May 15th, 2012, Toronto. That was the idea when Boston, MA-based Life Is Good, one of the fastest-growing fashion and lifestyle brands in the U.S., launched its Good Vibes project inviting its many fans to share their experiences while living active lifestyles. Why? The brand’s mission is to spread the power of optimism and help kids in need through its products and non-profit efforts, so it made sense to ask its highly-engaged devotees to share photos and stories of how Life Is Good has changed their lives, or simply fun stories of good times had while wearing the company’s clothes.
Within this “Hub of Optimism,” visitors worldwide can share inspiration by uploading pictures, videos, quotes and stories, adding to an overall anthology of all things optimistic.
Their stories range from the hilarious to the heartwarming. Take that of the couple (former best friends who eventually became a couple and got married) who embraced Life Is Good’s message years ago and have spent their time together being active and simply enjoying life—all while nurturing a healthy addiction to the brand’s shirts, pyjama pants, bags and car magnets. Then there’s the story of the businessmen travelling in first class on a recent overseas flight. After realizing they were both wearing Life Is Good t-shirts, the pair struck up a conversation and wound up doing business together, not to mention becoming friends.
The, um, good vibes for Good Vibes have been so strong that the page has been virtually inundated with stories every day since the initiative launched.
To breathe life into the project, Life Is Good turned to Filemobile and its Media Factory social media suite to provide a flexible and reliable platform to accept those uplifting user-generated photos and stories.
“This is a great example of how a brand can effectively engage its many fans and create interesting content,” said Filemobile chief financial officer Ron Watson. “Good Vibes’ momentum has been steadily increasing, so we’re excited to see how many more people upload content to the website and share their stories.”
What’s clear is that Life Is Good’s fans not only boast a lust for life, they’re eager to share their passion—all with an emphasis on the simplicity, humour and humility that’s made the brand so popular—with millions of people the world over.
May 1st, 2012 - Toronto It’s no secret that Canada is home to some of the world’s top young entrepreneurial minds. Now it’s time to find them and share their incredible success stories.
The second annual FuEL Awards are now accepting nominations en route to naming this country’s top 20 Future Entrepreneurial Leaders. Launched in 2011, the FuEL Awards were created to promote entrepreneurship in Canada by identifying forward-thinking role models for youth and illustrating the many benefits of venturing out on one's own.
Winners not only have the chance to earn the prestigious title of FuEL Entrepreneur of the Year, but they’ll also receive passes to the exclusive PROFIT magazine 200 CEO Summit and Growth Camp conferences where they’ll have the chance to mix and mingle with some of the country’s most experienced and successful business leaders. The top 20 enjoy a one-day business consultation with professionals from KPMG, not to mention a profile on the FuEL Awards website.
To qualify, applicants must be residents of Canada born in or after 1983 and be the owner or chief executive of a business owned, headquartered, registered and operating in Canada. The company must also be an independent (i.e., not a subsidiary or division of a larger organization).
FuEL Awards candidates will be judged on several criteria including innovation, community building and social responsibility, job creation and employment practices and commercial results and potential. In addition to public voting, an all-star panel of entrepreneur judges will help select the winners including Sprouter.com founder Sarah Prevette, Shopify chief platform office Harvey Finkelstein and Mike Jagger, president of Provident Security Corp.
Of course, we fully understand the rewards and challenges inherent in founding and growing a business in Canada, which is why Filemobile has signed on as an associate sponsor of the FuEL Awards. We’re providing much-needed digital tools and know-how to the FuEL team via our Media Factory social media suite to ensure the awards get as much buzz—and the competition receives as many submissions and votes—as possible.
Tech startups need to be creative to keep the cash flowing through the development phase.
January 23rd, 2012 - Toronto - Republished in part from the Financial Post.
The wise financier who long ago declared that cash flow is key to the successful operation of a small- to medium-sized business, probably had a tech startup in mind. That’s because no matter how small, tech firms tend to burn cash at a rapid rate.
As we discussed in our last entry, it doesn’t necessarily take millions to found a tech company, but it does take significant capital — and a steady stream of cash — to account for costs related to product development, market research, wages, marketing and so on, all of which tend to grow exponentially over time.
It also takes an awareness of which key financial metrics need monitoring. As we quickly learned as young entrepreneurs, anyone who founds a tech firm without a familiarity of the intricacies of working capital is in for a big surprise.
Companies can have assets and be profitable, but can be precariously short on liquidity if their assets can’t be readily converted into cash. Positive working capital ensures there are sufficient funds to satisfy both maturing short-term debt and upcoming operational expenses. Tightly managing that working capital means staying on top of accounts receivable (collecting payment from clients, for example) and negotiating better terms on accounts payable.
Why? Suppliers love to receive their money quickly and monthly costs for must-haves such as office rent and data or web hosting facilities put a constant strain on a company’s cash flow. If a firm is providing financing to its clients and not invoicing until the work is done, they’ll quickly understand that the time between paying out and collecting money can leave them insolvent. This is often referred to as the cash conversion cycle and is a critical metric that we learned to monitor early on.
Keeping the taps flowing through a few creative business manoeuvres, some management-level sacrifices and a sound understanding of market needs also helped Filemobile survive past the critical five-year mark. In our case, we even managed the feat without sacrificing equity to outside investors.
How? We incubated Filemobile’s research and development initiatives through people who had other paying jobs. We also had an existing online fantasy sports business that at the time was profitable and generating significant revenue. We then leveraged software developers from that business to design Filemobile’s proprietary social media software platform, Media Factory, at little or no cost to our new firm. Without that financial foundation — which otherwise would have required us to seek alternative financing such as venture capital or angel investment — there’s almost no way we would have survived.
PROFIT Magazine and Impact Entrepreneurship Group launch the innovative FuEL Awards to promote youth entrepreneurship and secure Canada's economic future
TORONTO, April 21 /CNW/ - Every year, thousands of eager and confident young Canadians, brimming with innovative ideas and a passion for shaping the future, strike out on their own in business.
Canada needs many more of them. In fact, our economic prospects depend on them.
That's the impetus for the FuEL Awards, being launched today by PROFIT Magazine in partnership with Impact Entrepreneurship Group. Celebrating Canada's Future Entrepreneurial Leaders (FuEL), the awards will honour the achievements and aspirations of entrepreneurs under the age of 30, identify role models for progressive business practices and inspire youth to make entrepreneurship their No. 1 career choice.
The FuEL Awards take a unique and innovative approach by engaging Canadians of all ages and walks of life in determining the winners. The program integrates today's most popular social media tools to attract nominations, applications and votes for the candidates.Votes from the general public will constitute 20% of each candidate's total score, with the remainder determined by a panel of judges from the entrepreneurial community.
All Canadians are encouraged to get involved in this exciting initiative by visiting http://www.fuelawards.ca to:
- Nominate a young entrepreneur
- Apply for the awards
- Vote for their favourite candidates
The application deadline is June 30, 2011. Voting closes July 31, 2011.
"Canada's future competitiveness rests in its ability to nurture entrepreneurs who can produce world-beating innovations, create high-quality jobs and build sustainable businesses," said Ian Portsmouth, editor-in-chief of PROFIT Magazine. "The FuEL Awards will play a leading role in this effort, inspiring youth to choose the entrepreneurial path and giving today's young entrepreneurs the credit they deserve for their achievements."
Winners of the 2011 FuEL Awards will receive:
- Profile on the FuEL Awards website and in an extensive editorial package in PROFIT Magazine
- A one-day business consultation with KPMG Enterprise professionals
- A chance to be named FuEL Entrepreneur of the Year and attend the exclusive QuantumShift™ program at the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, courtesy of KPMG Enterprise - Also, the applicant who attracts the most votes from the public will receive the People's Choice Award
"Impact is proud to be a founding partner of the FuEL Awards," said Vino Jeyapalan, President of Impact Entrepreneurship Group. "We believe the FuEL Awards will be the biggest endeavour to date that brings together the entrepreneurial community in support of young entrepreneurs."
The inaugural FuEL Awards are produced with the support of Presenting Sponsor Rogers, National Sponsors KPMG Enterprise and TD Bank Financial Group and Associate Sponsor Filemobile.
The winners of the 2011 FuEL Awards will be announced on November 14, 2011, and profiled in the December 2011/January 2012 issue of PROFIT.
An editorial arguing for more support for youth entrepreneurship appears in the May 2011 of PROFIT, and is available at http://ipoint.to/youth
For more information about the FuEL Awards, visit http://www.fuelawards.ca.
Toronto, On | March 31st, 2010. Value is an expression of the worth of something. There are many different ways people assess a value. For example, Neoral is a drug used for patients that have recently received an organ transplant. If you were a patient that just underwent a transplant the value placed on this product would be quite significant. However, if you are fortunate enough to still have all your original parts, it could be argued that the value of this product, to that individual, is somewhat negligible.
Not surprisingly the “value” discussion surrounding social media is currently a very hot topic. Social media marketers and traditional marketers are both obsessed with finding ways to drive interest and traffic using this new medium. However, where many marketers are falling short is in articulating how these efforts are creating value to the organization. As a result, many initial attempts in social media are being met with a feeling of being prescribed Neoral in the absence of a new organ!
Although social media may be a new marketing channel, it does not follow that traditional business methods of analyzing and measuring value creation have changed. To the contrary, in order to be successful and win repeat business it is becoming increasingly critical that empirical measurements of value be demonstrated to your clients.
There is no shortage of discussion around social media and value measurements. Interestingly, they almost always focus on revenues. In actuality, revenues only represent one element of how value is measured; equally important are the costs and the discount rate. Let me explain this further. From a financial standpoint the value of a business comes down to the net present value of future cash flows, discounted at a rate of return which reflects the risk of the business. Cash flows for this purpose basically mean profits.
For this blog post, let’s focus on the expense side (costs). I will follow up with a post on how social media can lower your discount rate to produce more value. The bottom line in social media marketing is if done properly, the cost of investing in this form of marketing is significantly lower than traditional forms of media with greater results.
Let me substantiate this with an example. Recently, we ran a campaign for an international consumer brand. The campaign had a traditional media spend and a social media spend all driving traffic to a website for a contest. The cost of the traditional media spend was ≈ 150 K. The cost of the social media spend was included in the overall contest site which was ≈ 30 K. When the final results were tallied the social media initiative drove 25% of the traffic/registrations, and the traditional media budget 20%. Not only were the costs dramatically lower, the results were also considerably better, thereby enhancing the business value creation for this client.
The internet and social media in particular have the ability to drastically enhance operating margins in an organization. Savvy marketers that are aware of the proper software tools can develop purposeful campaigns at a fraction of the cost. Thus, driving greatly improved operating margins for their business. I think it is important to always remember that at the end of the day the marketer’s job is all about augmenting their companies’ cash flow. It is our job to help them understand by how much!
Toronto, Ontario—September 8, 2009—Filemobile Inc., a leading developer of proven and flexible interactive online software platforms, was named one of Canada’s emerging growth companies by PROFIT Magazine today.
Earning a position on the influential HOT 50 ranking for the second consecutive year, Filemobile was ranked 21st by PROFIT magazine editors with a two-year growth rate of 508 per cent. “We are extremely proud to be placed in such esteemed company alongside some of this country’s most dynamic innovators,” Filemobile CEO Chris Becker said. “Despite the difficult economic climate of the past year, our dedicated team has continued to find exciting ways to breathe new life into our suite of social media products and services—I’m looking forward to another great year of fast growth.”
Published in the October issue of PROFIT magazine and online at PROFITguide.com, the PROFIT HOT 50 ranks young firms by two-year revenue growth. “The PROFIT HOT 50 have achieved phenomenal growth rates despite a battered economy,” PROFIT editor Ian Portsmouth said. “Their success is a testament to their innovative approaches to satisfying the demands of the marketplace and managing their own companies.”
Filemobile Inc. is Canada’s leading producer of interactive social media software. Our user-generated content, social networking, video and online community management products enable major brands, media companies and enterprise to power profitable online experiences. Our proprietary Media Factory platform has been deployed by the likes of MolsonCoors, CTV, SunLife Financial, CBC, Kraft, Pepsi and Microsoft to engage with clientele, build brand awareness and expand their client reach exponentially. Visit Filemobile online.
About PROFIT Magazine:
PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success, is Canada’s preeminent publication dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. Published six times a year by Rogers Publishing Ltd., PROFIT is distributed almost exclusively to the chief executives of companies with 5 – 250 employees and annual revenue of $1 million to $25 million, reaching more than 300,000 readers across Canada. Visit PROFIT Magazine online.Media inquiries: Contact Chris Atchison at 416-616-8968 or email@example.com
Leads the way for new Software as a Service (SaaS) companies in Canada
Toronto, Canada, September 22, 2008 - Filemobile, a leading social media and networking platform provider, has emerged as one of Canada’s fastest growing companies according to the 9th annual PROFIT HOT 50 ranking.
“We are honored and delighted to be named to the PROFIT HOT 50 list as the eighth emerging growth company in Canada,” said Chris Becker CEO, Filemobile. “As a self-funded company, we recognize the need to manage our growth and yet expand our business quickly to enable customers to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities in the social media space.”
Filemobile provides services and tools for media companies, brands, and digital agencies. It enables clients to collect, manage and monetize content, making it simple to leverage social media and engage customers. Filemobile software powers some of the most popular online campaigns in Canada, including CBC's Canada Hockey Anthem Challenge, a cross-country search calling on all Canadians to be part of hockey history by composing the next theme song for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.
The result has been the most successful user generated contest in Canadian history. 14,685 songs were submitted for this recently launched project, powered by Filemobile's Media Factory. There have been over 12 million page views, over 600,000 unique visitors, and 1.2 million site visits. Media Factory powers and tracks several other campaigns across the web for clients including:
“The PROFIT HOT 50 companies illustrate the ingenuity and vitality of Canada’s entrepreneurial sector,” said editor Ian Portsmouth. “Anyone who wants to start or grow a business can draw much inspiration and many lessons from the HOT 50.”
The PROFIT HOT 50 is the definitive ranking of Canada’s Emerging Growth Companies. Published in the October issue of PROFIT magazine and online at www.PROFITmagazine.ca.