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Canadian Dollar Bouncing Higher

Caught between a rocking economy and continued global uncertainty over oil prices, the Canadian dollar has been fluctuating madly for the last several months. Hovering between $0.70 and $0.75 US, the disparities in the value of the dollar are starting to cause headaches and worry for Canada’s already beleaguered exporters. This is especially true in Ontario where a slowly rebuilding manufacturing sector was just starting to catch its footing. For Canadian exporters, a lower loonie is good for business as it makes the cost of Canadian goods less expensive than those produced south of the borders. At the same time, a high Canadian dollar is seen as beneficial to the oil sector which relies on importing equipment using Canadian dollars but sells its product on a market dictated by costs...

Advertising in the Context of Change

Advertising, as we know it, is about to change so radically it will be practically unrecognizable. If you have a favourite TV spot you might want to record it. Similarly, if there is an ad out there that annoys you to distraction you’ll be happy to know you’ll likely not have to see such awfulness again, at least not in the near future. Tomorrow’s ad delivery is already happening today but the scale is about to get so much bigger. We live in a midst of a digital revolution. At no other time in human history have so many ideas and institutions been altered, challenged, changed, created, and destroyed. As discomforting as it is, revolutionary change is a natural by-product of technological advancement. A decade and a half after its inception the innovation that made Google one of the wealthi...

The Business of a New World Order

The saying goes, “The only things in life you can rely on are death and taxes.” That might be true but between tax time and the time of any individual’s eventual demise, a lot of change is bound to take place. This is such a time. Social, political, and economic forces have merged in a perfect storm of a toxic soup to make a steady but still shaky recovery feel more volatile than any other period in many people’s living memories. Great change is upon us, but what does that mean for Canadian businesses? This might seem counter-intuitive but great change often creates great conditions for business to thrive in. Nature abhors a vacuum and when several things shift, the forces of nature move to fill in gaps and close all seams. Businesses ready to take advantage of chan...

How to Become a Non-Resident Importer

A Non-Resident Importer is a US or foreign based company that imports into Canada under their own name and business number without a permanent presence in Canada. A fact that is often overlooked by non-resident businesses providing goods and services into Canada is that they are subject to GST/HST taxes on sales into Canada. GST/HST management is responsible for longer delays at border crossings. Another bigger issue is that if GST/HST is not managed before entry into Canada the customer must pay the value added tax. GST/HST can be managed by becoming a Non-Resident Importer. A Non-Resident Importer could see the following benefits: Sell within Canada using a domestic pricing plan Manage landed costs without involvement of a Canadian intermediary Make border crossings seamless Increase mar...

Working from home has its challenges, but looking professional does not have to

As the writer of this blog, I primarily work from home and only go into the office a few times a week. Today was a great weather day (well until it got cloudy) and I took my laptop outside and did some work in front of my apartment building. While I was out there, one of my neighbors (who also works from home) came out to get some fresh air and take a break from his work. My neighbor Blake is a hair stylist who works on films, creates wigs for movies and live theatre as well as takes on cutting hair for private clients in his apartment (yes, he has a professional hair studio set up in his apartment).  Today Blake was stressed out, but by work.  His stress came from a friend who could not understand that because he was home, that he was still working and could not just leave his apartment a...

Why Move from the Burbs to Downtown Toronto Office Space?

Many companies are choosing to move their offices downtown and away from the suburbs. Lets discuss why this is happening and what are the advantages of the downtown location for customers, colleagues and employees. In the past several years, a handful of North America’s largest corporations like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and even McDonalds have joined the exodus from their suburban headquarters and campuses to new office space that is located downtown, and millennials seem to be the driving force. Yes, many companies chose to accept the usually higher cost of downtown space opposed to what they are paying in the suburbs, because they help attract younger workers. These workers want the chance to walk to nearby amenities and areas with a sense of place, rather than a generic business p...

Team space: The flexible hours office-space solution

The office space buzz these days is for entrepreneurs and small business owners to look at coworking. But this is not the best solution for companies with more than 5 or 10 employees. The solution for some small businesses is to create their own private coworking office – called team space or open-office environments. This concept is not unique to small businesses. Even large companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have embraced the concept of open-office team spaces. Business owners and senior managers want to feel connected to their companies’ day-to-day operations – and they find open layouts and team space helpful to that end. It doesn’t hurt that open layouts also maximize square footage efficiency. But the criticisms of open-concept team space claim a lack of efficiency when it co...

Changing needs of coworking space in 2017

Do you know coworking? Coworking as you may know it is changing. The fact is, it might have already changed! The reason is that more an more people are looking at shared office space as an alternative to other commercial office options. This means that coworking spaces are getting bigger with more people using them. The other reason that coworking is growing is that more small business owners are seeing the cost savings of shared office space. They are seeing the benefits of the community involvement opportunities that come with the entire concept of coworking. The concept of coworking is entering a highly competitive phase, as more and more new spaces are opening up. But the fact that shared office space is being offered at lower rates than other office options is no longer enough to lure...

Does your start-up really need a private office space? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

The first few months (or even years) of a start-up are often executed from the owner’s garage, basement or kitchen table. But as the business grows, it’s time to move. However, where you go is just as important. Your location can affect your company’s productivity, creativity and community – not to mention budget. Insiders agree that choosing the right environment depends on the work that’s being done and the people who are doing it. Some entrepreneurs are taking the plunge, either buying or leasing commercial office space to give their start-ups credibility and authenticity. Is opening up in your own office space a smart move early on for a new business? If you’re considering leasing traditional private office space, you should curb your enthusiasm long enough to ask yourself these ...

Seven tips for starting a successful small business or start-up

The biggest fear of starting a small business is failure, but there are things you can do to limit your chances of failure and increase your potential for success. While most of the advice here is not new, we are going to remind you of them and try to put a new angle on them so they make more sense. Have passion for your work. Having passion for your work does not mean that it is your only calling, but you need to be excited about it to the point where others see your passion. Starting a small business is not easy, and if it seems too easy, you might be doing something wrong. It is important that you enjoy what you are doing, because it will take a lot of work and personal energy to ensure that your small business venture has a chance of being successful. There are questions that you need ...