Checklist for success

Looking for the secret to business success?

Looking for the secret to business success?

“Sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line and have a life,” sums up Donald Cooper.

“That is the checklist for every owner of small and medium-size businesses.”

Cooper will pitch this formula in Red Deer on Sept. 28, when he speaks to business owners and managers at a full-day workshop being organized by Central Alberta Economic Partnership.

The Toronto resident is no stranger to a podium, having conducted some 2,500 business presentations over the past 18 years. He’s even been inducted into the Canadian Speaking Hall of Fame.

In addition to interactions with business people around the world, Cooper’s insights are based on earlier careers in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

The former was as an owner of Cooper Canada, a sports equipment manufacturer that once employed 3,000.

“We became the best in the world at what we did,” said Cooper. “We were a Canadian brand icon.”

After leaving the family business in 1981, he purchased and grew a chain of women’s exercise and casual wear stores. It was an industry, he admitted, he knew very little about.

“It turned out to be a huge advantage, because I had no unlearning to do.

“I just sat down and thought and felt what it was like to be a woman buying clothing.”

Cooper decided to instead sell from a small warehouse. It was a successful move that earned him a number of marketing and service innovation awards.

The problem facing many business people is “they are good at designing, making, selling or fixing something” but they don’t know how to run a business, he said.

“They don’t understand marketing, they don’t understand value creation, they don’t understand in many cases the simple math of profitability.

“It leads them to make bad decisions.”

Of critical importance, said Cooper, is for business leaders to have a clear vision and for everyone in their organization to share it. He said his grandmother used to talk about the need “to get everybody singing from the same hymm sheet.”

“People write books two inches thick on business leadership; Grandma nailed it in one sentence.”

At the end of his presentation, each participant will have a hymm sheet and know how to get everyone to sing from it, said Cooper.

“We’re going to cover A to Z of how to rethink the business.”

Cooper’s workshop is scheduled to run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the 67th Street Holiday Inn. Cost is $50, which includes lunch.

To register, or for more information, go online to and click on Training and Events, or call Denise at 403-872-0901.

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