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Weekly Business News Roundup

This Weeks Top Posts for SME Businesses & Startups

This is the first of many weekly roundups that

will be published on Fridays. Our goal for this information is to help The Telsec Community and all businesses and startups navigate the choppy waters of entrepreneurship! We hope the mix of marketing, business and self improvement articles aids you in finding good information for your daily reading needs.

The 10 Things You Must Do From Day One so Your Startup Thrives
Considering launching your own business? While there’s no shortage of advice on the subject, these 10 small business tips from an accomplished Silicon Valley entrepreneur are battle tested.

By far the most important and detailed of the 10 start-up tips is the first one: get started on the right foot by covering the basics. From starting your business while you are still employed to writing a solid business plan, conducting market research to delegating legal, accounting and tax issues to professionals, all serve to minimize the chances of failing.

The other nine tips run the gamut from networking with others in your niche to reducing overhead and hiring the right team. All of them are designed to be readily actionable.

Toys R Us A How Not To Guide For The Retail Business Gadfly
Toys R Us is a shell of its old self. How it got this way is a lesson for retail! With the demise of the Toys R Us Inc. come lessons for retail businesses of any size. Ultimately, an unsustainable debt load coupled with strategic shortsightedness proved fatal to the former retail giant.

According to Bloomberg News’ Columnist Sarah Halzack, the former retail giant’s fate may have begun in 2000, when the company entered into a 10-year partnership with Amazon.com Inc. to create a co-branded online store. While the partnership dissolved years early, it likely hurt Toys R Us to lean on Amazon’s expertise and online strategy for as long as it did, putting the store “…on the path to a long and losing game of catch-up.”

A stagnant store environment and the underutilization of its Babie R Us, which would have helped level the seasonality of its toy sales, also contributed to the Toys R Us failure. The retailer intends to liquidate its U.S. business, and is in the process of exploring the reorganization and sale of its Canada division, as well as its other international operations.

Thinking of starting a new business this year?
Inc. Magazine website just released its annual breakdown of the most promising industries for launching a successful startup.

The eight sectors range from the odd, such as canned wine to the more obvious, like elderly care. In between are the verticals of disaster relief, alternative-protein food products, beauty tech, influencer agents, women’s reproductive health care and e-sports. For each industry, Inc. breaks down why it’s hot, skills required, barriers to entry, the downside, major players and growth. A “look inside” each sector is also provided with separate articles.

The 25 Best Productivity Apps For 2018
As the saying goes, time is money: increasing efficiencies in your business is always desirable.
One or more of these 25 productivity apps for smartphones, tablets and computers that either launched or received a significant upgrade in 2017 should assist you to better manage your time. Ranging from email and project management tools to applications designed to streamline tasks and pare down overcrowded to-do lists, there’s an app for every busy body.

Google Adwords Notes Recommendations Account Performance Score
Notes are coming to AdWords, plus Recommendations and an Account Performance Score in the future.
If your business uses AdWords, then you’ll be pleased to know that Google has announced (at SMX West, also discussed at the AdWords blog: https://adwords.googleblog.com/2018/03/youtube-and-search-innovations-smx2018.html) several productivity updates for its new AdWords interface, including the ability to note important changes right in the UI. Literally called “Notes,” this update will become available to users in the following weeks.

Other productivity updates include “Recommendations” (formerly called “Opportunities”), which include 16 new types of recommendations customized to a given AdWords account, a new Account Performance Score that visually shows users where the biggest optimization opportunities are and where advertisers should focus their efforts. The Recommendations page will become available in the very near future, and the Account Performance Score in the coming weeks.

Canada Ontario Job Grant Guideline Changes For 2018-2019
The popular training grant for Ontario-based employers, the Canada-Ontario Job Grant (COJG), has several notable changes in its 2018-19 guidelines. Of the more significant changes for SMBs are updates to employer size and contribution amounts. More businesses will be able to qualify as a small employer, translating into an increase in funding for training projects, as the threshold number of employees has doubled from <50 to <100. The COJG funding will now offset 83% of training costs to a maximum of $10,000/trainee for small employers. If a small employer hires and trains unemployed individuals, they may qualify for 100% of training project funding to a maximum of $15,000/trainee.

The comparable size and contribution criteria for large employers are those with 100+ employees, and a standard contribution rate of 50% of training costs to a maximum of $10,000/trainee. Large employers do not qualify for an increase in COFG funding by hiring and training unemployed people.

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