CEO, ProVantage Automation Corp
Chair of the National Board of Directors, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)
About ProVantage Automation
An engineering firm that designs and builds automation control systems to improve manufacturing
We don’t make the widgets. We create the machinery that makes the widgets.
The concept was formulated over pizza and beer
19 months old
About Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters
Association, resource and advocate for manufactures and exporters
The first chairman was John A McDonald (first Prime Minister of Canada)
The role as Chair is a volunteer position
Passions of Rob Hattin
Super Tuscans (fine wine)
On Canada and Canadians
No one goes destitute in Canada by failing in business.
It’s hard to fail in Canada.
Canadians need to participate more in global markets
There is a skills shortage in Canada
A concern is about Canada’s place in the industrial global market
Three parts to innovation
Three keys to success
We made a plan. It turned out to be crap but it gave us the discipline to find other opportunities
Other insights from Rob Hattin
A CEO has a 10 year effective life
The Brand means a lot but it’s the people that really make the difference
We need more women in manufacturing especially in leadership roles
Innovation is meaningful change and Canadians need to get off their butts to innovate
The world is your oyster and the world is going to chew you up
You have one chance at ethics – don’t screw that up
Entrepreneurs, you need to nurture your health and relationships. Remember that while working those late nights.
You need to become number one at what you do
It has to be fun
More information about this guest
Click below to listen to or download this radio interview:
Insights from this inteview with Ron Foxcroft
About Ron Foxcroft
Wears at least three hats
Chairman & CEO Fluke Transport
Chairman, CEO and Founder Fox 40
Professional Basketball referee
Kicked out of high school
Trained to become a basketball referee
Paid 75 cents to referee his first game and told that he was lousy and would never make it as a referee.
Ten years later he refereed the basketball Olympic game
If you want to be respected, learn to listen.
Fluke Transport is the most challenging hat he wears. Trucking is not for the faint of heart. It is high volume with low profit and fraught with complications. It depends on people and trucks – both which occasionally break down.
I knew nothing about trucking before I bought the trucking company
How did he buy Fluke Transport with no money?
How did he add 20 trucks with no money?
Everybody has a hot button – a deal making button. It’s something other than money.
Entrepreneurs and Business Success
I didn’t want to work for a dumb boss.
Hire people smarter than you
No such thing as raw inborn talent. Entrepreneurs learn and grow. They are built.
My entrepreneurship qualities:
Drive to success
Fear of failure
Challenges are speed bumps. I had to practice overcoming speed bumps
Failure is a learning experience
My business approach was simple – revenue must exceed expenses
I’m 68 years old and work 100 hours a week. But it’s not work because its fun.
Contacts are everything. That’s why community involvement is important. Every person I meet is smarter than me in something.
When you work 20 hours a day it’s amazing what good luck comes your way.
You can buy a business even if you don’t have any money.
You need a business plan and a plan B and Plan C
You need a stable of mentors
You can’t be a winner without a team
Sometimes you have to have Onions
About Fox 40
The Fox 40 whistle is sold in 140 countries
The Fox 40 whistle was conceived out of frustration with the existing product
In Canada they don’t like change. We were selling in 35 countries before we sold any in Canada. The first Canadian customer commented that “I read about you in Sports Illustrated. If the Americans like you, it must be good.”
The whistle is sold in sports, marine and personal safety markets
More information about our guest
Click below to listen to or download this audio file
Stephanie McLarty is CEO and Founder of REfficient
Insights from this interview with Stephanie McLarty
There was a problem that launched this new business
Reduce, Reduce, Recycle
An online marketplace for companies to buy telecom and AV equipment
They can shop for deals in the excess inventory of other corporations
Benefits to participants
Buyers can buy equipment at reduced costs
Sellers free up storage space and gain income
Useful resources are kept out of landfill
Sellers receive certified statements about their environmental performance
Most equipment comes with warranty
About Stephanie McLarty
Graduated from an Arts & Science program – that taught her to connect the dots
Masters in Peace and Conflict with intention to work for UN but that training helps manage people in business
Got first job because a friend on the inside recommended her
Asked lots of questions to learn the job
Enjoy speaking with customers
Working and travelling in Thailand and India challenged her to think differently
Continues to take courses on personal and professional development
Other Insights from this interview with Stephanie McLarty
Shipping was a problem so we introduced Shimple – Simple Shipping – we learned how to ship and calculate all costs – and we make money with this service
Learned how to run a business and to market and that is more important than the technical part
Trend in business of being a good company – sustainability is important
Key for startup business is deciding where to focus your limited resources
I was afraid
Excited and nervous in early state – suffered at least five nights of no sleep
In early days – fake it till you make it
Don’t try to get it perfect before you launch
Media attention was a nice to – not a must do
Tips for others
Grow yourself – that will help you grow your business
Try – in spite of your fears
Put support structures around you
Sleep, eat well, and connect with friends and family
Learn more about the company – REfficient
Read about REfficient in Business Week
Watch video interview with Stephanie McLarty on NewsClip TV
Click below to listen to or to download this interview with Stephanie McLarty on Business In Motion.
James Burchill is CEO, Business Fusion Marketing and Founder of the Social Fusion Network.
About James Burchill
“C” Level Management Expertise
Prior to starting his own company, James was Vice President of IT & Consulting for an international management and recruiting firm in southern Ontario. There he lead numerous multi-million dollar development projects and managed a team of more than a dozen skilled web programmers and designers.
Born in England and now a Canadian citizen too, James has lived in Europe, Africa and Australia and along with credentials in public speaking, psychology, communications, automation and technology, James is a certified Neuro Linguistics Practitioner. He learned the craft of penmanship at England’s prestigious London School of Writing. James is a former member of Mensa (the high IQ society) and has the little badge somewhere to prove it…
Insights from the interview with James Burchill
It’s the People
Technology changes quickly and often and people mistakenly obsess on the technology
Instead they should start with the core of communication and that is people
It’s not about the technology, its how you can use it to connect at a richer level
We are a social species, we want to connect
Psychology is more important than technology
As a species we do not share information unless it has survival value. We remember information and stories that helps us survive.
Small business often sucks at marketing
Small business is seduced by the glitter of big corporate brands
They need to connect with their marketplace
A market is a conversation and it moves
Small Business and Social Media
Be authentic, reveal a flaw
Imperfection is attractive
Important to market on multiple channels
Combine old school face-to-face marketing with Social Media for best results
Social Fusion Network
I held an event that hosted over 500 people using Social Media to attract them
There are many networking groups – why dare to start another one?
We work on the Freemium model – making money from advertising
This started as an experiment and now has seven chapters
I wrote a business plan after we generated serious buzz, but the plan predicted failure
Look at business that is different from yours and steal ideas for your business.
Click below to listen or to download this file.
About Alan Bottomley
Alan graduated with an Engineering degree in Geo-physics then obtained his CA which led to a 31 year career as a partner with Price Waterhouse Coopers. With a solid education in working with “things and numbers” Alan reached an epiphany when he started to manage and lead people. He discovered his passion for working with people.
That same analytical mind that enabled him to understand the intricacies of engineering and accounting helped him address the challenges of understanding, managing and leading people.
Insights from this interview
Ownership Thinking is a methodology of encouraging employees to think and act like owners.
Compare the list of things that owners think about to what employees think about. They are different but not in conflict.
Implementing OwnerShip Thinking in a company results in both dramatic culture change and improved profitability within two to four hours.
The first major obstacle is for the business owner to give up control and reveal important information to the employees.
The second major obstacle is for the employees to realize that they aren’t being punished. They are simply invited to identify problems and opportunities.
Most problems are caused by management.
3 criteria for a company owner to participate in OwnerShip Thinking
- The owner must be a caring person
- The owner must be able to recognize the potential within others.
- There must be discipline within the company to implement.
Advice for startup entrepreneurs
- Be caring because this sets the culture
- MUST have fun (This one is critical for the next point)
- Establish highly visible expectations of performance
Click below to listen to, or download the audio file.
David is an entrepreneur who has started at least six businesses. Many of them were successful – yet he learned most from the ones that failed.
He opened a restaraunt because he loves to cook – but that wasn’t enough to succeed in that business. There’s a world of difference between cooking for a bunch of friends and cateering a wedding.
Insights from David Wojcik
Started his first business at age 15 because he was too young to get a job
Do something that no one in your neighbourhood is willing to do
You might need to wash your hands of bad staff and bad clients
Successful people don’t know how to give up
The business is the baby for the entrepreneur
Research your competition
David Wojcik is host of Biz TV Canada
David Wojcik is host of In Business on Rogers TV
Listen to or download this interview below.
Interview with Wayne Einhorn, Managing Partner with EDI Implementation Professionals Inc. on Business in Motion with your host George Torok
About Wayne Einhorn
- Started his first business at age 16 and attending high school
- Started a successful career in real estate sales at 19
- Completed his MBA at Ivey School of Business
- Loves the outdoors
- Is a pilot
- Invested $29,000 on a computer with 5 MB for his first business
- Helps business drive implementation to improve cash flow and profits
- Serve as tour guides to business who have great ideas but stumble while getting things done
- Offers a combination of management consulting and implementation coaching
Insights from this Interview
When you are in the business it can be difficult to be objective.
Guess what is more important than increasing sales.
SWOT analysis is still important to developing your business strategy.
Prospecting is king.
People who are successful like to help other people be successful.
3 Keys to success
- Suit up and show up.
- Enjoy it.
- Work smart.
I failed my way to success. The guy who won just got up one more time.
If it was easy everyone would do it and it won’t pay very much. I’m grateful it’s not easy.
Its simple but not easy.
In order for people to help me, I first had to do the work.
Best quote: Suit up and show up!
Click below to listen to, or download this audio podcast.
Frank O’Dea is a business builder, philanthropist, author and motivational speaker
Who is Frank O’Dea?
Former skid row panhandler
Founder of Second Cup – which became the largest chain of gourmet coffees and teas in Canada.
Co-Founder of ProShred Security – a company that pioneered the entire industry of on-site document destruction
Author of “When All You Have is Hope”
In 1985 he co-founded Street Kids International, an organization developed to help homeless children in third world countries, through education and self-reliance programs. A few years later, he became the founding Chair of War Child (Canada), an organization that provides assistance against suffering and abuse of children in war affected countries. In the same year, Frank co-founded the Canadian Landmine Foundation, an organization that raises funds for the dismantling of minefields around the world
Officer of the Order of Canada
Insights from this radio interview
Second Cup started in 1975 selling dry coffee in bags to take home. That was a disaster.
So it morphed into selling gourmet liquid coffee by the cup.
Secrets about creating a new industry:
Find a place where no one else is. It’s risky. People will call you foolish. You need to be courageous and have a vision.
Currently building houses in Brazil. Lots of opportunity there.
I made lots of mistakes. That’s how I learned.
The longest I stay at something is 10 years. Then I get bored and move on.
The formula for success?
Hope – Vision – Action
Click below to listen to or download the Radio Interview with Frank O’Dea on Business in Motion with host George Torok
Interview with Virtual Assistants
Guests: Jenn Kubillis of JK Business Services & Jacquie Manore of Workload Solution Services
Members of the Golden Horseshoe Virtual Assistants Group www.GHVAG.ca
Insights from this Interview
Outsourced adminstrative assistants – evolved out of the corporate secretarial roles. Now much more than secretaries.
Work with small and medium sized business.
Do what you love and hire the rest out to virtual assistants.
Online convention for Virtural assistants the week of May 16 – 21. Follow the convention at www.OIVAC.com
Even virtual assistants need to get out of bed, take a shower and get out to meet the world.
Becoming a VA is a viable career choice.
Radio interview with host George Torok on Business in Motion
Click below to listen to or download the MP3 audio file of this interview
Who is Bruce McDougall?
He is the founder and president of The McDougall Group, a financial planning company in Burlington, Ontario. A past president of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce he is a long time active Rotarian. He is a marathon runner, tri-athlete, a past competitive racquetball player and an avid golfer.
Insights from this interview
“Building wealth requires discipline and a plan. You don’t need a lot of money to start.”
“Biggest mistake that people make is starting too late.”
“Biggest myth is that you need to take big risks with your money.”
“The hardest thing in sales is the ability to get up off the floor and keep going. When hiring sales people – that’s difficult to test for.”
“As a financial planner you are really a sales person. You are running a business and every business needs sales.”
“When I was interviewing wait staff for my restaurant I would try to intimidate them to test how easily they might be intimidated by customers.”
“How do you choose a financial planner? You have to like the person.”
“Most entrepreneurs have had three or four failures. Don’t dwell on it. Learn from the mistakes and move on.”
“Get inspiration from keeping people around you who are experiencing similar experiences.”
Click below to listen to, or download this audio interview with Bruce McDougall.
Interview with Alan McLaren, Co-CEO of Infinity Communications
Who is Infinity Communications?
Infinity is a full service communications agency specializing in public relations, branding and social media strategies. We help our clients “Get Noticed and Stay Noticed”, through focused communication programs designed to build brand awareness and drive revenue growth.
One of the best ways to reach your target audiences is to use a combination of traditional public relations strategies offline, while leveraging social media and web strategies online.
We are living in a connected world and it is important to bridge the conversation both online and offline.
Insights and excerpts from this interview with Alan McLaren of Infinity Communications
Purpose of marketing is building the brand to be top of mind.
Common mistake on the web is not connecting the dots.
Key question is, does more traffic mean more business? That is the bottom line.
Marketing is not scientific. One plus one does not equal two.
Half the time, we turn prospective clients away because the fit is not right.
Red Flag Deals was one of our proud success stories.
I hate doing the numbers – but you need to do that.
As Co-CEOs we each have our strengths and defined roles.
Interview on Business in Motion with radio show host George Torok
Click below to listen to, or download the interview with Alan McLaren.
SpyderWorks is a strategic design firm. They are “stratical” – a blend of strategic and tactical.
Insights from this interview with Ken Tencer
The 90% rule is based on doing the things that you are 90% capable. That lowers risk and cost.
I came from a family of entrepreneurs and always believed that I would be and entrepreneur.
The book is perfect for anyone who wants a practical way to grow their business.
The risk test is – could it put me out of business?
Don’t try to hit home runs.
Look for what the next 10% can offer you.
It’s not necessary to invent anything.
Click below to listen to this interview with Ken Tencer
Interview with Tom Beakbane, President and founder of Beakbane Retail Connections.
Beakbane Retail Connections is a marketing firm that helps business develop their brands and bring their products to the market.
Tom Beakbane started his company 23 years ago and employs 11 people. He was born in the UK and raised in Worchester – the same as the famous sauce.
Tom is a renaissance man. He lived in Kenya and France. He studied Neurophysiology and Bio-Chemistry and would sneak into art classes. He worked as a Sous Chef in southern France. Now his job in the kitchen is to wash up.
Insights from this interview with Tom Beakbane
“What I love the most is when someone comes in with a raw idea.”
“Distilling complexity into a single message.”
“We like coming up with a good name.”
“The fewer things that you ask people to remember, the more likely they will remember it.”
“Our best client is passionate and open minded with a challenge.”
“Education is a foundation – not training for a job.”
“Words are merely buckets for creativity.”
“I hate cold calling but…”
“When we do a good job for clients they don’t need us anymore.”
Listen to this radio interview below
The Oakes Group provides career advice to executives and professionals. Beth Oakes has worked most if not all her career in the business of human resources and human capital. She previously held the positions of Managing Partner at Millar Dallas – an outplacement firm and Executive Vice President at DHR – an executive search firm.
Insights from this interview with Beth Oakes
In spite of her corporate experience, Beth has always seen herself as an entreprenuer.
Entrepreneurs can make their own decisions and they can fall by them.
This industry of coaching executives and managers is new within the last 5 to to 10 years and it is growing. Corporate executives and managers have much less time to mentor and guide their staff.
Coaching can be like being a parent…
As an entrepreneur you worry about the cash flow and you can be lonely.
Advice to an entrepreneur: Write a good business plan and create an advisory board.
Steel on the outside – cotton on the inside.
Buiiding a good network is much more than making friends.
Click below to listen to this radio interview with Beth Oakes
Interview with Steve Petrovic, Country Manager (Croatia) Pedersen & Partners Executive Search.
Steve Petrovic is an inspiring man in career motion. He graduated with a degree in science and became a government commercial specialist working on security and import/export issues. He went back to school to earn his MBA specializing in IT. That led to a few years in IT consulting.
A frank discussion with his dad and uncle encouraged him to start and run his own business in metal fabricating.
Later an interest in exploring opportunities in his family’s homeland of Croatia led him to accept the role as country manager for an international executive recuiting firm. That led to an opportunity to join a modernized 100 year-old steal mill.
Steve Petrovic’s story is inspiring and full of important insights.
Listen to this radio interview below
Interview with Murray Hogarth, Executive Chairman of Pioneer Petroleums, President and CEO of the Pioneer Group
Murray Hogarth launched the first Pioneer gas station in 1956. Today there are more than 150 Pioneer gas stations across Ontario.
Pioneer donates 1% of profits – not revenue to charity.
Murray Hogarth was instrumental in the formation of CAFE – the Canadian Association of Family Enterprises.
Pioneer is the largest independant gas station chain.
Murray Hogarth was voted the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Burlington Economic Development Corporation for 2010.
Insights from this interview:
“We wanted to beat the major oil companies at their game.”
“In the existing model, the customer was an interruption and the employee approached the customer with a bad attitude.”
“We introduced the first loyalty program – bonus bucks.”
“Where do you get innovative ideas? Listen to what your customer wants.”
“You have to have drive and a vision.”
“Insulate yourself from the risk.”
Click below to listen or download this 30-minute interview.
Interview with Ray Simmons, President of CableTest Systems Inc.
CableTest Systems tests the wiring systems of military jets, high speed trains and the Space Shuttle (the exterior fuel tank has 8,000 connenctions). They provide a complex version of an electritian’s multi meter.
Ray Simmons has been the president and owner of CableTest Systems for the past nine years. Previously he was President of CRS Robotics. After a two year “retirement” he got edgy and longed to get back into business so he bought CableTest Systems.
Insights from this interview with Ray Simmons:
“Going public with CRS … was not me. That’s why I retired.”
“Retirement was quite challenging. I felt like I was disconnected.”
“55% of our business last year was in Europe. Asia is our next frontier. We like India.”
“I think that in a technologly company a president that is totally focussed on technology is dangerous.”
“We’re on Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.”
Click below to listen or download this 30-minute interview.
Interview with Evan Carmichael
, founder of EvanCarmichael.com – the online magazine for entrepreneurs. The site receives nearly 600,000 visitors per month. It has the world’s largest collection of interviews and stories about famous entrepreneurs.
Insights from the interview with Evan Carmichael:
“Donald Trump was our biggest target.”
“Entrepreneurs are arsonists, they like to light fires.”
“If you only had 24 hours to work on your business – don’t spend it all in one day. Instead spend one hour a day for 24 days.”
“If you check email in the morning, it ruins the rest of your day.”
Click below to download or listen to this interview.