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CAPITAL IDEAS UPCOMING JUNE 9-11: THE “DOGHOUSE” ENTREPRENEUR PITCH COMPETITION A “Dragons Den” style pitch competition at The Global Petroleum Show that gives entrepreneurs the best exposure to the energy industry ■ Where: Stampede Park (650 25th Ave. S.E.) ■ When: 12pm-1pm each day ■ Admission: Free. Tickets at gomentr.com

FINANCIAL POST

CA LG A RY H E R A L D

COMMUNITY QUESTION

HOW DO YOU KEEP CURRENT WITH TRENDS IN YOUR INDUSTRY? Entrepreneurs share how they stay in the know “The best way to stay current is to crave change ... Historically, the accounting profession isn’t one that rapidly adopts new trends and technologies, so one of our major visions is to be an outlier that does that. We use a cloud-based accounting program, online chat apps for our internal team, and virtual bulletin boards to brainstorm new ideas. Being open to, or accepting of, change isn’t enough; we actively go out and seek it.” Randall McRae, partner at McRally Accountants & Advisors, mcrally.ca

JUNE 16: GOOGLE PARTNERS D I G I TA L LU N C H An exclusive Google event co-hosted by Adster to help entrepreneurs learn how to grow their businesses ■ Where: Charbar (618 Confluence Way S.E.) ■ When: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ■ Admission: Free. Tickets at adster.ca

“In my case, it’s not so much looking for information related to my industry as looking for the issues that are impacting my clients’ industries ... So I read the business sections of local and national newspapers and note anything significant on a macro scale. I also subscribe to daily updates using keywords related to the industries I serve using Google Alerts … and take some time at the end of each day to reflect on what’s going on and how that will impact my business.” Jeff Griffiths, principal at Griffiths Sheppard Consulting Group, griffiths-sheppard.com

“As an online marketing company, trends change overnight, so we believe a team effort is always the best effort. For that reason, we encourage every member of our team, from strategy down to content development, to participate in planning and brainstorming activities. It’s a win-win situation. Everyone on our team is part of the process and is invested in it, and we are able to deliver the most cutting edge and creative ideas, plans and marketing activities as a result.”

For more great events, visit capitalideascalgary.com/ calgaryevents.

C A P I TA L QUESTION

Kamea Zelisko, owner of MKT Communications, mktcommunications.ca

“I keep current through my personal learning network, whether the members are online or in person. I follow industry trends on social media, attend industry events, subscribe to and read industry news on various media, and converse with suppliers.”

What tools have you used to increase productivity?

Laura Bechard, business coach with Bexcom Business & Executive Coaching

Annie Cole, owner of Muttley Crue Organics (muttleycrue.ca) advises entrepreneurs to cover all their bases. “Keep on top of researching other businesses, even ones that are far away from you, but remember that just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean it’ll work for your business. It’s important to know your clients, know your competitors and know what you’d be comfortable implementing.” PHOTO SUPPLIED BY: ANNIE COLE

Using the right tools and resources can go a long way towards getting your company ahead, which is why Wellington Holbrook, executive vice-president of ATB Business, is curious to hear from you: What tools have you used to increase productivity? You can answer the question in two ways: Open today’s Capital Ideas email if you’re a member or visit capitalideascalgary.com. We’ll publish the best answers, along with your business name and website address, on June 4. For more great information on what business owners in Alberta think, visit atb.com/businessbeat.

“I love to read LinkedIn articles on business, management and performance. I subscribe to and read blogs, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages from professional associations, reputable coaches, trainers and thought leaders. I also talk to my colleagues and go to conferences and training courses.” Sarah Laughton, principal at Stretch Solutions Inc., stretchyourproductivity.com

“I’m a member of various groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that have great discussion topics on trends in my industry. I’m also signed up with some great newsletters from trusted sources, and I read the blogs of the software providers I work with to stay abreast of what’s coming up. Attending networking events such as Social Media Breakfast also helps me to stay on top of trends and shifts in the industry.” Jackie Appleby, owner of Diligent Assistant, jackieappleby.ca

“While it’s important for me to stay true to the vision of my company, it is also imperative to continuously evolve within the industry through knowledge, joining networks and familiarizing myself with new technologies that could potentially improve day-to-day operations. In this effort, I am able to redefine my position, responsibilities, beliefs and criticisms to see a long-term success for my business. Adjusting the sails depicts whether we continue to move forward or sink.” Romaicia Naser, founder of Kukoon Media Inc., kukoonmedia.com

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“Social media is great to keep up-to-date with trends in marketing. I follow the right people and news feeds that provide me with information in my industry. I also read articles on coaching, and use executive summaries to catch up on books that are on-topic.”

Ave Peetri, owner and coach at Ave Peetri Inc., confidentmarketing.com

“Staying current with industry trends is critical for business success. I read industry publications daily and talk to other industry professionals all the time. I believe the real information on what is happening in the industry is found by talking to the people — the people are the ones doing it.” Carmen Goss, HR consultant and career coach at Carmen Goss

“In my industry, change happens almost daily, so it’s important to stay on top of these trends to offer the best service for our clients. We do this by subscribing to several blogs, reading at least one article per day, and analyzing our own clients’ social media analytics to spot trends on what’s working and what’s not.”

Shawn Alain, president of Viral In Nature, viralinnature.com

“Trends in public relations are evolving each day. From the evolution of the media landscape to the introduction of new social media tools, it’s important for a public relations expert to stay on top of what’s changing and what should remain the same. Staying current means reading blogs and e-newsletters from industry leaders, and engaging in social media and professional development events and webinars. Trends will come and go, but if we continue to remember who our clients’ audiences are and where to find them, our clients’ stories will continue to be heard.” Lisa Rushka, principal of Momentum Communications, momentumcommunications.ca

“We follow legislative updates and recent trends through industry publications and blogs. Insurers and wholesalers are also excellent resources for upcoming product changes and updates. Maintaining strong relationships with industry colleagues through local associations is also informative, in addition to taking advantage of continuing education opportunities offered through these networks. Lastly, we keep up-to-date with insurer data, as each year thousands of dollars go into mining this data to uncover emerging trends.” Jennifer Kirby, principal at Vital Partners Inc., vitalpartnersinc.com

“Staying current in our industry involves reading various publications, participating in a variety of industry groups, and using online resources to continually hone our skills and knowledge. Technology changes so quickly, and with that, so do our client needs. Understanding the latest trends, as well as customer needs, is paramount to staying relevant and in-demand in the industry.” Sheila Nykwist, president of New Branch Media Inc., newbranchmedia.ca

These answers were in response to a question posed by Wilma Slenders, president of Transcend Management Advisors Inc. (transcendmgt.com), as part of our Community Question series. Here’s her take: “Clients expect us to be aware of trends in our industry and to leverage trends and advancements to serve them. However, it needs to move beyond this to discerning, foreseeing and predicting how these trends will affect us and our clients in the future. Keeping upto-date with what is emerging by following thought leaders, reviewing research and attending learning events provides a good foundation for envisioning and shaping business direction and services to be offered.”

How do you keep current with trends in your industry?  

Capital Ideas Calgary members share the ways they stay on top of what's happening in their industries. Originally published Thursday May 28,...

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