In the small town of Aldergrove, BC, Derrick has followed his dream of owning a brewery, and his close-knit family is backing him all the way. Dead Frog Brewery started small and experienced rapid success, creating a strong brand and growing their sales to over 2 million dollars. But the brewery buckled under the weight of its success. With maxed-out lines of credit and the family home on the line, Jim is Dead Frog's last hope to get back on track.
Meanwhile, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, an employee-owned business is teetering on the brink. Westland Steel manufactures screws and bolts. The company launched in 1952 and 30 years later, a rough economy left the company at risk of becoming extinct. With no other job prospects in the community, the company's employees took the biggest risk of their lives and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase Westland and keep it from going under. Fast forward another 30 years and Westland is nearly ready to shut the doors once again. The employees are tapped out, the banks have called it quits. For Westland, Jim is literally their last chance for survival.
The Trouble with Losing. Sometimes I've walked out of a pitch with a sick feeling in my stomach, knowing we don't have a prayer. Other times I've left on a real high, certain we're going to land the account. In the first case, I don't think I've ever been wrong.
A common struggle for the early-stage company CEO is the business plan.
Often, it seems like a luxury that costs too much precious time to create and doesn't provide the immediate benefit that knocking to-do's off the list seems to.
Never Mess with the Brand. I remember talking to the president of Wardair, the now defunct airline. We were at some ceremony or other and he turned to me and said, "Jim, I think I've lost control of my company.
An internationally-renowned branding strategist once defined brand equity as: "a set of assets (or liabilities) linked to a brand's name and symbol that adds to (or subtracts from) the value provided by a product or service..."