Son of Five Rivers Blog

For the advancement of Entrepreneurship, Sustainability & the Ecology of Everyday Life

This Site has Moved to SonOfFiveRivers.com

Click Here to Vist NEW Site: www.SonOfFiveRivers.com

I’ve been blogging for several months now and I’m glad to have recieved the feedback I have.  I’ve enjoyed the experince and for that reason I’ve decided to take blogging to another level.  I’ll be self hosting my blog and that means you’ll see a lot more creativity in the design, functionality and layout of the new blog.

Check it out: www.SONofFIVErivers.com

Cheers

January 22, 2010 Posted by | 1, A Thought, Ads, Agriculture, Art, Blogging, Books, Brochure, Business, Business Cards, Business Development, Business Model, Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Computer Networking, Construction, Creativity, Data Recovery, Definitions, Earth, Economics, Education, Electric Cars, Email, Entrepreneurship, Family, Finance, Geothermal, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Green Roofs, Human Resources, Information Technology (I.T.), Inspiration, Investment, LEED, Life, Marketing, Micro Credit, Not for Profit, Open Source, Packaging, PDA's, Philanthropy, Photography, Politics, Power Piont, Products, Project Management, Quotes, Sales, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Services, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Taxes, Venture Capital, Videos, War, Waste, Water, Website | Leave a comment

Selling to Governments (Reasons of Failure)

I’m subscribed to Canada Export a newsletter released by the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, in it I came across the below article and thought it could be beneficial to those businesses trying to win government contract bids.  I had previously hosted a seminar around selling to the government which included presenters who were purchasers and buyers all the way from SAP to the Provincial Government. It covered some of the in’s and out’s of the bid process and I think this  article touches briefly on some of the issues businesses face.

………………….

An OOPS! sign

Too often, entrepreneurs spend thousands of dollars trying to win U.S. government contracts with no results. According to one expert, the reasons for failure come down to three common mistakes. Avoid them, she says, and increase your chances of success.

1. Entrepreneurs set unrealistic expectations.

“There is a myth out there that to win a government contract, all you have to do is follow the instructions,” says Judy Bradt, a former trade commissioner who is now Principal and CEO of Summit Insight, a firm that has guided over 5,000 clients to over $200 million in U.S. government contracts.
“Thousands of business owners have discovered that when they follow the instructions on websites like FedBizOpps [the U.S. federal government site that publishes opportunities], diligently hunt down bid notices and pump out proposals, the process does not usually reward their hard work” says Bradt. “They get frustrated by failures, especially when the contracts always seem wired for somebody else. Success takes a lot more than just writing proposals.”

The fix:

Companies that consistently win contracts research those opportunities a long time before competitions begin. They take the time to build relationships with buyers, influencers and partners. They adapt products or services for government buyers, and collaborate with those buyers to develop the specifications that will be published. They create targeted marketing campaigns and tactics to attract these new buyers, says Bradt.

This also applies if you’re a supplier or subcontractor to a bigger company that holds the prime contract with the government. Be sure that investment of time and money fits your risk threshold as well as your plans to grow your company.

Before your next proposal, understand every part of the government business development cycle that your competitors had to master to win their contracts. Decide if you’re ready for that investment. If so, then approach government contracts as a long-haul effort with your eyes wide open and your team ready to learn what winners have already figured out.

2. Businesses pursue opportunities on a shoestring budget.

“If your business is struggling, going after government contracts can hurt more than it helps,” says Bradt. Cash-flow horizons are longer in the public sector than in the private sector, both to develop business and to get paid for your work. Typically, government buyers are risk-averse and cautious about trying new vendors and ideas.

Runaway success in the first year is rare, says Bradt. Expect to spend 18 to 24 months investing money and time to develop relationships, find opportunities and partners, and prepare proposals before you turn a consistent profit. “Many managers rightly decide that it takes too much time and risk to develop a new market. And, unlike in the private sector, most government contracts don’t pay you up front. Unless you negotiate progress payments, you need enough funds to survive until after you do the work, invoice and get paid. That big contract can put you out of business.”

The fix:

First, explore alternate forms of financing. Your current line of credit is often not enough to pursue the contract, win it and finish the project. Even healthy companies are shocked to find that their bankers do not simply extend that line to finance a signed government contract. Asset-based financing is your cheapest money, but takes time to arrange. Alternative financing (aka “last-minute money”) is always more expensive and will evaporate your profits.

Bradt recommends that entrepreneurs forge a closer relationship with their banker. “If you’ve decided to pursue government contracts, and have revised your marketing budget to support that pursuit, review your access to working capital and financing. Then visit your banker to find out about financing options before you launch your campaign.”

3. Resist the temptation to use shotgun tactics.

“Too often, entrepreneurs go to FedBizOpps and pump out proposals for anything that appears relevant,” she says. The result is that most of their efforts are just as scattered and not much reaches the target. “If you go after everything, you might win something but most of your resources will be wasted and nobody has that kind of time and money to spare.”

The fix:

Focus. “When you want to win government contracts, you have to research and focus tightly to win,” says Bradt. Otherwise, you’ll go broke trying, she says. Savvy companies scope out the competition and possible partners in order to position themselves to win the projects that really fit them long before they put serious resources into pursuing those opportunities.

Free websites offer extraordinary amounts of federal contract market intelligence. Look into USAspending.gov, Central Contractor Registration, GSA Advantage, and Schedule Sales Query. These are all good sources if you’re testing the waters and not ready for a big investment yet.

Looking ahead

U.S. federal contract spending in 2009 topped a record $550 billion. And Bradt expects 2010 to look much the same. “The U.S. government has set a goal of spending 70% of the stimulus money by fall of 2010. Twelve months out, almost 47% had been allocated for specific purposes. Of that, only 16% has been spent. That means there’s a very stimulating year ahead—if you’re developing opportunities long before the competition begins.”

For more information, visit the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in the United States.

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Great Ideas, Investment, Marketing, Sales, Services | , , , | Leave a comment

Retro & Vintage Design

So I woke up pretty early this morning (5:30am) and thought lets work on a project that I’ve been postponing for a while…  So I collected some vintage and retro art design for this long overdue project and thought some people might find it inspiring.   I enjoy the branding side of business and I think this look can help a business stand out by giving it a unique and distinct flavor.

As an individual whos all about requirements gathering I find it very difficult to sit with a designer and just explain what I need.  I’ve about diagrams, charts, brief statements, pictures etc. So this collection should help me with that process and also provide me with a single place to store all these pictures.  Hope its useful for whatever you need it for, enjoy!

Some of these pics came came from http://www.smashingmagazine.com, an online magazine dedicated to designers and developers.

  • illustrations from old posters, movies, newspapers, CDs, vinyls, ads;Movie in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old-style typography (e.g. Roman typefaces);Class in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • script fonts and handwriting;Script in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old radio devices;Radio in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old TV devices;Tv in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old cars;Car2 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old packaging;Package in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old photos;Photos in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • vibrant rainbow colors (high contrast, neon-style);Rainbow in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • torn, used paper with stains (often yellowish paper);Paper in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • dark, dirty colors (brown, dark red, dark blue) and textures (e.g. paper);Dark in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • scrapbooks;Scrap in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • pop-art elements (see also Pop Art Is Alive: Classics and Modern Artworks);Popart in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • retro illustrations;Posters in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • old-style signs;Hire in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design
  • vintage and retro are often combined with a hand-drawing style and grunge style.

11 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Custom Design

44 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Big Rig Design

28 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

AdaptD.com

8 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

FortySeven Media

47 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Jeffrey Sarmiento

1 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Klassiker in Acryl

48 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Level2D.com

43 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Rob Across America

45 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Slabovia.tv

31 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Dallas Advertising Agency

23 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Sensi Soft

40 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

mediaBOOM

27 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The New York Moon

3 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

~ The Statement ~ The Official Blog of The Old State

4 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

MacTarnahan’s Brewing Company

2 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

ISO50 – The Visual Work of Scott Hansen

5 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Tricycle Terror

6 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Charlies Loan

7 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Small Stone Recordings

10 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Big Cartel

12 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Ernest Hemingway Collection

15 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

jrojr.com

16 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Five Cent Stand – Bitter Kiss

18 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Tennessee Vacation

22 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Prahba

25 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Thigpen Designs

30 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Team Mongolmania

32 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

tomatic

33 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Superest

34 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Red&Blu Winter ‘08-’09

35 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Lataka

37 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Booreiland

41 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Fuelhaus

42 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

intensify.org

46 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Mister-Aero

49 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Dollar Dreadful Family Library

50 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Creating Passionate Users

54 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Dennis Jones Artwork

55 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Capitol Media

56 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

One Horse Shy

57 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Lippincott

58 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

BlackMoon Development

59 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Sourcebits TangledDecals

61 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

FOWA Miami

62 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Bestial design

63 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The First Twenty

64 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

The Blizzards

65 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Thuiven

66 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Internet Zillionaire

53 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Renaissance-Designs

Timoni.org

52 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

Theocacao

51 in Retro and Vintage In Modern Web Design

January 15, 2010 Posted by | Ads, Art, Brochure, Business Cards, Creativity, Marketing, Packaging, Photography, Products, Sales, Website | | Leave a comment

The Biggest Internet Marketing Secret

This might be one of the biggest secrets to internet markeing.  It’s Googles Keyword Tool.

This will tell you exactly how many people type in a particular word.  This is extremely vital when doing your SEO strategy to marketing your website.

If you have questions leave me a comment and I’ll explain, otherwise have a look at this site and watch some YouTube videos.

October 24, 2009 Posted by | Information Technology (I.T.), Sales | , , , | Leave a comment

Can you cash a cheque with a stop payment on it? YES

At one point or another a Small Business has proabably put a stop payment on a cheque.  But guess what, it still can be cashed! That’s right,  places like Money Mart cash the cheque even with the stop payment.

Money Marts’ view on the matter:

“What we need is better consumer education about the obligation that comes with writing cheques in the first place”

– Money Mart

So your out the amount on the cheuqe and decide to sue to get it back… guess what you’ll lose and the court costs are on you, don’t forget to mention your time.   How do they win, they use an old law from the 1890’s called  The Bills of Exchange Act.   The act basically says the person who writes the cheque is responsible for it.

September 5, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Products, Sales | , , , , | Leave a comment

Business ER Hotline


Business BC Launches “Business ER Hotline”:

Economic Climate a Hot Topic for Small Business Sector

Vancouver – Small Business BC (SBBC) has launched the “Business ER (Emergency) Hotline” providing BC’s small businesses with the solutions and business strategies to deal with the current economic conditions.

The Business ER Hotline, 1-800-667-2272, will enable SBBC to quickly address and respond to crisis-related business issues.

In addition to a 1-800 number, clients can ask questions and access information via email, or they can go to the Business ER Hotline website, www.smallbusinessbc.ca/businessER, or visit the SBBC Vancouver office in person, 601 West Cordova Street.

SBBC Consulting CEO, George Hunter, explains the reason for launching the Business ER Hotline: “Our staff has noted a significant increase in questions relating to changes in the economy.  For example, people want to know what kind of training programs are available for upgrading skills, or, which sectors are showing promise for new business opportunities, such as BC’s healthcare sector.  There are many people newly out of work who are now exploring the idea of starting a business.”

SBBC also reports an increase in questions regarding financing options and business strategies for tougher economic times such as how to cut expenses and build revenue, as well as a significant number of inquiries regarding labour standards.

“The Business ER Hotline offers a direct way to get timely information out to business owners and their employees as well,” says Hunter, “The small business community is important to our economy and SBBC is pleased to be able to provide a link to current information and provide support as small business owners navigate a changing economic landscape.”

Hunter encourages small business owners to contact SBBC via the Business ER Hotline, or go to their website, www.smallbusinessbc.ca, to find out more about the comprehensive services SBBC offers, such as financing options and sources, government acts and regulations, one-on-one business counseling, market research and consultation, business planning services, business seminars, e-business information and an education and resource centre

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Ads, Blogging, Brochure, Business, Business Development, Business Model, Creativity, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Human Resources, Investment, Marketing, Micro Credit, Packaging, Products, Sales, Services, Venture Capital | , , , | Leave a comment

Government Suppliers Directory

www.govpages.caGOVPAGES.CA IS NOW FREELY ACCESSIBLE TO ALL  GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES


NCM GOVPAGES is a National bilingual hardcopy  and online directory of over 50,000 businesses who are  offering products and services to all levels of government.  15,000 copies of the printed edition have now been  distributed to senior officials within the Federal,  Provincial, Territorial and Municipal governments.

By  utilizing this directory, you are directly supporting local  companies in gaining access to government opportunities  throughout Canada.

Even if your role is non-purchasing  related GOVPAGES will benefit you by providing access to  information on companies across all industry sectors,  including hotel and convention facilities, meeting facilitator  services, education and training courses, translators, career  advancement consultants, human resource specialists,  alternative energy research, medical research, healthcare  providers, automotive servicing and mechanical maintenance,  etc.

Each government supplier listing includes:  legal/operating company name, main company contact, email,  phone/fax number, mailing address, website, GSIN  product/service category, employee size, language preference  and aboriginal identifier.

As a further resource  GOVPAGES is developing a central resource of informative white  papers and articles which will be indexed under government  GSIN product and services descriptions, including industry  familiar references.

Help us reach all your  suppliers
To let us know which companies are missing so  we can include and maintain them for you, click on contact  us <http://www.govpages.ca/displaypage.asp?x=13&y=7>

To view our flash presentation on the features  and benefits of GOVPAGES, go to http://www.govpages.ca/tour/gov <http://www.govpages.ca/displaypage.asp?x=13&y=8>

To view letters from Canada’s leaders supporting  Internal Trade, click on Message  from Canada’s Leaders <http://www.govpages.ca/displaypage.asp?x=13&y=9>

To register for your free  GOVPAGES online account, Register  Now <http://www.govpages.ca/displaypage.asp?x=13&y=10>

August 28, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Business Model, Government, Sales | , , , | Leave a comment

The Math behind Setting Sales Targets

This is an example of Setting a Sales Target and thought process that should go with it:

What we know:
1/10 meetings generates a lead (opportunity) (10%)
1/3 opportunities = a sale (33%)
Average sale $5000

– You want $500’000 a year
– $500’000/ $5’000 = 100 Sales Made
– To complete 100 Sales you need 300 Opportunities
– To get 300 Opportunities you need to setup 3000 meetings.

Also do a quick percentage analysis: (How many are)
– Informational Call
– Face to Face Meetings (Sales Forecast %)
– Quote Requests
– Sale

Sales:
o Set 4/5 Milestones with Sales Forecast % (set reminders in your outlook)
o Have meetings weekly/ biweekly sharing best practices with your crew.
o Kaizen approach (Continued Impovement) Follow-up after each project ends and ask:

 What worked, what didn’t
 What they liked, what they disliked.
 Ask for referral. (People usually don’t ask)
 Leave company information for further engagement & relationship
 And Smile its Contagious =)

July 22, 2009 Posted by | Sales | , | Leave a comment

Why Speed Wins

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Marketing, Sales | , | Leave a comment

When the Creative Cat Came back!

This is an interesting look in how creativity can stir up some hype and generate the results your looking for.

This is the infamous ‘Rad to the power of Sick’ BMX bike ad on eBay was actually created by a couple guys doing an experiment (The Wicked Sick Project) to determine if some creative marketing could drive up an otherwise regular item’s sale price. Obviously, it worked.

July 18, 2009 Posted by | Inspiration, Marketing, Sales, Social Media | | Leave a comment