Going paperless will save your business time and money

Four areas you need to tackle to get your business running smoothly in the digital world, and on the path to better profit and efficiency

Going paperless will save your business time and moneyIf you’re not using technology to look after your business’s money, you’re wasting time, spending too much on bookkeeping and probably missing some customers. Imagine if your bookkeeping was already organized. Then it wouldn’t be a big job when it comes time to file taxes or produce reports. There are four areas you need to tackle to successfully go paperless: Cloud-based storage…

How to create content that drives sales and success

Follow these steps to be sure you're creating content that resonates with your audience, and reflects your brand values and personality

How to create content that drives sales and successYour brand content is the emotional connection that converts a consumer into a customer. With more than 80 per cent of consumers researching – and shopping – online (Retailing Today, 2014), thinking strategically about how your content positions and reflects your brand personality is key. What is content? Content is the the new advertising. In the heady…

Guaranteed ways to build a better business culture

Once negative culture takes root, it's like an invasive weed in your garden; it takes a complete overhaul to return it to health

Guaranteed ways to build a better business cultureThe best way to create a winning culture in your business is at the beginning. It’s easy to overlook or ignore culture when you’re in the startup phase, because there’s just so much other stuff to worry about. Creating culture is not easy by any stretch. It’s complex, often misunderstood and easy to get wrong. Culture…

Six proven strategies to boost productivity and profits

Increased productivity leads to a stronger competitive position, higher profits and better quality

Six proven strategies to boost productivity and profitsPaying attention to productivity leads to better profits in one-third of the Canadian small and medium-sized companies that measure their overall productivity index. Seems like a slam-dunk, doesn’t it? But a 2016 survey of more than 1,500 Canadian entrepreneurs by the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) showed that less than half of Canada’s small and…

Is now the right time to exit your business?

There are unmistakable signs that it is the right time to move on, with more than a few steps to get the transition right

Is now the right time to exit your business?It’s one of the most important decisions you will make. And one of the most difficult. Is it time for you to exit stage left and say goodbye to your business? There are a few unmistakable signs that it is indeed the right time – for you and the business – to move on. You A…

How to master business cash flow

These simple steps will help you avoid poor cash flow management - the downfall of many profitable businesses

How to master business cash flowYour hard work, great ideas, solid customer base, and popular products or services are nothing if you can’t effectively manage your cash flow. It’s one of the biggest challenges for any entrepreneur. “Even a profitable, fast-growing company can face a serious cash flow crunch while waiting for money to come in,” writes the Business Development…

Four questions to ask before you hire a web team

Make sure your vision for a website meshes with your designer's. Otherwise, it could be expensive, frustrating, and devastating to your small business

Four questions to ask before you hire a web team  Every business today needs a website but finding the right team to help build it isn't easy. There is no HomeStars for companies that design and build websites in Canada. We have many clients who've had terrible experiences with website building. Either the strategy for the site doesn’t align with the results, the content doesn’t…

Four things to understand about the power of marketing

Are you giving marketing the respect it deserves?

Four things to understand about the power of marketingOne of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is to underestimate the power and importance of marketing. Right from the earliest days of a startup, marketing deserves a seat with the big boys: finance, human resources, operations, product development and sales. It shouldn't be an afterthought. And it’s not fluff. “Marketing is a core part of…

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.…