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Public libraries are not usually places where small businesses look for help – but they should be!

Whether you are starting or growing a small business, your public library can be a great resource. Modern libraries are not just buildings full of books. They now have resources that you may not know about. Like other public libraries across North America, the Toronto Public Library offers free programs and seminars on everything you’ll need to run your small business. You just need to ask about them. When you visit a local library branch, you can ask their expert library staff to help you find what you need. Yes, they have books on virtually everything, including financing, marketing, human resources and more. They will also have e-books, e-magazines, videos, directories, databases and more – in addition to a wide range of printed books. Some libraries even have online databases and...

Welcome to the new Telsec Website

Over the past few months, designers, staff and outside contractors have been working on developing a new Telsec website. We not only have a new look, but we also have new technology that is working to improve our visitor experience. While our website has been using a responsive design for the past few years, we wanted to make the site even easier to use for those browsing on mobile devices and tablet computers. In these modern days of smartphones and tablets, more people are using mobile devices to search and find, without the clunky feel of old web design. While we may not have it perfect yet, we have a platform in which we can better serve our current customers, as well as those looking for quality office space that will work for them. Our mission is to provide the best visitor and custo...

Where you Work may Affect how you Focus on Your Small Business

Garages, basements, kitchens, living rooms, coffee shops, and co-working spaces are commonplace for a start-up’s so-called headquarters. But are those types of locations the most productive places to get work done? For a small group of entrepreneurs these may work; but for many others utilizing these types of spaces, their creativity is being lost without them knowing it. While the experiences of starting up in alternative work space environments are invaluable and necessary for company growth, working in these unconventional spaces, with their countless distractions, can make it difficult to get real work done. This is why it is important for entrepreneurs to know the best place to work and keep their focus. Home offices can work well for some entrepreneurs and small business owners...

You Realize you Could use the Guidance of a Mentor, but how do you Find one?

Before beginning your search for a mentor, you need to be able to understand when and where you need help. This will improve your chances of finding the right mentor to help you. You do not want to look for a mentor who is specialized in accounting, when you need help with marketing and distribution. In other words, be sure to seek out individuals with expertise in your weak points, not your strengths. One of the first steps in finding a mentor is to identify people you admire for their expertise and can learn from. Research their backgrounds and then reach out to request a meeting or phone call. It is important that when you reach out to someone, be sure you clarify your intention and respect a potential mentors’ time. The worst thing that can happen when reaching out is that person says ...

You Don’t Need a Dragon or a Shark – You May Just Need a Mentor!

Entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to grow their new or existing businesses will sometimes appear on popular TV shows like Dragon’s Den or Shark Tank to pitch their ideas to millionaire investors. While some of the people who appear on the show truly need the financial help and the clout they get by partnering with one of these dragons or sharks, others do not. They may just need a mentor. It is no secret that starting a small business can seem to be quite a lonely endeavour, but it does not have to be. The new challenges and hurdles that even experienced entrepreneurs will face in a new business venture can be just as difficult as the ones they faced in their first business venture. This is why finding a mentor can be the key to getting past the “fake it until you make it” st...

You Have Built Your Brand – now you Need to Protect it!

Everything identifying your small business , including your name, the names of your products and services, your logo, slogan and taglines, create a unique statement for your small business. Your memorable branding is what gives you that edge over your competitor and helps drive brand and customer awareness and loyalty. In order to keep your branding yours, you need to protect it. Protecting your brand and its associated products and services is critical to your future sales and success. Registering your trademark gives you exclusive rights to use it. Without trademark protection, a competitor could use your branded materials or something similar to confuse your customers into thinking that they are buying your branded product or service. It is not just the logo of your small business that ...

Building More Influence on Social Media

Building more influence on social media is more about giving back than talking about your product or service through your social channels. The competitive landscape in which your brand operates changes every day. But it must still show potential customers that you are providing more than just a product or service. You need to demonstrate to them that you want to help them. Helping your potential clients does not always mean finding ways that your product or service can assist them. It can be as simple as sharing your business, marketing or online expertise that has nothing to do with what you promote or sell. This can make your brand top-of-mind when they are looking for what you sell or the services you provide. Telsec Business Centres rarely posts about its office space options or its vi...

Is Your Small Business Living up to Your Branding?

You have a great logo and slogan and you have researched and established the branding you want for you small business. But are you living up to that branding? Most small business owners believe they are living up to their branding and ideals, but when it comes to what their business delivers, they may not be. How many times have you eaten at a restaurant that claims on its menu to have the “best” burger in town? And how many times has the burger been “ho-hum?” “Home of the Best Burger” is a clear brand statement – and it is easy to claim it. Living up to that statement is another story. Making claims in your branding statement that you cannot back up, is setting your business up for problems. Many small businesses relentlessly focus on establishing their...

The Branding of Your Small Business Goes Beyond Creating a Logo and Slogan

So you have come up with your business idea, you have a business plan, you have designed your logo (or have a designer create you a logo) to go with your slogan – and you have even created your marketing materials. Great job, but have you really done your branding? Before you can start developing all your marketing materials and logo, you need to have established what your company identity will be. This means doing your market research and developing a marketing plan, so you can see what the market expects from you. Big business does this on a constant basis, and they have a budget for branding that far exceeds your small business. So your job is to get it right the first time. When you are looking to create your brand, your logo and your slogan, it may be best to find a local branding com...

Virtual Office Space is not Just for Small Businesses That are run From Home

If you are regular follower of our blogs and social media postings, you will have heard us talk about the virtues of having a virtual office space as an alternative to using your home address or a P.O. Box. But this post is going to be a bit different. Inspired by a recent client’s requests and activity, we found a use that we have not really talked about. A relatively new VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocols) virtual office client of ours is an independent small business owner that represents the products of a foreign manufacturer throughout North America. Being the sole representative for this product, he is often traveling around to trade shows and industry events promoting and selling these products. The client does not carry inventory (except for samples) as everything he sells n...

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