Lessons on growing a photo business from Mike Peters

“When you’re telling stories with photography, you get a chance to shed light on things people don’t see very often,” says photographer, Mike Peters, the founder of May Contain Studios. Peters has been snapping shots of his hometown Winnipeg, Manitoba ever since he could remember. Some may think of the Canadian prairies as sleepy, but Winnipeg […]

Online advertising for small business: Five questions and five steps for success

Pay-per-click, remarketing, and landing pages … oh my! Those online advertising terms mentioned above may not be part of your vocabulary. They might even sound intimidating. Still, with 4.3 billion people online worldwide today—3.9 billion of which are mobile users, and 3.5 billion social media users globally—the upside is hard to ignore. One recent study […]

What is a customer journey map? Template, examples, and tools

“You can have the greatest product in the world,” says Mikkel Svane, CEO of Zendesk, “and you can have the greatest service in the world, but if you don’t provide a great customer experience you’re not going to survive.” Why? Because in today’s marketplace—regardless of what you sell—experience is your product: before, during, and after a […]

Staying Competitive in a Crowded Online Retail Environment

An online retail business is a great way to sell your products to customers around the world. As the online market grows, however, competition is tough, that’s why we have broken tips to help you be competitive in the crowded e-commerce space. Maintain Your Prices In the face of steep competition from other online retailers, […]

Common self-defeating beliefs and how to let them go

From a bestseller book to a hit Netflix series, Marie Kondo has built an empire on the back of tidiness. “The objective of cleaning,” she explains, “is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment.” But, ask yourself this: What about your mind? You spend more time in your head than […]

What is the Marginal Tax Rate in Canada?

Canada’s tax laws have a tax rate structure that increases based on the amount of money you make in one tax year. Rates may change as you earn more income throughout a tax year since you pay a lower rate for lower income tiers, but you can graduate to a higher rate once you go […]

How to Prevent Burnout: New Research and Tips for Mother Entrepreneurs

From construction firm CEOs—to consultants—to restauranteurs, many of Canada’s top small business owners are mothers. So, how are mother entrepreneurs (commonly known as mompreneurs) balancing scaling their business with ballet lessons and bedtime? The truth is work-life balance is a tremendous challenge for all entrepreneurs, but mothers who are small business owners face unique challenges. […]

Growth Hacking Your Business in 2019: 6 Strategies to Try

There’s one word that belongs at the top of the priority list for most business owners: growth. In our survey of self-employed workers, we asked respondents to cite their goals for their businesses. Growth came in as the top objective, with the majority of business owners aiming for a 40-59% increase in the next year. […]

International Trade Tools Help Small Businesses Expand Their Reach

Learn about different tools offered by the Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service that can help you as you expand your company into international markets. Find out how to use the Spotlight on E-commerce, the Trade Barrier Registry, and the Canada Tariff Finder to streamline international trade for your small business.

Atlantic Shipbuilders: Use ASAP to Help Grow Your Business

Learn about the Canadian government’s Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan, and find out how it can help your company participate in the government’s $35 billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. Learn about program resources and how to get involved.

Boost Your Brick and Mortar Retail Business Like Amazon

Discover how Amazon is integrating physical stores into its business model and boosting its branding, customer engagement, and customer loyalty. Take a page from Amazon’s playbook, and learn its brick-and-mortar business strategies to boost your store’s sales.

How To Promote Your Business Within Canada’s Procurement System

Learn how to promote your company with the tools available on Canada’s PWGSC procurement system. Find out how to locate the key contact people at government agencies, and learn how to promote your business to set it apart from the competition.

Measuring Worth: The Five Types of Value

Learn about the five values associated with most products. Read about functional, aesthetic, epistemic, social, and emotional value, and look at examples of products that fall into each category. Find out how to assess the value proposition of your products, how to change value, and how to market value.

Boost Your Amazon Sales With Optimized Product Content

Preparing Amazon product descriptions ensures your products appear when customers enter specific search terms. But learning how to optimise your product descriptions helps you create content that boosts your sales over the competition.

Small Business How-To: Enhance a Chiropractic Business With Blockchain

Improve your chiropractic office’s efficiency, data management, and reputation by incorporating blockchain technology. Learn how blockchain technology can transform how you run your business and interact with other healthcare providers.

How To Increase Sales Consistency

Increase your company’s sales consistency to keep your bottom line up, both now and in the future. Learn simple yet effective techniques that help you to keep your sales coming in on a regular basis so you can stay profitable even when the market is down.

Evaluate Your Company’s Competitive Advantage With VRIO Analysis

Find out how to identify and secure your company’s competitive advantages by performing VRIO analysis. By figuring out the value, rarity, imitability, and organizational efficiency of your resources, you can make better business decisions going forward.

Selling Your Canadian Product Internationally

Increase sales and brand awareness by expanding your small business to the global market. Learn how Canadian product sellers can capitalize on low competition, and read about how you can start selling your products internationally using an online store.

Can You Use the "Made in Canada" Claim on Your Label?

Learn about the “Made in Canada” claim and find out whether or not you can legally use it on your product packaging. Learn what qualifications you must meet to make this claim, and discover other claim options that can bring in more Canadian consumers.

Use Reverse Mentoring To Tap Into New Sales Channels

Advancing technology shifts the traditional model for training staff. With reverse mentoring, your company can foster cross-generational relationships that help your employees and your company grow.

Tips for Businesses That Want to Do Business With China

Discover how your business can be successful at doing business in China. Learn how the Chinese business culture is different from that in Canada, and find out how you can adjust your practices and sales pitches to make foreign companies willing to partner with you.

Developing Patient Loyalty Will Grow Your Dental Practice

Boost customer loyalty at your dental practice by improving your approach to marketing. Find your target demographic, create a social media ad campaign, and encourage your patients to refer people to your practice and leave reviews. Providing a consistently outstanding experience keeps your clientele returning.

How to Keep Clients and Gain New Ones When You Relocate Your Business

Retain your current clients when relocating your Canadian small business, and grow your customer base after the move. With proper planning and a technological twist, you can flourish in your new location.

Understanding Small Business Growth Stages

Learn about the five different stages that a small business goes through as it grows from an initial idea to a big corporation. Discover what happens in each stage so you can anticipate the challenges and take advantage of the unique opportunities for development.

Increase Profits at Your Florist Business Through Upselling

Increase profits for your florist shop by learning how to upsell on each purchase. Teach employees to make suggestions to customers, and create active incentives to help drive sales. Discover best practices for upselling to your customers.

What is Product Life Cycle Management?

Streamline how your business creates products and reacts to the product life cycle with product life cycle management. Learn what PLM is and what it entails. See how PLM can be used in any business that creates products.

The Sharing Economy and Your Small Business

Learn about the sharing economy. Find out what it is and how it could affect your business model. Find out how your specific business can incorporate sharing into an existing retail or service model to make more profit and better connect with your customers.

Prioritize Your Business Quality Improvement Projects With the Pareto Priority Index

Understand which quality improvement projects are most important for you business. Learn what the Pareto priority index is and how it can help you rank competing projects. Find out which inputs go into calculating the index, and check out examples of the index in action.

How to Get Inside Your Buyer’s Head

Learn valuable tips for getting inside your customers’ heads to understand their wants and needs. Understanding how to leverage data and open communications channels can help you make powerful connections and increase customer engagement.

Have a Retail Business? Here’s Why You Need an Online Store

Discover why opening an online store alongside your brick and mortar retail store is a smart decision for today’s retail businesses that are looking to stay competitive.

Improving the Success of Your Retail Store Sales for Holidays or Other Events

Promote your holiday sales with effective strategies to increase customer attendance and sales. Offering exclusive in-store discounts, collaborating with nearby businesses, and promoting online help improve the sale’s success.

How to Keep Up With Product Demand as Your Handmade Business Grows

Streamline the processes in your handmade business to keep up with increasing demands for your creative pieces. Faster tools, outsourced tasks, and more studio space can help you scale your creative business.

What Is Synergy?

Understand the basics of synergy when you consider a merger or acquisition with another business in order to reduce the costs and improve the profits for both companies.

Using the Ansoff Matrix in Your Small Business to Think About Growth

Discover the four quadrants of the Ansoff Matrix, and learn how you can grow your business by developing your market presence, diversifying your products, penetrating new markets, or developing new products.

Small Business How-to: Leverage Nontraditional Influencers to Grow Your Business

Grow your business faster and more easily by enlisting the aid of top bloggers and leveraging nontraditional marketing techniques such as engaging the services of social media influencers. Learn how simple it can be to achieve quick results for very little effort or investment.

Small Business How-To: Harness the Experience Economy to Drive Business

Learn about the experience economy, and find ways you can integrate experiences into your business to keep your customers coming back for more after the first purchase.

The Advantages of Building Your Business Slowly

Learn the advantages of opting to build your business slowly rather than trying to make a big entrepreneurial splash. See how a slow growth philosophy makes strategic and hiring sense.

Simple Ways to Grow Your Business With Snail Mail

Review the importance of a tech-driven snail mail campaign to excite people about your business. Get ideas for using technology to define your audience, and learn why mailings need to be eye-catching in a good way.

Small Business How-To: Take Advantage of the Global "Buy Local" Movement

Get tips on how to profit from the buy local movement. Learn how to make your business more visible in your community, and review ideas related to Small Business Saturday and local internet searches.

Small Business Terms: What Is the Participatory Economy?

Learn the definition of the participatory economy. Look at ways that shoppers are shifting to this type of system. Find ways to embrace the participatory model in your business.

Easy Ways to Check Out and Learn From Your Competition

Use competitive analysis to understand what your competitors are up to and figure out how to compete in a crowded marketplace. Learn which tactics work best to scope out and analyze your competition.

What is Capital Rationing?

Learn what Capital Rationing is, the difference between hard and soft capital rationing and how this business strategy can prove to be a benefit for small businesses with limited capital for investments.

Long-Term Planning: Implementing Strategy Map

Develop a strategy map to visualize your company-wide objectives. By drawing out the goals in an easy-to-read diagram, you give all employees a way to understand how different pieces work together to create success.

Grow Your Sales With Product Line Extensions

Introduce product line extensions to boost sales, gain market share, and enhance your company’s image. Product line extension is a method of product expansion that lets you leverage the product life cycle to your company’s advantage without many of the risks and costs of developing and marketing new product lines.

Keeping Your Business Safe from Political Risk

Learn what political risk is and how it’s different other types of risk. Review three different steps you can take to help protect your business against the effects of political risk.

Essential Customer Service Skills for Your Small Business Employees

Discover the customer service skills that are essential to the success of your small business. Help your current customer service representatives improve their approach, and train new hires to adopt these important traits.

How to Give Old Inventory a Fresh Appeal

Give your older merchandise a fresh look. Rather than letting products from previous seasons linger in your stock room, plan to keep it front and centre, to inspire your customers to buy it.

Launching a Brand Extension

Stimulate company profits and revive small business growth with a well-planned brand extension launch featuring new products that appeal to customers who already know and trust your existing brand.

Collaboration Helps Your Small Business Grow

Discover the many benefits associated with collaboration, so you can encourage small business growth. Partner with the right business or individuals to gain the competitive advantage.

Fixed-Price Versus Cost-Plus Contracts

Compare fixed pricing with cost-plus pricing. Review the pros and cons of these pricing models, and get tips on how to calculate cost-plus pricing. Start to decide which pricing model is right for your business.

How to Make Your Business Scalable

When considering starting a new business as an entrepreneur or as a small business owner, scalability is arguably one of the most important factors to take into account. In this situation, it is important for you to know how to grow your business. Starting with a business model or structure that allows for easy scalability […]

Accountants Can Build Long-lasting Relationships by Using These Methods

Attracting clients to your accounting firm is the first step toward establishing a flourishing practice. Retaining those clients for future business enhances the chance for continued success through repeated revenue streams. While solid marketing campaigns put prospects in the seats, a business must also examine the best methods for keeping them in that chair year […]

Overcoming Obstacles on Your Path to Small Business Success

The path of starting a new small business and making it a success is rarely an easy one. Rather, there are multiple challenges and obstacles the successful business owner must be able to deal with and overcome. Here are three helpful tips for overcoming common obstacles faced by entrepreneurs launching a new small business. Overcoming [...]

How to Fix a Business That Isn’t Growing

There are numerous reasons why your small business can fail to grow. Certainly, external factors – such as heightened competition, lack of demand and marketplace conditions – can all impact the growth of your company. These factors are essentially out of your control. The smart play is to hone in on the various internal factors […]

Five Ways to Use a Joint Venture to Expand Your Small Business

Many small businesses take advantage of the opportunity to expand their operations and influence, as well as boost their market presence and bottom line, through the use of joint ventures with other firms. These joint ventures are essentially strategic partnerships structured around very specific goals desired by the respective parties of the joint venture. Ideally, […]

Turning your Catering Business into a Food Truck

If you already have a thriving catering business, maybe it’s time to take your business on the road ” literally. Food trucks are becoming popular across the country because they can bring the party anywhere. As a caterer, you’re already well-positioned to expand your business into the food truck world. You already know how to […]

Should You Grow Your Brick and Mortar Restaurant With a Food Truck?

Your restaurant business is booming, and you’re ready to expand. The traditional option involves opening a second brick and mortar restaurant location, but the growing food truck trend opens up a new avenue for getting your food in the hands (and mouths) of more people. Weigh the pros and cons of investing in a food […]

What to Do When Your Sales Grow but Your Bottom Line Doesn’t

While generating more sales is a common goal for businesses, your company isn’t necessarily more successful just because it’s selling more of its products. The number that matters is your bottom line, or net income, and not your total revenues. If your business has been posting higher sales with its bottom line staying about the […]

Small Business Terms: What Is Penetrative Pricing?

Increase sales volumes, decrease production costs, and earn higher profits for your small business by using penetrative pricing to introduce new products to the market. To use this strategy in your small business, set the initial price of a new product lower than average to attract buyers and ‘penetrate’ the market. Since penetrative pricing works […]

What Is Amalgamation?

Save money on taxes, increase shareholder value, and expand your small business by considering amalgamation with another company that is similar in business or operations. By definition, amalgamation is the consolidation of two or more companies into one new entity with combined assets and liabilities. Amalgamation involves two types of companies. The transferee, or stronger, […]

Create a Pro Forma Balance Sheet to Aid In Planning

A pro forma balance sheet is a projected standing of what your business will look like in the future. This report takes your current financial position and predicts what your company’s position will be. Similar to how a budget is useful for planning for the future, you use a pro forma balance sheet to plan […]

What You Should Know About Exclusive Territory for Mobile and Service Franchises

A mobile or service franchise is a company that travels to your home or business and provides a service, such as a mobile groomer or a car detailing company. Mobile and service franchise companies tend to operate in an exclusive territory, meaning they don’t sell similar products and services and don’t let other franchisees sell […]

Cost-Effective Ways to Boost Your Nonprofit’s Marketing Campaigns

Marketing a nonprofit with little to no budget can be challenging, but it is possible. The internet has opened up a wide range of outlets for savvy nonprofits to advertise and raise funds without breaking the bank. One of the most effective marketing strategies for nonprofits is creating an engaging video that appeals to the […]

Sell Products Online Without Keeping an Inventory

It’s easier than ever to launch your own e-commerce business and start selling products, even if you don’t want to deal with keeping an inventory yourself. Here are three ways other companies can store and ship your products for you. Drop Shipping With drop shipping, you sell another company’s products. The company ships orders to […]

How to Start a Business Selling Your Own Artwork

It's no secret that selling art can be a challenge, even for the most talented artists. To keep from starving, it's important that you take steps to turn your passion into a viable source of income. Turning art or crafts into a business can be daunting at first, but you just need to approach it [...]

Standardizing and Automating Processes As You Scale Your Business

When you start a business, you have all kinds of goals. You might want to turn your hobby into a career, free yourself from the cubicle, or improve your community. Beyond those goals, if you’re like most entrepreneurs, you want your business to be a success that puts money in your pocket. To do that, […]

Franchise Startup Costs

Franchises are a major part of the Canadian economy, generating approximately $68 billion annually and employing over 1 million Canadians, according to the Canadian Franchise Association. With one in 14 working Canadians employed directly or indirectly by Canada’s over 78,000 franchises, these businesses offer exciting opportunities for entrepreneurs, and they’re not just limited to fast […]

Selling Techniques for Your Small Business

If your small business could use a boost in sales, it may be time to reevaluate your sales strategies. Markets and trends are always changing, and it’s essential that you keep up. Fortunately, there are easy steps you can take to improve your company’s sales figures and overall bottom line. First, to sell effectively, you […]

Boost Small Business Sales With Lead Generation

Whether your small business is a startup or an established company, generating new leads is critical to its long-term success. Finding new prospects isn’t always easy, and there is no guarantee that you’re going to make the sale. Fortunately, there are ways to reach out to potential customers or clients without breaking the bank. One […]

Ways to Make More Money in Your Bakery Business

Canadians love their baked goods, but that doesn’t mean they want the same old cakes, croissants, and cookies year in and year out. You can make more money in your bakery business by staying on top of pastry trends, being innovative when the situation calls for it, and harnessing the power of social media. Here […]

What Is a Bid Bond?

A bid bond is a guarantee that independent contractors give to project owners. It states that the contractor has all necessary resources to perform the job as expected and that compensation can be expected if the job is not performed to the project owner’s specifications. Essentially, it prevents the project owner from being held responsible […]

10 Ways to Polish Your Sales Pitches

The sales pitch is your best chance to lock in buyers while you have their attention. Unfortunately, sales closing rates suffer when pitches go wrong. These pitching tips can help you create a more polished sales presentation for better results. Do Your Homework Gather information about your prospect, and dig deep into their history, industry […]

Manitoba: Learn About The Commercialization Support for Business Program (CSB)

Take a look at Manitoba’s Commercialization Support for Business Program. Learn how this program can help you develop and launch new products.

Reaping Big Benefits With Small Business Joint Ventures

Review the differences between joint ventures and partnerships, and look at how joint ventures can help small businesses share costs and expand potential.

Communication Tips for Sending E-mails Clients Actually Read

Use these simple communication tips to streamline and perfect your business e-mail writing process.

How to Make More Money Driving for Uber

Driving for Uber? Check out these useful tips on increasing your Uber income as an independent contractor.

How to Scale Your Restaurant Business

Have you contemplated how to scale your restaurant business? These four strategies may provide you with some helpful ideas.

How to Sell Goods at Flea Markets, Craft Fairs, and Farmers’ Markets

Learn how to selling your products at flea markets, craft fairs, and farmers’ markets to maximize profits and grow your customer base.

How to Sell Your Invention in Canada

Learn all of the necessary steps involved in successfully selling an invention you’ve come up with in Canada.

Improve Your Customers’ Experiences With Customer Journey Mapping

Learn how customer journey mapping can help your business connect with consumers at influential moments to increase sales and loyalty.

Rise Above Your Competition Using Drones

Incorporate drones into your business operations and start offering aerial-based services to give yourself an edge over local competitors.

Setting Realistic Sales Targets for Your Team

Set realistic sales goals to encourage your team. Learn what goes into making an accurate forecast, and how to keep everybody on track to the goals you set.

Small Business Terms Defined: What Is “Wholesale”?

Learn what “wholesale” means in the retail trade, how it works, and what it is not. Find out what sort of items make good bulk purchases and which do not.

Time to Transition: Going from Small Business to Big Business

Find out what it takes to successfully transition from a small business to a big business, and understand why growing too fast isn’t always a good thing.

4 Soft Selling Tips for Accountants

Learn why soft selling may benefit your small accounting business. Discover four tips that help your efforts remain subtle, yet persuasive.

4 Ways to Diversify Your Farming Income With Farm-to-Table Events

Incorporate farm-to-table events into your small farm business to support the local food system and build a loyal base of customers to increase income.

Building Business-to-Business Relationships

Learn how to increase growth and profitability by forming a strong business relationships with the right complementary company.

Choosing an Urban, Suburban, or Rural Location for Your Retail Store

Consider how finding the right urban, suburban, or rural population centre for the location of your retail store can affect your balance sheet.

How to Make Products Fly Off the Shelves When Consumers Aren’t Shopping

Find out how to get customers to buy merchandise when business is slow. A loyalty program is a highly effective way to make sales during the slow season.

How to Successfully Market Your Crafts

Market your handmade crafts in their best light by paying attention to factors such as photography, product descriptions, in-store sale opportunities and more.

Ideas to Overcome Seasonality in Bike Repair

Generate income from your bike repair business year-round with additional services, special events, and product sales.

Make More Money: Most Profitable Menu Items for Your Restaurant

Markup your menu for increased revenue. Learn which menu items offer the most profit for inclusion on your restaurant’s menu.

Making Your Retail Business More Financially Successful

Discover strategies that you can start using immediately to make your retail business more financially successful.

What to Know About Your Property Investment

Find out what you need to know before buying commercial office space or industrial space for your small business.

Why Your Small Business Should Partner With Large Retail Stores

Learn why your small business could benefit from partnering with a large retail store. Discover four advantages that the partnership could bring.

Backscratching Within Legal Limits

Learn how backscratching can help your business generate more sales and improve customer satisfaction.

Benchmark Your Canadian Small Business

Discover how your business compares across similar businesses in your industry and location using Financial Performance Data.

Clever Ways to Upsell Customers in Your Online Store

Learn how to upsell customers in your online store so you can increase your revenue without increasing your customer base.

Competitive Pricing: Aligning Yourself With the Market

Take a look at various pricing strategies that companies use, and learn which one may work best for your small business.

How to Create a Solid Sales Forecast

Learn the most common sales forecasting techniques, disadvantages of each method, and how to select which models are the best fit for your company.

How to Create Success in Freelance Business

Learn the habits of successful freelancers. Having a fine-tuned elevator pitch can help grow your freelancing business.

How to Get Landscaping Clients

Learn how your Canadian landscaping business can obtain new clients. Explore these four strategies for some ideas that can grow your business.

Millennials’ Impact on Retail

Discover the impact that millennials are having on retail. Millennials are the largest generation in Canada and will become the most economically powerful.

Staying Competitive in the Restaurant Industry

Stay competitive in the restaurant industry with these tips on everything from marketing to collaboration.

What Is the Shewhart Cycle?

Clean up redundant tasks and obsolete procedures and streamline your business for efficiency by following the four steps of the Shewhart cycle.

4 Tips for Scaling up Your Small Service-Based Business

Learn why scaling your small service-based business is necessary for growth. Discover four tips to help you increase your startup’s output.

4 Ways Hair Stylists Can Grow Profits

Are you wondering how hair stylists can make more money? Check out these four tips for boosting your profits.

Ramp Up Sales Through Door-to-Door Marketing

Boost your business with door-to-door sales, and learn tips for executing this timeless marketing method effectively.

Understanding the Difference Between Growth and Scaling

Find out the important difference between growing your business and scaling your business, and learn which is right for you.

What is Product Bundling?

Learn how to make a strong product bundle, the advantages of offering a package deal, and how it ultimately impacts profit margins.

3 Tips for Writing a Stellar Sales Script

Learn these three tips for creating a stellar sales script, and help your small business realize a higher rate of conversions and sales.

Business Expansion: Franchising vs. Affiliates

Learn the differences between franchising and taking on affiliates, and understand which is best for growing your business.

Effective Sales Techniques for Financial Advisors

Learn about effective sales techniques financial advisors can use to turn prospects into clients without being a salesperson.

Small Business Ideas: How to Make Money in Retail

Learn how to make money in retail by following a business plan that maximizes your chances for success.

Business Expansion: Types of Franchise Arrangements

Learn the basic concepts involving franchise agreements and the different types of franchises that exist for business owners.

Should You Hire a Market Research Firm or Do It Yourself?

Examine the relative advantages and disadvantages of hiring a market research firm as opposed to doing market research yourself.

Ways to Grow Your Small Business and Make More Money

Find out what growth strategies are available for your small business, and consider how you can use these strategies to make more money.

When to Open a Second Business Location

Consider whether you have enough reliable data to support a decision to open a second location for your business.

Building a Lead Scoring System to Increase Sales

Learn how developing a solid sales lead scoring system can significantly increase revenues for your small business.

How to Raise Your Consulting Fees

Learn how to successfully increase your consulting fees when you’re working as an independent consultant.

Increasing Revenue by Asking Better Sales Questions

Discover how to improve your closing conversion rate and increase sales revenues by learning to ask prospective customers better questions.

Understanding the Joint Employer Designation and Its Implications for Franchises

Understand the concept of joint employers in Canadian law and the consequences for franchisors and franchisees.

Why Location Matters for Your Small Business

Learn why selecting an optimal small business location is essential for success. Explore these four considerations as a starting point.

Expanding Your Online Store to Brick-and-Mortar

Understand the key factors to consider if you’re thinking about expanding your small business online store with a brick-and-mortar retail store.

What is a Downsell?

Find out what a downsell is and learn how to sell using this technique to keep your customers in the sales funnel.

How Your Accounting Firm Can Snag Millennial Clients

As of 2015, there were roughly 9 million millennials in Canada, which represents 26% of the population. Your small accounting business needs to become millennial-friendly, offering products and services tailored to this generation’s unique preferences. Embrace Technology Engage millennial customers by using the latest technology. Millennials communicate with financial service companies using mobile apps, websites, […]

Keep the Name When You Buy a Business

You might want a company you buy to bear your name, but there are a few practical reasons why it’s best to leave the name as-is instead of coming up with new company name ideas. The company’s regular customers patronize the business because they recognize the name and the brand; you might lose their business […]

Product-Market Fit: Troubleshooting Your Low Sales Numbers

An important element for your small business success is smooth product-market fit. An inappropriate or insufficient product-market fit leads to gaps in sales and consequent drops in customer loyalty, brand identity, and the overall profitability of your business. Be aware of the fact that low sales figures often occur when your products are misaligned with […]

Should You Add a Physical Store to Your Online Retail Business?

In a world where e-commerce dominates the market, it seems almost counter-intuitive for an online retail business to open a physical storefront. However, despite the additional operating costs, having a brick-and-mortar store can actually be beneficial for an online business. Let Customers Experience Your Products Think about what your business sells, and ask yourself if […]

Sourcing the Right Vintage Clothing for Your Boutique

If you have a passion for vintage clothing, opening your own boutique shop, either online, in a traditional brick-and-mortar retail store, or both, can provide you the opportunity to turn your passion for fashion into a rewarding, lucrative entrepreneurial career. Your store can benefit from carrying a wide selection of items, including accessories such as […]

Things to Consider When Conducting a Focus Group

A focus group is a small group of people led by an impartial person to gather data that tells you what your target market thinks about your company’s products, services, ad campaigns, or brand. The group setting gives you the ability to ask questions that are too complicated to put on a simple survey, and […]

Using Root Cause Analysis to Better Understand Your Business’ Problems

Root Cause Analysis is a common-sense technique for addressing business problems, especially those problems centered around humans and subjective interpretations. It is really a series of simple steps wrapped up in a fancy title, but you should not underestimate it because of its simplicity. You can employ Root Cause Analysis to dig into the deeper […]

4 Project Planning Tips for Efficiently Growing Your Small Business

Accomplishing long-term goals for growing your business often depends on completing projects that represent manageable steps toward achieving those larger goals. For example, the project of developing a social media marketing campaign might be part of a major goal such as increasing sales by 50%. To efficiently use projects to move your company forward, you […]

4 Reasons Businesses Can Fail in the First Year

Starting a new business brings excitement and opportunity, but a small business owner should be aware of factors that can cause a startup to fail in its first year. Being familiar with these issues allows you to be fully informed to help give your business every chance of success. Starting a Business for the Wrong […]

A Beginner’s Guide to Product Sourcing With Alibaba

Alibaba is an online marketplace that sells items in bulk, and it offers retailers a relatively easy way to source inventory globally. Whether you have an e-commerce site, a booth at a flea market, a brick-and-mortar shop, or any other retail establishment, you may want to understand the basics of using Alibaba. Finding Products Browsing […]

Benefits of Blogging for Nontraditional Businesses

A business blog provides an opportunity for your small business to communicate in an interactive, informal and informative way that engages and attracts customers. Blogging helps customers find your website, which provides more formal promotional content about your products and services, and allows customers to make purchases. Increasing Online Presence Having a business blog increases […]

Don’t Let Your New Products Cannibalize Your Current Product Line

Businesses face the threat of cannibalization of an existing product by a new product. Sometimes businesses get so caught up in the fear that cannibalization will occur that they cease to produce new product lines and end up missing out on potential profit. Rather than avoiding product development altogether, use some smart strategies to help […]

Effective Training Needs Analysis for Business Growth

All businesses need to train employees (or even partners) to a certain degree. To train people effectively, top management should perform a training needs analysis to see who needs to be trained on what topics. Find out about the steps involved in an effective training needs analysis. The Ending Result of a Training Needs Analysis […]

Ethical Consumerism and Your Business

When you make purchasing decisions based on whether products and services are provided in a way that minimizes or avoids detrimental impact to humans and the environment you are being an ethical consumer. Small business owners can benefit from understanding the important issues affecting ethical consumerism and earn the loyalty of customers who place these […]

Food Trucks Are In, Restaurants Are Out: Why a Food Truck is a Smart Investment

Whether you’re a hobby chef or culinary school graduate, launching a food truck business is a way to get your feet wet in the restaurant industry at a low cost. Food trucks are more popular than ever, and now’s the time to get on board. If your dream has always been to serve food to […]

Help for Francophone Entrepreneurs in Western Canada

Canada has two official languages, but the reality is that the vast majority of francophones live in the province of Québec. In the four western provinces of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, and British-Columbia, between 2 and 4% of the population report French as their mother tongue, while somewhere between 5 and 9% can conduct a conversation […]

How to Find a Rental Space for Your Startup Business on a Tight Budget

You might need to rent office space for your growing startup. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ need find an affordable space before you sign a commercial lease. Follow these tips to find a business rental that fits your a budget: Visit several business rental properties. Affordable spaces may not be in your area […]

Post-Purchase Dissonance: Dealing With Dissatisfied Customers

Unfortunately, you can’t please everyone all the time. In any business, you may occasionally have to deal with unhappy customers. This can be a stressful situation, especially for new business owners, but a bit of preparation can make it easier to deal with. Empathy Ideally, when a customer approaches you with a complainant, you should […]

Breaking Into and Selling in New Markets

Breaking into a new market with a new product involves a double set of challenges for your small business: launching a new product and establishing a business presence in a new country. Expanding your business operations into a foreign country is a significant move for any company. With a small business, it is especially important […]

Categorize Your Business’s Products Based On The BCG Matrix

The BCG matrix was developed by Bruce Henderson for the Boston Consulting Group in 1970. This tool helps businesses analyze their product lines and business segments. Learn about its components and how you can use the BCG matrix in your small business. What is the BCG Matrix? The BCG matrix, also called the growth-share matrix, […]

Key Elements of a Sales Presentation for Prospects

Sales skills are a gift like no other. In many cases, no amount of training can transform the average business owner into a persuasive closer. Some people just have the knack for promoting their ideas, and others rely on technical or operational abilities to drive revenues. Yet, if you own a business, much of your […]

Bullet Journaling: Jot Your Way to Entrepreneurial Success

If you are the kind of entrepreneur who comes up with lots of new ideas and likes to scribble down notes and “to-do” lists, then you may fit the ideal profile for a “bulleter,” or bullet journaler. You may also be the right candidate if you really enjoy planning or are obsessed with goal-setting and […]

Use Shipping Apps Compatible With Quickbooks

Shipping apps automate and simplify the shipping process for businesses. Quality apps can connect with and download shipping rates from multiple carriers. They allow you to create shipping labels, packing lists, and reports. Apps such as ShipWorks sync with QuickBooks Online, and you can sync with Premier or Enterprise software using a special connection app. […]

Gratitude at Work: The Importance of Remembering to Say Thank You

More than half of Canadian workers between the ages of 21 and 30 feel unappreciated by their employers, according to a survey conducted by Canada Life Group Insurance. The survey also shows that, as the boss, neglecting to show gratitude can create an atmosphere where co-workers feel comfortable getting into arguments rather than resolving differences […]

Best Financial Services for Canadian Small Businesses

Find out what small businesses should look for when considering a relationship with a business bank.

Can You Change the Fiscal Year-End for Your Small Business?

Find out the options for small businesses to change their fiscal year-end and the reasons for doing so.

Coso Framework: Defining Internal Controls

Do you want more control over your financial information? Learn internal control policies outlined in the COSO’s internal control framework.

The Art of Upselling and Cross-Selling Your Way to Bigger Profits

Find out how to increase revenues and profitability for your small business while also strengthening customer relationships through upselling and cross-selling.

The Pros and Cons of Hiring a Grant Writer for Your Small Business

Take a look at the relative pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages, of hiring a grant writer to help your small business obtain funding.

Understanding Porter’s Five Forces Analysis

Learn what Porter’s Five Forces analysis is and how you can use each of its components to better strategize for your business.

Leverage the Gig Economy to Boost the Success of Your Small Business

Gig economy, a popular buzz phrase in the business world, refers to an environment where hiring independent consultants for temporary positions is the norm rather than the exception. Workforces across North America are shifting toward a gig economy, and if you own a small business, you may want to leverage the gig economy to boost […]

New Leader Tips: Making Your Meetings Purposeful and Powerful

When you’re in charge of a team, you want to model effective leadership and a strong message. Part of that effective leadership involves communicating regularly with your team through meetings. Unfortunately, meetings can have a bad reputation because they take up time and don’t always feel productive. A good meeting is one in which people […]

Is a Holding Company Right for Your Small Business?

As your small business grows, your legal structure will need to evolve to keep up. At some point, you may probably decide to incorporate your business and own the shares of your corporation directly. The next logical step to consider is the possibility of adding a holding corporation to act as the owner of the […]

Collaborating With a Manufacturer to Make a Better Product

As a small business owner, you may have a ton of great ideas but lack the specialized technique and manufacturing process to execute them properly. Collaborating with a manufacturer creates a partnership that allows you to sell a better product and benefits both parties. Foster a Relationship You need to form a relationship with every […]

How to Jumpstart Your New Product Launch

Sometimes you need to launch a product quickly to capitalize on a trend. Follow these steps to launch your new product quickly and effectively.1. Give your product a catchy name.2. Buy a website domain name for the product and set up social media profiles on your platforms of choice.3. Find a manufacturer who can deliver […]

How to List Freelance Qualifications and Experience on Your Resume

Freelancing contractors should always be looking for more work, and that means having a solid resume. To describe your past freelancing work on your resume, it’s a good idea to do the following: Have a clear title. Make certain you represent yourself exactly as you want to be perceived. Take the time to perfect the […]

How to Stay on Top of Freelancing Trends

Freelancing, like any profession, goes through trends and fads. Unlike most other professions, however, freelancing is still relatively new, and new trends can be tricky to spot. If you know where to look, you can benefit a lot just by keeping an eye on what your fellow freelancers are doing. The concept of borrowing good […]

Increase Sales With Tech Tools to Drive Impulse Purchases

The average Canadian consumer spends thousands of dollars on impulse purchases each year. Some make impulse purchases to cheer themselves up, while others do so to jump on a sale, even if they don’t need the item. As a retailer, you need to capitalize on impulse purchases. Effective Website Design If you run an online […]

Land the Best Freelance Jobs by Building Your Network

When you decide to freelance in fields such as writing, bookkeeping, or accounting, online freelance job boards and content mills might seem like a convenient alternative to networking. These companies do the marketing for you and offer you the opportunity to bid on jobs or assign you tasks based on your resume or a demonstrated […]

Finding the Right Business Premises as Freelancers

As a freelancer or small business owner, working at home can be fun – at first. If you’re just starting out, using your home as your workplace can save you lots of money. Over time, however, you might find it hard to concentrate on your work as never-ending responsibilities – such as washing dishes, doing […]

A Guide to Simplifying Shipping on Etsy

One of the biggest advantages of selling your handmade products on Etsy is having access to automated, customized product shipping from your shop in Canada to anywhere in the world. Use the Shipping Profiles and Listings Manager features to estimate shipping for your item listings, charge shipping at checkout, and pay for shipping when you […]

Building a Strong Entrepreneurial Skill Set

While entrepreneurs are unique, there are certain skills that an entrepreneur should develop to be successful. Whether you are starting out as a young entrepreneur or have been in business for 20 years, honing these skills will prove invaluable to your business. Set Goals and Educate Yourself Setting ambitious yet attainable goals is crucial to […]

How to Transform Your Spare Room Into a Small Business Centre

Turning a spare room into a small business centre is an effective way to carve out a dedicated work space in your home. Setting up the space is relatively straightforward, and in most cases, you can claim a tax deduction for your office-related expenses. Setting-Up Make a list of all the things you need while […]

4 Ways to Diversify Your Business Offerings

Diversifying your business offerings can help attract new customers and retain existing ones, which can boost sales. It also helps spread risk across your business by not relying on one particular product or market. When developing a strategy to diversify your business offerings, consider how you can enhance your customers’ shopping experience. Modify or Add […]

Expand Your Market by Selling on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

Small businesses in Canada should consider expanding their online presence by selling on both Amazon.com and Amazon.ca, the Canadian version of the very popular Amazon e-commerce website. Selling on Amazon can set a business apart from its competitors, especially since 59% of businesses in Canada didn’t even have a website as of 2015. Small businesses […]

How to Find Your Small Business Unique Selling Proposition

A unique selling proposition is a factor about a business that differentiates it from its competition and makes it stand out in the marketplace. Determining your unique selling proposition is definitely one of the most important decisions you can make about your small business. Finding your unique selling proposition is a mental exercise that does […]

What Is a Corporation?

A corporation is an independent legal entity and is separated from the people who own it. This entity possesses many legal rights that individuals have, including hiring employees, opening a bank account and entering into contracts with other businesses. A board of directors, typically elected and appointed by the shareholders of the corporation, manages the […]

Online Resources for Continued Training

Everyone could use continuing education to increase their knowledge base. As a busy small business owner, freelancer or other independent professional, you may not have the time to attend university classes, seminars and workshops in person. Fortunately, you can pursue a wide range of online continuing education opportunities, some of which cost very little money […]

Fixing the Funnel: Following Up on Sales Leads

While it’s great to have new, regular leads pouring into your small business as a result of your marketing efforts, these leads are worth nothing until they’re converted into actual customers. That’s why it’s critical for yourself or your sales staff to have a solid follow-up system in place to ensure that your business takes […]

Developing Online Authority to Grow Your Business

You can substantially expand your small business by becoming recognized online as an authority, influencer, or expert in your chosen field. Accomplishing this also elevates your overall online profile, thereby expanding your reach and ability to connect with a much larger potential customer base. Being a recognized authority in association with your business goes a […]

Watch Out for These Common Startup Destroyers

When your small business is in its startup phase and has yet to establish a broad customer base and secure regular revenue, it is the time when your business is most vulnerable to failure. Many startups never quite get off the ground due to one or more critical mistakes being made. In addition to having […]

Shaking Off Competition From Larger Companies

Canadian small businesses don’t need to spend a fortune to compete with large companies. Being small provides unique advantages. Small business owners who know how to exploit these advantages, can level the playing field and attract and retain customers, reduce costs, and maximize profits. Remain Agile Your small business can compete with larger companies by […]

How to Move Your Business to the United States

As of 2015, the United States was home to the largest consumer market in the world by a wide margin. In fact, nearly 30 percent of total global consumer spending takes place in America, or almost four times as much as the second-largest consumer market, Japan. Canada ranks 10th with approximately 2.25 percent of global […]

The Psychology of Customer Loyalty: How to Give Customers What They Want

It has long been held by the services industry, especially retail merchants, that the customer is always right. The philosophy and general business model of striving to please customers above all has remained a key profitability technique — keeping the customers you have by giving them what they need and attracting new prospective buyers with […]

Increase Sales By Offering A Free Trial Of Your Product Or Service

It’s important to find creative, low-cost marketing methods to attract new customers to your startup or small business and grow your customer base. One such method is offering a free trial of your product or service. Free trials can be especially beneficial if your business is small or relatively new, and if potential customers may […]

Seasonal Sales Patterns: What Do You Do During Non-Peak Months?

If you sell seasonal merchandise, such as holiday decorations, patio furniture or ice cream, you likely have a peak season and an off season. In other cases, you may experience ebbs and flows related to the tourism patterns in your area, rather than the product itself. If your business has seasonal ups and downs, it’s […]

Navigating Black Friday and Cyber Monday as a Small Business: a Guide to Holiday Sales, Promotions, and More

Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent the two most frantic shopping days of the year in the United States. Shoppers spend millions of dollars at large and small businesses alike as they scramble to find the best deals on their holiday list items. In fact, legend has it that Black Friday is so named because […]

Overcoming the Challenges of Being an Entrepreneur

Stepping out on your own as an entrepreneur brings with it excitement and opportunity, but also a certain amount of anxiety and unique challenges. The shift from being an employee to being the entirety of a company’s staff can feel somewhat overwhelming. To be successful, you need to know how to overcome the challenges that […]

Five Reasons Why Customer Retention Is Essential

Customer retention helps increase the profitability of your small business. Build lasting customer relationships by providing personalized quality service, communicating effectively, rewarding loyal customers, and offering innovative products and services. It may be beneficial for your business to use data analytics software to help understand your customers more thoroughly. Customers who are satisfied with your […]

Keeping Your Small Business Innovative

When most people think of innovation, their first thought is of massive technology corporations such as Google or Apple. However, innovation is integral to the success of every firm no matter its size or industry. Besides technological inventions, innovative business behaviour comprises of a wide range of practices, such as operational optimizations, that can take […]

Mentors Matter: Women Helping Women in Small Business

There are a lot of signs of progress for women in the workplace in Canada. Women who are entrepreneurs have a very large impact on the small business landscape around the country. Consider that: In 2015, for the first time ever, more than 1 million Canadian women reported as self-employed. A larger number of female-owned […]

Using Community Outreach to Network or Build Your Client Base

Few marketing campaigns are as satisfying as community involvement endeavours. You get to rub elbows with both potential clients and peers while donating time and resources to a worthy cause. Non-profit organizations gladly welcome the help from business owners in fundraising efforts, and to show their appreciation, they often return the favour. These entities may […]

3 Tips on How to Succeed as a Business Leader

It has been said that it is lonely at the top, and sometimes for good reason. Business owners often become so singularly focused on the success of the organization that they lose sight of what it means to lead effectively. Managing people is never easy, especially when surrounded by different personality types. However, there are […]

Preparing for the Climb: Predict Your Business Growth With Sales Data

For a business expecting to grow, the past can present compelling evidence regarding where the business is headed. Past financial data can often be a strong predictor of the future. In addition, historical data can lead to better planning and more successful investment opportunities. Here are some tips regarding how to calculate future growth using […]

What Kind of Hours Should You Keep?

People who set their own working hours are sometimes tempted to work through the night. However, depending on the goals you set for yourself and business, this may not be the best idea. Estimate how many hours per day you will need to work to reach your goals. The Hours of Business Owners and General […]

Positive Reinforcement: Making the Most of Your Employee Relations

Keeping your employees happy is just as important as keeping your customers happy. In a small business, you may only have three to five employees on your payroll. If one of them leaves, it could put your business in a real bind and potentially strain your chances for longer-term success. It’s important to make your […]

How to Become an Amazon Reseller

Lots of Canadian companies sell their products on Amazon.ca, which, as of the third quarter of 2016, was the world’s largest online retailer. Some people make a living by buying the products from other companies and then reselling them through Amazon. The concept behind this type of business is easy: Find goods that you believe […]

Taking Fun to Financial Success: 5 Tips for Turning Your Hobby Into a Business

Many people who are enthusiastic about their hobby pursuits have wondered whether they could earn a living from the hobbies that they enjoy. Expert business coach Joyce Reynolds says that looking at hobbies and interests often provides the best direction for creating a successful career or small business. Follow these tips to create a successful […]

Improve Client Communications to Build Long-Term Relationships

Clients are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, there are no sales, no revenue and no profits. So when it is time to review the things you can improve in your customer approach, focus on ways to improve the quality of client communications. While it is one thing to gain a customer, it is […]

How Your Accounting Practice Can Attract New Clients

The Third Annual Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey conducted in 2016 revealed that attracting new clients is a key challenge facing accountants. In order to ensure the longevity of your accounting practice, attracting new clients is critical. This can potentially help increase revenue by increasing total billable hours. It is important to identify the […]

Building a Financial Plan for Future Growth

Creating a coherent, detailed business plan is the first step for successful startups. It is essential in attracting investment, and it serves as a significant resource in keeping your business on track as it grows. Competitor Profiling Before entering or expanding within an industry, smart business owners take care to analyze their competitors extensively. If […]

Five Effective Ways to Keep Your Business Relevant in a Changing Market

Markets, industries and businesses are evolving at an ever-increasing pace. Every year, there seems to be a new product or idea that changes the way an industry or entire market conducts business. Keep your company relevant when you follow these five easy steps. Social Media Presence Every business has some sort of social media presence, […]

How to Market Your Business Blog

Having a blog on your small business website provides you with numerous opportunities for growing your business. Publishing a small business blog is an easy way to effectively enhance the visibility and profile of your business, as well as to contact existing or potential customers. Blogging helps to attract new visitors to your website and […]

8 Toughest Challenges for Small Business Owners

Launching your own business and being your own boss can be deeply challenging. From cash-flow problems and staff issues to juggling accounting and tax obligations, running a business can often feel like a game of snakes and ladders.   While the road to entrepreneurial success is long and winding, there can be huge payoffs for […]

6 Steps to Get Your Business Ready for the Holiday Sales Season

It might seem as if summer is scarcely over. But if you own a retail or e-commerce business, you know that now is the time to start preparing for the fall and winter holiday shopping season. Here are six steps to get your business ready for the holiday sales season. 1. Make Sure Your Website Is […]

5 Tips To Increase B2B Sales For Your Startup

Your idea has blossomed into an amazing widget with market validation and yet sales have been lackluster at best. Here are a few things you can do right away to kick-start sales and grow revenue to reinvest into your startup. Define Your Target Audience It’s best to start simple. Make sure you’re targeting the right organization, […]

Six Things You Will Learn from a Mentor

Having your own small business, whether you work from home or you are the CEO of your company, can be lonely and stressful. As a startup founder or CEO, you often have the responsibility of all the company’s decisions resting solely on your shoulders. With this weight, how can you know if you are making […]

The Secrets to Success of Young Entrepreneurs

BY MINDY CRUMP  |  PIVOT MAGAZINE WRITER Taking risks in business can often be what makes or breaks a company. It can be a scary scenario, especially for a new entrepreneur. But when Charles Brun, Co-founder and CEO of Now in Store, looks back on his first years as a startup founder, he says he wishes […]

Growing Your Business without Growing Your Risk or Losing Focus

BY MARK BURDON (@MARK_BURDON)  |  STARTUP CANADA COMMUNITIES MEDIA “So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.” Dr. Seuss – Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Dr. […]

True Bottom Line of a Long-Term Successful Business

In this video, Startup Canada spoke with Jessica Ross from Nova Scotia, who took her post-university experience working for a catering company to the next level by becoming the founder of her own bread-baking business, Gold Island Bakery (http://goldisland.ca). She is an example of today’s Millennial entrepreneurs, those born between 1980 and 1995, who will […]