CanadianSME Business Magazine

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Business Topics Canada Business Talks will be talking about the following topics that are crucial when it comes to having a successful business: 1


What are the best resources and tools when it comes to promoting your business to ensure that it gets all the attention you want from the very beginning. How to promote on a small budget and ensure you get the right marketing before launching, along with new trends in marketing. 3


Why going digital is important and investing in technology will make your business grow. Resources and creative ideas on how to use technology to your advantage and ensure your business is kept up to date with the new trends. 5


The best technology tendencies for small businesses. What the current tech trends are for small businesses and how it can help them grow their business. 7



Financial experts that will be partnering up with Canada Business Talks will be sharing best practices and expertise advice on how entrepreneurs can get funding, what are the best loans for SMEs and how to manage and run a budget that will ensure the success of your business. 4


Guidance how to manage your business by hiring the right employees and how to grow your business through available programs, resources and mentoring opportunities that can help all entrepreneurs when it comes to managing a successful business. 6


Resources and tools that are available to women entrepreneurs. Coaching and mentoring opportunities to help women grow their business and be successful.


Orientation and workshops to help business owners become successful leaders. Programs, tools and resources available to help entrepreneurs get the proper skill set when it comes to being successful leaders. 2


Canada Business Talks is a new concept into bringing influential people in the business world together so they can share their thoughts and learn from one another. Business experts and tycoons, industry leaders and entrepreneurs will all come together and take part in sharing their ideas, learning from one another and taking part in brainstorming sessions. The main goal is to create a platform where entrepreneurs can meet and discuss with business gurus and experts to share knowledge and perhaps even get some coaching along with guidelines and advice on how they can grow their business and take it to the next level. Canada Business Talks will also be conducting seminars and workshops that will be hosted by experts in their fields so they can help entrepreneurs be successful when it comes to managing their business. Who Should Attend? Canada Business Talks is for people who have a vision to change the business world. So, we’re talking about business students, business owners, entrepreneurs and people who are looking for expert advice and suggestions when it comes to running a successful company. Organizations who support the expansion of businesses or who are looking to connect with business owners who want to globalize and grow their business, Canada Business Talks is the place for them where they will find all the information they need. Get Involved Canada Business Talks is looking for partners with common goals such as corporations, volunteers or business experts who want to partnership with them. They want people who are interested in sharing their expertise in any upcoming events and having their brand be a part of Canada Business Talks.

WELCOME Welcome to the first edition of Canadian SME, the one stop shop for all small and medium sized business owners in Canada. Canadian SME is specifically designed for entrepreneurs of small and medium sized businesses who wish to be informed about changes and updates that could affect them, tips about how to grow their business as well as available resources and programs to help them have a strong successful business. With the huge impact that small and medium sized businesses have on the Canadian economy, we believe it’s important to provide information and resources that are available to entrepreneurs to help them towards their goal of having a successful business. Every month, we will be issuing articles about best practices, available tools, inspirational interviews with great leaders and any upcoming events or updates that business owners should be aware of. Our main goal is to help towards Canada’s economy by providing knowledgeable information to entrepreneurs of small and medium sized businesses so they can be successful, because we strongly believe that if they succeed, Canada succeeds. In this first edition of Canadian SME, you will find interviews with inspirational leaders such as the President and CEO of Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Vice-President for the Ontario branch of Canadian Federation of Independent Business, CEO of Startup Canada and so much more! There will also be articles from industry experts on various topics, more specifically on marketing and digital marketing as well as corporate image. We are very excited about the launch of Canadian SME and its first issue. We hope you enjoy it and if there are any topics you wish to know about in the future, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

CANADIAN SME FACTS There are almost 1.1 million SMEs in Canada. More than half (55%) have fewer than 4 employees. Only 1.6% are medium-sized businesses. Small businesses employed almost 69.7% of private sector workers in 2012, or 7.7 million people across the country. In the 2002 to 2012 period, small businesses were responsible for 77.7% of all jobs created in the private sector. Small businesses created around 100,000 jobs each year on average. SMEs represent 54.2% of the economic output produced by the business sector (in 2005). 90% of exporting companies have fewer than 100 employees, but produce 25% of the total value of Canadian exports. The largest number of SMEs are in the wholesale trade and retail sector (18.8%). Fewer than one out of four Canadian SMEs invest in research and development (R&D). @canadian_sme Editor & Publisher: Shaik Khaleeluddin Creative Design: Abdhesh Kr. Jha Webmaster: Ashraf Administrative Asst: Lynn Rae Contributing Writers: Hamza Khan Grace Nasralla Rocco Rossi Pierre Cléroux Plamen Petkov: Victoria Lennox Michelle Horne Dan Radu David W. Smith Fred Dodd Joel Sears Lisa Shepherd Steven Globerman Jason Clemens Amanda Wilson Eddie Bissoon For Advertisements: For Distribution Enquiries: CMarketing Inc. 2355 Derry Road E, Unit 27 | Mississauga, ON | L5S 1V6 For Subscription: Printed and Published By Shaik Khaleeluddin (SK) on Behalf of CMarketing Inc. Published At No. 2355 Derry Road E, Unit 27 | Mississauga, ON | L5S 1V6 Copyright © 2018 CMarketing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photography or illustrations without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

Only half of new firms (51%) survive their fifth year of operation.

CanadianSME is also available on: Source: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.





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Vice-President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC



by Amanda Wilson




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President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce






By David W. Smith







by Dan Radu








Interview with Vice President Legislative Affairs and Business Resources at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).






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by Joel Sears







President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce A successful entrepreneur and business executive, champion fundraiser, and dedicated public servant, Rocco Rossi joined the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) in 2018 as President and CEO.

PIERRE CLÉROUX Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC

Pierre leads a team of experts who analyze economic data to identify business and sector trends impacting Canadian entrepreneurs. A seasoned speaker, he regularly travels across the country to help business owners understand the risks and opportunities presented by the economic environment.



As the co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada and the founder and President Emeritus of UK-based Charity NACUE, Victoria is recognized by the UNDP and EU as one of the foremost experts in entrepreneurship education; ecosystem and program architecture.

David has over 30 years of experience as an organizational leader, coach, facilitator and consultant. He has worked as a corporate executive and business owner building visions, strategies and delivering successes that grow value(s), cultures and character. He believes that people want to contribute, learn and grow to become the best version of themselves they can be.

Co-Founder, CEO Startup Canada


Author The Burnout Gamble: Achieve More by Beating Burnout and Building Resilience Hamza Khan is a multi-award winning marketer & entrepreneur. He’s the Managing Director of Student Life Network, Canada’s most comprehensive resource hub dedicated to helping and empowering millions of students across the country. He co-founded both Splash Effect, a boutique marketing & creative agency, as well as Skills Camp, a soft skills training company.


Vice President Legislative Affairs and Business Resources at CFIB.

In this role, he leads the Federation’s legislative agenda in the province by representing the views of 42,000 Ontario small and medium-sized business members to all levels of government, business groups, media, and other stakeholders. 6

Co-founded Logia Consulting Inc


Author of Succession 2020New Beginnings After 10 years of R&D, he founded Success(ion) MMXX Inc to deliver its trade-marked TWMPP planning process to professionally coordinate partnered experts to collaboratively identify, assess, prioritize and address small to medium enterprise (SME) succession/sale/exit issues.


JOEL SEARS Partner, Branderos

For more than three decades, Joel has worked as a copywriter, creative director, strategist, coach and educator. He is a Partner in Branderos, a boutique marketing agency serving small and medium-sized businesses.


Founder, The Mezzanine Group Lisa has been working with complex and tech-based B2B companies for almost 20 years. As the Founder of The Mezzanine Group, she has helped over 250 organizations successfully grow their potential – and increase their bottom line.



President of Putting It Together Image Consulting

she works with individuals to define their style identity and use that image to create success in professional and personal situations.


Grants Application Manager at RDP Associates. Our highly qualified experts advise and guide you on how to apply for government incentives and maximise your cash returns


Founder, OSBN


Resident Scholar and Addington Chair in Measurement, Professor Emeritus, Western Washington University He has published more than 150 articles and monographs and is the author of the book The Impacts of 9/11 on Canada-U.S. Trade as well as a textbook on international business management.

wife, mother, woman of faith, entrepreneur, business instructor, owner of e-presence Consultants Inc and founder of Ontario Small Business Network.


Co-founder, Spark Strategic Group. marketing and communication specialist. Her wide and varied career encompasses journalism, public relations, television commercial production, arts marketing, and advertising sales


Executive Vice President, Fraser Institute He has published over 300 shorter articles, which have appeared in such newspapers as The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, National Post, and a host of U.S., Canadian, and international newspapers.


Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner & CEO at Green Lotus Inc. Bassem is a search engine marketing strategist and speaker with more than 12 years of experience managing online marketing strategies for some of Canadian & International corporations including Canadian Tire, VistaPrint, Egypt Air, Xplornet, Direct Energy and Toronto Star. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 I


NEWS Salesforce U.S. business software developer Salesforce. com has announced that they will invest $2 billion into Canadian business over the next five years. With Canadian leaders promoting diversity and its immigration policy opposite to Trump’s administration ban, Canada has put in place work permits allowing foreign companies to develop and work within Canada. Although Salesforce did not confirm that their decision to invest in Canadian business had anything to do with Trumps new immigration policy, its CEO Marc Benioff did confirm that like Canada, Salesforce does value diversity, equality and innovation. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that by opening doors to new investment opportunities and promoting Canada’s diverse workforce will confirm that Canadians are willing to work hard, create and innovate which is what Canada is all about. Salesforce is not the only tech company that is investing in Canadian businesses. Companies such as Uber, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft Corp are just a few that are expanding their research labs in Canada and hoping to have a positive impact on Canada’s business.

Invest Canada – Community Initiatives The Invest Canada – Community Initiatives (ICCI) program offers financial support to communities for their foreign direct investment (FDI) initiatives and activities. By providing support to Canadian communities, ICCI’s goal is to help them expand their capacity to attract, retain and develop FDI in order to create jobs for Canadians, support innovation and increase exports. FDI refers to global enterprises who are starting or growing their business in Canada. Although the program doesn’t fund initiatives that are related to mergers and acquisitions, investments from other parts of Canada, trade or export it does however support non-profit partnerships at the local community level. They have to focus on supporting the attraction, retention, and expansion of foreign direct investment through specific types of activities. The main goal of the ICCI program is to increase Canadian employment and improve Canada’s capacity to compete in the global economy by providing funding to activities that can invest in those areas. 8


Women Entrepreneurship Strategy Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is Canada’s new program that’s been the centerpiece of its 2018 Budget. Realizing that women’s participation in the Canadian economy has a positive impact on Canada’s business and prosperity, the government has decided to launch the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy with hopes that it will help women entrepreneurs have a better chance at growing their businesses into the success that it can be. With 16% of small and medium sized businesses in Canada being owned by women, it was about time that the government decided to launch a program that would help women entrepreneurs by giving them more opportunities and making more resources available to them so they can grow their business. The program is based on four key action areas that are designed to help women entrepreneurs: helping women-led business grow, increasing access to capital, improving access to federal business innovation programming and enhancing data and knowledge. By investing in these areas, the government of Canada is ensuring to give women entrepreneurs all the best opportunities so they can have a better chance of running a successful business.

CIRA – The Canadian Internet Registration Authority The Canadian Registration Authority manages websites that have a .ca domain for all Canadians. They also develop and implement policies that support Canada’s Internet community and represent it globally. Recently, they have released Canada’s Internet Factbook which includes statistics about Canada’s internet and its residences online habits, perceptions and expectations. That being said, the statistics revealed that 81% of Canadians are worried about their personal information if Canada’s government was ever victim to being hacked. With 74% of Canadians spending at least three to four hours per day online, it’s no wonder that 77% of Canadians are worried about having their information compromised if there were ever any cyber attacks towards companies that have access to their personal information. With these statistics, president and CEO of CIRA has stated that since the majority of organizations are web-based, it is their responsibility to ensure that their websites and systems are secure to ensure the protection of personal information for Canadians.

BDC Small Business Week From October 14th to 20th, BDC is hosting Small Business Week to help entrepreneurs all across Canada expand into new technologies that can help them digitalize and grow their business. With technology constantly evolving and new systems and programs constantly launching everyday, BDC believes that it’s important for all business owners to be kept up to date with technology and having the latest tools otherwise, they are at risk of falling behind which could put their company in jeopardy. This is why this year, BDC has decided to talk about how digitalizing can help entrepreneurs during its Small Business Week. With workshops, seminars and several resources that are available to business owners, BDC will help business owners understand the importance of why they should be investing in digitalizing their company and providing them with all the necessary tools to help them be successful in the long run. Be sure to check out their website for more information about BDC Small Business Week.

NEWS Canadian Small Businesses that Leverage E-Commerce Grew 22 Per Cent in 2017 Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses leveraging e-commerce are growing significantly faster than their offline counterparts, reveals new proprietary data from PayPal, the global digital payments leader. Small businesses that sell online through PayPal grew 22 per cent year-over-year in 2017, in sharp contrast to offline small businesses, which saw less than one per cent growth year-over-year in 2016.1 payPal Canada analyzed online transaction data from 4,000 Canadian small businesses that use its platform. The insights reveal that international trade opportunities previously pursued mainly by bigger retailers are now much more accessible to small businesses through e-commerce. Encouragingly, the data show that small businesses in the country are now targeting foreign markets. Nearly 30 per cent of digital small businesses2 that export goods and services do so to three countries or more.

Uber to spend $150 million in Toronto on engineering, self-driving cars Uber confirmed that they will be investing $150 million over the next five years to boost the ridehailing company’s engineering abilities. With a new office opening early 2019 in Toronto, Uber expects to hire hundreds of more employees making their new headcount to just over 500 in that area. This investment will give the company the chance to grow their work on self-driving technology, an area where Uber has lagged competitors. Uber did initially launch this program in Arizona last year, however, after one of their SUVs killed a pedestrian, they decided to close up shop on this initiative to do further testing and ensure that their cars would no longer have safety issues. Khosrowshahi, who took over Uber a year ago, has partnered up with several other companies to develop self-driving cars. One of those partnerships is with Toyota Motor Corp who has invested $500 million in Uber for their self-driving cars, giving them the business boost that they needed to launch this new initiative. Khosrowshahi has confirmed that Uber will most likely start testing on public roads again by the end of this year after off course their selfdriving cars have undergone a complete safety test to ensure that it will not put the lives of people in jeopardy.

BMO commits $10 million to United Way BMO financial group recently announced that they will be doing a $10 million commitment to United Way Greater Toronto Area so they can encourage economic growth. They will also be launching an initiative to join business leaders together so they can work with the community and come up with new ways to reduce economic discrepancy in the Greater Toronto Area. This has been an issue for quite some time in the GTA neighbourhoods and with its constant growth, it’s making it into a stubborn problem. BMO has been a long-time partner with United Way Greater Toronto, therefore it was not a surprise when they made the announcement that they would be launching a concrete five-year commitment to find innovative ways to dramatically reduce the holes in economic prosperity, and to create lasting inclusive economic vitality in neighbourhoods throughout the region.



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CELEBRATING SMBS AND STARTUPS WITH THE GREAT CANADIAN INNOVATORS 2018 YEARBOOK. October marks Small and Medium-sized Business Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the SMB community and recognize the importance of this sector to Canada’s innovation economy. As a partner-led company, Microsoft is proud to work with an incredible network of Canadian SMBs and startups who are powering digital transformation in businesses across Canada. To celebrate our SMB and startup partner community, Microsoft has released the first Great Canadian Innovators Yearbook. It’s a compendium of fascinating Canadian startups using modern Microsoft technologies and services, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, internet of things, holographic devices, and more! Some of the amazing innovations include how Canvass AI has used AI to take an auto parts manufacturer’s manual spot-inspection process for quality control, into a fully automated system that checks each and every part they produce in real time, without interruption. For other clients, using advanced data analytics powered by Microsoft, they have brought new precision to manufacturing and production processes, netting millions of dollars in saved costs and reduced emissions. Similarly, is a Canadian AI and Industrial IoT startup on a mission to make manufacturing more productive and flexible through digital transformation, using an innovative application of IoT, AI, industrial domain knowledge, and technical expertise. In health care, Cloud DX has not only brought Star Trek to life by inventing real life “tricorder”-like devices for the remote monitoring of patients’ blood pressure, weight, pulse, oxygen, and temperature, they’re using our HoloLens technology to enable nurses to quickly “see” the vital signs and other critical diagnostic data of multiple patients in real time. Born in the Microsoft Cloud in 2016, My Intelligent Machines (MIMs) is a Canadian software startup on the most impressive mission imaginable: speeding up the fight against breast cancer, heart disease, and leukemia using AI and bioinformatics. By analyzing an individual’s genetic code, health care providers can identify at-risk people and treat them before they get sick. It has proven to be a costly, time-consuming process – until

now. Using AI, MIMs has made it possible to run those personal genomic analysis for half the cost and in a fraction of the time.

world-leading innovations to life through the power of AI, augmented reality and cloudbased computing and analysis.

From looking inside human bodies, AI and augmented reality are coming together to help cities (including Toronto and 40 other sites) better see underground infrastructure for servicing, upgrading or replacement. The vGis platform uses holograms and augmented reality to display infrastructure—like pipes, lines, cables, and other assets—in-field and in real time. Teams gain the ability to peer through the ground and assess hidden infrastructure, gain situational awareness, and increase productivity. Teams only dig exactly where they need to, which is smarter and safer.

Celebrating Canadian SMBs and startups isn’t simply a moment in time for Microsoft – we are inspired by their hard work and dedication all year round. To champion this important ecosystem, Microsoft is excited to partner with startups through Microsoft for Startups, a new program that delivers access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits that helps these companies grow their customer and revenue base.

Igloo Software is a SaaS company helping to redefine the modern digital workplace by leveraging the cloud to empower organizations across North America to design and develop inspiring digital destinations for a more productive and engaged workforce. Ingeniously, Igloo integrates all the tools and apps employees already know and use (such as Office 365) in one place. Users can access a collection of out-of-the-box digital workplace solutions. They pair these solutions with complete digital workplace plan and innovative playbooks to improve communication, collaboration, knowledge sharing, culture, and engagement. The Great Canadian Innovators Yearbook 2018 is incredibly inspirational, documenting how great ideas and savvy entrepreneurs are teaming up with Microsoft Canada to bring

Through the program we are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems. Startups are an indisputable innovation engine, and Microsoft is partnering with founders and investors to help propel their growth. To learn more, visit Microsoft for Startups.

Through the program we are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology, and new community spaces that promote collaboration across local and global ecosystems. Startups are an indisputable innovation engine, and Microsoft is partnering with founders and investors to help propel their growth. To learn more, visit Microsoft for Startups.




ROCCO ROSSI President and Chief Executive Officer of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

“A successful entrepreneur and business executive, champion fundraiser, and dedicated public servant, Rocco Rossi joined the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) in 2018 as President and CEO. Prior to joining the OCC, Rossi most recently served as President and CEO of Prostate 12


Cancer Canada where he helped to advance the research, advocacy, education and awareness of the most common cancer in men. Mr. Rossi also served as CEO of Heart and Stroke Foundation – one of Canada’s largest non-profit organizations – overseeing consecutive years of record fundraising combining for over $500 million in total and launching many new, life-saving initiatives. His passion for public policy has led him to stand for election both for the position of Mayor of Toronto and for MPP. Mr. Rossi has held senior positions at the Boston Consulting Group, TORSTAR, Labatt/ Interbrew and MGI Software. He is a graduate of McGill and Princeton. Rossi currently serves as a member of the

Board and Audit Committee of TerraVest Capital. A past board member of United Way of Greater Toronto and other charities, Mr. Rossi has been an active community builder. In fact, in 2012 he was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his Philanthropic and Community service. A dedicated adventurer, Rocco has walked the legendary Camino de Santiago several times, cycled the 1900 km length of Yonge Street from Rainy River to Toronto, kayaked the 500 km from Toronto to Ottawa, and climbed to Everest Base Camp. Mr. Rossi has a BA (Hons) in political science from McGill University and a Masters of Arts in politics from Princeton University. He is married to his wife of 30-years, Rhonnie, and they have a 28-year-old son, Domenic John, who is a teacher.”


OCC has been around for over 100 years. I have an amazing staff. They've built incredible brand equity and credibility with the government and the larger society. It's, it's really trying to build on that tradition of excellence and impact

Staff: You recently joined the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) as President and CEO. What are some of the things you wish to accomplish? Rocco Rossi: Well, the first thing is to not mess it up, because the OCC has been around for over 100 years. I have an amazing staff. They've built incredible brand equity and credibility with the government and the larger society. It's really about trying to build on that tradition of excellence and impact. I ask myself questions with a view to the future. How do we modernize further? How do we continue to keep the OCC relevant and add value for our members? This isn't 50 years ago, where if you were starting a business, the very first place you went to was the chamber of commerce or your local board of trade.That where you were going to find your customers, your suppliers, the local banker, the local accountants and lawyers, and it was really critical to starting a business. Today, people have so many choices. How do you keep ensuring that you're providing enough value that people say, "Hey, I really need to be a member of my local chamber and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce?� Staff: How do you believe your 30 years of experience in business leadership will help you achieve your goals?

Rocco Rossi: Well, I hope that because I have run family businesses and small businesses, been a leader of not for profits and involved in publicly traded companies both as an executive and as a CEO, that I bring a very wide perspective that helps me to understand the needs and issues facing the broad spectrum of our membership. My hope is that that varied experience actually makes me a great mirror and spokesperson for the needs of our membership. Staff: Okay, great. Can you talk about some of the accomplishments that the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has had on small and medium-sized businesses? Rocco Rossi: Sure. The OCC has really been the leader on a number of files, including, most recently, Bill 148; which we hear from our members has added incredible complexity and cost to doing business.We led the coalition to make revisions, and now, with a new government committed to making Ontario open for business, we're leading the efforts to revisit a bunch of the measures included in Bill 148 - because it's not just about minimum wage, it is about sheds ruling. It is about calculating stat holidays, and how the bill has made it very difficult to use part-time labor in the province. When we see the kind of numbers that we just saw in

August - over 80,000 jobs lost in Ontario, the vast majority of which were part-time - that is evidence of what our members have been talking about for some time in predicting that, while unintended, these are the predictable results of bad policy. Staff: What are your plans when it comes to helping small and medium-sized businesses grow in Ontario? Rocco Rossi: Well, we try to do a number of things. First of all, we have an incredible network of local chambers, which really serves as an opportunity for businesses to network with other businesses, and to learn from them, because most everyone is facing similar problems.So if you can learn from others and not repeat the same mistakes, that's instant great value. There is also a whole host of affinity programs including what I think is one of the best group benefits plans for small and medium-sized businesses under 100 employees.The chamber’s plan works across Canada alongside our provider, the Johnson Group, and with our other provincial chambers to provide really great benefits to help you attract and retain employees and to keep your employee base healthy and happy.



Staff: That's certainly important when people are only employing a few people. People want to have benefits, so they may choose to go to a bigger company. Rocco Rossi: Our plan really helps small and medium-sized businesses get things that would be very difficult to obtain on their own. By spreading the risk across tens of thousands of businesses, we actually keep more consistent rates. Let’s say you're a small company, you have a benefits plan, and you have one injury causing one major claim; it can blow up your rates.But if you share and pool that risk across the broad membership of the network you can help control your costs, which is a great thing. We also provide programs like the export enhancement and global growth fund where, for small and medium-size Ontario companies interested in exporting to new markets around the world, we have a program you can apply to where we match dollar for dollar up to $50,000 if you're going to a trade show, you're starting a marketing study, or initiating IP protection for your products in a new market. In the last seven to 10 years, the companies who participated in that program have generated over $400,000,000 in export sales. It's an incredible return onc apital. Staff: The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has connected businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions of the country to support public policies that will foster a strong and competitive economic environment. Can you talk 14


about some of those public policies and how you believe they will help small and medium sized businesses succeed? Rocco Rossi: Well, first of all, we're the largest member of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (CCC). With our other provincial chamber partners, we work with our President and CEO PerrinBeatty, who heads up the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. The CCC took an incredible leading role on the proposed income tax changes to small and medium sized businesses and so-called passive income, which was really a very unfortunate attack on small and medium sized businesses. With that kind of leadership, we're able to get revisions, and we're continuing to make the case to the federal government that, given the tax changes that were recently instituted in the US,which removed an advantage that we had, that changes are required here to keep us competitive; particularly in light of the anxiety we’re seeing around free trade. That is another area where we work very closely with the Canadian Chamber on, and with chambers in the US. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce has signed nine joint agreements with US states from California to Florida to Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, supporting the notion of a renewed NAFTA and pointing out the importance of trade, because we understand that President Trump may not listen to everyone, but he certainly is more likely to be listening to American businesses, particularly in states that are of importance to him in the upcoming midterm

elections. We'd been working very hard to make those joint statements, because the US business community understands how important NAFTA has been to them. We have an increasingly integrated North American economy, where millions of jobs on all sides of the borders between Mexico to Canada are affected and would be affected if we're not able to renew NAFTA. That's an important area of cooperation as well. Staff: Since being appointed President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, you have probably come across a fair number of challenges. What are some of those challenges,and how do you work on suppressing them? Rocco Rossi: Again, I think that the number one challenge faced by all associations today, whether it's a chamber of commerce, a church, the local rotary, or your Masonic Lodge, is membership and relevance in a very busy age. People have lots of choices and limited time. Our local chambers, together with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, are working very hard to ensure that we're providing real value to you. This is a mustdo for small and medium sized businesses. If you're going to invest both time and your money, you want to be doing so in something that's going to give you a return and that's going to make a difference in your business, and that's what we try to do each and every day.


I'm an optimist by nature, and entrepreneurs are optimistic in nature. You don't go into a business that has a lot of risks if you're not optimistic. There's no question there are challenges. I think the key message we want to give government is that we cannot take for granted that the growth and the opportunities we have had for so many years in this tremendous province will continue without effort.

Staff: What are some of the initiatives that you're planning and putting in place that you believe will help towards the success and growth of businesses in Ontario? Rocco Rossi: Well, our signature event each year is the Ontario Economic Summit (OES). It's coming up October 24th to 26th, at Niagara-on-the-Lake. This year's topic has really been generated by the annual survey that we give Ontario businesses, asking them what they think the number one issue facing them is in terms of their own prosperity and the prosperity of the province.For two years running, that survey has listed the skills gap as the number one issue facing businesses. The summit is all about how, in a modern disruptive economy, we are going to refocus the efforts of our education system, our training programs, government programs, and private sector programs to skill and reskill, whether it's assisting our young people in the transition from school to work, or reskilling workers whose jobs have suddenly been redefined mid-career. We face incredible challenges and a shortage of skilled labor to deal with all the incredible projects happening in this province. We have massive reconstruction and expansion happening to our nuclear reactor fleet,which requires tens of thousands of skilled labour hours and even years. For too long we've told our kids‌I'm a child of

immigrants, so I'm a perfect example of it. My parents from a very young age said, "Look, I don't want to see you pouring concrete at a construction site. I don't want to see you framing a house. I don't want to see you picking tomatoes and apples. We did that because we didn't have school and we did whatever work was available to put food on the table. You're going to university, you're going to have an office job, you're going to have a white collar." What is the result of that? My plumber can buy and sell me four times over. He's got a place in Georgia Bay, he's got a home in Scottsdale and he's running a great business where he gets to decide who we work for because he has more demand than he can fill. The three days of the summit are all about bringing together political leaders, business leaders, academics, not for profits, and consultants. How are we going to attack this problem? We know it's a problem. We don't need another conference to tell us we have a problem. We know we have a problem. We want solutions. This is all about finding the best practices from anywhere in the world and applying them in Ontario. That's a critical project for us that we'll stay focused on. We're going to stay focused on the Bill 148. We want to see repeal and rethinking on a number of the measures in that bill. We're working on transportation, we're working on housing affordability - a number of themes, but as our members tell us the skills gap is

the number one challenge, you're going to see us spending a lot of time and effort on that. We encourage people to go to the website and find out about registering at OES. Staff: Businesses are having trouble getting people in the skilled trades? Rocco Rossi: It's not just skilled trades, it's also programmers and software engineers for members like Shopify, but also, if you're a green house operator in southwestern Ontario, you're also very concerned about what our immigration laws are and what our foreign worker regulations are to be able to bring in people who are willing to pick tomatoes. It's everything from immigration policy to ensuring that in our schools, kids know what their real options are. Virtually 100% of all guidance counselors in Ontario are university graduates. Their knowledge of college and the trades is purely theoretical. Whereas there's a whole bunch of career options that this economy needs today and will need for a very long time, that should be put in front of kids and shouldn't be demeaning. This is really important, dignified work and it's not Dickensian England;manufacturing is not dark and dirty and dangerous. There are computers, there's laser-guided work and there are opportunities for kids and for people mid-career to build great lives for themselves with jobs that pay a really significant living wage.



Staff: If you had to compare small and medium sized businesses in Ontario to other provinces in Canada, what would you say is the main challenge that business owners are facing? Rocco Rossi: I mentioned that we do an annual survey of business confidence, and in the last seven or eight years, business confidence in Ontario has declined significantly. In 2012, almost half of all Ontario businesses were very optimistic about the future; for themselves and for the province. In our latest survey, which came in the winter of 2018, that number had dropped to 23%. That is a result of the accumulation of taxes, regulation, input costs, hydro costs. Business in Ontario feels under attack, has felt under attack for several years. Our job is to try to turn that around, because optimism and confidence is critical to future investment. People don't look in the rear view, they look forward, and if they're confident then they're going to buy that machine; they're going to expand into a new market, because they're optimistic - that's going to create the jobs that lead to the prosperity that we all want. Ontario, for as long as I've been alive, has been the engine of the Canadian economy, and over the last several years, that engine has sputtered a bit. We want to get it fine-tuned again and humming so it produces the opportunities that have been presented to so many of us. Staff: Ontario's blooming with new businesses and is often recognized as being the best place for entrepreneurs to have successful businesses. Why do you think that is? Rocco Rossi: Well, we have lots of incredible advantages. We are the largest province. We have the largest provincial economy. Number two, we’re next door to one of the most important markets in the world. We've got great transportation connection to a couple hundred million people in the Great Lakes district. That's an enormous advantage over being in, say, Nunavut. Third, we have some of the best educational institutions in Canada and in the world, which helps us to deliver incredible, talented workers to the opportunities that are presented. Fourth, we have, and this is been Canada's great competitive advantage, a welcoming immigration system that has allowed us to bring the best of the best from around the world. People who are hungry to work and who want to make a difference and build better lives for themselves and their children. It's all about “how do we tap all of that energy?” The only thing that's been standing in the way - some bad decisions on the public policy side. We get that sorted out, and this is the place that you want to build your future in.



Staff: How do you predict the future of commerce in Ontario? Do you believe it will continue towards the road to success? Rocco Rossi: I'm an optimist by nature, and entrepreneurs are optimistic in nature. You don't go into a business that has a lot of risks if you're not optimistic. There's no question there are challenges. I think the key message we want to give government is that we cannot take for granted that the growth and the opportunities we have had for so many years in this tremendous province will continue without effort. That effort's going to include important policy changes to focus on competitiveness, another look at our education and training system that ensures that as change accelerates, we're in the best position to be able to take advantage of it. Ensuring that we continue to have a robust and intelligent immigration policy, and work very hard on leveraging trade relationships - not just with the United States, but with the rest of the world; because for as long as I've been politically aware, from my early teens, I've heard Canadian and Ontario politicians say, "We must diversify our trade away from the United States." In 40 years of listening to them, I think we moved from 86% concentration in the US to 77%. I came to believe that “we must diversify our trade” actually means we must never change anything about our trade patterns. We've signed CETA, the Canada-EU free trade agreement. We've signed the CPTPP (The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) with several East Asian countries. We're looking at markets in South America. We've signed a deal with South Korea. Those countries, and businesses in those countries, are leveraging those deals each and every day. They understand there's opportunity. The default way to go, because it's been easy, sharing language and similar cultural events, has always been, "Well I'm going to expand my business with the US." The world is much bigger. There are lots of opportunities and, if nothing else, Mr. Trump has taught us that we can't take one customer

for granted. If we work hard and we have all of the ingredients to make that happen, then I'm very confident, but we cannot take it for granted. This is a far more competitive world than we've ever seen. Staff: Do you believe that Ontario plays a huge part in the Canadian economy? Rocco Rossi: I not only believe it, I know it. We are 40% of the country's GDP. We have the most diverse economy of any of the Canadian provinces. We have more corporate headquarters than any other province. If we get it wrong in Ontario, it's not only bad for Ontario, it's bad for all of Canada. This is the engine that absolutely has to be tuned to work at its maximum efficiency for the rest of the country to prosper. Staff: The entrepreneurial sector is the most Canadian sector of Canada’s economy. Therefore, it should obviously be a priority for the government as it generates more benefits for all Canadians. How is the Ontario Chamber of Commerce planning on working with the Government of Canada in making successful businesses and working towards their growth priority? Rocco Rossi: Small and medium sized businesses are the engine of job creation. That's just a fact. That's where it happens. We remind governments to have that at the provincial and at the federal level each and every day. We are open to working with parties of all stripes and we certainly are political when we need to be, but we're nonpartisan. We'll work with Liberals, with Conservatives, with New Democrats, with Greens, so long as they want to build a prosperous economy that's going to help those entrepreneurs be successful; in part by not taking away all the money that they make. By not making the regulatory environment too burdensome. A key example - Ontario has roughly 400,000 regulations on the box. British Columbia, not exactly a thirdworld jurisdiction, has 200,000.


Now, why is it that we need twice as many regulations as British Columbia, which last time I checked, is a pretty nice place to live? We're thrilled that the Ford government has designated a special deputy minister, cabinet level, to focus on the reduction of red tape because that's a killer of jobs. The more time that a small and medium sized business person has to spend filling in forms and trying to navigate through a complex bureaucracy,the less time they can spend on doing business and taking advantage of opportunities and creating new jobs. The Premier has said he wants to make Ontario open for business. We take him at his word and we're going to work with them each and every day to make that happen. Staff: That's great. Is the Ontario Chamber of Commerce working on providing more opportunities for small and medium sized businesses? If so, can you talk about some of those opportunities and how they will benefit them? Rocco Rossi: Great. We’ve mentioned a number of them, from the affinity programs to try to reduce their costs, provide bulk buying opportunities, etc, so that the small, together, can become big; to expand on programs like our Global Growth Fund, that we put in on behalf of the Ontario Government, to look at expanding our relationships with foreign chambers to facilitate trade missions at our local chamber level to provide the best networking and knowledge-exchange programs, so that businesses can learn from one another. Yes, we compete each and every day, but we can also learn and share with each other to be more competitive. Local chambers are having events from one corner of this province to the other to share that knowledge, to share that experience and to help every businessman and businesswoman be better. Staff: Canada's future economy depends on a highly skilled workforce. Focusing on education, innovative, and entrepreneurial generation should be a top priority. Do you believe that this is an area that the government should invest in, if it will help with the increase in successful businesses in Canada, which will surely have a positive impact on its economy? Rocco Rossi: We've been talking to our members and, as mentioned, the skills

gap is top of mind, but this isn't just the government's problem. This is our problem. Business has to play a role. Schools have to play a role. Parents have to play a role. We can't, as parents, tell our kids, "You can only go to University. That's the only smart thing to do." We have to remove the stigma around skilled trades, and that's not something the government can do on its own. The one trap that people sometimes fall into is they think, “well, the modern economy is all about robots and artificial intelligence and programming.” No, I want carpenters, plumbers. I want electricians. These are great jobs and we need them. A bunch of it is pretty hard to get robots to do. The robots need people, in terms of doing special tasks within that. It is absolutely something government has to invest in, but it's something every sector needs to invest in. I'll give you one example that we actually have seen and that will be presented at the Ontario Economic Summit. That example is UPS in the United States. I was in Louisville, Kentucky, which happens to have the largest airport hub in the world. They process, at Christmas time, five million packages a day. They get sent out on 130 planes around the world. Their night shift requires 6,500 people each and every night. That's hard to fill, because the night shift is not exactly the ideal working environment for anybody. They were having difficulties. What they did i work together with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the State Government, and the University of Louisville and the local community colleges in Louisville. They came up with the following program. They said to students looking to go to university and college, “we will pay your tuition, semester to semester. You don't have to do this long-term, but you will work with us for an entire semester and we'll pay you for it. We'll pay you the full wages of it, but we'll also pay your tuition at University of Louisville or our community college. You complete your BA, we’ll give you a bonus. You don't have to commit to work in the US afterward but many of them do. They have put 17,000 students through school for free. They currently have those 6,500 working tonight at the UPS world port. 2,500 of them are students getting an education and working at the same time. Half of the cost is picked up by the state and half is picked up by the company because this is an investment that no one source is going to end up paying for, because it benefits everybody. It's the kind of program that

you're going to start to see in a modern economy. The economies that figured this out fastest are the ones that are going to win. Staff: You're recently met or are planning on meeting 135 of the local chambers of commerce as well as over 300 corporate members to hear firsthand about some of the issues that the business owners are facing. Can you talk about some of those issues and what you believe the possible policy solutions are for them? Rocco Rossi: Yes, and we've been talking about the skills gap. I'm hearing that in our surveys and every business that I visit; large, small, northern, southwestern, urban, rural so that's one thing. We've also been hearing from so many of our members on Bill 148. We've been hearing about our hydro costs for major manufacturers. That is a significant cost for them and they're looking for the government to sort that out. Transportation issues and people being caught in gridlock, that affects commute times for workers. That also affects just in time delivery of components and parts and services. All of these are areas that our local chambers, from the Toronto Region Board of Trade to the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce, are working on how it applies to their markets. We've heard in northern, in rural and remote communities, that internet connectivity is an issue.In cities we take for granted access to broadband, right? You go to a lot of rural and remote areas and you have dial-up or very poor connectivity. You cannot participate, compete, and win in the modern economy on dial-up. If we want to attract and retain young people in smaller communities, people who want a great lifestyle and confront affordability issues, you need the infrastructure to deliver on that or you're not going to keep them. One of the things that people often forget, because we focus so much on autos and manufacturing or artificial intelligence and programming and the tech sector, is that these sectors in Ontario still employ the largest number of people. One in nine Ontarians worked for the agri-food business, whether in farming or in processing. This is not just the guy behind a plow anymore, this is a very sophisticated set of businesses and quite frankly more people are needed. There are both challenges and opportunities that we're hearing about.




We've been talking to our members and, as mentioned, the skills gap is top of mind, but this isn't just the government's problem. This is our problem. Business has to play a role. Schools have to play a role. Parents have to play a role. We can't, as parents, tell our kids, "You can only go to University. That's the only smart thing to do." We have to remove the stigma around skilled trades, and that's not something the government can do on its own.

Staff: What advice would you give to small and medium-sized business owners in Ontario that could help them have a successful business? Rocco Rossi: Well, I think they need to be members of their local chambers. I really do, because you're going to be networking with other people facing your issues and you don't need to reinvent the wheel each and every time. If you can learn from one another and share your experiences, that's going to make you more competitive. That's going to make you a better entrepreneur, a better businessperson.Also, the more members we have, the more clout we have with the government to get the policies that we need; whether it's on taxation, skills, or regulation. It's one thing for me to call up the Premier or a cabinet minister. It's a totally different thing when each and every MPP goes home on the weekend and hears the same things in church or temple or at the local diner or in the hockey rink. When they're hearing from a chamber member the exact same message -that's political power. That's what gets things done. Being a member helps you directly through that networking, through that information exchange, and through the affinity programs, but also indirectly in that it adds to the political power of the business message, so that we can get done what needs to get done at Queen's Park and on Parliament Hill. Staff: What is your definition of a successful business owner? Rocco Rossi: As someone who has both been in business and in the charitable sector and in politics, for me,success has a very personal definition. For me, success is not simply more money in the bank, although that's important. You need to put food on the table, you have



to pay your bills, you have to be able to invest in your company. What I see in most of our members are community builders. People who want to make a difference and who have each and every day because they are offering opportunities to their neighbours. They are the ones in the local rotary, they are helping build the shelters. They're contributing to their communities and they're growing as people. They're learning new things, they're giving themselves new challenges. More money in the bank, real impact in their community and personal growth each and every day - you get those three elements going, life's pretty good. Staff: Okay. Last question. On a personal note, what do you do when you're not busy being President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce? Rocco Rossi: I've got an amazing family. My parents, God bless, are still around. I have four sisters. I have 14 nieces and nephews. I have a fabulous wife and an incredibly talented son. They fill a lot of my time and when I'm not with them, I have a personal passion for long pilgrimage walks. There's a whole network of pilgrimage trails in Europe that goes through Spain and I've just gotten back from 16 days and 400 kilometers of walking in northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela and it's an incredible reboot for both your body and soul. Staff: That sounds interesting. You go on your own, do you? On these walks? Rocco Rossi: Yes, that's amazing because my wife would come as long as I only walked five kilometers a day and that would drive me crazy. We agree to disagree. She goes to the cottage and I go walking.

Staff: Is there anything you want to share with us that I haven't covered? Rocco Rossi: The only other thing I would add is that part of building business success in Ontario and building a successful culture for businesses is celebrating great business. Each year we also have an Ontario Business Achievement Awards Gala. This year it's November 21st at the Liberty Grand here in Toronto, and we're going to be celebrating businesses in eight categories from “young entrepreneur of the year” to “export a success” to “community service.” For the first time, we're adding a lifetime achievement award and we're going to be celebrating and honoring the achievement of Donald Geraldo and his late partner Carl Kaiser, who basically invented the modern Ontario wine industry. I remember as a kid, baby doc and concord grapes, it was awful. We now have been better grapes and some incredible ice wines. A big part of that is thanks to Donald Ziraldo and Karl Kaiser. We're going to celebrate them that night. Our nominations for the other eight awards close on the 14th of September, probably too late by the time this interview comes out, but if this comes out before November 21st people should try to buy a ticket. They may be gone by then, but it's going to be a great night. I think part of building a great business community is making sure that we're celebrating people who are doing it right. Staff: Okay. Well, thank you very much for your time, I appreciate it. Rocco Rossi: I appreciate it and best of luck. You guys are running a business and we wish you the best.



By Marc Gordon

Pre-show campaign. Reaching out to your existing list of current and potentials customers is the best way to create buzz and give them a reason to seek out your booth. Let them know of the release of a new product, a contest that requires them to visit your booth, or a special gift they can pick up. Be ready for action. For many companies, trade shows can make or break their sales projections for the year. So bring your best sales team, and make sure they’re trained to answer any questions. Perhaps even bring your tech people if you think they can help. And most importantly, have your people standing and greeting everyone. No texting or phone calls should ever take place while they’re working the booth. Send them home with more than flyers. While giving out product information is important, sending visitors home with something extra can make you more memorable. Depending on your industry and the number of people expected to visit your booth, you may want to give out something small to everyone, and/or hold back some bigger gifts for “special” visitors. What’s important is that you give out something that is relevant to your industry, practical, novel and of course imprinted with your logo and website. For example, a technology company might give out USB keys or power banks. A food manufacturer might give out reusable lunch bags or oven mitts. Show specials. Regardless of whether you sell a product or service, creating an incentive for attendees to place orders can help you get the most of your trade show. Special pricing, product bundling,

and exclusive access to new products are just some of the strategies that can be used to generate sales from the trade show floor. Detailed data collection. Forget asking attendees to toss their business cards in a fish bowl. Data collection is crucial to being able to follow up after the show. A number of apps exist that allow you to easily and efficiently capture attendee contact details, plus additional information such as what product they are interested in, their requirements, and how best to contact them. Want to go low tech? Collect business cards personally and make a note on the back to remind you how to follow up. Doing so in front of the attendee will demonstrate your interest in working with them.

Marc Gordon

Marc Gordon is a recognized marketing expert. He regularly appears on TV and radio. His articles appear in over 200 publications worldwide. Visit or his online show at for more business tips.





Hamza is making waves as the co- founder of Splash Effect, a digital agency which helps clients in the education sector to make connections and enhance their communications. He has worked with leading institutions and forward-thinking brands such as the Rotman School of Management, Restaurants Canada, Ted Rogers School of Management, HootSuite, and the Credit Institute of Canada. What are some of your recent achievements which you would like to share with us? I was recently appointed as the Managing Director Student Life Network, Canada’s largest and most comprehensive resource hub dedicated to helping millions of students. It’s an exciting opportunity that allows me to leverage a decade of marketing and education experience to help students successfully transition from high school through postsecondary and all the way to their dream jobs. I also self-published a bestselling book, “The Burnout Gamble: Achieve More by Beating Burnout and Building Resilience”. How much importance do you adhere to personal branding from an early age? Unlike the social media savvy digital natives of the present day, I didn’t have an adequate vocabulary nor a nuanced understanding of personal branding when I was younger. However, my parents thankfully instilled in me the fundamentals of personal branding from an early age. Except, they called it “reputation”. I was taught that my reputation was everything and that I should uphold it 20


by being kind, helpful, truthful and generous. That particular blend of a personal brand is one that I still strive to uphold to this day, but in a much more intentional way. What are the core elements that have helped you in becoming what you are today? There are three core elements. Firstly, I’ve achieved a level of mastery in my craft (marketing, speaking, teaching, writing, etc.) that has unlocked the level of success that I enjoy today. That came as a result of years and years of focus, dedication, overcoming adversity and receiving mentorship. Secondly, I invested disproportionately in the development of my soft skills. I pride myself in having a highly refined array of essential skills—empathy, listening, creativity, communication, productivity, resilience and much more. This combination of technical skills and soft skills have helped me become who I am today. Thirdly, people. Friends, family, colleagues, partners, mentors, etc. All my life I’ve been surrounded by incredible people who’ve wanted nothing but the best for me. In that way, I consider myself very, very lucky.

What are your views on the current education system and its contribution to creating market experts? The current education system is essential. However, there are many cracks in the system. In fact, as an undergraduate student I nearly fell through one of those cracks. Reports from both the industry and the government are confirming what we’ve sensed to be true for quite some time now: that students are being inadequately prepared for the realities of the modern, rapidly evolving and fluctuating economy. The education system needs to double down on becoming more agile, fluid, tailored, personal, flexible, attuned, and market-focused. In its current state, I believe the education system is doomed to a slow death by gradual mass exodus. Unless the system evolves, students will arrive at the conclusion that they can fashion together a curriculum comprised of quick and affordable online resources to help them become prepared for the jobs of today and tomorrow, not yesterday.


Do you feel that innovative ideas die once the kids grow up? Yes. The older we get, the more crystallized our neural pathway becomes. We notice fewer new things because we’ve had so much time to receive input, process information and create patterns that compose our worldview. Children on the other hand are experiencing a sensory overload, which when combined with adequate education and reflection, can be distilled into innovative ideas. Therefore, it’s important for adults to always remain open to new ideas and to structure time into their lives to process those ideas, reflect on them and make a meaning out of them. Frankly, we should try to intentionally get bored so we can give our brains a chance to rest, recover and arrange new and innovative ideas. What inspired you to launch your own business? A combination of market demand and a desire for more. While heading up an in-house creative agency at one of Canada’s largest and most innovative universities, I received multiple offers to replicate my work at other institutions. Not wanting to leave where I was currently situated, I instead began to offer freelance consulting services. Soon, the demand grew to the point where I needed a co-founder to scale. Early entrepreneurial success inspired me to want more. I believed that if I could deliver results for one institution, I could deliver it for two, three, four...and eventually a hundred. How has digital media forwarded thinking? Many people today consume more information in just a few scrolls on their phone than people reading newspapers in the days of analog media. The entire history of the world—indexes of endless information—are available to us at the tip of our fingers and at the speed of now. As digital media becomes more accessible, more organized and more user-friendly, so does the process of thinking. We have fewer steps to go through in order to produce complex, informed ideas. With just one voice request to Alexa for example, we can bypass what would otherwise be a trip to the local library, a conversation with the librarian, a walk through the aisles, a selecting of books and poring through its pages. What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how did you overcome that challenge?

My biggest challenge was, as I imagine it continues to be for others, scaling. To truly scale, a business model has to be measurable, predictable and repeatable. In an agency setting that is heavily dependent on people and creative thinking, that can be tough. Implementing processes that simplify the spontaneous, serendipitous and innovative work that’s done in boardrooms and whiteboards, is far from easy. To grow from a 2-person, 3-client operation to a 10-person, 50-client operation took years of tinkering, iteration, blood, sweat and tears (literally). What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company? At Student Life Network, the most exciting thing on the horizon for our company is the development of an application that will help us make a quantum leap in terms of how many students we can reach and how personalized each of their experiences can be. I believe that will be a game-changer for us.

What is your definition of success?

5 years from now, I believe we will have perfected our business model. 10 years from now, I believe we will have replicated our business in major local markets. And 20 years from now, I envision us as a true global entity.

Doing well by doing good. I don’t believe that doing well is mutually exclusive from doing good. It’s possible to generate considerable wealth and freedom by doing work which directly or indirectly makes the world a better place. At Student Life Network, I’ve found a sweet spot where I can see myself working for the next 20 years.

Do you think machines can replace face-toface marketing?

What is your take on competition and competitors?

Yes, I believe they can. When you get down to it, humans are very measurable, predictable, and repeatable. Which means that we can be scaled. Which also means that we can be automated. Of course, it will be a long time before we can code every possible variable that would generate true spontaneity, creativity, bravery and other “human” traits. But if you give the machines enough time... they are, by design, faster learners than us. And by the time they catch up, I have a hunch that any reservations we have about interacting with machines in our everyday life will be long gone.

Competitors, especially ones that are wildly successful, are important. They give us something to aspire to and something to chase. But becoming fixated on a competitor and obsessed with them is dangerous. It can lead to blinders, which could very well spell doom. Maintain a healthy perspective when electing competitors. And be careful how you change in response to them. Otherwise with enough editing, you’ll eventually get erased.

Where do you envision your company in 5, 10, 20 years?

What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone would have told you at the beginning? Early on, invest in a good lawyer and a good accountant. Don’t wait and don’t cheap out. Both professionals will save you a lot of time, money and hassle in the long-run.

Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you? This is one of the best times to start a business. Entrepreneurship has always been, and always will be, difficult. But the barriers to access, thanks to the internet, have never been lower. Even if you’ve got a great full time job as an employee, consider starting up something on the side and/or behaving like an entrepreneur within your organization. Ride the wave.






Grace Nasralla: wife, mother, a woman of faith, entrepreneur, business instructor, owner of e-presence Consultants Inc and founder of Ontario Small Business Network. What are your recent achievements that you’d like to share with us? My most recent achievement is owning, designing, implementing, and operating a workplace facility that is being rented out to small businesses. It’s a similar concept to a virtual office with some tweaks to meet the current needs of small business owners. What are the benefits of a co-working area over personal workplaces? At our facility, we provide both co-working space and personal workspace, and I sometimes find clients with personal workspace wanting to use the co-working space. It's more casual and provides a relaxed environment for the client. What are the core elements that have helped you become who you are today? I dared to dream and followed my dream with confidence and perseverance that it would come true. During each milestone, the dream gets bigger, and I embark on a new journey to set objectives and goals to make them happen. The core elements are to have a dream, set a vision, set objectives and goals, stay focused, persevere and not give up. How has virtual communication enhanced business opportunities? Virtual communication has made it easy for us to connect. I can connect with my clients over social media. I can reach my segmented audience without even having to be there! I found building mailing lists as a good approach to reaching leads and potential



clients. Social media and the tools that come with it is another approach for reaching the business target market. What do you think entrepreneurs must take care of but usually goes unnoticed? They should realize that they are running a small business. They should plan accordingly, strategize accordingly, spend accordingly, and price their products or services accordingly. What inspired you to launch your own business? When I started the business, the drive was time flexibility. Over time, it developed into a dream and then turned into a vision and mission statements. After that, I started experiencing business growth. Do you think digital media has more harms than benefits? Every tool we use can be used to either harm or benefit. It’s how we use it and what we use

it for that makes the difference. Digital media can be a time waster or a money maker. It can be used to degrade others or treat others with dignity and respect. It’s how we decide to use it and what we decide to use it for that determine its benefits or harms. What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner, and how have you met that challenge? Each stage of the business has its own challenges, but the common challenge among all businesses is to meet monthly revenue targets. Sales is the biggest challenge. Once that challenge is met, it will help resolve other challenges that come along the way. What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you and your company? Growth. All companies plan for growth, but it is exciting to see it happen and bring with it a bigger dream and a bigger challenge.


"My advice for entrepreneurs is to dare to dream, have a vision of your big dream for your business and head for it with perseverance. Remember success does not come quickly. You may fail few times before you succeed. Perseverance and staying focused on the big vision will eventually lead to success".

You have always shared your experiences with people without any profit. Do you think more business experts should come forward to share their experiences? My business’s tagline is “equipping small businesses for growth,” and I came up with this tagline because I truly and honestly mean it. It gives me pleasure to share my experiences and see that they benefit and inspire others as they start and grow their businesses. Do I think that more business experts should come forward to share their experience? Well, each business expert has their own approach, and if they see value in sharing it, they will share it. What is the difference that you see in the spirits of kids and college students about being innovative and creative? I believe that every person—it doesn’t matter what stage of life they’re in—has that spirit of being creative and innovative in their own way. It could be people doing the dullest routine job, but they come up with creative ways to break that routine and be successful at what they are doing or a painter who creates a beautiful painting as she gets inspired to paint. It could also be a little child who demonstrates creativity in drawing and doing crafts or another little child who demonstrates creativity in building sand castles and collecting uniquely shaped shells and rocks from nature. Or it can be some young college student who is encouraged to invent and come up with new apps or mechanisms. Or another college student who writes an essay that touches the hearts of millions. The difference in all that is the uniqueness of the creative idea or the implemented innovation. What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs and business owners? What do you wish someone told you? To entrepreneurs and business owners I say do not seek to become rich. Don’t make it your aim. Instead, put all your efforts into building your dream to make it a business reality, and the rest will come. I will also say stay focused and avoid distractions as you grow your business. What is your definition of success? My definition of success is the fulfillment of a vision, the accomplishment of a dream, the prosperous ending of a project. What is your take on competition and competitors? Competitors can either be opponents or good leads. I prefer to deal with my competitors as leads. I send them referrals, and I appreciate it if they send me some.

Anything else you’d like to comment on while we have you? Thank you for featuring me as Business Woman of The Month, and thank you for giving me this opportunity to meet your audience and allow them to know me as an entrepreneur. I would like to invite entrepreneurs and business owners to come out and visit us at HUDDLESPACE by OSBN®, where we can provide them with workspace and help them equip their business for growth.


Evolving from IQ to EQ to CQ in Recruitment By David W. Smith

Have you ever been confused or discouraged when you’ve discovered that a new hire isn’t fitting in, is not performing as expected or is not who you thought they were? What happened? ...”their resume showed they had the IQ and technical skills”... “they displayed the emotional intelligence (EQ) we were testing for in the interview.” Where did they fall off the rails?


n our leadership consulting practice, I have spoken to many recruiters within organizations across North America on that very topic. I routinely hear that roughly 50 to 75% of hires are solid. Sounds somewhat encouraging, but that means that 25 to 50% of hires are less than perfect and are potential recipes for weak performance, shallow engagement, team sabotage and perhaps in due course, de-hiring. Granted, the percentages varied by industry and organization with some experiencing higher levels of natural or planned turnover, but my findings overall have been disconcerting. In nearly 30 years of previous corporate



senior and executive management experience, I was grateful to find that over 95% of my hiring choices were solid. But, I remember the handful of wrong choices which left me with lingering regrets over the severance costs and lost productivity. And worse still, occasional night sweats over the wear and tear inflicted on team atmosphere from the bad hiring choices. Research from The Human Capital Institute suggests that one of the most important manager competencies for the future is the ability to “hire, develop, engage, and retain the right people for the job.” (Jenson, Aldrich, Maximizing Workforce Contribution) Yet, according to a 2012 study by Development

Dimensions International, managers in the hiring process consistently make three common mistakes: 1. They ask questions that do not provide them with useful information about how the candidate will actually perform on the job. 2. They don’t use a process to systematically evaluate the responses of candidates. 3. They rely on gut instinct to make the final decision, often ignoring critical information about the candidate’s ‘fit to the job’.


To address these issues, organizations must thoroughly identify job-relevant factors that predict success and utilize a variety of diagnostic tools to assess candidates on those specific factors. This can serve to eliminate some of the subjective reliance on gut instinct. It is also important to have managers and recruiters who are skilled at interviewing and who have the ability to utilize open ended questions that target a candidate’s work ethic, personality, work-style, attitudes, workplace values, passion and cultural fit. (Bal 2013) It`s a challenge to find the right people for the job. It requires individuals who not only have the technical or professional skills (IQ) required to succeed, but also the attitude, personal discipline, and people skills required for alignment and fit with the organization and its values (EQ). Business author, Ram Charan has found that 70% of organizations say that they have an insufficient pipeline of talent for leadership and strategic jobs, and that stop-gap measures such as quick hires have 40% failure rates within the first 12 months. Making quick decisions or poor decisions that result in hiring the wrong person can be costly. Experience shows that managers tend to spend a great deal of their time dealing with poor or problem performers. This often results from the temptation to hastily screen applicants in the heat of the moment and hire primarily for skill and experience to get the job filled, rather than for fit or alignment with the organization, or for the character and personal leadership of the individual. This is why we often hear the quote “Organizations hire for skill, but fire for character.” First and foremost, consider placing a greater emphasis on seeking the CQ, by hiring for character, attitude, personal leadership, values and cultural fit. Be wary of first impressions about IQ from resumes and reference alone. When candidates are the right fit, hire and then train for skills. So, what do you look for in a candidate to determine a healthy level of character (CQ)? An ideal candidate is, first of all, someone who

is consistently the same person both privately and publicly. (Croteau 2013). And, they have constructive attitudes and beliefs and demonstrate solid commitments to making choices and acting in a manner aligned with their attitudes and beliefs. (Jenson et al.) The candidate with constructive character traits also demonstrates passion, personal discipline, an accurate self-image and believes the best of self and others. They embrace healthy principles, values, set goals and have a sense of purpose and vision. They see the ‘big picture’ and are healthy contributors within the workplace. Finally, they commit to living out these attitudes and beliefs every day in their inter-personal relationships, work/life balance, adaptability, innovation, perseverance and ongoing personal growth.

so that newly hired employees ‘Can Do’ their jobs. And then, ratchet up your process to also explore character and behaviour (EQ & CQ) in candidates so that you can be confident that they ‘Will Do’ the job because they truly fit the role, the team and the organizational culture.

David W. Smith

Tips for Adding Character (CQ) to the Hiring Process (Jenson, Aldrich) Avoid making rushed hiring decisions based on gut instinct and/or first impression of IQ only Assess candidates for cultural fit, values alignment, attitude, and other job-fit characteristics beyond functional skills (IQ) Have managers identify the qualities of the individual that are critical to the long term success of your organization (EQ,CQ) Use a standard process or tool set to assess for character, personality, and other distinguishing traits (EQ,CQ) “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Charles Reade (1814-1884) These insightful words, spoken a couple centuries ago, are still relevant today as we attempt to build healthy and productive workplaces and corporate cultures. As you consider your hiring processes to build your organization, continue to give due consideration to the IQ and technical skills

David W. Smith, B.Comm, CMC, ACC, RPM. Principal, Logia Consulting Inc. “emPOWERING Leaders... with Human Capital Consulting, Coaching and Training” david@logiaconsulting. ca 306.373.1998 David has over 30 years of experience as an organizational leader, coach, facilitator and consultant. He has worked as a corporate executive and business owner building visions, strategies and delivering successes that grow value(s), cultures and character. He believes that people want to contribute, learn and grow to become the best version of themselves they an be.





Plamen Petkov is the Vice President for the Ontario branch of Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). In this role, he leads the Federation’s legislative agenda in the province by representing the views of 42,000 Ontario small and medium-sized business members to all levels of government, business groups, media, and other stakeholders. Since joining CFIB in 2006, Plamen has covered numerous legislative areas, including taxation, regulation, shortage of qualified labour, municipal affairs, agri-business, financing and pension policy. He has also authored several research reports on a wide variety of public policy and economic issues.




Can you brief our readers about the Canadian Federation of Independent Business? CFIB began 47 years ago. The mandate of CFIB is to increase the odds of success for business owners in Canada. Business owners choose to join CFIB as members, and there are currently 110,000 members across Canada. CFIB supports small and medium sized business owners in every sector of the economy. What are some exciting things going on in the small business world, right now? It is exciting to see how entrepreneurs are pushing new boundaries, by getting into new sectors and coming up with disruptive technologies and innovative ways to do business. Two examples are AirBnB and Uber. In those cases, and in many others, entrepreneurs are leveraging new technologies to start their businesses. Savvy entrepreneurs are entering new frontiers and coming up with innovative products and services for consumers. You mentioned CFIB represents over 110,000 members and supports businesses all across Canada. How are these members benefited by being a part of your organization? The number one way we support businesses is through our advocacy work. We give members a voice at all 3 levels of government, where we represent them. We bring the issues that are important to businesspeople to the government,and make recommendations. Our Business Resource Team provides free advice & troubleshooting to members. We offer marketing and social media advice, and help owners with government regulation and compliance. We are not able to offer any legal or accounting advice. We make agreements with federal partners to offer preferred rates and programs to members, in the areas of banking, insurance, and credit card processing. Membership starts at $300/year. The fee depends on the number of employees in the business. If you had to choose three accomplishments of CFIB to date that you are most proud of, what would they be? One of our most significant accomplishments

is the reduction of taxes for small businesses. Small businesses pay a lower rate than larger business, and this is a direct result of CFIB’s lobbying. We push governments relentlessly to reduce red tape for small businesses. Bureaucracy is like a hidden tax that costs a lot of money and time - navigating it can be very expensive and time consuming for small business owners.We work with federal and provincial governments to find redundancies and eliminate them. We have been very successful in this, but there is still a lot that needs to be done in this area. Relatively new – We have a one-of-a-kind agreement with MasterCard and American Express to provide lower processing rates for small businesses.Small businesses enjoy the same preferred rate as big companies like Walmart, (MasterCard) the combined power of 110,000 members; with Amex business owners get 50% off processing fees. How do you think Canadian small businesses have grown over the years? Do you think the new government in Ontario is supportive of SME’s? We have a publication called Business Barometer, which monitors growth expectations of small businesses. It has been difficult under the Liberal government of the last few years. We are optimistic that the new government direction in Ontario will reduce the cost of doing business and make Ontario open for business again.

How is the trade dispute with the US affecting Canadian small and medium sized businesses? How is CFIB advising its business members? We haven’t seen direct impact on members yet; most members operate locally and only a small part of our membership is made up of importers/exporters. We don’t know what is going to happen with NAFTA. The questions we are asking are: Where will tariffs take us? Who will be next? There are concerns in the auto manufacturing sector; many have put future growth plans on hold, as companies don’t know if they can operate in the same manner as before. We are hoping to see all levels of government unite together regarding trade with the USA.

and we need to find ways to mitigate any negative consequences. It is difficult to provide advice at this point. We need to make sure members are aware of new tariffs, but in the absence of information and certainty, it is hard to provide advice. How would you advise the young business person of today? First and foremost - be persistent,and be patient.Most startups don’t make it past the first year; the road can be challenging, because most entrepreneurs have no way of planning and considering all aspects that they will encounter when they start their business. Most small business owners know little about the impact of government on business; they don’t know how to deal with different levels of government. CFIB offers support, understanding,and awareness to the business owner. What are some common problems that Canadian small businesses face? How does CFIB helps its members? Most entrepreneurs do not know the scope of their obligations once they start running their business.Entrepreneurs want to focus on their business plan, but there are many government requirements that need to be followed. Government keeps imposing new burdens on businesses.There has been a staggering increase in both payroll and property taxes; somehow the company has to absorb the costs.

Increased costs can mean they have to cut staff. One recent example of an increase in costs came when the minimum wage increased dramatically (by 23%) in 2018.Business owners often have to reevaluate benefits provided in order to cut costs, or else have more part time staff.

This problem has been imposed by the USA,




What are some of the trends that you see in the business world that could help small business owners plan for the future? The biggest trend is the advancement of technology; we see a trend of how small business owners are relying on technology to forecast their future and determine what kind of skilled employees they will need to stay competitive. CFIB helps small businesses to have more predictability for what the future holds.It is relatively easy to find out what customers want, and there is a need to better understand them.We challenge entrepreneurs to think about what differentiates them from the competition, and leverage that to plan for the future. What has been the biggest challenge as Vice President for the Ontario branch of CFIB, and how have you met that challenge? There is never a shortage of issues that small business owners deal with.Our membership is diverse; from every sector of the economy. How do we represent more issues? How do we rate priorities? I work on 10-15 different policy files at any one time, which poses a variety of challenges. It is difficult to keep up with members’ issues that are specific to their industry. I have to focus on what has most impact on small business members; i.e. the small business tax rate. How can you describe the changes that have come to Canadian businesses in the last 15 years? The business climate is changing worldwide. We see a lot more businesses that are online only; brick & mortars are disappearing.A business can operate anywhere in world without having physical presence now, and can employ people from anywhere in the world.Leveraging those technological developments has changed the business climate tremendously - owners have to stay plugged in all the time. Furthermore, owners should never lose sight of where their customers are, or what their clients want them to be.Lastly, consumers’ demands have increased – everyone wants products faster and at a cheaper price. In your opinion, what is the major issue today– labor shortage, or fewer job opportunities?



Both – it depends who you ask.Business owners will say it is difficult to find skilled employees, and that employees lack basic skills like time management.Unemployment numbers are low, and that shows that the economy is doing well; jobs are being created. It is clear that businesses are looking for skilled talent. If a person has the skills and desire to work for business, they have good chance at getting the job. There is a disconnect - a lack of financial literacy taught in schools.Young people have a tough time starting their first job; they often have no time management skills, or they call in sick. They don’t understand the importance of showing up on time for work and being reliable. The education system needs to do more to prepare children for jobs. How are the small and medium businesses getting a platform to express themselves through the Canadian Federation of Independent Business? We are very much a grass roots organization; any position we take on policies comes from our membership through surveys done online or in-person. We visit every member at least once a year at their place of business. 200 Sales Managers across Canada visit members to renew membership and discuss key priorities of businesses. How can one make the best use of banks and other financial institutions in business? How is CFIB helping its members when it comes to business banking? All businesses need to do banking and financing.They need funding.Every few years we do a comparative study with banks and credit unions, where we look at how responsive they are to small businesses. Some are more open to lending money, while others may have better rates.We have a long partnership with Scotiabank, which offers our members preferred rates, better loan rates, and more access to various products and services. What are the different tools and resources provided by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business to its business members? We have a Business Resources Department where entrepreneurs can call and get advice

on almost anything.Most of the questions relate to government compliance and policies and manuals that businessesshare with their members. We also field HR related questions related to such things as the hiring and terminating of employees. We offer tools that help members with HR issues. We can escalate certain cases (like issues with CRA).We get in touch with our contacts there in order to resolve their issue faster.We have the resources to get in touch with the right people. What do you think is the biggest challenge for businesses now, and how can they deal with it? The biggest challenge for small businesses is handling all the demands being imposed on business owners on a daily basis. How do you support family with business? They have to think about their employees; they need to know how to better serve their customers. They need to know there are 3 levels of government, each asking for different things. Entrepreneurs wear a lot of hats(e.g. Marketing, Sales, and Bookkeeping). Anything else you'd like to comment on for our valued readers? I think we’ve covered it. This was quite an extensive interview. Let me offer my congratulations on launching your digital publication; I wish you many years of success. Stay in touch with us. We are here to provide help if and when you need it.

Toronto, Ontario 401-4141 YONGE ST TORONTO, ON, M2P 2A6 Phone: 416-222-8022 Toll Free: 1-888-234-2232 Fax: 416-222-4337

5 Best Business Laptops Laptops are an essential part when it comes to managing your business. Having the right phone is also fundamental, but there are certain things that you can’t do on your phone and that’s when your laptop steps in and does the job for you. With all the different brands and models available, finding the perfect laptop that suit your needs can seem overwhelming. We’ve made it easy for you by narrowing down the five best business laptops that are dependable no matter your budget. 1. Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Three words: Simple. Powerful. Compatible. It doesn’t get any better then that when you want a laptop that will take care of all your business needs. Perfect for entrepreneurs who travel and are looking for something that will keep up with them and make them turn anywhere into their office. Thanks to several rigorous tests, the ThinkPad E580 has proven to be completely reliable allowing business owners not to worry about running into technical problems while half way across the world running their business. CPU: Intel Corei5 processor Graphics: Integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 RAM: 16GB Screen: 15.6-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) IPS anti-glare Storage: 1TB 5400 RPM – 500GB 7200 RPM

3. HP Spectre Pro 13 G1 Other then the luxurious design, this laptop will have everything you’re looking for when it comes to your business needs. With efficient speed and quality tools, you won’t find anything missing when it comes to managing your business. A bit more on the pricey side, it’s definitely worth it if you’re looking for a quality product with a luxurious design. CPU: Intel Core i7-6500U Graphics: Intel HD 520 Graphics RAM: 8GB Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels Storage: 512GB SSD 4. Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar 13-inch 2018 One thing’s for sure, you can never go wrong with Apple. Although MacBookis not for everyone, those who are familiar with the MacBook Pro will find the 2018 model to be the best MacBook Pro ever. With newly improved features, this is the best business laptop that money can buy. It will not only meet your needs, it will surpass them and take them to a whole new level. The MacBook Pro Touch Bar 2018 will take you to new possibilities you didn’t even know existed.

2. Asus Chromebook Flip

CPU: Quad-core Intel Core i5 – i7

Although Chromebooks are not the most popular choice when it comes to business laptops, the Asus Chromebook Flip will have you thinking otherwise. With an elegant tablet mode, great keyboard and amazing business tools, this laptop will meet all your business requirements. It’s also another great laptop for entrepreneurs who travel often and need to have a dependable laptop that can keep up with them. With a full HD touch and fold display, an extended battery life and so many more features,it’s no wonder this is the perfect Chromebook for all business travellers.

Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655

CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 RAM: 4GB Screen: 12.5-inch, FHD (1,920 x 1,080) LED backlit anti-glare Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC

RAM: 8GB – 16GB Screen: 13.3-inch, (2,560 x 1,600) IPS Storage: 128GB – 2TB PCIe 3.0 SSD 5. Dell XPS 13 (2018) Dell has classified this laptop as a business laptop stating that entrepreneurs will fall in love with its slick design and the fact that it’s extremely portable making it easy to travel with for business owners. The battery life that can last up to 22 hours allows entrepreneurs to be fully productive on the go without worrying about having to charge it. It’s more powerful then the previous models that Dell has come out with making this laptop the laptop of the year. CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 RAM: 8GB – 16GB Screen: 13.3-inch FHD (1,920 x 1,080) – 4k (3840 x 2160) Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 I



by Dan Radu

Small MarTech Businesses, According to Business Development Big Clients Bank of Canada (BDC), 98.2% of You have probably already bought something from a businesses have less than 100 website powered by Shopify, the e-commerce giant that’s businesses around the globe market and sell their employees. That may seem shockingly helped products. But did you know that Shopify is as Canadian as a moose in long johns? Shopify is headquartered in Ottawa high when your city’s downtown (for maximum Canadianness) with additional locations in streets are stuffed with storefronts Toronto, Montreal, Kitchener-Waterloo (Ontario), and San Francisco, its sole location outside of the True North. of large multinational companies. That’s just one example of a big Canadian MarTech But as the owner of a growing IT company. From its headquarters in Toronto, ScribbleLive helps businesses create engaging and interactive content and marketing agency, I see how for on the web. This solution is very impactful for large small- and medium-sized businesses enterprise companies. ScribbleLive is used by Red Bull, Dell, NBA, Bank of America, Yahoo, Bayer, and over in Canada have a big presence on 1,000 more global businesses. the global tech scene servicing Can MarTech do for your B2B business or start-up what it’s done for the corporations in your city’s downtown major corporations. In fact, several streets? Yes. In fact, the chances are that your business headquarters of the world’s most already uses MarTech in some way or another. The real question is, Are you using your tools to attract prospects talked about marketing technology and close sales in the best possible way? The right combination of MarTech can streamline the marketing and (MarTech) companies can be reached sales process, and the right agency can show you how it’s done. without needing a passport. 30



“Technology provides a consistent feedback loop, which helps a brand know if its products, service, experiences and messages are useful to customers. Today, we are still required to aggregate information and insights from many tools-- CRM, social listening, POS and e-commerce data, etc.-- but together, they provide an almost immediate read on how you’re doing. That should translate to greater risk-taking and invention, which ultimately lead to success.” - Seth Farbman, CMO, Spotify

Three Questions for Better Marketing When I started Macromator in 2013, I wanted to help marketing organizations utilize their digital marketing technologies and CRM tools in the most efficient way possible. The business really started from that combination of marketing and tech passion. Today, we help run global marketing operations for global enterprise companies. There are three questions you should always be asking about your marketing activities: 1 Am I targeting the right accounts? 2 Are my sales and marketing activities aligned? 3 Do I have the right digital tools supporting me?

Target the Right Accounts Many companies are out there in the big digital sea, seeking the right service that fits their needs. How do you define your target accounts? You can do so based on your ideal customer profile or by simply looking at your existing clients to find other similar companies. Account-based marketing ads allow you to be more focused. Interactive content educates your prospects about their needs, which sparks interest and generates leads. Very often, prospects are not aware of what they need to do business better. Engaging your prospects through quality email content and educational webinars pushes the prospects down the pipeline until sales deems them qualified to start a conversation.

Keep Sales and Marketing Aligned

When sales and marketing are communicating and working together, your business is thriving. To compare the relationship between sales and marketing to a marriage isn’t far-fetched—every good relationship is built on communication, shared goals, and realistic expectations. For example, sales needs to define and communicate their ideal target accounts to the marketing department. Marketing, in turn, needs to know what sorts of obstacles sales comes up against so they can support the sales process. It’s a mutual, supportive relationship towards the same goal: revenue.

The Right Tools for Your Unique Needs How do you decide which tools best aid your sales and marketing divisions? My pro-tip: keep your MarTech stack simple. The tech should enable you, not impede you. You want to reap the benefits of your tools as quickly as possible rather than constantly waste time fixing complicated engines that don’t work as one. Technology specifically designed to help sales and marketing departments become more data-driven are invaluable tools. A lot of these tools are built right here in Canada. However, selecting the right MarTech and implementing it can make you feel like that prospect is out at sea—one need, so many possibilities. This is where our expertise can help. The Macromator marketing operations team is certified in many MarTech categories, enabling world-class sales and marketing operations. We set-up, train, and support global marketing operations. There are numerous MarTech companies in Canada, both big and small, that can be leveraged to help grow more Canadian businesses from small to big.

Dan Radu

Dan Radu is the founder of Macromator Inc. and not at all ashamed to admit that he’s a MarTech geek. Most recently, Dan was invited to sit on the MarTech Council by the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA). If you’re interested in becoming a more data-driven marketer(or just want to talk MarTech), send him an email at Are you in the Toronto area? Macromator is committed to growing the MarTech community in Toronto. Join today for workshops and seminars on how to use MarTech to enhance your business.



ENTREPRENEURS EMPOWERS EVERYONE HOW IS STARTUP CANADA EMPOWERING CANADA’S NEW STARTUPS? As an aspiring entrepreneur, one gets to read many inspirational quotes. One that stands out is “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” –Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO. Inspiring indeed. However, this is an excellent example of things being easier said than done. What does Tony mean by chasing the vision? Not only do I have a vision, but I also have a vision board. What I need to know is how do I go about turning my dreams into reality? All of these questions seem to haunt future entrepreneurs. Often enough, the idea is brilliant and even a potential success. However, an idea is merely knowledge. It needs to have well defined outlines, a rock-solid action plan, expert guidance and unified direction, sufficient financial resources and finally, well-defined goals.

Who are the founders? Victoria Lennox and Cyprian Szalankiewicz are the founders of Startup Canada. Victoria Lennox is the President Emeritus of UK-based Charity NACUE, a social entrepreneur, commentator, program architect and policy advisor. Cyprian Szalankiewicz is a technology entrepreneur in the field of motion control robotics in the film and television industry. He is also a social entrepreneur and a member of the founding team of NACUE, a charity that supports young entrepreneurs in the UK.

What is Startup Canada? Startup Canada is a platform and a community giving a voice to entrepreneurs of all kinds that is functional in all sectors. Startup Canada is an organization mentoring 20,000 Canadians nationally and globally. They represent over 80,000 entrepreneurs, 400 enterprise support partners, 300 volunteers and 20 Startup Communities. What they are is a group of entrepreneurs working together to build a space for entrepreneurs. They wish to give a voice to the Canadian startup community. However, this effort is not limited only to Canada, as they have made their mark globally too. Globally, Startup Canada is recognized as the best practice in powering grassroots entrepreneurship. They have educated leaders in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, South Korea, South America and the United States. 32


"We want Canada to become a leading entrepreneurial nation that is emulated by countries across the world for its inclusive approach to innovation. Just as Canada is synonymous with hockey and peacekeeping, we also want Canada to be synonymous with innovation and entrepreneurship". VICTORIA LENNOX CO-FOUNDER, CEO


Events and SeminarsStartup Canada’s mentoring tools

How it all started Startup Canada officially began operating in May 2012 with a cross Canada tour to crowd-source its mission and to activate entrepreneurship from coast to coast. In their six-month tour, Startup Canada ran 200 events in 40 communities by partnering with 300 organizations to bring together more than 20,000 Canadians. This resulted in the largest consortium of entrepreneurs in Canadian history. There has been no looking back since then.

How has Startup Canada empowered people? According to its website, Startup Canada has brought over 3,000 entrepreneurs together so they can build opportunities. They have provided a platform to voice priorities and propose solutions to fellow founders, community leaders, support organizations and policy makers. They’ve also: Identified experts, willing donors and leaders to build a strong platform of guidance and inspiration for future entrepreneurs to look up to. Connected over 2,200 business owners with financial knowledge through the Startup Finance Program. Acted as the host of the LatAm Startup Conference to get Canadian entrepreneurs connected with international markets in Latin America. They were then connected to Tel Aviv, Israel and the United States. Became a trusted communication and program delivery partner for government and private sector organizations such as Public Works and Government Services Canada, Industry Canada and Intuit Canada.

Everyone has a lot to say to future entrepreneurs. Good advice early on can be the difference between success and failure. However, identifying good advice can be difficult especially when one is already overwhelmed with the preparation of a dream plan. Dave McClure famously quoted: “A ‘startup is a company that is confused about three things: (1.) What its product is. (2.) Who its customers are. (3.) How to make money.” Fortunately, Startup Canada is a social organization that helps startup owners and entrepreneurs globally, find answers to these three questions.

Events organized by Startup Canada Startup Canada helps thousands of entrepreneurs through meetings, social events and private interviews. Since the beginning, meet and greets, networking and events have been quite regular and popular among new entrepreneurs. When Startup Canada kicked-off officially in 2012, the first milestone was a nationwide tour to initiate entrepreneurship from coast to coast. Along with weekly online programs and learning webinars, there are several live special events across Canada on a monthly and weekly basis that are organized.

How do meetings and social events help entrepreneurs? For new entrepreneurs, every second of human interaction is an opportunity to spread awareness about their product or service. These meetings make the exchange of knowledge easier for covering a wide range of topics. They also facilitate networking and provide a recognition to new entrepreneurs, their work, new products and services and help in building a favorable environment for the growth of entrepreneurship. Participants and delegates get to rub shoulders with fellow entrepreneurs, clients, customers, potential partners, and investors. This proves to be a major game changer for many.

Startup Canada works with a lot of leaders from various industries, influencers, trendsetters, social reformers and business legends. One can only imagine the exposure that can be obtained with a global engagement of 1,27,000 people, 500 partners, and 25 communities as of 2017. Events organized by Startup Canada are not limited to just meetings, conferences and seminars, but also include interactive events, competitions and celebrations. Recent events include discourses, award ceremonies and competitions on topics ranging from data security, AI, customer service and e-commerce to women entrepreneurs, finding the right business advice and scaling up your startup. Upcoming events include seminars on Social Entrepreneurship, borrowing tips to fund your startup, growing into the new year and strategies for the new year. You can check out their website for details and bookings. Starting a business is hard so all help that can be availed is needed. Startup Canada is a blessing for Canadians involved in all types of businesses. Who knows, maybe the next Startup Canada meeting in your town hall could change your life.

CONCLUSION As such, Startup Canada provides a valuable service to Canadian entrepreneurs. Their powerful connections allows worldwide cooperation between entrepreneurs and building a global economy.

How is Startup Canada empowering new entrepreneurs? CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 I



By Brampton Entrepreneur Center

t the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre (BEC), we’re dedicated to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs like you succeed in today’s ever-changing business market. Whether you’re thinking about opening a business, formulating your business plan or undergoing change in an established business BEC has the expertise to help propel your ideas forward. You’ll be pleased to learn that most of our services are free, and the rest are offered at a nominal fee. Brampton BEC is part of the City of Brampton’s Economic Development Office (EDO). The Economic Development Office was developed as a “one-stop shop” for business development information. EDO supports existing Brampton businesses in their quest for success, as well as encourages new businesses to set up and soar in the thriving business environment our city has to offer. New business creation is a foundation of economic development practices. Brampton Entrepreneur Centre is a section within the City of Brampton Economic Development office (EDO) and is also a member of the ONE Network (, which brings together Ontario’s 57 Small Business Enterprise Centres (SBECs), 17 Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) and Ontario Business Advisory Services (BAS) staff under one brand. Through the integrated framework, SBECs, RICs and BAS organizations will continue to individually provide high quality business support services, while the Network collectively assists Ontario’s entrepreneurial community. Our federal partner is Canada Business, a division of Industry Canada. Visit for a wealth of business information.



We offer FREE: •

Guidance on business start-up steps

Guidance on permits, regulations and other start-up requirements

GrowthWheel - Existing business support

Leading-edge information, resources, templates and market research

Workshops and seminars (free and low-cost)

Individual, private consultations

Business plan reviews

Referral services

Counsel on growth and change issues

Professional development and networking opportunities

Access to funding opportunities

Site selection support - we help you find suitable locations for your business

... and so much more!


Here is some additional information and photos about our team:


To contribute to the stability and growth of the local economy by fostering the careful preparation, launch and long-term sustainability of micro and small businesses across all sectors.



Jennifer has been working for the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre for 15 years. From the Entrepreneurship Assistant to the Manager, she has experienced all the roles in the Entrepreneur Centre. She supports her team to provide quality service and valuable advice to clients. Always working towards creating opportunities and programming for the small businesses in Brampton.

Ashley is the smile of BEC and the first joyful person you see when you walk into BEC. She can assist you register your business, provide information on our grants & programming, and connect you with our business associates and advisors.




Daniel has been working for the City of Brampton for 10 years in the Economic Development Office. Now with the Entrepreneur Centre, he is pleased to share his background in competitive research, site selection, and zoning. Working with established small businesses in Brampton to play a key role towards a stronger local economy.

Lisa is one of our business associates. She is great at working with start-ups to help them achieve their goals. Her specialities include but not limited to business model canvas and idea generation.

Prince is one of our business associates. His expertise is very wide. He can work with financials, operations, pitching, and lots more.


To provide current, accurate and thorough information through online documents, seminars and workshops, consultations and business plan reviews with a strong customer service approach. This information will be cost-effective, easily accessible and highly responsiveto client needs.

Contact Us Phone: 905.874.2380 Fax: 905.874.2670 TTY: 905.874.2130 E-mail:




Pierre Cléroux was appointed Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC in 2012. Pierre leads a team of experts who analyze economic data to identify business and sector trends impacting Canadian entrepreneurs. A seasoned speaker, he regularly travels across the country to help business owners understand the risks and opportunities presented by the economic environment. Mr. Cléroux is also responsible for providing economic analysis and advice to the Bank’s senior management team, and supervises all marketing and industry research activities.

As Vice-President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC, you lead a team of specialists who examine economic data so they can identify business and sector trends impacting Canadian entrepreneurs. What are some of the trends that you came across that impact positively or negatively small and medium sized businesses in Canada? With shifting demographics and the rise of new digital technologies, Canadian entrepreneurs are facing a new reality—one marked by changing dynamics in the labour force and new ways of doing business. We’ve identified 6 trends that will fundamentally reshape Canada’s future business landscape: • The aging workforce • The rise of the millennial generation • A more culturally diverse population • The growth of virtual marketplaces • The automation of business activities • The rise of the data economy Adapting to these trends is a must and presents opportunities for Canada’s SMEs. As time goes by, there are always new trends happening that business owners pick up on. What are some of the future trends that you see happening for small and medium sized businesses in Canada and how do you think this will impact their business? Entrepreneurs stand to gain from adapting to the trends in shifting labour demographics and technology. The impacts of these trends are profound and offer great opportunities



for Canadian business owners. Those who get ahead of the changes are building stronger, faster-growing and more profitable companies. Embracing cultural diversity is a good example; entrepreneurs need to do more to understand the contributions that new Canadians could make to their business. Entrepreneurs are currently missing out on this important pool of talent. Digital platforms are making it simpler and more convenient for customers to get what they want, when they want it and how they want it. And consumers are making purchases armed with more information than ever before. In fact, BDC found that nine out of 10 consumers systematically visit a company’s website before contacting it for information, and more than half of the business-tobusiness buying process is done online before a salesperson is contacted. Businesses that have embraced digital technologies have improved their customer experience (49%), boosted revenue growth (34%), and enhanced their efficiency through lower costs (36%) and better productivity (45%). You talk about risks and opportunities presented by the economic environment towards business owners. What are some of the most common risks that the economic environment can have on small and medium sized businesses in Canada and what can business owners do to prevent them?

Rising interest rates will have an impact on financing. Notwithstanding interest rates, two-thirds of business owners see stable financing conditions. BDC found out that Canadian entrepreneurs remain confident despite current trade turbulence. They’ve recently been bombarded with news about potential trade disasters and actual natural disasters, including forest fires, earthquakes and hurricanes. Despite all the turbulence, we found out that close to 80% of owners of small and mediumsized businesses we surveyed saw stable or increasing sales over the past 12 months, even after considerable growth in the first half of 2017. As well, the majority of respondents expect sales to improve further over the next 12 months. When asked about their perception of conditions for their competitors, their region and the Canadian economy generally, business owners were a little less optimistic and it’s not surprising. While U.S. trade protectionism will not disappear in the near-term, Canadian companies can weather this storm by continuing to focus on existing customers while seeking out new markets. Diversification correlates strongly with financial success. Investing in innovation to develop new products or processes can improve a competitive position and possibly allow a business to charge higher prices if its margins are squeezed by higher input prices. When times are uncertain, it’s a good idea to keep a tight grip on costs, to review all expenses and to see where to find savings.


What are the top three opportunities that the economic environment has on small and medium sized businesses in Canada? 1 – Business transitions: Forty-one percent of Canadian entrepreneurs intend to sell their business over the next five years. There are opportunities for buyers and sellers alike. 2 – Technology: In today’s marketplace, integrating the right information systems and communication technology into a company can give a much needed competitive edge. Effective business technology management can increase productivity and profitability to improve performance. 3 – Market diversification: Diversifying a business by finding new suppliers and developing new products and services to sell internationally. It’s time to investigate the trade agreements Canada has signed with the European Union (CETA) and with many of the Pacific Rim countries (CPTPP). One of your responsibilities is to provide economic analysis and advice to the senior management team at the Bank. Concerning small and medium sized businesses, what’s the economic forecast that you see happening? The Canadian economy is showing stable growth and grew a solid 2.9% annualized in the second quarter of 2018, in line with the Bank of Canada’s expectations. Consumer spending picked up after decelerating in the first quarter, as did goods exports, which rebounded with 15% annualized growth. Business investment, though still positive, slowed down after a very strong first quarter, and residential investment reversed its negative slide. After impressive growth in 2017, the expansion appears to be stabilizing around 2%, a more sustainable pace for an advanced economy with an aging population. The Canadian dollar is unlikely to appreciate significantly against the US dollar until a NAFTA deal is achieved. This is positive for exporters not facing U.S. import tariffs. Interest rates are likely to continue to move up so it’s a good time to make sure the business is managing its debt load effectively. It may make sense to make productivityenhancing investments sooner rather than later to take advantage of still low interest

rates. If a business is operating in the retail sector, margins are no doubt under pressure as wages are rising and revenues may be slowing. Considering where costs can be trimmed and taking advantage of technology to improve efficiency are interesting options. In your position, you also supervise all marketing and industry research activities. What are some suggestions you can give when it comes to marketing to the owners of small and medium sized businesses? Consumer behaviours are evolving faster than ever. Entrepreneurs have to stay on top of consumer trends to better compete and grow. BDC identified five consumer trends that will transform the way we do business: 1 - Millennials are driving the consumer revolution. They are are driving a profound transformation in habits among all consumers. They tend to be frugal, savvy shoppers and not particularly brand loyal. 2 - Mobile and digital rule. Canadians use their mobile devices more than ever, especially for shopping. It’s vital for businesses to not only be online, but also to offer a mobile friendly website. 3 - Consumers want personalized attention. Customers expect more and more personalized interaction on all platforms, as well as customized offerings to make their shopping experience more relevant. 4 - The rise of the sharing economy. Collaborative or “sharing” economy companies operate under a new economic model where ownership and access are shared between corporations, start ups and people. People get the products and/or services they want from each other, rather than from established brands, which used to be their only options. 5 - Canadians are more concerned about their health. People want to eat healthier, proactively take care of their health and fight stress.

What would you say is the most common mistake that business owners make when it comes to managing their business? Managing financial resources and waiting too long to ask for help, when time are tougher are at the top of the list! I suggest entrepreneurs take a look at “articles and tool section”, where they can find valuable advice. As a specialist in your field, when is in your opinion a good time for business owners to say that they have fully thrived and have a good successful business? Business owners are in a better position to judge; it all depends on reaching the goals set… You have a lot of experience in developing international relationships and partnerships. Do you believe that small and medium sized businesses should participate in international trades or do you believe that it will jeopardize their company to participate in such large trades? Yes. At a certain size, diversification and international trade is a must. At one point, you were responsible for the implementation of economic policies and programs to support small and medium-sized businesses and encourage entrepreneurship. Can you talk about some of the programs or policies that can help small and medium-sized businesses be successful? Research has showed that businesses that have embraced digital technologies have improved their customer experience (49%), boosted revenue growth (34%), and enhanced their efficiency through lower costs (36%) and better productivity (45%). I believe the government should launch a program to encourage and stimulate investments in technology, as it benefits Canada’s SMEs and the economy.

As an economist, you have seen a lot of mistakes that business owners make that can put their company in jeopardy.






by Joel Sears

Many successful SMEs have built their businesses with almost no marketing support. But eventually, they always hit a ceiling. Their referral network maxes out and there’s no growth. That’s when we get the call at our marketing agency –Branderos – that’s dedicated to helping SMEs use marketing to drive increased sales. Unless you have a salesforce cold calling prospects, the only real alternative is tapping the power of the web to generate leads.

Only 41% of Canadian small businesses have an online presence, according to GoDaddy. 38


WEBSITE VS. SOCIAL MEDIA While a Facebook page is easy to construct, it lacks depth of information and is harder to differentiate your company from its competitors. Social media is a great complement to a website, but it’s limited as a primary driver for your marketing.

Only 6% of small and medium-sized businesses use social media –with Facebook used more than twice as much as either LinkedIn or Twitter.


WHAT’S THE ROLE OF A WEBSITE? A website serves as a hub for your business, providing credibility, raising brand awareness and engaging users with rich content. It’s the gateway to email marketing and other contact strategies. You can be highly targeted with a website and create it from scratch to reflect your brand and showcase your products and services.

GETTING STARTED The smaller the business, the tighter the budget. That’s why you’ll see so many do-it-yourself websites, or websites built by friends or family. Sure, there are ready-made templates from companies like Wix and Squarespace that can get you up and running for under $1000, but then you’re beholden to your provider. But a nice looking template isn’t enough. You need to be able to articulate your proposition to your prospects and you need to have professional quality content.

YES WEBSITES ARE EXPENSIVE. BUT WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE? Even a basic customized website for a small business will cost $2500-$5000. For medium-sized businesses that can run up from $10,000 to $25,000. How can a business justify that cost? By determining the return on investment. Calculate how many new customers will have to earn to make it worthwhile, and how much they’ll have to spend. We have worked with clients who may earn several thousand dollars for every new client. So all it takes is perhaps few solid clients to make a website pay itself off. Others have smaller profit margins and smaller average transactions. That makes it harder to justify the investment. You have to get behind the effort and believe in the web’s ability to drive

sales if you want to use a website to take your business to the next level. But there’s no real halfway measure. Once you’re in, you have to be all in, otherwise you are guaranteeing failure.



You might yearn for the days when good customer service was enough to keep businesses going. But those days are behind us. Increasingly, digital performance is synonymous with business performance. That can be a good thing, since the web is still an underdeveloped space for SMEs.

Once a business spends its precious dollars on a shiny new website, it frequently hits a wall. After investing in a website, businesses often have a diminished appetite for further spending on marketing. Their gaze returns to running their operations and the web goes dark. No fresh content. No updates. Technical issues are left unresolved. Links go dead. And they look at their initial web investment as a waste. Which it is because any digital marketing program that’s stale dated makes the business look like it has perished, frozen in time from the last time it breathed fresh life into its website.

SLOW BUT STEADY WINS THE RACE. To succeed at marketing, a consistent and ongoing effort is required. That begins with a plan. Fresh content draws fresh eyes. It gives people a reason to return to your website, or even more importantly, sign up for regular emails or newsletters. Sound like a lot of work on the content development side? It is.

If you are willing to make an ongoing financial commitment to digital marketing and stick to the plan, you will see the rewards. And you’ll be many steps further ahead than your competitors. SMEs have wonderful stories to tell and charismatic business leaders to profile. Seize the moment and then watch your business grow. You’ll never know how big an impact digital marketing will make on your business until you try. •

GoDaddy& Redshift Research small business survey 2015, December 2016

Joel Sears

A WEBSITE IS YOUR CONTENT MARKETING HUB. That’s why we only take on clients who are willing to commit to a monthly spend on content development. It’s too painful to see companies get to the starting line and then stop. They see almost zero return on their investment. But businesses that put their toe in the waters of the Internet and keep dipping, month after month, start to see the return. New leads. But most importantly, affirmation that the business is vital, outward looking and interested in engaging.

For more than three decades, Joel has worked as a copywriter, creative director, strategist, coach and educator. He is a Pardner in Branderos, a boutique marketing agency serving small and mediumsized businesses.





By CanadianSME


eing a women entrepreneur in today’s world is no easy task. You constantly have to prove yourself and work twice as hard just to show that you belong in this business world that has for a long time been ruled by men. It’s no surprise that when one looks at the statistics, it goes to show that women have less opportunities



then men do when it comes to growing their business. The Government of Canada, taking this into consideration, has therefore decided to include in its 2018 budget a new strategy called Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. The goal of this program is to give women as many opportunities as they can so they can grow their enterprises into a successful business.

Why now? The need has never been stronger. With women owning less then 16% of businesses throughout Canada, having a program that

will encourage and help women into having successful businesses is long overdue. Promoting diversity and inclusion is essential when it comes to creating an economy that works for everyone. So, having the complete and total involvement of women in the economy is crucial to Canada’s success. That being said, through the new initiation of Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, the Government of Canada has now agreed to fully support women who wish to start their own business and make it successful since it will not only boost the economy, but it will also create employment for Canadians.


How is Women Entrepreneurship Strategy planning on helping Women Entrepreneurs? Canada’s first Women Entrepreneurship Strategy is built on four key action areas that’s main purpose is to help women entrepreneurs address the many challenges they face when it comes to the business development phase of their company.

Helping women-led businesses grow The Government of Canada will help women grow their business by investing in several different areas, like mentoring, the development of skills and networking. Having the proper skill set, knowledge and network can go a long way when it comes to growing a business. So, having the opportunity to have these tools given to them will definitely help women entrepreneurs in the long run for having successful businesses. On top of giving them the proper tools they need to grow their company, the Government of Canada will also help women entrepreneurs take part in federal procurements and export. This will give them the opportunity to grow their business by expanding in new horizons.

Increasing access to capital By partnering up with different organisations and companies, the Government of Canada will make additional funds available so that women entrepreneurs will be able to grow their business and have more and better opportunities to access new markets. Having access to more cash flow is a huge factor when it comes to owning your own business and the lack of funds is one of the main reasons why businesses fail within the first five years. Therefore, having the Government of Canada team up with several different organisations and companies to give further capital to women entrepreneurs is a huge head turner. This will definitely give more opportunities to women to invest in new technologies and markets that could help towards the success of their business.

Improving access to federal innovation programming Currently, federal innovation programming focuses on giving those opportunities to men

entrepreneurs. However, the Government of Canada has put in place a restructuration in the federal business innovation program that will emphasize on improving the involvement of under-represented groups, including women entrepreneurs. This will give women entrepreneurs as well as under-represented groups a chance at having more innovative ideas and how to develop those ideas into a successful business.

Enhancing data and knowledge The Government of Canada has agreed to fund the making of an independent Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub. Its main purpose will be to gather and distribute information, data and best practices for women entrepreneurs. This will help women entrepreneurs have a better idea of how to do business successfully by seeing what works and what doesn’t as well as getting information and tools on any upcoming changes in the business world that they should be aware of.

On a final note With this new initiative that the Government of Canada has put in place, being a women entrepreneur in 2018 will no longer be like before. Women Entrepreneurship Strategy will give a real fighting chance to women business owners and give them the opportunity to compete and succeed in this corporate world that has been ruled by men for too long. Given enough time and if this program does succeed, maybe it will be time for women to rule the business world for a change. Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA. Follow Canada Business on social media. Twitter: @canadabusiness Facebook: @CanadaBusiness






ocial media is a great opportunity for any business leader to engage with their customers, employees and even, surprisingly, competitors. Twitter is probably the most popular way for prominent business leaders to take part in the conversation. Being present on social media lets others see the passion of business leaders, allows them to stay in the loop on company updates and industry news. It also gives the opportunity for business leaders to engage with customers, employees and others in their world. It makes their brand a more human touch. Let’s take a look at some Canadian business leaders that keep updated with social media.



Tobi Lütke CEO, Shopify

Tobi Lütke uses his social media account to share insights into what he envisions for the future of businesses in Canada. He also shares updates on the growth of Shopify and how it will continue to be a successful company. Twitter handle: @tobi

Brendan Shanahan

President, Toronto Maple Leafs Brendan Shanahan uses twitter to share updates and stories about the Toronto Maple Leafs. Revealing his extremely

human side with jokes, occasional videos of his dog and personal interests, it’s no surprise that he has over 300,000 followers. Twitter handle: @brendanshanahan

John Chen

CEO, Blackberry John Chen announces collaborations and the exciting future that Blackberry is heading towards via his twitter account. It’s really quite fascinating to see Blackberry through his eyes. Twitter handle: @JohnChen


Ryan Holme

Founder & CEO, Hootsuite Ryan Holmes uses his social media account to talk about employment policies, how he sees the future of digital marketing and the pros & cons. It makes sense for the CEO of Hootsuite, which is a platform for social media management, to share with the world his personal views on the subject and how he predicts its future. Twitter handle: @invoker

Shahrzad Rafati

Founder & CEO, BroadbandTV Passionate about job creation, entrepreneurship and creative thinking, Shahrzad Rafati’s Twitter page reflects her humility, Canadian pride and her views on social issues and impacts. She also shares insightful articles about what the current trends are in the industry. Twitter handle: @shahrzadrafati

Jade Raymond

Jade Raymond will also, on occasion, give a small glimpse into her personal life.

as well as information on what is up and coming in the music industry and things we should watch out for.

Twitter handle: @ibjade

Twitter handle: @jeffreyremedios

Leerom Segal

Co-founder & CEO, KlickHealth

Michael Tamblyn

Leerom Segal often shares tweets from the KlickHealth page, but he will also share a lot of interesting facts and updates that are related to KlickHealth. His passion for his work shines through his tweets.

Michael Tamblyn has a great twitter account where he interacts regularly with customers. His posts are both in French and English and he’s quite active on the platform. He never misses a tweet.

CEO, Kobo

Twitter handle: @mtamblyn

Twitter handle: @leeromsegal

Kirstine Stewart

CSO, Diply

Incredibly active on twitter, Kirstine Stewart retweets and shares opinions on many relevant social issues. A strong feminist with a strong voice, it’s clear to see why Diply’s CEO is so popular through her followers. Twitter handle: @kirstinestewart

VP Visceral, Motive Studios and Star Wars, EA

Jeffery Remedios

Her passion for gaming and its latest projects is clearly evident in her twitter page since that’s pretty much all she talks about. She engages with other titans on social media such as Elon Musk.

Jeffery Remedios shares several great moments with musicians. He posts pictures of his wife and kids on vacation

President & CEO, Universal Music Canada

These business tycoons have a very active social media presence and have a lot to teach business owners when it comes to using social media to grow their enterprise. They demonstrate very well how entrepreneurs can promote their business while giving it a more human side. By having an active social media presence, people tend to see a different side of the company and it helps them think less of these big companies as a big corporation, but more as ordinary people that they can identify with. It gives the business a face and essence that other people can relate to. Engaging with other business leaders, customers and generally being more accessible will only add to the charm the company.






anada is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With its accommodating and liberal policies, there are plenty of opportunities here. The biggest advantage of being one of the small business owners in Canada is that there are various resources that can help you grow in any direction you envision! Here are 15 of the best resources that a small business in Canada can refer to in order to grow:

1 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT BANK OF CANADA Being up-to-date with all of the latest happenings in your line of work is one of the most crucial factors for a small business to flourish. The Business Development Bank of Canada will ensure that you are always kept in the



loop about and upcoming news so you can make sure that you never miss out on an opportunity. BDC has one of the most helpful tools out there for Canadian small businesses. You can learn a lot from their website about topics like: - Technologies that you should be investing in. - How to recruit the right employees - How to improve efficiently - How to go about defining your business strategy.

2 ENTERPRISE TORONTO Toronto is one of the most financially viable locations for small business owners in Canada. If you have a

dependable business plan and are looking to grow in this particular region, then Enterprise Toronto is sure to provide you with the right resources and connect you to them for free.

3 EXPORT DEVELOPMENT OF CANADA Being the owner of a small business can be challenging when it comes finding opportunities to participate in trades and export. EDC helps business owners of all sizes to find great opportunities when it comes to trades and export. They ensure that your business will have as many opportunities as possible when it comes to participating in trade and in having international business opportunities.


4 REBECCACOLEMAN.CA As the internet expands and the world grows smaller, social media is becoming one of the easiest tools for marketing and reaching the target consumer base. Rebecca Coleman helps you do the same by offering the best social media advice and helping you in creating a social media presence for yourself.

5 CANADA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE The Board of Trade as well as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce offers highly beneficial resources for its members. It provides access to various free resources and allows you to adopt them into complying with your business. Another advantage of being associated with these highly acclaimed trade organizations is that they help you stay updated with any upgrades in policies.

6 CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN EXECUTIVES AND ENTREPRENEURS (CAWEE) There are plenty of events organized by the CAWEE for the welfare of women entrepreneurs in Canada. Apart from helping women who are small business owners, the CAWEE also offers a strong network of resources which can help your business grow tremendously. The relationships and connections built whilst being a part of the CAWEE have helped various female Canadian small business owners grow and strengthen their business.

7 CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES (CFIB) While the big cities have plenty of resources to refer to, the less urban areas might pose a challenge for small business owners in Canada. However, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses helps people all across the country to use the best resources and grow their ventures.

8 CANADA REVENUE AGENCY Whether you are a bootstrapped

startup or a growing venture, it’s crucial to have somebody supervise your expenses, revenues and taxes. Each penny holds a lot of importance when you’re just starting out. Canada Revenue Agency provides resources that can help you when it comes to managing your income the proper way. It helps businesses grow and develop while keeping up with the new laws in the financial world.

9 START-UP CANADA As the number of entrepreneurs grow and the topic of impacts increase, it becomes important to know about them. There are plenty of portals and websites that give you expert advice on new market trends. However, the community blog of Start-up Canada is very helpful for small business owners since there’s plenty of experiences that you can identify with by going through their blog.

10 QUICKBOOKS SMALL BUSINESS CENTRE When starting out, securing the right management, accounting and financial software can be a challenge. QuickBooks Small Business Centre specializes in guiding you with the right resources and is available in the form of a free website which you can refer to.

11 CANADIANBUSINESS.COM With the economy being unpredictable, it’s imperative that you stay updated on how to deal with constant changes in your line of business. CanadianBusiness. com helps small business owners in Canada keep tabs on all changes as well as giving tips on how to deal with them.

12 CANADIAN ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY ENTERPRISE CAFE has over 1,000 business family members and 14 chapters across the country. If you aim at expanding your small venture with the addition of your family members, then this is a trusted organization that can be very helpful in the process.

13 INFO ENTREPRENEURS Info Entrepreneurs offers a wide

range of services for all business owners. Their personalized services ensure that all your business needs are met. Their goal is to contribute towards the success of your business. Their information agents ensure that you are kept up to date on provincial and federal programs and services that can help towards the success of your business.

14 FUTURPRENEUR CANADA Futurpreneur Canada is a great resource when you have a business idea but are unsure on how you can turn it into a successful business. They offer pre-launch coaching to potential entrepreneurs and mentorship programs to help young entrepreneurs navigate the rocky beginnings of a business. They also provide a variety of online tips and tools to help in tasks like managing cash flow or writing business plans easily. They’ve partnered up with the Business Development Bank of Canada and can also help financing businesses.

15 FUNDERA Having access to cash flow and finding the right investors and financial institutions that will help towards the financing of your business can be a real challenge. Fundera makes that easy. They team up with several financial institutions and investors and compare rates and different programs to help you find the best loan for your small business. You can also find a lot of useful resources on their website where they provide several tips and tools on how you can grow your business. These resources can be a huge asset to grow your business in a short period at almost no cost. The only thing you will be investing is your time which will be well worth it in the long run. We know owning a small business can be a challenge and take a lot of hard work. However, if you start looking, you will see that there is help out there for you that can help make your business into a successful one. We hope that these resources listed above will help your business grow and become into the success that you want it to be!






recently had a conversation with a client that had emailed me a year ago. He was referred to me by another Image Consultant in another province, who wanted to coordinate a referral should the client need some help getting image and wardrobe ready for this new position and life change he was making and taking on. On the initial email, he was very open and said he would try it out on his own and get back to me should he need help. Fast forward a year later, we had our first conversation and he admitted to feeling lost and in need of help. He has been asking himself questions that I would ask on my client intake like: “What makes me feel comfortable?”“Does this feel like me?” And then the most important one for me was: “Oh…. wow, I feel and see that I am severely under dressed!”A new job, a new city and province, and a new vibe and corporate culture is a significant change for anyone. His ability to navigate under these circumstances resulted in a lack of confidence in his corporate wardrobe choices. He felt he wasn’t showing up in the best version of himself as the leader he knows he needs to be. Therefore there was hesitation, stress, and most importantly, some executive presence and nurturing work to do. What was so positive was his awareness of the gap in his corporate image; wanting to understand and communicate more succinctly his personal brand, and deliver stronger communication to meet these challenges head on.A shift in



his mindset resulted in him reaching out for help. His executive presence needs repair and most importantly to be nurtured. I heard this expression recently and thought that was an interesting use of language to describe how when we forget to pay attention to ourselves and image, it can have some effects - some damaging on our reputation, as was the case in how this was being described. It inspired me to share these two separate client stories as they are going to benefit from nurturing and being nurtured. Executive Presence is how you look, act, and communicate when you are in the presence of others to build trusting relationships and

influence them to achieve desired results and outcomes. There are many dimensions to it. This “essence” is what it feels like to be in your presence, in terms of how your team, your colleagues, and senior-level leaders see you. It’s the gravitas that you have when handling a difficult conversation. It’s how you communicate your capabilities and accomplishments and how you share your team’s results with others. It’s the trust, credibility, and presence that you project when interacting with others during a normal workday or when giving an important presentation.

Harvard Business Review rated “the ability to communicate” as the most important factor in making an executive “promotable.” Even more important than ambition, education, and capacity for hard work.


Congruency, alignment, and nurturing your professional image, behavior, and communication is critical to your presence as a leader. This was a challenge for one of my high energy, dynamic, well-educated, female entrepreneur clients. Our appearance-based discussion quickly moved into her presence as a leader. She wasn’t in alignment with her corporate image and her presence was not congruent with how she thought of herself as a leader. Her communication and behaviour were unsettled and left those around her with uncertainty. I was recently helping this new client prepare for a very important business trip where the expectations were for her to show up as the thought-leader and influencer that she is. She wanted me to show her all the wrong things she was packing to take away and write a permission slip if you will. This would take a huge weight off her list of things to do. I smiled and simply asked her how she felt about packing what she had and showing up for these very important meetings - was she going to feel confident, stage-ready if need be, relevant as the leader she is? Pain is a very powerful motivator. You see, there is nothing wrong with clothing per se, unless it’s wrong for you. The conflict she was experiencing was that although as a leader she clearly has “gravitas,” her image and executive presence was not congruent. Therefore, the level of respect and command she has as a leader is not visible to those around her. Research from the Center for Talent Innovation hosts an excellent survey regarding executive presence, and it shows that 26% of getting promoted is because of your executive presence. They also found that executive presence rests on three pillars:


LIST OF LEADERSHIP MATERIALS. APPEARANCE. 5% OF LEADERS CONSIDER APPEARANCE KEY IN EXECUTIVE PRESENCE; ALL, HOWEVER, RECOGNIZE ITS POWER AS A CRITICAL FILTER AND ITS POTENTIAL FOR DERAILING INDIVIDUALS, THOSE JUST STARTING OUT, AND EXISTING BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS. In order to own your leadership influence, it is vital to your gravitas as a leader and influencer to pay greater attention to your image and how you feel about yourself, by therefore nurturing your Executive Presence, or corporate image, for personal and professional success. Michelle Horne, AICI, CIP Putting It Together Image Consulting 613.253.0081





Silvia Pencak is the President of WBE Canada - the leading organization certifying womenowned businesses and facilitating opportunities for them to do business with large corporate and government buyers. Silvia is a passionate advocate for womenowned businesses. She has a proven track record of trailblazing innovative ideas and turning them into powerful results. Silvia has over 15 years of experience of managing teams, projects and building partnerships with community, businesses, government, and individual stakeholders. Her work has positively impacted over 100,000 individuals around the globe. She is a founder, former director and current chair of the Board at the nonprofit organization JONA in Slovakia and she is highly engaged in many communities in the GTA. She holds Master’s degree in Education and she is a certified consultant, coach, trainer and speaker. Silvia Pencak, President, WBE Canada

1 About your

organization WBE Canada is a non-profit organization, led by Corporate Members, that is opening doors to supply chains across North America. Our primary purpose is to certify firms that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women. We thoroughly review business



information and paperwork to ensure that only eligible businesses get our stamp of approval and get introduced into supplier diversity programs. Businesses get recertified on an annual basis. Our rigorous standard of certification is recognized by such giants as IBM, General Motors, Toyota, Accenture, and top Canadian Banks like BMO, RBC, TD Bank and others.

WBE Canada is the bridge between corporate and public procurement and Canadian women business enterprises (WBEs). As a quality third-party certifier, we have been connecting them to corporate supply chains since 2009. We focus on building relationships, facilitating knowledge transfer and driving economic growth.


2 How it started WBE Canada was founded in 2009. Our certification was built on the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) US model and adjusted to Canadian regulations. Since then WBE Canada has evolved into the largest certifying council for Canadian Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). We are committed to supporting and advocating on behalf of Canadian WBEs in Canada and the US and we partner with the Canadian Government to inform our WBEs about international events and opportunities.

3 How are you helping

business women?

WBE Canada is a strong supporter of WBEs and their inclusion in corporate and government supply chains. Our certified WBEs gain direct access to educational resources, our supportive network of WBEs, procurement professionals, corporate and government leaders. We promote achievements of our community members and celebrate their

successes at our Annual Conference and through our social media channels. Thanks to our strategic partners we are able to create strong support networks, helping Canadian WBEs succeed in Canada, the US and beyond. In addition to certification, WBE Canada delivers education, training, coaching and mentoring programs that ramp up the capacity of women business owners to bid successfully on large procurement opportunities. This support contributes to significant growth for womenowned businesses. The organization also facilitates the building of strong networks for women, by connecting them both with procurement officers of top corporations and with other certified firms in order to enhance their bidding capacity

4 What are some of the

challenges that you deal with frequently and how do you face them?

low awareness around supplier diversity. While in the US supplier diversity programs started more than 50 years ago, Canada started to embrace diversity in supply chain only about a decade ago. While more than 50% of businesses in Canada are womenowned, WBE Canada estimates that they comprise less than 5% of all domestic and international suppliers to corporations and governments. The result women’s businesses don’t grow, big business misses out on value and innovation, and national productivity and GDP suffer. It’s exciting to watch as more women access C-Suite and Board positions in companies, but I believe that the time has come for us to start talking about the place women businesses have as contractors to these organizations. Diversity and inclusion should be implemented in every area of business, including how companies purchase their goods and services.

Our biggest challenge remains




This is a major change that cannot be done by WBE Canada alone. We need champions and ambassadors to help us spread the word and make supplier diversity work in Canada. We are happy to be part of the Supplier Diversity Advisory Council (SDAC) and partner with other certifying councils as we move supplier diversity to its next level. Some of our WBEs and Corporate Members are going above and beyond to join us at events and share their experiences and lessons learned in this space. We are open to collaboration with Universities, media and other influencers to help us support Canadian women-owned businesses and help them get access to opportunities.

5 Other organizations WBE Canada is founded by corporations who are willing and eager to support Canadian WBEs. This would not be possible without their support. Our Corporate Members attend our events, meet with WBEs, develop and improve their supplier diversity programs, build awareness about the issue internally and on top of that support WBEs through their own mentorship and training programs. We also partner with women organizations and trade associations in Canada and US. Our regional partners provide training, masterminding, event collaboration and more. As a president of WBE Canada I am grateful for these partnerships. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work involved in getting businesses ready for large supply chains. While we focus on supply chain education and networking, our partners help women-owned businesses scale up, access



financing and find support directly in their region or industry. WBE Canada also has an ongoing partnership with Global Affairs Canada and EDC as we support cross-border connections between US supply chains and Canadian WBEs.

6 Supplier Diversity Supplier diversity is the strategic business process of corporations reaching out to groups not traditionally included in their supply chains, including womenowned businesses that want to compete for contracts. It means implementing processes to identify, verify and match under-represented suppliers to procurement opportunities and then measuring achievements. Utilizing a supplier base that reflects the growing diversity of Canadian businesses in particular and the population in general makes good business sense. It is important for Canada to mirror the growth of supplier diversity spreading through multinational corporations in the US and UK. Over 95% of Fortune 500 companies have supplier diversity programs that target historically underutilized businesses, expand buyers’ choice, and boost innovation, competitiveness and market knowledge. With the trend towards contract bundling in the US, over 80% of multinational corporations are now requiring supplier diversity efforts from their tier one and tier two suppliers. They advertise this “spend� with diverse populations, and are taking their business practices global, setting new benchmarks for measuring and celebrating diversity in supply chain contracts they award. Supplier diversity programs

are still viewed by many organizations as social programs or unfair advantage programs for women, which is incorrect. Supplier diversity is about leveling out the playing field so that all potential suppliers can participate in and benefit from corporate and government dollars. It does not mean a guarantee of business for certified firms, it is about inviting them to a table and creating opportunities for them to participate. I want to mention my personal favourite accomplishment in supplier diversity - City of Toronto. When City of Toronto started to change its policies to include diverse suppliers, it was met with a lot of friction. Over the years, staff at the City of Toronto did a lot of work setting up the processes, educating its own buyers internally, hosting events where buyers could connect with suppliers, all that while working closely with certifying councils like WBE Canada. Only a couple years after the start-up of this initiative, we are happy to see more women-owned businesses being part of the supply chain, being invited to lower-dollar bids and winning them. But most importantly, some of these businesses land repeat contracts with the City which confirms that women-owned businesses actually deliver great results. There are many more stories we could share in the automotive industry - thanks to their tiered approach to supplier diversity or in the financial industry - as Canadian banks commit to supporting women-owned businesses not only through financing and education, but also through contracts and opportunities, directly contributing to their success.


7 Positive impact I am a strong believer that women need more than just empowerment. They need opportunities. You can be empowered 24/7 and it does not get you anywhere. Yet, when you get opportunity, contract, and dollars in the bank, this is where you are able to scale up and grow your company, hire more people to support you, impact communities around you and set example for future generations. I have seen many women-owned businesses come back to the community and buy from other WBEs, helping them to scale up and grow. I see women inspire, motivate, teach and mentor other women. Each of us is on a journey. Women are driven, hungry and ready to tackle opportunities. Let’s create a culture where it is possible.

8 WBE's Goals and


WBE Canada’s vision is to see empowered women-owned businesses with equal access within corporate and public procurement. We are on a mission to advance in economic growth across Canada through our certification, promotion and development of women-owned businesses. We want women to know about the opportunities, be invited to a table and win these contracts. We understand that we are at the beginning of our journey. First, we need more corporations and government organizations who will commit to opening up their supply chains to women. We also want to see increases in their diverse spend….moving from 5 % to 10% and eventually to 30% and 40%.

I personally believe that Canadian institutions like Universities, municipalities, infrastructure and others should pay attention to what City of Toronto is doing and join the movement to support women-owned businesses. We would also like to see large Canadian-owned companies to follow the lead of financial institutions and commit to starting their very own supplier diversity programs to support Canadian WBEs.

9 Gender equality To achieve gender equality in 10 years would actually be a dream come true. Where I see WBE Canada after this achievement is in ensuring that this equality continues. There will always be new women-owned businesses needing support in accessing supply chains, introductions to large corporations and information about how the supply chains are evolving. I believe that WBE Canada will continue to be a bridge not only between WBEs and large supply chains, but also between successful WBEs and those just starting up.

Founded in 2009, WBE Canada is the largest certifying body for Canadian Women Business Enterprises (WBEs), who sell to corporate and government buyers. WBE Canada certifies Canadian B2B businesses that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women.




Why GOING GLOBAL INNOVATION Can Help Your Business Grow By CanadianSME

Being innovative is one of they key factors that can ensure the success of your business. With the constant changes in economy and new businesses being launched everyday, you need to make sure that your company has something that others don’t so you can stand out from the rest. That’s why the Government of Canada has put in place the program Going Global Innovation (GGI) who’s main beneficiaries are small or medium sized enterprises, universities and non-government research centers.

WHAT IS GOING GLOBAL INNOVATION? Going Global Innovation is a program that’s main purpose is to promote and improve Canada’s worldwide innovation efforts. Researchers who want to exploit technology through collaborative global research and development (R&D) opportunities will be able to use Going Global Innovation to connect with experts from foreign markets. GGI provides funding to encourage Canadian business owners who wish to be innovating by looking for international partners for the main purpose of creating a collaborative R&D agreement. Going Global Innovation offers up to $75,000 to support Canadian Innovators who aim to co-develop, authenticate or adapt their technologies with the main purpose of commercializing. 52


HOW DOES IT WORK? Business owners wishing to apply for the GGI program funding must request the application package and provide all necessary documents. It’s important that application is sent at least 8 weeks prior to traveling. Once approved, they must sign a contribution agreement prior to traveling. Going Global Innovation will then provide funding up to 75% of expenses to a maximum of $75,000 for any approved project. Covered costs include international and local travel, accommodations, meals, meeting costs, legal fees to cover any signed contracts to confirm partnerships and any other costs that are related to international collaboration. Further information on the program and how to apply can be found on the website of the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

HOW CAN GOING GLOBAL INNOVATION HELP MY BUSINESS GROW? Innovation is the key player to ensure the success of your business. By collaborating up with international business owners who can help your business grow by providing you with more resources, you are opening the doors to taking your company to the next level. Why not take advantage of the Going Global Innovation program and take that chance that could make your company achieve new goals? Contact Us Please email the GGI team if you have questions or would like to discuss your project idea.


S Pen: The Remote Control of Business For those of you who already had the Note 8, you’re probably familiar with the S Pen and it’s features. However, the Note 9 has added some amazing features in its new model which are a game changer for all entrepreneurs. On top of having the off-screen memos and real-time translation that the Note 8 already had just to name a few, the Note 9 has added a Bluetooth radio giving the phone a more enhanced functionality. The S Pen can now initiate the camera, play music or videos, change slides in PowerPoint and also allows you to add any custom controls depending on your needs and preferences. It’s the perfect remote control for any business owner giving them more options and flexibility when it comes to their business needs.

World’s First Terabyte Storage Phone Having enough storage is a huge factor you should be taking into consideration when you’re shopping for a new phone. Samsung Galaxy Note 9 beats out the competition by having the world’s first terabyte storage phone. It’s a huge revolution in the smartphone industry and they are in it to win it. Worrying about storage will be a thing of the past with Note 9 since it will provide you with so much storage that you won’t even know what to do with.

Bigger Display Bigger Opportunities With a 6.4-inch display screen, you’ll feel like your phone is your own personal laptop that you can carry around in your pocket. This bigger display will give you endless opportunities to be creative and innovative when it comes to running your business. Better quality and with more room to write your ideas on, you’ll feel like sky is the limit. The world is your canvas and your canvas just got bigger.

Your Own Personal Security System The Note 9 will make you feel like you have a personal bodyguard for your phone with its many security options.Having the option to unlock your phone by facial recognition, iris scanning, fingerprint, pattern, PIN, password, and Google Smart Lock, you’ll no longer have to worry about security. Your phone will have a full security system that you can personally chose on how to set up so it will ensure everything stored on your phone is completely 100% protected.

WHY SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 9 IS THE PERFECT PHONE FOR ANY BUSINESS OWNER Staff reporter Choosing the right phone to manage your business is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. There are so many different models and brands, and let’s not forget the big question: Android or Apple? Although Apple is known for being innovative and the iPhone is great to have for personal use, when it comes to running your business, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 takes the lead. Here’s a list of reasons why entrepreneurs should be getting the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for their business needs. The Note 9 offers so many more options and possibilities for all entrepreneurs. With an intelligent camera set-up that recognizes the context and adjusts automatically to take better quality pictures, a faster charging and the option of wireless charging so you no longer have to worry about running out of battery and off course, Samsung Pay which is supported by several retailers will have you no longer worrying about forgetting your wallet, the Note 9 is very business focussed. With all of these amazing key features that Samsung has added to their new model which are essential for all business owners, it’s no surprise that the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is being known as the Biggest Business Phone of 2018.





Three Reasons They’re Good for Sales, and Four Steps to Get You Started By Lisa Shepherd


t’s no secret that companies today are absolutely inundated with data. Ultimately, that’s a good thing. Data has the power to generate better leads, increase customer loyalty, optimize marketing, and increase sales. These good things only happen when a company’s data is managed properly though, and that’s where Marketing Automation and Customer Relationship Management systems come in. Marketing automation and customer relationship management systems help small and medium-sized companies keep customer and prospect data clean, organized, and most importantly – actionable. When small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) have actionable data, they increase sales rep productivity



by upwards of 41% and improve customer retention by 27%. In short, marketing automation and customer relationship management (MA and CRM) systems help businesses of all sizes execute sales and marketing on a scale that is comparable to much bigger competitors.

Three Reasons You Should Be Using Marketing Automation and Customer Relationship Management

1. The complexity of B2B sales is increasing

When it comes to Business-to-Business (B2B), there’s more data than ever to deal with. That’s because there are more people and steps involved in B2B purchasing than there were in the past. The number of decision-makers involved in a sale has grown from an average of 5 people two years ago to almost 7 people today, according to Harvard Business Review. For sales and marketing, that means many more people and actions to track in order to know what message to serve and when, in support of progressing a prospect to a customer. Without a CRM system and marketing automation, it’s almost impossible for any company or sales rep to keep track of their prospects and communicate in a timely and relevant way with them.


2. Your prospects expect you to know and understand them Customers increasingly expect the vendors they contact to have knowledge of their business, and certainly their sector. Just as buyers have a wealth of information available for their questions, they know that sellers – if they’re willing to do the work – have access to a wealth of information about their prospects. 75% of B2B buyers use social media contacts as part of the purchasing process, and they expect that B2B sellers do the same about them. CRM systems and marketing automation allow sellers to collect and organize information about prospects so that it’s available at a moment’s notice. This means they can engage in a meaningful way with prospects and deliver value with every interaction.

3. Your competitors are already doing it Over 90% of companies with more than 10 employees use a CRM system and 51% of businesses use marketing automation. That means that if you aren’t using these technologies, you’re now in the minority. But fear not, because many of the businesses who report they use CRM and MA aren’t really doing the technologies justice. Only 49% of firms believe that the data they collect is complete and accurate, and as many as 80% of firms struggle to manage the volume, variety, and velocity of their data.

How to Do Marketing Automation and Customer Relationship Management Right There’s a big difference between having CRM and marketing automation and using CRM and marketing automation. That’s where the next four steps come in - to get you going in the right direction, or to help you course-correct if you’re among the 80% of firms struggling to manage data.


When was the last time you updated your customer and contact lists? It’s probably been a while. You’re not alone – cleaning a database isn’t a job that most people relish – even data scientists say data cleaning and organizing is their least enjoyable task. But it’s necessary. Data management challenges create issues throughout sales and marketing, so it’s important to keep the data clean in your CRM and marketing automation portals.

How to do it First perform a simple audit to correct typos like bob@gmail.con. At the same time, remove any generic addresses like and clean out duplicate contacts. Then ensure the data you have is valid by assessing your bounce rates. You don’t have to decipher all those cryptic bounce codes you receive, just manage them at the hard and soft bounce level. A soft bounce means there’s a temporary problem with delivery such as a full mailbox. A hard bounce indicates a permanent delivery problem. A good rule of thumb is to keep the soft bounces on your list in the hopes that any delivery issues resolve themselves and remove the hard bounces. In fact, removing hard bounces is critical, because ISPs track your hard bounce numbers and may block your messages as spam if your bounce rates are high. Also, monitor customer requests for removal and unsubscribe them immediately. ISPs track that as well. And finally, remove your inactive subscribers. This will improve your email ROI and ensure you only reach out to subscribers who are actively engaged. It’s important to note here that you should first try a re-engagement campaign – using an incentive or simply asking if contacts wish to remain subscribed – before removing inactive contacts.

STEP TWO: SEGMENT YOUR LISTS If you’re like most companies, you have one big, bloated list of old and new customers and prospects. It’s great to have a big list, but you likely aren’t getting much out of it if you haven’t segmented it. Segmenting your list enables you to communicate with customers and

prospects based on their specific needs, such as industry or function – this is essential in order to show them that you understand them.

How to do it Segment your list by using these parameters:

1. Previous purchasers One of the best ways to start a list segmentation is to identify who’s bought from you previously, and what they bought. You can then use this information to introduce new or add-on products or services, including upgrades, maintenance packages, and/or extended warrantees. Since it’s much less expensive to sell to past customers than to acquire new customers, this is among the highestROI activities a B2B company can do.

2. Calls to action Another effective way to segment your database is to identify what prospects have asked you for. You can do this through CTAs (Calls to Action). CTAs should be on your web pages, in online brochures and content, in emails and newsletters, and in social media posts. A CTA will do many things for you. It can spur people to contact one of your sales people, fill in a form requesting more information, or signing up for a webinar. All of this information is gold when it comes to segmenting your database, because it tells you what each individual is interested in – and allows you to respond to those specific needs.

3. Buyer lifecycle Use the length of a customer’s or prospect’s history with your company to further segment your database. For example, a newcomer to your website should be getting messages that will help build an understanding of your company, whereas you wouldn’t want to send the basics about your organization to someone who has been doing business with you for a decade. Similarly, don’t begin by sending highly technical specs to a ‘green’ prospect before they even understand the basic benefits of your product. Start slowly, and dole out information as appropriate. If you’re using marketing automation, the software does the heavy lifting of sequencing this communication for you. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 I



STEP THREE: PERSONALIZE YOUR MARKETING Once you reach this stage, you get to start doing the exciting stuff. By keeping your database clean and updated, you’ll be able to accurately personalize your marketing to individual recipients. This is where the powerful ROI starts to happen. You can offer specific products and services to your contacts based on what they’re most likely to need. And you can serve up the offers in such a way that they appear to come from one individual directly to them – allowing you and your sales team to accomplish much more than if they were operating without a CRM and marketing automation. One thing to remember at this stage is that ‘bigger is better’ isn’t correct when it comes to company databases. Inflated lists and bad data management lead to unwanted customer contact and spamming. That will only hurt your sales opportunities, not help them.

STEP FOUR: KEEPING YOUR DATA MARKETING-READY After dedicating effort and investment to cleaning your database, you may be tempted to move on to other projects and let your database ‘coast’ for a while.

But keeping data clean on an ongoing basis will help you maintain the benefits of what you’ve just accomplished, and ensure you avoid a painful clean-up project a year down the road.

The big picture of Customer Relationship Management and Marketing Automation Setting up customer relationship management and marketing automation systems takes time. But the payoff is huge if you do it right. Rome wasn't built in a day, so consider your journey to effective data management in your sales and marketing function as a journey, not an event. You don’t have to complete all of these steps in a single process, nor do you have to do it all on your own. Sales and marketing companies like the Mezzanine Group implement CRMs and marketing automation for small and midsized B2B companies. This helps smaller companies compete effectively against bigger rivals by giving them the same access to technology for better and more effective operations. This accelerates their revenue growth and enables SMEs to scale sales and marketing efficiently.

Lisa Shepherd

Lisa Shepherd is the founder of The Mezzanine Group, a sales and marketing company that specializes in business-tobusiness (B2B). Lisa has been working with small and mid-sized companies on issues of revenue generation for over 15 years.Lisa was the youngest woman CEO to be named to the Profit 100 and has been a nominee for the Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award.. She’s written three books on B2B sales and marketing – The Radical Sales Shift, Market Smart and Walking on the Moon.

A common misconception about marketing automation is that it’s strictly for email marketing. Yes, a lot of platforms did start as email only (and some still are), but most marketing automation now encompasses email, blogging, social media, paid advertising, video, and a host of other functions. And the best part is that they offer the ability to MEASURE the results of marketing.



MacBook Pro with faster performance and new features for pros


Now Featuring Up to 6-Core Processors and 32GB of Memory, True Tone Display and the Apple T2 Chip Apple MacBook Pro with faster performance and new pro features, making it the most advanced Mac notebook ever. The new MacBook Pro models with Touch Bar feature 8th-generation Intel Core processors, with 6-core on the 15-inch model for up to 70 percent faster performance and quad-core on the 13-inch model for up to two times faster performance — ideal for manipulating large data sets, performing complex simulations, creating multi-track audio projects or doing advanced image processing or film editing. Already the most popular notebook for developers around the world, the new MacBook Pro can compile code faster and run multiple virtual machines and test environments easier than before. Additional updates include support for up to 32GB of memory, a True Tone display and an improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing. And with its powerful Radeon Pro graphics, large Force Touch trackpad, revolutionary Touch Bar and Touch ID, dynamic stereo speakers, quiet Apple-designed cooling system and Thunderbolt 3 for data transfer, charging and connecting up to two 5K displays or four external GPUs, it’s the ultimate pro notebook.

Retina Display with True Tone Delivers Ultimate Viewing Experience

Apple T2 Chip Delivers Enhanced Security and “Hey Siri” on Mac

Apple T2 Chip Delivers Enhanced Security and “Hey Siri” on Mac

The new MacBook Pro is now faster and more powerful, with 8th-generation 6-core Intel Core processors on the 15-inch MacBook Pro for up to 70 percent faster performance and 8th-generation quad-core Intel Core processors on the 13-inch model for performance that’s up to twice as fast.1 With the option to add up to 32GB of memory on the 15-inch MacBook Pro, users can run more apps simultaneously or load larger files into memory. And with up to a 2TB SSD on the 13-inch model and up to a 4TB SSD on the 15-inch, MacBook Pro gives customers the flexibility to work with large asset libraries and projects wherever they go. With 500 nits of brightness and support for the P3 wide colour gamut, the Retina display on MacBook Pro is the best Mac notebook display ever. Now with True Tone technology, the display and Touch Bar deliver a more natural viewing experience for design and editing workflows, as well as everyday tasks like browsing the web and writing email. Also new to MacBook Pro is the Apple T2 chip, first introduced in iMac Pro. With the Apple T2 chip, MacBook Pro now delivers enhanced system security with support for secure boot and on-the-fly encrypted storage, and also brings “Hey Siri” to the Mac for the first time. “The latest generation MacBook Pro is the fastest and most powerful notebook we’ve ever made,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Now with 8th-generation 6-core processors, up to 32GB of system memory, up to 4TB of super fast SSD storage, new True Tone technology in its Retina display and Touch Bar, the Apple T2 chip for enhanced security and a third-generation quieter keyboard packed into its thin and light aluminum design with all-day battery life, it’s the best notebook for pro users.”

15-Inch MacBook Pro Highlights

13-Inch MacBook Pro Highlights

6-core Intel Core i7 and Core i9 processors up to 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.8 GHz Up to 32GB of DDR4 memory Powerful Radeon Pro discrete graphics with 4GB of video memory in every configuration Up to 4TB of SSD storage2 True Tone display technology Apple T2 Chip Touch Bar and Touch ID

Quad-core Intel Core i5 and i7 processors up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz and double the eDRAM Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics 655 with 128MB of eDRAM Up to 2TB of SSD storage2 True Tone display technology Apple T2 Chip Touch Bar and Touch ID





BY Fred Dodd

By all appearances, Boomer SME retirement officially appears to be a non-event. Apathy and complacency have dumped this critical and inevitable reality into the shadows of denial along with another critical element of our way of life: Democracy! Each needs our attention! It’s like Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi lyrics, “… you don’t know what you’ve got, till it’s gone!” If we don’t pay proper attention, we can easily lose our accepted way of life: a unique combination of Individual Capitalism and middle-class dominated Democracy! Our once-sacred democracy has sunk to new lows as a small base of modern day Bolsheviks, aided and abetted by big business interests, has unleashed a deplorable,divisive,and disruptive version of politics. The “rabble,” as dubbed by Napoleon Bonaparte, has elected those seen as “one of their own.” Now, more than ever, politicians are seen as serving special interest groups. Most owe their election, and thus their souls, to big money interests that are viewed



as self-serving!In big business, ceaseless performance demands have given rise to a visible lack of ethics, integrity, and escalating cultural dishonesty.

of alternative truth and fake news have usurped long-held values and principles; truth, honour,and respect for others, as though they were meaningless!

The big business version of capitalism has, all too frequently, brought out the worst in individuals!

Ironically, those values were forged from the ashes of World War II, where right and wrong were quite clearly defined.

Need proof? Look no further than TV’s nightly news, highlighting the misconduct of arrogant corporate CEOs and the bombast of political reprobates! Big money! Big egos! Bad news!

A tiny segment of this Boomer population, born in WW II’s aftermath, used those values to create an economic miracle: A version of capitalism significantly different from that of big business!

Traditional leadership role models have been largely replaced with self-serving predatory leadership devoid of conscience, or a moral compass! Sadly, it’s incredibly widespread! The media response has concentrated myopic attention on the resulting political and executive corruption. The public response is complete apathy and complacency to what they see as distrustful, tainted, and unworthy capitalism! To add insult to injury, the divisive proponents

This SME version is the only business model where little people can dream big… and with nothing but determined belief in themselves, turn those dreams into reality …and in doing so, gain control over their destiny! An atmosphere of trust, built on a foundation of honesty and fair dealing, allowed visionary SME leaders to create and collaborate on innovations that blossomed into widespread economic prosperity such as the world had never seen.


The North American SME Entrepreneurship Saga is the greatest untold story of widespread economic success in history! That’s because the final chapters have yet to be written! A surprise ending awaits all! Will it be Happy Days, or the End of Days? Either way, that surprise ending unofficially promises to become “the seismic event of a lifetime!” Before we look ahead to see how each of those SME Saga endings might potentially unfold throughout North America, let’s look back at officialdom’s take on Boomer retirement in both Canada and the U.S. We can then extrapolate that data to explore potential Boomer SME owner outcomes.

how their mere presence has created employment! For the record, here are the 2017 predictions: Statistics Canada estimates an average of 428,000 workforce retirements over each of the next 4-5 years (2+ Million). The U.S. Bureau of Statistics estimates 28.3 million workforce exits and 38.7million new worker entrants by 2026 (mostly Hispanic immigrants).If Hispanic immigrants did not show up before 2016, are they more, or less, likely to even try under the current political agenda?

In terms of SME comparison, what is true in one country is equally true in the other. While the numbers differ, their respective SME environments reflect each other, to within 1%.

U.S. officialdom has repeatedly projected the same average numbers over a 20-year time span, thus far highly inaccurately! Boomer retirement is still officially considered a non-event! When you consider all this, can we afford to take official wisdom seriously? Some of it …yes!

Twelve years ago, in 2006, a CFIB SME Retirement Study revealed that 70% of SME owners wanted to retire by 2020 and that 66% needed to sell to help pay for retirement.

Here is what I see: Annual 2% workforce growth from immigration does not appear realistic. Retirement projections should hold up.

Also in 2006, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected that within that same time frame, its workforce would increase by 2% per year (35 million new entrants, mostly Hispanic immigrants).It also predicted27.2 million workforce exits by 2016.

By 2021, 1st wave Boomers begin to turn 75, and 2nd wave Boomers begin to turn 70 and will reach 75 by 2026. Between age 70 and 75 the realities of aging begin in earnest, affecting memory, energy, and overall health. Thus far, the average retirement age is around 70.

Here is what actually happened: From 2007-2014, there were only 12.6 million workforce exits. Only 5.5 million actually retired. Another2.9 million became disabled (80%Boomers).The rest were sidelined by the 2008 Financial Crisis.

Overall, some 30 million, or 66% of total Boomer North American retirements are expected between now and 2026. An orderly retirement transition would average 30,000 a day from early 2019 to 2022, and only 10,000 per day if retirement is delayed until 2026.Reality will be anything but orderly, and somewhere in between those numbers!

Also, new worker entrants declined by 0.75% per year (10 million less workers). Overall, the workforce was projected to grow by 7.8 million workers (35.0M - 27.2M). They were wrong! Ironically, instead of the projected 7.8 million additional workers, by 2016 it appeared that the workforce had grown by 14.6 million workers! What masked this glaring miscalculation was a delayed retirement decision by almost 15 million Boomer workers. If that had not occurred, U.S. politicians would be trying to explain the consequences of a shrinking workforce. Instead, they have bragged

Our worst case scenario: if only 10,000 retire daily before 2022, another 20,000 retirements are delayed. That translates into an additional 5 million workers per year stacked up against what I call the inevitable Wall of Time! Retirements are still inevitable, the only issue is when? By 2022, that could potentially add additional 20million almost-retirees to the Wall of Time dilemma. Also, a new batch of Boomers achieves retirement age every year! This stacking process will continue until a breaking point is reached!

Mass retirements will unfold in disorderly multiples of the norm! Like a dam holding back a reservoir, when the cracks appear it is only a matter of time before a massive breach unleashes a flood, or several minifloods! Eventually the entire structure collapses!The great unknown here is stress; not structural stress …workplace stress! This scenario will more than likely cause employer hardship! The Canadian SME sector, employing almost 90% of the private sector workforce, and composed of 60% Boomer SME owners with typically more Boomer workers, will take the worst hit. However, the U.S. will feel it too because their business sizes are quite similar. (73% have less than 9 employees, another 12.7% have less than 20). What happens when SME employers lose 2030% of their most experienced workers? Alternatively, what happens when 35-50% of employees lose their employers? The harsh reality exists:This entire demographic analysis applies as much to Boomer employers as it does their workers!(8.8 million North American SME employers employ almost 110 million workers). Unfortunately, demographic statistics suggest that, by 2020, there could easily be a seller-to-buyer ratio of 2:1.It is, therefore, more than possible that 35%-50% of employer SMEs will have great difficulty finding a buyer! That potential puts over 4million Boomer SME owner retirements in jeopardy and, more importantly, 35-50million additional jobs at risk. These are not part of the retirement story that will see 30-40 million workers retire. Collectively, that is far greater than the 25% peak unemployment seen in the Great Depression of the early 1930s. Admittedly, this is a worst case scenario.But, even if only half-right, the consequences are still economically devastating! Unless things change and change quickly, this may be all too prevalent in the SME sector! So, will Boomer SME succession be a “non-event” …or potentially “the seismic event of a lifetime?”




If Boomer SME owners want a Happy Days ending to their SME Saga, then they must get started on understanding what is ahead of them, and what options and resources are available to help them get control of their transition into their next phase of reality! SME owners, who have risked all to provide livelihoods for others, are about to face a host of multidimensional challenges associated with preparing for an inevitable new phase of existence: retirement! They want control, but are not ready; mentally or financially! Those challenges include “holistic” succession planning; some taxplanning and consequential corporate re-structuring; finding a buyer; financing the sale; equity monetization; ownership mentoring and transition timing; and finally, funding and developing a semi/full retirement lifestyle! How those challenges are dealt with will ultimately determine how that next phase of life unfolds; not just for SME owners, their employees and families, but,equally as important, for the next generation of SME owners. Despite the need to sell to fund retirement, over 10 of 13 million North American SME owners have no succession plan! Thus far, only 16%of SME owners indicate a formal succession plan for inter-generational family ownership transfer. The remaining 80+% of SME owners, who have to sell, have been left on their own to figure it out by themselves! Consequently, they are like deer stuck in the headlights, not knowing which way to turn, or who to trust. Why? Two Major Problems:1)The entire business support community has failed to anticipate SME owners’ evolving needs! 2) Boomer SME owners are in denial of an identity crisis!



The SME support community has specialized itself into silos of expertise that rarely talk to each other. There is no coordination of activities, no collaboration on potential solutions to identified issues! Each is focused only upon how they can make money within their specific mandate. They have no all-encompassing or “holistic” approach or succession planning process. On the other hand, SME owners see the business, and their sense of purpose, as being one and the same! The thought of selling the business is like selling their souls! Thus, retirement is feared …as another form of death! That has blinded SME owners from seeing a significantly more critical and detrimental reality as this Boomer retirement phase unfolds: They don’t seem to understand that: (1) The ultimate consumer society is about to retire and it has no replacement. Boomer children have lots of debt, but not money! The global economic backdrop will worsen as Boomers go into a necessary retirement spending mode. (2) SME owner’s business value is typically double what the market will pay in good times. (3) “The plan” for millions of Boomer SME owners, all at the same approximate age, is to exit their business when they are “good and ready!” When too many try to sell the same thing at the same time, prices could realistically drop 50%; just like stock and real estate markets!

Picture this! Every 2nd or 3rd business on every street in North America will be for sale over the next few years! (4) The early bird gets the worm! Latecomers get crumbs! (5) Appropriate expert help can expedite success in every succession effort! For developed world economies dominated by Boomer-owned SME sectors,demographics will come as a seismic event, shaking the very foundations of our accepted way of life! Unfortunately, this can only be prevented one SME owner at a time! For Boomer SME owners, Demographics will soon unfold as the “personal surprise of a lifetime,” unless they decide to take control of their futures and meet this challenge head on! If Boomer SME owners want a Happy Days ending to their SME Saga, then they must get started on understanding what is ahead of them, and what options and resources are available to help them get control of their transition into their next phase of reality! Fred Dodd has authored Succession 2020New Beginnings, andf ounded the Total Wealth Management Planning Process™ and Incipient Financing™, (both specifically designed to address the needs of SME succession) and is President of Success(ion) MMXX Inc. More information available on


STATE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN CANADA Percentage of online Canadian adults with an account on the following platforms:







YouTube is the second most popular social media platform in Canada; 59% of online adults report having an account on the platform. Canadians are active users of the video-sharing platform with the majority of users being Monthly Active Users (54%). Aside from Facebook, this is the only platform where the MAU is above 50%.

LinkedIn is the third most popular social media platform in Canada; 46% of online adults report having an account on the platform. Almost half of the men (49%) surveyed have a LinkedIn account, whereas women (44%) are slightly less likely to have an account.




Facebook dominates the social media landscape; 84% of online Canadian adults report having a Facebook account making it the most widely adopted platform in Canada. Facebook dominates the social media landscape; 84% of online Canadian adults report having a Facebook account making it the most widely adopted platform in Canada.




Twitter is the fourth most popular social media platform in Canada; 42% of online adults report having an account on the platform. Men and women have similar adoption rates of Twitter; women (43%) are slightly more likely than men (40%) to have a Twitter account, but men are slightly more active users (33% being Monthly Active Users) versus women (31% being Monthly Active Users).

Pinterest 38% of online Canadians report having a Pinterest account. Of all social media platforms, Pinterest has the largest adoption difference between men (18%) and women (56%). Even though Pinterest is the fifth most popular platform for Canadians, it is the second most popular platform for online Canadian women with only Facebook having higher adoption.

Instagram As the sixth most popular social media platform in Canada, 37% of online Canadians report having an Instagram account. Women (46%) are on Instagram at a much higher rate than men (28%). Those with an Instagram account are active users with comparatively high Monthly Active Users across all demographic groups.





Snapchat Roughly one quarter of online Canadians (22%) report having a Snapchat account. Like Instagram and Pinterest, women (28%) are more likely to adopt Snapchat than men (16%). Young people 18–24 years old (66%) and 25–34 years old (46%) are the largest user groups on the platform. They are also active on the platform with 62% and 39% being Monthly Active Users, respectively.



Reddit Less than one-in-ten online Canadian adults (9%) are on Reddit. Of the nine social media platforms detailed in this research, Reddit has the smallest population of users— meaning the platform remains niche in use across Canadian demographic groups. 10% of men and 8% of women report having a Reddit account.

Tumblr Roughly one-in-ten online Canadian adults (11%) report having a Tumblr account. Women (13%) are slightly more likely than men (7%) to be on Tumblr. 18–24 year olds (36%) are almost twice as likely to adopt the platform as 25–34 year olds (17%); Tumblr adoption drops to 10% or below for those 35 years old and older.

Gruzd, Jacobson, Mai, & Dubois. (2018). The State of Social Media in Canada 2017. Version: 1.0. Ryerson University Social Media Lab. DOI:10.5683/SP/AL8Z6R CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 I



THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA IS PUTTING IN PLACE By CanadianSME With over 425,000 small businesses, Western Canada plays a crucial part in Canada’s economy. That being said, the Government of Canada has put in place a new initiative that will help grow its western economy called the Western Growth Strategy. The goal is to increase western Canada’s unique strengths and competitive advantages. With the constant changes that our world is facing, it’s important for Canada to stay competitive and what better way than to invest in the area that plays a vital part in its economy?


MADE IN WESTERN CANADA The Government of Canada is partnering up with business leaders, industry, academia, Indigenous communities and organizations to put in place a “Made in Western Canada” growth initiative. By developing this strategy, the Government of Canada is ensuring that its western provinces stay competitive in this fast pace world. “Made in Western Canada” will reflect the unique regional advantages of each province implicated and help inspire economic growth making businesses in western Canada strong and competitive.


The goal is to create a future where new innovative technologies make western activities more efficient and sustainable. Agriculture, forestry, mining and energy industries are all things that make Canada’s economy. So having access to new technologies and processes that can help make these activities more efficient and ecological, why shouldn’t we invest in them? But it can’t be accomplished by one single person or even organization. We need to team up and work together to make Canada’s future better. This is why Western Canada Growth Strategy was put in place. By having the Government of Canada work alongside organization, business leaders and communities, this vision of having a prosperous future for Canada is possible.


THE STRATEGY The strategy is to grow the Canadian economy, attracting investment and creating middle class jobs within Canada. By creating a strong and diverse economy across western provinces, we are contributing towards the success of the west. To ensure that western Canada has a strong foundation, the following strategies need to be put in place: •

Identifying common priorities to grow the economy

Increasing partnership with those who make a difference in our economy

Engaging western Canadians to identify and drive economic growth opportunities.

CHALLENGES TO OVERCOME AND SOLUTIONS Although the economy in the West has increased over the last twenty years creating growth in the national economy, it looks like there will be challenging moments, such as:

Developing trade barriers with traditional partners

Disruptive technologies creating risks for business and workers

Lower economic participation by Indigenous Peoples and other groups

Weaker prices for natural resources, combined with transportation bottlenecks, and the growth of interest in environmentally sustainable practices Ready access to talented and skilled workers

These challenges can be overcome if there is a collaboration between the Government of Canada, business leaders, organizations and communities in the West. By joining forces, there can be opportunities to grow and strengthen the economy: •

Increasing exports and accepting rising requests from developing markets

Growing emerging industries and transforming traditional sectors

Encouraging Indigenous Peoples, women, and youth to enter the workforce and access opportunities for entrepreneurship

Making small businesses more competitive and helping them grow

Diversifying the economy, building on innovation to develop, market and distribute products and services

Training western Canadians with the skills they require to succeed in the new economy

WHEN SHOULD WE EXPECT WESTERN GROWTH STRATEGY TO LAUNCH? Currently, the Government of Canada is still looking for people and organizations that want to collaborate in the Western Growth Strategy. The engagement period will stay open until November 18th 2018. Once the consultation time is over, they will start initiating a plan and are expecting to launch by early 2019.

The west has Canada's six fastest growing cities: Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Lethbridge, and Kelowna. 494,490 new immigrants moved to the west between 200-2016, representing nearly 5% of its population. The western provinces all have above-average population growth."

SOURCE: Govt. of Canada engagement paper





There are a lot of resources in British Columbia to help business owners succeed and grow. With innovation being the key to success for any entrepreneur, it’s becoming harder and harder for business owners to come up with innovative ideas and to protect them as their own. This is where Innovate BC steps in. Having access to resources and market opportunities is not always obvious so Innovate BC makes it easy for all entrepreneurs. By making resources available and creating market opportunities for entrepreneurs, Innovate BC is speeding up growth and success for companies in British Columbia.

The Vision Innovate BC supports the growth and the application of progressive and innovative technologies that meet the need of industries in British Columbia. With a population of just over 4 million, the need to be innovative and meet the requests of entrepreneurs to have high end technologies is on high demand, which is why Innovate BC is there to help all business owners succeed. Their vision is to have a strong and growing innovative economy. Therefore, they have partnered up with different organisations to deliver programs and initiatives that promote company growth that will ultimately create jobs and increase the revenue and economic development in the province of BC. 64

How Innovate BC Helps Innovate BC provides several programs to entrepreneurs to help them grow their business. By partnering up with academic, government and industry organisations, they are able to deliver programs, initiatives and events that support technology entrepreneurs and help accelerate the growth of businesses. Innovate BC provides resources, funds and programs that can help business owners grow and succeed. They can offer up to $300,000 in funding to aid entrepreneurs conduct research that can help them commercialize their technologies. With programs such as BC Tech Solutions, Venture Acceleration Program, AVAP and Tech Works, Innovate BC is giving entrepreneurs every opportunity possible to grow and succeed.


How Innovate BC is providing opportunities in British Columbia and elsewhere By partnering up with respectable organizations that have strong values and are committed to contributing towards the growth of businesses in British Columbia, Innovate BC is creating opportunities for technology enterprises to grow their business not just within BC, but outside its borders as well. They also have the support of key industry events which helps them a great deal when it comes to spreading the word that British Columbia is the world-class destination for international companies to work and invest in.


Their Values


Innovate BC focuses on four core values that inspire them everyday to do better and help entrepreneurs in British Columbia grow and succeed: collaboration, results, integrity and entrepreneurial.

Small Business – Around 98 per cent of all businesses in British Columbia are small businesses. In 2016, there were approximately 396,100 small businesses operating in the province, 7,500 more than in 2015. Of these, about 79 per cent were micro-businesses with fewer than five employees.

Collaboration: By collaborating with partners to create programs and encouraging initiatives that help entrepreneurs grow, Innovate BC is contributing towards the success of businesses in British Columbia. They also team up with different organisation to promote the commercialization of technology. Results: Innovate BC measures the success of their programs and activities through the accomplishments of results that are valued by investors and clients. To guarantee that the results fulfill their mandate, Innovate BC monitors regularly their programs and services with their partners and clients. By doing so, they are ensuring that the outcomes are successful and that there are no discrepancies. Integrity: Protecting their integrity is of the highest importance for Innovate BC, which is why they constantly ensure that they’re following fair and transparent methods in all their activities. By doing so, Innovate BC is promising to meet the highest standards of integrity that is expected by the government of British Columbia and its habitants. Entrepreneurial: Innovate BC encourages an entrepreneurial spirit among those starting their business in BC, therefore, they are also devoted to work with the same entrepreneurial spirit. Being a small agency gives them the chance to put creativity and originality at the head of their operations.

Small Businesses Per Capita – With 83.4 small businesses per 1,000 people (compared to 82.8 in 2015), British Columbia ranked first in the country in terms of small businesses per capita in 2016. The national average was 69.9. Regional Focus – Between 2014 and 2016, the region with the highest rate of growth in the number of small businesses was Kootenay, at 30.2 per cent. Employment – Around 1,056,300 British Columbians worked in small businesses in 2016, accounting for 54 per cent of private-sector employment, well above the national average of 49 per cent. This is an increase of about 31,600 from 2015. Employment Change – Employment in British Columbia’s small business sector climbed 3.1 per cent between 2015 and 2016. There was an increase in the count of both self-employed (+1.8 per cent) and employees of small businesses (+4.0 per cent). • Industry – From 2011 to 2016, the fastest growth in small business employment was in information and cultural services, at 19.2 per cent. The construction industry added the most small business jobs over that period, increasing employment by around 14,400, a growth rate of 17.5 per cent. Self-Employed – On average, the self-employed tend to be older, are more often male, and are more likely to work longer hours than paid employees. Approximately 38 per cent of the self-employed in British Columbia are women, above the national average. Gross Domestic Product –British Columbia small businesses accounted for around 34 per cent of the province’s gross domestic product in 2016, well above the Canadian average of 31 per cent. This is down slightly from 2015, when 35 per cent of GDP was generated by B.C.’s small businesses. Earnings – In 2016, small businesses were the source of 32 per cent of all wages paid to workers in British Columbia, the highest share of all provinces and well above the national average of just under 27 per cent. Exports – In 2015, small business exporters in British Columbia shipped around $15.8 billion worth of goods to international destinations, accounting for 42 per cent of the total value of goods exported from the province. SOURCE-SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE 2017 A profile of small business in British Columbia




Over the last two decades, technology has changed the world and has made so many things that we once thought impossible, possible. Technology is blooming and it’s here to stay. It’s no wonder why more and more businesses are investing in having the latest gadgets and systems since that’s where the future is heading. However, there are still several companies that prefer keeping things “old school” and that could hurt them in the long run. Technology is where the future is heading towards, so instead of staying stuck in the past, why not embrace it and make the most of it? Here are four main reasons why you should be investing in technology and how it can help towards the growth and success of your business. 66


Invest less in office supplies Going digital and investing in systems that can keep your records electronically will save you loads of time and money in the long run. For starters, if you do most of your paperwork online (expense records, invoices, inventory, etc.), you’ll no longer have to invest in paper, printers, pens or anything else that requires you to store all the papers you’re using by doing things the old-fashioned way. As small as these things may seem, if you do the math on how much you spend on a monthly basis, you’ll see a huge difference! Having everything backed up on a USB key and having an online system not only saves you money, but keeps your filing system organized and all in one place as opposed to have bits and pieces of paper everywhere. It will also save you tons of time when you need to find something, like an invoice from previous months. You’ll no longer have to rack your brain to figure out where it could be since you’ll have everything digitalized and online.

"We are at a turning point. New digital technologies and and evolving talent marketplace are reshaping the reality of Canadian entrepreneurs. Those who spot the next wave of disruption and take advantage of it will be tomorrow's leaders." -Michael Denham, President and CEO, BDC


Overstocking will no longer be an issue If the nature of your business is to sell products, then you know how overstocking can be an issue. Having your merchandise stored in a warehouse or in a store can be a challenge because as I’m sure you have had this issue before, when you’re unable to sell, you’re stuck with a mountain of products. Your only option is to sell everything at a discounted price to get rid of it so you can make room for new merchandise or having to pay to have it stored in a warehouse. This is where investing to have an online store will truly payoff. You’ll be able to have limited items in your store and available for purchase, and when demands get high, you can simply go back to your supplier to stock up and have them delivered to your clients. You won’t have to worry about overstocking and not being able to sell since you will always have the exact number of products that you need. Going digital and investing to have a website that your clients can refer to when they want to purchase products will be the smartest decision you ever made for your business.

The 2015 CIRA Internet Factbook reported that Canadian small businesses were still lagging in their adoption of Internet technology and that over 40 percent of Canadian small businesses still did not have a website. CIRA's Internet tracking research has found that there could be serious business implications to this lack of a digital presence.

You’ll be up to date with the new generation Today’s generation is all about technology and going online. The first questions most of your clients will ask is always “Do you have a website?” and “Can I buy this online?”. If you’re answer is no for both of these questions, then you’ve just lost most of your clients. People today want to be able to go online and learn more about your business and what you have to offer/sell. If you have no online presence, there’s nothing on the internet that says that you exist, how can you expect people to know about your business or your products? That’s why it’s of the upmost importance that before you even launch your business and make it available to the public, you ensure that you are technologically up to day by having a solid website and online presence that makes it easy for people to find you and your business. This can either make or break your business.

Free publicity Having a strong social media presence is something that is now becoming a necessity, especially for new business owners. People all around the world are now able to know about different products and companies thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Retweeting, liking a post, sharing or commenting on it is now the new way of promoting. It’s free, doesn’t take much time and pays off immensely. The new generation spends most of their day on social media platforms seeing what people are up to and sharing some of their own updates. Today’s norm is that when people see something they like, they will talk about it on social media. This makes it available for the world to see. When

you’re a new business owner and you want to get the word out about your services or products, you want to have that social media presence that will make people talk about your company. As a business owner, you believe in your product and its success. So why not invest 15 minutes of your day to create your profile on these social media platforms that will promote your business for you? Believe me, it will pay off hugely! So, take the time, invest in technology. It’s the future and it’s not going anywhere. If you want to have a strong business that will keep growing and be successful, you will want to invest in something that will help you achieve that goal. Take the risk, invest in technology. You won’t be disappointed. I promise!








By Steven Globerman and Jason Clemens


ntrepreneurship is widely acknowledged as the basis for innovation, technological advancement and economic progress—and subsequently, a driving force for improved living standards. Yet there’s little discussion, let alone action, among governments in Canada to stem the adverse effects of demographic change on entrepreneurship, specifically the aging of our population. Most Canadians are aware that our population is aging. However, it’s not generally understood that as our population ages, the share of the population best positioned to be successful entrepreneurs—individuals in their late-20s through to their early40s—will shrink. People in this age group drive entrepreneurship because they are both willing to take risks to start their own business while also possessing real-world business experience, which



increases the likelihood of success. Consider that the share of Canadians between the ages of 30 and 39 has already declined 16.6 per cent since the 1980s, and is expected to decline by another 11.4 per cent by the 2040s. There has also been a corresponding decline in the rate of small business startups, a key measure of entrepreneurship. The rate of small business start-ups declined by 8.5 per cent when comparing the six years (2001-07) before the Great Recession to the following six years (2008-14), the most recent data available. And this is not a uniquely Canadian experience. Almost all industrialized countries have seen declines in small business startups. For example, the United States experienced an 18.6 per cent decline over the same period outlined above, while Australia (20.3 per

cent) and the United Kingdom (7.5 cent) also incurred declines. It’s also worthwhile noting that the total productivity performance of many OECD countries, including Canada, has declined along with the observed fall in entrepreneurship, which highlights the far-reaching effects and implications of less entrepreneurship. No doubt there are a host of countryspecific explanations for the varying rates of decline in entrepreneurship. However, the fact that all industrialized countries are experiencing population aging—at the same time entrepreneurship is declining—underscores the potential adverse effects of demographic changes on entrepreneurship. While there’s little that governments can do to stem populations aging, a number of policy levers are available to strengthen incentives for


Entrepreneurship is widely acknowledged as the basis for innovation, technological advancement and economic progress— and subsequently, a driving force for improved living standards. Yet there’s little discussion, let alone action, among governments in Canada to stem the adverse effects on entrepreneurship of demographic change, specically, the aging of our population.

entrepreneurship and improve the likelihood of successful new business startups. A recent set of essays by leading scholars in Canada, the U.S. and Europe explored possible policy reforms to promote and improve entrepreneurship. Key among potential policy reforms is tax relief, both in the form of reductions in marginal tax rates for individuals and businesses and reductions (or even the elimination) of capital gains taxes. These reforms were broadly determined to strengthen the incentives for people to start and grow businesses (i.e. take risks) and expand the pool of entrepreneurial capital. Other key potential reforms include reducing red tape to make it easier to start new businesses and grow existing ones, changes to banking and financial regulations that would make it easier for entrepreneurs to access the financial

capital needed to start and grow their businesses, and policies encouraging increased immigration of individuals with skills and other attributes that make them potential entrepreneurs. Moreover, improving educational programs that help build entrepreneurial skills, and strengthening networks connecting universities to businesses and researchers in other institutions, could also increase the supply of entrepreneurial talent. Finally, in one of the set’s more provocative essays, noted economists Deirdre McCloskey and Art Carden explored the positive effects of a culture that values and promotes enterprise and entrepreneurship, as opposed to disparaging such activities. The importance of their essay cannot be overstated given the recent antibusiness rhetoric in Canada and many other industrialized countries.

The various policy initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship put forth by scholars in the essay series will apply to different countries in varying degrees. It’s clear, however, that developed countries, including Canada, face a long-term decline in entrepreneurship that is at least partially driven by demographics. Since demographic trends cannot be easily reversed, countries will have to improve the environment in which entrepreneurs and businesses operate, to encourage more and better entrepreneurs.

Steven Globerman and Jason Clemens are editors of the just-released Demographics and Entrepreneurship: Mitigating the Effects of an Aging Population available at





As part of this new initiative, Google announced $2 million in grants from Google. Org to bring digital skills training to individuals across the country through community partnerships.




ver since Google launched over two decades ago, they have constantly been coming up with new innovative ways to help people. Being the online dictionary to everyone and reaching new creative ways to stay competitive in the market, it’s safe to say that Google is the best tool out there when it comes to getting more knowledge and training on any aspect. That being said, it came to no surprise when Google recently made the announcement of a new initiative called Grow with Google: a new way to help small business owners and job seekers get access to free digital training, workshops and events.

What is Grow with Google? Grow with Google is a new project that’s main purpose is to help provide economic opportunities for Canadians. With twenty years of history and project development, Grow with Google has more than enough experience and resources to help people and businesses grow. By providing the right tools to help Canadians, Grow with Google’s target is to help those who make the workforce by proving them with the best training tools that can help them grow their skill set, be successful in their careers and have successful businesses.

Grow with Google Program To ensure its success, Google announced that they will be receiving a $2 million grant from Google.Org so they can provide digital skills trainings to people across Canada by partnering up with communities. They will also be joining forces with Canada Learning Code so everyone across the country can have access to resources and tools that will help them develop their knowledge and provide them with better career opportunities. Google is also providing Canadians with access to their Applied Digital Skills Program which is an online video-based curriculum.


Another program that Google established is The Professional IT Support Certification Program. This program is over 64 hours long and compiles video lessons, hands-on labs and interactive assessments for people who are looking to get new skills and start a new career in technology. The program can take any person at a beginner’s level to be fully ready and functioning within eight months.

How Can Grow with Google Help Business Owners? Technology is where our future is headed and its long time that we started accepting this fact. It can go a long way when it comes to growing a business and ensuring that it stays competitive in the market. Being on top of new technical initiatives and having the most up to date systems to keep your business running and on track can make a huge difference for entrepreneurs. That being said, Google is aware of the power of digitalization which is why they have launched the initiative Grow with Google. By partnering up with several different organizations and local communities, Google is bringing workshops, in-person training and one-on-one sessions to communities across Canada that cover all different aspects that can help small business owners and entrepreneurs that are looking to expand their business and find better ways to manage it by growing their skills. Being tech savvy is a tool of empowerment and can provide broader opportunities to business owners. Grow with Google is making it its mission to provide business owners with all the proper training that they require to help them master the word of technology. This just goes to show how Google is yet again using its resources and knowledge to help people in new innovative ways.

BUSINESSES, CONTENT CREATORS AND DEVELOPERS IN CANADA BENEFIT FROM GOOGLE’S SERVICES IN SEVERAL WAYS. Connecting Canadian Businesses and Customers Businesses generate economic activity by connecting to potential customers through use of tools such as Google Search, Google Ads and Google Maps. In Canada, it is estimated that businesses using Google Search and Google Ads generated between $10.4 and $18.5 billion in economic activity and supported between 112,000 and 200,000 jobs in 2017. In Quebec, it is estimated that businesses using Google Search and Google Ads generated between $2.2 and $3.9 billion in economic activity and supported between 28,000 and 50,000 jobs across all sectors in 2017. A large network of Canadian website publishers monetizes their content through Google AdSense agreements. In Canada, AdSense payments to businesses and website publishers generated an economic mpact between $179 and $320 million. In Quebec, businesses and website publishers that use AdSense generated $32 and $43 billion in economic activity Supporting Business Productivity Cloud technology is driving business productivity improvements and enables more efficient, reliable and scalable use of IT infrastructure; increases collaboration and innovation in business practices; and enables the use of Big Data, IoT, AI and ML technologies. It is estimated that Google Cloud users generated $266-$830 million in productivity benefits in 2017 in Canada. It is estimated that Google Cloud users generated $54-$169 million in productivity benefits in 2017 in Quebec. In Canada, businesses using Google Search and Google Ads provided between $10.4 and $18.5 billion in economic activity in 2017, and supported between 112,000 and 200,000 jobs across all sectors of the Canadian economy. SOURCE Google Canada CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 I




The new RC possesses a sporty-yet-elegant new exterior that draws from the svelte design language of the LC flagship coupe Interior refinements inspire heightened driving pleasure The new RC adopts the "even sharper and more graceful" driving concept of the LC through master craftsmanship

Since its introduction in 2014, the RC has played a major role in promoting Lexus’ commitment to delivering an “emotional driving experience” in every single one of its vehicles. Thanks to its svelte sporty appearance and versatile driving character, the RC has since become one of the most popular premium luxury coupes in the marketplace. The fresh new RC retains all the virtues of the current model and then takes them to the outer limits by adopting Lexus’ new signature design language and sharpened driving dynamics that was established by the brand’s flagship luxury coupe, the LC

to engine response and steering feel, all of which result in a “sharper and more refined” drive introduced by the LC. The new RC is more stable than ever under a wide variety of driving conditions. This provides a high level of driver confidence and a reassuringly flat ride quality, making it the ideal grand tourer, whether you’re challenging a twisty mountain road or simply taking a long-distance commute on the open highway.

The exterior styling of the new RC remains as sporty as the current model, but subtle changes in the details inspired by Lexus LC design cues, provide it with a new found sense of elegance. Inside the cabin, everything from the high-quality materials to the precise layout of controls and gauges were crafted to maximize driving pleasure. Also, enhancements have been made to the RC’s aerodynamics, tires,

Lexus designers sought to maintain the RC’s dynamic coupe proportions, while adding a high level of elegance to the exterior. This was done, in particular, through the addition of distinctive design elements, such as a new front bumper corner that flows down from the headlamps and a grille mesh pattern whose shapes gradually transform from top to bottom. Also, vertically arranged extra-small triple LED headlamps and new L-shaped LED clearance lamps add to the car’s new, more classy appearance.

suspension, as well as improvements




Air ducts have been added to the corner of the RC’s rear bumpers, resulting in better handling stability and enhanced overall driving response. Its wider stance and lower center of gravity reflect a high ability to maintain its grip under a variety of road conditions. Also, the rear combination lamps now house more pronounced L-shaped lenses that serve as a new signature design feature for Lexus coupes.


In all 8 different exterior colors will be available for the RC, including Flare Yellow Contrast Layering that truly convey the car’s sporty nature. The new RC F Sport receives the grille mesh pattern that graces all F Sport vehicles, as well as numerous other custom exterior and interior items exclusive to the F Sport, including aggressivelystyled 19-in. alloy wheels that were inspired by those on the LS and LC Driving pleasure heightened by interior refinements “Hairline” treatment has been applied to the heater control panel and audio panel, which results in a higher sense of quality, while the enlarged knee pads have been raised to sandwich the center cluster, creating a heightened sense of space. The shape of the palm rest is new and stitching has been added to the surface, showcasing the designers’ high level of attention to the details. A new analogue clock, identical to the one in the LC, has sits at the top of the instrument panel, making it an identifying feature for Lexus coupes. New ornamentation options, such as real aluminum Naguri and Dark Gray Hairline will be made available on the F Sport. In all, the customer can choose from five different types. Interior colors include Ocher that is also available for the LC, and Mustard Yellow, which is composed of subtle yellow accents on a black background. In all, there are seven exclusive interior color combinations available, including those for the F Sport. Through master craftsmanship, the new RC realizes the “sharper and more graceful” driving concept of the LC Taking the driving concept of “sharper and more graceful” that defined the LC, Lexus engineers have succeeded in making the new RC thoroughly fun to drive by focusing their attention on the details, such as enhancing the car’s aerodynamics and fine-tuning the suspension system and power train. Armed with a flatter and more stable ride quality and sharper handling characteristics derived from the LC, the new RC is more athletic and responsive than ever. Enhanced aerodynamics—such as a new fin shape on the side window mold and a duct on the rear bumper that improves air flow, result in in better handling stability. New 19-in. wheels shod with tires with increased grip result in excellent steering response. Also, new shock absorbers, which provide significant damping force from low suspension stroke speeds, and stiffer suspension bushings have been incorporated. Through a significant amount of real-life testing, where the suspension system was constantly fine- tuned by chassis engineers, the new RC delivers an extremely supple ride quality and a razor-sharp handing character. For a more spirited driving experience, throttle response of the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine has also been enhanced to deliver a more direct feeling of acceleration in the new RC. The 2019 Lexus RC series goes on sale this fall at Lexus Dealers across Canada. For complete and up to date details and specifications, visit





By Eddie Bissoon

As a Canadian government grants specialist, I have written and submitted hundreds of various government business grant applications for companies from a whole range of business verticals. These grants have covered activities ranging from export marketing, research and development, hiring, training, and capital expenditure costs. When you work through such a large sample base of applications over the years, you develop an understanding of patterns in the conduct of program judges examining applications, and what applicants can do to increase their chances of approval. In addition, you get to see the pitfalls applicants fall into and the key missteps they take in their applications. What follows is what I consider to be the top five reasons why applicants get their applications denied and what they can do to avoid them.



One of the main reasons why applications are denied is the failure to emphasize the benefits they offer to Canada. Applicants tend to provide long detailed summaries of



the company’s goals, business plans, and history, but fail to articulate how the project benefits the local economy. With any grant program, the government is looking to fund projects that have the biggest positive impact on the local economy. Applicants need to mention specifically how many full-time jobs the project will create, how many jobs it

saves, and the project’s potential to generate revenue for the economy.  The inclusion of numerical forecast metrics helps the application stand out, as the program judges can use these numbers as determining factors for funding approval, particularly for highly competitive programs.




There are numerous funding grants available at any given time. One of the most difficult parts about applying to government grant programs is scoping and targeting the right program for your project. Submitting grants is a time-consuming task with no guarantee for approval. Therefore, when you choose a funding program, you not only need to match the company eligibility and project requirements, but also to be able to maximize funding compared to other available grants so that you increase your chances of approval. For example, if you plan to attend a trade show in the U.S, where you have had no previous sales, there are at least two programs you can apply for that cover 50% of your trade show costs. On an initial glance, the Export Market Access program and the CanExport cover the same funding for trade shows. However, by spending the time to review the guidelines, one discovers that the CanExport covers more than just trade show costs and, therefore, is better suited for a company that plans to attend multiple trade shows and business trips within the year for a new market. Without proper research, many applicants end up applying to the wrong grant with subsequently much lower chances of obtaining approval. It is necessary for applicants to read the full guidelines for each program and, if possible, talk with a program representative before starting an application.



There are applicants who try unnecessarily to maximize the full amount of the grant, even if it does not accurately reflect their cost forecast. For example, if a funding program covers 50% up to a maximum of $250k for labour costs, applicants tend to mark up the budget to $500k, so they can receive the full amount. If you are applying for grant, you will need to demonstrate how the amount requested will ideally return double or triple the government investment in 1 year or 2 after the approval. Remember that the government is investing in your project to maximize the benefits to the local economy, so if you are requesting $250k in grant funding but only projected to bring

in $50k in new sales and two full-time jobs, your application will have a hard time getting approved. However, if you ask for $25k in funding, your application will look a lot more favorable. I would like to emphasize that if an applicant company has a project that costs $500k, it must demonstrate it has the financial stability to handle the project. Companies must show they have the working capital to handle their portion of the budget. The last thing the government wants to do is invest in a company and have it fold the following year, along with the grant money.



With almost 95% of the grants, applicants need to apply at least 2 to 3 months before the activity occurs to maximize your chances of approval; no retroactive expenses can be applied. Many applicants, unfortunately, fail to time their applications with grant deadlines. For example, to apply for the Canada Job Training grant, you need to have been fully approved before you start the training. With some of the larger training programs, processing applications can take up to two months, not to mention the time needed to complete the application. Hypothetically, if the grant is approved, but the training has already started during that wait time, the application would automatically be disqualified and the company would not be able to get any funding. It is crucial to be aware of all grants you want to apply for within the year and align them with your upcoming projects. Every grant program has a different deadline, so it is important to map out a time line of when you need to submit certain grants. Many successful companies have a process in place for monthly or quarterly meetings, during which they align projects with available funding grants.



Timing and location are two factors that are usually outside an applicant’s control. However, they continue to play a big role in the rejection of many applications. Many grant programs are renewed every year, which

means their budget is reset with new funding. For example, many federal government grants are renewed in April, a renewal that coincides with the Canadian government fiscal year end. This means applications that were rejected with the same merit are approved in April, because of a larger funding pool. As the year winds down, the budget pools gets smaller and the competition tougher. However, this applies mainly to grants that have an on-going deadline instead of specific intake periods. If you’re looking to apply to a grant with an on-going deadline, it would be best to plan for major projects to start in April. Additionally, companies located in more rural locations tend to have a better chance of approval as there is a bigger pool of funding in their geographic location. For example, in Toronto, the competition for grant funding is quite high, but in Sudbury, one’s chances are much higher. Options are limited if entire operations of a company are in a major city, but if that same company has branches outside the city, it might be worthwhile to apply from that office instead. This is something important to keep in mind for those looking for an ideal location to start up a business. If applicants take into consideration some of the above-mentioned factors, they can greatly improve their success rate and have a much more effective approach in applying to government grant programs.

Eddie Bissoon

Eddie Bissoon is a Grants Application Manager at RDP Associates. He can be contacted at RDPGrantsTeam@





MARKETING 101 by Amanda Wilson

It’s hard when you run a start-up to navigate the tricky waters of advertising and marketing, particularly if you’re not at the point where you can afford an agency or a dedicated staffer to develop and implement a focused strategy. If we just described your challenge, here’s how to swim not sink when you’re launching your business.

Effective marketing is more than advertising, logos, or a pretty website. Effective marketing begins with you. It’s your job to create an environment that attracts great staff and great customers. Your core values, brand positioning, and attitude are what ultimately determine how well your business will do. Be open, flexible, positive, interested, and most importantly, customer-focused. Walk through your store, office, or service and pretend you’re a customer. What do you see? What do you like? Most importantly, what do you need to do to get you to the point where you’ll purchase? How easy can you make it for your customers to buy from you? It is vital that you hire the right staff. They must be passionate, engaged, and positive. They need to know their work is valued, and they need you to ensure they’re as informed about the product or service they’re selling as you are. They are your brand ambassadors, so choose them wisely and nurture them well. With you and your staff fully committed, we turn to the customer. Many business owners attest that what helped them grow in the early years was their customers and the word of mouth they generated. Your customers



are gems. Treat them well and give them a product or service that will truly benefit them along with top-notch service, and they’ll tell all their friends, who will tell their friends, and on and on. If you understand how important your customers are, they will do your marketing for you. How do you get that ideal customer through the door? Through your story. What makes you different? What makes your product different? Share your story and put a personal face on your business. Obviously, you’ll have a website, but you need more than that. Engage with your customers online through social media channels. They’re the perfect way to play that old-fashioned game of telephone on a global level. Be aware—this form of communication is not free. To do it properly, someone needs to be actively engaged in tweeting, blogging, pinning, and so on all day, every day. If that’s you, make sure you choose the channels you can maintain momentum on. A neglected Facebook page is a sad and sorry sight. You also need to be mindful of how you use

social media to promote your business. It can’t be all sales all the time. Social media can be a great way to reward customers, answer questions, share useful information about your products and how they improve your customers’ lives, and more. Don’t forget about your community and giving back. Donate products or services to local charities for fundraising events. Consider hosting one yourself for your favourite charity and including your customers in the process like the furniture store that asked local designers to create pink chairs and then auctioned them off for cancer research. Your customers and the community will appreciate it. Everyone loves a community partner.

"To be successful and grow your business and revenues, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products." -- Brian Halligan

Network like crazy too. Go to the business chamber of commerce events and meet your peers—they’re also your potential customers. Keep your eyes open for events whose attendees could be your customers or good people to know. Be seen and heard as much as you can and get to know as many people as you can. Now you’ve laid the groundwork. You’ve attracted a loyal following, both online and through happy customers. You’ve refined your products or service to align more with what your customers want. You’ve made some great sales, and you’re ready to start making some real money from a much broader customer base. That’s when your advertising strategy kicks into high gear. It’s important to set aside an annual budget for advertising, figuring out how much you can afford to spend based on the return you want for your investment. The usual investment ranges between 10 and 20 percent of your total forecast or past annual sales. That could be $10,000 or $100,000. Whatever amount you deem feasible, decide what the results of your advertising buy will need to be to make that investment back. Do you have to sell two cars, one house, 50 lightbulbs? Now you’ve got a budget and an expectation of return. Next, decide on the appropriate media. There are so many options and so many ways to go about it. I liken all the choices out there to a crayon box full of colours. You don’t have to use all of them. Only use the ones that work for your brand, budget, and customer. Ideally, you’ll want a combination of some or all of web, outdoor, radio, television, and print. Avoid going with one to the exclusion of all others. It’s important that you research the various options available to you to see how they fit with your message and your market and how you can

FACEBOOK Facebook is the most widely used social media platform in Canada, and it is also the platform that has the highest percentage of daily users amongst the nine platforms detailed in this survey. 79% of Facebook users visit the platform daily (48% visit several times a day and 30% visit daily1 ).

use them to reach your target. Don’t throw stuff against the wall and hope it sticks. Try to be as strategic as possible. Synergy is also key. Everything should work together in a consistent and efficient way. If you understand how to use the various media, you’ll be able to create a complete jigsaw puzzle of a campaign with all the pieces fitting nicely. (Be aware, though, of fracturing your budget to the point that the investments you do make in the various media are too small and ineffective. Each one has its own cost-to-effect ratio, so don’t spread yourself too thin.) There’s a lot to consider and learn when you’re planning your advertising campaign. To minimize the intimidation you may feel, see it as your opportunity to excite and infuse your potential customers with your passion for your brand and business. Brainstorming ways to do that can be creative, interesting, and enjoyable. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be overwhelmed. Do your research. Write down your magic number, open your mind and your chequebook, and go for it!

Amanda Wilson Amanda Wilson is a marketing and communication specialist. Her wide and varied career encompasses journalism, public relations, television commercial production, arts marketing, and advertising sales. She is well versed in crafting engaging campaigns that drive revenue and awareness for brands and is known for her authentic, honest strategies fueled by the selective and appropriate use of marketing tools. Learn more at

LINKEDIN LinkedIn is the third most popular social media platform in Canada; 46% of online adults report having an account on the platform. Almost half of the men (49%) surveyed have a LinkedIn account, whereas women (44%) are slightly less likely to have an account.

TWITTER Twitter is the fourth most popular social media platform in Canada; 42% of online adults report having an account on the platform. Men and women have similar adoption rates of Twitter; women (43%) are slightly more likely than men (40%) to have a Twitter account, but men are slightly more active users






How Do People Use Google Home Voice Activated Search? When Google has been selling “more than one Google Home device every second since Google Home Mini started shipping in October,” and 22% of people who own smart speakers have been shopping by voice search, it’s not some fad to be ignored. Adobe Digital Insights reported that “voice-assistant sales grew 103% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2017,” and that one of Amazon Echo and Google Home’s most popular uses at 53% is researching. Voice search has entered the New Year with a vengeance with no signs of letting up. And, for the self-starters and business owners, with this new data comes new avenues to find your audience. 78


What consumers want and expect has changed dramatically, especially in the last five years thanks to the devices in our pockets. We used to market to the masses. Today, customers demand personalization. Antonio Sciuto North America Executive CMO at Nestlé Waters

1 IN 5


Online Adults Used Voice Search In The Last Month.


Of Voice Activated Search Is For General Information.


Of Voice Activated Search Is For Fun & Entertainment.


Of Voice Activated Search Is For Local Information. 4 Ways to Optimize for Google Home Voice Activated Search

SUMMARY: Voice activated searches are rising and will


soon take over the majority of searches made.

People don’t interact with their Google Home the same way that they interact with their keyboard. Instead, with voice-

Your customers are likely already using it to

activated search, people are way more likely to ask questions in

find services just like yours.

colloquialisms something that’s huge to consider when coming

And lastly, 2018 is the time to start optimizing

up with your keyword strategy.

your business for voice search.

2- SCHEMA OPTIMIZATION: Use the latest techniques to include Schemas and Micro Formats that are relevant to your website content.

Bassem Ghali

3- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: When people use voice-activated search, they’re more likely than not, in the pursuit of direct answers. It’s less “places to eat in L.A.,” and more “where should I eat in L.A.?” With voiceactivated search, it’s important to optimize for the questions people are asking. To do this, consider implementing a F.A.Q on your website. 4- GOOGLE HOME INTEGRATION: Offer innovative apps for your clients or brand fans that they

Bassem Ghali Canadian Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner & CEO at Green Lotus Inc. Bassem is a search engine marketing strategist and speaker with more than 12 years of experience managing online marketing strategies for some of Canadian & International corporations including Canadian Tire, VistaPrint, Egypt Air, Xplornet, Direct Energy and Toronto Star.

can access with ease on a Voice Activated device. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2018 I





Approaches to online shopping Whether researching an item online before purchasing at a store, or checking out products at a ‘bricks and mortar’ store before going online to buy, Canadians’ purchasing habits matter to Canadian businesses. How accessible items are to purchase, as well as how they are displayed online for research purposes can make the difference between a sale or not.


of shoppers prefer making retail purchases from a traditional, ‘bricks and mortar’ store, down from 66% in 2016.

Browsing at a traditional retail store, then purchasing a product online is called showrooming. In 2018, 36 per cent of Canadians agree that they like showrooming in order to get the best deal. As well, most Canadians compare prices online before making a major purchase.


agree that they almost always compare prices online before making a major purchase.

Data privacy, cyber attacks and content piracy are headline-making issues in Canada. With most Canadians spending 3-4 hours online a day to work, learn, connect socially and shop, these are real concerns for average Canadians across the country. CIRA conducts research annually to learn more about Canada’s internet, as a first step to building a better online Canada.


of Canadians have made an online purchase in the last 12 months


agree that they like visiting stores to browse, then making their purchase online.


are very/somewhat comfortable making a purchase/payment on a government website.


are very/somewhat comfortable making a purchase on a Canadian retail website.


are very/somewhat comfortable making a purchase on a U.S. retail website.


are very/somewhat comfortable using mobile payment or digital wallet service (paying with mobile phone).


of Canadians prefer making online purchases from Canadian businesses/retailers


of Canadian internet users agree that Canadian organizations should use a .CA domain.


of Canadians have a broadband internet connection at home.


of Canadians have five or more internet connected devices in their home.

of Canadians are concerned about the potential security threats related to the Internet of Things.

source: CANADA’S INTERNET FACTBOOK 2018 The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is a member-based not-for-profit organization, best known for managing the .CA internet domain on behalf of all Canadians, developing and implementing policies that support Canada’s internet community and representing the .CA registry internationally. We are building programs, products and services that leverage all the internet has to offer to help build a better online Canada, while providing a safe, secure and trusted online experience to all Canadians.





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