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 […]

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 […]

Time-management tips for inbound business phone calls

February 15th, 2017|Comments Off on Time-management tips for inbound business phone calls

Do you know how to handle incoming telephone calls so that they do no waste your valuable time? It is a fact that Inbound telephone calls can consume a great deal of time and eat into your productivity level by taking you away from tasks that are more profitable. There are ways of cutting down the time you lose speaking on the phone, without being curt or rude to the person calling you. 1. Have your calls answered and possibly screened by a live professional receptionist. Let her or him route the calls to the right person, department or extension. For some calls, such as those from salespeople looking to sell your business a product or service, those calls can be sent to a voice-mail extension to be reviewed later. You can even have an extension with outgoing messages for general questions such as hours of operations and locations. Even […]

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 […]

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 […]

Four ways to know that it might be time to quit your day Job

December 19th, 2016|Comments Off on 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 […]

How to start a Consultant Business from home

December 1st, 2016|Comments Off on How to start a Consultant Business from home

Setting up as a self-employed consultant has become a popular move for people in a broad range of industries and sectors. But becoming a consultant is not as easy as just getting business cards for very little money at Vistaprint or your local office supply store and saying you are a consultant. The very term consultant denotes someone who is authoritative and knowledgeable on a particular subject, and that experience and know-how are something that other organizations need and are willing to pay for. In fact, the dictionary defines a consultant as “an expert in a particular field who works as an advisor either to a company or to another individual.” You can find hundreds, if not thousands, of Internet citations and articles about becoming a consultant with a few simple Google searches. But knowing what a consultant is and why you should consider becoming one will not help you […]

Why is Cyber Monday so important to small business E-commerce?

November 27th, 2016|Comments Off on Why is Cyber Monday so important to small business E-commerce?

So what is Cyber Monday? Basically, Cyber Monday is to online retailers what Black Friday is for brick-and-mortar retailers. These online events have been around for a decade and can help level the playing field for small businesses. According to Forbes, Cyber Monday online revenue for 2014 reached $2.68 billion – a nearly 20% increase over the totals in 2013. It is important to note that more than one-third of these purchases were made via mobile devices. This shows the amazing evolution of online sales. Lets go back to the beginning. According to Wikipedia, “Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States. The term “Cyber Monday” was created by marketing companies to persuade people to shop online. The term was coined by Ellen Davis and made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday Quickly […]

Starting Your Home-Based Business

November 21st, 2016|Comments Off on Starting Your Home-Based Business

One of our office-space tenants who follows our blogs, asked us to do a blog series about home-based businesses because her husband took early retirement and wanted to keep busy at home. We want to first talk about the most profitable home-based business and what it takes to start one. Other topics in the series of posts will include: home-based retail (online); at-home wholesale and distributions businesses; and running a consulting business from home. Let’s start with talking about what are the most profitable and easy-to-start home-based businesses. Not surprisingly, the most profitable home-based businesses do not require a great deal of equipment, holding an inventory of goods or even renting office space. But you may want to pull out your calculator (or abacus) for the very top profitable home-based businesses. Yes, you guessed it, the most profitable home-based businesses you can start involve dealing with other people’s money. Forbes, […]

How Not To Kill Your Small Business

November 9th, 2016|Comments Off on How Not To Kill Your Small Business

We have all heard about business best practices. But what about things that you should not do if you want your business to thrive? Remember that having good business practices and not bad ones, will help prevent you from losing customers and from getting bad online reviews and negative comments. As we mentioned in another blog posting called “The Professional Image Of Your Small Business Begins With You”, we mentioned that a small business can only look as professional as the people who are running it. You can be perfectly dressed for the job at hand, but if you have a “pottie” mouth, or make racist or sexist remarks, you’re going to lose a lot of business trust and respect. Not answering your phone or allowing your business phone to be answered by a child, can kill your business reputation. There is never a good excuse for not answering your […]

Small business survival: The numbers don’t lie!

October 27th, 2016|Comments Off on Small business survival: The numbers don’t lie!

If you speak to people who know business statistics, you will hear them say that many small businesses will fail within the first five years. These facts are a contributing factor to people buying long-established businesses in order to gain a higher chance of success compared to a start-up. So what are the odds of surviving more than five years? There are government organizations who keep statistics on this. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “About half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more. As one would expect, the probability of survival increases with a firm’s age. Survival rates have changed little over time.” These statistics are backed up by the Small Business Administration (SBA), who state that nearly 66% of small businesses will survive their first two years. What that implies is that only about one-third of […]

Small Business Owner Productivity Tips

October 25th, 2016|Comments Off on Small Business Owner Productivity Tips

There are plenty of terms that are touted around the business world like efficiency, but finding their meanings is not as easy as using them. So what do words like efficiency mean? If you Google efficiency, this is what you will get: “the state or quality of being efficient” and “greater energy efficiency.” Synonyms: organization, order, orderliness, regulation, coherence; More an action designed to achieve this. Plural noun: efficiencies “to increase efficiencies and improve earnings.” Technical – the ratio of the useful work performed by a machine or in a process to the total energy expended or heat taken in. It is also short for efficiency apartments.* In your Google search you will also see what Wikipedia says: “Efficiency is the (often measurable) ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and time in doing something or in producing a desired result. In a more general sense, it is the […]

Virtual Office or Virtual Assistant?

October 13th, 2016|Comments Off on Virtual Office or Virtual Assistant?

Many people ask what the difference is between a virtual office and a virtual assistant, because some websites and articles use them interchangeably or in similar context. This makes it difficult for an entrepreneur or a small business owner to determine what it is that they really need to help them with their business. In order to help you better understand the differences and similarities, we will first tell you what each is, and then explain how you can get the best of both services from one provider. The term virtual assistant, sometimes called a virtual office assistant (or VA for short), refers to a person who is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical or creative assistance to clients remotely from their home office. Typically, virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, but some work with multi-VA firms that provide the services that the client needs. Virtual Assistants […]

Tips For Small Businesses To Appear Much Larger Than They Are!

September 22nd, 2016|Comments Off on 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 […]

How to Negotiate For Lower Business Expenses

September 15th, 2016|Comments Off on How to Negotiate For Lower Business Expenses

Every expense that your small business has, ends up adding to your overall cost of doing business and can eat away at your bottom line. What is the answer? Lower your re-occurring costs by negotiating discounts and lower rates with your vendors. While small businesses have been cutting back on their spending over the past number of years, according to one report, costs for goods and services togrther can be has high as 28 percent of your small business’ budget, making those costs the second largest expense after payroll. It is true that some fixed expenses such as rent, office equipment and utilities can be more difficult to negotiate, but with the right amount of knowledge, you might find some alternatives or ways to get these expenses fixed. Knowing what your big expenses will be each month will make it easier to budget and allow you to focus on negotiating […]

With back to school coming, are you planning to start a new business?

August 11th, 2016|Comments Off on With back to school coming, are you planning to start a new business?

For students across the country, the lazy days of summer are coming to a close and a new school year is right around the corner. As an entrepreneur thinking of starting a new business, where to begin can be your biggest obstacle. In our previous blog Getting the Kids Back to School is a Reason to get Serious About Business, we talked about how many parents start thinking about their business when their children’s summer is about to end and the are going back to school. But what about those stay-at-home parents who do not yet have a business? Maybe it is time to start a home-based business that allows you to send the kids off to school and be home when they return from school each day. So where to begin in starting a new business? Do your homework No small business is guaranteed to be successful. One way that will improve […]

How to Gain Trust for Your Home-Based Business

July 19th, 2016|Comments Off on How to Gain Trust for Your Home-Based Business

As we mentioned in our previous blog “How to Gain Trust for Your E-commerce Business,” trust, in general, is the key to the success of your business. You not only have to build and maintain trust with your clients, customers and vendors, you need to have the trust of employees and freelancers. Some say that if you lose that trust, you may just as well pack up your business and go home. But what if your business is a home-based business? How do you gain trust? As business owners and marketers, the assumptions you make about your target customers and the purchasing motivations you think they may have, will have a powerful affect on the health of your business. As a small business owner, your reputation means everything and you cannot afford to damage your personal brand. But trust is also very fragile. If you lose it, it’s very difficult, […]

Office space versus a virtual office: Which is best for you?

July 12th, 2016|Comments Off on Office space versus a virtual office: Which is best for you?

There is no reason not to have an upscale professional business address. But you do not necessarily need to have a physical office at that particular location. Sometimes a physical office space is important to your business, but what if it is not? Let’s talk about the best options for your small business. There are a range of business address options to choose from, including traditional raw office space, serviced office space and virtual offices. But which one is the most flexible and cost-efficient fit for your small business? Many small businesses owners and entrepreneurs may not have the financial capacity to lease traditional physical office space and pay for the infrastructure that type of space requires. The cost of office furniture, telephone systems and other office equipment such as photocopiers adds up. This has caused serviced offices and virtual offices to increased in popularity, because small business owners want […]

Virtual Office Solutions for Opening a Canadian Branch Office

June 28th, 2016|Comments Off on Virtual Office Solutions for Opening a Canadian Branch Office

The two most common ways in which foreigners register to operate their businesses in Canada are through the registration of a Canadian branch or the incorporation of a Canadian subsidiary. When a foreign company is looking to expand its business into other markets, it usually just opens a branch office to test the waters – because the cost of registering a branch office with the government is less expensive than potential legal fees involved with incorporating a subsidiary. Having only a branch office allows foreign companies an easier exit from Canada if they do not see the results they were expecting in their expansion. Often companies looking to open a branch office in Canada will look to set up office space at a serviced office business centre where they are not tied to a long-term lease. Besides not needing to sign a long-term lease, companies benefit from serviced office providers […]

Why a Business Centre is the Best Solution for Opening a Canadian Branch Office

June 21st, 2016|Comments Off on Why a Business Centre is the Best Solution for Opening a Canadian Branch Office

Opening a branch office or other corporate or legal Canadian business type in Canada is much like starting your business all over again! You have an expansion plan; researched the best business “entity” for your business and decided upon whether to have a virtual office from your home or rent office space, warehouse or storefront. Then you have to set up a legal entity to do business under and to carry out setting up the business. All of these activities will require a Canadian address. Without a Canadian address, you are in bureaucratic ‘quicksand.’ The Virtual Office Options There is not much to consider when deciding whether a P.O. Box is appropriate over a virtual address because a P.O. Box is not a legal address for the purposes of incorporation or almost any legal business entity that a U.S.-based or foreign company can use. A Business Centre’s virtual office and office space services provide your business […]