64 Quick Points to Consider

Home Forums 4. Implement Section Discussion (Oct 17 to Oct 30) 64 Quick Points to Consider

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    Mark Nasmith

    Ha! Have your attention now?

    Assignment: Define/outline the following.

    Key activities:
    -constant learning to optimize my services for advances in technology, unique aspects of business genres
    -remaining current on climate change projections, secondary effects, etc.
    -keen awareness of calendar commitments to keep a balance between family time, personal, volunteer, health, business
    -product creation to meet demand. These may take 12+ hours each over a few weeks, so keeping organizaed and productive is key

    Key resources:
    -office space (which, according to EM, should be portable or duplicated elsewhere 😉

    Key partners:
    -customers; the best marketing tool ever!
    -TBD (legal, accounting, marketing, etc.?)

    Costs for business marketing:
    -limited company clothing to appear dedicated, professional, etc.
    -business cards
    -logo development (not only ‘look’, but ones made for letterheads, email signature blocks, business cards, etc.)
    – internet access
    -attendance to local business, larger, and field-specific assocation meetings
    -free quotes take time, but it is a fantastic way to visit and make a face-to-face connection

    Cost of operations:
    -IT (writ large)
    -my time, if I do not bill correctly
    -insurance/liability coverage
    -business and trade organization memberships
    -meals on the road
    -when and where appropriate, buying something from the vendor I’m speaking with to demonstrate good will and support

    Streams of revenue confirmed:
    -Business Emergency & Continuity Plan
    -Crisis Communication Plan
    -Strategic Emergency Management Plan
    -Personal time for instruction, walk-throughs, etc.

    Streams of revenue potentials:
    -subscription-based emergency management blog (not likely at this stage)
    -other specific products as appear appropriate
    -division of each products’ sales into packages; i.e., bronze, silver, gold
    -franchise and/or exapansion income

    My information is primarily gathered via internet. I have found a mix of:
    -governmental reports, studies, facts I can feel safe referencing
    -news, examples that support my marketing with potential customers
    -private consultants often provide free webinars, reports, trends, etc.
    -resources for veterans
    -customer feedback
    -access to trade group/business association publications

    Anticipated routine day:
    – rather than set timings, I should set sections of the day for tasks/commitments, being flexible yet getting priorities accomplished
    -coffee and personal morning time, lunch, medical/family appointments
    -health/gym time 3/week
    -answering the mail. I find it disrepectful to not get a response from a business with which I’m working
    -marketing time (drop-ins, research, improving LinkedIn, etc.)
    -ideally, have family dinner and forget about it all until tomorrow…

    Free and helpful sources I’ve found:
    -Business Development Canada, BDC. No end of entrepreneurial and small business articles that are concise and clear
    -Hinge Marketing, and others, for those free private consultant websites
    -Ownr, info on the legal side of creating a business
    -CBC, CTV, Global, other reputable news sources. I won’t reference anything in my work that I can’t feel 100% good about
    -Prince’s Trust, Rolland Gossage Foundation, both sources of free support for veteran entrepreneurs
    -smallbiztrends.com for your legal disclaimer needs
    -lawdepot.ca (thanks to one of my Bootcamp peers for that!)
    -CRA…death and taxes, right?
    -Province of Ontario, workplace health and safety, employer responsibilities, etc.
    -Invest Ottawa, if you live in the region. Fantastic free resources
    -trade publications/niche or associated publications. Not only for direct and updated information, but also those sources that are tangential to emergency management but not to small business. Clearly, inflation, COVID, labour-shortage, supply-chain difficulties, etc., will impact my ability to sell
    -wildidea.co – similar to BDC, but private, focused on Canadian small business
    -and I find more every time I search for information on anything…

    Hope this posts!

    Judy Evans


    Your entry posted perfectly, this time. Now to sort out what was happening when you tried before. I will check with the tech team to see if there are some limits (word count, character count) for these forum blocks.

    You have defined your business perfectly and your sources of information are excellent. I love the BDC tip sheets, they are packed with excellent information for start-up, existing and growing businesses.

    When it comes to time management, with many of us working from a home location, it can be hard to go to work and just as hard to go home from work. Here are some tips to consider:

    1. break the day into 3 components – morning, afternoon and evening. Work 2 of those blocks only. Or work 3 blocks on a few days, and take one full day off.
    2. ensure that there is lots of sunlight in your workspace as a lack of sunlight stops of us from going to work.
    3. consider ergonomics in your work areas.

    How will you group your products/services on your website and in your marketing process?


    Erin Melnychuk

    Hi Mark,

    Love seeing your model come together – great work!

    I’m curious, for the various offerings you have, how do you charge? Is it based on the time it takes to create those work products or do you sell them at a fixed rate?


    Mark Nasmith


    Part 1

    I know my answers are long, but I really appreciate that your questions to make me think, and rethink, assumptions and plans that will impact my business.


    Regarding my products/services, I have three general target markets. First, traditional small business of many kinds. Second, organizations (e.g., St Johns Ambulance, Scouting, summer-camps). Third, associations (e.g., rural/remote housing or cottage associations, hunting camps, lodges). Clearly there is much gray between the them.

    My products and services centre on business emergency and continuity planning, crisis communications, and strategic emergency management planning. I also offer hourly rates for remote or in-person work on a more specialized basis.

    Think of the target market along the horizontal axis, and products/services along the vertical, to form a matrix. In that matrix I can check-off certain products that are more likely to be attractive to certain markets, and approach/emphasize my marketing accordingly. Of course, everything depends on the customer and their requirements; their business/geographic situation, concerns, hazards, budget, employees, etc. I can foresee scenarios that find all products applicable to all markets. Ultimately, it is up to me to offer the best fit for the customer’s requirements.

    Mark Nasmith

    Part 2


    My anticipated ‘billing’ method. I decided to go with flat fees (in a tiered, package model for each product). All products will require different amounts of time and effort. If I stick to hourly, this will be difficult to judge in advance for a quote/estimate and risks over/under-projecting time, effort, and cost. Over projection of cost may risk losing a sale, and there is no clear benchmark for the customer to reflect on. No customer would know if they are paying too much, too little, compared to peer businesses.

    My flat fee is based on:
    – working backward to see how much I made in the CF, and using that as a benchmark hourly wage (too high to use directly, but it gives me a starting point)
    – I forecast how much time each product will take. So far, with two fully realized prototypes, my estimates were low, and very low
    – knowing an average time for products (updated for/with future products as well, I’m tracking all effort and times), I know the flat fee that will reflect my desired profit for time expended (I was advised to multiply the fee with a 1.2 profit factor)
    – knowing my audience. If a quote for a cottage association comes in at $900 for a product, they won’t buy it because no cottage association has $900 of discretionary funds. In this case I would have to maintain lower expectations or profit margins to make the sales…however…

    Perhaps my largest advantage is that, generally speaking, emergency management best-practices, philosophies, processes, etc., are established. The creativity and value-added comes with applying those to unique small-business’ threats. Effectively, 1/2 of each product is ‘boilerplate’ to educate the customer on why I chose to recommend what I did, and to provide value-added to the document with additional helpful information.

    Reusing that boilerplate portion for each product provides me wiggle-room or options for making my fees acceptable to businesses, organizations and associations with limited resources.


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