Beyond the Square

Business Plans vs. Business Planning

By Doug Radkey

Although the overall economy hasn’t changed too much, the details surrounding your business may have. How is your market & industry really doing?

What are your competitors up to? What technological or regulatory changes have happened or are going to happen within your business’ environment?

Most people operating businesses know how important it is to have a business plan, particularly if they are looking to secure a loan or other form of financing.

However, a business plan is only half of what your business needs in order to become successful. You also need a strategic plan that will allow you to keep building on your success.

This is all a part of business planning process.

William E Rothschild once said, “What do you want to achieve or avoid? The answers to this question are objectives. How will you go about achieving your desired results? The answer to this, you can call strategy.”

Click here to read more from Doug Radkey and learn more about the difference between business plans and business planning!


Interview: Golf North Properties

By Doug Radkey with Mike Garside

Founded in 1994, GolfNorth Properties was created with a vision of providing golfers with the option of affordable golf at a variety of locations. Since its inception, GolfNorth has evolved to become the leading Canadian operator of successful semi-private and public golf courses. GolfNorth’s philosophy is to provide the public with the greatest value in daily golf green fee play, golf memberships, tournaments, banquets, weddings and corporate functions, while at the same time providing a positive experience for its various stakeholders, including associates, employees, partners and charitable organizations.

How many courses does GolfNorth have now and what do you look for in a facility that you take on as an asset?

GolfNorth currently has 22 facilities.  We own 19 of them and lease 3 of them.  When looking for a property we take the following into consideration; business viability, market share potential, synergies with existing GolfNorth facilities, and existing solid operational platforms including course and facility condition.

You recently purchased a ski resort called Cobble Hills. What made you want to get into the ski industry?

Yes. The ski business was essentially something that came with the golf course.  We knew that we could take Cobble Hills golf operations to the next level and thus ventured into the ski side of the business as it has existed for over 50 years. We are excited about it!

Want to learn more about GolfNorth and the Golf Industry? Read More of This Interview in Our Magazine! 


Beyond the Square Magazine

Is Social Media Harmful During a National Crisis?

By Ron Vitale

After a long day in which police went door to door searching homes for Dzhokar Tsarnaev, I listened to officials in the Boston area tell the public that they were opening the subway, roads, and allowing people back out on the street. Minutes later I watched in horror as shots rang out in Watertown and the hunt for Dzhokar Tsarnaev continued. On my TV, I watched as helpless news anchors talked about what they knew, realizing that none of them had the power of Twitter at their disposal.

With my laptop on, I started searching on Twitter and within minutes I saw reports from people in Watertown filling up my tweet stream. Were these reports true or false? It was tough to say, but I think I knew about 15-20 minutes before national news that Dzhokar Tsarnaev was holed up in a boat on Franklin Street.

With the internet, people started using Google maps to post satellite pictures of the house and the boat in the backyard. Gone are the days in which onsite reporting of the type we had last night matters. Anderson Cooper might as well have been in Europe because the news on CNN was out of date to what was happening in real time on the web.

Read the full article by Ron on page 42 of our May/June magazine and let us know your thoughts!

Wilson Sports Photography

Interview: Wilson Sports Photography

Interview by Doug Radkey with Kara Wilson

I have always been an athlete and a sports enthusiast, so living in the tournament capital of Ontario (Brantford) and being a Sports Photographer has blessed me with some amazing opportunities to photograph talented athletes of varying ages and levels from beginners to Olympic athletes.

What inspired you to become a sport’s photographer? 

I grew up an athlete. I represented the Niagara Falls Optimist Track and Field Club and I participated in elementary and school sports.

My parents worked long, weird hours missing my events and games. As an adult I continued to participate in sports. I have competed in 4 marathons, a handful of half marathons, triathlons, adventure racing, and local community team sports like baseball, volleyball, and hockey.

A few years ago I injured my knee. While recovering from this injury I needed to get my mind onto something else. My son, Justin, intercepted a play and ran a 75 yard dash for a touchdown.

While Justin was celebrating in the end zone I was still waiting for my camera to take the shot.  My husband knew I was disappointed…..

Read more of the interview with Kara of Wilson Sports Photography now on page 30! 


Beyond the Square

Recruitment & Selection Systems for SMB’s

By David Prang –

When you need help or specialized work done, often times the easiest and quickest method for hiring new staff is through existing staff, friends, family, or other close contacts.

Alternatively, an online or newspaper ad may generate applicants from those looking for jobs. This may lead to an interview, seeing how the person “feels”, and perhaps checking some references, then your new staff member(s) are hired.

However, this hire may not work out, and it may cost you up to 1.5 times the person’s salary in terms of time, wages, and replacement costs, in addition to frustration, moral issues, and lack of employee engagement and interest in the success of your business.

Recruitment and Selection is an essential component to the success of all organizations. Finding the ideal employees, at the right time, to fit the right jobs, can be a complex process to establish, but once a system is in place, it can save an organization substantial time, effort, and aggravation, and increase productivity and profit.

Read More of David Prang’s Article on Page 18 of Beyond the Square Magazine Now.

Google Plus Hangouts

How Would You Spend Millions of Dollars in the Social Era?

By Robert Lavigne –

I used to work in the Information Services (IS) industry before the shift to the current Information Technology (IT) industry. The meaning of that shift in nomenclature is an article onto itself. Suffice to say, when you focus on technology and not on service, you look at information in a completely different fashion.

I want to share with you a story of the present, the past, and the future. Allow me the luxury of using time travel to illustrate how a change in perspective leads to a sense of awareness.

Let us now go back 15 years…

One day, one of the department heads approached our executive team with the following Technology Infrastructure Request.

We need the tech guys to build us the following systems to support our vision for this start-up that is heavily funded by Venture Capitalist banking on this emerging thing called the Internet.

“We want you to cost out and implement the following infrastructure:

•email system
•calendaring system
•contact management system
•competitive intelligence system (w/ news feed and alerts)
•video hosting and streaming system (with screen sharing and webinar capabilities)
•online office suite (word processing, spreadsheet, presentation tool)
•content management system, and work flow and collaboration system.”

What would this all mean by jumping back into today’s world of doing business?

Of Course There's a Try

Of Course There’s a Try – Sorry Yoda

By Ron Louch

People love to quote the axiom, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Who really lives their life this way? I’m sure if Yoda owned a shoe store he would let you try on the shoes. There is a time and place for try.

Yes, sometimes in life it’s time to act, time to move, but there is no room for hesitation. We are thrust into situations or opportunities that demand immediate decisions and actions. Then there is no try, “do or die” as the expression goes. But usually when we are faced with something new in life we try it first. There is a period when we examine, explore, and consider this new item or action. Take as long as you need, but no longer.

This is a great read! Have a look on page 68 of the March/April 2013 edition to read the full story!

Growing Customers

How to Grow Your Customer Base

By Trevor Cherewka

So it’s been six months since you started your business and you’re growing your customers at a comfortable speed, but you have the gut feeling that comfortable means you could be growing more.

As an entrepreneur you are passionate about your business and you sincerely believe that everyone in the world would benefit from what you do, but the reality is that only a small percentage of people will become your customers. Even a smaller percentage will become your core customers. How do we grow beyond comfortable? Here’s how.

What you need to do is evaluate these three things (honestly and objectively)…

Read more by Trevor on page 64 of the March/April 2013 edition!

SoLoMo Strategies

Social-Local-Mobile Inbound Marketing Strategies

By Robert Lavigne

The acronym SoLoMo stands for Social Local Mobile, and it is becoming an increasingly important aspect of your Inbound Marketing Strategy. Only by fully leveraging all three elements of SoLoMo will your content-based marketing strategy convert your audience (leads) into advocates (sales).

To further illustrate the need for a SoLoMo Inbound Marketing Strategy, let me share with you a story about a city, a company, and a community.

I run a weekly event called the Social Business Hangout. A core element of this event is a podcast series recorded in front of a live audience. Every week, I get to engage with members of my community to discuss what they are passionate about. This local insight is not only shared with those in the audience, but with people around the world through smartphone subscriptions. The Social Business Hangout Podcast Series is available on iTunes, as well as on the web. The Social Business Hangout is the primary element of the Inbound Marketing Strategy for my two companies (The Digital Grapevine / #TDGv Studios) and my personal brand (Social Business Mentor).

Read more by Robert on page 58 of the March/April 2013 edition!

GTA Steam Cleaning

Entrepreneur Spotlight: GTA Steam Cleaning

Interview by Doug Radkey with owner Jason Puckering –

Sustainable business leaders and environmental entrepreneurs, or eco-preneurs, come from a mindset that embraces and adapts to the dynamic changes both in the natural world and the global marketplace.

In this issue, we are going to spotlight GTA Steam Cleaning who has recognized that it is imperative a restaurant stays clean and hygienic, especially if they want to go beyond the standards and expectations of patrons and the health inspector.

GTA Steam Cleaning is committed to providing safe eco-friendly steam cleaning to its clients with versatile cleaning machines that are able to safely clean countless types of materials, surfaces, and equipment.

Read the full interview on page 54 of the March/April 2013 edition now!