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I am an experienced direct marketer who is now perusing a graduate degree in Entertainment Business with a concentration in Sports Management and a master's degree in Internet Marketing.  One day soon I will be a Director of Social Media Marketing for a major sports organization.   I am avid runner who in the next 6 months will run at 2 full marathons and 3 half marathons and that doesn't include the training runs. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Reward your employees. Go Green.

If there are two things that I have learned from my research on Joe Reynolds and Steve Ells is that your employees and the earth are the two most important things in a business and a business plan.  Regardless of if you are starting to put together a business plan or working for a company who is asking for your input into a business strategy you need to look at what can make you different and why your employees will want to continue to invest in your positive future. 

            Joe Reynolds, the founder of Red Frog Events, believes so strongly in the assets that are his employees, he provides them with a fun environment to work in.  That environment includes a rock climbing wall, a zip line and a tree house.  When he started he want a fun place to go to work where it didn’t feel like work.  With 2000 applicants a month, I believe he has created what he set out to do.  He also provides his employees with an unheard of unlimited vacation days and a mandatory sabbatical after 5 years. That’s putting a lot of trust in your employees to not take advantage of the perks, something that Joe Reynolds hasn’t experienced an issue with yet.

The one thing that Joe Reynolds provides each of his employees that I will incorporate into by business plan is an event budget.  My business plan is for an endurance sports event and while I want my event to be the best that is out there, I’ll never know it is the best if the people who for my event can’t see what else is out there.  Giving people the opportunity to train for a marathon, half marathon or triathlon and then providing them with the funds to enter the event ensures that employees can see the competition or unique events around the country and the world.  Giving them the opportunity to experience what being a participant is like and what other do right or not so well, will only improve my event.   

Steve Ells, the founder of Chipotle, believes in something called “Food with Integrity” which is about sustainable food, and responsible treatment of the land and animals.  Through everything that Chipotle does, it keeps the “Food with Integrity” in the forefront.  To the farmers they use, the materials in the building supplies in the restaurants to the advertising and creation of short films reminding people to think about the food that they eat.  Being an environment conscience company is at its core. 

Runners want to ensure that their carbon footprint is a positive one and the way that many races are moving.  I don’t feel we are doing it fast enough but my business plan that I have created addresses this from the start of the planning.  It takes everyone to make a conscience effort to improve the environment.  Even if my business plan never takes off, this will be the corner stone of any strategic initiative that I have involvement in during my future career in sports and endurance sports.  

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Run Away With Your Business Plan

There are two things that runners love to do, have fun and run to eat.  When I think of two men who are instrumental in making an impact on these to fundamentals of running I think of Joe Reynolds, the founder of Red Frog Events and Steve Ells, the founder of Chipotle.  Both of these individuals have built incredible organizations from scratch and are doing what they love.  They are both experts in developing business plans and seeing them come to fruition.  They advise people everywhere on how to build a business, what’s important, from the name of the company to ensuring that your employees, the meat of your organization are happy and productive. 

When it comes to making sure your business plan finds a niche Steve Ells understands the concept well.  Mexican food isn’t new.  Fast food isn’t new. Sustainable food in a fast food environment on a mass scale is new.  Steve Ells perfected it with the Chipotle brand.  Now he is bring the same philosophy to Pan-Asian with his new ShopHouse restaurants. Steve Ells understands you have to, be different, think different and stir the pot a bit with your margins, ideas, and branding.

You may not have heard of Joe Reynolds or Red Frog Events, but I am sure you have heard of the Warrior Dash or the Great Urban Race.   Joe took $5,000 in 2007 and founded Red Frog Events, LLC.  The company was projected to make $50 million in revenue in 2011.

Joe Reynolds proves it’s important to take a normal function, like running, and turn it into something fun.  With a business venture you have to be different, be creative and stand out from the rest.  Make your marketing idea transcend geographical boundaries and differences.  Creating the Great Urban race for cities and the BeachDash for the cities by the bays.

Joe provides advice on how to make a great company including ensuring from the start you have a creative environment for your employees and a company mission that stands behind this.  Joe provides unlimited vacation to his 81 employees and offers a four-week sabbatical after 5 years of service. 

If you’re looking at being entrepreneurs take the advice of Steve Ells and Joe Reynolds:
1.     Be creative – Pick a great name, have unique titles, have a great different logo
2.     Be different – Take something simple and make it better, unique
3.     Grow quickly but not too quickly
4.     Do well for your employees and the earth.

If you are just starting out in business these two individuals are great resources to gain an understanding of what makes a great business plan and entrepreneurs.  So don’t just stand in place, come up with a grand concept and get running. http://warriordash.com/