The 10 qualities of a winning business plan

You may be qualified to run your business, but that doesn’t mean you’re qualified and ready to write your own business plan

The 10 qualities of a winning business planYou may be qualified and ready to run your business. But that doesn’t mean you’re qualified and ready to write your own business plan. Whether you’re testing the waters on your business idea, looking for funding, or attracting equity investors, the quality of your business plan – and the soundness of your financials – is…

The right legal business structure can save you money and time

Two simple questions can help you establish the framework of your business and save you headaches down the road

The right legal business structure can save you money and timeWhen you’re ready to get going on a new business idea, you need to answer two questions to determine if your business should be a sole proprietorship or a corporation. “Eight out of 10 people who come through my door tell me they don’t know much about business, the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) or taxes,” says Bill Crysler, an Ontario-based…

Trade show tricks, tips … and traps

You need a clear marketing strategy, prepared staff, the correct giveaways, quick follow-up on leads and plenty of energy

Trade show tricks, tips … and trapsIf you aren’t including trade shows in your marketing mix, you may be missing out. Exhibiting at a trade show immediately levels the playing field between you and the other guys, no matter how much bigger, richer or more established they are. Every business pays the same square-footage rate to get in front of people…

Developing rock-solid client service in your business

If your business isn't delivering top-notch customer or client service today, you’re likely not long for this world

Developing rock-solid client service in your businessEnsuring you deliver rock-solid client service is key to your future. If your business isn't delivering top-notch customer or client service today, you’re likely not long for this world. In virtually all sectors, competition is fierce and customers can search and switch to the other guy at the drop of a hat. Here are some…

The 5 key attitudes of a successful entrepreneur

Do you eat failure for breakfast?

The 5 key attitudes of a successful entrepreneurTurns out your attitude is the most important factor in your success or failure as an entrepreneur. Not personality. And not character. Oh sure, whether you are outgoing or risk averse, full-to-the-brim with new ideas or resilient – can all make a difference. Vince Fowler is a Calgary-based leadership coach, speaker and owner of Vested…

8 signs you need to take a break from your business

Operating a business while your brain and body are worn down and in a suppressed state will affect your ability to make sound decisions

8 signs you need to take a break from your businessBig ideas and small pockets, long to-do lists and short of help. It’s a recipe that can take 12 to 18 hours a day on full-throttle as you juggle the demands of human resources, accounting and budgeting, sales, customer service, webmaster and marketing. If you’re one of those small business entrepreneurs who feels the pressure…

To grow or not to grow your business: either way takes work

Tips to implementing a growth structure that is consistent with your personality and values of the company you have built

To grow or not to grow your business: either way takes workEvery new business grows from the seeds of an idea. Some wither at the seedling stage, others remain as saplings, while others strive for the sky. But all growth requires the same up-front fertilization. “For any business, you have to begin with the end in mind,” says Gary Prenevost, who calls himself Canada’s leading franchise matchmaker.…

How to reduce the odds of ending up with bad clients

Clear away the clutter and negative energy that lies in the path of your success

How to reduce the odds of ending up with bad clientsHave you ever had that feeling, when talking with a potential client, that they're going to be trouble? And then you do business anyway? There are many stages for the business owner between the crazy, adrenaline- and hope-fuelled startup and business maturity. But none is as powerful as the shift between accepting any and all business and…

Managing meetings so they aren’t a waste of time

Here are our tips for producing meetings that matter

Managing meetings so they aren’t a waste of timeMeetings are a waste of time, according to a certain sentiment found particularly in the tech startup sector. Respectfully, we call  that sentiment BS. Human beings function as a species because of our advanced capacity to interact – like during a meeting. Of course, for the busy small business person, it’s hard enough to squeeze in the time to…

Make sure your business has the systems in place to handle growth

Putting in the effort to document, implement and analyze processes results in fewer headaches, less stress and better results

Make sure your business has the systems in place to handle growthYou started your business with an incredible idea, some initiative, creativity and likely cash. Probably the first thing you did was put together a plan. That’s great. But did your plan envision growth, and the need for systems: the procedures, principles and processes that both describe and dictate how your business actually gets things done?…