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Is business the right place for Pokémon? Some will say yes; others will say no!

Pokémon has become a worldwide phenomenon that has millions and millions of people playing. But does this augmented reality game have a place in a business environment? There are some businesses who are leveraging the attention the game is giving their location, while other businesses wish they could hire a Pokémon ‘exterminator.’ If you are not aware of it, Pokémon is the augmented reality game that has users on a giant scavenger hunt for virtual creatures, trying to capture them with a special ball. It is not just gamers that are playing – it is families, groups of friends, celebrities and yes, even business people working in the downtown core! Businesses that thrive on walk-in traffic are leveraging this phenomenon by luring Pokémon (lures cost about $1 each) to their locati...

International Mail Services Versus a Post Office Box

Whether you are in the USA or somewhere else around the world and you are doing business in Toronto, you most likely want a Toronto address for your Canadian mail. Postal Boxes may sound like an easy and secure way to have your business mail delivered, but are they? Let’s talk about the logistics of a P.O. Box first, before we go into the potential loss of business by using one. Unless you are a frequent flyer to Toronto or have someone picking up your Canadian mail as your Canadian representative, if a package or important documents are being sent using another courier such as UPS or FedEx, those packages cannot be delivered to a P.O. Box. Canada Post will hold your mail indefinitely, but is not set up to forward it to you. What good is it having a local mailing address if you are n...

How to Gain Trust for Your Home-Based Business

As we mentioned in our previous blog “How to Gain Trust for Your E-commerce Business,” trust, in general, is the key to the success of your business. You not only have to build and maintain trust with your clients, customers and vendors, you need to have the trust of employees and freelancers. Some say that if you lose that trust, you may just as well pack up your business and go home. But what if your business is a home-based business? How do you gain trust? As business owners and marketers, the assumptions you make about your target customers and the purchasing motivations you think they may have, will have a powerful affect on the health of your business. As a small business owner, your reputation means everything and you cannot afford to damage your personal brand. But trus...

Tips for first-time business owners

Not every new young entrepreneur has the luxury of having a mentor to help guide him or her on their first business venture. So finding guidance is up to them and it usually requires a great deal of research. Even if a new entrepreneur can find a mentor, he or she still needs to do research and learn about the market they are about to enter. It is not uncommon for first time entrepreneurs to want to jump at every opportunity that passes in front of them. They start off with one business idea and along comes a distraction, or they think they can handle more than one business idea at the same time. The problem is that they lose focus on their first business and their productivity eventually suffers. Choosing the right business is important. But choosing a business to start because it is the ...

Office space versus a virtual office: Which is best for you?

There is no reason not to have an upscale professional business address. But you do not necessarily need to have a physical office at that particular location. Sometimes a physical office space is important to your business, but what if it is not? Let’s talk about the best options for your small business. There are a range of business address options to choose from, including traditional raw office space, serviced office space and virtual offices. But which one is the most flexible and cost-efficient fit for your small business? Many small businesses owners and entrepreneurs may not have the financial capacity to lease traditional physical office space and pay for the infrastructure that type of space requires. The cost of office furniture, telephone systems and other office equipmen...

Advantages of Live Seminars Over Virtual Seminars

As we have written about (along with many others who have likely giving you small business advice), one of the best new ways of talking to customers and potential clients is by doing seminars and webinars. But what are the advantages of having live seminars over virtual/online seminars and training sessions? Having the choice available for attendees is key. First, having your attendees in the same room as you are gives you the chance to truly interact with them. But it also provides more networking opportunities for your attendees with others. People are more likely to network more closely with others in person rather than online. We are, after all, social creatures. When you have people coming to your seminar or training session, you have a greater opportunity to gather more information a...

How to Gain Trust for Your E-Commerce Business

Far too often, small business owners jump to the conclusion that the reason for a lost sale is their price point. What they often fail to realize is that the online customer abandons the cart because there is a trust issue with the site. Unless you have a long-term relationship with a customer or you also run a brick-and-mortar store that the customer has seen or been in, it can sometimes be hard to build that trust for a customer to make a purchase. You have to remember that mega online sites like Amazon did not gain the trust of customers the first day they opened. They had to have a plan to build trust. Unlike a physical location, customers who come to your online store do not have the experience of touching or feeling what they may be purchasing. It is not only your brand that customer...

What is Canada Day?

We have been recently publishing information for Americans looking to expand their businesses into Canada. On a recent prospect call, a U.S.-based business asked why we would be un-staffed on July 1. The simple answer would have been that it’s Canada’s version of the 4th of July, but we wanted to expand on the answer here. Canada Day is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867 (back then it was called the British North America Act of 1867), which united three British colonies into a single country called Canada. Originally, the holiday was called Dominion Day, but it was renamed in 1982, when the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as we...

Virtual Office Solutions for Opening a Canadian Branch Office

The two most common ways in which foreigners register to operate their businesses in Canada are through the registration of a Canadian branch or the incorporation of a Canadian subsidiary. When a foreign company is looking to expand its business into other markets, it usually just opens a branch office to test the waters – because the cost of registering a branch office with the government is less expensive than potential legal fees involved with incorporating a subsidiary. Having only a branch office allows foreign companies an easier exit from Canada if they do not see the results they were expecting in their expansion. Often companies looking to open a branch office in Canada will look to set up office space at a serviced office business centre where they are not tied to a long-term lea...

U.S. start-ups should begin international expansion in Canada

Often when we think about start-ups, we think of technology start-ups. But in reality, every business that is starting out is a “start-up” – so it is not just technology companies we are referring to.  It is any company in the early stages of growth. Every successful start-up reaches a point where all the advantages of being first to market with little competition are gone. Many start-ups will look to international expansion to maintain a rate of growth that maximizes resources that become redundant, without new accounts to service or more products to make for new customers. Many start-ups are overlooking Canada, preferring larger emerging markets. But start-ups in particular should be looking at Canada for the following reasons: Logistics enables the leveraging of U.S. assets ...

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