September 20th, 2011 by Richard Podsada
I have always looked up to and admired the business greats of our times. People like Ray Croc, Sam Walton, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Henry Ford, Phil Knight. People who started businesses which are not only enormously successful, they have shaped the world and even our culture.
Reading these stories, I was inspired by how they started their businesses in garages and built them into international empires. But underneath my fascination and enthusiasm, there was a much quieter voice speaking to me. A quiet, dark voice that said: “These people had special advantages you do not have. You will never do what they did.” And whether I spoke those words aloud or not, I secretly believed them.
June 1st, 2011 by Richard Podsada
Dating all the way back to high school, I have been running a website design or graphic design business of some kind or another. I started off as a sole proprietor. I later registered as a corporation, and eventually merged that corporation into what is now nine10 Incorporated. During this long and winding road, I learned many lessons about business. Some of them took me a long time to learn, some I learned quickly, but most were taught at the school of hard knocks. Had there been someone to share insight with me, things might have been easier, right from the start.
Now, understanding both the struggles in starting a business and now being on the successful end, I have a desire to share what I learned along the way with those that are just starting out. My hope is, that by sharing what I have learned, I can minimize and reduce the business struggles that so often accompany new business startups. The following is a small collection of key insights I wish I had known from day one.
March 22nd, 2011 by Richard Podsada
Our team at nine10 gets the opportunity to work with business of all types and sizes to develop strategies that will help them promote their brand. When we talk “branding” with our clients, it’s not unusual for people to think of their brand as an image and some colours wrapped up nicely in a brochure or on a website.
While those products are certainly key in helping shape a brand, we can’t design brands. Don’t get me wrong, a really great logo is very important in helping the public and your customers connect with your company. The very colours and design of your logo can evoke a whole lot of feelings in people.
November 12th, 2010 by Richard Podsada
As a branding agency, we encounter many business owners who come to us with their ideas for starting a small business. We get to see some pretty interesting and ambitious business plans. But what always raises a red flag for us is an idea that tries to go too big, too fast, without the proper planning and resources in place to see it through.
It’s difficult enough to run a small business that’s focused on doing one thing, let alone a business that tries to be everything to everybody. History has shown many examples of wars being lost by armies forced to fight on multiple fronts.
October 25th, 2010 by Richard Podsada
Often we hear people talking about branding like it’s an esoteric voodoo thing that only Fortune 500 companies can afford to do. Or that small business owners should ignore branding because it costs a lot of money and they need to be focusing on sales and cash flow. Or that you need a big national advertising agency to create a successful brand.
This couldn’t any further from the truth.
August 11th, 2010 by Richard Podsada
Do you spend a lot of time worrying what your competition is doing? Do you toss and turn at night wondering if they have some secret weapon up their sleeve? That customers will run away in droves because of their latest promotion or product release?
If so, here’s a simple but powerful thought for you to ponder:
February 25th, 2010 by Richard Podsada
When you own a business it’s not uncommon to work long hours and constantly be under the gun to meet a deadline. But the fact is, we all have our limitations and eventually exhaustion and stress will catch up to you. You can push for only so long before you hit the proverbial “wall” and suddenly feel yourself inescapably shutting down. After a period of disinterested dormancy, you find your mojo returning and before you know it, you’re well on your way to repeating the cycle all over again. Isn’t there a better way?
February 18th, 2010 by Richard Podsada
In 1970, Robert K. Greenleaf redefined the way that we think about management. His idea was dubbed “Servant Leadership” and flips the traditional mode of management thinking and organizational structure completely upside down. The following is a list of 10 Qualities that Servant Leaders (and the organizations they serve) possess. Do you have these qualities?