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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...

Canada Posts Business Solutions

For the most part, we forget about the post office because letter mail has been mostly replaced by e-mail. But there is still some things that small business needs from Canada Post. There is still a need for outbound marketing and product shipments. Depending on what you are marketing and who your target audience is, Canada Post may have a direct-mailing solution for you. Last year, Telsec did a targeted mailing to the condo buildings nearby and got a good response from entrepreneurs in those condos who were looking for a virtual office address (that was not their home address). We had a number of calls from the flyer we put out. Canada Post can take care of most of your small business shipping needs – everything from sending out letter mail and invoices, to sending out product shipments t...

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...