NAFTA Redux – Renegotiating Prosperity

August 10th, 2017|Comments Off on NAFTA Redux – Renegotiating Prosperity

For over a quarter century, a set of trade agreements with the United States and Mexico have underpinned the Canadian economy and become the primary focus of the economies of Ontario and of Toronto. The original Free Trade Agreement between the US and Canada was signed thirty years ago and expanded to include Mexico in the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Before an agreement was in place, North American trade was subject to a patchwork of tariffs, quotas, and often arbitrary duties imposed on goods and services that crossed some of the longest borders in the world. Since the agreements were ratified, three of the world’s largest and most dynamic economies have virtually integrated with each other, forming the one of the largest and most prosperous trading blocs on Earth. Starting one week from today NAFTA is being reopened and renegotiated. Though economists suggest the vast majority of North […]

A Big Business Centre – Many Spaces for Different Needs

August 3rd, 2017|Comments Off on A Big Business Centre – Many Spaces for Different Needs

What do a bunch of insurance actuaries, employment consultants, lawyers, employment recruiters, IT start-ups, non-profits, notary publics, immigration consultants, talent agents, modelling companies, photographers, web design firms, and even a couple international airlines have in common? It is something they share with several non-profits, charities, unions, and several professional standards bodies. Each of these businesses shares the same business address. These are some of the types of businesses found when conducting a Google search using “1 Yonge St. Suite 1801” as the keyword query. Established in 1980, Telsec Business Centres provides office space and professional services to hundreds of different businesses in hundreds of different sectors. Working with so many businesses ranging across so many interests and professions has taught us a bit about the other things all businesses have in common. All businesses are built to grow and they all need a stable and positive base to grow in. […]

Networked to Foster Success – Canada Business Network

July 27th, 2017|Comments Off on Networked to Foster Success – Canada Business Network

The technology sector is growing at an unprecedented rate in several Canadian cities. From the emergence of new start-ups to the realization that a few of those start-ups will eventually employ hundreds or thousands of staff, it is a good time to be an entrepreneurial Canadian geek. Moreover, all three levels of government in Canada (federal, provincial, and municipal) are primed to help prime the pump with business advice, immigration assistance, and in some cases, even by helping find and provide financing. Previous articles have covered the grants and other financing schemes for new Canadians. Today, let’s take a quick look at business assistance primarily targeted to Canadian citizens. The types of assistance available are slightly different for naturalized Canadians featuring several lines to direct funding and far deeper mentoring and networking opportunities. Managed economic development is a priority for the federal and provincial governments, especially as Canada’s economy transits […]

The Start-Up Visa Programs – Manufacturing Canada’s Gain

July 20th, 2017|Comments Off on The Start-Up Visa Programs – Manufacturing Canada’s Gain

Shortly after the November 2016 election of US President Donald Trump a realization spread around the globe that things really were going to change. For nearly two and a half centuries the United States had been the land of opportunity for innovators, inventors, academics and entrepreneurs but suddenly everything was going to be different. That realization, as chilling as it was, didn’t stop those who wanted to be innovators or inventors or academics or entrepreneurs from trying to get to get into the States.  The number of visa applications for foreigners trying to make something of themselves and their ideas in the United States rose in 2016, even as the mood of the electorate swayed dangerously away from common sense and reason. It wasn’t until early March, a few short weeks after he was sworn in that the Trump administration tried to introduce its first immigration ban, the one that […]

Canada is Open to STEM Growth

July 13th, 2017|Comments Off on Canada is Open to STEM Growth

In the coming years, Canadians are going to hear a lot about attaining STEM educations and fostering STEM businesses. STEM is an acronym standing for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; the fastest growing areas of entrepreneurialism in the world. Due to a number of factors, including the volatile political situation in the United States, Canada is poised on the precipice of the greatest advances in advanced technology development this country has ever seen. Canada has been known as a stable and reliable developer of advanced technologies for much of its 150 year existence. With excellent schools and few religious or ethical barriers to research, Canadians have invented or innovated on some of the greatest tools humans have ever developed. For a relatively small country of only 36million, Canada has some of the best tech infrastructure on the planet including world-leading universities, research and development centres, high-speed Internet access in virtually […]

Interest and Canadian Confidence

June 29th, 2017|Comments Off on Interest and Canadian Confidence

Monetary policy might seem a dull subject heading into a gloriously free Canada Day long weekend but given yesterday’s extraordinary statement by Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz, it is worth taking a few minutes to peer into a near future hinted at by the Governor and his deputies over the past few weeks. “It does look as though those cuts have done their job,” Mr. Poloz said reflecting on the dramatic interest rate cuts made after the oil crash in 2014. Those cuts were piled on top of previous cuts made after the global economic meltdown of 2008. As of this moment, Canada’s central bank’s benchmark loan rate is a staggeringly low 0.5% leaving very little room for Mr. Poloz to go lower without flirting with the negative rate interest policy he mused about just over a year ago. Are you done yawning yet? Ok, let’s move forward. Both […]

Five Very Short Stories about Very Big Data

June 27th, 2017|Comments Off on Five Very Short Stories about Very Big Data

Big Data and Small Business – Part 1 Big Data sounds like a mighty big buzzword for those who don’t understand what the buzzword means. Simply put, big data is all about our rapidly growing abilities to record, store, and compare increasingly vast amounts of information. Though the concept of big data is over fifty years old, the reality of being able to track and analyse the habits of individuals amongst extremely large groups of people with hyper-accuracy is closer to fifteen. For the last decade and a half we have been able to peer into each other’s lives in ways that have the power to significantly improve the tenor of human experience but have fundamentally changed our ideas and ideals around personal privacy. Globally popular tools such as Google and Facebook have spent a decade or more recording human wants and desires from all parts of the Earth. Each […]

Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Your Business

June 22nd, 2017|Comments Off on Bitcoin, Blockchain, and Your Business

On Halloween 2008, just over a month after global financial crisis began on September 29, a person, or group of persons published a research paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The research paper demonstrated how a digital payment system without any form of central control could be mounted on an uncrackable publicly distributed ledger system known as blockchain. Less than three months later, it was released as open source software and Nakamoto’s invention became a reality. Called a “cryptocurrency”, Bitcoin operates without administrators or a central repository of funds. It can be exchanged for goods and services or converted to other forms of money such as a national currency. It functions as real money in both legal and black markets around the world. According to a 2017 study conducted by Cambridge University, upwards of 5.8million people use cryptocurrencies, the vast majority of which […]

The Numbers Game of Networking

June 20th, 2017|Comments Off on The Numbers Game of Networking

Everyone’s world revolves on an axis of networks. In business, government, or academia, those networks scale much larger but in the end, most human endeavour centers around well established networks of trusted friends, colleagues, associates, and contacts. If you need a babysitter, chances are you call one the teenage child of a friend. When deciding on a restaurant to take our families to, we rely on the recommendations of friends and associates. When seeking essential service providers like a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, we tend to ask our contacts about their personal experiences. Beyond recommendation websites like Yelp or local search engines like Google, humans rely on the wisdom, experience, and assistance of others in many facets of our lives. Building one’s networks is often a difficult challenge. Much like high school or university friendships, one’s business networks will serve to define one’s character, access to opportunities, and overall resourcefulness, likely for […]

Canadian Dollar Bouncing Higher

June 15th, 2017|Comments Off on Canadian Dollar Bouncing Higher

Caught between a rocking economy and continued global uncertainty over oil prices, the Canadian dollar has been fluctuating madly for the last several months. Hovering between $0.70 and $0.75 US, the disparities in the value of the dollar are starting to cause headaches and worry for Canada’s already beleaguered exporters. This is especially true in Ontario where a slowly rebuilding manufacturing sector was just starting to catch its footing. For Canadian exporters, a lower loonie is good for business as it makes the cost of Canadian goods less expensive than those produced south of the borders. At the same time, a high Canadian dollar is seen as beneficial to the oil sector which relies on importing equipment using Canadian dollars but sells its product on a market dictated by costs in American dollars. This dichotomy has been in place since the middle years of the last decade when the Stephen […]

Advertising in the Context of Change

June 13th, 2017|Comments Off on Advertising in the Context of Change

Advertising, as we know it, is about to change so radically it will be practically unrecognizable. If you have a favourite TV spot you might want to record it. Similarly, if there is an ad out there that annoys you to distraction you’ll be happy to know you’ll likely not have to see such awfulness again, at least not in the near future. Tomorrow’s ad delivery is already happening today but the scale is about to get so much bigger. We live in a midst of a digital revolution. At no other time in human history have so many ideas and institutions been altered, challenged, changed, created, and destroyed. As discomforting as it is, revolutionary change is a natural by-product of technological advancement. A decade and a half after its inception the innovation that made Google one of the wealthiest companies on Earth is going to eliminate commercial advertising and […]

How to Become a Non-Resident Importer

June 6th, 2017|Comments Off on How to Become a Non-Resident Importer

A Non-Resident Importer is a US or foreign based company that imports into Canada under their own name and business number without a permanent presence in Canada. A fact that is often overlooked by non-resident businesses providing goods and services into Canada is that they are subject to GST/HST taxes on sales into Canada. GST/HST management is responsible for longer delays at border crossings. Another bigger issue is that if GST/HST is not managed before entry into Canada the customer must pay the value added tax. GST/HST can be managed by becoming a Non-Resident Importer. A Non-Resident Importer could see the following benefits: Sell within Canada using a domestic pricing plan Manage landed costs without involvement of a Canadian intermediary Make border crossings seamless Increase market share in Canada The following are some challenges that a foreign based company should consider before choosing this business format: Must first obtain a […]

Working from home has its challenges, but looking professional does not have to

June 1st, 2017|Comments Off on Working from home has its challenges, but looking professional does not have to

As the writer of this blog, I primarily work from home and only go into the office a few times a week. Today was a great weather day (well until it got cloudy) and I took my laptop outside and did some work in front of my apartment building. While I was out there, one of my neighbors (who also works from home) came out to get some fresh air and take a break from his work. My neighbor Blake is a hair stylist who works on films, creates wigs for movies and live theatre as well as takes on cutting hair for private clients in his apartment (yes, he has a professional hair studio set up in his apartment).  Today Blake was stressed out, but by work.  His stress came from a friend who could not understand that because he was home, that he was still working and could […]

Why Move from the Burbs to Downtown Toronto Office Space?

May 30th, 2017|Comments Off on Why Move from the Burbs to Downtown Toronto Office Space?

Many companies are choosing to move their offices downtown and away from the suburbs. Lets discuss why this is happening and what are the advantages of the downtown location for customers, colleagues and employees. In the past several years, a handful of North America’s largest corporations like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and even McDonalds have joined the exodus from their suburban headquarters and campuses to new office space that is located downtown, and millennial’s seem to be the driving force. Yes, many companies chose to accept the usually higher cost of downtown space opposed to what they are paying in the suburbs, because they help attract younger workers. These workers want the chance to walk to nearby amenities and areas with a sense of place, rather than a generic business park campus or driving to a nearby shopping mall. This is also because these same workers want to be close to […]

Does your start-up really need a private office space? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

May 18th, 2017|Comments Off on Does your start-up really need a private office space? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

The first few months (or even years) of a start-up are often executed from the owner’s garage, basement or kitchen table. But as the business grows, it’s time to move. However, where you go is just as important. Your location can affect your company’s productivity, creativity and community – not to mention budget. Insiders agree that choosing the right environment depends on the work that’s being done and the people who are doing it. Some entrepreneurs are taking the plunge, either buying or leasing commercial office space to give their start-ups credibility and authenticity. Is opening up in your own office space a smart move early on for a new business? If you’re considering leasing traditional private office space, you should curb your enthusiasm long enough to ask yourself these questions. What will it cost to lease office space other than the monthly rental payments?  When you’re considering leasing office […]

Seven tips for starting a successful small business or start-up

May 16th, 2017|Comments Off on Seven tips for starting a successful small business or start-up

The biggest fear of starting a small business is failure, but there are things you can do to limit your chances of failure and increase your potential for success. While most of the advice here is not new, we are going to remind you of them and try to put a new angle on them so they make more sense. Have passion for your work. Having passion for your work does not mean that it is your only calling, but you need to be excited about it to the point where others see your passion. Starting a small business is not easy, and if it seems too easy, you might be doing something wrong. It is important that you enjoy what you are doing, because it will take a lot of work and personal energy to ensure that your small business venture has a chance of being successful. There are […]

Adjusting to a business centre from a home office

May 9th, 2017|Comments Off on Adjusting to a business centre from a home office

That time has come that your business has outgrown your home office and you need real office space (even if it is shared or only part-time) that has a professional business address. Your best choice is a downtown office business centre that has several options. When we talk about office space options at a business centre, three primary ones come to mind: Private offices, semi-private offices and shared office space/coworking offices. For the purposes of this article, we will be talking about adjusting to shared office space/coworking offices – since that will probably be your best option when you first move out of your home office. Shared office space is also your best option in terms of flexibility regarding when you can utilize the space. Why? You pay only a small monthly fee for unlimited access during regular business hours. With coworking, you become a member and choose from various […]

Seven tips for successful small-business and start-up owners

May 4th, 2017|Comments Off on Seven tips for successful small-business and start-up owners

What you know today about your business may not be what you will know tomorrow. So, learning from experienced business owners will help you to learn from their experiences. After years of running a small business, owners inevitably gather many lessons about how to grow and run a business more effectively. Here are some tips that will save you taking years of learning and help you today. Be specific with your goals. Most entrepreneurs and small business owners have goals, but usually they are generic and not very specific. If you want to increase sales, set a number that you want to reach. If you want to increase employee productivity, tell them how many units you expect them to sell in a specific amount of time. The key to setting and achieving specific goals is to break your goals into multiple and small achievable portions. Build a support network. Being […]

Five common mistakes business beginners make

May 3rd, 2017|Comments Off on Five common mistakes business beginners make

So you decided to take the plunge and start your own business. I bet you are really excited and cannot wait to get it off the ground. You will need all the excitement and enthusiasm you can gather, because you are going to encounter a lot of challenges. Some of the challenges will not be that hard to work your way around. But you want to make sure that the challenges you encounter are not made more difficult because of your your own actions. The mistakes you make could cost you a lot of money and even cause your business to fail. Here are some mistakes that are common for a new business owner: 1. Do not open a new business expecting it to be profitable overnight. Outside of a few fluke businesses that hit the business lottery and become a media darling on day one, do not expect to […]

The Many Benefits of Virtual Offices

April 25th, 2017|Comments Off on The Many Benefits of Virtual Offices

At Telsec, we not only offer office space, we also have a variety of virtual office solutions that can help to efficiently manage your business regardless of your physical location. But what are the actual benefits of virtual offices? Technology now allows people to work from anywhere, so much so that many companies realize that they do not need to be paying rent on office space that they do not utilize. When a small business needs a professional business address without needing physical office space, virtual offices are the best solution for that particular business. If you have a home-based business and want to engage a virtual office solution, a virtual office provider can give you a physical address without having to rent a physical office. And your home address will remain private. Business centres that offer virtual office solutions can also provide you with a phone and answering service, […]