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CANADIANSME ISSUEE 13 DECEMBER 2019

Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses

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Smarter technology for all

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SPEAKERS

V IC F E D E L I

COL IN MCISAAC

MIKE T REMBL AY

JAMES M EDDI NGS

Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Managing Director, Lenovo Canada

President and CEO, Invest Ottawa & Bayview Yards

Deputy Minister, FedDev Ontario

D E REK LUKE

RA N DALL SMA LLB O N E

PAU L ST RU T H E RS

SU SAN ST. AMAN D

MARIA LOCKE R

President, CEO and Member of the Board of Directors at Astron Connect Inc.

Executive Vice President & Managing Director of Sage

Founder and President of Sirius Financial Services

Founder & CEO of Mompreneurs®

CA R M I N E C I N E RA R I

M E NE L AO S ( M A NNY ) A RG IRO PO ULO S

MAT T HEW T Y RE R

CARIN N E CHAM BERS- SAIN I

President at Sharp Electronics of Canada Ltd.

Chief, SME Stakeholder Engagement

Technology Evangelist Commvault SME

L AU R E N C E CO O KE

J E F F DAW L E Y

RICK MOORE

CEO - nanopay Corporation

Founder & President Cybersecurity Compliance Corp.

Forum Chair - MacKay CEO Forums

TA H I RA B HA R MA L

RIC H A RD TO K E R

Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer Mentors Consult

Branderos Account Director/ Project Manager/Educator​

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I CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019

CEO and Co-Founder Diva International Inc. Makers of "The DivaCup"

MIKI VEL EMIROVICH

CEO at Muse® by Interaxon Inc.

SHIRAZ SI DDI QUE Founder - Leverage Consulting

CHARL I E REGAN​

President - Cargo Canada

CEO- Nerds On Site

JOE L SEARS ​

MARGO CRAWFORD

N AN CY WI LSON

Branderos Creative Director/ Copywriter/Educator

President & CEO - Business Sherpa Group

Founder & CEO of the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce & President, Novus Accounting


P resent s

CELEBRATING BUSINESS SUCCESS IN CANADA N o m i n a t io n s are n ow o p e n , appl y n ow, N o m in a t i o n D e adl i n e – D e ce m be r 5

Ent rep reneu r o f t he Yea r

S m a ll B u siness o f t he Yea r

®

OLOGY BUSINESS TECHN

E xc l u s i ve P C p a r t n e r

B u siness Wo m a n o f t he Yea r

PARTNERS

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THE JUDGES T he j udg es fo r t h e C an ad ianS M E Na tiona l Business Awa rds 2 01 9 a re l ist e d be l o w.

JAC K I E KI N G

RO I RO S S

BRU CE MACL EL L AN

ARU N KU MAR

COO - Canadian Chamber of Commerce

VP of Small Business Solutions, TELUS

President & CEO Proof Inc.

Head of Small Business Banking for Canada for BMO

SHAN N ON LEWI S President, Canadian Media Directors Council

S H ER I SO ME RVI LLE

C H A RL ES REG A N

SILVIA P EN CAK

L E IGH SMOU T

RICK MOORE

CEO, Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

CEO of Nerds on Site

President of WBE Canada

Executive Director, World Trade Centre Toronto

Founder-Group of One Executive Training Systems Inc.

E L AIN E KU N DA

LORI DARLI NGTON

Managing Partner, Disruption Ventures

Vice President, Small Business & Strategic Partnerships - RBC

M A R G A R E T STUA RT

RAG H WA G O PA L

AN N E TON E R FU N G

Country Manager, Canada at Salesforce

President + CEO InnovateBC

Executive Director Innovation Guelph

M I K I V E LE MI R OVI C H

DAV ID S M IT H

WAY N E S ROBE RT S

SARAH ST E EL E

President - Cargo

CEO - Logia Consulting Inc

President & CEO Blade Creative Branding Inc.

Senior Director, Visa Small Business Products

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WELCOME We’ve officially reached the last month of 2019. We, at CanadianSME, hope that this year was a successful year for you and your business. While 2019 marks the end of an era, it’s also a time to reflect on all your accomplishments and look forward to new beginnings. Was this last year a good year for your business? What accomplishments did you achieve? What challenges did you face? Do you have any regrets or is there anything you would have done differently? And more importantly, what are your plans for the next year ahead? With less than 4 weeks left until the New Year, what better time to set some new business goals that can take your company to the next level? 2020 can mark the beginning of new business opportunities and we at CanadianSME are committed to helping you find them. At CanadianSME, our top priority is helping your business succeed by providing you with exclusive interviews and resourceful articles. Our December issue includes interviews with some of the top leaders in the business industry who share their knowledge and expertise with business owners such as you. Among our top business leaders, we have Jennifer Safruk who is the VP of Sales and Product Management at Samsung Electronics, Melika Hope from Intuit Canada, Tracey Black from Payments Canada, the founder of Lightspeed Dax Dasilva, the women behind the successful planning of CIX Summit Lauren Linton and off course our business woman of the month is Danielle Brewin Graham from Dream Maker Ventures. Additionally, we are also excited to announce that we have Dan Kelly who is the President and Chief Executive Officer at CFIB who tells us about the latest news on small business credit cards. As always, this month’s issue also includes articles that provide you with the latest news and topics in the business industry along with tips and strategies from exclusive leaders. For starters, we have Shiraz Siddique who tells us about his leadership skills in his article titled The Butterfly Effect. We’ve included our tips on how to successfully attend a trade show in Trade Show Strategy: Before, During and After by Export Development of Canada (EDC). Nathalie Boutet who is a certified Family Enterprise Advisor contributed to our issue this month with her article safeguarding your Small Business When Divorce Strikes. Finally, WBE Canada recently celebrated its 10th year anniversary and we have all the latest news on the 2019 Annual Conference. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue and thank you for your continuous support as we work hard to make the CanadianSME platform the number one platform in Canada for small and medium sized business owners. Happy reading and happy holidays!

CANADIANSME Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses

www.canadiansme.ca info@canadiansme.ca canadiansme canadian_sme canadiansme Publisher & Editor Shaik Khaleeluddin (SK)

Client Manager Sheliza Yacoob

Design Agency Acegraffix.design

Account Excutive Ellaine Petalco

Creative Designer Abdhesh Kr. Jha

Content Writer Mana Vakili

Webmaster Ashrafs

Photographer Aygyul Irsat

Social Media Cmarketing Inc Contributors

Jennifer Safruk Lissa Ricci Paul Roman Tony Ward Shiraz Siddique Melika Hope Danielle Brewin Graham Sue Sutcliffe Dan Kelly

Nathalie Boutet Tracey Black Lauren Linton Dax Dasilva Justin Crabbe

For Advertisements: info@canadiansme.ca For Distribution Enquiries: CMarketing Inc. 2800 Skymark Avenue, Suite 203 Mississauga, ON. Canada. L4W 5A6 416 655 0205 / 647 668 5785

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ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) ISSN 2562-0649 (Print) ISSN 2562-0657 (Online)

Published by CMarketing Inc. 2800 Skymark Avenue, Suite 203 Mississauga, ON. Canada. L4W 5A6 Copyright © 2019 CMarketing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photography or illustrations without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

CanadianSME is also available on: January 20, 2020 8:00 - 6:00 PM TORONTO, CANADA Exclusive PC partner

www.smeexpo.ca #smeexpo

The contents in CanadianSME Magazine are for informational purposes only. Neither Cmarketing, the publishers nor any of its partners, employees or affiliates accepts any liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of its contents.


CONTENTS

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SHIFTING FOCUS:

HOW CANADIAN SMES ARE LOOKING AHEAD TO IMPLEMENT STRATEGIES TO DRIVE GROWTH

Paul Roman, Vice President & General Manager of Global Commercial Services at American Express Canada

12 HOW SAMSUNG IS

EMPOWERING CANADIAN SMALL BUSINESSES

Jennifer Safruk

VP Sales and Product Management at Samsung

28

22 THOUGHT LEADERSHIP The “Butterfly Effect”

SHIRAZ SIDDIQUE

BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE MONTH

Danielle Brewin Graham

Investment Principal at Dream Maker Ventures

EYE ON TECH

16 20 Exclusive chat with Tony Ward

President of Xero Americas

40 Dax Dasilva - The Mastermind behind Lightspeed

7 EMAIL SECURITY TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON By Lissa Ricci, Vice President of small business solutions for Cisco Canada


NEWS Supporting women entrepreneurs: ATB Financial launches Build Her Business campaign ATB Financial is supporting our province's women entrepreneurs by launching the second annual Build Her Business crowdfunding campaign. The campaign—launched on International Women's Entrepreneurship Day—helps foster the talent of Alberta's women entrepreneurs by providing access to funding, education, mentorship, as well as expert advice. It also gives Albertans a great chance to show their support for local Alberta entrepreneurs—and get rewarded in return. Applications to ATB's Build Her Business campaign are open now until January 31, 2020.

Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts Announces Worldwide Partnership With The Global Entrepreneurship Network As Global Entrepreneurship Network's first exclusive hospitality partner, Crowne Plaza hotels will be the home of Startup Huddle, helping build local startup communities around the world. Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts is proud to announce the launch of a global partnership with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN). The partnership will kick off during the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 18-24, 2019). As the first exclusive hospitality partner for GEN, select Crowne Plaza properties around the world will be the new hubs of Startup Huddle monthly meetups, a program designed to help entrepreneurs while strengthening the local ecosystem, providing easier access to spaces for entrepreneurs to collaborate, problem solve and inspire one another.

Governments take notice: 96 per cent of Canadians say small business is important to Canada's future More than nine in 10 Canadians say that small businesses are vital to their communities, according to a new public opinion poll by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). This is why CFIB encourages the new federal government to put small business at the centre of its agenda and support entrepreneurship in Canada. "Canadians value entrepreneurs and the contributions they make to their communities. One in two are even considering starting a business one day," said Corinne Pohlmann, CFIB's senior vice-president of national affairs. "We should be supporting small business owners and encouraging those who are thinking of making the leap. Eight out of 10 Canadians say that governments undervalue the contributions of entrepreneurs. As they prepare their agenda for the new Parliament, the incoming government needs to recognise that most Canadians stand firmly behind small businesses and see them as vital to their communities."

Small & Medium Businesses: Trade Key to Canada's Economic Growth FedEx Trade Index Finds Fees and Tariffs a Significant Barrier to Canadian Importers and Exporters Canadian small and medium businesses (SMEs) have made it clear that economic improvement and international trade are closely linked, with 83 per cent agreeing that increasing trade between Canada and other countries will improve the economy overall. This comes from the 2019 FedEx Trade Index, a poll conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of FedEx Express Canada, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp (NYSE: FDX). Despite a majority of SMEs (57 per cent) believing that increasing the amount of trade between Canada and other countries will help their business, only 37 per cent of Canadian SMEs are currently selling goods online. This is in contrast with American counterparts, who are doing more business online (44 per cent). While both Canadian and US SMEs share the view that trade is important to the economy, the poll confirms both are largely focused on local customers.

EQ Bank moves core banking system to the cloud As the first bank in Canada hosted in the cloud, EQ Bank offers enhanced and safer services to customers EQ Bank, the digital arm of Canada's Challenger Bank™ Equitable Bank (TSX: EQB and EQB.PR.C), announced it has moved its entire core banking system to the cloud, making it the first bank in Canada to be fully hosted in state-of-the-art public cloud architecture. A leader in digital banking, EQ Bank continues to win over Canadians by challenging the status quo. From completely digital branchless services to a high-interest savings account with the added features of a chequing account, EQ Bank is redefining banking in Canada. EQ Bank will now utilize Microsoft Azure as the cloud platform for its banking services. This latest move will continue to build a better banking experience for customers by: •

Reducing overhead costs and allowing savings to be passed on to customers

Creating a more agile system based on Temenos T24 Transact, the next generation in core banking that enables faster upgrades to products and services

Preparing a system that's ready for the next banking innovations, such as open banking

Further strengthening our security foundation by building on Microsoft Azure

CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 I

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WBE CANADA CELEBRATES

10TH ANNIVERSARY AT 2019 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

W

omen Business Enterprises Canada (WBE Canada) celebrated a decade of leadership in supplier diversity at its 10th Anniversary Conference & Gala November 14-15, 2019 held at the Toronto Congress Centre. Supported by corporate & government partners from across North America, this year’s event was made possible thanks to organizations like BMO, Accenture, EDC, Global Affairs Canada, BDC, RBC, Toyota, CIBC, ABC Technologies, SunLife Financial, TD Bank Group, FCA, BGIS, GM, IBM, Cotton Candy, SHI Canada and many others.

WBE Canada’s 2019 Annual Conference 2019 Annual Conference was attended by over 250 delegates including certified women-owned businesses, corporate and government leaders, partner organizations and other supporters. Primary conversation was around the status and future of women entrepreneurship and supplier diversity in Canada. Attendees learned about the latest research, the importance and impact of supply chain diversification as well as upcoming WBE Canada projects and initiatives. The day and a half event provided attendees with the information identified as the top challenges by our WBE Community in the 2019 Survey – from how to market to your audience, strategic leadership skills, to legal tips for vendor contracts, grants and funding options for women-owned businesses. Insights into government procurement, exporting and building supplier diversity awareness across the organizations were a big hit. Speakers included Certified WBEs, Corporate Members and Partners of WBE Canada. Lisa Foote, Founder of Lisa Foote Consulting, a Certified WBE company, helped the audience to move beyond negative thoughts during her keynote “Silencing your Saboteur – To Move Forward”.

B2B Networking Opportunities Traditionally, WBE Canada events present a great networking opportunity for the buyers and suppliers and this year’s Conference wasn’t an exception. In addition to breaks, we offered networking Roundtables with 27 sourcing tables, Matchmaker (sponsored by Toyota) with 138 one-on-one meetings between buyers and suppliers and Trade Show (sponsored by RBC and FCA) attracting over 185 attendees – pretty impressive for the first time event! We are already hearing about new partnerships and sourcing opportunities and we know that more will follow in the upcoming weeks.

Packed room at WBE Canada’s 2019 Annual Conference & Gala event.

2019 Awards Gala In celebration of its 10th Anniversary WBE Canada hosted its first ever Awards Gala Ceremony featuring keynote speaker Manjit Minhas, founder of Minhas Breweries and costar of CBC’s Dragon’s Den who kept audience engaged and inspired to not take the easy path, but fight the good fight, face obstacles and challenges in business and life with courage. One of her many pearls of wisdom was that “you don’t get what you deserve in life, you get what you negotiate” as she encouraged all the attendees to up level their negotiation skills. Silvia Pencak, President WBE Canada recognized the leadership of 6 Corporations who were founding members in 2009 and continue their support today: Accenture, BMO, IBM, Nokia, RBC and TELUS. The evening continued with WBE Canada’s Supplier Diversity Awards recognizing the significant contributions made by corporations and leaders to the economic advancement of women-owned businesses in Canada and the achievement of Canadian women-owned businesses in 2019. Sponsored by GM, BMO, IBM, RBC, SHI Canada and Cotton Candy, 2019 awards were handed out. You can learn about 2019 Award Nominees here and meet 2019 Award Winners here.

Status and Future of Women Entrepreneurship in Canada Panel at 2019 WBE Canada Conference.

2019 WBE Canada’s Trade Show featured Canadian Certified WBEs.

WBE Canada’s 2019 Board Members with Keynote Speaker Manjit Minhas.


ONTARIO CHAMBER ANNOUNCED

WINNERS OF THE 2019

ONTARIO BUSINESS ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS Hundreds of business and community leaders from across Ontario gathered at the Beanfield Centre tonight to celebrate the accomplishments of Ontario businesses at the 2019 Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAA). Hosted by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), the OBAAs honoured the inspiring achievements of David Patchell-Evans, the Founder and CEO of Goodlife Fitness whose leadership and dedication has led him to build the largest privately-owned fitness club chain in the world. The OBAA Lifetime Achievement Award is given to a proven achiever and strong contributor to Ontario’s economy; a pioneer in their defined business industry who has had a positive impact on the province.

The 2019 OBAA winners are:

“I believe everyone has a birthright to be healthy. To live long. To feel good. To have energy. To have vitality. I’ve made it my life’s work to help people believe in themselves, help people believe in their own capabilities. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for recognizing my capabilities and thank you for honouring me with the recognition of my life’s work. Ontario is where GoodLife started 40 years ago this year. I bought my very first club in London. It’s where our home office is,” said David ‘Patch’ PatchellEvans, Founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness. “Today, Ontario is home to 225 GoodLife and Fit4Less clubs and over 750,000 members. Ontarians have always been exceptionally passionate about their fitness and health, whether it’s our 8,224 associates or our members. That passion has given me the platform to grow the company and help people not just across our great country, but across the globe.”

Ontario Leader in Accessible Employment Award, Sponsored by Government of Ontario Congratulations to: Sodexo Canada

The OBAAs is the most recognized industry gala in the province focused on celebrating business success. The gala also featured also a charity auction with proceeds going to the Silstar Foundation. The Silstar Foundation raises awareness, and research into new treatments for those that are affected by lung disease. “Every year, we are thrilled to come together to celebrate the innovation and creativity of businesses built in our own backyard who are powerful economic drivers in their local communities and across the province. Tonight’s OBAAs marked an incredible 37 years of recognizing Ontario businesses for their achievements in areas including sustainability, innovation, and accessibility,” said Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

Lifetime Achievement Award, Sponsored by BDO Canada Inc. Congratulations to: David Patchell-Evans, Founder and CEO of Goodlife Fitness CEO of the Year Award, Sponsored by Air Canada Congratulations to: Howard Eng, CEO of Greater Toronto Airports Authority Excellence in Innovation Award, Sponsored by CPA Ontario Congratulations to: Muskoka Lakes Farm and Winery

Sustainability Award, Sponsored by York University Congratulations to: 3M Canada Company Diversity and Inclusion Award, Sponsored by Meridian Credit Union Congratulations to: Danby Appliances Industry Award: Tourism Congratulations to: Great Wolf Lodge Beyond Borders, Business Award, Sponsored by Purolator Congratulations to: Microbix Biosystems Inc. Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Sponsored by Stratagem Group Congratulations to: iLobby Corp. “The OBAAs is an incredible opportunity to celebrate everything Ontario businesses give back to our province. Each one of our 2019 OBAA finalists has demonstrated why Ontario is and will continue to be the best place to live, work, and do business and we’re proud to honour their commitments to creativity and innovation,” added Rossi. About the Ontario Business Achievement Awards The Ontario Business Achievement Awards (OBAA) is the most recognized industry gala in the province with a single focus on celebrating business success. The OBAA, which celebrate incredible innovations and achievements, is unique in its engagement of a broad range of industry sectors and sizes from across the province. About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan voice of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 I

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HOW

SAMSUNG IS EMPOWERING CANADIAN SMALL BUSINESSES

Jennifer Safruk - VP Sales and Product Management at Samsung

As Vice President of Mobile Sales and Product Management for Samsung Canada’s mobile division, Jennifer Safruk is a veteran technology and mobile communications executive with extensive experience at some of the world’s largest technology companies. Jennifer is responsible for overseeing the mobile sales and product management teams for Samsung Canada, including the company’s integral relationships with carriers and retailers. Prior to joining Samsung, she spent more than three years as Vice President at HTC working in Canada and the U.S., oversaw North American Sales for Symphony Teleca, and was instrumental to launch of Palm’s webOS. Jennifer began her mobile career with Openwave in Canada in the early days of the industry, where she helped launch the first WAP gateway and location-based services in Canada. Jennifer earned a Master degree in Political Science from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Photo Credit: Canadiansme


Samsung Electronics Canada has just announced the launch of Samsung POS (Point of Sale) and that it will be exclusive to Canada only. What does this mean for Canada’s SME industry? At Samsung, we recognize that small businesses and entrepreneurs need simple, convenient and accessible payment solutions. In an increasingly digital age where people are moving away from cash transactions, Samsung POS allows merchants to accept debit or credit payments through their Samsung Galaxy NFC enabled devices without the hassle or expenses of additional hardware. While Samsung POS has first been made available in Canada, there are plans to roll out the service to other countries in 2020. What is the biggest benefit of Samsung POS for SME owners? How will it benefit the success of their business? There are over one million micro-merchants and small businesses across Canada who rely on accessible and affordable payment acceptance solutions. Convenient payment systems are a critical ingredient in scaling up small businesses. We aim to drive increased revenue opportunities for these businesses through Samsung POS. It’s a seamless way for vendors to receive digital payments on the spot. What was the inspiration behind the launch of Samsung POS? What are some of the issues it hopes to solve for entrepreneurs? Samsung has Samsung Pay for consumers and we wanted to deliver the same level of convenience for micro-merchants. The reality is small business owners and budding entrepreneurs need to be able to provide a convenient payment solution for their customers in order to grow. Samsung POS works for their needs, by providing an accessible, highly secure, low-cost and easyto-use mobile payment acceptance solution. Beyond transactional capabilities, Samsung POS also allows merchants to send customer receipts via email, access real-time sales data, provide sales history, and create multiple staff accounts. The sales solution has been piloted in Canada for the past several months by Samsung Electronics Canada Inc. and has been downloaded over 10,000 times.

Photo Credit: Canadiansme


CONTENTS

18

SHIFTING FOCUS:

HOW CANADIAN SMES ARE LOOKING AHEAD TO IMPLEMENT STRATEGIES TO DRIVE GROWTH

Paul Roman, Vice President & General Manager of Global Commercial Services at American Express Canada

12 HOW SAMSUNG IS

EMPOWERING CANADIAN SMALL BUSINESSES

Jennifer Safruk

VP Sales and Product Management at Samsung

28

22 THOUGHT LEADERSHIP The “Butterfly Effect”

SHIRAZ SIDDIQUE

BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE MONTH

Danielle Brewin Graham

Investment Principal at Dream Maker Ventures

EYE ON TECH

16 20 Exclusive chat with Tony Ward

President of Xero Americas

40 Dax Dasilva - The Mastermind behind Lightspeed

7 EMAIL SECURITY TIPS TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON By Lissa Ricci, Vice President of small business solutions for Cisco Canada


Photo Credit: Canadiansme

Samsung constantly looks for ways to provide convenient business solutions to consumers. Samsung phones, tablets and wearables are made for the way employees work today, including mobile productivity features, defense-grade security and a seamless device ecosystem.

What are some of the services and products that Samsung offers to business owners to help them succeed? Samsung constantly looks for ways to provide convenient business solutions to consumers. Samsung phones, tablets and wearables are made for the way employees work today, including mobile productivity features, defense-grade security and a seamless device ecosystem. Samsung offers a diverse portfolio of business products designed to boost employee productivity, improve customer engagement and simplify IT management. Other in-market offerings include: Samsung DeX -- a platform that extends your smartphone into a desktop computing experience; entrepreneurial bundles – new product bundles for SME business owners, including items such as a Galaxy Note10, monitor and wireless charging hub; and Samsung’s recent partnership with Microsoft, allowing Galaxy users to seamlessly integrate with Microsoft’s full suite of productivity tools, such as Link for Windows. How has the advancement and progress of technology impacted Samsung? What strategies does Samsung use to stay ahead of the new technologies? Along with challenging our internal team to become leaders in world-class innovation, Samsung stays on the cutting edge of technology by listening to our consumers and anticipating their needs to ensure we’re delivering products that truly resonate. Critical to this is the consistent involvement of developers. Samsung

actively supports the developer community with several incentive programs, such as our annual Developer Conference, SDC, and by offering open developer tools to enhance the overall mobile ecosystem. AI and 5G are other key components of our vision for “Connecting Living” and we are investing heavily across all aspects of the AI and 5G universe – from mobile devices to network technology – to create a more connected future. 5G will now not only put the power of fiber in your pocket, but also in your car, home, office and city. It will connect millions of devices and equipment to enable the Internet of Things on a mass scale – and we’re excited to be driving that innovation. On a final note, what are some of the future projects that Samsung has planned for Canadian SMEs? At Samsung, we continually working to better serve the small business community. On a macro level, we are actively building toward a 5G future, working with all major carrier and telecom partners to put the power of 5G directly into consumer’s hands; this will have an incredible impact on consumers and SMEs alike. Other projects include transaction solutions -- such as Samsung POS and Samsung Pay -- and evolving our mobile product ecosystem to help users better manage their day-to-day lives and businesses. Our growing line up of Wearables is also continuing to bring an added level of productivity and convenience for business owners who want to do it all. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 I

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EYE ON TECH Photo Credit: Canva.com

7 EMAIL SECURITY TIPS TO

KEEP YOUR BUSINESS SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON By Lissa Ricci, Vice President of small business solutions for Cisco Canada

Tis the season … for cyberattacks.

the number-one security risk to their organizations. So what can small organizations do to stay safe this holiday season?

December is one of the most dangerous months of the year for businesses, especially retailers. Different reports in 2018 revealed that cyberattacks on businesses increase 60% this month, and that 31% of IT professionals in the retail industry admitted their company was attacked during the holiday season.

Email is a necessity for most businesses, so it’s not as though ‘turning it off’ is an option during this time of the year. The question instead is, how do you make sure your data remains secure while also giving everyone the access they need?

Added to this is data from our own CISO Benchmark study, which revealed that Chief Security Information Officers consider email threats to be

The key is a holistic approach: It’s about educating employees so they can do their jobs securely, while implementing the right products and business initiatives.

16

I CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019


Here are 7 tips to keep your business safe this holiday season, and prevent a costly click.

Educate your employees. Your employees are you best defense, and one of your biggest weaknesses. Help them learn to recognize a phishing attempt by running regular phishing exercises to test and educate them. Start with fake phishing campaigns that are easy to spot, then gradually raise the difficulty. Run these exercises as frequently as you can, and reach out to a technology consultant you trust if you aren’t sure how to get started.

Use multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication (MFA) can be a mouthful, but it can also prevent an attacker from gaining access to a corporate email account even if your employee’s credentials were stolen. Because a login attempt message automatically gets sent to your employee’s phone to approve when someone else tries to log in, they can quickly deny the request.

Make sure software is up to date.

Be prepared with the right email security software. Security software can help combat advanced and ever-changing attacks. Phishing protection now uses machine learning to understand and authenticate email identities and block advanced attacks. Domainbased Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) domain protections can prevent attackers from using legitimate corporate domains in their campaigns, and message quarantine can hold messages to analyze suspicious files and remove them if needed. If all that was a bit of technical nonsense…look for software that offers protection against advanced threats. Hackers are smart and constantly evolve their tactics, so cloud-based software that auto-updates to stay current with threats is where you should start. Even if you can’t follow all of the above this holiday season, remember that your best defense against hackers is still knowledgeable employees. Show them examples of phishing scams and other email attacks, and look at low-cost, cloud-based solutions that can protect your business from threats. The investment is more than worth the cost.

Updated browsers, software, and plugins help block emails with malicious URLs. Many of the most harmful attacks today take advantage of software vulnerabilities in common applications, like operating systems and browsers. The best part about this advice is that most companies can do this for free! Just ensure your employees know to update to the latest version when prompted.

Double-check login requests. Always check the URL when asked to login with credentials to ensure the request is coming from the legitimate owner’s website. Malicious actors go to great lengths to make pages look familiar. If it’s a pop-up window, expand it to make sure you can see and check the full URL.

Maintain a healthy dose of skepticism.

Security software can help combat advanced and ever-changing attacks. Phishing protection now uses machine learning to understand and authenticate email identities and block advanced attacks.

Elaborate stories, facts that are close but not quite right, urgent response requests—if there’s something slightly off about an email, don’t trust it. It’s better to make sure the email is valid than to ignore warning signs, however small.

Perform a cyber-risk assessment. If your size and budget allow, do a risk assessment on your environment with the help of a trusted advisor. Prioritize your most critical entry points (keeping in mind that email is the most common threat surface), then work down in order of the probability of an attack and the risk to your organization if a breach occurs.

LISSA RICCI

Vice President of small business solutions for Cisco Canada Lissa Ricci is vice president of small business solutions for Cisco Canada. She is passionate about technology and how it can help growing businesses achieve their goals. See how our solutions can help your business at cisco.com/ca/smb.

CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 I

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SHIFTING FOCUS:

HOW CANADIAN SMES ARE LOOKING AHEAD TO IMPLEMENT STRATEGIES TO DRIVE GROWTH

Pa ul R om an, Vi ce P res i d en t & G ene ra l Ma na ge r of Gl ob a l Comme rc ia l Ser vices at Am e ri can E x pres s Ca n a d a

Photo Credit: American Express Canada

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t is no secret Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face barriers to growth regularly. With external pressures from new market competition, ever-changing consumer demands and disruptive technologies, SMEs across Canada are feeling the pressure to keep up. Despite these hurdles, they remain optimistic when it comes to the future of their businesses, according to the third annual American Express SME Pulse Survey, a global study to investigate how today’s SMEs are adapting to disruption and economic uncertainty. In fact, the report showed promising trends. While last year, a mere 6 per cent of SMEs forecasted a 5.1-10 per cent growth rate, this survey shows a strong increase to 32 per cent of SMEs anticipating this level of growth over the next few years. This range of growth, while moderate, still demonstrates SMEs are on a path towards achieving higher revenue goals.

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Overall, it is clear SMEs are taking a proactive approach to overcoming challenges to boost their bottom lines. To do this, they’re shifting their strategies and focusing their efforts in three key areas: meeting customer expectations, investing in new technologies and improving operational efficiency to drive growth.

Adapting to meet consumer needs As options for consumers continue to expand, so do their expectations. For business owners, especially those in early stages of growth, adapting to these demands isn’t always easy. Despite this, tackling these challenges is considered a top priority, with 71 per cent of SMEs agreeing to work hard to address these difficulties over the next few years.


The majority of SMEs (61 per cent) recognize that better understanding customers’ needs directly impacts their business success. This shift in strategy, according to the report, is more important today than ever before as those surveyed agreed their current customer base is looking for new or tailored products and services. Whether it’s investing in new product development, more personalized services or better mobile options, SMEs are staying nimble to meet these ever-changing demands, and in turn, are better prepared to adapt in order to grow.

Boosting bottom lines with new technologies It goes without saying that the advent of innovative technology is providing countless industries with new opportunities for growth. According to the survey, SMEs recognize how important technology adoption is to business success, with nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) in agreement that it opens the doors to new business opportunities.

It’s clear the majority of SMEs are feeling the pressure to stay competitive, but there are varying results when it comes to those who are currently leveraging new technologies to their advantage. In fact, less than half of SMEs surveyed say they consider applying technology to redesign products and services and one third say they are ineffectively applying the latest technology compared to others in their industry. Despite this, SMEs are working hard to address these challenges and are shifting their strategies to better set themselves up for success. An overwhelming majority of SMEs who believe applying the latest technology is a current challenge say they plan to work hardest to address this over the next three years. It’s a clear upward trend; while this year’s results show only 27 per cent of SMEs are using technology and tools to analyze customer data, over half agree they plan to leverage these tools in the near future.

Photo Credit: American Express Canada

Increasing operational efficiencies to drive growth Most business owners understand why improving operational efficiencies can be a solid foundation for growth. Optimizing payments and improving back-end office functions like finance and accounting can have a direct impact on profit margins. With payment solutions from American Express, businesses can maximize their cash flow with up to 55 interest-free days to pay for expenses, which can reduce the funding gap between accounts payable and receivables to enable businesses to put their cash to work in the interim and invest in driving growth. From the report, it’s clear Canadian SMEs understand how important it is to invest in new strategies to increase operational efficiencies in order to promote long-term growth. In fact, 61 per cent say they currently plan to implement cost-savings programs to maximize efficiency.

On top of using technology to better understand customer needs, SMEs are turning to new tech tools to lower costs and boost efficiency. Thirty-eight per cent of SMEs say the plan to invest in tech to modernize processes and optimize efficiencies over the next few years. What’s more, 35 per cent say they plan to incorporate workplace productivity tools. Even though Canadian SMEs faced lower growth forecasts last year, the next few years show promising upward trends. It’s clear they are committed to overcoming challenges and by making strategic changes to meet evolving customer needs, leveraging new technology and increasing operational efficiency, SMEs will continue to succeed for years to come. To learn more about products for small business owners, please visit here.

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Photo Credit: XERO

Exclusive chat with

TONY WARD PRESIDENT OF XERO AMERICAS

Tony is responsible for expanding Xero’s businesses in the Americas. He has 20 years of experience in senior leadership positions with global technology companies, including Microsoft Australia, LinkedIn, Spark, SurveyMonkey and Dropbox. He’s also founded a successful cloud-based start up, Business365, aimed at small businesses. Tony holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Manitoba and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Auckland and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 20

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What sets Xero apart from other online accounting software? Unlike other accounting products, Xero was built as a cloud platform from day one. The company started off by offering cloudbased accounting software, but Xero has evolved to provide a full spectrum of connected tools and services that can help small businesses succeed. Today, Xero provides its 2 million subscribers with connections to a thriving ecosystem of over 800 thirdparty apps and more than 200 connections to banks and financial service providers.

As a company, our mission is to rewire the world of small business, making it seamless, simpler and smarter. For far too long, small businesses have been underserved — we know that around half of all small businesses won’t make it past five years. Xero helps small businesses work with their closet ally, their accountant or bookkeeper, whether it’s doing taxes, understanding their finances, or making plans to grow. We bring all of the necessary data and information together in one place so small businesses and advisors can collaborate together and succeed. And when small


information, and gives them more time and energy to grow their business.

Accountants and bookkeepers are at the heart of everything we do at Xero. We’re constantly asking ourselves how we can build the tools to give them further efficiencies and insights so they can become true advisors to their clients — ultimately fueling small business success. We believe that Xero can transform the role of an accountant or bookkeeper — by automating time consuming data entry work, Xero frees up time so they can focus on being a trusted advisor to small businesses and ultimately, helping them succeed.

A lot of entrepreneurs are still skeptical about using an online software to do their bookkeeping due to cyber security threats and online hacking. What are some of the measurements that Xero is putting in place to ensure the security and protection of their data? Security is of utmost importance for Xero and we are committed to protecting the information of our subscribers. As a global software business, we are constantly vigilant to potential threats and we take all reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the data and information we hold.

What are some of the services and programs that Xero offers to small business owners that can contribute to their success? As a small business owner myself and having been a Xero customer, I could see that the company cared about finding solutions that help small businesses operate seamlessly and reclaim precious time. From our recent Small Business Fintech Outlook Report, we found that more than half of small businesses in the US and Canada have gone through financial challenges in the past five years with cash flow and getting paid on time cited as the top two difficulties faced within the last 12 months. Xero’s online accounting platform provides the foundation on which businesses can build a complete business solution and connects all of their data in one place. Through smarter invoicing, powerful cash flow tools and unparalleled connections to financial data, Xero helps small businesses become more successful by having visibility and access to real-time insights that help them manage their business more efficiently. With Xero, small businesses can also paid faster, get an up-to-date view of their financial position, and have the required information ready to share when they need to ask for a loan to fuel growth. Powered by automation and machine learning, Xero helps business owners spend less time finding and entering

Security is also core to every product and feature we build. Each of our product teams work proactively to ensure all features, APIs, and platform capabilities are hardened against possible threats. This security mindset extends to Xero’s app ecosystem, ensuring all information that comes in and out of the small business platform is secure and protected. In 2018, we gained formal ISO 27001 certification, an international standard that sets out how organizations should implement, maintain and continually improve security management, from data to the physical security of our offices around the world. We undertake formal external audits every year as well as internal checks to ensure we are always meeting the highest standards and improving ourselves. How has technology advancement in the recent years impacted online accounting software? Cloud technology has been one of the biggest changes the accounting industry has seen in recent years. When firms utilize the cloud, they can optimize their business, work more efficiently and open up their practices to new services and opportunities with clients. As a cloud native company, Xero helped define cloud accounting in its early

Photo Credit: XERO

businesses thrive, we can drive economies and lift the GDP of the world.

days and is shaping the future so accountants and bookkeepers can collaborate seamlessly with their small business clients. The other trends we’re continuing to see play out in the accounting industry are the changes brought on by artificial intelligence and machine learning. As a profession, we have the opportunity to embrace technology and reshape what it means to be an accountant or bookkeeper. Technology makes it possible to evolve an accounting practice from a narrow focus on compliance services to broader advisory services – resulting in huge growth. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will enable accountants to collaborate more closely with their small business clients by making it easier to share data, uncover insights, and plan for the future.

as true business advisors. While we’re in the early days of cloud adoption in Canada — in North America, only 10% of businesses are using cloud accounting software — we’re really excited by the opportunities ahead.

Where do you see the future of online accounting and digital payment heading for Canadian small business owners? We know that small businesses are facing some harsh realities — half of them fail in the first five years, but when they’re on Xero and connected to an accountant or bookkeeper, they have an 85% success rate and grow profits 23% faster. We’ve also conducted research that found accountants are the most trusted source of advice for small businesses, beating out peers, family and friends, online communities, lawyers, consultants, and financial advisors. Knowing the significant role accountants and bookkeepers play in helping small businesses succeed, our team is focused on empowering Canadian accountants and bookkeepers to leverage the benefits of the cloud so they can collaborate more closely with their small business clients and serve

On a final note, what can you tell us about some of the future projects and initiatives that Xero has planned in Canada? I can’t reveal too much at this time, but we’re really excited by all the progress we’ve made since our official launch in Canada in May 2018. We were naturally pulled into this market by some loyal early adopters and passionate accounting and bookkeeping partners in Canada who have helped us evolve the Xero platform in the past year. We recently opened a new Xero office in Toronto and will continue to invest in this key market where we can help foster innovation for Canadian small businesses. As for upcoming plans, we look forward to bringing our accounting and bookkeeping partners in Canada more regionalspecific enhancements in the near future.

I can imagine a time where accounting firms are operating almost like managed service providers — they’ll be looking after a stack of software for businesses, charging a monthly fee and doing advisory on top of that. That’s where I see the future. Small businesses will start to see accountants and bookkeepers as business coaches since they play such a critical role in being a sounding board, help them make well-considered financial decisions and feel in control of their cash flow.

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THE “BUTTERFLY

EFFECT” M

SHIRAZ SIDDIQUE

While simultaneously delivering record-setting sales results in various Sales Leadership roles, Shiraz Siddique has been actively training, consulting and delivering keynotes for more than 20 years in both the Academic and Corporate world. His passionate and innovative delivery style allows him to navigate past the reality that most people want to learn but do not enjoy the traditional process of learning. Through easy to apply techniques and strategies, he helps companies generate the types of results they have always felt they are capable of.

ABOUT LEVERAGE CONSULTING Frustrated after seeing poor ideas get adopted over far superior strategies, Leverage Consulting was founded on one question, “Why doesn’t the best idea always win?” That forced a flipside question, “Why do my prospects consistently select us over the competition?” Whether delivering group presentations or connecting 1:1, we work with Leaders, Salespeople and Entrepreneurs to grow their persuasion and influence. We guide our clients through the process of Calculating, Calibrating and Clearly Communicating their product, service or idea. Our sessions are deliberately designed to challenge participants’ thinking. Our priority is to ensure the learning experience is connected, relevant and enjoyable. We go beyond building successful training programs – we believe in building successful people through skill, confidence and presence. Ensure your idea wins in your next team meeting or client presentation. www.findyourleverage.ca

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ost of the innovation we experience was formed in the flowerbed of wild and unconventional questions. In 1963, one such question was posed by MIT scientist, Edward Lorenz. “Does the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set of a tornado on Texas?”. We have come to know this as The Butterfly Effect. Question: What effect are your butterflies having? As a Public Speaking Coach, I commonly get asked, “how do I handle the butterflies in my belly before it’s my turn to speak?” That all depends on how we see the butterflies. Are they negative, impeding and represent every embarrassing outcome that could unfold? Or, can we harness the nervous energy they generate to propel us forward to powerful performances?

Harnessing the very same nervous energy that seems to derail so many others, will cause them to fly in formation. A great technique that transforms nerves/ butterflies into a formidable force, is naming them with all the reasons that drive us. Let me introduce you to my Personal Butterfly Airforce that carry me through anxious moments and overwhelming occasions… Business Growth The development of my Audience Building Relationships – Get that Repeat Invite Trust / Faith Family Focusing on my sources of motivation, has morphed nerves into powerful propulsion to perform in places and spaces when perhaps, the moment was even bigger than me. What about you? What motivates you? Is it the financial gain or the notoriety – or both? Is it a career promotion or to influence a private funder? The negative impact of a poor presentation could result in revenue loss, missed targets and distances you from your financial goals. It could delay

production cycles and push your project to the back of the line because it was not passionately presented with positive energy. Focusing on the negatives will cause nervous energy to manifest as poor body language, facial expressions and tonality. We can appear dishevelled, unorganized and it may seem as if we are unprepared. When we focus on the negative outcomes, it impacts the audience’s view of you and your message. Look, we’re supposed to get nervous - if you don’t, that means you don’t care! It’s how we harness it that matters. Positive conversion of nervous energy looks like passion, vibrance and excitement. You appear fully engaged and genuinely interested in mutually beneficial outcomes. You will even be able to convert thoughts like ‘what if I mess up’ into ‘even if I mess up’, because you will have gained grace and allowances with your audience. When are you leading your next team meeting with decision makers present? When is your next Keynote or big sales pitch? Name your beautiful and benevolent butterflies and they’ll provide powerful passion turning your presentations into monumental and memorable moments! Question: What effect are your butterflies having?

"A great technique that transforms nerves/ butterflies into a formidable force, is naming them with all the reasons that drive us. Let me introduce you to my Personal Butterfly Airforce that carry me through anxious moments and overwhelming occasions."


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T R A D E S H O W S T R AT E GY:

BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER These tips come directly from EDC’s comprehensive guide, Trade shows and you, to help you get the most out of your trade show strategy—at every stage of the event.

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hether you’re an experienced exporter or just starting out, trade shows can be an important part of your business strategy. Making face-to-face connections with potential customers, suppliers or partners can help you expand into new markets, increase your sales and raise your company profile. But with limited budgets and only so many hours in the day, how do you identify the trade show that will give you the best bang for your buck? Here are tips from Export Development Canada’s comprehensive guide, Trade shows and you, to help you get the most out of your trade show investment—at every stage of the event.

GETTING STARTED Identify which trade show to attend

and convention centres. You can also check for sector-specific trade events at home or abroad with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) and on websites dedicated to the trade show industry such as the ones below: • • • • •

Keep in mind that it’s ok to just be an observer at a trade show and not have an exhibit, says Gwenaële Montagner, senior director of international trade development at World Trade Centre Toronto. “One of the main purposes of attending a trade show is to gather market intelligence, especially if you’re a new industry player,” she says. You’ll also benefit from scoping out the competition, making face-

As you look for the trade shows that are most relevant to your company’s industry and market, consider variables such as location, costs to participate, and how each event fits into your marketing strategy and business plan. You should make your selections as far ahead as possible to give yourself time to apply for grants and other government funding. Start your research with trade associations and publications relevant to your sector, as well as chambers of commerce, visitors’ bureaus 24

All Conferences 10times EventsEye ExpoFairs Tradeshow Calendar

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"One of the main purposes of attending a trade show is to gather market intelligence, especially if you’re a new industry player." Gwenaële Montagner

Senior Director of International Trade Development , World Trade Centre Toronto

to-face connections and meeting industry stakeholders.

Make a plan After you choose the show that’s the best fit for you, you’ll need to build a plan for meeting all of your objectives. This should include a timeline for all stages of the process, from applying for government grants, booking exhibit space and ordering promotional materials, to selecting the team to staff the show and following up on leads afterwards. Start your preparations as soon as the brochure for the show is released.

Build your budget The costs associated with attending a trade show vary, according to its location, but can be expensive even in local settings. In addition to registration fees and the costs of exhibit space, you’ll also need to factor in associated show services, marketing and promotions, relevant staff training, travel and hospitality expenses. If you’re attending a show abroad, you’ll need to budget for items such as translation of your materials, travel visas and permits for moving your equipment through customs, associated shipping costs and the services of an interpreter, if needed. Pay careful attention to hidden costs: If something isn’t mentioned in the booth package, it probably means it isn’t included. That includes services such as cleaning/


vacuuming the booth after hours, emptying garbage, and even access to electrical plugs. To help offset those costs, give yourself enough time to research and apply for government grants. “Getting a funding application through could take between three weeks to three months, depending on the organization,” says Montagner. “There are also companies who specialize in doing this for you for a percentage fee.” Some potential avenues for financial assistance include the CanExport program and the Trade Commisioner Service’s Business Women in International Trade program.

have seen many companies arriving at the show with their booth stuck at customs, only to get it in their hands when the show is over,” says Montagner.

"I have seen many companies arriving at the show with their booth stuck at customs, only to get it in their hands when the show is over."

You may also choose to partner with an organization that takes trade missions abroad. “They often have booths one can share at a lower cost. Some large organizations, like the World Trade Centre Toronto, organize highly curated missions where participating companies have selected meetings already set before hitting the ground,” says Montagner. Those missions are often extremely effective at finding the right on-the-ground partners, she says. “In some countries such as China where the political environment is very strong, joining a mission led by a Canadian minister or mayor can have significant advantages.”

Design your exhibit Your exhibit gives visitors a first impression of your company, so it should be clear and visible, engaging and ideally interactive. Depending on your budget, you may choose to rent a generic exhibit, have one custom-made or purchase a pre-built module that can be assembled onsite. If you see an exhibit you like at a trade show, try following up with the firm that built it. Make sure to send any samples or booth material at least two weeks prior to the show. “I

In some cases, getting several meetings with a potential customer could mean closing a sale while still at the show. “If you meet them once, you only have a 1% chance of making a sale,” she says. “That goes up to 80% after five or more contacts, including emails and phone calls.”

After the show Make sure to stay at least one or two days after the show to follow up with your A-level leads, Montagner advises. These are the connections you’ve made with highly qualified decisionmakers with a strong intent to purchase your product or service within 90 days.

Gwenaële Montagner

Senior Director of International Trade Development , World Trade Centre Toronto

Build a team Your trade show team will play the essential roles of promoting your company and identifying and following up on leads. You should never go to a trade show alone, says Montagner. At minimum, your team should consist of two senior staff; ideally, one in technical support and another dedicated to sales. They should be trained on company objectives, be familiar with the product line and be able to communicate its benefits in 30 seconds or less. Keep in mind that both reps don’t have to come from Canada and one could include the company’s local distributor or agent.

what they’re interested in and setting up more meetings during and after the show.”

Develop marketing materials Videos and product displays are a great way to show visitors what your company is about. Press kits and company literature, including product catalogues and price lists, are important marketing tools that can be sent to potential clients ahead of the show. Make sure to budget enough time for translation if you’re attending a show in an international market. Montagner advises companies to avoid handing out printed material at the booth. “Most people will take it just so they don’t offend you and then throw it away as soon as they are out of sight,” she says. “It’s a waste of money. Remember, most people travel and do not want excess luggage. Give away USB keys with loaded presentations and instruction manuals instead.” One month before the trade show, get the list of attendees and highlight those you want to meet. “The key is to engage with them before you get to the show,” says Montagner, who has 25 years of international business experience “Make sure to get a hold of the right people as those who attend the show may not be the decision-makers.”

During the show The show is a time for market research, qualifying leads, scoping out your competition and developing your knowledge base, says Montagner. “Simply sitting at your booth is not conducive to interacting with people,” she says. “One staff member could stay there to carry out product demos and answer questions, but the other should be proactively scouting, walking towards people and shaking hands, asking them

“The chances of those leads turning into sales are much higher if you continue the discussions at potential customers’ offices or factories. By that point, you already know there is a mutual interest,” she says. Don’t wait longer than a week after you get back to the office to follow up on B- and C-level leads, she cautions. These leads might have a strong interest in your product but no intent to purchase within 90 days, or even at all due to variables such as poor timing or budget restrictions. However, you may choose to keep them on your list due to their potential to be financially promising in the future.

“Guaranteed, the majority of them will have forgotten about you after a week has passed. They will be catching up on all the work that fell off the table while they were away. Following up with them when they are still in trade show mode means they are much more likely to get back to you.”

www.edc.ca

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Behind the Scenes of

Intuit Canada

with Melika Hope Melika Hope is a passionate and dynamic member of the Canadian accounting community. She began her professional career in public accounting, where she earned her Chartered Accountant designation. She then pivoted to the software industry, gaining experience with desktop accounting products before moving to Intuit where she leads the QuickBooks Online and Self Employed product management team in Canada. Melika is a self-employed personal trainer on the side and is a passionate advocate for the success of the small business and self-employed industries in Canada, leveraging the partnership of accounting and bookkeeping professionals and the power of cloud technology. In her spare time, Melika competes in powerlifting, sings, reads and loves to cheer on the Toronto Raptors.

Photo Credit: INTUIT CANADA

AS HEAD OF PRODUCT AT INTUIT CANADA, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE DIFFERENT PRODUCTS THAT THEY OFFER FOR SME OWNERS? Intuit has a range of products geared towards small business owners including, QuickBooks Online (QBO), which is our all-in-one business accounting software. It allows small business owners to create invoices, track cash flow, accept payments, see what’s selling, plan for the future, and much more. Most importantly, this product offers the scalabilty to grow with your business, and the flexibility to tailor the platform to your needs at each stage of your business journey. Going further into the flexibility we offer, our companion mobile app allows small business owners to get work done on-the-go and place their financials are at their fingertips. We know that many of our small business partners operate in different environments – and we wanted to make sure our product was something that could work with them, whether it is generating invoices on the go, or pulling an update on your businesses cash flow on the way to a meeting. A core advantage of QBO and the companion app is that any place is your place of business. Working online with cloud accounting software means your business data is always safe, accessible, and synced across all your devices. 26

WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BIGGEST BENEFIT THAT INTUIT CANADA OFFERS TO SME OWNERS WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING THEM SUCCEED?

INTUIT CANADA HAS BEEN VOTED AS BEING THE BEST WORKPLACE IN TECHNOLOGY IN CANADA. WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THAT IS?

Our QBO and QBSE products provide a host of values to small business owners – and being powered by insights from our global network, we’re able to ensure that they offer the right mix of tools throughout their journey, whether they are a one-man operation or going through growth.

What really sets Intuit apart is how we enable our teams to do the best work of their lives and contribute to something that’s truly meaningful and makes an impact on Canadian’s lives.

Beyond the flexibility our product offers, the number one thing we can offer our small business partners is confidence in how they are managing their business. Our features allow for process automation and the full-service offering means that businesses are able to see the full snapshot of their business health – whether it be payroll, cash flow or staff management – in one go. This holistic view equips our customers with all the information they need to make decisions with confidence and identify areas that may need more attention. This helps small business owners make the correct business decisions. From planning for hiring, making big purchases, or scaling up, QBO gives small business owners the insights they need to best set them up for success.

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How? Intuit Canada offers an incredibly unique opportunity within Canada’s technology sector. Firstly, it provides the opportunity to work to solve real problems that people and businesses face day to day – our solutions truly do help to power the prosperity of our customers. This is brought to life through nimble teams where everyone plays a critical role, backed by the support of our global counterparts. The increased autonomy and responsibility this delivers allows for unparalleled growth and career development opportunities. Importantly, this is all delivered through Intuit’s belief and policy to have employees bring their whole selves with them when they come to work. By creating a true sense of inclusivity and pride in your personal and professional self, we’re able to empower employees to reach new heights.


WHAT SETS INTUIT APART FROM OTHER SIMILAR TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS? Beyond technology organizations, what sets Intuit apart from other businesses is our unwavering customer obsession. We aren’t obsessed with our solution or product – we’re obsessed with our customer’s problems, and how we can best support customers to solve these problems. We equip our teams with the ability to do meaningful work and dive deep into discovering solutions. We encourage creative thinking and celebrate failure because that means we’re just one step closer to the solution. Everything we do has the customer at the front, and it shows in the overall customer experience with the products. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STRATEGIES YOU USE WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING DEVELOP PRODUCTS THAT CAN HELP YOUR CUSTOMERS SUCCEED? Our version of design thinking – Design for Deilght (D4D) is a critical strategy we deploy in the product development process. D4D builds on our customer obsession as it allows us to hone in on a solution by first going wide and interrogating every possible angle of the problem at hand. By using multiple data sources at this stage – including follow-me-homes where we observe the product in use and see how our customers navigate through the platform – we can be confident in our understanding of the scope of the problem or customer pain point, so that once we narrow in on a solution, it’s is truly the right one that will best address the problem at hand. YOU’RE A SOMEWHAT EXPERT WHEN IT COMES TO LAUNCHING NEW PRODUCTS. IN YOUR EXPERT OPINION, WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE FACTORS ENTREPRENEURS SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN THEY WANT TO LAUNCH A NEW PRODUCT? At the risk of sounding like a broken record (did I mention we were customer obsessed?), the first step should be ensuring that you have you a deep understanding of your end customer and the problem you are trying to solve. It’s important to ask yourself, is the product or service essential to making your customer's lives better? If the answer is no, then ask

Photo Credit: INTUIT CANADA

yourself what improvements do you need to make to change that. Beyond this, having a clear picture of yours or your organizations strengths is vital. Ask yourself, are you the best person to solve this problem? Do you have the expertise to either build the best problem or offer the best service? If not, it will be worthwhile to step back and identify how you can bring in that expertise – whether through additional education or training, or by bringing on a partner or additional resources who can help to fill the knowledge gap. Finally, having a support system for your product is an often overlooked factor. Do you have a plan in place to ensure the longevity of your product? Beyond launch, do you have the support in place needed to invest in ensuring you can maintain deliver your offerings, or do you need to invest more in ensuring you can maintain and deliver on your offerings, for example in infrastructure or additional staff. ON A FINAL NOTE, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ANY FUTURE PROJECTS YOU HAVE PLANNED? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE INITIATIVES YOU’RE PLANNING TO PUT IN PLACE IN THE NEAR FUTURE? We’re excited to be bringing our accountant and small business customers together for QuickBooks Connect this December 9 – 11. This is a chance for us to celebrate the year that was, as well as provide a preview into new product updates and features that we will see delivered through 2020. The theme for this year is “Own the Future” and one of the things we’re most looking forward to about this year is how we are harnessing the power of our global network and the insights we have from the millions in our customer network to develop solutions with AI embedded in their core.

Updates are geared towards utilizing this data and AI advancements to provide our customers with the tools, insights and technologies needed to help tip the odds in their favour. We know it’s a crowded marketplace and that businesses are spending more time on the “business of the business” than their true passion, and we’re looking forward to introducing solutions that provide small business owners with the chance to get some time back in their day to focus on what makes them excited.

"Intuit Canada offers an incredibly unique opportunity within Canada’s technology sector. Firstly, it provides the opportunity to work to solve real problems that people and businesses face day to day – our solutions truly do help to power the prosperity of our customers."

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BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE MONTH

DANIELLE BREWIN GRAHAM Investment Principal at Dream Maker Ventures

Danielle Graham is a Principal at Dream Maker Ventures, the first Canadian Venture Capital (VC) Fund founded by people of colour and women, focused on investing in diverse, underrepresented, underestimated entrepreneurs. She has been active in the tech ecosystem, first as a founder herself of a water purification company called Crio Water, then founding the Fierce Founders programs, the first female-focused accelerator and bootcamp series in Canada. Danielle has been an important part of the angel community network, as a board member, investment officer and source of diverse deal flow to GTAN, the Angel Alliance and the Laurier Startup Fund. Previous to DreamMaker, Danielle oversaw the Market Readiness Fund, Ontario’s most active seed-stage fund. Photo Credit: Dream Maker Ventures

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How would you describe the vision of Dream Maker Ventures? What is the main goal behind the organization? Dream Maker Ventures’ mission is to prove quantitatively through top-quartile returns that investing in and supporting underrepresented founders and diverse teams pays off. Historically, VCs are predominantly white or light-skin, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied men and the companies they fund are also frequently made up those who look and think much like them. Founding teams that receive outside investment tend to be white and menidentified. Therefore, investing in startups whose founders reflect a range of backgrounds and lived experiences.... Taking a more holistic approach to ensure that we’re funding a diversity of founders... has a competitive advantage, appealing to broader customers, values, and solutions, among a host of benefits that strengthen the fabric of our society. We are investing in the community first and we’re working to understand the complexities of investing in diverse teams and engaging with marginalized communities. This approach requires significant study, sensitivity, and time; most VCs have not taken the time to engage these communities to listen and learn, that’s what our model hopes to bring to the table. What is the biggest benefit that Dream Maker Ventures provides to women entrepreneurs? We know that women-centric approaches are not enough because women are not all under the same conditions. Women often have multiple and intersecting identities that come together in unique ways can at times, lead to even greater marginalization. Just focusing on gender tends to only benefit and focus on a subset of the population that is typically already advantaged. Through our intersectional approach we have partnered with

specific programs for women, people of colour, people living with disabilities, newcomers, refugees, Indigenous peoples, and the LGBTQ+ community; to invest capital in initiatives and founders that will yield better returns dollar for dollar.

directly benefits women of a certain socioeconomic status and demographic. The key to remember, if we can remove the obstacles for those who are held back by systemic barriers in our society, then those in the middle get that uplift in access too.

In your expert opinion, what are the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face and how can Dream Maker Ventures help them overcome these challenges? There are a multitude of sociocultural factors affecting women from the day they are born or transition which informs their perspective and how women are treated. The narratives we’ve been fed in North American culture and beyond about the solo white man entrepreneur has obfuscated the reality that it takes a village to build and run a successful business.

What can you tell us about your role at Dream Maker Ventures? My role at Dream Maker Ventures is very entrepreneurial – the experience of raising a fund for a VC is very similar to that of an entrepreneur. I won’t go into the tedious details, but it is one of those experiences you can only learn by doing, no matter how voraciously you read. As a Principal, I spend my time discovering the highest potential founders, and once we close the fund I will be focused on investing and working closely with our portfolio companies.

For example, “Indigenous women working in tech occupations earned less than their male counterparts. Out of the 300 enumerated Inuit tech workers in 2016, there were no women identified.” (Brookfield Institute, Who are Canada’s Tech Workers?, January 2019)

How important do you believe it is for Canada’s economy to invest in women entrepreneurs? It is critical for our entire economy that women entrepreneurs to get the funding necessary

At Dream Maker Ventures, we’ve focused on one of the major challenges which is a specific type of asset class investment. We are also working to remove barriers – such as bias, inequity, inaccessibility – for talented entrepreneurs to have access to the same opportunities. All of our efforts are intersectional and deliberately focus on those not included. There are a lot of talented individuals with valuable perspectives who are never part of the conversation because a focus on women often only

Also, in many cases, we are talking about women-led teams, not only women or only men teams. Diverse teams -- those that reflect a diversity of lived experiences and backgrounds, well beyond gender identity -- have been proven through evidence-based social science research to perform better. We need to capitalize on that performance and operationalize inclusive decision-making in every team. It is critical for our economy as a whole that women entrepreneurs are fully funded – this is where our economy has the most growth potential. Do you believe that there is still a lack of resources in Canada when it comes to helping women entrepreneurs succeed? Yes. There is always a need for more resources. Venture Capital backed tech startups with women on the founding team are still hovering at approx. 2%.

Although $2B was provided through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy funding to double the number of womenowned businesses by 2025 this type of funding is provided to other specific sectors of the industry every year, whereas women are over half of the population. There is so much potential talent and perspective to unlock greater value in our economy. Research from BCG found if women entrepreneurs received as much support as men entrepreneurs, the global economy could experience up to a $5 trillion boost. Imagine what Canada would look like with even a small slice of that $5 trillion! What can you tell us about any future projects that Dream Maker Ventures has planned? With the launch of the Dream Legacy Foundation, our philanthropic non-profit arm, we are building the capacity for a truly intersectional approach. Expect to hear more about our funding models and partnerships as we build our Diversity Fund. On a final note, what made you decide to go into this line of business? What brought you on this career path? Many incredible mentors led me to pursue Venture Capital. I’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship, ever since I was selling my paintings at 5 years old and learned the word entrepreneur. In VC, the multitude of ideas brought forward every day by founders and analyzing which direction they should take for optimal scale. I was fortunate in the amount of encouragement from other women in VC. They supported my work at Fierce Founders and took hours of coaching to strategize on how to pursue this career. In particular, Neha Khera and Nicole Leblanc have supported me through multiple my time at Communitech, joined my investment advisory committee at OCE, and pushed me to step into private sector VC. I would not be at this stage in my career without them.

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TO FRIEND OR NOT TO FRIEND.

THAT IS THE QUESTION.

B y S ue S utcl i f fe Online Pow er Coach and highly- r eco m m end ed S a les & Ma r keti n g Mave n and Digit al Trainer

B

uilding business relationships today involves more than a handshake and a business card. It often continues or even begins, with social media. Instead of a one-off encounter, like-minded folks connect — and stay connected — using Facebook and other social media platforms. Building business relationships today involves more than a handshake and a business card. It often continues or even begins, with social media. Instead of a one-off encounter, likeminded folks connect — and stay connected — using Facebook and other social media platforms.

What kind of friends are you looking for? Using Facebook effectively is about relationships, not numbers. It takes time to build and maintain relationships, so focus on adding relevant contacts rather than friending anyone and everyone. Who do you need to succeed? Clients, colleagues and suppliers should be on your list. So should people who refer you. Add in prospects and other people who can help you. What about your friends? Your family? On Facebook, it’s okay to mix business with pleasure. In fact, family and friends often become clients, and both give referrals. But focus on the people who can help you succeed.

Dealing with friend requests Some people accept every friend request they receive. They’re often reluctant to offend or too busy to screen these individuals. Unless they customize their privacy settings or restrict the content they publish, their personal security and privacy may be vulnerable. When you receive friend requests, think twice before clicking “accept.” Is this someone you know? Can you afford the time to build this relationship? If so, say yes. If not, wait until you have time to screen them and respond appropriately.

Friend-collectors Consider the motivation behind friend requests. Are they building a database, not a relationship? 30

These “friend-collectors” believe in quantity not quality. They aggressively market themselves by spamming their list. And unless you’ve changed your account and privacy settings, they’re free to exploit your list of friends, as soon as you accept their friend request.

Q & A ON P’S & Q’S

Do I know you?

Should you include a quick, personal note when friending someone?

Sometimes, friend requests come from people you don’t know or don’t recognize. Should you accept them? Friending strangers can be risky. Send a polite thank you, apologizing that you can’t place them and asking how you met. If they respond, proceed accordingly. If they don’t, they’re probably not “friend material.” You can also do a little digging into their profile: •

Are all the friends on a man’s list beautiful women with no real connection to each other? He may be trophy-collecting, especially if he doesn’t live nearby.

Always — it’s only polite. Besides, how many times have you forgotten a new acquaintance’s name before saying goodbye? A personal note makes your name and how you met more memorable. Try something like, “It was nice meeting you at the chamber of commerce the other day.” What about inappropriate posts by friends and family?

Is the person trying to boost his own reputation by collecting high-octane industry “peers” on his list of friends?

You can keep their embarrassing posts, pictures and invitations from showing up on your wall by keeping “wild ones” on a limited list and adjusting your privacy settings so they can’t post on your wall. Or just “hide” them.

Is there no picture? Just click “not now” for these would-be friends.

Can I create a personal profile and a business profile?

Psst! Guess what I heard! Be circumspect about your private life. Don’t post anything on Facebook you wouldn’t want customers to see, and tighten up your account and privacy settings. Remember, a wide-open profile displays personal information like your phone number, religion, sexual preference and relationship status. It shows your children’s names and photos — even those embarrassing party pics you’re tagged in. Creating limited lists in Facebook allows you to accept new friends while minimizing the risk. You decide what details you’re willing to share, and with whom. But Facebook’s account and privacy settings don’t confer blanket protection. Use common sense and discretion with the information you share. For instance, never invite a break-andenter by announcing you’ll be away from your home. After all, not every friend is a good friend.

I CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019

Multiple profiles sounds like a good idea, but Facebook doesn’t allow it. You can, however, create a business page and a personal profile. If I unfriend people, will they find out? Facebook won’t notify them, but they may notice if they want to contact you, if your posts stop arriving, or if Facebook recommends you as a friend. What’s the difference between hiding, unfriending and blocking? •

Hiding – Their posts do not appear on your wall

Unfriending – They are removed from your lists of friends

Blocking – They can no longer find you on Facebook


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Sign up at a bl ii. com CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 I

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Everything You Need to Know about your

SME Credit Card with Dan Kelly

DAN KELLY President & Chief Executive Officer-CFIB Dan Kelly serves as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

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ou might have heard some news – and potentially some misinformation – about changes coming to your credit card processing fees. CFIB president Dan Kelly has worked with government and the big credit card companies for over a decade to ensure SMEs are treated fairly. He joined us to discuss what small business owners need to know. What changes will business owners see to credit card rates in 2020? Starting in April 2020, merchant fees on credit card transactions will go down from 1.5 to 1.4 per cent on average. While that may not seem like a huge change, it’s estimated that it will save small business owners about $250 million annually. Our early look at the new rates shows that some of the basic Visa and Mastercard cards out there will see rates drop from between 10 and 25 per cent. That makes a big difference for an independent retailer who may be struggling to meet payroll or a car repair shop facing high property taxes on their garage. This sounds like good news, but you’re also warning business owners to be cautious. What should they be on the lookout for?

"CFIB has been fighting for credit card fairness for independent businesses for years, and this is one of our biggest and most longstanding requests. It’s deeply unfair that merchants must eat the cost of fees related to collecting and remitting sales taxes to government." 32

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Rates going down is absolutely good news, but every time there has been a major rate change, several disreputable payment processing companies seem to come out of the woodwork. Some try to lock merchants into unfair contracts, or to keep the savings rather than passing them down to the business. Almost a third of CFIB members have reported harassing phone calls from payment processors, 18 per cent have experienced misrepresentation and 16 per cent said they’ve been targeted by deceptive sales practices. There are several good processors on the market who work hard to serve small businesses, including Chase, which offers exclusive rates to CFIB members and guarantees it will pass all the savings on to

them. But many small businesses have fallen victim to terrible sales practices, including of the use of unfair exit penalties in contracts offered by some of the bad players. Do you have any tips for small business owners choosing a payment processor? Make sure you read every line of the contract and ask plenty of questions before you sign anything. How long does the contract last? Are there penalties for exiting the contract? Are the fees and rates locked-in for the term of the contract? Who will service your contract and what track record do they have? I typically recommend that smaller merchants rent, rather than lease or buy, their payments processing equipment. Leasing makes sense for many types of business equipment, but the practice in payments has been used to trap merchants into bad deals with escalating rates. I also urge business owners to avoid dealing with independent sales organizations or ISOs, companies hired by merchant services providers to resell their product. Some of these companies use high pressure tactics and will say just about anything to get merchants to sign a contract. If the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. In the federal election campaign, the Liberal Party promised to eliminate the credit card processing fees on HST and GST if elected. How would that impact small businesses? CFIB has been fighting for credit card fairness for independent businesses for years, and this is one of our biggest and most longstanding requests. It’s deeply unfair that merchants must eat the cost of fees related to collecting and remitting sales taxes to government. If implemented, this will save merchants nearly $500 million per year in fees in addition to the savings that are already coming from the Visa and Mastercard reductions. We’ll be working closely with the new government to ensure they deliver on this promise.


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HELPING SMALLER BUSINESSES PARTICIPATE IN

FEDERAL

PROCUREMENT By OSME Ontario Region

T

"The OSME Ontario Region will be at the Canadian Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Business Expo 2020 in Toronto on January 20, 2020, to talk to businesses and help demystify federal procurement through a workshop."

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he Government of Canada is one of the largest purchasers in Canada, spending on average $22 billion annually in the procurement of thousands of different types of goods, services and construction.

on these barriers, and we suggest ways to improve federal procurement to make it easier for smaller businesses to compete for contracts. OSME is therefore interested in hearing your views on federal procurement!

Wondering if this marketplace is right for you? Interested in adding the federal government to your client list? Want to learn how to pursue these business opportunities? If so, the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) in Public Services and Procurement Canada can help!

You can find information about the OSME services available near you at Canada. ca/OSME. You can also call our National InfoLine at 1 800 811 1148 with any questions or feedback about the federal procurement process.

MAKING PROCUREMENT EASIER FOR SMALLER BUSINESSES OSME is here to help smaller businesses navigate the Government of Canada procurement process. Through a network of regional offices across Canada, OSME offers free seminars, webinars and one-on-one sessions to help businesses understand federal procurement. Through these services, businesses learn how to find and bid on procurement opportunities that are right for them. OSME also works with smaller businesses to find out what barriers are preventing them from being successful in federal procurement. We inform government buyers and policy-makers

COME VISIT OSME AT THE CANADIAN SME BUSINESS EXPO 2020 The OSME Ontario Region will be at the Canadian Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Business Expo 2020 in Toronto on January 20, 2020, to talk to businesses and help demystify federal procurement through a workshop. Highlights will include what and how the federal government buys, from whom it buys, and where smaller businesses can find resources and free support. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how you can find opportunities in federal procurement. Can’t make it to the Business Expo? Please don’t hesitate to contact the OSME Ontario office at 1-800-668-5378 or ont.osme-bpme@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca if you have any questions.


AIDER LES PETITES ENTREPRISES À PARTICIPER AU

PROCESSUS D’APPROVISIONNEMENT PROCUREMENT By OSME Ontario Region

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e gouvernement du Canada est l’un des plus grands acheteurs du Canada; il dépense en moyenne 22 milliards de dollars chaque année pour l’acquisition de milliers de types de produits, de services et de construction de toutes sortes. Vous vous demandez si ce marché est fait pour vous? Vous aimeriez ajouter le gouvernement fédéral à votre liste de clients? Vous voulez savoir comment saisir ces occasions d’affaires? Si c’est le cas, le Bureau des petites et moyennes entreprises (BPME) de Services publics et Approvisionnement Canada (SPAC) peut vous aider!

FACILITER LE PROCESSUS D’APPROVISIONNEMENT DES PETITES ENTREPRISES Le BPME aide les petites entreprises à naviguer dans le processus d’approvisionnement du gouvernement du Canada.

Le BPME travaille également avec les petites entreprises afin de déterminer les obstacles qui les empêchent d’obtenir du succès dans le processus d’approvisionnement fédéral. Nous informons les acheteurs et les décideurs du gouvernement de ces lacunes et nous leur suggérons des moyens d’améliorer le processus

Par l’entremise d’un réseau de bureaux régionaux à l’échelle du Canada, le BPME offre des séminaires, des webinaires et des séances individuelles en vue d’aider les entreprises à comprendre le processus d’approvisionnement fédéral. Dans le cadre de ces services, les entreprises apprendront la façon de trouver des occasions d’affaires qui leur conviennent et de présenter des soumissions. Le BPME travaille également avec les petites entreprises afin de déterminer les obstacles qui les empêchent d’obtenir du succès dans le processus d’approvisionnement fédéral. Nous informons les acheteurs et les décideurs du gouvernement de ces lacunes et nous leur suggérons des moyens d’améliorer le

processus d’approvisionnement fédéral afin qu’il soit plus facile pour les petites entreprises d’être concurrentielles et d’obtenir des contrats. Par conséquent, le BPME aimerait connaître votre point de vue sur le processus d’approvisionnement fédéral. Des informations sont disponibles sur les services offerts par le BPME près de chez vous à l’adresse suivante : Canada.ca/ OSME. Vous pouvez aussi communiquer avec notre ligne d’information nationale au 1 800 811 1148 si vous avez des questions ou des commentaires sur le processus d’approvisionnement fédéral.

VENEZ RENCONTRER LES REPRÉSENTANTS DU BPME À L’EXPOSITION CANADIENNE SUR LES PME DE 2020 Les représentants du BPME – Région de Toronto participeront à l’exposition canadienne sur les petites et moyennes entreprises (PME) de 2020 à Toronto, le 20 janvier 2020. Ils discuteront avec les représentants des entreprises et les aideront à démystifier le processus d’approvisionnement fédéral dans le cadre d’un atelier. Les faits saillants comprendront ce que le gouvernement fédéral achète et comment il le fait, les fournisseurs et les endroits où les petites entreprises peuvent obtenir des ressources et du soutien gratuits. C’est une excellente occasion d’apprendre comment trouver des occasions d’affaires dans le processus d’approvisionnement fédéral. Vous ne pouvez venir à l’exposition des PME? N’hésitez pas à communiquer avec le BPME – Région de l’Ontario, en composant le 1-800668-5378 ou par courriel ont.osme-bpme@ pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca si vous avez des questions.

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What can you tell us about the different services and programs that Payments Canada offers to small business owners? The Canadian economy depends on the exchange of billions of dollars each day, and Payments Canada is responsible for the clearing and settlement infrastructure, processes and rules essential to those transactions. We are a public purpose, non-profit organization, delegated by the Canadian government to meet the payment needs of consumers and businesses and our members. Small businesses are an integral part of the Canadian economy. The modernization of Canada’s payments systems, through our Modernization initiative, is setting the stage for new and enhanced payment options and creating a platform for innovation that will allow member financial institutions and payment service providers to offer convenient payment options to their customers.

TRACEY BLACK

AND THE MODERNIZATION OF

PAYMENTS CANADA

Tracey joined Payments Canada in November 2018 as the Executive Director of Modernization and is currently responsible for leading the modernization of the Canadian core clearing and settlement payment infrastructure. Tracey has held executive roles at TD Canada Trust and RBC Royal Bank, and has consulted extensively in the financial services industry as an independent consultant and with McKinsey & Company. Prior to joining Payments Canada, Tracey was the President of GFH Group Inc., a Toronto-based consulting firm focused on strategy, payments, innovation and stakeholder management. The firm managed the Canadian Chip Trial Program Management Office and was responsible for coordinating the efforts of all payment stakeholders participating in the trial and launch of EMV in Canada. Tracey has over 20 years of professional experience with extensive industry knowledge and deep expertise in payments strategy and innovation.

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Modernization will see the enhancement of Canada’s payments infrastructure so that, among other benefits, Canada’s banks, credit unions and payment service providers can offer their small business customers faster, safer and more data-rich payment options and experiences, and support the introduction of improved business processes. For example, with the adoption of ISO 20022, a global payments message standard, there is the potential to improve payment processing automation and overall efficiencies within small business operations. A real-time payments system will give small businesses, and their customers, more choice in how they make their payments. What would you say has been the biggest change in the payment industry in the last 10 years? There are many contributing factors that have influenced change in the payments industry. • New technology: Adoption of new technologies and innovation -- from apps, open data, disrupters, to cryptocurrencies and more -- has set the expectation for payment to occur anytime, anywhere, without pause. • Demand: Consumers and businesses are demanding faster, more convenient, flexible and frictionless payment experiences with the same or better level of security and privacy. • Global economies: Countries are investing in payments infrastructure to drive economic growth and efficiency, while pushing for adoption of globally interoperable capabilities.


Security: In Canada and elsewhere, central banks and regulators are taking a more active interest in payments, resulting in increasing oversight and new demands for risk management to ensure safe and secure payments.

Technology is constantly improving, and new innovative systems are being launched on a regular basis. What would you say has been the biggest impact that the new technology developments have had on the payment industry? In the payment industry, advances in infrastructure technology will allow for more secure, efficient and scalable systems. As an operator of payment systems, this is important to Payments Canada. We also are monitoring the creation and use of payment-related data. The value of AI is only beginning to be understood and there will almost certainly be opportunities in payments to leverage AI and big data. The evolution of cryptocurrency is of significant interest to us. Payments Canada explored DLT and cryptocurrency in our Jasper projects to understand the capabilities and possibilities. Stablecoin based on fiat currency is now under investigation globally, and there will almost certainly be impacts on clearing and settlement systems and rules that we must be prepared for in Canada. These technologies may have impacts beyond payments and, as an industry, we must ensure we understand and are prepared for any impacts. How has it [new technology] impacted the Canadian business industry? Canadian businesses are already experiencing benefits from Modernization. In 2018, enhancements were made to Payments Canada’s retail batch payments system, the Automated Clearing Settlement System, adding a third exchange window to increase the number of payments that can be processed the same day, and to support accelerated funds availability. The third exchange window has been especially valuable for businesses in Western Canada because of the extended cut-off times for payment origination and the ability to provide same-day payroll processing. You have over two decades of expertise, knowledge and experience in the payment industry. In your opinion, what would you say are the biggest payment challenges that small business entrepreneurs face and how is Payments Canada helping them overcome these challenges? According to our recent Payments Pulse Survey: Small Business Edition, small business needs include payment processing efficiencies, data-rich payments, and the ability to support new digital payment options. Despite the dominance of digital payments (80 per cent of small businesses conduct less than 25 per cent of their transactions in cash), many small businesses feel obliged to continue to accept cash. As customer payments options and preferences continue to evolve, small businesses will need to support these new options. Many small businesses rely on cheques, often to support payment tracking and reconciliation. Modernization will introduce the ISO 20022 messaging standard on all payment systems, which will allow for payments information to travel with the payment. Support for date-rich payments will support operational efficiencies for businesses of all sizes and ultimately help to lower operational costs.

Where do you see the payment industry heading in the near future? What are some of the initiatives that Payments Canada has planned within the next few years? Data-rich and real-time payments are where payments are heading. The global implementation of ISO 20022 messaging will allow for payment-related information to travel with the payment for both domestic, and international payments. All of Payments Canada’s modernized payment systems will support ISO 20022, beginning with the launch of Lynx, our new high value payments system, in 2021. According to a recent report, fifty-four countries around the world have introduced real-time payments systems, up from 40 in 2018. This focus on real-time, credit push payments will continue, both for domestic and cross-border payments. Payments Canada will introduce a real-time payments system in 2022, following the launch of our new high value payments system, Lynx. The continued collaboration between Payments Canada and the industry will support the implementation of our modernized payments systems that will deliver benefits for Canada.

"In the payment industry, advances in infrastructure technology will allow for more secure, efficient and scalable systems. As an operator of payment systems, this is important to Payments Canada. We also are monitoring the creation and use of paymentrelated data. The value of AI is only beginning to be understood and there will almost certainly be opportunities in payments to leverage AI and big data. The evolution of cryptocurrency is of significant interest to us. Payments Canada explored DLT and cryptocurrency in our Jasper projects to understand the capabilities and possibilities." CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 I

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LAUREN LINTON

The Woman Behind the

CIX SUMMIT As an influential and results oriented leader with a proven track record for identifying innovative revenue generating opportunities, Lauren builds upon over a decade and a half experience in the Canadian innovation arena. Lauren is the Executive Director of the longestrunning Canadian venture conference, CIX Canadian Innovation Exchange, which curates and showcases Canada’s most innovative early and growth stage tech startups to North American investors and corporates.

Previously, she was an executive with the CVCACanadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, setting the strategic direction and developing the majority of the revenue programs for the association. Prior to 2001, Lauren held senior marketing positions in the travel industry and has chaired many cancer fundraising events for the Princess Margaret Hospital. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Marketing and Finance from the DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University. As Executive Director of CIX Summit, what are some of your responsibilities? Can you tell us a little bit about your role and responsibilities to give our readers a better idea of what it is that you do at CIX Summit? It is my responsibility to oversee the planning and execution of the CIX Summit. This includes the awards program, which finds the most innovative companies to showcase at CIX, securing partnerships with industry stakeholders, building the agenda (topics/speakers) with unique program elements that facilitate connections between founders and investors and, of course, manage the budget. What would you say is the biggest benefit of CIX Summit for small business owners? What are some of the advantages they can gain from the event? As CIX is a highly curated room of investors and founders, the biggest benefit of attending is for business owners to learn from other successful founders and meet investors. You have created yourself quite the reputation of being able to seek out innovative revenue generating opportunities. What are some of the strategies you use that helps you identify these opportunities? I find out what is important to industry stakeholders and create opportunities for them to grow their businesses within CIX. The CIX Canadian Innovation Exchange is the longestrunning Canadian venture conference. Why do you believe that is? What are some of the aspects and characteristics that have contributed to its success? We were the first to launch a curated investment conference, and for the 12 years since our launch, North American 38

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investors trust that, at CIX, they will see the most promising start-ups from across Canada. In addition to curating and showcasing these companies, we provide the tools and platforms for founders and investors to meet. Delegates tell us year after year that ‘deals get done’ at CIX. In your expert opinion, what are some of the aspects that investors look for in start-up companies when they attend the conference? It depends on the stage and investor, but in general they look at the potential growth of the market, strength of the management team and commercial traction. On a final note, you have over a decade of expertise knowledge in the Canadian innovation area. What advice can you give to entrepreneurs who are in the start-up phase and wish to attract investors? To help attract angel or venture capital, I suggest they start by ‘soft-selling’ via networking at events such as CIX, this would allow them to ‘pitch’ their start-up in a less formal setting to gauge response and get feedback, ask advice. Work on getting the first customer(s) as this shows traction. Having a strong team will get investors attention, this may mean bringing on a co-founder with reputable domain expertise. If they have no investor connections, I suggest joining a reputable accelerator – with networks and credibility to help attract the right investors.

In addition to curating and showcasing these companies, we provide the tools and platforms for founders and investors to meet. Delegates tell us year after year that ‘deals get done’ at CIX.


What is VoIP V

oice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology to transmit your phone conversation over the internet as packets of information. With VoIP, your business's phone calls are sent over a broadband Internet connection (DSL, T1 or Metro Ethernet) via a data network and then connected to the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). It’s a much more managed and efficient way to communicate compared to traditional Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS). Because VoIP travels over an IP network it facilitates more custom and complex calling functions. These tools offer greater sets of calling features manageable from a simple web-based interface. This phone system delivers Local and Long Distance, feature-rich, attractively priced broadband internet phone service with online account management from Administrative to User levels. The Internet Protocol (IP) PBX platform also offers services such as Auto Attendant, Conference Services, Voice Mail to email, Fax to email, Call Recording (Inbound and Outbound), Multiple Direct Inward Dialing number (DID’s), Unified Messaging and much more.

Distinguishing Features of VoIP Each employee is assigned an extension number in the system Employees tells the system the phone number(s) where they can be reached Calls are automatically answered by the system Auto Attendant. Callers select the employee with whom they wish to speak. The system routes the calls to the appropriate phone. There is no PBX hardware or software to install, maintain, or upgrade. Self-Healing with automatic firmware updates through the internet.

Go Anywhere, Be Anywhere, Work Anywhere and still get your calls! Since the phone system can connect calls to any phone, anywhere in the world, you can: Set up a virtual office, with employees telecommuting anywhere on the globe. Integrate multiple offices under one central phone number. Have calls follow you when you travel with Find Me features. Answer calls with a professional business greeting on the Auto Attendant, while employees are free to work where they are needed.

TOP 10 reasons to select a VoIP phone system! 1. 2.

State of the Art Technology and constantly growing. Unique new features not found in traditional PBX like Find me follow me, Voicemail to email & Fax to email. 3. Flexible and easy scalability, adding or removing users with just a click. 4. Self-Healing with automatic firmware management 5. Class 5 features such as Caller ID, Call Forwarding, Call Transfer, Speed Dial, Three Way Calling etc. 6. All group services available including Call Center, AutoAttendant, Attendant Console, Hunt Groups, Conferencing, and more. 7. System upgrades at no cost and portability for your existing numbers. 8. Connects remote offices or employees seamlessly without extra cost with a simple extension dialing. 9. Secure System, phone service is restored immediately in a disaster recovery event. 10. Savings reduce capital investment and ongoing expenses with a low upfront implementation cost.


DAX DASILVA

THE MASTERMIND BEHIND LIGHTSPEED Dax Dasilva is the creative mind behind Lightspeed, Never Apart, and Age of Union. Founded in 2005, Lightspeed develops a cloud commerce platform used by retail and restaurant customers in over a hundred countries. The company’s mission is to bring cities and communities to life by powering independent business. Lightspeed employs over 800 staff located in eight cities and has raised $292M USD from Accel Partners, iNovia Capital, Investissement Québec and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec. The company went public in March 2019 on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol LSPD, becoming one of Canada’s top 10 technology IPOs. In 2015 Dasilva also founded Never Apart, a cultural non-profit determined to bring about positive social change and unity through original programming with global reach and impact. Housed in Lightspeed’s former offices, Never Apart cultivates a diverse following and has welcomed thousands into its 12,000-square-foot space. Helping entrepreneurs become leaders in their communities through Lightspeed’s technology and elevating artists through his work at Never Apart are fundamental to Dasilva’s philosophy. He fosters cultures of innovation, promotes diverse leadership, and values different viewpoints. Dasilva’s debut book released in May 2019, Age of Union: Igniting the Changemaker, brings leadership, spirituality and environmental guardianship together with themes of identity, diversity, cultural expression, and individual empowerment to ignite the impactful changemakers that the world needs now. Photo Credit: Lightspeed

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WHAT SETS INTUIT APART FROM OTHER SIMILAR TECHNOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS? Beyond technology organizations, what sets Intuit apart from other businesses is our unwavering customer obsession. We aren’t obsessed with our solution or product – we’re obsessed with our customer’s problems, and how we can best support customers to solve these problems. We equip our teams with the ability to do meaningful work and dive deep into discovering solutions. We encourage creative thinking and celebrate failure because that means we’re just one step closer to the solution. Everything we do has the customer at the front, and it shows in the overall customer experience with the products. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STRATEGIES YOU USE WHEN IT COMES TO HELPING DEVELOP PRODUCTS THAT CAN HELP YOUR CUSTOMERS SUCCEED? Our version of design thinking – Design for Deilght (D4D) is a critical strategy we deploy in the product development process. D4D builds on our customer obsession as it allows us to hone in on a solution by first going wide and interrogating every possible angle of the problem at hand. By using multiple data sources at this stage – including follow-me-homes where we observe the product in use and see how our customers navigate through the platform – we can be confident in our understanding of the scope of the problem or customer pain point, so that once we narrow in on a solution, it’s is truly the right one that will best address the problem at hand. YOU’RE A SOMEWHAT EXPERT WHEN IT COMES TO LAUNCHING NEW PRODUCTS. IN YOUR EXPERT OPINION, WHAT ARE THE TOP THREE FACTORS ENTREPRENEURS SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN THEY WANT TO LAUNCH A NEW PRODUCT? At the risk of sounding like a broken record (did I mention we were customer obsessed?), the first step should be ensuring that you have you a deep understanding of your end customer and the problem you are trying to solve. It’s important to ask yourself, is the product or service essential to making your customer's lives better? If the answer is no, then ask

Photo Credit: INTUIT CANADA

yourself what improvements do you need to make to change that. Beyond this, having a clear picture of yours or your organizations strengths is vital. Ask yourself, are you the best person to solve this problem? Do you have the expertise to either build the best problem or offer the best service? If not, it will be worthwhile to step back and identify how you can bring in that expertise – whether through additional education or training, or by bringing on a partner or additional resources who can help to fill the knowledge gap. Finally, having a support system for your product is an often overlooked factor. Do you have a plan in place to ensure the longevity of your product? Beyond launch, do you have the support in place needed to invest in ensuring you can maintain deliver your offerings, or do you need to invest more in ensuring you can maintain and deliver on your offerings, for example in infrastructure or additional staff. ON A FINAL NOTE, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ANY FUTURE PROJECTS YOU HAVE PLANNED? WHAT ARE SOME OF THE INITIATIVES YOU’RE PLANNING TO PUT IN PLACE IN THE NEAR FUTURE? We’re excited to be bringing our accountant and small business customers together for QuickBooks Connect this December 9 – 11. This is a chance for us to celebrate the year that was, as well as provide a preview into new product updates and features that we will see delivered through 2020. The theme for this year is “Own the Future” and one of the things we’re most looking forward to about this year is how we are harnessing the power of our global network and the insights we have from the millions in our customer network to develop solutions with AI embedded in their core.

Updates are geared towards utilizing this data and AI advancements to provide our customers with the tools, insights and technologies needed to help tip the odds in their favour. We know it’s a crowded marketplace and that businesses are spending more time on the “business of the business” than their true passion, and we’re looking forward to introducing solutions that provide small business owners with the chance to get some time back in their day to focus on what makes them excited.

"Intuit Canada offers an incredibly unique opportunity within Canada’s technology sector. Firstly, it provides the opportunity to work to solve real problems that people and businesses face day to day – our solutions truly do help to power the prosperity of our customers."

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JUSTIN

CRABBE

T H E I N N O VAT O R

As Jettly’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Pilot, Justin Crabbe is responsible for the global strategy and operations of Jettly, including the management of all business units within the organisation. Justin has been featured in dozens of publications and interviews including Forbes, CNBC, National Post, Huffington Post, Yahoo Finance and many more.

Can you tell us a little bit about the global strategy of Jettly and what methods are used to accomplish it? At first, we needed to develop the network of operators, aircraft, and pilots to meet the demand in North America. The process of building that network took well over a year and continues to grow as new operators, aircraft, and pilots are continually being introduced to our network. Once our North American network was established, we were able to focus our efforts on secondary and tertiary markets such as the UK, Europe, Asia, and Russia. All of which make up a very significant portion of our annual revenue. Each time we would enter a new market, we would carefully study flight data to establish critical cities and routes to focus on. Once we had built the network of pilots and aircraft in a particular market, it was a matter of beginning strategic marketing efforts in each of those regions and monitoring our key performance indicators to ensure we were successful. As CEO of Jettly, part of your responsibility is to look after the management of all business units within the organization. What would you say is the most challenging part of that task? Jettly has every facet of running an airline that one would expect. 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, our team has to be prepared to deal with last-minute flight changes, cancellations, pilot and crew shortages, aircraft shortages, aircraft mechanical issues, 42

stranded passengers, inclement weather, in-air diversions, temporary flight restrictions put in place by regulators, onboard catering requests, ground transportation arrangements, and much more. And this is on a global basis with aircraft and operators in over 190 countries and territories. Additional challenges arise when dealing with language barriers, multi-jurisdictional tax schemes, aviation regulations that differ from country to country, and a complete flight support department that must work aroundthe-clock. You have successfully created yourself a reputation of being a serial entrepreneur with having owned, created and managed several Internet based companies. Do you believe that internet based companies are at higher risk of success as opposed to others?

extremely thick skin and be prepared for anything. The ability to start a business online is quite easy these days, and that significantly adds to the competition in almost every sector. The costs to start an online business are slim to nil in comparison to a traditional brick and mortar establishment. You would be hard pressed to purchase or start any brick and mortar business under $50,000, and many online companies that I’ve begun required under $1000 to start. The risk of failure due to a lack of experience in online businesses is exceptionally high. Fortunately, I was born in the era of computers, and then a few years later the internet, but if I hadn’t latched onto it gaining the experience at an early age, there is no way that Jettly would be as established and successful as it is today.

Fortunately, we live in an era where it’s never been easier to start an internet-based company, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it easy to be successful.

You’ve been involved in over 50 e-commerce stores. What would you believe is the biggest benefit that e-commerce brings to the business industry?

With a traditional brick and mortar business, you have your place of business, you deal with a local customer base, and you get to go home at night without much to worry about other than a competitor opening shop down the street.

E-commerce is traditional commerce done by way of the internet. The element of “commerce” has not changed in thousands of years, but what has changed is how the commerce, or “the exchange of goods and services” is delivered.

With the internet and internet-based business, competitors can appear out of nowhere, and the way society interacts with the internet is continuously changing, and can impact your business overnight. You have to have

E-commerce brings a wide range of additional benefits to the seller and consumer. The most significant benefit to sellers, in my opinion, is a streamlined delivery and sales platform such as eBay and Amazon or Shopify which allows

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Innovation is great and plays a crucial role in the success of Jettly and is what makes us stand out from our competitors. I believe that there are them to reduce overhead a lot more than three costs and increase sales Innovation is vital because it characteristics, but the top and efficiency at scale. The three that I see are the most most significant benefit to gives companies an added edge important, are creativity consumers, in my opinion, is to innovate something and in time-saving and reduced to enter a market faster and establish yourself or your costs through reduced retailer innovation as a leader vs. a overhead when purchasing more efficiently, which can follower. online vs. through a traditional lead to more significant brick and mortar establishment. Tenacity to be persistent enough opportunities. and determined to make it through Since you became CEO of Jettly, the company has significantly improved its operations and network over 190 countries. Can you tell us about some of the strategies you used that contributed to the company’s success?

Please see question 1 as it seems this question is the same or similar to “Can you tell us a little bit about the global strategy of Jettly and what methods are used to accomplish it?” however I’m happy to provide additional comment and response if the question is indeed different and I’m simply misunderstanding it. Would you say that innovation plays a crucial role in the success of the company? Innovation is great and plays a crucial role in the success of Jettly and is what makes us stand out from our competitors. Innovation is vital because it gives companies an added edge to enter a market faster and more efficiently, which can lead to more significant opportunities. Competitors come and go from every market, but if there are competitors, there is a market to compete for, and that’s always good for business. Competitors are a good thing and should not deter an entrepreneur from entering the market. You want to have other people with some skin in the game. You never want to be alone in your market. If you are alone, that usually means your market is quite small. You’ve been in a leadership role for most of your career. How would you describe yourself as a leader? I like to lead by example and tie it into my core values and try to instill those values on my employees. A great leader should lead from the front by taking action demonstrating what needs to be done. If you do this right, you’ll keep your team organized and highly efficient functioning as a real team where everyone is contributing equally. It takes more then having a strong product for a company to be successful. A strong management team and leader to look after its operations is an important access for any company to succeed and grow. In your expert opinion, what are the top three characteristics that makes a good leader?

the tough times (and there certainly are many) along with a combination of honesty and integrity.

If you aren’t honest and lack integrity, no matter what you’re leading, whether it is a sports team or an office, no real success is possible. Can you tell us about what the future of Jettly looks like? What are some of the projects that the company is working on? Now that we have established a global network of aircraft, pilots, and operators, one of the projects we are working on is to develop scheduled routes between select cities around the world where each seat onboard the aircraft is sold to a single passenger vs. the entire plane being sold to an individual customer. Think of this as the world’s first business-classonly airline.

This allows travelers who wouldn’t otherwise have the means to charter an entire aircraft themselves to benefit from the luxuries and conveniences of flying private. It also benefits the operators and pilots with a new stream of additional customers reducing their operational and fixed costs by keeping the aircraft in the air, generating revenue for them longer. On a personal note, you became the youngest store manager of McDonalds at the age of sixteen. How did it feel to have such a big responsibility at such a young age? In one word, it was great. I quickly rose through lower level positions and achieved the position of store manager in a little over one year. I was extremely determined at a very young age and enjoyed the challenges of leading a team to provide excellent customer service to each customer that came through the door. The perception of McDonald's to many people may seem somewhat rudimentary, but you would be hard pressed to find a company as established and well managed than McDonald's, and I still remember and implement some of the principals McDonald's taught me to this day. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I DECEMBER 2019 I

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CANADIAN CONSUMERS

FEEL DISSATISFIED AND TRAPPED Landmark survey reveals unprecedented level of consumer frustration; lack of fairness, affordability and choice seen as creating anti-consumer telecommunications environment

T

he majority of customers of large telecommunications firms in Canada feel frustrated to be paying some of the highest prices in the world for home Internet and almost half feel trapped by their current provider. These and other survey findings confirm an unprecedented level of Canadian consumer dissatisfaction, frustration and cynicism based on their treatment by large telecommunications providers. Conducted by Leger on behalf of Distributel Communications Ltd., this national survey entitled Broken Connection: Canadian Consumers' Views on Large Telecommunications Providers, showcases clear insight into Canadians’ perception of the affordability, service, value and respect they are receiving from the large telecommunications providers. “Achieving a truly competitive telecommunications marketplace is the best way to ensure that Canadians across the country have access to the benefits of consumer choice,” said Matt Stein, CEO of Distributel. “However, the results of this survey paint a picture of Canadians who are frustrated that the large incumbent Internet service providers rely on the lack of competition and choice to maintain the status quo.”

“The ISP Summit is the ideal forum for all players in the industry to have productive consumer-focused discussions on where the industry is headed and how we can all come together to better meet the needs of Canadians through increased fairness, affordability, choice and competition,” said Mr. Stein.

The following is an overview of select survey findings: •

The results are being released at the annual Canadian ISP Summit, a conference designed for communications service providers across the country. The Summit allows attendees to address the issues that matter most to Canadian consumers, the challenges and opportunities of the current business environment and how the industry can thrive amidst change.

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While almost all Canadians have Internet in their home, the majority are customers of the big telecommunications companies: Nearly all (97%) of Canadians have Internet service in their home. Almost eight-inten (79%) are customers of one of the big telecommunications providers, while only 3% are customers of smaller independent companies. Canadians feel trapped by their current provider, with over half in Atlantic Canada feeling trapped: 40% would like to change companies but feel trapped by their current Internet service provider. Just over half (53%) of Atlantic Canadians are more likely to say they would like to change Internet providers but feel trapped. •

Customers of the large telecommunications firms feel they have limited choice when it comes to changing companies: 65% of Canadians who have home Internet from a large telecom company feel there is no point in changing telecommunications companies as they are all pretty much the same.

Lack of competition has led Canadians to falsely believe there are no alternatives to the big telecommunications firms: Nearly half (45%) believe there are no alternatives to the large Internet service providers.

An anti-consumer environment has been nurtured and is thriving across Canada: Almost half (49%) of Canadians feel that it is too difficult to change Internet service providers.

Canadians are frustrated they are paying some of the highest prices in the world for home Internet: Nearly all (90%) Canadians who have home Internet are frustrated they are paying much higher Internet fees than consumers in other countries. Rural Canadians (96%) are significantly more likely to be frustrated with paying more than other countries compared to urban and suburban residents.

Customers of the large telecommunications firms have experienced price increases over the last 24 months – almost half without notification: Just over twothirds (67%) of Canadians who have home Internet from a large telecom company say their Internet service provider has increased the price of their home Internet in the past 24 months. Among those who saw a price increase, 41% say the price increased without any notification.


How would you describe the vision of Dream Maker Ventures? What is the main goal behind the organization? Dream Maker Ventures’ mission is to prove quantitatively through top-quartile returns that investing in and supporting underrepresented founders and diverse teams pays off. Historically, VCs are predominantly white or light-skin, heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied men and the companies they fund are also frequently made up those who look and think much like them. Founding teams that receive outside investment tend to be white and menidentified. Therefore, investing in startups whose founders reflect a range of backgrounds and lived experiences.... Taking a more holistic approach to ensure that we’re funding a diversity of founders... has a competitive advantage, appealing to broader customers, values, and solutions, among a host of benefits that strengthen the fabric of our society. We are investing in the community first and we’re working to understand the complexities of investing in diverse teams and engaging with marginalized communities. This approach requires significant study, sensitivity, and time; most VCs have not taken the time to engage these communities to listen and learn, that’s what our model hopes to bring to the table. What is the biggest benefit that Dream Maker Ventures provides to women entrepreneurs? We know that women-centric approaches are not enough because women are not all under the same conditions. Women often have multiple and intersecting identities that come together in unique ways can at times, lead to even greater marginalization. Just focusing on gender tends to only benefit and focus on a subset of the population that is typically already advantaged. Through our intersectional approach we have partnered with

specific programs for women, people of colour, people living with disabilities, newcomers, refugees, Indigenous peoples, and the LGBTQ+ community; to invest capital in initiatives and founders that will yield better returns dollar for dollar.

directly benefits women of a certain socioeconomic status and demographic. The key to remember, if we can remove the obstacles for those who are held back by systemic barriers in our society, then those in the middle get that uplift in access too.

In your expert opinion, what are the biggest challenges that women entrepreneurs face and how can Dream Maker Ventures help them overcome these challenges? There are a multitude of sociocultural factors affecting women from the day they are born or transition which informs their perspective and how women are treated. The narratives we’ve been fed in North American culture and beyond about the solo white man entrepreneur has obfuscated the reality that it takes a village to build and run a successful business.

What can you tell us about your role at Dream Maker Ventures? My role at Dream Maker Ventures is very entrepreneurial – the experience of raising a fund for a VC is very similar to that of an entrepreneur. I won’t go into the tedious details, but it is one of those experiences you can only learn by doing, no matter how voraciously you read. As a Principal, I spend my time discovering the highest potential founders, and once we close the fund I will be focused on investing and working closely with our portfolio companies.

For example, “Indigenous women working in tech occupations earned less than their male counterparts. Out of the 300 enumerated Inuit tech workers in 2016, there were no women identified.” (Brookfield Institute, Who are Canada’s Tech Workers?, January 2019)

How important do you believe it is for Canada’s economy to invest in women entrepreneurs? It is critical for our entire economy that women entrepreneurs to get the funding necessary

At Dream Maker Ventures, we’ve focused on one of the major challenges which is a specific type of asset class investment. We are also working to remove barriers – such as bias, inequity, inaccessibility – for talented entrepreneurs to have access to the same opportunities. All of our efforts are intersectional and deliberately focus on those not included. There are a lot of talented individuals with valuable perspectives who are never part of the conversation because a focus on women often only

Also, in many cases, we are talking about women-led teams, not only women or only men teams. Diverse teams -- those that reflect a diversity of lived experiences and backgrounds, well beyond gender identity -- have been proven through evidence-based social science research to perform better. We need to capitalize on that performance and operationalize inclusive decision-making in every team. It is critical for our economy as a whole that women entrepreneurs are fully funded – this is where our economy has the most growth potential. Do you believe that there is still a lack of resources in Canada when it comes to helping women entrepreneurs succeed? Yes. There is always a need for more resources. Venture Capital backed tech startups with women on the founding team are still hovering at approx. 2%.

Although $2B was provided through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy funding to double the number of womenowned businesses by 2025 this type of funding is provided to other specific sectors of the industry every year, whereas women are over half of the population. There is so much potential talent and perspective to unlock greater value in our economy. Research from BCG found if women entrepreneurs received as much support as men entrepreneurs, the global economy could experience up to a $5 trillion boost. Imagine what Canada would look like with even a small slice of that $5 trillion! What can you tell us about any future projects that Dream Maker Ventures has planned? With the launch of the Dream Legacy Foundation, our philanthropic non-profit arm, we are building the capacity for a truly intersectional approach. Expect to hear more about our funding models and partnerships as we build our Diversity Fund. On a final note, what made you decide to go into this line of business? What brought you on this career path? Many incredible mentors led me to pursue Venture Capital. I’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship, ever since I was selling my paintings at 5 years old and learned the word entrepreneur. In VC, the multitude of ideas brought forward every day by founders and analyzing which direction they should take for optimal scale. I was fortunate in the amount of encouragement from other women in VC. They supported my work at Fierce Founders and took hours of coaching to strategize on how to pursue this career. In particular, Neha Khera and Nicole Leblanc have supported me through multiple my time at Communitech, joined my investment advisory committee at OCE, and pushed me to step into private sector VC. I would not be at this stage in my career without them.

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SAFEGUARDING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS WHEN

DIVORCE STRIKES

By Nathalie Boutet

C

anada is home to the most active female entrepreneurs in the world, with 13.3 per cent of women starting and running their own businesses, according to a recent report on Women’s Entrepreneurship. In addition, the Government of Canada recently announced a $2 billion investment that aims to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025 nation-wide. As more women increasingly look to secure their career and finances through business ownership, safeguarding against the risk of marital breakdown is important especially given that, on average, an estimated 40 per cent of marriages in Canada will end by 2035. Successful entrepreneurs know the hard work and dedication it takes to build a thriving business, which is both an asset and income for themselves and family – and sometimes for more than one generation. But often, insufficient time has been spent protecting a business from the potentially devastating impact of a divorce. Ideally, couples will draft a marriage agreement in advance, as open and candid discussions are actually easier to have and are better received early, rather than later, in the relationship. Pre-nups are not about denying anyone of their fair share but rather making sure that clear parameters are set up front. They can also allow for jointly chosen, pre-selected experts and a defined method to value the business. If it’s a family business, the spouses can also plan who will operate the business if there is a separation. In the event of a marital breakdown, there are some best practices to help minimize the negative impact on your business.

Make strategic first steps Upon separation, people can deliberately or inadvertently cause harm to the family business. The tension of a divorce can be disruptive to employees, partners and even customers, which may lead to reduced productivity. When both spouses are shareholders or have an important role in the operations of the business, the potential exit of one of them during a 46

divorce can disrupt operations and even cripple a company. Best practice for co-owner spouses is to work together on an exit plan, to create a smooth transition and distribution of responsibility in order to minimize any negative financial impact. While it’s important to seek legal advice quickly, the type of legal method you choose speaks volumes about your approach. Hiring an aggressive litigator sets the tone for an adversarial divorce which will likely be fueled by conflict and higher costs, which is more likely to impact the stability of the business. Alternative methods such as mediation or collaborative law signal a cooperative stance to finding a mutually beneficial solution, while reducing the duration and legal expenses of the process.

Keep it out of court Aside from being extremely costly, going to court takes control out of your hands and should only be considered as a last resort. Your personal and sensitive family disputes, and business information, becomes public. More importantly, judges have the power to order share transfers, a forced sale of the business and, in some extreme cases, issue freezing orders. It can also be further damaging if there are children involved. Non-court methods such as mediation and collaborative law can reduce cost and friction, but more importantly they offer privacy in the process. In these out-of-court systems, issues around taxes and finances associated with a potential transfer or sale of corporate or personal assets can be addressed constructively. For example, you can learn to find payment methods that minimize tax implications, use one trusted business valuator for the team to minimize cost or conflict, or create a transition plan for the business if it is no longer possible to jointly operate it after a separation.

Minimize financial disruptions According to Ontario Family Law, the non-owner married spouse may receive the equivalent of half the value of the business portion that was

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acquired during the marriage, unless the shares were excluded in a marriage agreement. The business owner will typically hire a business valuator to prepare a formal valuation of the shares based on accepted methods. However, because business valuations involve some subjective factors, the non-owner spouse may contest the report and obtain their own valuation. The family will then be in the unenviable position of having to fund a battle between the two experts’ sometimes very different valuations, as they defend their methods and findings. If you reach an impasse and the matter goes to Court, all of your financial affairs will become public record. Once an agreement on the value of the business is reached, the next decision is how to pay half of that to the non-owner. It is more common that this payment is made with other liquid assets rather than with the transfer of shares in the business and, if necessary, the buy-out of can be made in installments over a period of time to minimize financial stress on the business. It also helps to think outside the box. For example, Interest-Based Negotiation is a Harvard negotiation model that offers creative solutions that may fall outside of the traditional legal model, but which may be better adapted to the specific needs of your business and situation. Examples of creative thinking include delaying a capital payment to address cash flow issues, or, if it’s a joint business, continuing to co-own for a period of time with clearly defined roles to ensure a smooth transition. Best practice is for spouses to act cooperatively. Separations are often more successful when both spouses are knowledgeable about their finances and work together to build a vision for their newly separated lives.

N AT H A L I E B O U T E T Nathalie Boutet, based in Toronto, is an experienced family law lawyer, accredited mediator and certified Family Enterprise Advisor™ skilled at providing unique strategies and out-of-court results to the complex legal, financial and human matters related to separation or divorce for high-net-worth families and business owners.


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Keep your business humming by keeping up with the latest technology. Wherever you take your life’s work, and wherever it takes you, we’re here to make sure technology works as hard as you do. Visit cisco.com/ca/smb to discover our solutions.

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Profile for CanadianSME

CanadianSME December 2019  

We’ve officially reached the last month of 2019. We, at CanadianSME, hope that this year was a successful year for you and your business. Wh...

CanadianSME December 2019  

We’ve officially reached the last month of 2019. We, at CanadianSME, hope that this year was a successful year for you and your business. Wh...