The small town of Port Hardy lies on the northern edge of Vancouver Island. This close-knit community is home to Hardy Buoys, a family-owned fish processing plant that's been a mainstay in the town for almost 20 years. But now, owners Bruce and Carol face harsh financial realities: sales aren't high enough, payments are late, and past mistakes are haunting them. The husband and wife are at their breaking point. If they can't turn things around, they stand to lose everything, and 80 employees will be out of work in a small town that's not prepared for such a harsh economic blow.
On the other side of the country, another Canadian business is desperately in need of Arlene's help. Tashodi is an environmentally-friendly bath and body care company based out of Toronto. Consumers rave about Tashodi's unique products, beautiful scents and care for the environment. But behind the scenes, it's not such a pretty picture. The management team is at odds and tensions are on the rise. If the team can't turn things around, Tashodi's future is uncertain.
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..."