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Five Things People Don’t Tell You About Starting a Business

Owning a small business and working from home is becoming increasingly common today. While technology makes it possible for people to work remotely from virtually anywhere, and as the economy becomes increasingly decentralized, most people still have a romantic view about what it’s like to start a business.

 

Here are 5 things that people don’t tell you about starting a small business:

Five Benefits of an Organized Workspace

Monday, January 9th is National Clean Your Desk Day! You know what this means – today is the day you are finally going to get around to cleaning your desk. Get rid of those unnecessary piles of paper, reduce the clutter and take back your workspace once and for all – or at least for a short period of time, until the mess creeps back onto your desk.

How to Start Off 2017 with a Bang!

While most businesses are focused on capturing as many holiday sales as possible, it’s also important to keep an eye on the year ahead. Before you know it, the holiday season will be over and you will have a fresh new year ahead of you – 12 full months to improve upon what you accomplished this year.

 

To get the most out of the new calendar year, here are some tips for how to start off 2017 with a bang:

Year in Review – Highlighting Our Top Blogs Of 2016

2016 was a successful year for uBiz. We made great strides in helping small businesses protect their investment with affordable, reliable and effective small business insurance solutions.

 

Just in case you missed them, or want to get some great advice for running a small business, here is a collection of some of our best blog posts from the year:

12 Small Business Holiday Tips

Taking a leap of faith and opening a small business is scary. It is also liberating knowing that you are doing something you love, while being your own boss. Who knows this better than Santa? He’s been in operations for years up at the North Pole and shows no sign of slowing down.

 

Small business owners could learn a thing or two from Santa and how he runs his workshop. With Christmas right around the corner and a new year creeping up quickly, we wanted to help you get off to a good start by providing you with a series of Santa approved small business tips.

Six Helpful Tips to Manage the Busy Holiday Season

The holiday season is a busy time of year. It can also be extremely lucrative for small business owners who can keep their eye on the prize. There’s no question that last minute orders and requests from your customers, your business needs, planning for 2017, and your personal commitments this time of year, make December an especially hectic month.

To help you keep focused and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, we’ve put together some great tips for how to manage the busy holiday season:

The Ins and Outs of Business-to-Business Gift Giving

Business-to-business gift giving can be a touchy subject. Some companies have no issues with it, others have specific rules and limits, and others are dead set against it. Even though your intention is to show your appreciation to a colleague for their hard work or a client for their loyalty and business, it can be a challenge to know if you should give out gifts, to whom, and which type of gift to give.

Working with Freelancers: How to Find, Hire, and Work with Them

Working with freelancers is something that an increasing number of small businesses are doing today. As we have previously discussed, we have now entered the freelance era, and you can expect freelancers to become even more prominent in most industries. This is also an opportunity for your business to add skill, knowledge and talent in a flexible manner.

 

 

Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Business

If you haven’t already, you need to kick your holiday marketing campaign into high gear because your customers are already shopping. With as much as 20% of your total annual revenue coming in during the holiday season, it’s vital that you take advantage of this time of the year.

 

Women Entrepreneurs Taking More Risks Than Men

As they say, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk at all.” It appears that more female business owners and entrepreneurs are taking this message to heart more than their male counterparts.

 

A new BMO Wealth Management Report has dispelled the myth that women tend to be risk averse. It found that 72% of female entrepreneurs are very confident in making risk-related business decisions. Only 64% of male entrepreneurs stated the same.

 

Three Simple Tips to Keep Your Business Vehicle Organized

Being a small business owner can be hectic, especially if you spend a large portion of your day on the road meeting with clients, answering service calls, and providing service onsite. Here are some great tips for keeping your business and business vehicle organized while on the go. 

 

Four Reasons Why Your Business Needs Insurance

Protecting your business from potential threats, liabilities and risks is one of your primary objectives as a business owner. You can’t do it alone, and for this reason it’s vital that you invest in business insurance coverage that protects you and your business.

 

5 Scary Mistakes Made by Small Businesses (Halloween Theme)

People make mistakes. Small business owners are no exception. There is no doubt that you will make a few errors in judgement and strategic mistakes as you grow your business. It’s part of the process. The key is to keep the big mistakes to a minimum and learn from them.

How to Make Local Sponsorship Work for Your Business

As a small business, you are a member of your local community, and one of the best ways to get involved and get your name out in the community is through local sponsorship of events, charities, and local sports teams and organizations.

We all know that giving back is important, but this doesn’t mean you can’t give back and still have it benefit your business at the same time.

Don’t Have a LinkedIn Page for Your Business? Why You Need One Today!

Having a LinkedIn profile is a necessity for any professional today. It’s also an essential for small businesses to have a company page. While small businesses by the millions have embraced Facebook, many still lack a presence on LinkedIn, which could be limiting online networking and prospecting opportunities. In fact, only 57% of companies are using LinkedIn company pages – so there is ample opportunity for you to make an impact in your industry.

How to Get the Most Out of Business Conferences

Promoting your business, expanding your network, and looking for new ways to generate business are things that are always on the mind of savvy small business owners. After all, your business is your baby, and you will do what it takes to make it a success.

 

One opportunity that often gets overlooked or under utilized are conferences.

 

Why Go to Industry Conferences?


Conferences connect people, provide you countless networking opportunities, and give you a platform to promote yourself and your business.

 

“Today, probably even more than ever before, networks are a key form of social capital for achieving goals in both your professional and personal lives,” says Francesca Gino, a professor at Harvard Business School.

 

“The fact that technology has made it easier to interact with people across great distances and time zones actually makes face-to-face interaction even more valuable,” adds Dorie Clark...con

How to Hit the Ground Running This September

Labour Day is many people’s last chance to enjoy the summer weather before the kids go back to school. It’s also the time of year where business starts to pick up again, and for small businesses that rely on the increased traffic, it’s vital that you are ready to hit the ground running and finish up the calendar year strong.

 

Do the Work Up Front

 

Naturally, you will need to do the bulk of the work up front – and hopefully you have taken some time during the summer to plan and get your business ready for this busy time of the year. If you didn’t do it this summer, that’s okay – there is still plenty of time to get ramped up – you just may need to put in some extra time during the fall.

 

Treat September 1st as the Start of the New Business Year

 

Since September is the time of year where people are arguably most business-focused...

4-Step Approach for Successful DIY Social Media for Home-based Business

Home-based business owners tend to have a DIY attitude. After all, it’s likely one of the key factors that made you want to be a business owner and go out on your own.

Not surprisingly, you also probably choose to shoulder the bulk of business tasks and operations. You run the day-to-day operations, manage the finances, handle the marketing, and with the rise in importance of having a social presence online, you manage your business social media accounts.

Why Home-based Businesses Need to Take Advantage of Social Media

Getting the most done on limited resources is key for home-based businesses. Since traditional marketing can be expensive, social media is the more affordable, and potentially just as effective, alternative.

“Traditional marketing can be a drain on your funds. Social media marketing, on the other hand, is pretty low-cost and gives you a direct line to current and prospective customers...

Why Consultants Need Consultants

Consultants need consultants, too. This may sound like a strange statement, but when you break it down it is actually great business advice. As a consultant, you are hired by business and individuals because you possess knowledge, experience, and skills in a specific area that can help them.

 

Therefore, you should hire people for the same reason they are hiring you – because they offer a specialized skill-set that can help you with your consulting business.

 

You Can’t Be a Jack-of-All-Trades – Play to Your Strengths

 

As a freelance consultant, especially when first starting out and money is tight, many fall into the habit of being a jack-of-all-trades. The problem with this is that some professionals stay this way, even when they can afford to hire additional help. Trying to do everything yourself will wear you down eventually...

Making the Most of Lulls in Business

If your business doesn’t specialize in a warm weather product or service offering, the odds are that you experience a downward trend during the summer.

 

Business Lulls Are an Opportunity to Recharge

 

For small business owners this is an opportunity to take time to recover and recharge from busier periods during the year. It’s the perfect time to take a vacation, reduce working hours during the day, or cut out early on Fridays when the weather is nice and the beach is calling your name.

 

Read: The Working Vacation – A Realistic Option for Small Business Owners

 

They Are Also an Opportunity to Get Ahead

 

However, when business is quiet, it’s also an opportunity to catch up on things you don’t have time for when you are busy with clients. You know, the blog posts you have been meaning to get around to eventually...

 

How to Transition from Employee to Independent Consultant

Becoming an independent consultant is a career goal for many professionals. Once you get your degree and work for a number of years in your field, there comes a time when you have the experience, skills, and network to do things on your own terms.

However, making the transition requires careful planning and consideration. As we have discussed previously in When Is the Time Right to Quit Your Full Time Job?:

“Working on a business part time is one thing, but actually making the leap to running a business full time without the safety net of your full time job is a HUGE step to take. It’s not a decision you should make lightly, and there are a number of important considerations you need to take into account.”

Making the transition from employee to independent consultant is very similar.

 

 

The 4 Pillars of Local SEO for Businesses

If you are a local business – dog walker, consultant, hair stylist, freelance journalist or home party sales – then the majority of your business likely comes from customers in your immediate area. If this is the case, then it’s vital to get your local SEO right to attract customers.

Local SEO by the Numbers

The vast majority of people use the internet to find local businesses, even ones that are around the corner from where they live. John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing provides some telling stats that communicate just how important it is for a small business to have a local SEO presence:

• 98% of searchers choose a business that is on page 1 of the results they get

• 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

• 77% of smartphone users contact a business after looking for local information

If you’re not online,

6 Ways to Add Credibility to Your Consulting Business Website

If you want to be successful as a consultant, you need to establish yourself as an expert in your industry. Your clients hire you not because you’re a consultant, but because you are an expert in an area they need help with in their business.

To compete in your industry, whether it’s marketing, finance, law, or any other, you need to have CREDIBILITY. Without credibility, people won’t trust your expertise and they won’t call upon your consulting services. Today, this starts with a solid website and online presence.

Check out: Starting A Business Blog

Why a Trustworthy Website Matters

The first thing a potential client is going to do when they are looking to hire a consultant is check them out online. Therefore, if you’re not online, you are already out of the running. If a potential client does visit your website,

The State of Entrepreneurship in Canada

Now that we are back in action after a much need Canada Day long weekend, we thought it would be great to kick off the month of our great country’s birthday by taking a look at the state of entrepreneurship in Canada.

We have some good news to report – Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Canada.

Canadians Are Entrepreneurial Minded

Entrepreneurship in Canada has never been stronger. According to research by the Centre for Innovation Studies, Canada is ranked second in the world in terms of entrepreneurial activity. This is great news for start-ups, small businesses and professionals considering going out on their own. There has never been more opportunity and resources to help you make it on your own.

Currently, about 13% of the working population are engaged in entrepreneurial activity, with only the United States ranking higher.

The Working Vacation – A Realistic Option for Small Business Owners

For many small business owners, taking a vacation can seem like a pipe dream. Running a business takes a lot of your time, and as a small operation, many small business owners don’t have the luxury of handing over the keys to another who can steer the ship while they enjoy a week on the beach.

The good news is that, even though you may not be able to completely disconnect and take a vacation, taking a working vacation is an option that allows you to get a break from everyday business while keeping tabs on things. Plus, you can satisfy your family’s desire to get away.

So, What Is a Working Vacation?

It is exactly what it sounds like. It is a vacation where you spend a portion of your time working. A working vacation doesn’t have to mean you are simply putting in your hours from an exotic locale.

5 Tips for Mastering the Coffee Shop Client Meeting

When you run a business out of your home, freelance, or are in the process of developing a start-up, coffee shops seem to be a place you frequent. Whether it’s your need for coffee to put in the long hours necessary to get your business off the ground, a place to get some work done outside of your home, or simply somewhere to relax, regardless of whether it’s Timmy’s, Starbucks or a local spot, coffee shops are frequented by small business owners.

People also visit them on a regular basis because they are an ideal meeting spot, especially if your home office is not set up to host clients or you prefer to meet clients in a public space. Even though you may be meeting in a coffee shop, business is still your top priority, which is why you need to become a master of coffee shop client meetings.

5 Proven Ways to Inspire Yourself and Stay Motivated When Working from Home

Working from home has its benefits. It’s convenient, relaxed, and satisfying; however, there are also countless distractions that can cut into your level of inspiration — and motivation. From resisting the temptation to hit the snooze button on cold winter days to coping with cabin fever, working from home isn’t always easy especially if your business involves little human interaction on a regular basis.

Keeping your focus is particularly difficult when you’re not accountable to your boss or colleagues. When you answer to yourself, it’s easier to make excuses and let things slide.

Here are 5 proven tactics guaranteed to rev up your internal drive, and boost your inspiration when working from home:

1. Establish a professional network: Networking is one of the most important parts of running a business, especially if you work from home. Being an active part of industry and community groups will not only help grow your brand.

4 Tips for Setting Up Your Home Office Without Breaking the Bank

One of the first things that you will need to do when starting a home-based business is set up a home office. You need somewhere to work, right? It’s important to have an office space that is completely separate from your living area so you can create an effective home-work divide. You also need to have an office that won’t break the bank.

The first thing you need to do is choose a space that will work for the type of business you operate. A digital marketer will need much less space than a person who runs a salon out of their home. Whether you plan to use a spare bedroom, den, room in the basement or convert your garage into an office, here are some great tips to set up your home office without going broke:

1. Use what you have
Look around for items you already have in your home that you can use to create a low-cost workspace.

3 Viable Options to Fund Your Small Business

One of the most difficult aspects of launching a start-up and running a small business is finding enough capital to sustain things through the lean years. One of the many reasons why small businesses fail in the first few years is that they can’t find enough money to keep things afloat. After all, a business is only an idea if you don’t have the money or resources to get it off the ground, right?

Whether you are about to open shop or working your way through the first few years of operations, it’s important to reflect on the following questions related to funding your small business:

• How much money do I need to make my business idea a reality?

• How much money am I willing to invest? How long will this last?

• Do I have friends,

When Is the Time Right to Quit Your Full Time Job?

Making the transition from a full time employee to a small business owner is something that many people dream about all the time. Some people have great ideas, others have business plans, and many operate a business on the side in their spare time, hoping to one day make the leap from part time projects to full time business.

Working on a business part time is one thing, but actually making the leap to running a business full time without the safety net of your full time job is a HUGE step to take. It’s not a decision you should make lightly, and there are a number of important considerations you need to take into account.

Before you up and quit your job to focus on running your business, you need to consider the benefits and potential drawbacks of taking the leap of faith.

The Numbers Don’t Lie - Small Businesses Are NOT Taking Advantage of Modern Technology

Despite the fact that 86% of small business owners believing that keeping up with technology trends is important to their business, numbers show that they are far behind the competition when it comes to taking advantage of new software, programs and products on the market and designed to increase the effectiveness of how they do business.

Everyone from home contractors to boutique stores, real estate agents, insurance brokers and Internet-based businesses need modern technology to enhance their business offerings, market their brand, and improve overall efficiency. Technology allows you to complete locally and globally, but a lack of technology can also hurt your ability to keep up with competitors.

Small Businesses Are Not Taking Advantage of Technology

A recent study found that modern technology is lacking in most small businesses. The study suggests that:

  • • 52% of small businesses do not have a website,

Frequently Overlooked Small Business Tax Considerations

While many new businesses, especially freelancers and sole proprietors, tend to have a DIY attitude and want to do things themselves to save money, taxes are an area where you should absolutely defer to a professional.

Here are there small business tax considerations that will help you remain friendly with the tax man:

1. Hire an experienced accountant
Are you confident enough in your abilities to do your own business taxes? Are you sure your records are accurate? Did you take advantage of all the tax deductions available to you?

Unless you are an accountant, you should seriously consider hiring one. Your tax records are not something you should play around with, and failure to keep up to date and accurate records could land you in hot water with the government.

You have to consider the tax implications of your business.