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Small business and start-up time management tips

Everyone always say that “Time is Money” when it comes to your small business. But you need to know how to manage it so that your time is used wisely and productively. You cannot get time back that has been lost, so we compiled some tips that will help you to identify and rectify the way you spend your time. Audit your day by creating a time log. We are not suggesting that you log every minute and hour of every day. You just need to create a log that sets a benchmark for a how your time is used on a typical day. This may require you to log your time for a few days if your schedule is different over those particular days (eg. Monday is spend in the office, Tuesday is spent on the road, Wednesday is spent in the factory or warehouse, etc). Once you have established what your typi...

Building the ideal community for your business

It’s not that SEO is dead or that links are obsolete, but building an online community around your business is a great way to increase your online visibility to search engines. If you build a community around your business, you’re putting the focus where it belongs – on your business. If your business’ online plan is continually chasing the Google algorithm, you’re putting all of your power in what Google’s going to do next. Building an online community for your business is one of the best ways to weather Google’s algorithms. Besides, building a strong company and brand through building a community isn’t something that Google can take away or change. One of the Internet’s greatest strengths is its ability to bring together people with similar inter...

Small business and start-up growth tips

Start-ups and small and medium-sized business owners are always looking for new ways to make sure they stay ahead of their competitors – and growth is the way that most experts see as the best answer. They want to stay competitive with other small business, but they also want to stay competitive with larger global brands. Growth can come in many forms, but the top ones currently are: Expansion into new markets Building your online presence Automating the processes within your company Do not just attend networking events or training seminars – create your own Expansion into new markets. Canadian companies should look outside their borders for new markets, but not before tapping into good growth markets at home. Once those Canadian growth markets are exhausted, then they need to explore U.S....

Small business and start-up budgeting tips

When you have a great business idea and you are ready to create your business plan, the most important part of your plan is your financial strategy. That being said, most entrepreneurs do not know a lot about finances and budgets. One of the top reasons some small businesses fail is because their funds were not managed properly because of poor planning. Let us share some tips that can help you better plan and manage your business finances. One of the first mistakes made by many entrepreneurs is procrastinating when it comes to daily bookkeeping and putting them off for another day. The trick to ensuring that you do your bookkeeping is to make it simple for yourself – because trying get your mind around it will just make you procrastinate more. If you break down your bookkeeping into smalle...

When does a home-based business need a location?

If you have to work for 80 hours a week just to keep your business afloat, then you are not profitable. Some entrepreneurs blow through the earliest stages of their company’s growth by putting all their energy and time into their businesses at the expense of their own health and personal relationships. Part of the reason for this is that they are working from home – and the line between home time and work time often becomes blurred. The fact remains that two out of three companies begin in a spare bedroom, garage, basement or sometimes even a bathroom (we did not ask about this one when we were told about it). Sometimes the choice of operating your business from home is taken away from you by zoning bylaws. Many cities and many counties have zoning ordinances that limit, to one degre...

Can a business centre replace a virtual assistant?

With your social media activities and administrative tasks, it’s hard to focus on the most important aspect of your business – serving your customers. So how can you devote your energy to that service without dropping the ball on your other chores? By hiring virtual assistants to take on those tasks that keep you away from your core responsibilities. As we mentioned in a previous blog “Virtual Office or Virtual Assistant?” the terms virtual office and a virtual assistant are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are differences. The term virtual assistant (VA for short), refers to a person who is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely. The term virtual assistant can also refer to software that ...

Canadian small business tax tips

Tax season is upon us and we all know that tax time can be stressful for most – but especially for small business owners who have limited time to spend on preparing their tax returns. Having a plan and being informed can help to alleviate some of the pressures of doing your business taxes. So what can you do throughout the year that will help make tax season easier? Here are some suggestions: Keep up with your record keeping. Not to sound like “Captain Obvious,” but keeping records of all your expenditures throughout the year will add up. It can be as simple as putting all your loose receipts in a shoe box. But it will much easier at the end of the tax year if you had a system to sort and organize your receipts sorted by month or type of expense and placed in an accordion-type ...

Business tips inspired by Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran is the real estate contributor for NBC’s TODAY Show where she regularly comments on trends in the real estate market. But most people know her as one of the sharks on ABC’s reality hit show Shark Tank. If you really want to question her business knowledge, consider that she turned a $1,000 loan and parlayed that loan into a $5 billion real estate business. Then in 2001, she sold that business for $66 million. This shows that she knows a little about building a business. Here are some of her best tips for small-business owners from an article on the Forbes website (followed by our comments): “Don’t be afraid to make big mistakes. All the best things that happened in my business happened on the heels of failure. Don’t be afraid to fail; it’s proof that you are me...

How to promote a networking event

Whether you’re planning a charity event, business networking cocktail hour, reception or educational conference, getting the word out about your meeting can be a big challenge. To adequately promote an event, planners need to target potential attendees using a variety of media. While your networking events may not need its own website, people need one place to check for information about what’s coming up next, or how they register to attend the event. You can use anything from a Facebook group to a Meetup group or even your own website. Whatever you choose, you need to make it a priority and keep it updated. Without a high level of consistency, your past or future attendees won’t be able to keep up or let their own networks know about your events. You want to make it easy for y...

The differences between a mail-forwarding service and a P.O. Box

P.O. Boxes are usually offered by either the Post Office or a “CMRA” which stands for Commercial Mail Receiving Agency. It all depends on the services t\offered by the Post Office or CMRA that you are working with. A mail-forwarding service is typically offered by an office business centre that rents office space to small businesses and also offers virtual office solutions. The first real differences between a mail forwarding service and a P.O. box is that a mail forwarding service provider offers you a real street address. This is ideal, especially if you are a running a small business that needs a more professional image than a conventional P.O. Box number. Another factor is that a P.O. Box cannot accept packages for you, especially when they are being delivered by a third-party courier ...