Five reasons businesses fail

And how to overcome these obstacles on the way to building a successful venture

Five reasons businesses failBusinesses come and go – we see them opening up, struggling for a few years and closing their doors. We might even hear that they offered something we were searching for – after they’ve closed. But why do they fail? According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in the U.S., over the lifetime…

How entrepreneurial are you?

A poll of entrepreneurs found that top CEOs are different because they take risks, are determined, are focused, and ask for and use the help of quality people

How entrepreneurial are you?Dr. Hossein Kazemian is not an entrepreneur but has an entrepreneurial drive. I met Hossein a few years back when he invited me to tour his chemistry lab at the University of Northern British Columbia. UNBC is ranked Canada’s No. 1 small university. Hossein informed me that his lab, which he had recently taken over, was…

Frame your coming year by putting a label on it

Something positive happens when we remind ourselves of our goals and put our mental focus on achieving those goals

Frame your coming year by putting a label on itAnge sat across from me, her faced stressed with the worries of the day and her business. “If you could name last year, what would you name it?” I asked. Without hesitation, Ange blurted out: “The year of the s--t show.” She told me about the political interference in her work, the trouble she had…

Celebrate more this Christmas, worry less about business

This year, stop rushing through the holidays long enough to let your thoughts be diverted from the burdens of work to the joyfulness of the season

Celebrate more this Christmas, worry less about businessWhat do we miss by rushing through the celebrations and skipping the festivities of the Christmas season? At the end of the year, many people celebrate holidays like Christmas or Hanukah, New Year’s Eve or Festivals of Lights. Even if you aren’t religious, you probably celebrate Christmas with gifts or family gatherings and large meals.…

Poverty, homelessness must be tackled by business

Not only does work help financially but it empowers people to take control of their lives and rise above poverty

Poverty, homelessness must be tackled by businessHomelessness is increasingly a problem in cities big and small across North America. Yet as business leaders we tend think the issue isn’t our problem – unless, of course, we have a business affected by a homeless camp, squatters in our doorsteps or addicts in our alleyways. We can’t comprehend why people aren’t working like…

Businesses must develop emerging leaders

We don’t recognize that times and technology have changed, we’ve been holding the organization back or we’re just exhausted by our years of leadership

Businesses must develop emerging leadersIt wasn’t the several times I almost died on the job. It wasn’t when I fell off roofs or rolled heavy equipment. But I can remember the day and time I knew I had to get out of construction. It was -35C and I was demolishing a gas station for my employer. As I went…

How to turn surviving into thriving

If we’re focused on thriving and growing during periods of difficulty and change, our brains look for these opportunities

How to turn surviving into thrivingWhile the overall economic numbers seem to indicate that the Canadian economy is firing on all cylinders, there are still areas geographically and by industry where businesses are struggling. Having lived through a number of difficult times in my 30-plus years owning and running businesses, I’ve learned there are a number of ways to improve…

How to turn overwhelmed into overwhelmingly successful

Make a written list, set priorities, breathe and relax, and then focus on one task at a time

How to turn overwhelmed into overwhelmingly successfulI recently woke up sleepless at 2:30 am. If you’re in a leadership role in a business or even in your household, you probably know the drill. My mind was spinning with the long list of tasks I had to complete. The 75-unit project I’m working on for a client; the three people who need…

Tree planting and the psychology of business success

It’s time you set some goals, tracked your progress and celebrated your successes

Tree planting and the psychology of business successTim Gilbert told me it would be tough but I never realized how tough tree planting was until I stood in the bush in the middle of nowhere, bugs swarming around my head, as I was exposed to the raw elements of a northern spring. With my bag of trees strapped across my hips, shovel…

Are your employees fogged in?

When we determine achievable goals and develop workable plans to reach those goals, our teams get clarity. And that brings productivity

Are your employees fogged in?The city had been socked in with a heavy layer of fog for weeks when I decided to drive up to an area I hadn’t been to before. As I climbed through the layers of cloud, I wondered where I was going and why people would live up such a steep hill. But as I…

The lessons every business can learn from Las Vegas

Build on your strengths to keep customers coming back, diversify in order to expand and increase your margins

The lessons every business can learn from Las VegasLas Vegas has grown from humble farming beginnings in the middle of the desert to an oasis that captures the imagination and money of people from all over the world. You might be one of the 40 million people who visited Las Vegas last year or one of the hundreds of millions who have been…

Would you like fries with that?

Increase your average sale by getting customers who are already purchasing from you to buy a bit more and watch your sales go up with little effort or cost

Would you like fries with that?My wife Margaret is average, so she says. She tells me that she’s average height, age and bone size for a woman. However, I must say as she left the house this morning with her pants riding several inches above her ankles, she didn’t look normal. I know she was thinking that her husband had…

Procrastination and the art of dodging work

It certainly makes sense to prioritize your tasks and skip work that offers little overall value. But failing to fulfil commitments won't get you ahead

Procrastination and the art of dodging workI had a hard time writing this article. I’m not sure if it was fatigue or laziness, but I procrastinated even sitting down at the computer until almost the last minute. I had excuses, distractions, a nap and a few squirrels to chase on social media. I even saw something that said Bill Gates, or…

Finding your business’s sweet spot

Berry picking is a lot like business: you need to to work through the thorns, avoid the bears and pick where others aren’t

Finding your business’s sweet spotI like picking berries in the summer. It’s one of those memories that lasts into the fall and winter, much like the frozen berries that are hidden in the freezer for a tasty bit of summer on a cold day. I’m not sure if I was always a good berry picker but I do remember…

How to make your advertising more effective

Good advertising works to capture attention, elicit emotion and get responses, but most advertisers don't know how to go about achieving those goals

How to make your advertising more effectiveAdvertising can stimulate desire. Not that any advertising I ever participated in when I was single resulted in crowds of female admirers. However, working in the health food industry, I would often strive to create in my customers a desire for better health. My ads would try to kindle a response that would generate traffic…