How to innovate your business

Posted Nov 12th, 2012 in Entrepreneurship, Social Media, Sustainability, Digital Marketing

Book of Business Awesome, Book of Business UnAwesome - by Scott StrattenAt a Niagara business event, Brock Dickenson spoke on trends in the economy. Scott Stratten spoke on being Awesome, from his recent book "The Book of Business Awesome" and how to leverage social media.  

Last week I had a chance to attend the Innovate your Business networking business morning and luncheon that was hosted by Innovate Niagara and the St. Catharines Enterprise Centre. It was a local event for entrepreneurs offering the opportunity to hear some great keynote speakers, network and receive Scott Stratten’s new book…I couldn’t pass it up.  I left the conference with even more than I could have imagined.

Here are some highlights with some additional personal reflections and notes.

1. Tweet Wall was busy with people tweeting highlights worth sharing: #inyobiz conversation.

2. Invisible innovations are driving our economy.  Brock was speaking to the virtual world where the internet is the platform for these new innovations.  For those who aren’t ‘plugged’ in (or online), this is a challenge (and I question that it is even possible) to stay informed and stay competitive. We cannot say, as a reason to do something, “We have always done it this way”. 

3. Times have changed, and continue to change, and because of this we need to review, and plan to review regularly, how our business operates (how we communicate). We need to make appropriate changes to fit into this new economy to remain competitive.

4. Research, plan, set goals, set objectives and choose effective tactics to get the most out of our business potential 

Sustainability Initiatives in Niagara – round table discussion

Evan DiValentino from the Niagara Sustainability Initiative was leading the ‘Green’ discussion at my table.  Evan offered expert advice on business sustainability.  Group discussion was around the challenges and the exciting vision of each of their organizations in developing or starting sustainable initiatives.

Tips on a successful “Green” initiative 

  • Get the whole team to get involved, it is “we”, not “I”– from planning to implementation.
  • Measure your achievements
  • Be creative –  where there is a will, there is a way
There is risk in taking this very ‘new’ approach to doing business, but there are many organizations that have taken the risk and found to have financial success, while lessening the impact they have on the environment.

Scott Stratten, a guru in the world of social media marketing, was the keynote speaker.

Scott Stratten just released a new book – The Book of Business Awesome / The Book of Business UnAwesome.  His expertise in the world of social media is obvious from the very beginning.  If you are serious about making social media be an effective part of your marketing strategy, you will find valuable tips in this book. Tips Scott shared with us:
  • “If you want to improve your bottom line, improve your frontline” – SS.
  • Great Social media does not make a great business.  You need to have good product, service etc. and then social media can support this.
  • Social Media is just a tool
  • QR codes? Don’t put QR codes on the back of a moving vehicle, don’t put them on anything that isn’t really flat (no banana stickers! – camera won’t read it), don’t put them on a billboard (yes.. a possible traffic violation)
  • Social Media tools to use – pick and choose where your audience is, and engage with your customers on those sites – don’t try and be everywhere
  • Social Media is about conversation – replies are more important than the amount of ‘tweets’ or ‘posts’ that you make.
  • LISTEN and RESPOND to your customers in a timely fashion. The expectations of what is ‘timely’, is now much faster than it was before the world of social media.  Guideline: 24 hours, not 3 days.
And at the end of the day, Those that I had a chance to speak with were very encouraged and excited to get ‘back to business’:  To explore the opportunities to grow and be innovators within their businesses.

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