• Pandemic Preparedness Tips for Your Business

    The COVID-19 pandemic has caught most of us off guard. Who would’ve thought that the world would spend the year battling a virus?

    This unprecedented global crisis is a reminder that these business threats are very real and acts as a wake-up call for business leaders. Even if the scenario may seem far-fetched, it pays to prepare for the worst. When a pandemic hits, businesses play a crucial role in protecting the health of their employees and limiting the adverse impact on the community and the wider domestic economy.

    In this guide, we will help you prepare for future outbreaks and similar events, as well as offer tips for managing your business during a pandemic. Develop a Business Continuity and Crisis Plan

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  • Four great ways to get more leads for your business

    It’s very rare these days that people just happen to find your business and become a client or customer with no work on your part. Your business has to grab people’s attention, turn curious visitors into leads and then convert those leads into sales.

    This means that the more solid leads you have, the greater your chances of making a sale. Solid leads are those contacts who are engaged in your business, fit your buyer persona and are at least somewhat motivated to make a purchase.

    Here are four great ways to develop more solid leads for your business this year.

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  • Step 8 of Building a Better Business: Build strong networks to generate referrals

    Referrals are the easiest way to generate new business, and building strong networks is a great way to generate referrals. Networking and referrals are cost-effective ways to grow your business, as the return on investment can be huge. Think about the types of networking you can undertake and encourage your team to do the same.

    Five ways to maximise referrals from your networks:

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  • Slip Stream: Supporting Micro Enterprises in Honduras

    We’re pleased to announce our Slip Stream initiative. We’ve partnered with Opportunity International to support micro finance loans to small businesses in Honduras. We donate the first month’s accounting fees of all new clients to OI’s Honduras project.

    I’d like to introduce you to Maria – a recipient of OI’s micro finance programme. We’re proud to be able to support people like Maria make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. Watch part of Maria’s story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXcOKDCLHeo

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  • Cybersecurity tips for business owners

    It’s natural for small business owners to think that they won’t be victims of cyber attacks. Most of the news surrounding hacking and data breaches involves large corporations, but that is because that’s where a high number of victims are affected. Hackers may find they have an easier time going after small businesses and start-ups that aren’t prepared for a security breach. So while they might get less information from a small business, thieves will have an easier time accessing that information.

    If your company keeps any time sensitive information on a computer network—whether that is personal information, credit card info, or other vital data—you need to ensure your cybersecurity is top-notch, so you, your business and your clients are fully protected.

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  • Business Unusual Webinar Series

    We have recently finished our four-part webinar series titled “Business Unusual.” While the content is timeless, it has been geared towards helping businesses navigate the current COVID-19 crisis. You can watch the sessions for free here:

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  • How to grow your network without networking events

    Networking can be a key way to keep your business growing.

    Regardless of your industry or business size, it is hard to ignore the benefits of forming professional networks for potential partnerships, expanding your client base, and scaling up. However, while we are all constantly reminded about the importance of networking, reaching out to grow your network isn’t the same now thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Social restrictions to prevent spreading the coronavirus do not allow traditional networking approaches such as in-person conference events or face-to-face business meetings over coffee or dinner. However, this doesn’t mean that you should put all your networking efforts on hold, because no one can really tell when this global crisis will end.

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  • A Guide to Business Recovery in the pandemic world

    As you well know, the COVID-19 pandemic is not just a public health issue, it’s also caused lockdowns and resulting financial worries on a global scale.

    Small businesses are not strangers to the impacts of the pandemic. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), as of March 30th, 92% of small businesses reported that they had already suffered negative effects due to COVID-19. Almost all business sectors have been experiencing declining profits, liquidity that is drying out, and even bankruptcy.

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  • Step 7 of Building a Better Business: Get someone independent to hold you to account

    Have you ever set a New Year’s resolution and then reset the same one again the following year? It’s widely recognised that approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. How can we increase our chances of successfully achieving our goals? Accountability.

    The most foolproof way of ensuring you complete the actions you’ve committed to is to give someone nagging rights to follow you up. This may be your personal trainer at the gym who makes sure you show up at 6am, or it could be your accountant who checks in on you every 90 days to make sure you’re on track to completing your actions and achieving your business goals.

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  • Easy tips to building an online business

    More and more people are leaving their office jobs and setting up an online business these days. Running an online business offers a way for you to work from home and be your own boss. It may sound like an overwhelming process, but many entrepreneurs find it fulfilling.

    Here are some tips to increase the chances your small online business will be a success, and you’ll be happy with your decision.

    1. Decide what your online business will be

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  • Where to find help from the Provincial and Federal Governments during COVID-19

    IMPORTANT: This post is specific to Canada. If you are not a Canada business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you. This post is specific to Canada. If you are not a Canada business/taxpayer then it is probably not applicable to you.

    We have compiled some online resources that outline how small business owners can access government services and support during this challenging time.

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  • Leveraging ecommerce to innovate and transform your services

    We know small business owners are at varying points on the technology spectrum. Some have embraced technology to operationalize a majority of their operations while others have continued to manage with minimal technology intervention for a variety of reasons.

    The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is altering the business landscape and is accelerating how businesses leverage technology to provide services and or products to clients.

    Shopify Chief Executive Officer Tobi Lutke recently shared in a Fortune interview that “the number of small stores using Shopify’s ecommerce platform rose by 62%” from mid March to April 2020. The shift to use ecommerce has not only affected large retailers but also smaller ones like community grocery stores, specialty stores and farms that have all gone online as consumers have shifted buying patterns to accessing stores virtually versus in person.

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  • How your business can thrive even in a recession

    The pains caused by a recession can be excruciating, which is why most of us dread the thought of it.

    A recession can mean massive layoffs, jobs becoming harder to find, and wages frozen, which means consumers hunker down and spend less– often worsening the economic slowdown unknowingly.

    For most businesses, especially small businesses, recessions can be brutal. Just take for example, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that struck the world in 2008. Between December 2008 and December 2010, approximately 1.8 million small businesses shut down. When Investopedia looked into the impact of the financial crisis on small businesses after a decade, they found out that business creation has not yet returned to pre-crisis levels.

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  • Step 6 of Building a Better Business: Be a better leader; build a strong workplace culture

    Being a better leader and building a strong workplace culture is crucial to having a better business.

    Have you ever considered whether your workplace is toxic? With the average person spending more than 40,000 hours of their life at work, a workplace should be an enjoyable place to be.

    We all have bad days, but if the following bells ring… your workplace may be toxic.

    1. A lack of trust between owners and the team.
    Is there a sense of ‘us’ and ‘them’? Everyone should feel part of the team.

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  • Ways to benchmark your business

    For many business owners, determining the success of a business comes down to how much profit the company makes. Of course, finances are an important measure of an company’s overall success. If you don’t bring in more than you spend you won’t be in business for long. Profit, however, isn’t the only important benchmark by which to measure your business.

    There are other important factors business owners can and should evaluate to determine how well their company is doing now and to predict its future success. Measure customer satisfaction

    Customer satisfaction tells you a lot about how much repeat business you can expect. If customers are satisfied with the products and services they receive from you, they’re likely to come back and refer you to their friends.

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  • Questions to ask as your small business recovers from COVID 19

    As small business owners look to operations after COVID-19, there are some important business questions to ask. These questions will help you determine what adaptations you want to keep, whether your business model is working, and if there are additional changes you want to make to keep your company operational through future economic downturns.

    It’s not always fun to do this sort of examination, but the answers to these questions will help you to make the best possible decisions for the future.

    1. What worked and what didn’t work in my business model?

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  • Battling Through COVID-19: Finance Tips for Business Survival

    We’ve heard this before: the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented global health and financial crisis that has caught many off guard. While the threats to human life are very real, the damage to the health of businesses is really just starting to show.

    The seriousness of the disease and the lack of a vaccine (at the time of writing this) have prompted governments around the world to impose strict measures to contain the virus. These restrictions in people’s movements and the temporary shutting down of non-essential services have definitely taken a toll on businesses.

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  • Why Black Lives Matter

    I’m not going to make a long drawn out statement here. The events of the past few weeks disgust and shock me. But they do not surprise me. The murder of George Floyd was the spark that ignited the powder keg. Until the rest of us can acknowledge that there is in fact systemic racism in our cultures we can never properly deal with it. The great American, Canadian or Kiwi dream of success and prosperity can never truly be achieved when a segment of our population are directly or indirectly sidelined, ignored or abused. It has to change if we value the culture of our society.

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  • Business lessons learned during COVID-19

    If you’re like many small business owners you’re probably astounded by how the world has changed in a very short time. While we can all hope that the pandemic is a once-in-a-lifetime scenario, the truth is there is a lot in life and in business that is uncertain, and there is a great deal we can learn from the response to COVID-19 to help plan for the future.

    Yes, your business might have changed drastically in recent months. There is good news in that, too. It means your business is adaptable and that you can find ways to survive.

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  • Step 5 of Building a Better Business: Get your organisation structure right

    Your ideal structure will allow your business to become more efficient and achieve economies of scale. This increases your bottom line returns at a greater rate than your revenue. Your organization structure should allow your revenue to increase without creating bottlenecks.

    An organization structure should show all ten departments in your business, who is responsible for what, and how the hierarchy works.

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