14 October 2013

Marketing IDEAS are everything

Ideas are the lifeblood of any brand or business. But have you ever been stuck for one?

If you have, then a book called The Idea Generator (Allen & Unwin publishers) might be for you.

This is a practical and powerful handbook: how to solve problems, create new opportunities and improve team and individual performances. What’s more important in business?

Sixty small self-contained units, which can be selected at random, give you a practical tool kit on how to brainstorm and create new and often radical ideas. It also contains tools to help you sell with more impact and become a breakthrough leader. Each tool is simple to use and includes hints on how and when to use them for the best results.

This is a book that can be read quickly and which will give you immediate results. It is written for today’s busy manager or small business owner. The Idea Generator will benefit anyone in sales, marketing, innovation, advertising, business development or new product development, in fact anyone in business.

The book is now available at most good book stores and outlines 60 practical and effective tools that can help you solve problems in a more powerful way and create new growth opportunities and improve the performance of yourself and your team. There are also chapters on leadership and how to sell your ideas. If you are looking for a quick and useful book to help you think more creatively and enhance your innovation and business results, The Idea Generator is the way to go.

You will find yourself returning to this user friendly guide again and again as you become more confident in your creative abilities and measuring the difference it can make to your career and life.

The six (6) chapters of the book are:

  1. Ten tools to solve problems in a more powerful way;
  2. Ten tools to create new growth opportunities;
  3. Ten tools to immediately improve your performance;
  4. Ten tools to enhance your team’s performance;
  5. Ten tools to help you sell with more impact;
  6. Ten tools to deliver breakthrough leadership results.

Each chapter has been written with the time-poor manager in mind and could assist brokers innovate and increase deal flow to their business.

About The Author

Dr Ken Hudson is one of Australia’s leading experts on breakthrough thinking and innovation. He combines over 16 years senior management experience with organisations such as Dunlop Slazenger (Product Manager) Citibank (Business Manager) and American Express (Marketing Director) with a Ph.D. on the topic “Designing a Continuously Creative Organisation” from The University of Western Sydney.

He founded Idea Space in 2001 and has researched and worked with over 50 organisations including Wrigley, DuPont, Heinz, Unilever, Smiths Snackfoods, Kellogg’s, Dominos Pizza, Adelaide Bank, AMP, Australian Health Insurance, St George Bank and The Disney Channel. He is a lively, engaging keynote speaker, presenter, trainer, mentor and facilitator.

Dr. Hudson is the author of over 40 practical and useful articles on how to make innovation more effective.

He is a management trainer and business consultant who presents at business seminars and conferences and is a part-time lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney. He has presented in many different countries and most recently has been working in China, and recently working for several Australian Banking organisations on retail lending. Ken is based in Sydney.

You can buy the book for $11.66 by clicking here.
The book is also available at most good bookstores (Dymocks, Angus & Robertson)

Innovate - it can be fun and rewarding

When I caught up with a friend over a bite to eat recently in Sydney, she ordered a "lettuce burger". When it appeared at the table it was just like a regular burger, except instead of a bread roll, the meat was wrapped in... lettuce. Riding on the latest low-carb craze this eatery had come up with a clever innovation to capture the palates of carbo-phobics.

Some people might simply consider this a gimmick. Whether you think it's a clever marketing ploy or a smart innovation in "product development" the reality is that the lettuce burger is now one of the most popular items on the menu of that eatery.

As small business entrepreneurs, Loan Brokers are in the ideal position to spearhead innovation. Why? Because your time to market - the time between when you first think up an idea to when it's available on the market - can be much shorter than that of companies in the big end of town. You don't have to convince a sea of stakeholders or hope for approval from the board, as you own the customer.

Taking risks and being flexible

The beauty about running a small loan brokerage business is that there's so much more flexibility when it comes to making changes and taking risks. When it comes to innovation, large companies can often stagnate as people can be too scared to go out on a limb in case of a very public failure. Or people aren't motivated or passionate enough to effect change.

Even though you are in a great position to innovate, the danger for small business entrepreneurs is that you can get too caught up in the day to day operations of your business - troubleshooting, planning for next month and simply doing the accounts - that we don't set aside time for innovation. At the very least, you need time for reflection to consider what you're doing right - and what you're not.

Time for innovation

But beyond this, most small business entrepreneurs can benefit from setting aside specific time to work on innovations - resulting in new and fresh products and services. The only way to move forward is to continuously improve and develop, which is why innovation is so important. If you kid yourself into thinking that your particular business model is going to work for several years - then someone with a simple (albeit messy) lettuce burger is going to come along and take away some of your market share.

So how does this work on a practical level? How do you "set aside time to innovate"? Some companies do literally that. Google - which was a small business once upon a time before they moved on to world domination and a ubiquitous presence on all our computers - have "20 per cent time". This is where Google staff are encouraged to spend 20 per cent of their time on anything outside of their core business. This means they get one a day week to work on new ideas, new strategies and new products - no matter how wacky they may seem at first.

It's a big call to suggest to any small business entrepreneur that they allow their staff to spend 20 per cent of their time on this. But empowering staff to contribute to your process of innovation is smart. Some of the best ideas for growth and product development may come from their creative solutions.

... That's Lending

Best regards,
Paul Wells, Chief Investment Officer
La Trobe Financial Asset Origination & Credit Division

La Trobe Financial is one of Australia's leading independent credit specialist Fund Managers. Its business includes residential mortgages, commercial mortgages, and investment services operating one of Australia's largest Mortgage Funds under AFSL 222213. It employs over 123 staff and has managed over AUD$10Billion covering over 100,000 investment grade assets since inception in 1952.

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