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Welcome to the NABI Blog. Our Blog is intended to inform, explain, clarify and raise awareness on current business topics and issues. Do you have a story you would like to share on our blog or be featured in our newsletter? Simply send an email and tell us what you want us to know. We want to hear about your success stories.


Oktoberfest V: The Beers SuperUser
An early step in hosting a networking event called “Oktoberfest” might be to consider which beers you would feature.  Well, with a little help from my friends, a couple of Certified Sommeliers and business acquaintances, we’re close to settling on 6 or 7 for this year’s NABI Oktoberfest V (date is Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013). The beer candidates for this year (so far) include the following: Beer Beer Notes Cheese Pairing (to be determined) A Pumpkin beer, TBD Waiting release from the breweries.   Sam Adams Oktoberfest A blend of 5 malts for a rich hearty flavor.   Krombacher Weizen, Krombacher Wheat beer. Cloudy, naturally.   Black Tusk Ale, Whistler Brewing English-style mild ale. A hint of bitter, chocolate and coffee.  Brewed since 1989; 2 World Awards.   Lions Winter Ale (10th year anniversary), Granville Island Brewing A dark and delicious cold weather classic.  This is a very smooth ale!   Oloroso Cask, Innis & Gunn Oak aged beer matured in rare Oloroso Sherry casks.   1772 India Pale Ale, Gahan House Brewing Copper in color, this medium bodied ale has the IPA (hoppy) characteristics of being high in alcohol with a bitter finish.   Double Espresso Beer, TSA Brewing Double strength coffee bean and toasted oatmeal flavors. Lightly hoppy, smooth, silky and that welcoming coffee bite.     Stay tuned for the cheeses.  By the way, “Why beer and cheese?” you might ask?  Well, the carbon dioxide in the beer does a better job of releasing cheese flavors….compared to that other beverage often consumed with cheese.   Cheers, Dar     Dar Schwanbeck, CMC Managing Director NABI Business Development Network  

The Wealthy Retailer (Workshop 1 Review) SuperUser
Attended the first workshop in the series last night (October 3rd) at NABI's office in St. Albert.  This session was an overview of key topics driving retail success including: Customer Relationship Management, Marketing, Sales, Retail Technology and Cash flow/Profitability.  The session was led by Scott Smith and Dan Holman of Canadian Retail Solutions.  These guys know what they are talking about and had a lot of great tips that could be immediately applied in any retail setting, whether a clothing store or restaurant.  My recommendation?  If you are a small retailer and you don't attend the rest of these workshops (there are 5 to go over the next 5 months) I'm going to call your mother!  A couple of snip-its: 1) Retail success is a function of Customer Service, Price and Product Selection.  To be successful (in the long run) you need to do deliver 2 of these very well.  For the small retailer, the most critical function is around knowing and building relationships with your customers. 2) As a rule of thumb, in any month, 50% of our customers should be return customers. 3) What is the most hated 4 letter word from a customer’s point of view? “Help.”  Can I “help” you?    The next session in the Wealthy Retailer series is November 6th.   Dar Schwanbeck, CMC Managing Director Northern Alberta Business Incubator Society P  780.460.1000  C 780.221.2105 F  780.460.7205 E  dar@nabi.ca    W www.nabi.ca

How to Survive Dragon Fire SuperUser
11 psychological tactics for getting money on Dragon’s Den by Kurian M. Tharakan As the Executive in Residence at the NABI business accelerator, I recently partnered with its Managing Director, Dar Schwanbeck,  to run one of our clients through a crash course for a pitch on the nationally televised show Dragon’s Den (the American equivalent is Shark Tank.) In fact, this was the 2nd NABI client that has made an investment pitch on the den, and I have compiled the following takeaways on the psychology of enticing the dragons to invest. (Not pitching an investor any time soon? Not to worry! These techniques will also help you get what you want from bosses, spouses, customers, and small children.) Beyond profiling a great product or service, your pitch should also contain the following: Shock, Fascination, or Intrigue – The dragons’ minds are wandering during your entrance. Their brains are actively searching for WHY they should care. Give them a simple statement that startles them into rapt attention. Here’s an example if you are pitching a water purifying device. In the introduction, you can either say: “Our device is called the Hydrolyzier and it uses a tri-plane osmotic process that dramatically reduces the content of impurities in drinking water.” - or - “Water is life. Yet 768 million people do not have access to safe, clean drinking water, and 2.5 billion people live without proper sanitation. When water is unsafe and sanitation non-existent, water can kill.”  (Unicef Clean Water Campaign) The 2nd statement allows a fluid transition into a description of your product WITH the dragons’ full attention.

WANT TO BE A WEALTHY RETAILER? SuperUser
Beginning in October, Canadian Retail Solutions and NABI will be presenting the Wealthy Retailer series of workshops. Designed for the independent retailer who recognizes the need for sharply honed skills when competing with large, multinational chains, The Wealthy Retailer will help retail owners and managers evaluate key aspects of their business and improve overall performance in the store and out.  Led by experienced thought leaders of various specialties in retail, the six, monthly sessions will cover a diverse range of subjects that will include everything from merchandising to Key Performance Indicators, with a focus on building and sustaining cash flow and profit. The Wealthy Retailer Workshops will begin October 2nd, 2013 and will continue on the first Wednesday of every month until March 2014. Cost will be $145 for all 6 sessions or $29 per individual session. We look forward to seeing you there.  Space will be limited, so stay tuned for more details. Contact kathy@nabi.ca for more details. Or register online via our Events Calendar.

MY CITY: Of mules, markets and business incubators SuperUser
by DAR SCHWANBECK, NABI executive director If the mule can be a metaphor for the qualities of a small businessperson or farmer — hard-working, even-tempered, intelligent, and requiring less food than a horse of the same size — then maybe a farmers’ market can be a good parallel for a business incubator. Since St. Albert has both, let’s check this out. A farmers’ market is a retail market featuring goods sold directly by farmers to consumers. Due to the growing interest in healthier foods and local products, there were about 6,000 farmers’ markets in the United States in 2012. In St. Albert, the Farmers’ Market is in its 31st year, has over 250 vendors and serves about 15,000 people each summer; economic contribution may be in the range of $5 million to $10 million. Business incubators help with the process of starting and growing companies. They offer shared office services, access to equipment, flexible leases and expandable space, all under one roof. There are about 2,500 business incubators in North America. In St. Albert, the Northern Alberta Business Incubator Society (NABI), now in its 24th year, is home to about 100 small businesses, which, in 2012, generated $70 million in sales and a payroll of about $12 million. So far, we see strong parallels between farmers’ markets and incubators. Each provides business frameworks where small entrepreneurs can succeed. But what else? At markets, farmers can gain new sources of revenue, get higher prices, diversify their skills, access networking and learning opportunities and reduce their costs for land, buildings and lighting. In incubators, entrepreneurs get just the space they need — no more, no less. Most have short-term leases that reduce the risk of starting a business. They get the support services they need, and can access all sorts of learning opportunities. Seems entrepreneurs have a lot in common with farmers! With both, more money is spent locally, and it circulates longer. Both provide .....

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Email:     info@nabi.ca
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