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Every Small Business Should Have a Procedures Manual

You may already have a disaster recovery plan that will keep your doors open by using alternative office spaces. But do you also have a procedures manual that details all the important plans for keeping your business going? The creating of a procedures manual is often overlooked in disaster recovery plan strategies – but it can sometimes be even more important because minor emergencies are more frequent than disasters. A procedure manual lets everyone know how everything is done, just in case the person who normally takes care of those things is not available. When a problem needs to be solved or a task needs to be performed, others can go to the manual and find the solutions, rather than having to chase down others for answers. A good procedures manual can also be used for training new st...

Small Home-Based Businesses are Moving into “Shedquarters” – but What Does That Mean?

For many years, small businesses have been started and run from home, but then there comes a time when that business outgrows the home office or finds it too distracting, so owners seek out office space for rent. But now there is a relatively new trend, “Shedquarters”, that allows small businesses (especially those with more than one employee) to have a home-base office without actually being in the home. The concept of using a converted shed as a place to work is not new to handymen, artists and musicians – but they are now becoming popular with home-based businesses who want to separate their home from their office. The size of the Shedquarters is only limited by the amount of backyard space the home/business owner is willing to give up, as well as any local building variances and codes....

Small Business Owners Also Have to Remember to be Good Customers

So, we have given our followers advice on branding their product, service, business and even personal branding. But one of our office space for rent tenants told us that we have not touched on tips for being a good customer. In a way, being a good customer is also about your personal branding. Whether you are a customer as an individual or as as a business customer, how you conduct business as a buyer/consumer impacts your brand. The list of how to be a bad customer is long – so long we are only going to talk about some of them. One way of being a bad customer is not keeping up with the terms of payment you agreed to. If you have problems with those terms talk to the vendor before it becomes a problem. Another way to be a bad customer is to give a negative review online in heat of the mome...

As an Entrepreneur and Small Business Owner, are you Taking Care of Your Personal Brand?

Yes, you may have taken care of your business or product branding. You may even have a professional business address and office space in a prestigious office building. Too often what many entrepreneurs and small business owners forget to take care of is their own personal brand. This means that people also want to know who is behind your product or service. They want to trust you and not just your product. Your potential customers want to know who they are working with and why they should be dealing with you. Personal branding is much like social media. It is about making a commitment of defining yourself as the leader of your small business and how your leadership shapes the manner in which your company will serve your customers. Personal branding is very powerful because it is about send...

Another Reason why a Virtual Office Works Better Than a P.O. Box

While we have often told our readers about the benefits of virtual office arrangements over using a P.O. Box, this week we learned of a lost business opportunity caused by a small business owner that uses a P.O. box. One of our newest office-space rental prospective clients told us of a recent incident whereby his sister-in-law experienced running her home-based business through a P.O. Box. Seems that this entrepreneur made a major deal with a new supplier and then did not get the contract because the P.O. Box provider would not sign for the receiving of the confirmation letter from the originator of the contract, but instead sent it back to the sender marked “undelivered.” This ended up causing them to have to re-send the contract to a friend’s business address. Having t...

Places offering small business help that most entrepreneurs do not consider

In a recent blog we told you about the various ways that a small business can get free or low-cost help from the public library, but there are other sources of help that often go undiscovered. For example, local, Provincial/State and even Federal governments have various programs and resources that are often unknown or under-utilized by the small business owners that may need them. In a world of political grandstanding, a lot of myths get spun that are not necessarily true about government and small business. One of the most common is that small business and big government do not mix. This is not true. What is true is that the government can be as much of a friend to your small business as a foe. If you are in need of solid business advice at a crucial moment, the government might be able ...

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 ...