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Being Late is bad for Your Small Business

This past Friday I ran into an one of our office space tenants while in the kitchen getting complimentary coffee at Telsec Business Centres. She was visibly upset. Upon asking her the problem, she told me that a salesman from a potential new vendor was an hour late – and the particular meeting room she had booked was not available for another hour. Her problem was not with the business centre, but with the guy who showed up late and did not call. Had he called to say he was going to be late, she would have immediately re-booked the particular meeting room she wanted for a later time. As a small business owner, it is extremely unprofessional to be late for a business meeting – even if you are the customer. Not informing the person you are meeting with that you are running late might not jus...

Are you Using Conversation Marketing Without Knowing it?

Inspired by an article written by Sarah Burke of GetSpokal.com about Conversation Marketing, we wanted to talk more about how your small business uses – or should use – conversation marketing. Are you talking TO your customers or WITH them? A conversation is really a two-way communication. So, if you are just talking to your customers, you may not be communicating with them. Having a conversation involves both sides listening to the others’ point of view. Far too often a salesperson will anticipate a rejection and have a scripted response ready, but that is not a conversation either. Many small business owners may often believe that they are communicating with their customers, but in reality they are not actively communicating – they are just ‘talking at’ their customers....

Why Small Business Owners Send or Receive Referrals From Competitors

There are times when goodwill between competitors can go a long way, not only in terms of healthy competition, but in the eyes of your customers. When you are too busy to fit the customer’s time frame or faced with a challenge or demand that you cannot satisfy, referring them to a competitor who can satisfy their immediate needs will earn you credibility in the eyes of that client. That client will most likely come to you rather than your competitor with his or her next order. It is not just direct competitors that you need to get to know and send referrals to, but people in your industry who offer something different or an alternative to your product. For example, when a “Steel Roofing” company has a customer who cannot afford their product, they often recommend a good t...

What Kind of Learning Should you as a Small Business Owner be Doing?

One of the bigger themes of many small business blogs and advice givers it to keep learning. But what does that really mean? What do you as a small business owner need to learn? Learn more about your own product or service. Sounds simple, but after the initial launch of a new product or service, many small business owners forget what goes into accessing raw materials or the platform they are delivering it on. Learning more about the innovations in the manufacturing process of your product or the raw materials, can help you learn about finding new ways of improving your product offering. Watch what your competitors are doing. You may not want to copy or duplicate what your competitors are doing, but learning about how and what they are doing could help improve your processes, or even be a w...

Tips on Continuing to be a Successful Small Business Owner

Small business owners are always searching for ways to stay successful by constant innovation and introducing new products or services. But sometimes it is not that simple. We have compiled a list of things to do and things not to do that have worked for many small business owners who want to continue their success. While they might not directly speak to your small business, the overall concepts should speak volumes to you as a small business owner. Success is not achieved overnight and it may take time to see results. Experiencing the success of launching a new product or service may often take as long as it did to launch your new business in the first place! Patience is too often forgotten when a small business tries to introduce a new product or service. The fact is that customers may p...

Small Business Owners can Choose to Hire Employees or Contractors

When a small business owner starts to see a need for more people to work within his or her business, they are faced with the dilemma of hiring an employee or contracting the job out to a freelancer. Both situations have their advantages and disadvantages. The hard part is deciding which is best for your small business. Before exploring the pros and cons of using a contract worker for your small business, you should check to see the laws in your country regarding contractors. In Canada, the Canada Revenue Agency sees a contractor as an employee if you are the only company they work for. If hiring an employee, consider that an employee is more likely to view your company as offering potential job security. Therefore they are more likely to invest more of their energy into furthering your com...

What is the Coffee Situation at Your Small Business Office? What is it Costing You?

Look around any office space of a business, large or small, and you will see either coffee mugs or paper coffee cups on many of the desks. Coffee is a large part of the business environment, but some business owners often do not consider what it is costing them when they do not provide coffee in the office on a regular basis. Some businesses offer their staff free or subsidized coffee in the office as a perk (no pun intended) of the job. Unless they are using a quality office coffee service, the coffee can be “hit or miss.” When a small business owner offers a coffee maker and the supplies to go with it, the quality of the coffee depends on the person whose job it is to make it that particular day. Unless the person making the coffee each time it runs low is the same person, th...

Keeping up With Your Small Business Content When you are Running out of Ideas

In some of our previous articles about blogging and content creation, we have mentioned about keeping your content relevant to your customers and followers. In other postings we have mentioned that the key to keeping your audience is keeping up your blogging and social comments, not letting too much time pass between them. This is not always easy, as sometimes you just cannot come up with ideas for your content that you have not already posted. In a recent blog, we advised small business owners not to try to follow trends, but to build on their previous successes. This might not be as true when it comes to what blog and social media content you may want to create. But you you always want to be current and relevant in the content you are providing to your followers. The last thing you want ...

Small Business Owners Should Know SEO Basics

Small business owners are generally not website developers, so they hire a developer. On paper, the site they design for you may look amazing, but does it follow SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices? Take some time to look up SEO best practices, so that you know what your designer can or cannot do when developing your site. While SEO is always changing and it would be best to hire an SEO consultant, there are things that you, as a small business owner, should know and understand. If your designer is a graphic designer and not a web designer, he or she needs to know the basics of what will and will not help you to be found on the internet under your company’s key categories. You want to be found for the product or service you offer, but you also want to be found for your lo...

Focus on the Successes of Your Small Business and not on “Trends”

Almost every other blog posting that you might see from various sources is telling you about the trends to watch for in 2015 – but there are few that remind you to improve on your 2014 successes. Many small businesses discovered some great things that were successful for them in 2014. Just because the year has changed, does not mean they will not work again in 2015! As a small business owner, you have to look back at what worked and what did not. Think of ways to improve upon your successes. Yes, you may have to modify or tweak those strategies and plans to gain even more, but never let a supposed “trend” make you abandon them. When a random blogger tells you that you have to watch for certain trends in 2015, go ahead and monitor them – but do not let them stop you from improvi...

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