet event for Ottawa’s tech sector — and a sad day for Nortel fans, if there are any left — as the blue-and-white sign marking the entrance to the Nortel Networks Carling Campus was removed today. A highly-recognized landmark in the west end of Ottawa, the sign’s Nortel logo was painted over and covered up with... 

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  • Meet Greg Graham

    photo of Greg Graham, Certified Management Consultant - Strategic Marketing - Ottawa, Ontario

    Market Metrics Inc. helps knowledge-based businesses with strategy, planning and innovation and was founded in 2003 by Greg Graham, a seasoned marketing professional. Greg is a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), an Accredited Small Business Consultant (ASMEC), a member of the American Marketing Association, and holds MBA/BEE degrees as well as a Certificate in Strategic Management. He frequently performs consulting engagements on behalf of the Government of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). Prior to Market Metrics, Greg's 21 years of corporate experience encompassed tech start-ups through Fortune 500 companies.

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