Why being bitten by a dog was more pleasant than your customer service

How many times do your customers leave your business because you’ve trained your staff to guard your products but not sell them?

Why being bitten by a dog was more pleasant than your customer serviceI had just climbed the steepest part of the hill and was out of breath when out of the corner of my eye I saw the dog sprinting out of the driveway towards me. My heart was already racing and I was doing my best to stay on my bike when I felt its teeth…

Entrepreneurship is at the heart of economic growth

The rate of small-business startups is declining in Canada. Here's what we can do to spur risk takers, who help reshape an economy

Entrepreneurship is at the heart of economic growthBy Jason Clemens and Steven Globerman The Fraser Institute The ability to increase living standards primarily comes down to one thing: being more productive. Individuals and societies can only improve living standards if they become more efficient. Entrepreneurship is essential to this process of transforming inputs such as labour and raw materials into desired outputs.…

Canadians pay the price for unnecessary Crown corporations

With more than $1 trillion locked in underperforming assets, Crown ownership is a hugely important issue for public policy debate

Canadians pay the price for unnecessary Crown corporationsThere has long been a public policy battle over government’s role in running enterprises. Strangely, that battle was not settled in the 1980s and ’90s when many state-owned firms were ‘privatized,’ since Canadian governments still own many Crown corporations. Air Canada, Canadian National Railway, Petro-Canada (now part of Suncor), PotashCorp of Saskatchewan (now part of…

Are you too busy to be really successful?

We’re fooled into thinking that there’s a direct relationship between being busy and success. In truth, we need to find a life balance

Are you too busy to be really successful?A business owner reached out to me to schedule a strategy session. First he emailed me and then he called me. I figured he must be serious. As we were talking on the phone, he told me that he was overwhelmed, he wanted to take his business to the next level but he needed to…

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…

Ottawa’s rules make health care worse

We’ve seen decades of policy paralysis, with provinces constantly under threat of penalty for exploring policy options

Ottawa’s rules make health care worseBy Bacchus Barua and Nadeem Esmail The Fraser Institute What makes health care in our country uniquely Canadian? It’s certainly not the goal to ensure universal access to care regardless of ability to pay. That goal is shared by at least 28 other high-income countries around the world. It’s certainly not that our universal health-care…

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…

Turning business failure into success is a matter of focus

When we get into a downhill spiral of negativity, it’s often hard to change. And negativity can sink a business very quickly

Turning business failure into success is a matter of focusI recently worked with a company to solve a long-standing problem in one of their departments. The stressed owner of the company was frustrated at the lack of positive results. The company had brought in professionals over the years but to no avail. In fact, things were getting worse. Shortly after I came on-board to…

How to stop our top talent from fleeing south to find meaningful careers

With so few small and medium enterprises in Canada, who can blame Canadian tech students from going to the U.S. in search of opportunity?

How to stop our top talent from fleeing south to find meaningful careersConsiderable attention is being paid to the fact that much of Canada’s educated talent is moving to the U.S. to pursue employment, start companies, etc. While government can take steps to suppress brain drain, Canada must develop strategies to prevent other assets from also draining into the U.S. Experts suggest that jobs are best procured…

How to keep meetings positive and focused on the outcome

Strategies you can use to avoid the swamp of unproductive meetings

How to keep meetings positive and focused on the outcomeDo your days feel like one unproductive meeting after another … and another? Have you noticed how often people get bogged down in the same issues you talked about the last time you got together? You ask yourself: “Why are we going over the same ground again and again?” Somewhere between the positive intentions that people start with and a…

Does religion have any place in business?

Most of the world religions are based on love. What would happen if there was more love in our business relationships and functions?

Does religion have any place in business?The pastor was clear: “When you have God within you, the business you’re working with will thrive!” The words caught my wandering mind off guard and I tried to focus on what I’d just heard. I’d never heard anyone say from a pulpit that God could make a difference in business. In today’s world, the…

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…

Ready to sell your business? Make sure it has value

Fifty-five per cent of businesses are going to transition to new owners or close in the next decade

Ready to sell your business? Make sure it has valueI recently gave a talk to a commercial real estate association. They asked me to talk about how they could sell more listed businesses. During the presentation, I asked them what percentage of businesses that are listed are actually sold. The response was “very few.” I wasn’t surprised. Not only is it hard to sell…

Don’t be average, be legendary!

A record 180 students from Grade 7 to 12 attended the two-day leadership event, finding plenty of inspiration to accomplish great things

Don’t be average, be legendary!Kevin McBain of The Clarion Elizabeth Middle School was the site for the 11th annual 2018 Sun West School Division Student Leadership Conference on April 19 and 20. A record number of Grades 7 to 12 students, 180, attended the two-day event from about 16 schools in the school division. The event is completely organized…

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…