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What Do Your Customer Reviews Mean For Small Business?

Far too often small business believe that no negative reviews means all is good, but sometimes they may not know where to look for reviews. Many small business owners believe that not being given any reviews can only mean that your company is doing every right, but they would be wrong. Believing the they have never had an unhappy customer, many business owners and managers will make the mistake of not taking customer reviews seriously. They do not realize that customer reviews are a great way to find problems or correctable errors within their company or with their product. With the information age comes review boards, websites and other places for customers to register or write their complaints, rather than sending their reviews or complaints directly to the company at their website or of...

Benifits, Rewards and Perks a Small Business Can Offer Employees

Attracting and retaining employees can sometimes be difficult for small businesses, especially when they are competing for the same talent pool as large businesses with much deeper pockets. There are some rewards and perks that small businesses can offer that big business can’t, sometimes it is the small personal things that would get lost in a large company. Motivating employees in your small business needn’t cost a fortune. Sometimes it may be as simple as providing an environment that give an employee a sense of belonging, that can often be lost or harder to find in larger corporate companies. Fair salary and reasonable benefits may put you on par with larger companies, but small businesses need to find their own unique perks that will provide incentive to do good work, but ...

Do You Know The Five Stages Of Small Business Growth?

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail.” This quote is one that every business student in most colleges here on the first day they attend. In order for mall business owners to plan their successes, they need to know what the five stages of business growth are. Often trying to label the growth patterns of small businesses in a systematic way that is useful to new entrepreneurs seems does seem a bit confusing, but lets try together. Far too often when planning a business, many entrepreneurs are told to assume that a company must grow and pass through all stages of development or fail in the attempt. There are plenty of businesses that are a success after only passing through 2 or three stages of growth, depending on the goal of the business owner. A ...

Where and how do you Choose to Have Your Office Space?

Statistically speaking, small businesses are defined as being companies with under 100 employees. But those numbers are not often broken down by the number of office staff or staff who may work in manufacturing, distribution or other areas of the business. So, where and how do you choose to have your office space? Depending on the business model or type, you will probably find that in manufacturing, small businesses have less than 10% of the workforce in the office. Service industry companies, on the other hand, have a much higher percentage of their staff working in the office, likely because they’re closer to their clients. Most manufacturing-based small businesses will try to keep the sales, marketing and administrative staff in office space that is within the manufacturing facili...

October 19th to 25th Is BDC Small Business Week

This week (October 19 to 25th, 2014) is BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) Small Business Week. The idea behind this series of events is to celebrate entrepreneurs, as well as Canada’s small and medium-sized enterprises. This is an annual celebration of entrepreneurship that the Business Development Bank of Canada has been organizing for 35 years. Each year, around 10,000 business people come together at Small Business Week events across Canada to learn, network and socialize. These events are conferences, seminars, information sessions, luncheons and trade fairs. Your small business should find out about your local events and consider attending one, even if it is only to network with other small business owners. As part of Small Business Week, there is also a webinar hosted by EDC ...

Deciding if Offshore Outsourcing is Good for Your Small Business

Have you noticed in the past few years that many large North American call centres and IT departments that were outsourced to offshore companies are closing those operations? Yes, many large firms are still using offshore companies to fulfill certain roles and tasks, but deciding to use or not use offshore outsourcing does not always come down to saving money. The debate rages on about whether or not having call centres or help centres offshore is beneficial or potentially detrimental for business. Some industry leaders are choosing sides. Some large companies are returning the jobs to Canada and the USA for patriotic and PR purposes. These companies have have eliminated outsourcing operations because, for them, the costs to their business have outweighed the benefits. Many boutique offsho...

What is Your Tipping Policy?

Recently, I have read a few articles about small business owners making various rants and raves expressing their opinions about the tipping of their staff by customers. This brings up some questions as to why and what the whole tipping process involves. The acronym “TIPS” means “To Insure Prompt Service.” But to most small business owners the “TIPS” they are looking for is repeat business, not some extra change in the jar. The goal of a business owner is to keep customers happy and to keep them coming back as happy repeat customers who have benefited from the product or service you provide them with. I remember when I was young, my father told me that it was an insult to tip the owner of establishment because they knew they were making a profit from the ...

Overcoming Small Business Challenges

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs – but maintaining one is sometimes an even larger challenge. Some of the challenges faced by small business owners are actually ones that every business has to face, but they can be easily solved. But there are other challenges that are faced continuously by small businesses and entrepreneurs. Business owner fatigue is often a cause for concern. With a small staff, many business owners simply work too many hours and do not take the time to rest and recharge. Even small businesses with a competent and dedicated staff will often prevent an owner from taking time off – because the owner feels that the business will encounter problems in his or her absence. It is common that when fatigue sets in, the weariness of the long hours ca...

Bring in the Experts to Save you Time and Money

One of the best lessons that any college or university business instructor ever told me was to surround myself with experts. Nobody can be an expert at everything. Any business owner who thinks he or she can be an expert in everything in their business is setting themselves up for problems. Sometimes “do-it-yourself” solutions can be more costly than hiring a real expert that is focused on just that one job. Hiring the right experts to do the right job is key to the success of a small business. When small businesses need legal or financial help, they hire lawyers and accountants because they know these professionals have studied in their respect fields extensively. Similarly, small business owners want to become the known experts in their field of business. When small businesse...

Know What you are Looking for in an Office Rental

Renting office space is considered one of the highest expenses that a small business will incur, so making the right choice and getting the right deal is very important. A small start-up cannot afford to make the wrong choice and sign up for a long-term agreement in the wrong space, with possible “hidden” costs involved. Don’t make an impulse decision when choosing office space; make it rational and choose the right space that works best for you and your company. Far too often this major financial decision is made with emotions without considering the long-term implications. Many small business owners forget that the space they are considering is going to be a place they will spend half, if not more, of their waking hours in. What looks great today may not suit your needs...

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