On Monday June 9th, 2014, Futurpreneur Canada partnered with TELUS in a new engaging event in service of young entrepreneurs in British Columbia.

Your Best Sales & Marketing Strategy: Creating an Engaging Customer Experience was the first networking event and interactive expert mentor panel session, connecting three seasoned TELUS professionals with current and prospective young entrepreneurs.

Moderated by Futurpreneur Canada’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence, Chad Fryling, the panelists Parm Sandhu (Director: Strategy, Partnerships, Product Management), Kailey Spooner (Senior Marketing and Communications Manager), and Tim Hassed (Director, Online Customer Experience) shared their experiences and professional stories, and tangible business advice for those just starting their entrepreneurial journeys. Corinne Campney (Director of Community Affairs) also attended and contributed great value in conversations with some of the attendees.

Mental light-bulbs were certainly bright in the audience, and there were some great questions to spur a dialogue between the speakers and guests in the room. The key pieces of advice from the conversation were:

  1. Know your customer, understand their position.

You are not the customer, neither is your business partner, or your direct community. Get out and talk to those you wish to serve.

Common entrepreneurial pitfall: building a business on assumptions.

  1. Always try to create value. Make sure you are solving an existing problem.
    Think holistically using the 5 Ps as a guide – Product, Place, Price, Promotion, Purpose.

Common entrepreneurial pitfall: singular focus on the financial bottom line.

  1. Understand and clearly articulate your value proposition; do the basics really well.

Reliable quality product; price set correctly; distribution channels examined.

Common entrepreneurial pitfall: underdeveloped process strategy.

  1. Leverage digital and social as much as you can to engage and give back.
    Add value by entertaining, engaging, inspiring; social is not the place to just push sales

Common entrepreneurial pitfall: being ‘that guy’ on Twitter.

  1. Build feedback opportunities + continuously check in with your customers.
    For both physical and digital products – use customers to validate your next
    idea, product, solution; they provide insights we can’t assume as owners.

Common entrepreneurial pitfall: maintaining a business on the assumption of ‘status quo.’

A few resources were mentioned throughout the conversation:

  1. Video: Simon Sinek – How Great Leaders Inspire Action (Start With Why): TEDx Talk
  2. Book: The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
  3. Book: Conscious Capitalism – John Mackey
  4. Free online Business Resource Center: Futurpreneur (includes Business Plan Writer)

The general sense at the end of the evening was “this was great – when can we have another one?” We can all benefit from conversations and learning opportunities as entrepreneurs. Stay tuned!

About Futurpreneur Canada + TELUS

A proud partner of Futurpreneur Canada since 2012, TELUS was pleased to include this event in their 2014 TELUS Day of Giving to support Futurpreneurs in BC.

The TELUS Day of Giving is a key element of TELUS’ commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and reflects their simple philosophy to “We Give Where We Live”. This ninth annual Day of Giving saw more than fifteen thousand TELUS team members, including employees, retirees, family and friends participating in hundreds of volunteer activities across Canada, giving more than 45,000 volunteer hours to local communities.

Contacts:

Futurpreneur Canada: Ann Hatch – Director of Development (ahatch@futurpreneur.ca)

Futurpreneur BC: Chad Fryling – Entrepreneur In Residence (cfryling@futurpreneur.ca)

Futurpreneur BC: Paulina Cameron – Business Development Manager, BC & Yukon (pcameron@futurpreneur.ca)

TELUS : Corinne Campney – Director of Community Affairs (corinne.campney@TELUS.com)

Get up to $60,000
in financial support,
and the support of one
of our 3,000 mentors.

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