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 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 […]
What is your time worth to your small business?
There are plenty of ways that an employees can calculate what their time is worth based on mathematical formulas. But as a business owner, the formula becomes a little more complicated. Once you have determined the value of your time, you can make choices about the things you are doing in your business, and if certain tasks are worth doing yourself or having someone else do them. Using the Realized Income Methods to calculate the value of your time, you need two numbers: 1. The amount of time you spend to earn money. 2. The amount of money you earn during that time. Once you have calculated the value of your time, you can then be better informed on making decisions like: Should you take the non-stop flight and save two or three hours, or do you take the flight with a stopover (wasting an hour between flights) and save […]
What Colour Should You Paint Your Office Space?
When you are choosing to decorate your office space, you should consider the colour you paint the walls. The colour and shade you select for your office walls can affect how much work will get done between those walls. Paint industry experts say that for work spaces, neutrals and softer, more grayed hues are better for concentration and preventing eye fatigue. The also recommend that you do not leave the walls just bright white. Bright colours might not be the solution either, colours that are very saturated and not very bright (like emerald green and sapphire blue) generally promote an energy levels. Red might be your favorite colour, but it can have a negative influence in the workplace. So what colour should you paint your office walls to get more done, or at least to prevent the shade from impeding your work? This is different depending on they type of […]
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?
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
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 […]
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 […]
Stop worrying about millennials and get ready for Gen Z
Millennials (aka Generation Y) are those born between 1982 and 1993 are proving to be a very entrepreneurial generation. But the next generation may be even more ambitious than them! Enter Gen Z (those born between 1994 and 2010) or what is called “The internet generation” – who are by far the most tech-savvy, connected and self-educated group. Unlike Millennials who love the gig economy, research is showing Gen Z want steady paycheques. What also makes Gen Z different? They claim to be both more accepting and more rebellious. Rebellion was pretty much absent for Millennials in their youth, as they seemed to have had a very shiny outlook on things. Gen Z is upset about the system that they’re inheriting – so it seems rebellion is back. The first members of Gen Z will be graduating from university in just a few years, and market researchers and trend forecasters […]
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?
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 […]
If you want to a have true impact as an entrepreneur, there are things you need to master.
Truly radical and influencing entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Elon Musk not only built empires, but they made their mark on the world around them. They created solutions that people not only needed, but openly embraced. So how can you make your mark as an entrepreneur? The first thing that you as an entrepreneur need to do is to establish your purpose and goals. Maybe you are not about to create a non-government space agency or create software that will simplify virtually everything for people, but you have an idea that will make a task or a problem a thing of the past for your customers. This could even mean that you are just taking an existing problem-solving product or service and improving upon it. If so, this just might be your legacy and your own path to success as an entrepreneur. Goals, plans and visions can often not match […]
Four ways to know that it might be time to quit your day Job
Starting a home-based business is nothing new for many entrepreneurs, but deciding when to take it full-time without the safety net of a full-time job can be quite scary for most first-time entrepreneurs. That home-based business is great way to supplement your income and can be done for years. But there may come a point where you need to cut the ties and make the business your-full time job. Before we discuss the reasons you should finally cut the “umbilical cord” and quit your full-time job, lets discuss some of the steps you can take leading up to making your business a full-time commitment. The legitimacy of you business and the professional image your business needs to have is important to its success. Having your home address or a P.O. Box address for your business just does not cut it in today’s economy of skeptical customers. People have a tendency […]
Buying vs leasing vs renting office space – different perspectives!
When a growing small business reaches that point where operating from a home office is no longer an option, the owner is faced with the choice of buying, leasing or renting office space. There are plenty of other articles on the Internet to help you through the legal and financial options of leasing over buying, but most do not address the potential of renting office space without a lease at an office business centre. For the purposes of this blog, we will define the three options more practically. Buying office space: This would be space within an office condo complex or a business complex, but it could also be a stand-alone building that is not in a business area. Leasing office space: This refers to traditional raw office space that is in an office building or tower, meaning that the space is yours to set up as you like. Renting office […]
Can corporate use coworking space to accelerate growth, innovation and collaboration?
When most people think of coworking office space, they usually think of a large open space filled with millennials, freelancers, one-person or two-person small businesses and start-ups looking to get off the ground. Some small business owners and corporate business executives might be a little concerned by the fact that their employees are hanging out with other businesses’ employees and holding sensitive telephone conversations just a few feet away from a potential competitor or someone looking for a new idea. Along with worrying about how employees are using their time, corporate privacy, intellectual property loss and potential security issues are some of the reasons why many corporations have been reluctant to place their team or a sub-team from utilizing coworking space. The problem is that forward-thinking team managers see the benefits of using a coworking space for creative teams to thrive, despite the perceived risks that may or may not […]
How to start a retail business from home
This blog is the third in a series about home-based profitable businesses that you can start without having to carry large inventories or to have a full-time presence in a physical office or storefront. It is often mentioned that small businesses employ more people than all large businesses combined. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a major role in the Canadian economy. Industry Canada says that 99% of businesses in Canada have fewer than 500 employees and they employ 64% of workers in the private sector. A great deal of those businesses are retail based. In the USA, the retail industry provides a way of life for the more than 24 million people who earn their livelihood from it. Regardless of the type of retail business you want to start, you cannot ignore the power and reach of the Internet. Each type of retailing has strengths and weaknesses, so you […]
Starting A Serviced-Based Business From Home
In our previous blog Starting Your Home-Based Business, we pointed out that service-based businesses make up the majority of the most profitable small businesses you can start. We all have our own skill set and areas of expertise. The trick is to find the knowledge and skill set that you have that others are willing to pay for. Sometimes it is not your skill set, knowledge, experience or expertise that you could be selling. It could be that of others or products and services of others! You may not be an accountant, bookkeeper, tax specialist or be able to provide payroll services, but that does not mean that you cannot be the person who introduces those who need these services to those who can provide them. Just like a real estate agent does not own the property he or she is selling, you can bring a buyer together with a […]
Things you could have done in 2016 (and still can) to grow your business
With only a month and a half left in 2016, there is still things you can do before years end that will help to grow your business in 2017. Most small business owners feel that they can not afford to lose a customer, but what if that customer is taking up most of your time or that of your staff (without paying more than other clients)? It might be time to fire those clients or customers whose business only causes daily stress to you and your team, this could free up more time for new customers who are less demanding and easier to deal with. While you are firing bad customers who are time wasters, you want to take that time and concentrate on reaching out to new prospects. You will be surprised how many customers you can get by cultivating your list of prospects on a regular basis, because […]
Toronto Office Space for American Businesses
Toronto Office Space for American Businesses For those thinking of relocating their business to Canada A sense of shock still hangs in the air. People are contemplating their futures in the midst of extraordinary change. Several times on election night, the server hosting the Immigration Canada website crashed under the load of Americans considering leaving the United States temporarily or permanently. Even before the election, the Telsec Business Centre in Toronto has fielded calls from American businesses looking to expand into the Canadian market. In the last week, Telsec has taken calls from businesses concerned about their foreign business relationships. Telsec has a short primer on Doing Business in Canada and a number of blog posts over the previous months. Entries such as like Registering Your Business In Canada, US Startups should begin international expansion in Canada , Canadian businesses are having a 30% off sale – well, almost! and Canada: A […]
Tips For Small Businesses To Appear Much Larger Than They Are!
Having one address at a prestigious location can be good, but what about having multiple location addresses with a 800 number to 1 location? Your small business can saves money and appears like have multiple locations for less than the cost of 1 office space with the 1 800 number meaning you only need 1 phone + address account. So how is this done? You can have virtual office locations with several Alliance business centers that are located around the world in over 80 countries. With several virtual office locations and a 800 number, your client or prospect will call you and ask to speak to the location nearest them, but the call will be forwarded to where you are working or to your Toronto head office location. When your small business has a live receptionist answering your calls with your business name, your customers believe that you are bigger […]