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Getting Virtual Teams Right

First let’s talk about “Virtual Teams” as some people do not know what the term means. Basically, Virtual Teams are people that work together on various projects, but are located in different physical locations. This concept of people collaborating from various locations is one that is on the rise and has become easier as internet and telecommunication technology advances. These dispersed teams rely on shared work spaces, public WiFi, libraries and other places that they can connect to the Internet and communicate with their coworkers. Basically, they can work from almost anywhere and still be able to interact with other team members. We don’t need discuss the appeal of this type of work environment for employees, or their satisfaction in working in a flexible envir...

Where to locate your business

It is often said that the three most important factors in making sure a business is successful are ‘location, location, location.’ Even if your business is not retail and does not rely on walk-in traffic, your location is important to your customers and prospective clients. Yes, you prospective clients will often research your small business to find out if you are local and if you at a real business address. You may not need to maintain a physical presence near your customers, but your business address should be where your customers are – or where they expect you to be. You could have a head office location at a prestigious business address and have a majority of your production or staff working from another location that better suits the work that is being done – or where you are paying l...

Seminars and Training Sessions Provide the Perfect Networking Opportunities

Whether you’re starting your own new business or trying to expand your current small business —networking can be your life support. Networking can propel your business to the next level professionally, while also simultaneously enhancing different aspects of your personal life. The trick to effective networking is to develop lasting relationships, so it is important to be genuine in all your actions. To do this you must listen, be patient, and understand the needs of others— while also understanding your own needs too and what you can benefit from others. Social media can be a great networking platform, but it is no substitute for face-to-face communication. Your local library will often offer free programs, seminars and workshops – on topics such as social media, taxes, the law, net...

Five Tips Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know

While there are plenty of tips all over the internet for small businesses, few are aimed at the business owner. As a business owner, sometimes you have take a step back and look at yourself in the mirror – and decide if you are making decisions for yourself or for your small business. Here are five proven strategies: Be unique. Have a unique product or service offering, or a point of view that your competition does not. Your offering must stand out and have its own point of view that is uniquely yours. If your potential customers cannot distinguish between your product or service and that of your competitor’s, as the new person in the marketplace you will probably not get the sale. Remember that consumer expectations today are heavily influenced by the larger players who have establi...

Tips on hiring and managing employees

As you get your small business off the ground, you will at some point need to hire employees to take care of the day-to-day functioning of your business. Before you start to look for employees, you need to define their job descriptions and what qualifications they should have to fill that position. You want to recruit the best and brightest, and create a workplace environment that they want to be a part of – and one that will retain them, so they do not get lost to your competitors. You also want a workplace environment that stimulates creativity and productivity at the same time. Just look at what Google, Bing, Apple and Yahoo have done. Yes, those are extreme examples, but there are many things they do that you can scale down to fit your own workplace. Happy and healthy employees are pro...

Registering your business

So you have your business idea and you have developed a good business plan, now what? The purpose of this post is to give you granular details on where to find the information and online registration portals to make the registrations and get the proper licensing for your business. The earlier post tells you to think about and this post helps you determine what registrations and licensing requirements your business may need now and in the future and where to get your business registration and licensing requirements from your municipal, provincial and federal governments. Information for US businesses wanting to do business in Canada may also be of interest in addition to this how to register your business post. Licensing Requirements You will find a lot of very useful information on the Gov...

Organizing your small business finances

The success of your small business will depend to a great degree on how well you plan and manage your finances. This is especially true if you will be seeking financial help, either from a start-up loan, an investor or from a government grant. It is imperative that you have a well-developed financial plan as part of your business plan. There is an old saying: “No one plans to fail, but many fail to plan.” This is important to remember if you are a new business owner. Starting up a new business can be deceptively simple, but from the very outset you need to be aware that even the most basic business model entails considerable financial planning. Your financial plan is where you need to prove your numbers and show that your business idea is viable and profitable. As part of your financial pl...

Planning your business is like going back to school

When you decide to start a business for the first time, it is important to know that creating a solid business plan is vital to your success. A good business plan will help you know where you are headed long before you get there. Writing your business plan requires doing your homework and making some decisions. The research and choices will have a great deal of influence on how your business is structured and in what direction your business should go. The first thing you need to do is to decide what type of business structure will work for you . You have to decide if you are opening your business as a sole proprietorship or other structure, such as a partnership or corporation. Your choice of business structure will have liability and tax implications, so you really need to do your researc...

With back to school coming, are you planning to start a new business?

For students across the country, the lazy days of summer are coming to a close and a new school year is right around the corner. As an entrepreneur thinking of starting a new business, where to begin can be your biggest obstacle. In our previous blog Getting the Kids Back to School is a Reason to get Serious About Business, we talked about how many parents start thinking about their business when their children’s summer is about to end and the are going back to school. But what about those stay-at-home parents who do not yet have a business? Maybe it is time to start a home-based business that allows you to send the kids off to school and be home when they return from school each day. So where to begin in starting a new business? Do your homework. No small business is guaranteed to b...

Getting the Kids Back to School is a Reason to get Serious About Business

The commercials have already started for back to school. Stores are already putting together their back-to-school sections – and the kids are grumbling about it being too soon to think about their summer holidays ending. But what are parents thinking about? With their children going back to school, entrepreneurial parents will have more time to concentrate on what they need to do about their existing business (or perhaps starting a new one). Parents who own small businesses will often take some time off during school summer holidays to spend with their kids. This could be a few days here and there, a week or two, long weekends or even just shorten their workday to spend more time with their kids. Come the first weeks of August, parents who have taken time away from their business start to ...