Canadian small business tax tips

March 16th, 2017|Comments Off on Canadian small business tax tips

Tax season is upon us and we all know that tax time can be stressful for most – but especially for small business owners who have limited time to spend on preparing their tax returns. Having a plan and being informed can help to alleviate some of the pressures of doing your business taxes. So what can you do throughout the year that will help make tax season easier? Here are some suggestions: Keep up with your record keeping. Not to sound like “Captain Obvious,” but keeping records of all your expenditures throughout the year will add up. It can be as simple as putting all your loose receipts in a shoe box. But it will much easier at the end of the tax year if you had a system to sort and organize your receipts sorted by month or type of expense and placed in an accordion-type folder. If […]

Business tips inspired by Barbara Corcoran

March 14th, 2017|Comments Off on Business tips inspired by Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran is the real estate contributor for NBC’s TODAY Show where she regularly comments on trends in the real estate market. But most people know her as one of the sharks on ABC’s reality hit show Shark Tank. If you really want to question her business knowledge, consider that she turned a $1,000 loan and parlayed that loan into a $5 billion real estate business. Then in 2001, she sold that business for $66 million. This shows that she knows a little about building a business. Here are some of her best tips for small-business owners from an article on the Forbes website (followed by our comments): “Don’t be afraid to make big mistakes. All the best things that happened in my business happened on the heels of failure. Don’t be afraid to fail; it’s proof that you are meant to be a successful entrepreneur. The only difference between people who […]

How to promote a networking event

March 9th, 2017|Comments Off on How to promote a networking event

Whether you’re planning a charity event, business networking cocktail hour, reception or educational conference, getting the word out about your meeting can be a big challenge. To adequately promote an event, planners need to target potential attendees using a variety of media. While your networking events may not need its own website, people need one place to check for information about what’s coming up next, or how they register to attend the event. You can use anything from a Facebook group to a Meetup group or even your own website. Whatever you choose, you need to make it a priority and keep it updated. Without a high level of consistency, your past or future attendees won’t be able to keep up or let their own networks know about your events. You want to make it easy for your converted audience to share your event. You need to find what appeals […]

The differences between a mail-forwarding service and a P.O. Box

March 7th, 2017|Comments Off on The differences between a mail-forwarding service and a P.O. Box

P.O. Boxes are usually offered by either the Post Office or a “CMRA” which stands for Commercial Mail Receiving Agency. It all depends on the services offered by the Post Office or CMRA that you are working with. A mail-forwarding service is typically offered by an office business centre that rents office space to small businesses and also offers virtual office solutions. The difference between a mail-forwarding service and a P.O. Box The first real differences between a mail forwarding service and a P.O. box is that a mail forwarding service provider offers you a real street address. This is ideal, especially if you are a running a small business that needs a more professional image than a conventional P.O. Box number. Another factor is that a P.O. Box cannot accept packages for you, especially when they are being delivered by a third-party courier company that requires a signature. A […]

How to find and rent downtown Toronto office space within your budget

March 1st, 2017|Comments Off on How to find and rent downtown Toronto office space within your budget

Finding and renting a downtown Toronto office space that is within your budget is not as difficult as you think. Just follow some simple steps. Step 1: Estimate your budget This step may sound like a no-brainer, but some people skip this step and end up with office space that they eventually find out that it is beyond their budget. By establishing your budget, you will save yourself a great deal of time during your search. Part of establishing your budget is deciding if you are looking for raw office space that will require you to purchase office furniture and equipment, or if you want to rent a serviced office space that comes with office furniture. Step 2: Figure out how much space you need Do you need a small 500-square-foot office or do you need 5,000 square feet of space? Calculating how much office space your business needs is […]

Stop thinking of drones as toys and start thinking of them as business opportunities

February 21st, 2017|Comments Off on Stop thinking of drones as toys and start thinking of them as business opportunities

Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), have exploded in popularity in the past few years, especially with millennials and YouTube film makers. I am not talking about the drones that are flown by the military and drop bombs, but the ones that many people refer to as “toys.” The so-called toys are proving themselves to being a major asset to business and the economy, especially the high-end drones that are very effective tools. Yes, it is true that many drones are being purchased by hobbyists, but many of those hobbyists that are now finding ways of making money with their drones. Let’s talk about a few business ideas that you can start with a drone. 1 Aerial photography. More and more thousand-dollar drones are being used to replace expensive, million-dollar helicopters to get aerial photographs and videos. But they are also much safer to fly in populated areas […]

Time-management tips for making outgoing business phone calls

February 16th, 2017|Comments Off on Time-management tips for making outgoing business phone calls

In our previous blog Time management tips for inbound business phone calls, we shared some techniques for saving time and money on telephone calls that you might not be expecting. But what about those calls that you need to make and not waste time while making them? Managing your outgoing business calls is just as important and managing your incoming calls; it just takes some different techniques. It is too easy to find yourself wasting time making calls to clients, suppliers and associates – especially when you have multiple numbers to reach them at and just as many voice mails that you need to leave to get a hold of them. This is further complicated when you do not have the right number when you are away from your office. 1. Keep your contacts centralized and available wherever you are. There are a vast number of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) […]

Can’t find a networking event that suits you? Create your own networking event business!

February 8th, 2017|Comments Off on Can’t find a networking event that suits you? Create your own networking event business!

So you have gone to a few business networking events and they did not turn out to be what you expected. Maybe you ran into the challenge of being taken seriously by more seasoned business people. Here is an idea: host your own networking event and build up your credibility. By planning and sponsoring a networking event, you’re suddenly transformed into a business leader in the community. You are bringing entrepreneurs and small business owners together to talk shop – and many believe that only a leader does that. The added bonus is that you also bring extra exposure to your business and brand. Here are some tips on how to pull off successful networking events: 1. Choose your event venue wisely. You do not want to choose a venue that is not easy to get to and not centralized. Many people will suggest you host your networking event at […]

Five daily strategies to be a better leader

February 2nd, 2017|Comments Off on Five daily strategies to be a better leader

A year and a half ago we did a blog (Being the “Leader” of Your Small Business Rather Than Being “The Boss”) that talked about the differences between a leader and a boss. So today, we decided to share some tips that you can implement every day to be a great leader. 1. Learn to praise employees – and not just in private. Most leaders understand the importance of employees, but most do not know that the best way show to truly their appreciation is publicly. This does not mean calling the media and holding a press conference; it means calling out and praising employees in front of their work peers. Publicly praising employees sends a signal to others on the team that they too could get rewarded in the same manner. Another way to publicly recognize an employee for an accomplishment is to publicly praise them on your social […]

Five ergonomics tips for creating a healthier office-space environment

February 1st, 2017|Comments Off on Five ergonomics tips for creating a healthier office-space environment

We have done other blogs on creating productive office space environment that reduce stress, but one of our virtual office clients is an ergonomics consultant and suggested we do this blog. Most business owners think that having healthy employees is about offering sick days and offering to subsidize gym memberships. But they forget that an ergonomic office environment contributes greatly to the physical and mental health of employees. Before we give you the tips, we should probably explain what ergonomics is. The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics or human factors as follows: “Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.” Basically, an office that is ergonomically set up can reduce the chances of employees […]

Spam, clickbait, scams, hoaxes and malware – how do they affect your business?

January 30th, 2017|Comments Off on Spam, clickbait, scams, hoaxes and malware – how do they affect your business?

We have all seen examples of spam, clickbait, scams, hoaxes and malware, but how do they affect your small business? Some of these are obvious money wasters, but what should you and your staff know about all of these Internet annoyances. Actually, annoyances is a very soft word to describe the costs to your business. Since the beginnings of the world wide web and access to the Internet came to the masses, spam or unsolicited emails started filling up people’s inboxes. The more prevalent that spam became, the more people and businesses looked for ways of blocking it. The early methods worked – but then spammers became more advanced and it became harder to block. This caused people to have to spend more time (and therefore money) sifting through these emails or spending even more money on more sophisticated email spam filters. It is now common for businesses to budget […]

How to create a workspace that enhances productivity while reducing stress

January 25th, 2017|Comments Off on How to create a workspace that enhances productivity while reducing stress

Entrepreneurs and small business owners are always looking to enhance productivity, so the question they need to ask themselves is “Am I comfortable where I am getting my work done”? You might have a private office or shared office space that is a cumbersome or not spacious enough, or a home office that is full of distractions. But your comfort level can be an important factor in increasing your productivity and happiness. There are a number of things that you can do to ensure that the space where you work is comfortable – and therefore promotes productivity. 1. Consider the furniture. As obvious as this sounds, many people do not think about how their choice in office furniture will increase their comfort level and enhance their productivity. So what should you think about when considering office furniture? What is the best kind of office chair? A good office chair will […]

Mental health issues in your business workplace

January 24th, 2017|Comments Off on Mental health issues in your business workplace

Bet you did not see this blog coming, but it is one that is very important. As a business blogger and social media content creator, I keep my personal issues out of the content I create. But there is something that I need to confess to readers of this blog. I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. I go through some real lows in the winter months when the days are short. So enough about me. Let me explain why I am writing this blog and what you can do to help your staff who may suffer from any types of mental illness. Did You Know? (according to the Mental Health Commission of Canada) On any given week, more than 500,000 Canadians will not go to work because of mental illness. More than 30% of disability claims and […]

  • entrepreneur glossary and terms - Telsec

An entrepreneur’s glossary to some common business terms

January 20th, 2017|Comments Off on An entrepreneur’s glossary to some common business terms

We at Telsec have compiled a list of common words and acronyms related to entrepreneurship and small business. Some you may know and others you may have heard, but did not know what they mean. Advertising A paid public method of gaining attention to a product or business by paid announcements on radio, TV, print or electronic media such as internet PPC (pay per click). Advertising is not to be confused with marketing, public relations or SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There are entire websites devoted to just advertising terms and vocabulary. Angel Investors An angel investor (also known as a business angel, informal investor, angel funder, or private investor) is an affluent individual who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity while they are trying to find a more substantial investment in a business. A small but increasing number of angel investors […]

Serviced office and business centre FAQ’s

January 18th, 2017|Comments Off on Serviced office and business centre FAQ’s

Because our blog is more about offering advice to small business and less about the services that we offer, we often get people asking us questions about serviced offices and office business centres. So we decided to create this blog to answer some of the questions that people ask us on social media. To start, we should answer the most asked question: “What is a serviced office business centre”? A serviced office is a situation where office space is rented and there is nothing you need to bring. The office is furnished with modern office furniture and fully wired for phones and internet. All you need to bring is your files and computer. There is even a connection to a network printer and you have a live receptionist who answers your calls. The biggest question that is constantly asked about our serviced office space is “do I have to sign […]

Tips for business growth: Reading, planning and wasting money!

January 12th, 2017|Comments Off on Tips for business growth: Reading, planning and wasting money!

Did you know that reading, planning and wasting money are three things that you may not have thought of when trying to grow your small business? When is the last time you picked up a book on business or even a biography of a successful business person? I am not talking about sitting down and reading a book cover-to-cover, but reading key chapters that could influence you on ways to improve your business. This could be a book that is new to you, or one that you want to re-visit and learn more from, or simply to get another perspective that you did not get the first time you read it. While my preference is reading a printed book over reading an e-book, the options of available online e-books can sometimes be more convenient. Purchasing a physical book or an e-book can be great, but also consider visiting a public […]

How to discover your profitable small business idea

January 11th, 2017|Comments Off on How to discover your profitable small business idea

As an office business centre, Telsec not only rents office space, but we also have virtual office solutions for people who work from home or on the road. Most of our virtual office clients have their mail forwarded to where they are working, but some still prefer to come into the office to pick up their mail. This blog writer has had a chance to meet some of these virtual office clients and learn how they chose the business they went into, then turned those methods into this blog. Before we get into some of the ways that these clients came up with the ideas for their business, let me tell you why I chose to ask this group of customers. The people who use Telsec’s virtual office solutions are more often entrepreneurs who are sole proprietors who work from home – and are often the sole employee of their […]

Ten questions to ask before choosing office space for your start-up

January 10th, 2017|Comments Off on Ten questions to ask before choosing office space for your start-up

As your start-up business begins to take off, working from a home office may no longer be an option, and you require professional office space. You know that you need enough space for you and your current employees, but you might need a little more for a few additional staffers that may be full-time or part-time. 1. Location, location, location? Just where is the office space you are considering located? Is it a convenient location that your staff and customers can easily get to? You need to know if it is close to mass transit and accessible by local buses and if there are bicycle routes nearby. Why the bicycle routes? Statistics show that more and more people in major centres are commuting by bicycle – and cities like Toronto are putting a lot of money into developing dedicated bicycle lanes and paths to accommodate this growing need. 2. What office […]

Tips for making your small business more successful in 2017

January 3rd, 2017|Comments Off on Tips for making your small business more successful in 2017

Could 2016 have gone better for you? Now is the time to make 2017 more successful. While you may have already heard about some of the tips below, and may have already implemented some of them, what is the harm in revisiting them or trying a new approach? Review your business plan Not to be repetitive of some of our previous blogs, but one of the keys to the success of your business is in the planning. You most likely made a business plan before starting your business, and so far it has served you well. Remember that a business plan is vital for the success of a start-up business. Some of the reasons include testing the viability of the business idea as well as securing debt or equity financing. But it also helps to establish the market of the business and how to reach that market. So take some […]

How will gift card sales affect your business in January?

January 2nd, 2017|Comments Off on How will gift card sales affect your business in January?

Traditionally, January is gift card redemption month – and that is not just for retail businesses. These days, almost every consumer product or service-oriented business can sell gift cards for subsequent redemption. In fact, one of our office space tenants received a gift card for getting new marketing materials printed. If you’re like many small-business owners, you may spend considerable effort on selling gift cards, but not a lot of time thinking about redemption. You may have had a great December in terms of sales and gift-card sales, but the important thing you have to take into consideration is being prepared for the cost of redemption in January. It could mean high fulfillment costs during a month of much slower sales and revenues. It could also have some impact on your books, so your accountant must be prepared for this. This is because sales of gift cards don’t get officially […]