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?…

Hunkering down or hiring: the entrepreneur’s dilemma

Every growing business must, at some point, bring on help, but you need to know when the time is right

Hunkering down or hiring: the entrepreneur’s dilemmaWhen you start building your business, long hours are expected. But no one can – or should – keep up that pace forever. It’s a drain on your personal, mental and physical health, and it will kill your business growth, too. “When I first started out, I did do everything,” says Sarah Picciotto, founder of OnPoint…

Protect your intellectual property from the get-go

As the global economy continues its historic shift from raw materials and manufacturing to knowledge-based, a company's valuation is completely taken up by IP

Protect your intellectual property from the get-goIntellectual property, or IP, is often underestimated or misunderstood – at least in the world of entrepreneurs. How you manage your IP can make or break your venture. IP is 'creation of the mind' and includes patents, copyrights, trademarks, industrial design and trade secrets. Every business is based on an idea, from ground-breaking research that…

The legal matters many entrepreneurs avoid

Cutting corners on insurance and legal agreements is a risk that could undermine all your potential success

The legal matters many entrepreneurs avoidStarting, running and growing a small business involves a lot of “bootstrapping”: digging into your own resources, financial and otherwise, to get things done. But there are legal matters many entrepreneurs either make poor decisions about or avoid altogether. Insurance “If I had one thing that surprises me, it is the avoidance of insurance,” says…

For entrepreneurs, purpose statements are where it’s at

A clear, concise purpose can give you an edge over your competitors

For entrepreneurs, purpose statements are where it’s atPersonal development programs like Tony Robbins, Landmark, or Context International, to name but a few, all ask participants to ponder simple questions like, “Why am I here?”, and “What is really important to me?”. Questions like these are designed to help individuals define “why” they exist, to bring “purpose” to life. Identifying “purpose” has an…

How to come up with that winning business idea

Many of the best ideas are the result of “happy accidents” rather than the result of a methodical and structured innovation process

How to come up with that winning business ideaFor many would-be entrepreneurs, the only thing standing between them and a booming business is an idea. What product or service? What market? What niche? And, what problem is the idea going to solve? It’s the million-dollar question, but only half the equation. What about aligning the idea with the skills, knowledge, passion and character…

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…