November 2023
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The Business Voice - Supporting the Moose Jaw & District business community'
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November 2023

Welcome to our Newest Chamber Members:

Comic Book Guy - 306.690.8765 - Town N Country Mall location
Guac Mexi Grill - 514.602.4801 - 4 Hochelaga St W
James Mitchell Realtor - 306.690.8765 - 70 Athabasca St W


CEO Message - Rob Clark

The Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce is focused on helping our members and community thrive with positive business to exchanges. We work closely within our municipality to welcome and encourage new business opportunities and development for Moose Jaw and area. We are deeply invested in the growth of community and supporting local businesses. We take pride in working alongside our exceptional board member and engaged chamber members as we continue to help, promote, advocate, educate and strengthen your community.   

The Chamber has stepped into a role to answer calls from the business community, emails from business owners and individuals to help navigate businesses to succeed. Your feed back matters! Help us identify needs and issues we can plan for a healthier business community.

Personally, I never run out of things to do in Moose Jaw with all the local activities, restaurants, and retail shops that line many of our streets. You have probably already have heard of the many developments happening, and when you stop and think about all the activity and investments as a whole it is incredible to imagine what our City will be in just a few years.

Another favourite time of year is quickly approaching—the holidays! As we get closer to the holiday shopping season, I want to emphasize the importance of keeping our dollars local. As you start to put your shopping list together, please think about supporting local.

Also, this month we also celebrate Remembrance Day, I invite you to take an hour or two out of your day in recognizing the service and sacrifices of our veterans.

On behalf of the Chamber staff, we thank all our members business for your support and contributions to our community.  

Nurturing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

 

Nurturing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

No matter how big or small your business is, the ability to think like an entrepreneur is vital to success. Often people think of entrepreneurs as people who launch businesses, grow them, and then sell them or open another business and build an empire. You know, Richard Branson, Elon Musk and the like. But that is only one kind of entrepreneur. What about the plumber or electrician who is working for a company and becomes self-employed? They are entrepreneurs too. Then there are the people who have a sideline business making just about anything, and selling it to supplement their income.

There are also entrepreneurial employees; those people who think outside of the box, or at least their job description, who are always looking to help make the company they work for bigger, better, and more profitable.

What all these people have in common is that they are most likely very successful. Having an entrepreneurial mindset means you are always thinking about how to do things better, and more to the point making more money.

Never has it been so crucial to think and act this way whether you are employed, self-employed, or running a small business. Why? Because the world is changing at an incredibly rapid pace. Our parents and grandparents lived their whole lives and enjoyed secure careers without a whole lot happening to change things. Discounting the two world wars, things moved on at a sedate pace.

Fast forward to the past 20 years and everything has changed. We went from renting videos at Blockbuster to streaming Netflix. PVR’s made watching commercials on cable a thing of the past, or at least a choice. Cell phones transitioned from simply phones, to mobile computers, entertainment devices, cameras, voice recorders, and more. Texting became the primary communication method of choice for a large percentage of the population. The internet entered every aspect of our lives and social media’s voice replaced sound journalism, leaving the door open to fake news.

Today, people can compare what you sell to your competitors’ offerings in seconds, even while in your store or talking to you on the phone. All of these things changed the way companies do business and the way you sell and market what you produce. Some people and companies have prospered by taking advantage of the changes that are happening; take Amazon, which now dominates the retail world. Those lacking an entrepreneurial mindset were late to the party when it came to selling online. Some never even saw the need to have a website until relatively recently. Others saw their products and services become extinct. Anyone want to purchase some CDs?

Since then we’ve seen a pandemic change the way we live completely, and exponentially fast-forward online retail all but destroying bricks and mortar stores. The winners were those who thought entrepreneurially. Do you wish you had started a local courier service in 2018?

Looking back, the technological, social, and cultural changes that occurred since Y2K are nothing compared with what will happen in the next ten, twenty, thirty years. If you are employed, consider branching out on your own. If you run your own show, be prepared to reinvent yourself frequently—there’s a bullet train headed your way.

Here are just a few things to make you think. If you are under 40 today, you can expect to live well beyond 100 years and enjoy a healthier life - assuming you look after your body in between. You will retire much later and be retired for longer, have more careers, and reinvent your business several times over during the next thirty years. If you think the internet and technology will slow down or level out, think again; the 40% of the world’s population that don’t currently have access will be online soon, very soon. And, 5G is here! Brain to Computer Interface (BCI) is a reality and already being used in healthcare - simply think and Google will do as you ask/think.

If all of this has you shaking your head, then you would be wise to start researching and reading about what the near future is going to look like. Once you do, then you can let your entrepreneurial mind loose on the incredible opportunities that will be open to those who can recognize the links between what they currently sell, what they could sell, their talents, and the new world.

To help you get started, check out authors Ben Lytle, Peter Diamandis, Stephen Kotler, and Ray Kurzweil; they are currently the most respected soothsayers of our future.

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Nurturing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

 

The Power of S.W.O.T. Analyses

The word swot means to study assiduously. It can also be used as a derogatory term for someone who, these days, we would call a nerd. It’s a classmate who does all of his or her homework on time and even, for heaven’s sake, does extra because they enjoy it! Swotting is what you do prior to a test or exam.

A S.W.O.T. analysis, however, is a strategic planning method which, if you have never used it before, will surprise you with its simplicity and effectiveness. It is something you can use to assess your current situation during fast-changing times. It will also help you plan for the future. The acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. To carry out a SWOT analysis, create a table with four columns each headed with one of the terms. Then, with your team, business partner(s), investors or whomever you want to involve, look at each column in turn and create a list of things that apply.

For instance, what are your company’s strengths? Where do you perform well? In what ways are you better than your competition? Do you have excellent parking? Are you well located? Do you offer better guarantees or warranties? Do you offer online shopping? Is your web interface better than competitors? Do you offer quicker delivery? Are your staff friendlier? Are you financially secure – well-financed? You get the idea, list anything you can think of that is an advantage your business has over its competition.

What are your company’s weaknesses? Take the list above and turn it on its head. Where does your competition outperform you? What things would you like to improve if you had the resources? Be honest – if not, it’s only you who you are cheating.

Once you review your strengths and weaknesses, it should help you recognize opportunities. Things you might promote to your customers, areas of potential growth, and, of course, things you could do better. Growth and prosperity lie in seizing opportunities. If you read the other article in this newsletter, you also see that understanding what the immediate or near future might bring can also help you recognize opportunities (think technology, social, and cultural change, etc.). Note these down too!

In the last column, you need to look hard at what could threaten your success. Threats can come from weaknesses, but they can also come from positive things like growth. They can come out of left field such as during a pandemic, or from new technology that opens up your market to greater competition (think Amazon, Netflix, and the like). List anything that might threaten your company over the next 12-months. For instance, new competition, poor cash flow, equipment breakdowns, obsolete technology, outdated thinking, key staff leaving, etc. Then add things that might affect your business over the next decade. The earlier you identify threats, the better.

Once you have your SWOT analysis, refer to it continually as you pull your business or strategic plan together. It will help keep your feet firmly on the ground as you plan the future of your business.

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Nurturing an Entrepreneurial Mindset

 

The Importance of Trust

“Trust is the glue that holds relationships together,” writes Brian Tracy, author of Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. He continues, “You can have all kinds of problems and disagreements with another person, but as long as the trust and respect are still there, the relationship can endure.”

In his article The Neuroscience of Trust (Harvard Business Review, January – February 2017), Paul J. Zak wrote, “In my research I’ve found that building a culture of trust is what makes a meaningful difference. Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies.” 

In business, we need to trust our colleagues, our bosses, our employees, and our customers if we are to be trusted by them. As with respect, trust can only be earned.

How do we build and maintain trust in our businesses?

Although this is not a simple task, one of the best models I have seen for creating a trustful environment is outlined in Braving Trust, a chapter in Brené Brown’s book Dare to Lead. The acronym BRAVING represents seven behaviours leading to trustful relationships. Here’s a brief outline of the behaviours. They will provide you with a starting point for conversations and actions to increase trust in your organization.

Boundaries - being respectful and clear of each other’s boundaries. 

Reliability – saying what you will do without over-promising and being realistic.

Accountability – owning your mistakes and not blaming others.

Vault – respecting confidentiality of others, sharing only what you have permission to share.

Integrity – living your values, walking your talk.

Non-judgment – asking for or giving help without judgement.

Generosity – believing the best of another person’s intentions, words, and actions.

Trust is built in small increments. As leaders, we need to provide opportunities for our staff and colleagues to show their trustworthiness. When we micromanage or take on tasks that others should do, we are in effect showing in a non-verbal way that we do not trust them. Providing opportunities to show our trust is coupled with having clearly stated expectations, and ensuring we are listening to someone without judgment when they seek further clarification or ask for help.

Organizations built on a foundation of trust are more successful.

Paul Abra, Motivated Coaching

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The Business Voice - Supporting the Moose Jaw & District business community'
88 Saskatchewan St. E. Moose Jaw SK S6H 0V4
Phone: 306.692.6414
chamber@mjchamber.com
https://www.mjchamber.com

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