Work avoidance can doom your business

A lack of employee accountability leads to a lack of production and profitability, a loss of morale and high staff turnover

Work avoidance can doom your businessA few years ago, I was working with a construction company that had an issue with projects not completed on time. There was general frustration among the workers because one of the foremen – the owner’s son – would sleep in his truck during working hours. Supplies weren’t being picked up on time, safety meetings…

Getting an investor to move from “not now” to “yes”

Investing is a process and not a speed dating event. If you develop relationships with investors, you’ve got a much better shot of closing the deal

Getting an investor to move from “not now” to “yes”Getting a “no” from any prospective investor can be hard to take. At first glance, it’s insulting. You’ve poured heart and soul into an idea and after 10 minutes of pitching, the investor doesn’t want to hear more. For the entrepreneur who wears the success or failure of his company as a reflection of their…

Instagram is a platform for businesses, too

Hashtags require a lot of research so you’re using a variety of strategies, such as your location, industry trends, popular sayings

Instagram is a platform for businesses, tooThe last of the big four platforms I want to talk about is Instagram. Instagram started in 2010 (it was purchased by Facebook in 2012) and was primarily a photo sharing app. At that time, it wasn’t easy to share photos; phones didn’t have an easy way to share, and other social platforms weren’t designed…

Are you stumbling in search of purpose in life and work?

People who find ways to make a difference in the lives of others have a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment

Are you stumbling in search of purpose in life and work?A certain young man spent five years in university, graduating with a professional degree. He then started down his career path, in search of success and fulfilment, with hopes of changing the world for the better. But it wasn’t long before a harsh reality set in: What started out as a passion became a task…

What skin are you putting in the client prospecting game?

Building relationships with prospects is crucial to long-term business growth. And it all comes down to trust and commitment

What skin are you putting in the client prospecting game?“Real clients put skin in the game” is an adage used in the business training I’m a part of. The adage identifies if you’re connecting with a qualified prospect. Are they committed to doing something you’ve asked (e.g. complete key forms prior to the meeting)? While we business owners ask this of our prospects, are…

Why mission matters now more than ever

Encouraging everyone to look at what they’re doing through a mission lens can help your entire organization

Why mission matters now more than everI often find inspiration for my column from something I’ve read or heard. This month’s column was inspired by a podcast with Tobi Lütke, co-founder and CEO of Shopify. Shopify has been on a tear lately, overtaking even RBC to become Canada’s most valuable company. As a very small shareholder, I couldn’t be happier for…

How small business can thrive in a post-pandemic economy

SMEs are resilient, entrepreneurial and resourceful. With the right support, they will rebuild, transition and diversify

How small business can thrive in a post-pandemic economyNobody has been hurt more in this pandemic-inflicted economy than the small to medium enterprise (SME) sector. Closures, reduced hours and layoffs because of COVID-19 have impacted the vast majority of small businesses. Up to 30 per cent report that they will not survive the next 30 days without government assistance. The uncertainty of just…

Use online messaging as part of your reopening strategy

Don’t wait to communicate – customers are looking for reassurance right now and you can highlight your efforts

Use online messaging as part of your reopening strategyNow that the provinces are starting the stages of reopening, business owners everywhere are flipping that Closed sign to Open. And whether you’re offering a product or a service, you need to let your audience (users, customers, fans) know what you’re doing. Don’t wait to communicate – customers are looking for reassurance right now and…

Creativity in business must be tested

Using practical measures to test the validity of our creative output is even more essential than the creativity itself

Creativity in business must be testedWhen I was a boy, our family of eight lived in a small house. In the corner of the basement was an art room for my father. In the evenings and sometimes on weekends through long winters, he would go down and work on his oil paintings. I remember watching him as he mixed his…

Use body language to project leadership on Zoom

Your audience is assessing your tone of voice, facial expressions, hand gestures and posture for clues about your credibility

Use body language to project leadership on ZoomAs more interactions move from in-person environments to online events, your ability to project virtual leadership presence is quickly becoming the key to your continued success. Whether you’re interviewing for a new job, presenting to the executive team or facilitating a team meeting, you’re most influential when you express your core values and show up…

Build a customer persona to drive online traffic

Put yourself in the shoes of your customers, with the help of analytic tools and surveys, in order to market to them correctly

Build a customer persona to drive online trafficBuilding an online audience takes time. And as you start to grow online and engage with your audience more and more, you will need to build a customer persona. When you create a customer persona, you’re putting yourself in the shoes of your customer. You’re learning about their habits, behaviours and interests. Once you figure…

Applying barnyard lessons to the pandemic aftermath

For many, the current economic climate is very difficult. There are serious challenges ahead

Applying barnyard lessons to the pandemic aftermathIt had rained all day and as I walked that evening with my wife, I noticed the worms on the road, clambering to escape the torrents of water that were flooding their living spaces. Finding a discarded drink cup, I started collecting them for our garden. Counting them as I went, I was taken back…

Bold action needed to repair Canada’s economy

In the post-COVID-19 era, government needs to invest in game-changing projects. Here are some good places to start

Bold action needed to repair Canada’s economyThe clamour to reopen the economy has reached a crescendo in many parts of North America. But the global economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will be far-reaching for years to come. Canadian historians list 1935 as the year the worst of the Great Depression was over. But the nation really didn’t begin to return…

Forgive yourself for making tough business decisions

How do business owners deal with the emotional and mental toll of making hard decisions that impact employees?

Forgive yourself for making tough business decisionsMy business coach asked me to forgive myself for some very hard decisions I made for my business. This was the first truly difficult task he gave me. How could I forgive myself for a decision that seemingly hurt others? Yet leaders are always having to make choices that may hurt someone’s livelihood. With no…
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