Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’

Probationary Periods: Are They Legal in Canada?

According to the monster.ca website, YES, probationary periods are legal. However, a formalized signed contract must indicate a time line and specifications regarding the extent of the period. Employers can legally fire, and without ’cause’, an employee if they fail to meet expectations while under that period of probation.

According to the monster.ca website, “In the absence of language asserting that the employer will rely on the probationary term, the courts treat the terminated employee like any other. An employee, who does not meet performance standards and is terminated without cause, is then entitled to severance determined by a court.” That being siad, it is always recommended that you, as a small business owner/entrepreneur, write a formal, yet simple, employee contract stating the details and outcome of a probation period.

For more details on this subject, read this great article on the Monster website: Are Probationary Periods Legal in Canada?

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January 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm Leave a comment

Joys of small business

It’s hard for me to say that I can’t be biased regarding small business, because I work for and with small businesses everyday. But I truly see the hard work, devotion, and love that gets poured into many of the entrepreneurs I meet. Take today for example, I bought a homemade sandwich and coffee from a local sandwich place. The owner is always smiling and greets everyone that walks in the door. I, without hesitation, paid $2 for a $1.45 coffee and told them to keep the change. I NEVER do this for franchised businesses. Really, what’s the extra $0.55 to me anyway?

My point is, give a little extra to local places. Not only do they deserve it, they more than likely need it.

January 12, 2009 at 7:49 pm Leave a comment

Slowed Economy Buffered by Low Cost Social Marketing Tools

Are your small business fears growing as our economy declines? Yesterday, a leading economic organization officially declared the developed world in a state of recession. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says the 2009 outlook is grim, that the GDP is likely to decline 0.3 percent on average in its 30 member countries. So the question is, have you been denying that our economy has slowed? What have you done to ‘recession proof’ your business? Well, I sure hope that you haven’t stopped marketing as this is the best time to get the word out about your product or service. If you haven’t already integrated a Social Marketing strategy for your business, regardless of the state of the economy or the industry your in, there is no better time than today to start.

With the development of many low cost and free-to-use platforms, widgets, sites, blogs, and applications, it has become increasingly easier to afford online marketing. Here’s a list of 22 low-cost or no-cost tools compiled by Mashable with some great brand examples:

1. Blogs (Johnson & Johnson, Delta Air Lines)
2. Bookmarking/Tagging (Adobe, Kodak)
3. Brand monitoring (Dell, MINI)
4. Content aggregation (Alltop, EMC)
5. Crowdsourcing/Voting (Oracle, Starbucks)
6. Discussion boards and forums (IBM, Mountain Dew)
7. Events and meetups (Molson, Pampers)
8. Mashups (Fidelity Investments, Nike)
9. Microblogging (method, Whole Foods)
10. Online video (Eukanuba, Home Depot)
11. Organization and staffing (Ford, Pepsi)
12. Outreach programs (Nokia, Yum Brands)
13. Photosharing (Rubbermaid, UK Government)
14. Podcasting (Ericsson, McDonalds)
15. Presentation sharing (CapGemini, Daimler AG)
16. Public Relations – social media releases (Avon, Intel)
17. Ratings and reviews (Loblaws, TurboTax)
18. Social networks: applications, fan pages, groups, and personalities (British Airways, Saturn)19. Sponsorships (Coca-Cola, Whirlpool)
20. Virtual worlds (National Geographic, Toyota)
21. Widgets (Southwest Airlines, Target)
22. Wikis (Second Life, T-Mobile Sidekick)
*List
http://mashable.com/2008/11/07/social-media-marketing-plan/

November 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

Social Networking Overload

“Hot” business lingo that are succumbing to the mainstream:

– Web 2.0
– Social networking
– Social learning communities
– Social learning platforms
– Business blogging
– Twitter

CommSocial, “the first Web 2.0 network platform to fully leverage social networking’s unique power to create “social learning communities” that deliver unsurpassed and entirely predictable marketing and business results”, was recently released by Wi5Connect.

“Market research shows that more than 70 percent of people no longer trust marketing messages,” said Laurie Lohner, CEO of Wi5Connect. Hmmm, last time I checked ‘social networking’ was becoming a form of marketing. CommSocial, though, will give users the chance to obtain complete and actionable data on what customers expect of you, what they think of your company and your products, and will facilitate the environment that allows your best clients to interact with your prospects online. Pretty cool, but throw me a friggen bone here. Do the names Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon ring a bell? I guess I’ll have to wait and see how this platform really fully leverages social networking.

September 23, 2008 at 1:12 pm Leave a comment

IS THERE A SECRET TO SMALL BIZ SUCCESS?

Seminar offers help to people starting small and thinking big

What makes one business idea soar while others crash? With 139,000 Canadian firms starting up last year alone, it’s a question any aspiring entrepreneur must answer.

“Most people dream about one day owning their own small business, but very few people know how to make it work,” comments Startup Expert Roger Pierce.

According to a recent report issued by Industry Canada, about 70 percent of small businesses that enter the marketplace survive for one full year; half survive for three years and approximately 25 percent are still operating after nine years.

Those statistics don’t surprise Roger Pierce, Co-founder of BizLaunch, “Too many start ups fail because new entrepreneurs don’t truly understand what it takes to succeed, or, worse, launch a business that does not hold their passion,” he comments.

Overcoming those challenges is the focus of a free seminar being offered on 18 dates this fall across Ontario and Quebec called ‘How to Create Your Million $ Idea’.

Pierce says the seminar reveals the secret ingredients of small business success, reviews hot business trends, lists the most popular startup categories and helps would-be entrepreneurs to find their true business passion.

Pierce is co-founder of BizLaunch, Canada’s largest small business training company. BizLaunch delivers informative how-to seminars for clients that include STAPLES Business Depot, Bell and the Government of Canada. BizLaunch will deliver over 300 how-to seminars in 2008 and has trained over 10,000 small business owners worldwide.

How to Create Your Million $ Idea will be presented by Roger Pierce in Mississauga, September 11, in Toronto, September 23 and on many more dates in 2008. Aspiring entrepreneurs may register for a seminar at www.BizLaunch.ca/bellseminars.

September 8, 2008 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Techno-devil

We are living through the largest demographic change to ever happen, even larger than WWII. Gen Y’s are at the forefront of the business world today and are tomorrows tech wizards. Social Media is mainstream. It is what we are today and what we will become in the next 10 months. The computation capacity of a computer will soon over take that of the entire human race.

Are you scared? Where will we be in 20 months and 20 years from now?

The desktop computer, the laptop, the MP3 player are slowly becoming extinct. What effect will this have on our daily lives?

August 21, 2008 at 6:54 pm Leave a comment

Measure what Matters

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) help bridge the gap between your Web analytics data and your company objectives. But before you can start any form of research; you must define your company objectives and your online goals. KPI’s can be anything from increasing revenue and lead generation, to conversion rates and page views. It is important to measure what matters by keeping a focus on the research and data collection objectives.

Some interesting KPI stats:

• More than 70% of companies don’t deliver important Web data to executives.
• More than 80% of retailers don’t report Web data to merchandising staff.
• Only 53% of companies are sharing Web analytics data with their marketing groups.
• Only 32% of companies are distributing analytics data daily or weekly.
(JupiterResearch)

KPIs identify what to monitor, manage, and optimize so don’t hesitate to share web performance across all departments including marketing, sales, and even with key stakeholders.

August 13, 2008 at 2:24 pm Leave a comment

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