Blog

Archives

Public Cellphone Usage Advice for Business

Have you ever been on public transit or in a confined public place and could overhear the intimate details of a loud cellphone talker? Most of those overheard conversations are about where a person is heading or what some of their private plans are. So, they are simply annoying to hear – not to mention being downright rude! But what if what you were hearing was private information about a company, its clients, its employees or financial information about the company or one of its clients? It happens more frequently than you might think. People tend to forget that sometimes they are prone to talk louder on their cellphone (especially if they are wearing ear buds). Most people will tell you that they cannot stand it when people talk too loudly on their phone in public. According to Microsoft...

Expanding a Service-Based or Non-Retail Business Into Canada

For a variety of reasons, Canada remains a top choice for many United States companies or brands looking to expand outside their home market. Some reasons for this are geographic proximity, a common language and a similar legal system, as well as similar consumer income and spending habits. But there is also the advantage of developing into a market where there is a much greater chance of the market having awareness of the company or its brand. This is mainly due to American media that Canadians are exposed to. U.S. franchises (many in the restaurant industry) often look to Canada as the first place to expand internationally. In fact, in recent years U.S. retailers and non-retailers have started to expand here. Not just the large ‘big box’ store retailers, but also smaller nove...

Stepping Into a New Office to Begin the New Year

It is this time of year when home-based small business owners make resolutions to take their small business venture to that next step. They are at a point in their business where they can no longer use their home address as a business address. Some small business owners who are looking to get away from using their home address or a P.O. Box will look into getting a virtual office address at a prestigious business centre. They may even get a virtual office package that includes telephone answering by a professional receptionist to make them really look like they are an established business that is not going anywhere. Many consumers and other businesses will tend to shy away from a business that is located in a home residence or through a P.O. Box. This is simply because past experience has ...

Building Influence Online Can Help Grow Your Business

Many small business owners and entrepreneurs are trying to use social media to get their message out to the masses, but are they actually building influence? Or do they know why they should be building influence? We want to help educate you on why your business should be an ‘influencer.’ Yes, you may be posting on a blog or social media about your product or service, but that is not building influence. In some forums, such as Google+ communities and LinkedIn groups, posting strictly about your product or service and providing a link to your blog or webpage is seen as ‘link dumping’ or ‘spam.’ These practices are frowned upon and can actually have a negative impact on your influence level and your brand. So why should you build your online influence? Well...

How Well do you Know Your Customers? Can you Name Each of Them?

There is a café in Toronto called the True Love Café. From time to time, I will stop in for a coffee on my way into the office. I am by far not a regular, but the owner remembers my name every time I go in. That is what I call customer service. However, knowing your customers and knowing them by name is very different. There is a special skill that many politicians have learned, and that is remembering names and faces. When you are able to address a customer or potential client by their name, they instantly perk up. Dale Carnegie wrote a book in 1936 “How to Win Friends and Influence People” that was inspired by Simon & Schuster senior staffer Leon Shimkin after attending one of Carnegie’s speeches. One of Dale Carnegie’s most important messages was to “re...

How Should Small Business Owners Deal With Holiday Season Stress?

This can be a very stressful time of year for small business owners. Even those who do not celebrate Christmas can get stressed in December and early January. It is almost expected that small retail owners are stressed by the crowds, but they are also stressed by wondering if they will make enough sales to get into the black or make a profit. For non-retail small businesses, the holiday season can be even more stressful. Quite simply, it is because of the holidays that customers and clients have their attention diverted elsewhere. Some clients take extra time away from their offices to get in that Christmas shopping mood or to attend holiday celebrations with employees, friends and family. So having that business meeting or making that business purchase is not at the top of their list of t...

An Entrepreneur Needs to be a Detective

Before entrepreneurs begin working on their business venture, they need to do some detective work. Thinking of starting a business is similar to how you buy a car. You just don’t walk into a random dealership and say you want to purchase a car. You need to do some research before making such an important investment. Bottom line:  You want the car that is best for YOU. The first piece of detective work an entrepreneur needs to figure out, is if there is demand for his or her product or service. If there is a market, who else is in that market and what market share do they hold? Sometimes gathering market and competitive analysis information requires some detective work of talking to experts in the industry – or even potential buyers of the product or service. While looking for demogra...

How Else can you Benefit From Your Competitors?

Your business should be focusing on the niche market that you serve the best – that specific customer group who depends on your products and services. But what stands in the way of serving that niche? Your competitor or your own marketing? Learning how your competitor carves their niche and gets their customers might help you find your specific piece of the puzzle. The market is a big place and that there’s plenty of room for multiple successful companies in any competitive business space. Helping the competition and hopefully leveraging some of their insights can help improve your products by learning about their mistakes and failures. Knowledge is indeed power. It is important to know who the smart people are in your industry, and to learn from them. Do not try to duplicate your su...

Working in a Friendly Manner With Some Competitors Will Help Your Small Business

Every business has its competitors, but picking and choosing who you need to compete with is more important. You could be a local coffee shop that is independently owned and operated, but down the street is another independently owned and operated coffee shop that is also doing a good business. That shop down the street has loyal customers that are not the same as yours, but you consider them competition. Your customers prefer your brew of coffee and their customers prefer theirs. One day a Mega coffee shop chain opens up on the other side of the street. Do you fight both competitors or do you ally with the other independent shop down the street to keep your business? Small business owners and entrepreneurs have heard it a million times – that their business or solution should focus on a n...

Don’t Play the Price Game With Competitors – Outshine Them With Your Product and Customer Care!

The consumer of a product or service that has been deeply discounted in order to get the deal, have to wonder what hidden costs they will incur and and when the price will go up when the deal period is over. If you were leasing office space for rent at a great price for 6 months, do you know what the price will be for the remainder of the term of the lease? These are important things to point out to customers when they tell you they are being offered a great deal by your competition.

Skip to toolbar