SBK024 Prioritize Your Health Before It Prioritizes You!

This remarkable episode takes us on a journey like never before. A journey all about the importance of physical wellbeing and how this is a vital part of your business strategy.

I talk to my good friend, Jon Denoris, founder of “Club 51” London’s exclusive bespoke fitness studio, about the role that good health and physical well-being plays in business. It’s phenomenal, to say the least.

Jon, a trained “Exercise Scientist” who specialises in Exercise Psychology and Behavioural Change, walks us through the striking similarities between a successful health and wellness regime and kaizen!

I found this fascinating and amazingly true.

Jon’s 10 Tips to Get Your Heath Back On Top of the Priorities List.

  1. Create a “Business Plan” for your health, complete with goals , dates and milestones
  2. Write Down your Health and Wellness Goals
  3. Break them up into Smaller Goals
  4. Start Gradually (true kaizen style)
  5. Benefit  from as little as 10 Minutes a Day
  6. Gradually increase this to several 10 Minute Sessions a day
  7. Why not push it to 15 Minutes a Session?
  8. Don’t try and take on Too much, Too soon
  9. Look back at your Original Target
  10. Analyse where you are and look ahead

If this doesn’t inspire into physical action- I don’t know what will !

Why oh why did I put my neck on the block ?

Find out about a massive commitment that I fully intend to live up to, with Jon’s assistance of course. Listen till the end for this “spur of the moment” announcement !

This episode is guaranteed to kick start your new year and get you inspired into prioritising your greatest asset, your good health.

Jon’s Contact Details

Founder, Club 51

Nike Master Trainer

The Harrods Personal Trainer

Kinetica-Sports Fitness Ambassador

http://www.clubfiftyone.co.uk/

Facebook :http://www.facebook.com/Club51

Twitter: @jondenoris

SBK023 Internet Marketing Tips for Small Business, an Expert’s Viewpoint.

Kelvin Newman is the resident expert on Internet Marketing Podcast,  UK’s most popular internet marketing podcast, downloaded by over half a million people. In this episode, I ask him what it takes to have such a well-respected podcast that continues to attract a huge following.

With over 138 episodes to date, the Internet marketing podcast mixes topical news and views, questions and answer sessions, as well as expert interviews from the likes of bestselling author Seth Godin, lifestyle experimentalist, Tim Ferris and the godfather of website usability, Jacob Nielsen.

Subject Matter Experts do not come any larger than this, as Kelvin is also the Creative Director, at Sitevisibilty, one of UK’s leading Search Engine Marketing & Optimisation agencies. He’s written an awesome link building book, “Becoming a Clockwork Pirate” that he offers for free. I get to know why he gives so much valuable information for free. There’s a good business reason behind this.

Kelvin explains key steps on how to quickly find out if, and what Social Media networks are best suited for the small business owner. I also ask him to take us through practical steps any entrepreneur should be taking in-order to “bootstrap it on the internet”, or spending as little money as possible to get set up and running effectively on the internet.

If you are looking for real, proven, solid, free tips and advice relating to Internet Marketing, the next 30 minutes will prove to be the best time you’ll invest today. Take a good listen, learn and enjoy.

 Links

The Internet Marketing Podcast

Site Visibility

 

Inspiring Motivational Videos Launches

brian and tinashe vengeInspiring Motivational Videos was launched last week after several months in the pipeline. This innovative daily personalized video service allows members to receive emails, directly to their Mailbox, that deliver a massively inspiring video on a daily basis.

These beautifully crafted videos, deliver a key motivational message that anyone can act upon, inspiring you to live your life to the fullest. Imagine if in each and every day of the next 12 months, you had a spark of inspiration to motivate you into taking action, nudging you to make a difference to your life, whether it be business, relationships, career, faith or wisdom and suggesting ways that will help you succeed and holding yourself accountable for taking action. This is what Inspiring Motivational Videos is set out to do.

“We know what one can do when one feels motivated. Coming up with the Inspiring Motivational Videos website and service is our own proof that daily inspiration indeed goes a long way” said Brian Venge, one of the co-founders of the service. The other co-founder is  Tinashe Venge, his son, a Journalism and Communications student.

Brian is a naturally gifted video producer, freelancing on odesk whilst Tinashe, also an odesk freelancer,  is a prolific writer and editor. So when you bring these complimentary skills and talents together you create an unstoppable force that became the inspiration behind this product.

Brian went on to say ” We saw a great opportunity in the market to introduce this innovation to people like ourselves, business and family oriented individuals with ambitions, dreams and beliefs.  Although motivational and inspiring words and quotes have been shared for thousands of years, packaging them into a captivating video to deliver this message is truly revolutionary.  If words can move a person, and a if a picture says a thousand words, just imagine what video can do. ”

“We not only wanted people to enjoy our videos, but importantly, to do something about them , every single day. this why we close off each video with a specific Call to Action , for the viewer to take immediate action as a result of the motivation for the day”  added Tinashe.

“The Smallbizkaizen blog reader is someone I always  had in mind when developing this product because I’ve been there when the chips are down, when the going gets tough, so rather than throw in the towel, all one needs is a spark of motivation to ignite inspiration” went on Brian.

Immigration Solicitors based in London also agreed with this idea and so do Zaidi Solicitors who are immigration solicitors from cambridge uk

Watch the Brian and Tinashe Venge video for more inspiring reasons behind the creation of this product and Sign Up a free 7 day Trial and see for yourself how these videos will change the way you look at the day ahead.

 

 

SBK022 Everybody, Everyday is the true Continuous Improvement Way.

Today’s episode is a special one as I go back to my true Kaizen roots and speak with Bruce Hamilton, the President of the GBMP (Greater Boston Manufacturing Partnership), a non-profit provider of lean technology.  Bruce has extensive experience in all forms of Continuous Improvement including TPS, Lean and Kaizen, having worked in manufacturing and administration roles for a number of organisations.

Bruce is an author and actor in the 2004 video, Toast Kaizen (recipient of 2005 Academic Shingo Prize), used world-wide to introduce the basics of lean manufacturing, as well as Toast VSM (recipient of the 2011 Academic Shingo Prize).

We talk about the book he co-authored, a comprehensive multimedia training package, e2 Continuous Improvement System, the famous Toast Kaizen DVD and how this has taken a life of its own.

Bruce acknowledges the importance of having the right environment within an organisation in which ideas can be put into practice and one in which employees are not afraid to take chances.

Check out Bruce’s blog at www.oldleandude.org that covers a wide range of TPS-related anecdotes.

Links :

GBMP

Toast Kaizen DVD

23rd Annual Shingo Prize Conference

Gallery Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SBK021 Problem Solving for a Better Business

Problem Solving is the essence of any Continuous Improvement effort.  In this episode, I go back to the fundamentals of Kaizen and focus on the art of problem solving as a basic business improvement tool.

I discuss 10 common problem solving tools and techniques that will bring sustainable solutions and show how all of these methods hinge on 3 vital principles of

a)      Measuring the Impact of the Problem

b)      Taking Action

c)      Reviewing and Measuring the Impact of the Action

My Top 10 Problem Solving Tools

  1. Is/Is Not Tool
  2. Pareto’s 80:20 Rule
  3. The 5 Why’s
  4. Brainstorming
  5. Checklists
  6. Poka Yoke
  7. Process Imagineering
  8. Value Stream Mapping
  9. Fishbone / Ishikawa / Cause and Effect
  10. DMAIC

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

SBK020 Are You Listening to Your Customers?

Listening to your customers’ feedback is a vital, fundamental element for any business.

At the very least, the voice of the customer is a sure way to ignite the innovation and continuous improvement flames for your business.

Yet, how often is this “back to basics” requirement neglected when a business conducts market research, opting instead to go with gambles, gut-feels and untested assumptions ?

Today however, the advent of social networks and unlimited access to the internet has opened up new ways to listen to your customers.

One such innovative product is IdeaScale, a powerful online tool, based on empowering communities to have a say in driving innovation for a business.

The tool automates the process of collecting ideas from your customers and encourages a voting process to ensure the most important ideas “bubble” to the top of the list.

In this podcast episode, I speak to Rob Hoehn, the co-founder and president of customer development at IdeaScale and ask him where it all began for his company and what inspired him and his colleagues to come up with this idea generation and management tool.

We discuss the main features of this online tool such as the seamless integration with Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and  smart phones as well as the several cool applications this tool has.

For a typical small business, the free, fully functional version of  IdeaScale will probably suffice for your crowd-sourcing needs, with an option to upgrade to feature rich price plans.

If your business is serious about improvement through innovation, then start by listening to what your customers really want, instead of trying to figure out what they want.

Listen to your customers, listen to the Podcast!

Go on and test drive IdeaScale.

Read about the Idea Scale Case Studies

Rob Hoehn’s inspiration comes from this book

19 How to Get Free Business Intelligence

Running any business without the use of Intelligence or Insight is foolhardy. It’s akin to driving a car in pitch darkness, with the headlights turned off ! Although you might start the car, move a few metres, will you reach your destination? I doubt it.

Business Intelligence is what informs the best of business decisions, serving as the headlights for your business by showing where to turn, slow down and avoid obstacles on the journey to achieving your business objectives.

There are many ways to collect business intelligence and fortunately, today the internet provides a vast array of  free methods and tools to gather business intelligence and empower your decisions.

In this episode, I provide practical methods, mostly free and web based, to source for a balanced view of your overall business insight.

In particular, I cover details on how you can collect business insight around the 4 key areas of your business:

Customer Insight – listening to the “Voice of the Customer”
Organisational Insight – a powerful SWOT analysis tool
Competitive Analysis – spark Innovation by analysing your competition
Market Trends – strategies to stay ahead of the game

Enjoy !

References made in the podcast:

Techcrunch

Euromonitor

Nielsen

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman

Viral Heat

Action Plan Download Link

Dont forget to send me your questions on any Business Improvement , Kaizen or Continuous Improvement topic or issue.

The first 3 people to send me a question will receive the complete PIMP YOUR BIZ Package, 100% free !

Send an email to brian@smallbizkaizen.com or use the Contact Us Page to pose your question and stand a chance to win this awesome book package prize .

Main Photo Credit

18 Business Planning Made Simple

Writing a solid Business Plan doesn’t have to be as hard as you think.  If 2011 is the year you want to start a business, chances are, you’re going to need a Business Plan.

Whilst some people see the process of writing a good Business Plan challenging, good practical help  is always at hand, if you look for it in the right places.

In this episode, I speak to Craig Frazier of Business Plan Examples about what inspired him to come up with  The Business Plan Toolkit, a DIY  business plan writing template. It is based on a real life coffee shop business plan and uses the familiar MS Word format so it can be updated for any small business.

The Toolkit also includes the 1 year financial Pro-Forma used to project profit and loss, as well as a break-even analysis chart to graphically display to investors where the break-even point is for sales and profit.

Craig discusses:

  • His entrepreneurial beginnings and what keeps him motivated
  • Why the Executive Summary is the Make or Break element of a Business Plan
  • Why a Business Plan should be for a specific audience  – i.e  board of directors, a bank or venture capitalist or for personal use
  • Getting Started and taking the first Step in Writing a Wining Business Plan
  • How he draws inspiration for the book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose written by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos  and to “stick with your gut”  while growing a business.

“If you can’t articulate who you are and what you want to be through a business plan then your company will lack direction and focus”

As a special gratuity gesture to a few lucky Small Biz Kaizen Podcast Listeners, Business Plan Examples has kindly donated 5 Free Business Plan Toolkits to the first 5 people to write a comment on this very post !

So Hurry and be one of the first 5 people to comment, and receive a FREE complimentary copy of this tried and proven template.

Leave Your Comments Below !

What Are Your Competitors up To ?

Always stay close and keep a watch on what your competitors are up to. Innovative new products and services could just be the very thing that differentiates your business from your competitors.Remember this works both ways because your competition is not sleeping either.

Be your Competitor’s Customer

This may sound counter intuitive but it’s far from it. This is the best form of Competitive Analysis for use where your business is in direct competition and/or produces similar goods to your competition. It’s one of the simplest yet most informative methods to analyse your competition’s unique selling point. With the information you gather here, you’ll be able to judge how your business compares as well as the magnitude of the gap.

In the event that your business has no competition or is in a very small niche, why not flip this around and start exploring areas or businesses you may want to expand into.

Let’s delve into the type of information you should be after. Remember to always align and customise the following checklist to suit your particular business.

The Purchasing Experience

  • How much did you pay including any discounts / offers?
  • What options were available to purchase via (sales channels)?
  • Speed of delivery (if applicable)
  • What is the returns policy / money back guarantee?
  • If purchased in person, how friendly were the personnel?

The Goods

  • How many variations (if any) were offered?
  • How was the presentation/packaging? (if applicable)
  • What technology was used/ does it use? (if applicable)
  • What are the features and benefits?
  • What was your experience in using / consuming the goods?

The Quality

  • What materials make up the goods? (reverse engineering where applicable)
  • Are the goods fit for the intended purpose ?

Back Up Service

  • How accessible are the Customer Services?
  • How long does it take to get an issue resolved? (make up a small problem with the goods received)
  • Is there a FAQ or Trouble shooting guide?

At the end of this exercise, list all the  attributes and variables where your current offering/performance is below your competition. These become your opportunities for improvement .

17 Son Grills Dad over Book

A really special episode in which my son, Tinashe, a Journalism and Communications undergraduate student, interviews me about my book, PIMP YOR BIZ, launched this week.

It was great to be in the hot seat for a change and face the music. Amongst other things, I get grilled on:

What inspired me to write The Book?

How I came up with Book Title?

A brief outline of the book itself

My reasons for opting for an eBook format

What makes my book different from other books covering similar subjects?

This young man is so smart, he managed to plug his own blog in the first minute of our interview, on my own show !

Check out Tinashe’ s Blog

For a Sneak Preview of the Book, Here is your complimentary  Download   Link.

How to Get The Full eBook Package