Sunday, October 25, 2009

Before you launch; things to consider before opening a business

For years I’ve worked with entrepreneurs as they go from bright idea to start-up business. Some people agonize over whether or not to launch. Others become reluctant entrepreneurs by inheriting a business or due to the sudden need for additional income. The decision to open a business can be complex both personally and professionally and for this reason the pre-start-up issues occupy a great deal of time in my introductory workshops. Start by asking yourself some questions. First, why are you starting this business? Is this an outgrowth of another career, do you have the “better mouse trap” the world is waiting for, or are you seeking a new stream of income?

Before opening a business there’s a lot of homework to be done. You need to thoroughly research your industry and your competition. After you launch is the wrong time to find out you don’t know who your target market is. Whether or not you plan to seek outside funding, your financial house should be in order as well. Your business plan should include a realistic view of projected cash flow and you need a good understanding of the responsible use of credit.

Do a personal assessment of your skills and talents. How are you going to fill in the gaps in your skill set? Most successful entrepreneurs have team around them to provide the specialized knowledge and abilities outside their core business talent. You will have to budget for and pay for some of these experts to do things like set-up your books or file your taxes. What’s your business model? Some businesses require you maintain an office, while others can be operated totally online. Are you looking at renting a storefront or will virtual office space be smarter? Location and communication methods are dependent upon knowing your market and how and where they shop.

The self-employed are some of the happiest people around. But like any major life decision you need to think carefully before taking the path of entrepreneurship. Consider how running a business will fit into your life and how you will pay bills during the start-up phase.

About the author: “Karen Southall Watts 

has been training and coaching entrepreneurs for over a decade. She teaches business courses for Bellingham Technical College.”

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The magic of word-of-mouth marketing

People are funny. No matter how smart or logical we consider ourselves we still prefer to buy products and services from those we feel we know and trust. This is true even if we “know” them by association only. This desire to do business with people we feel a connection to is the foundation of word-of-mouth marketing. A referral or recommendation is a powerful thing. When someone recommends a business to us we assume they have already vetted the business and it passed the test.

Once you understand how important word-of-mouth marketing can be you must beware of what I call the “angry customer rule”.  It turns out that customers who feel cheated or feel they received low quality goods or services are far more eager to talk about their experiences than satisfied customers. Call it human nature, but we just don’t seem to be able to resist sharing our bad business war stories with anyone and everyone who will listen. Getting happy customers to talk up your business is a bit more difficult, and we all know it. This is the reason a recommendation carries so much weight.  So what can you do to encourage customers to share their delight in your business?

  • Ask your customers to refer people to you—thank them EVERY time they provide you with a lead
  • Follow up on leads in a timely manner—don’t make people wait for your call for days and days
  • Be responsive to your customers’ comments and concerns—show willingness for constant improvement
  • Provide referrals to others freely—word-of-mouth marketing is based on relationships and you need to do your share

Whether you call it generating buzz or turning customers into fans, word-of-mouth marketing is an essential part of your marketing mix. Recommendations are golden. 

About the author: “Karen Southall Watts has been training and coaching entrepreneurs for over a decade. She teaches business courses for Bellingham Technical College.”

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Networking your way to success

John Donne famously said, “No man is an island”. When it comes to entrepreneurs this statement is absolutely true. Business involves exchanges of goods or services for money (or other goods and services in the case of bartering) and is based upon relationships. To do business you must connect, and the best way to connect is through networking. Just putting up a website or printing business cards is no more effective than putting a sign in the front yard. Networking puts a face on your brand. Your contacts will become your customers, clients and sources of referrals. Without them you are trying to function in isolation—making yourself a business island.

Ideally your networking will include a good mix of formal networking, informal and one-to-one networking and social networking through technology. By blending the approaches you can increase your chances of success. For example, formal networking events like the Vancouver Entrepreneur Meetup give you access to a group of professionals who arrive ready and willing to network. They are there to share and listen and are super receptive. One-on-one meetings give you the chance to get more in depth with your contacts and to really delve into how you can create win-win opportunities. When possible try to schedule at least one of these during your formal event. In other words leave the Meetup with more than a handful of cards. Finally be sure to add technology based options to your networking blend. Social media sites allow you to exchange information with and connect with people from all over the world. You can stay in touch ‘round the clock and provide up to the minute updates on your newest projects and products.

People can’t engage you for projects or buy your products if they don’t know anything about you. Networking skills are what set the successful apart from the entrepreneurs who struggle.

About the author: “Karen Southall Watts has been training and coaching entrepreneurs for over a decade. She teaches business courses for Bellingham Technical College.”

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Who’s afraid of networking

Life is about connections. Business doesn’t happen in a vacuum; it happens between people. Networking is a key function in almost every business and career, so what keeps us from doing it? Perhaps it’s our lack of understanding of the networking process. Or maybe it’s our fears, many unfounded, about doing it just right. Here are some of the most common stumbling blocks to networking

  • It’s a waste of my time—it is hard for me to believe, but there are still some people who don’t see the value of networking. After over a decade of teaching and coaching entrepreneurs I still have to point out that personal brilliance or product novelty is simply not enough to create success.
  • I won’t have anything to say—that’s okay, because some of the best networkers are great listeners. Real connections are made through conversations and not through elevator speeches.
  • Everyone there will be trying to sell me something—how do you know that? There are lots of reasons for networking and one of the best is creating your “team”. Networking helps business owners to find that perfect accountant, real estate agent, or PR expert. Think of all the people who are shopping and not selling and you’ll feel more confident.
  • I’m too shy—you don’t have to be “the life of the party” to be a good networker. There are no rules that state you need to meet everyone in the room or be the last to leave either. That’s the great thing about networking; it’s about building relationships and not sticking to a rule book. Focus on meeting a couple of people at each event and really connecting.

 About the author: “Karen Southall Watts has been training and coaching entrepreneurs for over a decade. She teaches business courses for Bellingham Technical College.”

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Sharing Library Resources: Yet Another Benefit of Coworking

I have a small library at home, but I prefer to separate my home from my work and thus had to bring those books to my office at The Network Hub. Recently, I brought a few books to my office that are particularly relevant to my work.

When I first moved to The Network Hub, it surprised me a bit to learn that the shared office space has a small area with books. Given that The Network Hub has an open space floor plan, anybody from the group of entrepreneurs and companies hosted here can access those books. Obviously, the honor system (where you take a book and you bring it back) works well in this particular coworking space.

Books, magazines and a variety of learning resources are an integral cornerstone of university libraries and research centres. Individual research and teaching departments (like Linguistics, Political Science, Geography) usually have a reading room where graduate students and faculty can access books, journals, magazines and other learning materials that may either be in high demand at the university library or simply, more relevant to the area of study within the department.

It hadn’t dawned on me how important it was to share library resources amongst entrepreneurs until a couple of days ago, when Amin (another entrepreneur whose company has offices here at The Network Hub) asked me if he could borrow a book of mine. And at that point (yes, recently, just a few days ago) it became clear to me that being able to access a collective pool of learning resources (including books/magazines/journals/articles) is yet another benefit of coworking.

About the author: Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega is a Vancouver-based researcher, educator and consultant in the environmental public policy field. He conducts research in water governance, urban sustainability, comparative environmental policy and economic geography. Dr. Pacheco-Vega’s consulting studio has a home at The Network Hub.

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Sharing space with other entrepreneurs leads to synergy

Synergy — The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.

There’s more to shared office space than a business bargain. Not only does investing in a shared office space save you money it provides you with lots of intangible benefits. If you are going to compete in the competitive Vancouver market, you need to be at your best. An isolated entrepreneur loses his or her edge in communication skills.  It’s impossible to sell your product or ideas if you never practice the language of business.

Shared office space gives you a built in group of colleagues who can act as sounding boards and moral support.  You can do more business from a shared Vancouver office space because you are working in the heart of the business community.  Association with a group of carefully vetted tenants like those at The Network Hub gives you access to a dynamic networking group as well as their varied talents. Successful entrepreneurs need teams; the days of “wearing all the hats” are over.  A shared Vancouver office space can cut down on the time you spend searching for expertise in areas outside your core business.

The perfect partner or collaborator could be sitting at the desk next to you.

About the author: “Karen Southall Watts has been training and coaching entrepreneurs for over a decade. She teaches business courses for Bellingham Technical College.”

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Thinking about guiding principles for coworking spaces

Coworking spaces vary in design, implementation models and philosophies/strategic views. Coworking spaces may share many attributes of entrepreneurial incubators, yet they may also have fundamental differences. A quick overview of philosophies and ground principles of coworking spaces in the US shows a few shared commonalities.

Carrboro Creative Coworking Principles (Adapted from the Citizen Space Philosophy)

  1. Collaboration – We strive to include a diverse group of people with a wide range of knowledge.
  2. Openness – Transparency is important. We all benefit from sharing ideas.
  3. Community – Creating good social connections for business and personal life benefits our work.
  4. Localism – Working in our downtown helps achieve our principles and contributes to our local economy.
  5. Sustainability – Sharing resources is good for our local community and the planet. Plus when we share we save money.
  6. Accessibility – Coworking spaces are affordable for a diverse group of people. Spaces are handicap and wheelchair accessible.

Since the very concept of coworking is rather new (arguably around 2005), having guiding principles hasn’t become yet a pre-requisite for coworking spaces to emerge. While it’s true that explicit guidelines are not yet a requirement for one of these spaces to succeed, but they are very useful.

Having principles or philosophies made explicit within each coworking space allows for potential entrepreneurs to filter themselves according to where they are located within a spectrum of collaboration.

As I had mentioned before, the mere geographical proximity does not guarantee that an entrepreneur that spends his or her time in a coworking environment will succeed. But a healthy combination of physical closeness, collaborative environment, coworking principles and entrepreneurial spirit are all factors that might lead to success.

About the author: Dr. Raul Pacheco-Vega is a Vancouver-based researcher, educator and consultant in the environmental public policy field. He conducts research in water governance, urban sustainability, comparative environmental policy and economic geography. Dr. Pacheco-Vega’s consulting studio has a home at The Network Hub.

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Answering services keep customers happier for mobile entrepreneurs

Telephone tag—that annoying thing that happens when you and your customers call and call and never connect. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if your customers could leave a message with an actual person? Think of how annoyed you are when you need to leave a message and you end up listening to a recorded voice. Well your customers feel the same way.

The Network Hub can help you avoid losing customers because of telephone tag. People are far more likely to leave a message when they get a real person on the phone. This means thatlive answering services from The Network Hub can get more of your customers to leave messages for you—giving you the chance to follow-up with them. Discouraged customers who hang up on your voice mail mean lost business and lost dollars. An answering service can be especially beneficial for mobile entrepreneurs. If your business has you traveling all over Vancouver, Canada or even farther, professional answering services allow you to still be “there” for your customers.

Flexibility is a key to success as an entrepreneur, and The Network Hub provides additional phone services designed just for entrepreneurs who need scheduling and meeting room access. No more telephone tag and no more hunting for a coffee shop that’s quiet enough for your meeting.

About the author: “Karen Southall Watts has been training and coaching entrepreneurs for over a decade. She teaches business courses for Bellingham Technical College.”

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Coworking and knowledge spillovers: When does being in close proximity help?

The concept of coworking isn’t really an original thought. Humans have a gregarious nature, gathering around the dinner table to break the bread and share meals. The same can be said about coworking. People like to work around others, particularly in an environment where the risk of office politics is much lower. A shift in the economic production paradigm from an industrial to a knowledge society has also contributed to the popularization of shared office space that can be rented by the hour, the week or the month.

Coworking has gained more traction in recent years (some argue thatBrad Neuberg created the first shared office space in San Francisco), particularly with increasing telecommuting options and the rise of a whole new breed of entrepreneurs. While sharing office space with other impresarios can be seen as one of the world’s greatest ideas, the pure geographical proximity does not guarantee that cross-pollination and knowledge-sharing will occur.

Research in the field of economic geography (by the way, economic geography was the main theoretical lens of my doctoral dissertation) has found that for knowledge spillovers to occur, geographical proximity is a necessary but not sufficient condition. In the case of coworking spaces, having like-minded entrepreneurs can have a very positive impact in the general morale of each individual, some cross-pollination and sharing of ideas. However, I believe that a necessary condition for coworking spaces to succeed in fostering knowledge spillovers is to offer a foundational framework (in the form of formal or informal rules or guidelines).

Another great way to encourage the sharing of ideas in a coworking space is to organize monthly/bi-monthly gatherings where like-minded individuals can mingle and exchange thoughts on potential business ideas. It’s important to realize that just by “being there” (e.g. sitting in close proximity) does not guarantee that we will learn from each other. We need to take a first step.

About the author: Dr. Raul

 Pacheco-Vega is a Vancouver-based researcher, educator and consultant in the environmental public policy field. He conducts research in water governance, urban sustainability, comparative environmental policy and economic geography. Dr. Pacheco-Vega’s consulting studio has a home at The Network Hub.

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Leaving the kitchen table

When should you move from your home into office space?

In the early stages of your business when you are working out of your house you can keep your costs low and spend time making absolutely sure that entrepreneurship is the path you want to take. However, most entrepreneurs wake up one day, look at the pile of files spread all over the kitchen table, and wonder if it’s time to move into real office space.

Growth is the best reason for moving into new digs. You are seeing more clients or selling more products and the cash flow is good. Expanding out of your home office and into regular office space at this time helps to solidify your growth and sets you up for the next phase of business. Getting out of your home and into a dedicated space allows you to focus clearly on the core of your business. You will find you can be more productive without the distractions of television, family interruptions and unplanned visits from well-meaning friends.

“Real” office space can provide a boost to your image and marketing efforts. If you are meeting with clients, suppliers and colleagues in a room with a view to your laundry, you are not making the best impression you could. Clients expect to talk with you without hearing your children crying or smelling your pets. Image is especially important for solo entrepreneurs; you are your brand.

Shared space situations, like business incubators, provide a way for you to have real office space and to share in amenities like reception and mail service. Entrepreneurs who use shared resources can create a more professional and polished image than they would otherwise be able to afford. An additional benefit of getting out of your home office and into regular office space is increased visibility and networking opportunities. Getting out of your house and into an office can be an important step to becoming fully integrated into the business community.

About the author: “Karen Southall Watts has been training and coaching entrepreneurs for over a decade. She teaches business courses for Bellingham Technical College.”

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Being a WOMAN entrepreneur

There are moments you reflect back that are monumental moments that shifted your paradigm but at that moment you didn’t realize it. I had one of those last week at PNE of all places. Growing up I remember walking around envious of the big toys that people win playing games. As a young girl, I don’t know how this got in my head but the norm for me was a guy was supposed to win it for me (although my parents were huge advocate in me being independent and self-sufficient). It was against some sort of rules of nature to have a girl win by herself or she was incapable of doing so.

As I walk around with my friend with Elysia and after we ate everything in sight, we played some games. We played the easy games – whac-a-mole, fishing a fish and picking out some cute little ducks to win some small toys. As we were about to leave, there was a bunch of guys gathered around the test your strength game, the goal is to whack the base of the game with a mallet as hard as possible to ring a bell. As I watched guys after guys attempting to ring the bell for the big toy, they walk away with sad faces and small little toys. I thought what the heck… why not? My friend tried to talk me out of it because 1) I was wearing a tube dress, 2) I dressed like “an old woman” – her words not mine, and 3) there were too many guys watching. There was something inherently wrong about a girl wearing a dress (outwardly feminine) challenging the guys perhaps but whatever, I didn’t care about embarrassment. We were passed that after my eating marathon. Handed my $5 dollars and took a swing. At my first try, I rang the bell… the second and third try I did even better. I walked away with the biggest toy. I even heard one guy yelling to another guy, “Dude, the chick did better than you!”

Picture 040

As I walk away I thought of a quote by Dr. Maya Angelou “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.” I didn’t need any one to win me anything, I can do it myself. While it took me 27 years for me to realize it – to the young ladies in my life who think they need to compromise their feminine qualities to “act like a man” to get further ahead or to rely a on guy to give them permissions shine, forget it – find your passion, follow it and do it on your term.

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The Style Spy - Erica Lam

In the business world mostly full of men, I am always excited to meet fellow female entrepreneurs.  I am very honoured to count Erica as one of my friends but our relationship is a bit more special, she was the very FIRST tenant when The Network Hub opened.  She is fierce, glamorous, stylish, charismatic, powerful but she does it all with heart.  In her pink lipstick, perfectly curled hair and her trendy garb she controls the situation whether it is in a business situation or an event for a thousand plus people.  Whether it is commanding attention in the board room or fighting for that last pair of Manolo, she does it with style – she is The Style Spy afterall.

1. Tell us what you do
Where do I start! I run the editorial arm of, a popular fashion/shopping blog. I work with a team of talented freelance writers, keeping women in Canada in-the-know on the hottest fashion trends, beauty must-haves and sales & deals going on around town. I’m a city expert on all things shopping. also hosts a monthly fashion segment onCityLights on NovusTV. I also run a marketing arm under The Style Spy Media Inc. I work with fashion retailers and shopping centres on their marketing, whether it be interactive shopping events, marketing campaigns, public relations or social media initiatives.

2. When and why did you decide to be an entrepreneur?
Just over three years ago. I had worked a few jobs post university in marketing and sales. One day I started the blog by suggestion of a co-worker, my concept was shopping for everyday girls. Fashion has always been reserved for the elite, I always felt that fashion should be more accessible, cause reality is, most of us don’t shop in the pages of Vogue and we do shop at chain stores and try to duplicate looks for less. Once I started the blog, it became a bit of an obsession. I thought “how could I make this a business?” – how could this passion of mine, be more then just a hobby. That was three years ago. It’s been nothing short of amazing. I honestly didn’t exactly know how I was going to make money. Sure there are advertising dollars associated with the site, but I don’t have numbers like, so I definitely had to be creative to find ways to generate revenue. I realized my strength was the loyal network of female shoppers I had built. So I started to doing events with companies likeThe Bay and Richmond Centre, driving my audience and others through social media to events and promoting their brands. I execute the events or marketing campaigns with no traditional advertising dollars – utilizing FacebookTwitterthe Style Spy network and doing traditional public relations on behalf of my clients. It’s worked out well, with companies wanting to take chances with smaller companies and wanting to find creative ways to engage their audiences. My clients have included the aforementioned BayRichmond Centre, as well as Metropolis at Metrotown, the Yaletown Business Improvement Association and boutiques like IsharaFine FindsOrb Clothing and Wink Beauty Lounge.

3. What was the most challenging aspect of being a woman entrepreneur from your perspective?
I’ve been very lucky in this aspect. My audience is also female, which allows me to relate and understand them well. I also work with a lot of decision makers who are female and it’s worked my advantage. They often relate to me and see me as the very demographic and market they’re trying to reach. Giving me an inside edge, cause who better to speak to an audience then someone who is part of it.

4. What is a key personal attribute you see in successful entrepreneurs?
Determination. There will be many obstacles placed in front of you. Being an entrepreneur, and a successful one at that, takes lots of hard work, perseverance, determination and a bit of luck. There will be many moments when you wonder why you are doing this, but those who succeed are those who keep going despite the hurdles. I believe the journey is also part of the story, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

5. Any advice you would like to give to someone contemplating a start-up?
Do your homework, always educate yourself. I read countless blogs, from fashion to tech to small business. You want to be in on the action, always in-the-know. Networking is also huge. You could spend countless hours studying something, but if you know the right people – it can take you there that much faster. Be humble. I find lots of “pseudo-entrepreneurs” get caught up in the whole excitement of being an entrepreneur and lose sight of what is really the nuts and bolts their business. It’s really about the business, not the fame of being an entrepreneur. Lastly, bootstrap it. There are lots of things I spent money on that I wish I hadn’t. At first, you just have to make do with the basics and forgo the fancy office, spend wisely.

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Why be inspired?

“You did then what you knew how to do.  When you knew better, you did better!” – Maya Angelou

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing many entrepreneurs. I hope you were as inspired as I was with their dedication, ambition and commitment to seeing their passion come to life. Team Design Vetica juggles both school work and professional work to make their company work. Carlos from Bloom Marketing works hard to see his company grow despite the recession, forget the norm – he is defying the norm and surpassing it. Leon at age 27 commands the largest Real Estate Channel in Canada. Brian and his team, fresh out of university has garnered worldwide attention for Followformation, a twitter solution his company created after being inspired by Jason Calanis‘ cash bid to be one of the suggested user in the sign up process on twitter. Victor and Josh from Make It Business are there to provide all the support and resources for these entrepreneurs to grow their start-ups.

The point of these interviews is to show you a glimpse into the minds of these entrepreneurs and to inspire you to think of what is possible. What is possible is the ability to achieve what you think of with some hard work. And even though, they have tripped, fell and lost countless hours of sleep (in Brian’s case and I am sure with others as well), they remain excited despite the challenges they faced and will face because they believe so strongly in their dreams. I am sure if you sit down with each of them for one-on-one time, they will share their battle stories and show you their scars. I was recently visited by my old university club, Simon Fraser chapter of Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE SFU) and many had technical questions of how to get started but I couldn’t clearly convey as to how I got started and what I needed to get started. I can only describe it as a strong need to support entrepreneurs and a strong desire to have my own freedom. That has manifested in Urban BellaThe Network Hub and Atomic Media. The challenges and the scars are part of the journey. I believe I am better for it, as any entrepreneur can attest.

I hope you come away from each interview with a renewed sense of optimism, a clearer sense of purpose and the desire to just do it, because that is all there is to get started.

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Followformation – Brian Wong

Some of the best people I have met are through random introductions. Brian Wong was introduced through a mutual acquaintance of mine and after five minutes of meeting, I was completely fascinated by his endless amount of energy, enthusiasm and all of that on two hours of sleep. Even more fascinating is the company he has started with his co-founders and what they are up to right now.Followformation is a media darling at the moment as they are the start-up company from Vancouver that is making big waves in the social media world. If you don’t believe me, at the end of the interview there is a list of the press coverage they have garnered so far!

1. Tell us what you do.
Right now, I’m the co-founder of Aer Marketing Inc., an online start-up. We are the dudes behind Followformation.  I am responsible for the ideation, the design concepts behind all our work, and business development (i.e. full-time networking) + anything else that needs to be done.

2. You just finished university, how did you find the time to run Aer Marketing and also startFollow Formation while dealing with exams plus an internship with 1-800-got-junk?
I tell people I practice polyphasic sleeping, but the real truth is just that I sleep very little. I would my manage my time by following what Tim Ferris would call a low-information diet, while separating certain parts of my day for certain things. Followformation was started during the summer, so it was a little less stressful then. But near the end of my last term at university I was working my internship during the mornings and early afternoons Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, going to classes in the remaining time during the day, and allocating “aertime” every evening between play-time and dinner to work on our projects.

3. What was the most challenging aspect of being a young entrepreneur from your perspective?
Young and old, I think the hardest challenge is to “keep trucking” – there are always things that get in your way, and every day, it’s a battle. All I know is that this work has empowered me as a youth to go out and learn new things and meet and work with amazing people – things I would not have been able to experience had I thrown myself at a yawn-worthy line of work.

4. You have had a ton of press lately from the Georgia Straight to the highly sought, what was the biggest reason for your success with getting press for your company?
Mashable was a complete fluke, but I took it upon myself to leverage that buzz. I have been up very early every morning since then hitting journalists on their blackberry’s and iPhones right before they hit the office. I’m actually pretty bad at it though. The other big reason is, and I hear this a lot – if your idea or concept at its core is not sticky or buzz-worthy, pushing it can only go so far. I think all the blog posts and tweets are a good litmus test for that.

5. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself regarding your business?
Don’t assume that everyone’s on the same page even when they’ve nodded their heads.

North America Press Coverage

Fast Company:
The Examiner:
Killer Startups:
Blogger Institute:
Local – Techvibes:
Local – The Georgia Straight:
Local – Sauder School of Business Newsletter:

International Press Coverage

Brazilian business magazine:
French social media blog:
Singapore top Tweeter blog (@techxav):


And all the rest of our blog hits:

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Real Estate Channel – Leon Ng

Surrounding yourself with positive, ambitious and like-minded people is one of the important requirements to staying motivated as an entrepreneur.  I am fortunate to count Leon Ng as a friend and am constantly amazed at what he accomplishes as a young entrepreneur.  Keep an eye on this young entrepreneur as he builds his expanding media empire – TV, Production Studios, Film.

1. Tell us what you do?
I’m in real estate marketing, tv/film & media production. I had my start at a small local cable station in Vancouver. From there, I saw the opportunity to start my own business. Three years ago, we launched the Real Estate Channel on one of the smallest networks in Canada. Three years later, we have expanded nationally and will soon be on the nation’s largest TV networks.

2. At 27, you already run the largest Real Estate Channel in Canada? Are you building a real estate media empire?
You’re flattering me. I am taking this one step at a time. I am very far from that right now. I do have a personal interest in real estate media and I think it is important to keep myself up to date with current real estate technology. One of my favourite real estate blogs

3. You also own LNG Studios, was there a moment you considered giving up on having multiple businesses?
Never! I believe in diversifying, as long as you can stay focused and not spread your resources to thin. It is best if you can expand in a way that your businesses can complement each other.

4. Do you have time to have a hobby?
I have a work hard, play hard mentality. I like to be creative. My true passion is in film. I am currently producing a short film called ‘Henry’s Glasses”, which received a grant from the Directors Guild of Canada’s Kick Start Program. The film is based in a Japanese Canadian Internment Camp in 1945 and production starts in October 09.

5. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself regarding your business?
If you know me, you’ll know that I am a very spontaneous person. When I feel good about an idea, I tend to jump on it (which is sometimes good & sometimes bad). I should be giving myself more time to plan and do my due diligence but you live and learn from your mistake! This is only the beginning.

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