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Weekly Business News Roundup

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

4 Benefits That Explain Why Large Companies Are Increasingly Turning to Coworking

The concept of coworking space as a sparse, open space design workplace for tech-startup millennials is no longer viable. The co-authors of this article point out how professional coworking space has evolved to provide “chic environments with amenities” such as private offices, high-tech security and furnishings, honor bars and cafes, social and networking events, and more. Coworking space has also evolved in providing significant advantages to larger companies, specifically these four: they can recruit from diverse geographic locations; they can leverage the option of open space to fuel collaboration and boost creativity among different teams; they can easily expand into a new market with temporary headquarters, without dealing with setting up an office; and lastly, they can reap cost-savings and flexible rental terms as compared to traditional office space.

The Research-Backed, 3-Step Method to Hack Your Brain, Break Bad Habits, and Make Better Decisions

“We’re wired to respond habitually and emotionally to specific triggers,” is the preface of this article by the author and expert in emotional intelligence (EQ). After an in-depth description of why this is so and an illustration of the “emotional hijacking” of our rational, decision-making prefrontal cortex, he outlines a three-step method to change habitual responses to become better decision makers: find your motivation for wanting to revise your current habits; practice the skill of self-reflection before reacting to a situation continuously until it is internalized; and lastly, apply what you’ve practiced, such as during an emotionally-charged discussion with an irate colleague. His parting advice is to not expect to develop self-control overnight, but to “continue integrating ‘habits by design’ every chance you get.”

Never Underestimate How Easy It Is to Screw Up When Deploying New Technology

The brave new world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and the (Industrial) Internet of Things (IIOT) will be shaping the business landscape for years to come. Designed to learn and crunch data at phenomenal speeds, they’re intended to help companies decipher enormous volumes of data quickly. But for many businesses, “these technologies are as confusing, intimidating and abstract as they are powerful.” Here are some of the common hurdles businesses across industries run into when trying to implement new technology: confusing “cool tech” with solving a problem; giving up too early without getting the right kind of help; and waiting for competitors to make the first move in adopting new tech.

City of Toronto Begins Consultations for the Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Yesterday (September 5th), the City of Toronto began the first in a series of consultations planned with greater Toronto’s Indigenous community, with the purpose of informing and guiding the creation of an Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE). According to the article, “The purpose of the ICIE is to provide a space and support for Indigenous entrepreneurs looking to build businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits, collectives or co-operatives by providing access to resources, advisory support and workspace for their ventures.” The centre will be located at a city-owned space at 200 Dundas St. East. Consultation findings and recommendations are to be presented to the Toronto City Council next spring. You can find out more about the ICIE and consultations at the City’s website.

Do You Know Your Risk of Cyberattack?

Earlier this year, the U.S. House Committee on Small Business issued a warning to small business owners that hackers are targeting them, and attacking them with the most sophisticated methods ever. Moreover, committee members said that “there is reason to believe hackers will continue to primarily target small businesses from now on.” The biggest threat is to small business email, as small businesses are most vulnerable due to budget constraints that don’t allow for extensive cybersecurity measures.

Specifically, a sophisticated form of phishing, BEC, which tricks users into trusting illegitimate emails, constitutes a real threat to small businesses in all industries. Fortunately, “spending more is not as important as spending smartly,” and targeted protections can stop the most common – and costliest – cyberattacks. Here, the author discusses five steps to focusing your cybersecurity efforts, from implementing email sender authentication standards to educating users.

How Flexible Working Options Can Reduce Staff Absences

While employee absenteeism is something to be expected in every workplace, it can also indicate a larger problem with low staff morale. Here, the author discusses how flexible working options can help prevent absenteeism, with four specific examples covering illness and injury, low morale, stress and mental health conditions, and personal events.

Want to Catapult Your Company Forward? Try Listening to Your People

The author, an expert in agile methodology who specializes in training teams on how to be more efficient in their work processes, describes how after several days of doing agile assessments for a company and meeting with several teams and executives, her conclusions aligned with what employees’ had identified as their current challenges and what needed to be done to enhance efficiency on the first day.

Her underlying point: “you might wonder why leaders don’t listen to their people more.” She says that employees often really know what’s going on, such as where the roadblocks and inefficiencies are, “because they’re on the ground floor.” She also contends that they may have innovative ideas, but may feel no one would listen. If they were to feel valued and heard, she continues, they would “feel ownership” and “when people feel ownership, quality goes up, productivity goes up” and “continuous improvements emerge” – all of which are often the results seen in companies when they begin using agile as an approach to how they work.

Most CEOs Miss These 3 Things When Scaling Their Businesses

According to the seed accelerator Techstars, 70% of startups struggle with scaling. Once past the three-year mark of volatility for fledgling companies, failure rates flatten out, but the author contends that is where danger lurks: “most entrepreneurs fixate on the finish line, failing to reverse-engineer the path to get there.” Here he recommends three techniques to build the momentum you need for scaling your business: be willing to pivot quickly – even if the move doesn’t match your original vision; redefine the CEO role as your company grows, and delegate tasks; and outsource high-impact/low-cost day-to-day back office tasks so you have more time to focus on generating income.

7 Key Follow-Up Steps to Take Your Idea to a Business

If you – or your team – see you as “an idea person,” then your first task as an entrepreneur should be to find a co-founder who can deliver on your idea. The startup expert and author of this article discusses “how follow-up trumps ideas for success in the key challenges of a startup, or any small business,” and advances seven specific follow-up steps, from networking with investors, partners, and customers to correctly prioritizing customer acquisition, retention, and support.

Stop annoying everyone with these common email mistakes

“You’d think years of using the tool would make us proficient, but email is considered one of the biggest time wasters of work,” contends the author of this article. She also states, “even though a lot of companies are moving to communication platforms like Slack, [email’s] not going away anytime soon.” The cofounder of the productivity software provider Boomerang says, “Email is a to-do list you don’t control…anybody who can get hold of your email address can impose on you and demand attention in your inbox.”

With that, the author discusses seven of the most common mistakes you’re likely making when you email someone, citing the cofounder of Boomerang and a Purdue University Global faculty member, from using all caps in your subject line (“It’s the internet equivalent of yelling, and no one likes to be yelled at”) to expecting an immediate response (“Many people have conflated email and text messaging.”)

 

About Laura Crest

With an educational background in journalism, Laura began her career as a professional writer and editor 35 years ago with an internship for a magazine while an undergraduate at Michigan State University. After the advent of the internet, Laura transferred her skills from print to digital with a small online consulting business specializing in SEO and content strategy. Since, she has also served as the blog writer, managing editor, and content curator for several small online businesses before joining Telsec Business Centres, where she continues to apply her expertise in content discovery and curation for small businesses.

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