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Advice for high-tech CEOs: Have a forecasting culture

By Denzil Doyleforecasting

If I had only one piece of advice to give CEOs in the high-tech industry, it would be to work hard at implementing a forecasting culture in their companies. The most visible sign of such a culture would be a bonus system that rewards employees not only for meeting budgets that have been approved by senior management, but for their ability to forecast how close they come to doing so.

Most CEOs give forecasting a low priority; it’s often seen as another level of reporting that is not worth the effort. In fact, there’s also little agreement on the parameters to be included.

The cornerstone of any forecasting system is the sales forecast. At the beginning of each month, every salesperson and sales agent in the distribution channels should be required to forecast their bookings (orders received) for each of the next four quarters. In the jargon of the trade, this is referred to as a monthly updated four-quarter rolling forecast. Then, at the end of each quarter, every salesperson would have his or her actual booking figures compared with those that were forecast at the three intervals during the quarter.

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Salvaging millions that would otherwise go to waste

By David J FrenchPatent

It’s true: Millions of dollars in investment opportunities go to waste on a daily basis. This is happening as opportunities to file for patent rights around the world expire. Let me give you an example that is not so hypothetical.

An inventor makes a good invention and follows all the proper patenting procedures to create an application under the Patent Cooperation Treaty. An advantage of the PCT is that a unitary single application can be filed that is good for over 145 countries worldwide. Additionally, the PCT allows an applicant to delay for at least 30 months before making filings in individual countries. The PCT route is not a procedure for obtaining a single international patent; no such thing exists. Rather, it is a pipeline for the central processing of a single patent application that can be broken up into multiple national patent applications after a 30-month delay. Those national applications under the PCT are called National Entry filings.

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Selling ideas at the intersection of interest

By Francis Moranintersection

I had an excellent and productive meeting earlier this week with the hard-working folks at Startup Canada who are, among an impressive roster of other activities, preparing for a major lobbying and information session on Parliament Hill in November. I have been a proud advisor to Startup Canada ever since Victoria Lennox contacted me when she was first putting together this grassroots movement to cultivate a more entrepreneurial culture in this country, and have watched, mainly from the sidelines, as the organisation has gone from strength to strength.

Startup Canada, which usually concerns itself with talking to, listening to and championing the critical economic contributions made by startup entrepreneurs, quite rightly understands that policy makers, whether sitting in parliaments or in the senior bureaucracy, need to gain a far greater understanding of, and appreciation for, the role that startups play in advancing Canada’s economic, job-creation, innovation and competitiveness agendas. Accordingly, the group has planned an ambitious day of activities this November when they will bring their message — and a good cross-section of entrepreneurs and community leaders who embody that message — to Parliament Hill. Read More

A great consultancy should be heard, but not seen

By Leo Valiquettespotlight

It can sometimes be a thankless job, this eat-what-you-kill world of marketing and PR guns for hire.

As I wrote about last week, poorly managed expectations can torpedo any client engagement. So too can penny-wise-and-pound-foolish budget decisions that all but guarantee the failure of a marketing program by starving it of the resources it needs.

Word of mouth is crucial to bring new business in the door. We rely on referrals from happy clients, and we prize positive and meaningful testimonials that give us credibility with prospects and illustrate what is required for a marketing or PR effort to be successful.

We judge ourselves by the results we achieve for our clients, and hold ourselves accountable to that.

What we don’t do is attempt to ride our clients’ coattails and crowd into their time in the spotlight

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Happy Labour Day long weekend!

1346267909-Happy Labor Day 2012 in Canada-708380

From all of us at Francis Moran and Associates, we hope you have a relaxing and safe Labour Day long weekend. Regular posting will resume tomorrow.

Image: McEwan Group 

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