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Office Appearance – From a Client’s Perspective

I was recently asked by a friend to attend a meeting with them and to share my technical knowledge. My friend was considering making a substantial investment in a upstart business that claimed they were quite successful  and had  hundreds of potential clients visiting their offices every week.  After seeing their office, I wanted to know how many clients took them seriously. The office I visited was in the basement of a building whose main floor client was a noisy restaurant with wooden floors. I could hear every foot step from the floor above.  After a 30 minute meeting my client and I emerged from the meeting. The client asked me what was my opinion.  Before I gave my opinion to my client, I asked them what they thought of the space we just had the meeting in. They told me that it was qu...

Why eat your lunch underground when you can enjoy it overlooking the harbour

When you are looking for office space in Toronto, too often you forget about what building amenities that are available. One of the things that most people have to deal with every day is lunch. Most Toronto office space for rent locations require you to have to leave the building or go down into an underground food court with no sunlight. With Telsec Toronto business centres you need not worry about leaving the building to get lunch, nor do you have to go underground. Being in the Toronto Star building at 1 Yonge street, Telsec’s office space clients have access to the Toronto Star cafeteria located on the fourth floor, complete with an amazing view of the Toronto harbour. The cafeteria in the Toronto office space for rent building not only has a great great view and lots of natural ...

Saving the World at Work: How to Be Socially Responsible in Business

Being socially responsible in business is a growing trend — one being embraced by those who are looking for deeper meaning in their work lives. For some, it’s not enough to grow a business into a commercial success or create a good living for yourself. A growing number of people want more … they want to be responsible when it comes to the environment. They want to do good for others and give back to society. They want to make a difference that goes beyond pure financial results. “Saving the World at Work” is a book that profiles this trend. The subtitle of the book is “What Companies and Individuals Can Do to Go Beyond Making a Profit to Making a Difference.”  That’s a perfect description of what the book is all about. Lots of Examples The first part of the book profiles the changes underw...

eBay’s Decision Provides a Valuable Back-Up Lesson

After years of providing sellers and other interested parties with space to blog about products, services, or whatever was on their minds, eBay has decided to discontinue the blogging platform hosted by their company, effective Otober 31, 2009. Bloggers and sellers are quickly weighing in on this change, mostly with criticisms about eBay’s decision and their beliefs that the firm cares more about making money than making space for random content. I first learned about eBay’s blogging platform through a 2007 article published in Entrepreneur Magazine. The story explained how anyone could set up a blog, free of charge, to promote their business and gain traffic from eBay’s network. The idea of routing a piece of eBay’s massive traffic my way, even if I wasn’t involved in auction selling, was...

Work-At-Home Franchises: Real Opportunities Or Scams?

I’d like to make sure that you understand the difference between a home-based franchise, and a work-at- home “opportunity.” The differences are huge. . . A franchise is a licensing system by which the owner (franchisor) of a product or a service licenses others (franchisees) to market and sell the product or service within a defined territory, following the guidelines established by the franchisor. There is an up-front franchise fee, and you’ll be paying a percentage of your gross sales to the franchisor.  Franchises are regulated by the government, and the seller must give you a detailed disclosure document at least 10 business days before you pay any money or legally commit yourself to a purchase. Here are some examples of some home-based franchises: Kidzart- Children’s art instruction P...

Taking Advantage of Google’s Small Business Toolkit

Last week Google announced that they had redesigned the Small Business Network to not only help small business owners stay informed about new legislation, but to also include a small business toolkit. The Toolkit was designed to help SMB owners learn about the free Google products available to help them connect with colleagues and run their businesses more efficiently. The goal of the Toolkit (other than just heavily promoting Google’s complete line of services) is to help entrepreneurs and small business owners learn about Google products and to enable them to exchange ideas and best practices with other entrepreneurs. Essentially, it makes it brain dead simple for SMB owners to solve some of their biggest business concerns. For example: Need help finding customers? There’s Google Local B...

The Details: Preparing for Your First Tweetchat

This is part two of Twitter series:  Everything You Wanted to Know About TweetChats But Were Afraid to Ask. The first post focused on the pros and cons of sponsoring a Tweetchat and outlined the possible reasons you may want to consider adding this to your marketing mix. If you’re planning your first Tweetchat, it’s going to take preparation and planning.  There are very few ‘how to’ guides out there for sponsoring an ongoing chat and the best way to learn is to participate in some well-known and well-attended chats and see what you like and dislike. Here are a few key components that you’ll want to think about upfront: 1.) Select a Hashtag: The “how to select a Twitter hashtag” search comes up with a lot of tips on how to select one for breaking news stories or to follow existing events, ...

Don’t Forget About Real Customer Service

Social Media. Word of Mouth Marketing. Online Reputation Management. Engagement. Listening. We’ve given it a lot of fancy names over the past year, but all we’re really talking about is customer service. It’s about treating customers better than they expect to be treated and surpassing their expectations. And if you’re a small business, customer service is what most separates you from the big corporations. Customer service is your point of difference. A year ago I bought a fairly pricey pendant. I saw it while on the road at a conference and immediately loved it. I loved not only the pendent itself but the story behind the company, the one the woman who sold it to me spent at least 15 minutes reciting. And I purchased them both — the necklace and the tale of the company. I felt connected t...

Reducing IT Costs While Boosting Revenue

When businesses look at IT, high costs often come to mind. However, reducing these costs and establishing proper metrics can turn what is often a large expenditure into a way to boost revenue, which opens a path to higher profit. Just a few small steps can mean all the difference to the bottom line. According to Jennifer Perrier-Knox, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group, where companies allocate resources will vary according to their strategic objectives. “The organization needs to decide if its practice of IT gives it a competitive advantage in the market or if the department has core competencies that it needs to retain,” she said. Any practice or process that doesn’t fit this description could be a way to cut costs. The typical IT costs a business incur...

Ten Small Business Startup Ideas – 2009/09/20

If you are sat at home this weekend contemplating starting your own small / micro home business or becoming a self-employed freelancer / sole trader then here are ten quick-fire business ideas to use as a starting point.  A website teaching readers about the day-to-day training requirements for various sports. Improvisational comedy confidence-building exercises. A company which takes your dead electronic equipment and smashes it until it becomes modern art! A premium hotline providing legal advice. A café for aspiring filmmakers to congregate and show their work to receive feedback. A clothes-sharing website for high-value items such as shoes. An impartial advice line for people purchasing consumer electronics. A YouTube channel reviewing local restaurants. Keep other people’s ...

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