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Five Tips Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know

While there are plenty of tips all over the internet for small businesses, few are aimed at the business owner. As a business owner, sometimes you have take a step back and look at yourself in the mirror – and decide if you are making decisions for yourself or for your small business. Here are five proven strategies: Be unique. Have a unique product or service offering, or a point of view that your competition does not. Your offering must stand out and have its own point of view that is uniquely yours. If your potential customers cannot distinguish between your product or service and that of your competitor’s, as the new person in the marketplace you will probably not get the sale. Remember that consumer expectations today are heavily influenced by the larger players who have establi...

Tips on hiring and managing employees

As you get your small business off the ground, you will at some point need to hire employees to take care of the day-to-day functioning of your business. Before you start to look for employees, you need to define their job descriptions and what qualifications they should have to fill that position. You want to recruit the best and brightest, and create a workplace environment that they want to be a part of – and one that will retain them, so they do not get lost to your competitors. You also want a workplace environment that stimulates creativity and productivity at the same time. Just look at what Google, Bing, Apple and Yahoo have done. Yes, those are extreme examples, but there are many things they do that you can scale down to fit your own workplace. Happy and healthy employees are pro...

Registering your business

So you have your business idea and you have developed a good business plan, now what? The purpose of this post is to give you granular details on where to find the information and online registration portals to make the registrations and get the proper licensing for your business. The earlier post tells you to think about and this post helps you determine what registrations and licensing requirements your business may need now and in the future and where to get your business registration and licensing requirements from your municipal, provincial and federal governments. Information for US businesses wanting to do business in Canada may also be of interest in addition to this how to register your business post. Licensing Requirements You will find a lot of very useful information on the Gov...

Organizing your small business finances

The success of your small business will depend to a great degree on how well you plan and manage your finances. This is especially true if you will be seeking financial help, either from a start-up loan, an investor or from a government grant. It is imperative that you have a well-developed financial plan as part of your business plan. There is an old saying: “No one plans to fail, but many fail to plan.” This is important to remember if you are a new business owner. Starting up a new business can be deceptively simple, but from the very outset you need to be aware that even the most basic business model entails considerable financial planning. Your financial plan is where you need to prove your numbers and show that your business idea is viable and profitable. As part of your financial pl...

Planning your business is like going back to school

When you decide to start a business for the first time, it is important to know that creating a solid business plan is vital to your success. A good business plan will help you know where you are headed long before you get there. Writing your business plan requires doing your homework and making some decisions. The research and choices will have a great deal of influence on how your business is structured and in what direction your business should go. The first thing you need to do is to decide what type of business structure will work for you . You have to decide if you are opening your business as a sole proprietorship or other structure, such as a partnership or corporation. Your choice of business structure will have liability and tax implications, so you really need to do your researc...

With back to school coming, are you planning to start a new business?

For students across the country, the lazy days of summer are coming to a close and a new school year is right around the corner. As an entrepreneur thinking of starting a new business, where to begin can be your biggest obstacle. In our previous blog Getting the Kids Back to School is a Reason to get Serious About Business, we talked about how many parents start thinking about their business when their children’s summer is about to end and the are going back to school. But what about those stay-at-home parents who do not yet have a business? Maybe it is time to start a home-based business that allows you to send the kids off to school and be home when they return from school each day. So where to begin in starting a new business? Do your homework. No small business is guaranteed to b...

Getting the Kids Back to School is a Reason to get Serious About Business

The commercials have already started for back to school. Stores are already putting together their back-to-school sections – and the kids are grumbling about it being too soon to think about their summer holidays ending. But what are parents thinking about? With their children going back to school, entrepreneurial parents will have more time to concentrate on what they need to do about their existing business (or perhaps starting a new one). Parents who own small businesses will often take some time off during school summer holidays to spend with their kids. This could be a few days here and there, a week or two, long weekends or even just shorten their workday to spend more time with their kids. Come the first weeks of August, parents who have taken time away from their business start to ...

Characteristics to look for in a remote worker

When you are looking for remote workers, you want people who have experience with little supervision (well, little in-person supervision) that are able to show results from the work that they are being asked to do. Your business has to be able to count on them, without you standing over their shoulder and making sure that they are getting the job done correctly and efficiently. Even though they are working remotely, they have to be team players. If an applicant does not demonstrate the ability to work with other team members or understand the concept of constant communication with head office and other team members, they might not be suited for your team. Because wherever your team members are located, holding daily meetings can keep them united and working towards one goal. You need a rem...

What is flexible working?

How flexible is your work space? Let’s first discuss what flexible working is. Flexible working can mean a variety of things to different businesses. It could refer to hours of operation, accessibility, size of your office or even the location of your office space. Office space can be a drain on resources for start-up companies. Most landlords demand 3-5 year lease terms and personal guarantees when securing an office. With most traditional office spaces, you only get access for a limited amount of the day and only Monday to Friday. In a flexible office working situation, you get 24-hour access every day of the week (including holidays). Having flexible access whenever you need it, gives you and your business much more flexibility. For example, you can decide when to work and when yo...

Location, location, location! We’ve said it’s important so many times!

While a good office/business location is often emphasized and often even preached, have you really thought about the way your business location has affected the bottom line of your small business? One of our largest office space competitors, Regus, did some research on the topic of location that we thought we should share with our readers. Yes, Regus wants our location. But Telsec is not going to give up the number one address on Canada’s most famous street, One Yonge Street, where many businesses want to be located. So, Regus surveyed 19,000 business owners and found that more than 80% of those who responded stated that “customer retention rates can be increased by greater physical proximity to customers.” Almost as many respondents (78%) also said that “physical c...

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