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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...

Is Your Small Business White and Gold or Blue and Black?

Unless you have been away from the news and social media for the past number of days, you have probably seen or heard postings about a dress in the U.K. that is causing controversy over what colours it is. Some people will see a white and gold dress in dark shadow, while some people see a blue and black dress that may be washed out in bright light. Then again, some see one interpretation and then switch to the other. This dress colour controversy has taken over the Internet for the past number of days and has become a viral debate, but what does it mean to your small business? On the surface, it probably looks unimportant, unless you are the designer of the dress or a retailer that is selling them. But the fact that a mere perception of colour can create such a debate shows how online imag...

Losing Focus on Your Small Business

So you had a great business idea – but what happened to it? Did you forget your core idea or did you get distracted? Small business owners are easily distracted by other plans or ideas primarily because of  the media they follow. That great idea they had may have been that “next great idea,” but they got distracted by something that might have sounded better at that particular time. We live in a time where social media influences us on a daily basis, but we often forget about our best ideas and most promising business strategies because social media. Remember, innovations occur because of new ideas that small business owners and entrepreneurs come up with. If you are a true entrepreneur or small business owner, you maintain your focus and continue to make your product or idea b...

Recycle and Revisit Content

As a small business owner you are often faced with the problem of coming up with new content for your blog and social media. But have you considered recycling and re-purposing? Just like the paper you use in your office or that can of cola can be recycled, so can some of your older blogs or social media posts. A great amount of your best work can often be re-written or re-purposed to fill your current needs. Quite often content you previously created can be updated and re-used to serve a new purpose or be re-focused to a different audience. Remember that delivering your message in various ways (especially over time), can not only increase the retention and impact of your message, but it allows you to describe what you are saying from several angles or perspectives. Re-purposing content is ...

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