Page 1

CANADIANSME ISSUEE 6 MAY 2019

Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses

BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE MONTH

NATASHA KOIFMAN PRESIDENT, NKPR PAGE 32

EXCLUSIVE CHAT WITH

JULIE GAUDRY

SENIOR DIRECTOR, GROUP INSURANCE AT RBC INSURANCE PAGE 16

MELANIE CHENG KAI-ON MARKETING DIRECTOR, PUROLATOR

TALKS ABOUT PUROLATOR FOR ENTREPRENEURS PAGE 28

BUSINESS TALK WITH

DENNIS DARBY

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF CANADIAN MANUFACTURERS & EXPORTERS CMEE PAGE 50

ZOHOLICS 2019 PAGE 44

THE GREAT

NEGOTIATOR DAN KELLY

PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER-CFIB www.canadiansme.ca CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I 1


CANADA BUSINESS TALKS

www.canadabusinesstalks.ca

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

MARKETING FOR SMES:

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

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION:

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

SMALL BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY:

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

2

FINANCE:

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

BUSINESS MANAGEMENT:

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

WOMEN ENTREPRENEURSHIP:

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

LEADERSHIP MANAGEMENT:

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

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


WELCOME

Our May issue is officially here and we are very excited about all the great content we have to share with you this month! We strive to be Canada’s number one magazine in providing exclusive insights, strategies, and advice to entrepreneurs. Since our inception, CanadianSME has been committed to delivering quality content. We make it our mission to include only the most exclusive interviews and information that will be valuable to all of our readers. That’s why our team works hard to ensure that they are aware of all the latest trends in the business industry. Helping small and medium sized businesses grow is our mission. This month, CanadianSME is focused on technology and the latest IT solutions available in the marketplace for SMES. We are excited to announce that we are featuring exclusive content from the executive team at Zoho Corporation, a global IT software provider. We include interviews with the CEO and Co-Founder of Zoho, Sridhar Vembu, the Chief Strategic Officer, Vijay Sundaram, and the Chief Evangelist, Raju Vegesna. The CanadianSME team was live on site, covering the annual Zoholics conference in Austin, Texas, learning about Zoho’s newest product releases tailored towards SMEs. We are excited to announce that we are including the new Director of Business Development and Sales Acceleration of Cisco, Pietro Pasqualino in this issue, and Kash Ahmad, President and Marketing Director of BFS Canada. Dan Kelly, President, CEO and Chair of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is on the cover of this issue and we hope our readers will enjoy reading his Q&A. We also include David Ciccarelli, CEO of Voices.com, Melanie Cheng Kai-On from Purolator, and Julie Gaudry, Senior Director of RBC Insurance. CanadianSME is also very honoured to have Ruya Atac-Barrett, Vice-President of Data Protection of Product Marketing from Dell discuss security and risk protection measures for SME owners. At CanadianSME, we understand that technology is the future. Therefore, we are dedicated to providing our readers with the latest trends in IT along with recommendations from industry experts of any measures or processes they can put in place to protect them from any potential security risks. We hope that this month’s issue will help give you the knowledge and information you need to stay competitive in the market. Until next month, happy reading!

CANADIANSME Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses

www.canadiansme.ca info@canadiansme.ca canadiansme canadian_sme canadiansme

Editor & Publisher Shaik Khaleeluddin (SK)

Webmaster Ashraf

Consulting Editor Daniel Zimmer

Cover Photography Ana Luiza Velo

Creative Design Abdhesh Kr. Jha

Social Media Cmarketing Inc

Contributors Dan Kelly Kash Ahmad July Gaudry Julian Box Jack Zwicker Melanie Cheng Kai Martin Rydlo Laura Williams

Natasha Koifman Silvia Pencak Grace Nasralla Stuart Lister Ruya Atac-Barrett Raju Vegesna Sridhar Vembu

Vijay Sundaram Shaun Adams Dennis Darby Brandon McGovern David Ciccarelli Keanin Loomis

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The contents in CanadianSME Magazine are for informational purposes only. Neither Cmarketing, the publishers, Editors 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.


In this issue Regulars

15 20 11

32

The Great Negotiator Dan Kelly

Business woman of the month Natasha Koifman

26 30

16

Exclusive chat with Julie Gaudry

28

Melanie Cheng Kai-On talks about Purolator for Entrepreneurs

52

Innovation print solutions for SME's

31 34

22

Getting to know Julian Box

36

Best IT Solutions for Canadian SME's An interview with Cisco's Pietro Pasqualino

40

Zoho and the importance of the SMB Market

39 45

58

The new Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4MATIC Iconic design meets strength and intelligence

27

Latest Products

EMPLOYMENT

SMEs are facing a labour shortage: Here’s what you can do to retain and recruit the best workers

BUSINESS INSURANCE

Top 5 Best Insurance Companies for SMEs

PRIVATE ARBITRATION

Moving away from civil trials to private arbittration

OPPORTUNITY Town of Collingwood What it takes to build a successful, knowledge-based economy in a small Canadian community

EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT

Why SMEs should consider contractual divorce terms before engaging any new employee

BUSINESS WOMEN

How To Stand Out As a Leader in the 21st Century

DATA PROTECTION

Behind the scenes of Dell's Global Data Protection

LATEST ANNOUNCEMENT

Visa and Wave Join Forces to Improve Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses


Contributors:

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).

JULIE GAUDRY Senior Director of Group Insurance RBC Insurance Julie Gaudry is the Senior Director of Group Insurance at RBC Insurance. Having worked at RBC for over 12 years, 4 of which were at RBC Insurance.

JULIAN BOX

MELANIE CHENG-KAI-ON

Marketing Director, Purolator Melanie Cheng-Kai-On is the Marketing Director at Purolator. She’s a passionate B2B Marketing leader who’s initiated amazing strategies across several areas such as sales, brand, customer segments and products just to name a few.

KASH AHMAD

Managing Director and President of BFS Canada Kash Ahmad joined Bibby Financial Services (BFS) in December 2017 having spent more than 20 years at Barclays and a further three at Lloyds. In January 2019, Kash took on the role of Managing Director of BFS Canada.

DAVID CICCARELLI

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Calligo

Founder, Voices.com

Julian Founded Calligo in January 2012 and is the company’s CEO and CTO. He is responsible for delivering Calligo’s vision of building client-centric business with data services based on the most innovative cloud technologies that optimise the data journey, while ensuring that data privacy continue to be at the heart of the organisation and our services.

As Chief Executive Officer, David is responsible for setting the vision, executing the growth strategy, creating a vibrant culture, and managing the company on a day-to-day basis.

STUART LISTER

MARTIN RYDLO

Vice-President of Marketing and Communications MacLean Engineering Stuart Lister is the Director of Marketing and Communications at MacLean Engineering. For more on the Live More Now campaign, visit www.livemorenow.ca

NATASHA KOIFMAN President, NKPR Natasha Koifman created NKPR in 2002 in order to combine her two passions: shining a spotlight on stories of substance and supporting causes that are making a difference around the world.

PIETRO PASQUALINO

Director of Business Development and Sales Acceleration, Cisco Canada

Pietro has over 12 years of experience at Cisco across multiple disciplines – from Finance, Sales Operations, Strategy and Sales Acceleration.

RUYA ATAC-BARRETT

VP, Data Protection Product Marketing-Dell

Ruya has more than twenty-five years of high technology product experience in the areas of cloud solutions, converged infrastructure, data management, virtualization, servers, storage and data protection.

SHAUN ADAMS

Director, Marketing and Business Development Town of Collingwood

Director, Business Banking Sales & Support, Meridian

Martin Rydlo is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for the town of Collingwood, Ont. For more on the the Live More Now campaign, visit www.livemorenow.ca

Shaun Adams is the Director, Small Business at Meridian. Shaun has had a 17 year career with Meridian with leadership roles in Retail and Commercial Banking and now oversees the Small Business Channel across Ontario.


Contributors:

GRACE KUSTA NASRALLA Founder, OSBN Wife, mother, woman of faith, entrepreneur, business instructor, owner of e-presence Consultants Inc and founder of Ontario Small Business Network.

LAURA WILLIAMS

SILVIA PENCAK

President, WBE Canada

Silvia Pencak is the President of WBE Canada, Canadian non-profit organization that is opening doors for Canadian womenowned businesses to supply chains across North America.

BRANDON MCGOVERN

Director of Customer Experience, Home Printing Solutions Brandon splits his time between customer interaction and product team liaising. He works closely with clients to gather feedback about company products and services, then reports back to the appropriate department with information that can be used to to improve.

RAJU VEGESNA

Founder, Williams HR Law

Chief Evangelist, Zoho

As the founder and principal of Williams HR Law Professional Corporation and Williams HR Consulting Inc.

Raju Vegesna is currently the Chief Evangelist at Zoho and is one of the foremost thought leaders in the SaaS revolution.

JACK ZWICKER

Corporate lawyer

DENNIS DARBY

President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Dennis Darby is the President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). Before serving as CEO of the OPA, Darby spent 24 years with Procter & Gamble, starting his career as a product engineer and rising to director of North American External Relations.

KEANIN LOOMIS

President and CEO Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Keanin is the President & CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer of Innovation Factory, located at McMaster Innovation Park, and a lawyer at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC.

SRIDHAR VEMBU

CEO & Co-Founder - Zoho

Sridhar Vembu is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation. Sridhar initially founded AdventNet in 1996 and became its CEO in 2000.

VIJAY SUNDARAM

Zoho's Chief Strategy Officer

Vijay Sundaram leads the partner and channel programs at Zoho and in engaged in all aspects of Zoho's market strategy.

Over the last 42 years Jack has helped clients negotiate practical, business-like solutions to a host of contractual, corporate-commercial, property and estate issues. Where disputes have arisen and litigation is unavoidable, he has successfully represented clients in court.


The fastest growing B2B platfrom in Canada

January

November-2019

December-2019

3000 Attendees

300 Attendees

500 Attendees

info@canadiansme.ca

CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

7


NEWS Moneris introduces universal payment application on nextgeneration devices Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"), Canada's largest processor of debit and credit card payments, introduced Moneris Core ("Core"), proprietary software that will power its next-generation payment terminals. Available on Moneris' newest countertop devices, the Verifone V400c and Ingenico Desk/5000, and the wireless Ingenico Move/5000, the application delivers a consistent merchant and consumer experience during a payment transaction. Moneris is the only acquirer in Canada to offer a unified bilingual experience across point-of-sale (POS) terminals.

Nerds on Site Expands Florida Footprint Nerds on Site Inc. (the "Company") (CSE: NERD) (FSE: 3NS.F) (QTCQB: NOSUF), a mobile IT solutions company servicing the SME marketplace, is pleased to report further development of its Florida footprint with as it launches its signature NERD parade in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, North Port Florida. "This gulf region is a strategic expansion hub for the Company in Florida and the NERD parade is a proven marketing initiative which showcases the NERDS ON SITE brand to new clients in the prospective service areas," said Mr. Charles Regan, NERDS on Site CEO. "Historically, not only has it resulted in client awareness and spiked growth, but it has attracted new talent to potentially join the NERD team.

Government of Canada announces investment for women's organization in Corner Brook Corner Brook Status of Women Council receiving funding to ensure it can continue providing essential supports to women and their families organizations provide vital services to our communities, supporting women and girls to be financially secure, free from violence, and able to fully participate in all aspects of our economy and society. Yet for far too long they have been chronically underfunded, underestimated and undermined. The Government of Canada recognizes that women's organizations are the lifeblood of the women's movement, and that maintaining and growing their ability to do this important work is the most effective way to advance gender equality.

Intact announces $2.3 million commitment to help Canadians adapt to climate change During the Nature Champions Summit today, Intact Financial Corporation ("Intact") (TSX: IFC) announced a commitment of $2.3 million to 16 Canadian charitable partners – from coast to coast – focused on protecting Canadians from the impacts of climate change. "Climate change is having an enormous human and economic impact," said Charles Brindamour, CEO of Intact. "Canadians – especially government and business leaders – can lead the way in addressing and managing the associated risks. By making our country one of the most climate resilient in the world, we can protect our nature, our economy and our people."

Element AI and Gore Mutual Announce First AI-powered Insurance Underwriting Collaboration Canada's oldest property and casualty insurer partners with Element AI to integrate AI-powered Underwriting Partner product to deliver highly accelerated, accurate, and impartial quotes Element AI, a global AI products and software company, and Gore Mutual Insurance Company (Gore Mutual), Canada's oldest property and casualty (P&C) insurer, are working together to integrate the Element AI Underwriting Partner software product with Gore Mutual's underwriting practice. Respected for its pioneering spirit of embracing new, transformative Insurtech advancements— Gore Mutual is adding the latest machine learning (ML) insights and algorithms from Element AI to benefit its customers, insurance brokers, and employees. Created using Gore Mutual proprietary data, the Element AI Underwriting Partner software product will accelerate and ease the underwriting process for fair and informed decisions.

Canada's top cities for entrepreneurship: Whitehorse, Winkler and Victoriaville lead the way Whitehorse (YT), Winkler (MB) and Victoriaville (QC) were named the top three communities in Canada for entrepreneurship in 2018 by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)'s latest Entrepreneurial Communities report. Rounding out the top five were two more Quebec communities – Rimouskiand Rivière-du-Loup. "Small businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy, bringing jobs, new products and a sense of identity to their communities," said CFIB vice-president and chief economist Ted Mallett. "We want to celebrate that and congratulate the cities that have landed on the top of our list this year by embracing entrepreneurial values and understanding the needs of small business owners."


BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY PARTNERS

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Bring us in for a FREE 2-hour technology assessment. VISIT NERDSONSITE.COM OR CALL 1.877.696.3737


INTERVIEW

10

I CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019


The Great Negotiator

INTERVIEW

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). In this capacity, Dan is the lead spokesperson and advocate for the views of the Federation's 110,000 small and medium-sized member businesses. Dan joined CFIB in 1994 as Policy Analyst for the Prairies and, soon after, became Director of Provincial Affairs for Manitoba. Dan led many files, including the call for balanced budget laws and workers’ compensation reform. In 1999, Dan moved to Calgary to become CFIB’s Western VicePresident and was named one of Alberta’s 50 most influential people while in that role. In Western Canada, Dan led the Federation’s work on the growing shortage of labour, training and immigration, publishing many influential studies on these files. In 2009, Dan took on the role of Senior Vice-President, Legislative Affairs, where he led CFIB's successful campaign to establish a Code of Conduct for the credit and debit card industry. CFIB’s Board of Governors appointed Dan as President and CEO as of June 2012, and Chair in June 2014. In 2015, Dan was named one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful and Influential People in Government and Politics”, by Power & Influence magazine. Dan has served on dozens of provincial and federal committees and task forces and has represented Canada’s small businesses at the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. He currently serves on Finance Canada Payments Consultative Committee (FINPAY) and the Canadian International Trade Tribunal Advisory Committee. Dan is a regular speaker in Canada and around the world on topics like international trade, the payments industry, and skills and labour shortages. Prior to joining CFIB, Dan served as a policy advisor to the Premier of Manitoba. In this capacity, Dan gained a great deal of knowledge on the legislative and political functions of government - specializing in rural development, transportation and economic matters. Dan was born and raised in Winnipeg and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Manitoba.

Can you tell us a little bit about the role that the Canadian Federation of Independent Business plays in the small business community? Small business owners on their own don't generally have a big voice, and they don't have the resources to hire a lobbyist. In the last few months, Canada has been gripped by a scandal about a large corporation, SNC-Lavalin, and their lobby efforts with the federal government to try to push for a special deal with respect to the legal challenges that they are facing.A small company can't afford to hire somebody that's going to be calling the Prime Minister's office every five minutes. However, collectively when small businesses come together and join the Federation, we can go to bat for them in Ottawa, at provincial capitals and increasingly with municipal governments across the country. That’s why CFIB was founded 48 years ago. John Bullock founded CFIB on a tax protest.There was a proposal at the time to increase the rate of taxation on small firms to fifty percent and after he read about this proposal, he started to organize small business owners across the country. After he successfully won that fight, he really saw the need to found an organization that could be the voice for SMEs in Canada.We've evolved significantly over the past 48 years, but always to serve SMEs. We have focused on providing savings and benefits programs for our members through partnerships with companies like Mastercard, American Express, Payworks and Scotiabank to give them real value. We've negotiated significant discounts with credit card processing, insurance, and banking services by leveraging the bargaining strength of 110,000 businesses. The third primary focus for CFIB is to provide business counseling and business support. Small firms don't have a vice-president of HR or a compliance specialist on staff, but they still have to navigate complex government rules and regulations. We help them understand those rules and regulations. In fact, our members can call our business counsellors with any question they may have and be assured that someone is in their corner.

CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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INTERVIEW

owners and getting them to cut back. Recently, I was in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario speaking to the Rotary Club and I must have met 30 CFIB members that have been with us for a long time.To listen to the business owners about how happy they are to have an organization like CFIB by their side was a real treat. In 2015 you were named one of the top 100 most powerful and influential people in government and politics.What has this mean for you and CFIB? CFIB for many years has been regarded as one of the top 10 advocacy groups in the country. The previous Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that CFIB is the most influential advocacy group in his lifetime. The influence that we have comes from the size of our membership. So we are very focused on growing and continually adding more small businesses to our ranks.

Can you please share a few details with our readers regarding how you started with CFIB? I have worked with CFIB for many years. 25 years ago, I started as a policy analyst in our office in Winnipeg. I moved within CFIB to Calgary, then to Ottawa, and when I became president I moved to our Toronto office. Before CFIB, I was really interested in politics and I started as a policy analyst working for the Premier of Manitoba. One of my first jobs was helping the premier respond to all of the surveys that were done by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. When a job became open at CFIB, I talked to the Federation, and that's when it all began. CFIB represents independently owned and operated companies. Working with small business owners has been a real joy. Once they’re established, many business owners start to think about their role in their local community, the jobs that they create, and the contributions that they give to their local charitable organizations, kids sports teams, etc. I think Canadians underestimate and underappreciate how significant the contributions from SMEs across Canada are. 57 percent of private-sector workers are employed by small businesses and they contribute 52 percent of the business sector GDP in Canada. Collectively, their impact is massive and I don't think small business owners get nearly enough attention for the contributions that they are making. 12

I CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019

It's one of the reasons I'm happy to hear that you have founded CanadianSME Magazine! I think that will be another great venue for small business owners to read about each other, to learn and perhaps to improve their businesses over time. You just celebrated your 25th anniversary at CFIB. You are the spokesperson and advocate for independent businesses. What drives you to advocate for the small businesses every day? One of the joys of working at CFIB is that you feel good about what you do. We are not just doing it for business owners, or for our members, but for the country. Canada has not always celebrated entrepreneurship.In fact, entrepreneurship decades ago was a dirty word.People had a distrust for business owners in general. People assume that if you own your own business that somehow “you are rich” and that's not the case at all. We are a nonpartisan organization, but we use the political power of 110,000 businesses to try to get government to make changes.We have been able to accomplish great things for small business owners and I think those changes have been helpful in growing the country.Getting the big credit card companies to stop charging independent merchants exorbitant fees on transactions while giving deep discounts to big companies was an important victory. So is bringing attention to the burden of red tape that the federal and provincial governments impose on business

BUSINESS OWNERS ARE LOOKING FOR REAL VALUE, AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT CFIB IS VERY CONSCIOUS OF THAT. WE ARE NOT LIKE A UNION, WHICH HAS MANDATORY MEMBERSHIP DUES WHETHER YOU WISH TO BE A MEMBER OR NOT. AT CFIB, IT'S A VOLUNTARY DECISION AND THAT KEEPS US SHARP.WE MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE SERVING OUR MEMBERS WELL. OTHERWISE, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO STAY WITH US. You often speak about international trade in Canada and throughout the world, why is international trade important for small businesses? More and more businesses are looking at markets outside of Canada because they know that they want to grow and expand into international markets. The vast majority of our trade goes directly south of here. However, we saw after the economic recession in 2008, and I think more recently since President Trump has taken office that we can't always depend on having access to the US market.


INTERVIEW

Our members have been very supportive of the new free trade agreements. Canada has signed the CETA agreement with Europe as well as the CPTPP with the Pacific Rim nations. Those are very exciting opportunities and we are trying to encourage more small firms to participate in international trade. What is the biggest challenge of running a small business? A business owner has many challenges. They may know their particular craft or trade very well, but that does not necessarily mean that they are prepared for everything involved in running a business, such as HR issues or compliance,and that's where we try to help. For example, one of the services we provide is training for business owners. We partner with Vubiz(Virtual University for Business) and we provide about 40 different courses on running your own business for free to our members. Recently we've seen the small business tax changes in 2017, the new expansion of the Canada Pension Plan and the new carbon tax that has been implemented by the federal government in four provinces.This is in addition to many provinces drastically increasing minimum wages or changing labour laws, making it very difficult for a business owner to run their independent operation. That’s where CFIB can play a big role in advocating for small- and medium-sized businesses. Many business owners have been feeling really let down by their governments recently. Governments need to pay attention, otherwise they are going to risk losing whatever support they've had from SMEs.

What are the big issues for small businesses in the upcoming federal elections? We have had a rocky relationship with the current federal government over the last couple of years. It started during the election campaign.The prime minister spoke to Peter Mansbridge of the CBC at the time, and he said that a large percentage of small businesses are merely fronts for wealthy Canadians to save on their taxes. That started at the very top, and it created much alarm.We then saw the 2016 budget when the federal government cancelled their commitments to reduce the small business corporate tax rate, and then in 2017 they planned the most extensive set of changes to small business tax policy in 40 years - they did that with virtually no consultation whatsoever. Small business owners were angry, and they came together and pushed back against the federal government and were successful in doing so. Looking forward to this upcoming federal election, there is much frustration over tax policies and we want to see the small business tax changes reversed. There is also the Canada Pension Plan premium increases that we think that the government needs to put the brakes on. Finally, the carbon tax is another big file, and we're asking the government to rethink the way that they're going about the federal carbon tax. Right now concerning the carbon tax, the government has said that consumers are going to get bugger rebates than what they will pay in and big businesses are getting exemptions. Half of the bill for the carbon tax will be paid by small- and medium-sized companies in Canada, but they will only get back about 10 percent in grants and that's deeply unfair. If we are going to have a carbon tax, it should be fair, and all Canadians should be asked to contribute, not just those Canadians who own small businesses. I do also worry about the next generation entering into the workforce: there are lots of jobs that are sitting vacant right now because Canadian young people are not accepting them, and that says to me that we need to use our immigration policies more strategically. We need to ensure that Canada continues to attract a good number of immigrants to come

and fill jobs at all skill levels in the economy, so immigration policy I think from a small business perspective is a pretty important one too. CFIB 50th anniversary is coming up, what does that mean to you? I think it's a huge sign of success. I became president about seven years ago to ensure that CFIB is a permanent force for good in Canada. We have had record years of membership growth. 2017 was a solid year for membership growth at CFIB, and 2018 was even better. 19,000 new businesses became members of CFIB last year, which is one of our most significant growth years ever. CFIB’s best years are ahead of us, not behind us.We are still growing and serving as a force to ensure that the interests of small businesses and entrepreneurs are heard and listened to in Canada. What is your piece of advice for Canadian small business owners? I think one of the things that small business owners should pay close attention to is the upcoming demographic challenges that Canada is facing.We have an aging population and it is going to become harder to find staff over time.Business owners need to ensure that they are looking at all of the things that they can do to make sure that they can continue to get their products and services to market. For some that might mean increasing automation to find some improvements in productivity.For others, it might mean a more detailed HR strategy to ensure that they can compete and attract the talent that they need for the future. Or it may mean using the immigration system to try to pull in talent that exists overseas for jobs in Canada. However, I think that this would be my main piece of advice: focus on ensuring that you have the human resources and the human capital that you will need to succeed in the future. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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EMPLOYMENT

SMEs are facing a

labour shortage: Here’s what you can do to retain and recruit the best workers By Dan Kelly President & Chief Executive Officer-CFIB

Having the right people for the job can make or break a small business. With a smaller team to rely on and fewer resources to devote to hiring, any position unfilled is a strain on productivity. So it’s not surprising that when I speak with business owners, the shortage of qualified labour is one of their most-pressing concerns. In fact, the shortage of skilled labour is the top factor limiting businesses’ sales and production growth, according to CFIB’s monthly Business Barometer. A vacant post means work going undone or a heavier load on your other employees – and often on you as the business owner. At the end of last year, more than 400,000 jobs had remained vacant for more than four months. That’s a lot of lost productivity. As an employer, you know that it’s never as simple as putting any warm body in the job. You need employees with the right combination of skills and attitude – something that’s proving difficult to find for many small business owners. In a 2015 CFIB survey, 73 per cent of business owners agreed that the work ethic of new hires has deteriorated in recent years. Workers who spend too much time on personal tasks at work, such as chatting with coworkers or browsing the internet, are some of the biggest irritants that we’ve heard about. With a labour shortage, you are competing with big players like government and large corporations to attract and retain a shrinking pool of qualified talent. But what can you do about it? Alone, you can try your best. Together with other business owners, you have more power. With the backing of the 110,000 smalland medium-sized businesses that are our members, CFIB is asking the federal government to put in place measures to help businesses like yours staff up: encouraging youth employment by instituting an EI holiday for workers under 24; offsetting the cost of

formal and informal training; and making it easier for small firms to hire foreign workers when they can’t find qualified candidates in their markets. But in the meantime, you should make use of every resource you have available to attract and retain your workers.

Get expert advice as soon as you need it Most small businesses don’t have HR or compliance specialists on staff, so hiring workers, administering benefits and complying with new and existing regulations falls squarely on your shoulders. CFIB’s members have the benefit of calling our expert team of Business Counsellors with any question they may have, such as how to give employees a great onboarding experience, draft an offer letter and employment contract, and administer government-mandated programs like workers’ compensation. They can also access resources like compliance checklists, a drug and alcohol policy and up-todate information on new rules and regulations. These tools are easy to adapt for your business and they help avoid problems you may run into. I’d encourage any of our members to call our Business Counsellors for help with drafting more effective job postings, finding government programs or grants for hiring, contacting their local colleges and universities’ apprenticeship programs, or starting the process of recruiting a foreign worker.

Offer an attractive benefits package without breaking the bank

your small business to compete with the big guys, but it may be worth a close look at CFIB’s preferred rates for group insurance through Primasure. CFIB’s members also save on vital services with companies like Payworks to help manage payroll, time-off requests or vacation pay, freeing up valuable time for business owners. Importantly, this service also produces T4s and records of employment at no additional cost. CFIB members also have access to Vubiz which can provide your staff with free online training on important topics like marketing and customer service.

Play to your strengths as a small business Lastly, don’t discount the benefits of working for a small firm over a large corporation or government. In fact, employees of smaller companies report higher levels of workplace satisfaction than those who work for larger organizations. Small firms can often be much more nimble, so consider offering your employees flexible working hours, part-time or seasonal jobs, the opportunity to work from home, and time off in summer, when you can recruit students to fill in. Working for a small firm often also allows employees to grow faster, branch out and learn new skills by collaborating with people with different expertise, and have a tangible impact on the business. Make these benefits clear to candidates in your job ads and during the recruitment process.

You are not alone Owning a small business can be a lonely calling, particularly when you’re understaffed. The current labour shortage is especially challenging for businesses that want to grow and thrive. Having someone in your corner, with the right mix of policy solutions and support, can make all the difference. That’s why 110,000 business owners have joined CFIB and trust us to push governments to act, provide support and answers to their questions and get them better deals to offer more to their employees and save money overall. If you’re not already member, you’re missing out on all of this. But it’s not too late – visit cfib.ca to find out more.

In some cases, you can also consider offering an overall benefits package to your employees and prospective hires. You may think these programs are too expensive and complex for

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INTERVIEW

Exclusive chat with

Julie Gaudry Senior Director of Group Insurance, RBC Insurance

Julie Gaudry is the Senior Director of Group Insurance at RBC Insurance. Having worked at RBC for over 12 years, 4 of which were at RBC Insurance. Throughout her career, she’s built herself a strong reputation and has participated in several innovative developments for the organisation. Strong leader with a passion for innovation, Julie has significantly contributed towards the growth and success at RBC Insurance.

Can you tell us a little bit about your responsibilities and tasks that you do daily? I lead a team at RBC insurance with overall responsibility for product development and the strategic direction for RBC Insurance’s group benefits business. We deliver on our business objectives by collaborating with all of our key internal partners - sales, pricing, claims, operations, etc. - and key external partners as well. As a team, we’re focused on thought leadership and innovation in the group benefits space. We want to make sure we're differentiating RBC Insurance through our products and services and to meet and exceed the needs of our clients. You have been leading RBC Insurance’s group benefits business for about two years now. What are some of the initiatives that you have put in place over that time? I struggle to name just a few of my favourite because it's been a busy time here. But there are three in particular I’d like to highlight: The first is our wellness program. We launched that in June 2018, and it's a digital wellness program which encourages employees to lead a healthy lifestyle. What’s different about our program is that it delivers personalized 16

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messages and information to users based on their reported preferences, identified risk factors, and claims data. Another key differentiator of the solution is the progress based incentives, perks and discounts. This helps ensure we attract a broader population than just the already healthy that tend to use wellness programs. Moreover, we also made sure that the program addressed the needs of employers. Many employers know they should implement a wellness program for their employees, but they are faced with challenges such as lack of time and budget. In fact, almost two thirds of plan sponsors want a program that includes the delivery of targeted health information to employees, but more than half are worried about the cost. Wellness programs have

historically been something that comes at an additional fee above group benefits and can be timely to plan and implement if you don't know where to begin. We addressed those challenges by including a wellness program in the cost of health coverage. The employer doesn’t need to do a whole lot - we make readily available communications and wellness challenges, and it's automatically available to their plan members through our group benefits portal and app. Our goal is to make it easy for employers to provide a wellness program, which helps show they care about their employees and can help them retain and attract best talent. Another key initiative was the launch of our drug compatibility testing program, also known as pharmacogenetic testing.


INTERVIEW

Genetic factors can account for up to 95% of individual variations in drug response and the effectiveness rate for many common drugs is less than 60%. We introduced a two-pronged program in partnership with a company called Personalized Prescribing Inc. (PPI). The first part of the program includes providing access to the drug compatibility test at a preferred price for all of our plan members. The test is designed to examine genetic markers that indicate an individual’s likelihood to respond well or poorly to a specific drug, then they have information to make an informed decision on their prescription drug medication with their physician. Recognizing the test is not available for all drug types, the second part of our program in partnership with PPI, is a clinical study that will evaluate the role genes play in the effectiveness of autoimmune biologic drugs. Biologic drugs are the fastest-growing drug category in terms of cost and is one of the key areas of concern for our clients. Our goals is to add to the literature and knowledge around this class of drugs and help our clients in time to better manage those costs. The last initiative I’d like to highlight is our enhanced claims management programs. One of the reasons clients turn to RBC Insurance is because they recognize that we have the best practices when it comes to claims management. We think differently about our role in helping clients recover from illness or injury and get back to work when they are ready. Onward by Best Doctors is the first program we launched which enhanced our approach to mental health claims, the leading cause of disability claims. Through this program we are able to make sure our clients have the right information, diagnosis and are receiving the right treatment. Support includes significantly faster access to psychologists (including a series of 12 therapy sessions), recommendations from psychiatrists, and oneon-one assistance from an assigned Client Advocate who provides support throughout the program. Through this program we are able to help individuals recover faster – on average we are seeing a 5 month reduction in claim duration, which is incredibly impactful for both plan members and their employers. Now, we are taking the learnings from this program and applying it to our second leading cause of disability, musculoskeletal disability claims, including chronic pain conditions. How crucial is having the right group benefits program for employees when it comes to the success and growth of a business? Group benefits is something employees will

undoubtedly look for from their employer, and research indicates that it is one of the key factors they will evaluate when selecting an employer they want to work for and stay with. A small business owner and entrepreneur may not provide group benefits for their employees at first. So as their business grows and they look to attract talent, they have to start thinking about how they will provide those benefits to their employees. Moreover, they also need to think about what that plan should look like if they are going to enter into the group benefits space. There is a lot of choice in the market today and small business owners should think about what kinds of products or services will be important to their employees.

"Today’s workforce is increasingly diverse, with multiple generations and attitudes towards benefits. Employers need to consider those differing views and healthcare needs as they make group benefits decisions. So it’s essential to get advice and work with a group benefits provider that can help you design the plan that will meet your needs over time."

What are some of the concerns or struggles faced by entrepreneurs or SME business owners in implementing group benefits? If you are a small or medium sized business owner, you likely don't have a sizeable inhouse HR team and you are likely wearing multiple hats and having to do many different functions. Therefore, designing and implementing a group benefits program is not an easy task. First and foremost, you need to consider what your employees need and want, and then select a solution that meets those needs. The other factor is cost. It is an expense, and there's a perception by some business owners that implementing group benefits is something that they can’t afford to do. But there are ways to design a program that can meet the needs of your employees and on an affordable basis. It's important to get good advice from experts in the industry who can help you design the right program for your employees and then help you find the right insurance carrier for that program. What are the benefits that RBC Insurance provides to SME owners that can help them overcome these challenges and make group benefits available to their employees? In addition to having the flexibility to provide a program that meets their needs, we understand the challenges faced by small and mid-sized companies. In fact, when RBC Insurance launched Group Benefit Solutions in 2013, we ensured our products and services would address the needs of those business owners and their employees. One of the ways in which we do that is our service model. Regardless of company size, you will have an assigned Group Service Representative at RBC Insurance that’s there to be the face of RBC Insurance to that client. Whether it's administrative questions, a claim issue, whatever it might be, they are there to help answer questions and help educate the employer and employees. And we don't differentiate by case size, we make that model available to all of our clients. Another way we support SME owners, is by addressing their concerns with cost. As part of our group benefits package, we include access to an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), a second opinion medical service, support with healthcare navigation and our digital wellness program at no additional cost. We also provide an HR Support Centre, which provides free online access to ready-to-use HR policies and templates, information on employment standards legislation, and other support for HR practices, to help them in managing their business. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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INTERVIEW

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Minister Bains Announces

INNOVATION

New Growth and Innovation Network to Support Scale Ups in Ontario From: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

$52.4 million to position southern Ontario as global tech leader and help generate 18,000 jobs Canadian businesses drive innovation, create good, middle class jobs and generate economic growth that improves the lives of all Canadians. To succeed in the global innovation race, we need to help promising companies take the next step and grow into global firms. That’s why the Government of Canada is investing in a growth and innovation network along the Waterloo–Toronto–Ottawa corridor. Earlier today, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $52.4 million to bring together three top innovation hubs—Communitech, MaRS Discovery District and Invest Ottawa. Together, they will implement the Scale-Up Platform to help innovative companies grow more quickly and contribute to the creation of 18,000 high-quality, skilled jobs. Through this Platform—the first of its kind in Canada—the three organizations will pool their resources to help 30 Ontario companies scale up and achieve revenues of $100 million or more by 2024, as well as to provide services to thousands of others. From coaching and advice to greater access to capital, talent and global markets, the Platform will give businesses the tools they need to grow. It will also strengthen partnerships with postsecondary institutions, preparing young Canadians for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible FedDev Ontario, was in Toronto to announce the $17.5 million that MaRS Discovery District is receiving as part of the overall funding, and to highlight the impacts that this new partnership will have on the region. By making strategic investments in Canada’s technology sector, the Government of Canada is helping secure our position as a world leader

in innovation and creating the right conditions for continued growth in our evolving economy. “We’re providing our homegrown businesses the support they need to succeed because they will play a key role driving our economic growth and creating tomorrow’s good jobs. By partnering with these top innovation hubs with a demonstrated track record of scaling up innovative companies, we are giving innovators in this ecosystem every chance we can to scale up, strengthen their footing at home, and compete in global markets.” - The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario “This new commitment from FedDev Ontario is a commitment for the future economy in Ontario and Canada. Our tech industry is the fastest-growing in North America, and this funding helps us ensure that we’re able to continue the momentum and support the growth of innovative companies that are creating the jobs of tomorrow.”

MaRS Discovery District have raised $4.8 billion in capital, generated over $3 billion in revenues and contributed over $11 billion to Canada’s GDP. •

The Waterloo–Toronto innovation corridor currently ranks as one of the top 20 technology clusters in the world. This investment will leverage the strengths of the Ottawa region and link it to the corridor, creating economic growth by combining forces.

Southern Ontario is among only three start-up ecosystems in the world that is strong in four of the most in demand areas in tech today: financial technology, artificial intelligence and big data, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing and robotics.

Through the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Government is making strategic investments to build innovation ecosystems in Canada, including the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative and the Global Skills Strategy.

- Yung Wu, Chief Executive Officer, MaRS Discovery District

Quick facts •

The Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, is investing $52.4 million in the Scale-Up Platform over five years. As part of the investment, MaRS Discovery District will receive $17.5 million, Communitech will receive $18 million and Invest Ottawa will receive $16.9 million.

The Scale-Up Platform will support 30 companies in southern Ontario to grow and achieve revenue objectives of $100 million or more by 2024.

Since 2008, companies supported by

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BUSINESS INSURANCE

Best business insurance resources

for SME's Having the right insurance provider for your SME is crucial. You need to ensure that all the aspects of your business are covered in case of any damages that can significantly risk the success of your business. With several different insurance providers available to Canadian SMEs, choosing the right one can be challenging. It’s a decision that should not be taken lightly. With that being said, we’ve asked our experts to research and come up with the 5 best insurance providers for Canadian SMEs. Below, you will find a profile of each of these companies along with their services for SMEs.

1 Zensurance Zensurance is revolutionizing the way of getting insurance. Because they understand that entrepreneurs often don’t have the time to talk to someone on the phone to get an insurance quote for their business, they’ve put in place a platform that facilitates and accelerates the process. By putting in place an online platform where business owners can go online 24/7 to request a quote without speaking to anyone, they have transformed the insurance industry. Thanks to their cutting-edge technology, entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to use their services from anywhere at anytime. Getting a quote for business insurance has never been easier! Zensurance offers the following business insurances: 20

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General Liability Insurance

Errors & Omissions Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance

Directors & Officers Liability Insurance

Cyber Liability Insurance

Legal Expense Insurance

It’s safe to say that will all the different types of insurance they offer, Zensurance covers every aspect of your business so you can rest assured. Business owners are often faced with several different types of risks that can significantly hurt the success of their business. That’s why Zensurance provides everything your business needs to ensure it’s covered from the ground up. They’re all about providing quality service for competitive pricing to ensure that entrepreneurs can focus on what matters: growing their business.

2 Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan For over four decades, the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan has been providing firms in Canada with insurance plans to help them protect their business. There are over 30,000 SMEs in Canada who have chosen them to provide benefits for their employees which makes the Chambers Plan the number

one employee benefits plan within the country for small businesses. What sets them apart from other insurance providers for employee benefits? Their three core values they live by: simple, stable and smart. The Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan makes it easy to help entrepreneurs provide the best employee benefits to all their employees. By combining all three important factors that are crucial for any group plan, accessibility, flexibility and stability, it’s no wonder that more and more companies are choosing them as their main insurance benefit provider. Below are just some of the characteristics that makes the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan the number one choice for Canadian businesses: • Exclusive advisor support •

Quick set-up

Easy-to-use forms

48-hour claim processing

Simple administration

Pooled program that provides predictable and stable insurance rates Not-for-profit program allowing lower premiums

3 TruShield Insurance TruShield sets itself apart from other insurance providers by providing customized insurance


plans for each business. They understand that each business is unique in its own way and therefore, they require specific unique insurance based on their services. By assessing each business to find out what makes them different, TruShield customizes an insurance plan so each business can fully benefit from them. We several coverage options available to SMEs, each TruShield employ works hard on matching the right insurance plan with the right business. Their insurance coverages include: •

Commercial General Liability

Commercial Property Insurance

Business Interruption Income

Commercial Auto Insurance

Professional Liability

Cyber Risk & Data Breach

TruShield believes in the importance of protecting your business and having the right insurance policy, that’s why they want to ensure to set you up with the right insurance coverage that will not only protect your business from any potential losses or damages, but also guarantee its success. Each of their insurance policies are specifically tailored and personalized to meet all the unique needs of your business. With TruShield, you’ll feel like your business has the coverage that’s as unique as your business.

4

Aviva

Aviva offers flexible insurance plans that allows business owners to update and amend their coverage to suit their changing needs. Understanding that businesses often need to change and evolve with time so that they can stay competitive in the market, Aviva offers the option for entrepreneurs to adapt their coverage depending on the changes of their business. No matter the business size or industry you’re in, Aviva ensures that your business is covered on all aspects and that it’s adaptable to any changes your business may undergo. With their single policy convenience, Aviva makes it easy for entrepreneurs by having them refer to one single policy for easy access and reference. The Aviva Enterprise insurance policy is specifically designed for entrepreneurs, which is why it’s been built on three guiding principles to help make insurance policies for business owners simple, effective and adaptable to any changes:

1.

Comprehensive base protection

2.

Industry specific enhancements

3.

Business specific needs

Because every business is at a risk of undergoing losses and damages that can result from unexpected events, Aviva has ensured to put in place coverage options that can cover all aspects that can be at risk: property, liability, business income, equipment breakdown, crime and umbrella liability. With their flexible coverage plans that are suited for all businesses, it’s no wonder that they are Canada’s top choice when it comes to insurance coverage for small and medium sized businesses.

5 Intact Insurance Intact Insurance covers all aspects for entrepreneurs. Providing the most complete insurance coverage no matter the business industry, Intact has created itself a strong reputation across Canada. Their business insurance provides entrepreneurs with expertise advice and coverage to ensure all their needs are answered. Not only do they confirm that your business is covered on all aspects, but they also put measures in place to prevent them from happening. Their team of experts makes it their mission to provide resourceful knowledgeable information to entrepreneurs that can help them protect their business in the long run. Although there are certain risks that are obvious, Intact also believes that there are certain risks that are hard to predict which is why their Loss Prevention team works hard to identify potential hazards before they happen and suggests control measures to reduce or eliminate them completely. Intact’s insurance coverage provides the following services to entrepreneurs when it comes to safeguarding their business: •

Property and Liability Insurance

Commercial Vehicles Insurance

Specialty Solutions: Cross-Border Solution, Non- Standard Property, Group Insurance, Technology, Entertainment

Surety Bonds

Industries

Loss Prevention

Pamela Steer of WSIB named Canada's CFO of the Year Pamela Steer, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) has been named Canada's CFO of the Year™ for 2019. Now in its 17th year, the award honours senior financial leaders who have made significant contributions to business in Canada with demonstrated quality, insight and integrity. Pamela Steer led the WSIB through a major transformation that resulted in improved financial operations and helped to increase public trust and credibility of the crown corporation. Over the last few years, she has focused on ensuring the WSIB has the right talent, hiring more accredited accountants with private sector experience, strengthening actuarial expertise, and investing in training programs to foster young professionals' development. "Congratulations to Pamela Steer! Pamela's team at WSIB is supported by her leadership and the team supports her leadership 100%. A wonderful example of the mentor CFO," says Pete Pigott, President and CEO at FEI Canada. "Our finalists exemplify the best of Canadian financial leadership." "Congratulations to Pamela Steer for being named Canada's CFO of the Year™," says Alainna Tennison, Partner and CFO at PwC Canada. "Today, financial leaders are paving the way for business strategy and growth, while creating space for innovation to thrive. All the finalists have set an exceptional example for what it means to be a CFO in a rapidly changing world."

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INTERVIEW

Julian Box Getting to know

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Calligo Julian Founded Calligo in January 2012 and is the company’s CEO and CTO. He is responsible for delivering Calligo’s vision of building clientcentric business with data services based on the most innovative cloud technologies that optimise the data journey, while ensuring that data privacy continue to be at the heart of the organisation and our services. He brings over 30 years’ experience helping organisations streamline operations through the innovative application of technology. He has founded several start-up companies, including VirtualizeIT, an award-winning technology company, as well as co-founding Virtustream Inc., a venture capital-backed cloud service provider which raised over $120m in funding from several US-based venture capital institutions and was sold for $1.2B in May 2015. He also applies his unique expertise as a non-exec to several FinTech businesses as well as working with several local schools on their technology roadmaps. These include Jersey College for Girls where as a governor he works with the school’s executive team on its technology roadmap and innovative ways of applying technology into all aspects of the curriculum. What is your main day to day responsibility as CEO of Calligo? My main focus recently has been M&A activity and opportunities – primarily our recent acquisition of Connected Technologies, which made us one of the largest providers of IT managed services in the Greater Toronto Area, and the largest provider of IT services to CPAs. Otherwise, we tend to be on a three-year plan and I always believe that we need to be constantly checking it to confirm that our activities are aligned with our company’s goals. My role is mainly looking at our strategy and seeing how we might tweak it to take advantage of new trends to remain ahead of our competitors. And the rest of my time is

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dedicated to supporting and mentoring my senior team. What inspired you to create Calligo? It all came from becoming more and more interested in data and what you can do with it. This was back in 2011, and I felt there was an opportunity to offer cloud-based services differently. At the time, the whole point of the cloud was that you didn’t need to worry about exactly where your data was, provided it was secure and available. However, I felt that this attitude would change. I could see that data privacy was starting to gain momentum, and it seemed at odds with the way in which cloud was perceived and used. I could see it was only a matter of time before the market would change, which was why we moved quickly to design and build the world’s first cloud platform with data privacy and residency at its heart. Of course, I didn’t have a crystal ball so did not foresee the breadth of privacy laws and obligations that companies operate under now, I felt it was going to become best practice but as it turned out, privacy has become perhaps the most important aspect of running a business - understanding the laws around the data that you store and holding it legally and ethically. If you could pick one specific skill that you have learned in your previous 30 years in the technology industry that has helped you most in your current role, what would it be? You have really got to believe in what you are doing and understand exactly how it will help your clients. If your potential clients don’t need or like your product, it’s incredibly difficult to succeed. Also, if you deliver great customer service, it doesn’t matter what vertical you are in, I believe you will be successful. Can you tell us more about the products offered at Calligo and how they can help Canadian SMEs?

We have a few main areas that we focus on. Privacy is of course key to all our offerings. We offer data privacy services, ranging from helping people understand the frameworks that apply to them and how to incorporate them into their business processes, all the way through to offering outsourced Data Protection Officer services. We also host our clients’ data in our own global cloud infrastructure – built specifically to address business’ data privacy and residency priorities – or in Microsoft Azure. We have even built the world’s largest network of independently-owned Microsoft Azure Stacks, which allow businesses to create an entirely consistent hybrid cloud between Stack and public Azure, so you can take full advantage of the power and flexibility of Azure, while guaranteeing your data residency and sovereignty.


INTERVIEW

THE BIG ONE FOR OUR CANADIAN SME CUSTOMER BASE IS OUR MANAGED SERVICES. 80% OF OUR CLIENTS ARE ON A MANAGED SERVICE. WE DO EVERYTHING FROM HOSTING OUR CLIENTS’ DATA ALL AROUND CANADA AND ACROSS THE GLOBE, TO OFFERING DAY TO DAY SUPPORT, MONITORING SERVICES AND NETWORK PERFORMANCE AND OFFERING STRATEGIC COUNSEL.

We also deliver AI services. This is a relatively new space, but our customers are keen to understand how and where they can use it more and more. We are focusing on delivering AI into the small to mid-tier business space, in a way that gives them access to capabilities that have typically up until now been designed for the bigger players. All with data privacy support alongside.

having remarkable access to the best technologies for our clients.

Has the onboarding process for your customers been a key focus when creating all of Calligo’s products? Your company prides itself on having awardwinning processes in place to make the experience as “easy” as possible. We have created a pretty slick process for moving people’s infrastructure from onpremise or another cloud to our services, whether that’s our cloud or Azure. Frankly, our process has to be slick – any issue in a cloud migration can affect how the company accesses and processes its information, and therefore materially impact its core function. And while it’s of course lovely to be congratulated or thanked for a good job well done, our measure for success is effectively silence – we want our clients’ teams outside the IT department to not even realise they have been onboarded!

What advice would you give to small business owners when it comes to IT solutions and data privacy? SMEs should focus on what they want to do and not focus on the technology. The more profitable use of a business’ time is to focus on its core service and offering, not the nuances of the tools it uses, which is why outsourcing IT proves so popular.

Please describe how your vendor partnerships (with Microsoft, Lenovo, Intel etc.) have been essential to the success of Calligo? We pride ourselves on finding great technology. In fact, we have a long track record of being the first adopters of innovative and proven technology. For example, we were first in the world to implement Azure Stack with Lenovo and the first cloud service provider to have an entirely SSD-based offering, putting us ahead of our competitors for performance and reliability. We don’t stick to a badge, but we do put considerable effort into building face to face relationships with a small defined set of partners. This is where the rewards come from. They take time to build and maintain, but we have developed great mutually beneficial relationships with our vendors, which have led to us

Where are most of your customers located? We have clients all over the globe. Roughly 50% of our client base is in North America (Canada being the vast majority), and the rest comes from all over the world – primarily Europe and Asia.

As far as advice on data privacy is concerned, business owners need to make sure that nothing happens in their business with data before the teams responsible have ensured that they are acting legally and ethically. That goes for every interaction with a process, and every use of a tool that relies on data (which is most of them, to be honest!). It is especially important for new services and applications – privacy needs to be engineered into it. If you have not put privacy at the forefront, you could run into serious trouble. People are much more aware of this nowadays and there is no defence of not knowing about it. Where do you see the company going five years from now? What is the overall goal of Calligo? We will always remain focused on data and helping our clients capture it, host it, use it in a legal and ethical way, and optimize its value for their businesses. Our services may grow and evolve, but that ethos will always remain. We also consider it important to help clients understand just how much they can do with their data and show them the opportunities that exist – provided of course their data is being treated legally and ethically in the first place!

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INTERVIEW

REAL TALK WITH THE NEW PRESIDENT OF BFS CANADA Kash Ahmad, Managing Director and President of BFS Canada Kash Ahmad joined Bibby Financial Services (BFS) in December 2017 having spent more than 20 years at Barclays and a further three at Lloyds. In January 2019, Kash took on the role of Managing Director of BFS Canada. He has extensive experience in product-based finance and a proven track record of success, but his path to working as part of BFS was somewhat different to the usual story of progression.

You had initially done your studies in Engineering but made a switch to banking because you were opting for a more client relationship-based career. Would you say that having human contact is crucial when it comes to your career? I realized that it is all about people for me. As a chemical engineer, I spent most of my time alone in plants working on improving plant efficiency. It was a job that I enjoyed but I quickly found that I was drawn to working with people, building relationships and cultivating those connections around a service that I’m passionate about. It was the perfect move as the thing that drives my passion for the job is largely the people I work with – it’s all about the people! Because you’ve made it clear that having a strong relationship with people is important to you, what do you believe are the benefits of a good relationship between a company and its clients? Factoring with Bibby Financial Services (BFS) is not just a service, it’s a partnership. It goes without saying that if you invest time and effort to get to know your clients, listen to their needs and serve them to the best of your abilities, you are well on the way to building a strong relationship. Transparency, trust, and communication make this possible - it is genuinely a relationship. Offering exceptional service is part of our DNA – we talk about the BFS family and we take great pride in our customer-centric culture. Throughout your career, you traveled a lot to places such as Dubai and Pakistan. What did you learn through this experience that has helped you in your professional life? Traveling to new corners of the globe stretches your mind, exposes you to new life learnings and allows you to see things differently. You gain a new perspective from living and witnessing things outside of your day-to-day norm. This brings renewed vision to the work you do. Each country has a different commercial environment, a unique culture, and local traditions that affect how business is done. There are powerful advantages in taking the most successful aspects of these varied environments and combining what works

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best to deliver value to clients in other locations. For example, I’ve already identified aspects of the Canadian business model that can be applied to our UK business. What sets BFS apart from other financial services companies? Bibby Financial Services differentiates itself as a funding alternative that works closely with SMEs to tailor fast and flexible short-term financing to their unique working capital needs. We are recognized for our customer service and responsiveness and for our agility and exemplary corporate citizenship. We deliver a high level of service to a specific sector of business – SMEs - instead of trying to be everything to everyone where, ultimately, service suffers. What are some of the practices you’re putting in place to help SME owners grow their business successfully? Our services are always structured for a particular client’s business. SMEs need funding but also want a reliable partner to make sure their business runs efficiently. One with SME experience, a secure foundation, and fast, friendly customer service so they have security in knowing that they can receive funding quickly, on short notice, no matter what country they do business in. Offering tailored services instead of a one-size-fits-all-approach to each customer’s funding requirements, we maximize the potential for businesses to grow and prosper. Every funding facility that BFS delivers is bespoke to that SME. In your opinion, what are some of the best opportunities that SME owners should jump on to grow their business? Recent national statistics show that Canadian SMEs make up 98% of businesses and 70% of employment but only 4% of these companies export. This is in contrast to the EU, which is at 25%. The same data showed that there are tens of thousands of Canadian companies who could be exporters but are not currently. For SMEs in North America - with the right access to knowledge and education - exporting may be a viable option.

What is the most common mistake that entrepreneurs make when it comes to their business and how can BFS help them avoid these mistakes? Decision makers at SMEs may not be aware of the alternative funding options available to them. The banks tend to dominate the market with an offering of products that are geared more toward large businesses. We encourage SMEs to look at funders and funding options that are tailored to their own unique needs. You have a strong sense of personal commitment when it comes to recruiting the next generation of employees at BFS. What are some of the qualities you look for when it comes to your search for candidates? Qualities that we look for in candidates include a positive mindset and emotional intelligence, a growth outlook, great interpersonal skills and the ability to add value across the 3 Cs – Colleagues, Clients and Contribution. The ideal candidate for BFS gets real pleasure in helping SMEs grow and is looking for a long term career with our company. BFS is less corporate than similar companies; we take pride in a close relationship with clients and care about our internal culture. What are some of the improvements that you’re hoping to put in place or have already put in place that can improve the client experience? Automation. To be clear, this is not about reducing staff – it’s about employing better technology so colleagues can spend more time with their clients. Automation helps us achieve this by improving internal processes and workflows. On a final note, you’ve mentioned that you have a passion for golf because it’s the only sport that allows you to switch off. What is it about the sport that makes you relax and unwind? The social side of the game, walking a few miles and enjoying the company of a group of friends. That’s a big part of relaxation to me. When I’m focusing down on the ball it allows me to clear my mind for a few hours and switch off. I have reams of notes that I have jotted on the back of scorecards during my time on the course as things come to me!


"If you can offer a free tier that provides a lot of value, it will naturally help your product to spread much more rapidly." Melanie Perkins Co-founder of Canva

HAVE AN IDEA?

BRING IT TO LIFE! HELP FOR ONTARIO’S ENTREPRENEURS. The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) is a collaborative network of organizations across Ontario designed to help entrepreneurs, businesses and researchers commercialize their ideas. It provides a comprehensive suite of programs and services spanning the full commercialization continuum from idea to market. The ONE network was created to bring together the various resources for entrepreneurs, so you don’t have to search. The less time you spend finding and accessing programs and services, the more you can focus on “the business of running a business”. With a simple visit to www.onebusiness.ca, you can get connected with the right expert for all your business needs.


PRIVATE ARBITRATION

Moving away from civil trials to

private arbitration By Jack Zwicker

While British Columbia and Alberta alone undertook litigation rule revisions in 2010 in an effort to simplify and speed up the course of civil actions, the other ten provinces maintained the status quo leaving a vacuum. And that vacuum is increasingly being filled as businesses move away from the courts to private arbitration in order to achieve quicker, less expensive results. The issue for businesses facing commercial conflict is whether they can afford the uncertainty, the lost opportunity costs, and the legal expenses of having cases tied up in court for years. The crisis in our civil courts due to shortages in funding and appointment of judges has caused a five year backlog of trials in our largest cities. The good news is that most arbitrations can be completed within a year or less. It is not surprising that Individuals and businesses that need and want to resolve disputes quickly are opting for arbitration. The move toward private arbitration is not just a reflection of frustration with long time lines and legal expense. Equally important in commercial disputes is the need for resolution because many businesses still do business together in spite of their disagreements and want to keep that way. Where prior negotiation or mediation does not work because of an issue of principle that becomes a roadblock, arbitration is the go to process that guarantees a decision no matter what the result is. Just because businesses find themselves in conflict at times doesn’t mean that they are at war. As well, because of interlocking boards of directors and family relationships, these relationships may suffer the longer it takes to resolve disputes. For disputes that have a lower dollar value and content that is not particularly technical, using a single arbitrator works well. On the other hand, where the dollars involved are higher and the content is technically complex, disputants often opt for three person arbitration panels, with each party naming one arbitrator, and both naming a third. The reason for this, assuming a two party dispute, is that each party gets to choose an arbitrator to his or her liking with expertise in the subject matter. Once named they choose the third arbitrator, often a lawyer with expertise in managing the arbitration. 26

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To begin with, parties who arbitrate have the right to tailor their arbitration agreements as often as necessary. They get to select the arbitrators who have academic and practical knowledge of the subject matter. On the other hand, judges assigned to try civil actions often do not have specific knowledge of the particular subject matter of disputes and need to rely on the guidance of counsel.

One of the most important features of arbitration is confidentiality. If the parties are concerned about publicizing vital financial information or intellectual property data, they can agree to blanket confidentiality that prevents all of the participants from discussing information with the media. For parties who go to court, the rules are different and evidence filed with the courts is generally available to the public. Orders barring publication are exceptional and need court approval.

JACK ZWICKER

If there is a single function that distinguishes arbitration from litigation, it lies in the guidance of the arbitrator at the very first meeting of counsel at which the entire process is discussed and mapped out. And during that discussion parties are encouraged to agree to simplified procedures that can result in waiving or limiting the time taken for examinations for discovery, elimination of lengthy affidavits of documents, and simplification of document production, and testimony, including expert evidence at hearings. It is worth noting that arbitration legislation does not require formal hearings leaving it to the parties to request them. Indeed, arbitrations are regularly conducted without formal hearings where the parties are looking for the arbitrator to value claims made by policy holders on insurance policies, or the correct amount of market rent when commercial leases are renewed. By using arbitration wisely, parties can avoid the delay and the court costs involved where one side or the other launches interlocutory motions as means of asserting leverage. The more streamlined the process is, the fewer the

temptations to use leverage, and the higher the probability of keeping to the agreed timeline. Just as important are the arbitration statutes whether federal or provincial that give arbitrators the same powers to decide disputes as judges have, and the deference our courts give to arbitrators’ decisions provided that they comply with applicable legislation. Another feature commonly found in arbitration agreements is waiver of any right of appeal. Eliminating appeals brings an end to conflict and to mounting costs and extended time lines once the arbitrator’s award is delivered. At times, lawyers who act for clients in arbitration complain that both the time frame and the expense of arbitration are longer than expected. However, when they are asked for specifics, invariably the response is that counsel took it for granted that the procedures during an arbitration would be a carbon copy of the trial court’s Rules of Civil Procedure. In other words some counsel assume that all of the complex procedural layers provided for in the Rules of Civil Procedure necessarily apply. When that happens it’s no surprise that arbitration begins to imitate litigation. The trick for litigators is to recognize that an essential element in arbitration lies in crafting a disciplined, efficient, summary process which is fair to each party while stressing quality of evidence over quantity. Over presentation at an arbitration will definitely add to a client’s costs. However, it may also harm both the client’s legal and financial interests by burying the essential message.

JACK ZWICKER

Corporate lawyer

Over the last 42 years Jack has helped clients negotiate practical, businesslike solutions to a host of contractual, corporate-commercial, property and estate issues. Where disputes have arisen and litigation is unavoidable, he has successfully represented clients in court.


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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Melanie Cheng Kai-On

Marketing Director, Purolator

talks about Purolator for Entrepreneurs Melanie Cheng-Kai-On is the Marketing Director at Purolator. She’s a passionate B2B Marketing leader who’s initiated amazing strategies across several areas such as sales, brand, customer segments and products just to name a few. A true inspiration when it comes to leadership, she delivers results through innovative ways of problem solving and collaboration.

Can you give some brief details about yourself and how you started with Purolator? I have been with Purolator for over 13 years now, and have worked in various areas within marketing. I am thrilled to be a part of the Purolator team, and I love the company and the people.

What do you believe is the number one benefit for entrepreneurs partnering with Purolator? How can it benefit them in growing their business? I think there are three key benefits for small business owners that differentiate Purolator in the marketplace.

For close to 60 years, Purolator has been providing delivery services to Canadian businesses using our extensive transportation and logistics network. When you choose Purolator as your courier company, you can take advantage of our extensive network and count on the best-in-class service and support. We provide a wide range of Canadian and international delivery services, within Canada, and to/from the U.S. and other international destinations.

(a) Reliability – we focus on getting our customers’ packages delivered on time: when they want it and where they want it for their customers. (b) Network coverage - we are a Canadian company, and we service all of Canada from coast to coast. We help SMEs grow by giving them the ability to reach all destination points in Canada, including urban, suburban and rural. We deliver to 210 countries outside of Canada as well.

I focus on three primary areas: (a) Brand strategy - how we represent ourselves to our customers in the market. (b) Small/medium business segment we manage 140,000 SME customers. We offer marketing programs to help retain, grow and acquire these new businesses, as well as support our sales team. c) Customer experience improvements bring new products and services to market and innovative digital solutions for our customers to help make shipping easier. 28

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(c) Representing our customers’ brand - we treat every package with the same level of importance that our customers would. Our drivers provide the best-inclass service to our customers to achieve the highest level satisfaction. Our drivers are also very loyal and have established long-term customer relationships. They are professional and courteous. If a SME is looking for a premium extension of their brand, they should use Purolator as their shipping partner.

Entrepreneurs face several challenges when it comes to marketing their products and reaching their target audience. In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge SME owners face when it comes to product marketing and how can Purolator help them overcome it? Our SME clients frequently comment that they don’t have a lot of time for everything they need to do to grow their business. For SMEs, Purolator is the shipping partner they can trust to deliver on all their shipping needs, so that they can focus on their businesses. We work hard to make shipping easier for SMEs, and we offer easy-to-use reliable, trackable shipping. Regarding reach and scale, we provide our SME customers the same solution as we do to our large enterprise customers. This way, SMEs can compete at the same level when it comes to shipping requirements to meet the needs of their customers. What resources and programs can Purolator offer to SMEs? Being a Canadian company, we work to support Canadian SME’s growth and success by offering various programs. One is our loyalty program called Purolator Business Rewards®, designed for Canadian small businesses, whereby the more a small business ships, the more they save. We also encourage innovation through grants and awards. For example, we recently held a contest for SMEs called Dream Into Reality. An award of $15,000 was granted


ENTREPRENEURSHIP

to a small business owner. The award is made up of a combination of $5,000 in free shipping and $10,000 cash that the business owner can use to invest in their business. To enter the contest, SMEs were asked to tell us about their business and how they are using innovation to turn a dream into reality. We received over 3,000 stories. We also partner with other companies to offer educational webinars and content for SMEs. Last fall, we partnered with Export Development Canada and we created an informative webinar on exporting. It's an important topic for our small business customers, as many of them are trying to expand into the U.S. and other international cities. What are the top three factors that entrepreneurs should look for when it comes to exporting their products outside of Canada? The top three things I would say every business needs to consider before exporting are: (a) Sketch out a marketing strategy what do your customers want and where can you find those customers

(b) Research customer expectations – they differ in different areas of the world (c) Gain a deeper understanding of duties and taxes in the geography you are exporting to Purolator’s services can help customers build and expand their export strategy. We can help SMEs by creating access to U.S. and international markets and providing insights on things such as transit times – for getting products where and when they want it – and returns management processes. We also have the expertise to support cross-border customs clearance. Additionally, our website provides resources for SMEs in our Import and Export Resource Centre. SMEs will find helpful information on a variety of topics related to importing and exporting, including customs documentation, duties and taxes and additional resources. If you could give advice to a business owner who is looking to grow their business across Canada, what would it be? I advise SMEs to have a “customer-first, customer-centric strategy.” Purolator puts

our customers first. We continuously look to understand our customers’ needs and we know business needs are not one-size-fits-all. Moreover, just as small businesses are unique, we offer unique solutions too. On a final note, our readers love to hear about success stories. Can you tell us about a success story where Purolator helped a business grow successfully? We hear these types of stories all the time from our front-line employees. A great example is a recent story about how we are able to help the small business customer meet the needs of their customer with the help of our support – a reliable service and broad network coverage. A customer of an automotive shop in Chilliwack, B.C., had been without her car for a couple of weeks. It was going to take 2 weeks to get the part (a sensor) needed to fix the car, which was needed to drive to a funeral, so it was very time-sensitive job. Our customer finally found the part for the car in Montreal, and he was able to use Purolator to ship it from Montreal to Chilliwack with priority overnight service. The part was delivered before noon the next day through our guaranteed Purolator Express® service. Purolator makes sure we meet the needs of critical time-definite customer requirements. In the end, the automotive shop was able to fix the customer’s car on time and ultimately reach her destination on time. Our customers go above and beyond to provide the best-in-class services to their customers and it’s important to us that we help them do so. Purolator is Canada’s leading integrated freight, package and logistics solution provider. With 12,000 employees, 170 operations facilities, 110 Purolator Shipping Centres and a fleet of more than 5,300 vehicles, trucks, highways trailers and tractors, Purolator’s network is a vast and complex one that depends on integrated and innovative logistics solutions. For over 50 years, Purolator has been providing delivery services to Canadian businesses using an extensive transportation and logistics network. When you choose Purolator as your delivery company, you can take advantage of this extensive network and count on best-in-class service and support. The organization provides a wide range of Canadian and international delivery services.

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OPPORTUNITY

Town of Collingwood What it takes to build a successful, knowledge-based economy in a small Canadian community

or the sixth year running, Collingwood made the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ (CFIB) top 10 list of small communities to start and grow a business in Canada. This year we ranked number one in Ontario. Since we started appearing on the CFIB’s entrepreneurship awards list, more and more people have decided this is, indeed, a great place to start a business. If you thought that having Blue Mountain on one side and the beaches of Georgian Bay on the other sweetens the pot, you would be correct. Setting up shop in Ontario’s premiere four-season playground is a big draw. What people don’t know, however, is that Collingwood and the South Georgian Bay region is Ontario’s best-kept knowledge-economy secret. Other communities have struggled to manage the transition from traditional industries to the higher pay and stability that knowledge and tech sector jobs bring; we’re most of the way there. Heavy industry is very much Collingwood’s history. For a century, shipbuilding sustained us. When that went away in 1986, tourism became a sustaining force. But there was an opportunity to layer new growth onto the great lifestyle that attracted tourism in the first place. When I tell people what kinds of businesses we have here, it blows them away. Many are true global leaders. MacLean Engineering, for example, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of electrically-powered underground vehicles for mining. They were among the first to market, have a significant market share and compete with multinationals like Epiroc and Caterpillar. Sensor Technologies is another. They make underwater sensors used by the world’s navies, fishing fleets and NASA. Isowater is a company that leads the world market in the supply of heavy water products for the cosmetics, medical and computer manufacturing industries. To attract tech businesses, however, ski hills and beaches will only take you so far. Fast fibre Internet and proximity to the GTA both help. The 30

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Collingwood Business Development Centre (BDC), conceived in 2014, is another big factor. It’s a onestop shop for prospects to find land and space, meet the right people and get loans and grants. They hold more than 100 networking events each year to make sure that business owners and entrepreneurs can meet up with local leaders who can support their growth. What we have now are synergies between area businesses, a community of sophisticated businesspeople and a high degree of business acumen. We have critical mass. If you want a high-skilled knowledge-economy job here, you can have one. Some workers in the area are even reverse-commuting from Toronto. So how can other small communities across Canada emulate our entrepreneurial success? First off, they need to develop an economic development plan focused on nurturing the kind of business ecosystem they hope to sustain over time. Transitioning to a knowledge-focused economy takes concerted effort and strategy. A dedicated business development centre is a big part of that, but local government needs to get behind the concept, too. Collingwood’s mayor, Brian Saunderson, has been a major supporter of fostering connections between our many thriving companies. As a pillar of the local business community, he is able to speak their language. Another factor in our success was an emphasis on meeting with local tech companies to better understand their operational needs. The nearuniversal message: ‘We’re doing great, but we just can’t find enough qualified employees.’ It’s a familiar refrain heard across Ontario, but a potential harbinger of local economic hardship if not promptly addressed. So, we responded with an undertaking that— as far as we can tell—is a first in Canada. We created a campaign promoting the fact that this is a great place for tech and knowledge-economy companies to thrive and grow. It’s called Live More Now, and it’s aimed squarely at attracting skilled workers and entrepreneurs who place a high value on the many lifestyle benefits of living

MARTIN RYDLO

Director, Marketing and Business Development Town of Collingwood

Martin Rydlo is the Director of Marketing and Business Development for the town of Collingwood, Ont. For more on the the Live More Now campaign, visit www.livemorenow.ca

and working in a four-seasons resort community such as Collingwood. We’ve worked with area tech businesses to get pointed in the right direction and to develop a messaging strategy. You’ll find write-ups and videos on the businesses and their people, a curated online job board stacked with current positions, and useful ‘how-to’ information for business owners and job seekers. We’ve mounted a PR effort and partnered with Mountain Life, a popular local outdoors publication, for integrated digital outreach. The campaign is homegrown, from the creative messaging strategy and PR outreach to the website, social media campaign and videos. Even the blockchain-based online advertising platform we use is made in Collingwood. Alongside this campaign are other undertakings like the Tech 5x5 networking and seminar event, the Business in Motion Speaker Series, education sessions and pitch competitions. These initiatives create opportunities not only to network, but also to enhance business acumen, improve social media marketing, pitching and other skills you need to grow a business successfully. For other communities that want to follow our path, my advice is simple: capitalize on what you do best, celebrate what you’ve built, and make a concerted effort to tell the kinds of workers and businesses you want why they should consider your community.


EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT

Why SMEs should consider contractual divorce terms

before engaging any new employee By Laura Williams Lawyers are considered an unsentimental lot— and for good reason. We’re the ones prone to pointing out that the best way to get into any relationship is to first have a plan to get out of it. That’s an especially important consideration for small and medium-sized business owners, managers and their HR teams. Why? Because at the outset of any employment relationship, all parties tend to be enamoured with each other and are in complete lock-step agreement. At the end, no one agrees on anything. But employers often worry that by setting a roadmap for an agreement’s dissolution in an employment contract—and including a comprehensive set of termination clauses— they could render the offer unattractive and dissuade a prospective hire from taking the job. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that a head-in-the-sand approach only exposes your organization to unnecessary risk, and could increase employment law exposures for your employees, as well. Make no mistake, these agreements are a critical foundation piece of any employment relationship, setting out the expectations and terms of engagement between all parties, and creating certainty throughout its duration. Unfortunately, there are no shortage of organizations across Canada currently relying on ineffective, outdated employment agreements to protect them in the event that a terminated employee engages in costly litigation such as a wrongful dismissal suit. Some organizations lack employment agreements altogether. To be sure, there is no better time than now to ensure that your small-to-medium-sized organization has workplace policies, procedures and employment agreements in place—and that the latter feature enforceable termination clauses that are in full compliance with your province’s employment standards legislation. This is especially important when various provinces—including British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Prince Edward Island—have taken steps in recent months to update their employment standards legislation. New case law developments have also clarified or modified courts’ interpretation of employment contracts,

rendering many employment agreements unenforceable or inadequate and in need of revision. While an entire series of articles could be written about drafting effective employment agreements, there are a handful of fundamental principles that employers should bear in mind when drafting these all-important documents. The first is that employers cannot unilaterally impose new contract terms on their employees without first obtaining their acceptance and providing consideration—meaning offering them something of value in exchange for signing an updated contract, such as a signing bonus, pay raise or extra vacation days. Again, this is an especially significant point for Ontario-based employers that have been forced to change their employee policies and agreements in the wake of a blizzard of legislative amendments contained in Bills 147, 132, 47 and 66. Next, it’s important to remember that employees are not only entitled to notice of termination under their provincial employment standards legislation, but also under the common law. This is why we often hear stories of employees— particularly if they are older or work in industries where finding equivalent employment can be challenging—receiving several months, or even years, worth of reasonable notice upon termination. Organizations can contain those costs by including a provision in their contracts that limit an employee’s termination entitlements to those guaranteed by provincial employment legislation. Doing so will help provide cost certainty and mitigate the risk of legal challenges and further liability. Termination clauses should also specify their applicability whether an employee is terminated or is deemed to have been constructively dismissed. Doing so helps cover all possible firing scenarios and reduces the risk of an employee being entitled to far greater common law reasonable notice. On that note, organizations should always include so-called ‘failsafe’ provisions in their contract termination clauses. These guarantee that an employee will receive termination entitlements that equal, or are greater than,

provincial employment standards minimums. While it may seem obscure, this is one of the many technical legal points that—if omitted—can render an otherwise well-crafted employment contract null and void. Apart from confirming terms and conditions of work and compensation, other clauses that should be added to your employment agreements (if they aren’t already present) include the right to suspend employees for misconduct, or for non-disciplinary reasons during workplace investigations (on a paid basis), as well as terms that protect the employer’s business interests such as confidentiality and non-solicitation restrictions. There should also be a clause that secures the employee’s acknowledgement and commitment to abiding by workplace policies as implemented by the employer from time to time. Reference to workplace policies sets the expectation of their importance, particularly because they’re required in some cases (to mitigate harassment risks in certain provinces, for example) and critical in others, such as managing risks related to impairment at work— an especially relevant consideration in the era of legalized cannabis. The only effective way to avoid protracted negotiations at the conclusion of an employment engagement is to set the expectations up front for how it will end. It may seem like an uninspiring way to start a new relationship, but agreeing on the terms of the workplace divorce before entering into the marriage is always the right approach.

As the founder and principal of Williams HR Law Professional Corporation and Williams HR Consulting Inc., Laura boasts more than two decades of experience providing strategic advice and legal representation to employers on a full range of labour and employment law matters. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE MONTH

Business woman of the month

Natasha Koifman President, NKPR

Natasha Koifman created NKPR in 2002 in order to combine her two passions: shining a spotlight on stories of substance and supporting causes that are making a difference around the world. Under Natasha’s guidance and leadership, NKPR has established itself as a highly-regarded fullservice public relations, artist management and digital agency with offices in Toronto and New York, representing over 40 diverse national and international brands including Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Swarovski, TD, Scotiabank, Thompson Hotel Toronto, Lightspeed, DAVIDsTEA, Marcelle Cosmetics, and Links of London. Launching NK Artists in 2013, NKPR also manages strategic partnerships for high-profile personalities like George Stroumboulopoulos, Sophie Elgort and Yannick Bisson. What inspired you to found NKPR? What are you hoping to accomplish through it? After working for a number of years as a Journalist and then for a communications agency, I realized that I really loved the industry, but I didn’t necessarily connect with every single project that came across my desk. When I decided to start my own company, it was largely because I wanted to be able to pick and choose the people and the brands, products and companies we represent. Now, 17 years later and a client list that includes Lanterra Developments, Swarovski, Aveeno and Mountain Equipment Coop to name a few, I can honestly say we do exactly that. Supporting cause was also a big reason and has always been at the core of everything we do. From global initiatives like Artists for Peace and Justice and G(irls)20 to local shelters such St. Felix Centre in Toronto – there is so much work to be done and I feel we all have a responsibility to give back in whatever way we can. I’ve also discovered that mentorship is very important to me. Every day I get to walk into the office and work with a diverse group of women and men, supporting them in becoming 32

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the people they want to me. Inspiring the next generation of leaders has always been something I want to accomplish through my business. What sets NKPR apart from other similar organizations? One thing that really sets us apart is our culture. When I first started my career, I was just grateful to have a job and be employed. Today, people have more options and choices it seems. We take a lot of pride in our culture. We have a social committee and regularly spend time together both in and out of the office – whether through group fitness classes at SPINCO or celebrating our employee of the month with a team lunch. These initiatives definitely help us with employee retention but at the end of the day we genuinely care about one another. Our VP has been with NKPR for 12 years. Our account directors for 8 and 9 years, and many of our senior people between 5 and 7 years which is quite rare in our industry. We carefully select who we hire and have built an amazing team here at NKPR.

We also maximize all the tools we have available in our PR toolbox. Social media being one example. We were the first Canadian PR agency to be verified on both Instagram and Twitter and are now able to leverage our own channels to support our client’s even further. PR today is very different than it was 17 years ago when I started NKPR - we have always been open to the changes and evolution in our industry and continue to embrace them. How important is public relations for a business owner? What role does it play in their business? Public Relations used to be one or two dimensional: media relations and some sponsorship. Now, we do advertising, social media, strategic partnerships, events, influencer relations, content creation, SEO integration, e-commerce and so much more. PR has never been more valuable for a business. We have access to so many new channels and tools that are able to help our clients reach their customers in more ways than ever before.


BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE MONTH

It is important to understand what success means for your business when working with an agency, because it’s different for everyone. Once we determine what success looks like for each client, we then work backwards to determine what we need to do to ensure we achieve the results of the client. What advice can you give to business owners when they are looking for an organization to manage their public relations? What should they look for in a PR firm? They need to be aligned on the expectations from the beginning and make sure that their agency is thinking strategically for them - not just tactically. The tactical approach might look good based on numbers, but have they really done their homework to understand what those numbers actually mean. For example, an influencer may have 80,000 followers but many of them might be bought and not REACHING your target audience, which in turn won’t be effective for your brand. In order to have a successful client-agency partnership, there needs to an authentic connection, similarities in company values and an open stream of communication. In 2015 and 2017 you won the award for WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award. How does it feel to be recognized twice for such an important award? I felt so honoured to win these awards, but I also felt a sense of accountability to pay it forward. As leaders in the community, we have a responsibility to share our experiences and leverage our networks to provide a positive impact in the neighbourhoods we live and work, and those communities who need our help. I use moments like this to check-in with myself and make sure I’m providing something meaningful to the world that I take up space in.

You’re a strong believer that public relations can create meaningful relationships between the public and not-for-profit sector. Why do you believe that is? From the beginning of my career, giving back in a meaningful way has always been important. I wasn’t born in this country and I immigrated to Canada with my family when I was a young girl. Growing up, I remember a number of organizations like the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) helping us become established and integrated into Canada. This was an organization that didn’t expect anything in return, and that was completely selfless in welcoming us into a new country. They helped my family in a way I will never forget - that is something that I always remember! I think that’s where my passion for philanthropy ultimately stems from. It is our privilege and responsibility to give back to those who need it the most. At the end of the day, that’s what drives me. Do you believe it’s possible for a business to rebuild its image after an “error” that negatively impacted their public image? It always depends on the situation. I think that it would have been harder 10 or 15 years ago to scrape yourself out of a tough situation. Today, we live in such a distracted world where people forget quickly and have this tendency to “move on to the next”. That being said, it is important that you do crisis management well and are prepared for it. Make sure TO surround yourself with a team you trust to make the right decisions for your brand/organization and ALWAYS remain true to your brand values – even in a crisis.

What are the top two mistakes that entrepreneurs make that can affect their public image? The first mistake is inauthenticity. Authenticity is a word that is overused but often misunderstood. The moment you put your profile on social media, you become a brand. For entrepreneurs who are launching or building a business, understanding this is so important. Let me put it this way: you have to behave as the same person in your personal life as you are in your business life as you are on social media - and that all comes down to being authentic. I often ask myself: “what are the 5 most important things in my life?” It’s essential to know who you are as a person and acknowledging change as you grow. You also need to trust in the process and have patience. I often see this with the younger generation, which has very much become fueled by instant gratification. It’s easy to compare yourself to people online who look “successful,” but success doesn’t happen overnight. On a final note, have you always been passionate about PR? What inspired you to go into this career path? I have always been passionate about storytelling and truly making an impact. I don’t know if my passion was specifically PR, but I have a multitude of interests – from fashion and beauty, to fitness, to cause and the community which I live in. I suppose I saw PR as an opportunity to be able to share amazing stories that encompass a number of different interests as well as brands and companies doing meaningful work.

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BUSINESS WOMEN

How To Stand Out As a

Leader in the 21st Century By Silvia Pencak

W

e live in a fast moving world where new innovations are bombarding us daily, leaders rise and fail with the speed of light, customer preferences shift almost daily and stakeholders are easily influenced by the latest and brightest shiny objects.

Put People First

The real question is how can you, a serious business owner, industry leader, stay the course and lead your team, company and stakeholders forward with confidence.

Lead By Example

If you care about people you will make better decisions… and less mistakes. When you care about your team, you will protect them, build them up and invest in them. And in return, they will give you their best and stay longer. When you care about your customers, you will provide better solutions which will improve their lives and in return they will spend more and stay longer. Keep in mind that money comes and goes, systems and processes don’t have feelings, but people around you do. Be a people person. Be a leader who cares and leaves people better after they’ve met you.

In this article I share my 5 favourite strategies that will help you up your game, improve your leadership and lead for the long-term.

This is an oldie but goldie. As a leader you set a pace for your organization. When your people see you improve, they improve. When they see you work hard, they work harder. When they see you being fair, they are encouraged to provide feedback, inspired to support improvement and innovation. Keep in mind that people do business with people they know, like and trust. This is true not only about customers, but about your team, stakeholders and friends too.

Face Your Giants

Stay Current

I believe that business success begins with and falls to leadership, in other words - your ability to influence other people.

Giants are things keeping you from moving to the next level. Giants can be internal - limiting beliefs, fear, lack of self-awareness, lack of skill or external - poor communication, conflict, market volatility, etc. As a leader you have a couple of options to approach the giants. You can blame others and fire some of them to shift attention away from the situation; you can wait it out in the hope that final damage won’t be that bad, you can hire someone else to fix the situation or you can pull up your sleeves and get to work. Over the course of my career I have seen leaders do all of the above. From hiding their head in the sand pretending there is no problem to masterfully resolving challenges. In order to become a leader who is admired by her team and trusted by her stakeholders, I encourage you to be brave. Acknowledge the problem, face it and seek help when necessary. 34

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Great leaders do not dwell on yesterday’s achievements. They press through, continually learning, improving, innovating and reaching new milestones. Their focus is forward as they try to read trends, prepare for the unexpected, strengthen their bottom line, set new targets and shatter glass ceilings trying to hold them back. Business leaders of today are limitless. They are the dreamers, hasslers and achievers. They inspire us to be better, dream bigger and achieve greater things.

Character Matters This is my final, yet most important “strategy”. It is not easy to be a person of character in this time and age. We’ve all seen leaders rise and fail. Some due to lack of competency, but most due to lack of character. Self-absorbed leaders threatening others can fool us all and succeed in the short term. But at the end of the day when you win it all, that void and damage you caused

will eventually catch up with you. There will be no friend to trust and no team member to support you. You will stand alone. Will you choose shortterm gain over long-term success? The choice is yours to make. In fact, you are making that choice daily. Choose to be a person of integrity. Even when it doesn’t seem to be a popular choice, even when it seems to be a wrong choice. I believe that as business leaders we have a responsibility to positively impact our communities. We might never get recognized for our achievements, we might not even be the top leaders, but we need to start today to take what we have and use it to help someone. You can’t learn to swim reading a book about swimming, no matter how good it is. It is the same with leadership. You need to put it into practice to improve your leadership skills and make an impact. What are you waiting for? Help someone… today!

SILVIA PENCAK President, WBE Canada

Silvia Pencak is the President of Women Business Enterprises Canada Council (WBE Canada), Canadian non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating relationships between Canadian women-owned businesses and large corporate and government organizations across North America. WBE Canada promotes the economic advancement of Women Business Enterprises (WBEs). As a quality third-party certifying body of Canadian businesses that are 51% owned, managed and controlled by women, WBE Canada has been connecting them to large supply chains since 2009. To learn more about their initiatives, visit www.WBECanada.ca. You can connect with Silvia directly on Twitter @SilviaPencak.


INFLUENCERS

4 Strategic Ways Influencers Use To Increase Visibility

With the expansion of social media popularity new trends have emerged, and one that stands out is the increased number of influencers. Who is considered an influencer? An Influencer is a person who has the ability to significantly impact the purchase decision of consumers. These influencers are usually aware of the physiological impact to successful sales, and based on that they strategically use social media as a targeted tool to make their effect on people tangible. Influencers do not sell; however, they strongly impact the purchase decision of the payer. Here are 4 strategic ways influencers use to increase visibility. STRATEGIC ONLINE CONTENT:

In order to build credibility

1 influencers need to build reliable content, and because they are seeking after “the consumer” their content has to be strategic. Random content does not bring results, so first thing they do is research their market in order to find out consumer needs. Once that is clarified, influencers start writing content that will either create awareness or provide information about that new product or service they aim to impact others with.

3

COLLECT FOLLOWERS: Once the content is created and published on the different platforms, influencers have to be creative in finding ways to create engagement. Engagement is key, and engaging with other influencers will give credibility to the published content. This engagement also acts as a tool to increase their following and subscriptions as the engagers start following the content they have engaged in.

4

COLLECT REVIEWS: Finally, a very important aspect of engaging with the audience is helping them realize the importance of reading and writing reviews. Collecting reviews to an influencer is key because it casts credibility to their content; which in turn encourages consumers to read their content.

Grace Nasralla Founder, OSBN

2

USE SOCIAL MEDIA: Influencers use different types of social media to send their message out. They use content in text, images, videos, audio…. with compatibility on different devices. So we see them writing blogs, continuously coming up with V-log ideas, creating adage, publishing podcasts… all with a purpose to build an audience and engage with them on a daily basis.

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

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INTERVIEW

Best IT Solutions for Canadian SME's An interview with Cisco's Pietro Pasqualino

Can you share details about yourself with our readers? I come from a family of small business owners. I have lived and breathed the daily struggles and immense amounts of joy and benefit that comes with running a small business. It is no coincidence that after 12 years at Cisco, working across multiple functions, I gravitated towards a role that is entirely focused on helping small businesses prosper in the digital age. Whether it's establishing the brand, growing and customer base, competing with larger, more established peer technology - technology is the foundation. I wake up every morning committed and determined to make a difference for these businesses across Canada. You recently became the director of business development and sales acceleration at Cisco Canada in October, what are some of your goals in your new role? There more than 1 million small and mid-sized businesses operating in Canada, making up 98% of all businesses in our country. My number one goal is to help these businesses grow faster by leveraging digital tools and technologies that transform their business. At Cisco, we know that a strong technology foundation is a key driver of growth, and that’s why we’ve created an easy-to-use, easy-to-manage IT portfolio focused on the needs of our SMB customers. With these solutions our focus is to reduce IT complexity, make technology accessible for these businesses, and remove the roadblocks to our customers’ success. If we do all of this well, across our entire organization and with our network of trusted partners, we will establish Cisco as the number one technology provider to SMBs across Canada. How do you believe your 12-year tenure at Cisco has shaped your business leadership skills? Cisco has offered me a ton of opportunities through my career not only to learn and understand the business but to study under different leaders and different leadership styles. I try to take the best traits from all those leaders to build my unique leadership style. What I've found is the most successful team has two things at the core of their success: teamwork and collaboration. These are the things I focus on within my team today. The other thing great teams have is they encompass diversity, opportunity, and growth. Everybody wants to grow in their career, and my focus as a leader is to help people prosper. It's essential you realize change is a constant and comfort and growth do not coexist. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable is key. Can you talk about an accomplishment you have had with Cisco from your early beginnings as marketing operations support to the director of business development and sales acceleration? Helping people succeed is the absolute key. Helping people grow their careers, opening doors for them, and allowing them to go in whatever 36

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Pietro Pasqualino Director of Business Development and Sales Acceleration, Cisco Canada

Pietro has over 12 years of experience at Cisco across multiple disciplines – from Finance, Sales Operations, Strategy and Sales Acceleration. In his current role, he leads a national team of territory business managers with a responsibility of driving demand creation and sales acceleration across Canada, with a specific focus on SMEs. Pietro is passionate sales leader who has seen first-hand how Cisco’s SME solutions help businesses grow, scale and overcome their challenges through technology. direction their career takes is essential. That is my biggest achievement: being a mentor to others and helping people early in my career. I take great pride in that and that gives me energy every single day. One thing I'm most proud of as a personal accomplishment is leading our annual planning cycle in Canada. I help our leaders across the business develop their go-to-market strategy and make Canada a growth engine for Cisco as a whole. We focus on digitizing our own business. Also, I've seen many initiatives and been part of many initiatives that have helped us become more efficient and create productivity through digitization. What kind of impact has Cisco had on its small and medium-sized businesses since you joined?


INTERVIEW

We are helping small and mid-sized businesses across Canada reach more customers, be more profitable, and improve productivity. We are able to do this through the strength of our industryleading product portfolio. Companies can enjoy the reliability, security, and quality of our networking, collaboration, and security solutions while reaping the benefits of using cloud-based technologies – they are simple to manage, easy to deploy, and put time back in an employee’s day. What gets me excited is that this lets business owners and executives focus on what counts: their customers. What sets Cisco apart from other IT companies in Canada? Why should business owners work with Cisco to meet business tech solutions rather than your competitors? What sets us apart from other IT companies is our focus on making our customers successful. We are the only vendor that can provide an end-to-end solution across all platforms and the entire network, which puts us in a unique position to support our customers no matter their technology need. We talk to our small business customers, understand their needs and what is most pertinent in their business. We focus on simple, reliable, secure, and affordable solutions that work. We are a global technology leader. And we're focused on providing enterprise-grade solutions for our SMB customers. We always focus and don't compromise on quality services and support - our solutions are more reliable, last longer, and are better than our competitors. We provide our customers with a better ROI and a lower cost of ownership. Lastly, we understand that technology is the fuel to the business, and getting the technology right, that works, should be what everybody strives for. We've made significant investments in research and development in Canada. We have a partnership with CAMH and Deloitte around mental health initiatives, and our Connected North initiative, which connects remote and under-served communities with education and mental health services, is transforming lives. Impacting our communities is vital for us, not just the technology we use. What are your thoughts for helping the small and medium-sized business grow in Canada? How can Cisco help these companies boost their productivity and gain an edge on the competition? Our goal is to be the bridge that connects Canadian SMBs to their possible. Small and medium businesses are leveraging cloud-enabled

technology to help them be more productive and competitive. Our cloud-based security, networking and collaboration solutions are easy to deploy, manage and use. This helps timepressed business owners and IT managers ramp up productivity with limited resources. The small business owners will face many challenges when it comes to managing their business. What are the main problems that SMBs or that SMB owners have in managing their business technology and how can Cisco help them overcome them? Small business owners face an increasingly complex IT environment with multiple vendors, over-complicated IT solutions, limited manpower, and limited financial resources. Cisco offers a single-vendor solution for networking, security, and collaboration that saves business owners’ time from managing multiple vendors and points of contact. Our solutions are easy to deploy, use and manage, simplifying the lives of business owners and enabling employees to do more with less. Finally, we help owners affordably access our technology with 0% financing through Cisco Easy Pay, enabling owners to bundle together hardware, software, and services into a single, fixed monthly payment. Cisco offers a variety of tech services to small business owners, including security solutions. What type of security offerings does Cisco provide for small business owners looking to protect their business? In a world with more data, more users, and more services, there's more to protect. Small businesses are big business for hackers and are the target of 62 per cent of all cyberattacks. That means about 4,000 small businesses are attacked every day at an average cost of $86,500 to the business. Cisco has the most comprehensive cybersecurity portfolio in the world, protecting small businesses from threats at the network, internet, device, and application level. We enable small business owners to get enterprise-grade security that is super simple to deploy and manage.

Employees’ need to collaborate in real-time and in virtual work spaces is more important than ever. Cisco Webex meetings deliver a complete set of tools for small business teams to connect anytime, anywhere, and on any device. How do you predict the feature of technology within businesses in Canada? How can business owners take advantage of new technology to gain position in the market? We see the pace of innovation continuously accelerating, and we don't think that's going to change. Customer experience will be at the forefront of technology adoption, cloud-based solutions will continue to dominate, and artificial intelligence will become key to becoming productive. We have found that digitization is the key and essential for the success of businesses in Canada. According to IDC, 2020 will fully digitize 75% of businesses, and Gartner and Forrester are both predicting that by 2020, over 85% of the buying process will be done without human interaction. Therefore, investing in the technology that not only allows you to grow today but remains flexible is a key business driver to any company's success. What is Cisco’s primary goal? Where do you see Cisco 10 years from now? The pace of innovation will continue to accelerate. We see right now that 88% of customers do not have the right technology in place to execute against their digitization strategy. Cisco's main goal, together with our partners, is to be a trusted advisor for these customers and help them move quickly and securely to the next level. Also, over the past three years, Cisco has undertaken a journey to transform from a pure hardware company to a leader in the delivery of software, subscription and hardware products and services. We are committed to driving innovation that will be simple, intelligent, automated, and secure.

Cisco also offers project collaborations offered through WebEx meetings. Can you give us further information on how this service works and how it can benefit SMB owners? Small business teams need a workplace that’s focused on innovation and speed. They now expect a flexible work-fromwherever experience. They expect to not let little things like hemispheres and time zones get in the way of good ideas. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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ENTREPRENEURSHIP

How a culture of entrepreneurship has helped the

‘Tesla of underground mining’ thrive

C

ountless articles by business columnists and other pundits have called for Canadian manufacturers to transition their business models, to innovate and to find new ways to compete on the global stage.

development of full-fleet electrification of our product line, from rock bolters to explosives chargers to boom trucks and scissor lifts. This EV switch will enable mining companies to mine deeper, harder to access ore bodies in an economic fashion, spending less on mine infrastructure, We’re not sure what all the fuss is about, because improve the work environment for miners and at MacLean Engineering, we’ve been doing dramatically reduce their carbon footprints. exactly that since 1973, when Don MacLean founded our company in Thornbury, Ontario But there are other factors driving our success and in the ensuing early years relocated down that can serve as a guidepost to other SMEs the road to Collingwood, Ont., where it remains across the country. headquartered to this day. That was long before concerns over globalization and the collapse of The first is our location. Collingwood has once Canada’s manufacturing sector caused sleepless again been named Ontario’s most entrepreneurial nights for economists. community by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, and sixth in Canada. MacLean Engineering has earned the nickname While other manufacturers in this town and ‘the Tesla of underground mining equipment’ others across the South Georgian Bay region for our embrace of sustainable technology. In have departed for southern production hotspots fact, we’re now the largest mining equipment over the past two decades, we made a conscious manufacturer in Canada. Our machines can be decision to stay put. One reason is that we have found in precious and base metal mines around access to a wide pool of highly-skilled talent less the world. While our Collingwood and South than two hours away in one of North America’s Georgian Bay operations employ about 700, our largest cities. As a four-season resort town, this global branches in key mining regions such as is also a wonderful place to build a business and Mexico, Peru, South Africa and Australia employ raise a family. an additional 200 staff. Not to be overlooked, the community is making Many are surprised to learn that we’re not concerted efforts to supports its fast-growing only thriving in a small town, we’ve staked out business ecosystem, as evidenced in the current a leadership position in our industry, taking Live More Now campaign, an effort to attract more on multibillion-dollar, multinational mining technology and knowledge-economy businesses equipment giants such as Caterpillar, Sandvik and professionals to a town eager to fill career and Epiroc. Our production output has increased positions with top talent. dramatically over the past five years, while our employee base has grown by some 30 per cent We’ve proven that it’s not only possible to build over the past year alone. How? an internationally competitive business outside a major urban centre, it may even be an HR value We’re a very niche player, a reality that has proposition, especially at a time when business never afforded us the luxury of resting on our owners and the professionals they employ are entrepreneurial laurels. Instead, we’ve relied on craving greater work-life balance, enhanced company-wide innovation to survive and succeed lifestyle opportunities and are increasingly as we’ve analyzed market trends to blaze new conscious of issues such as affordable housing. trails in emerging product categories and adapt to rapidly shifting customer demand. That’s meant As we’ve grown over the years, we’ve focused on consistently delivering customized products that hiring the right people with the right skills. Lately meet their exact operational needs—crucial in an that’s seen a significant influx of Millennial-aged industry where every underground environment engineers with interests in areas such as robotics, is different—and keeping a close connection vehicle telemetry and vehicle electrification. to what’s going on underground, then closely Their passions have synergized nicely with our tying direct feedback from the field to important industry’s push into areas such as virtual reality boardroom decisions. vehicle monitoring, automation and big data analysis. With our entire industry looking to make the switch to electric and increasingly autonomous Because entrepreneurship is the foundation of our operations, we’ve led the way with the company, we’ve allowed our people and culture

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to point us in the right strategic direction. Our nimble, decentralized decision-making process empowers our employees to innovate and make smart decisions with minimal delay. That, coupled with our focus on vehicle customization and the ability to service products in mining centres around the world, has allowed us to compete with our much larger industry rivals.

Our younger employees want to make a difference in the world. They want their work—be it software programming or advanced robotic engineering—to reflect their environmentally-conscious, sociallyresponsible values. In that sense, our leadership in mining vehicle electrification is in perfect alignment with their ethical aspirations. They come to work engaged every day because they know they’ll have the opportunity to work on challenging projects that are making a positive impact in the world around them. Now, we have an increasingly diverse, knowledgeworker employee base. Perhaps it’s no surprise that we have colleagues who reverse-commute to Collingwood from the Greater Toronto Area every day for the chance to work on some of our exciting projects. The bottom line is that advanced manufacturing is alive and well in Canada. But companies that are thriving, such as MacLean Engineering, are doing it by leveraging the right mix of strategy and innovation and an optimized workforce of entrepreneurial employees to achieve success. Striking that balance isn’t easy, but when it works, you can create something with local roots that has global resonance.

STUART LISTER

Vice-President of Marketing and Communications MacLean Engineering

Stuart Lister is the Director of Marketing and Communications at MacLean Engineering. For more on the Live More Now campaign, visit www. livemorenow.ca


DATA PROTECTION

Behind the scenes of

Dell's Global Data Protection RUYA ATAC-BARRETT

Vice President, Data Protection Product Marketing

Ruya has more than twenty-five years of high technology product experience in the areas of cloud solutions, converged infrastructure, data management, virtualization, servers, storage and data protection. An experienced and innovative leader, she has had demonstrated success in driving start-up and large technology company product management, product development and marketing functions and managing teams across a range of activities, channels, industries, and geographic regions. Currently, she is the Vice President of Product Marketing for the Dell EMC Data Protection Division responsible for messaging and positioning Dell EMC’s market leading portfolio of products. Previously, she has held various roles at Dell EMC, VCE (a joint venture of VMware, Cisco and EMC), Hewlett Packard, Storage Networks and Hittite Microwave.

What are some of the key takeaways from the study, both globally and for Canada? To address our global study participants, we see that organizations are managing more data than ever. We also see that they are still facing a lot of disruption at increasing costs. This risk of disruption is even greater. It’s essential to note that the more you value data, the more harm disruption has. Organizations are looking to improve data protection and they sometimes inadvertently look at multiple vendors. The reality is that many vendors actually lead to less secure data protection systems and businesses have been slow to pick up on that. The more prolific use of cloud for data protection, is really portraying what the future needs are going to be based around. Businesses need to invest and partner with folks that are making investments for future needs. For Canada, one of the areas we

found interesting is that Canadian businesses manage more data than their global peers. The 2018 study showed that Canadian businesses are managing 11.45 TB of data which is significantly higher than the global averages. In fact, there has been a 941% growth since 2016. Another data point that we found very interesting was that 97% of Canadian businesses see the value in data and 33% of companies are investing in monetizing with data. They are understanding that technology is ultimately what more and more users are going to interface with. 44% of Canadian businesses that were surveyed are struggling to find suitable data protection for things like AI. This certainly shows Canadian businesses’ maturity with respect to leveraging technology, and being at the forefront of advancements in technology. What does this mean for Canadian SMEs? As all of your readers probably know, SMEs make up the vast majority of businesses in Canada.

We can tell that SMEs are looking to propel their businesses forward from an IT perspective. One of the key takeaways is the digitization of processes. They are embracing the collection and storage of data. SMEs continue to discover how to monetize new data and they have new sources of data that they feel that they are unable to protect. They understand that without the right technology, they face the risk of data breaches that will of course have a serious impact on their business. What is Dell EMC’s strategy moving forward to address the takeaways from the study? We have done this study 3 times over the course of 6 years (every other year). We invest in the study to understand where we see customers’ needs and requirements in the future, which will ultimately drive our technology investments. The loss of data itself is more costly than downtime, which was a very interesting finding. As I mentioned earlier, this year’s survey confirmed that customers seeking multiple vendors has led to greater issues and a less secure data protection system. Our strategy is to deliver the entire spectrum of data protection technology to our clients. Our portfolio includes bullet proof solution for addressing cyberattacks. Data protection solutions needs to support employment models, among many others. We create purpose built architecture that delivers that flexibility to deal with our customers’ needs. Our solutions are future proof and future ready. We offer a future proof warranty option so that we’re positioned as the vendor for tomorrow. We have a comprehensive efficiency guarantee, a 3 year

warranty, and much more that we offer to our clients to show them that we will be with them every step of the way. Are Canadian SMEs confident in their data protection infrastructure given the constant news cycle of data breaches occurring? Canadian SMEs are actually globally less confident than their global peers. The challenges that were presented were around emerging technology and being able to keep up with that rapid growth. Only 11% of Canadian businesses believe that their currently protection technology will meet future challenges. Moving forward, how often will you continue to conduct this study? Every 2 years like you have previously don’t? After the 2018 study, we sat down with our team and decided to do it more often. We see that trends are rapidly changing and we are getting so much value from the study, which will ultimately direct the strategy of our future investments and the products that we’ll be building for our clients. We are moving towards doing the study once a year. What were you most surprised about in the 2018 study? The shocking thing for me is that we see very few customers that have simplified and consolidated their data protection vendors. The exponential increase in risk that this brings to the table is unbelievable. For me personally, that was really eye opening. The other thing that was interesting was the opportunity of loss of business and impacting customer loyalty due to a lack of strong data protection. I think we are making great progress - the leaders in this space increased from 1% in 2016 to 10% in 2018. Businesses have more data, and they understand the importance of protection.

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SMB TALKS

Zoho and the importance of the SMB Market

You were one of the key people responsible for developing the strategic direction of the Zoho Suite, focusing on the SMB market. What was the inspiration behind that? When we develop our applications, one thing we evaluate is if we use our own applications that we create. That’s essentially how each of these applications started. For example, we needed CRM so at that point in time, other solutions were unusable or expensive. Fast forward 15 years, we have 40+ applications. We currently have about 7000 employees at Zoho but the entire business runs on our suite. How important is the SMB market in your opinion? Why focus on it? The name Zoho itself was termed from Soho (Small Office Home Office Market). That was the core target market at the beginning. Large corporations have the resources needed to knit together the software when you have much larger budgets. We said to ourselves: what if we take the enterprise level software, and offer it to SME businesses at consumer prices. No other vendors provide that and that’s how we can differentiate ourselves. SME businesses don’t have the time, budget, and resources to deliver and create the software they need to achieve the required level of productivity.

Raju Vegesna Chief Evangelist, Zoho

Raju Vegesna is currently the Chief Evangelist at Zoho and is one of the foremost thought leaders in the SaaS revolution. Raju is one of the key people responsible for developing the strategic direction of the Zoho Suite, focusing on SMB market. Zoho is one of the most well known companies building products out of India. Although it is headquartered in the USA, a large part of operations of Zoho are based out of India. The company always takes a long term view when managing the company and its products. India has a huge amount of talent available that needs to be tapped into and managed well. Every company in India should think about grooming the talent for the long term. About 15% of employees of Zoho do not have a college degree. Zoho picks up talented kids from schools who cannot afford to go to college and grooms them at Zoho University. The company has been doing this for over 10 years now. Taking such an approach has helped Zoho tackle the recruitment challenge and retain employees for the long term. Product managers in Zoho have been with the company for an average of 10 years.

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What does a Chief Evangelist do exactly? What are your main responsibilities? Getting the word out there is one of my main responsibilities. At Zoho, we believe that we have a very significant suite of applications and a lot of people don’t know that we exist. So the challenge is not being as well-known as some of the same companies in our space. Part of it is a belief system where we believe in certain things in our company and how software has to be bought. For example, we believe that SMEs should often partner with a single tech provider and work with them for all their needs. Zoho is known for having its products built in India and managing a majority part of its operations within India as well. What are the benefits of running the business mostly out of India? There is an excellent talent pool in India. The medium age of the country is around 27. There’s a lot of young talent out there. Furthermore, India produces 1.2 million engineers every year. That’s more than US and China combined. Therefore, the education pool is phenomenal in India. Also, most of this pool is English speaking which is also a major benefit. India is evolving from a production centre into a market, and one of the world’s


SMB TALKS

fastest growing markets. It’s a combination of all of these things that allow us to get great benefit out of running the business mostly out of India. Zoho prides itself on not having investor money which gives them freedom to launch products without the constraints of investors. Do you believe that given the chance, all business owners should run their company without investors? Absolutely! There are some companies and types of companies where that may not be an option. But given a choice, we highly recommend that businesses go without investors. When somebody makes an investment, there is an expectation of return. For many SME owners, it’s beyond ROI - it is there life’s work. Investors such as Private equity are purely businessmen and businesswomen hedging their bets to achieve a financial return.

"There is an inherent conflict between the two and the priorities will be different. There is the freedom that a business owner has which is extremely essential, rather than decisions coming from investors. Several entrepreneurs that I know have raised money in their first venture and sold their company and the next time around decided to not seek investors."

There is an inherent conflict between the two and the priorities will be different. There is the freedom that a business owner has which is extremely essential, rather than decisions coming from investors. Several entrepreneurs that I know have raised money in their first venture and sold their company and the next time around decided to not seek investors. Going public is another way where you’re constantly answering to your investors and not your customers. You should be responsible for your customers and for your employees. But when you have a lot of investors, you are forced to be responsible for them and they are prioritized over customer and employees. That breaks the culture of the company. You have created yourself a strong reputation as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur through the several IT companies you’ve founded. How important do you believe technology is today for entrepreneurs to succeed? Do you believe it plays a crucial role in the success of businesses? Technology plays a crucial role and if someone doesn’t adopt technology, they are falling behind. This is true across many industries. Let’s take a look at Amazon - a tech company in the retail space. Or Netflix - a tech company, not a production studio. Or Uber- a tech company disrupting the transportation industry. It is tech companies that are disrupting the traditional businesses, and not the other way around. Unless the business becomes a

technology first company, they will probably be disrupted. Having several years of experience in founding and managing technology companies, in your expert opinion, what is the number one challenge that IT companies face when it comes to growing their business successfully? The number one challenge is setting the culture of the company. Culture should become the number one priority of a company. Culture to a company is what character is to an individual. These are the fundamental values of the company and typically the founders set those values which base a foundation. If the employees appreciate the values of the company, they will stick around and be motivated to achieve success. Once you have the right people and the right values, you will succeed. If you don’t see success in one industry, you can pivot with your team. If you could give advice to SME owners who are looking to launch technology companies, what would it be? I would say building a strong foundation with culture and values. Technology keeps changing on a weekly basis, but the foundational blocks

of your business won’t change. It’s also important to understand and differentiate between the short term and long term technology in order to achieve long term success. On a final note, given your strong background in technology, was it something you were always interested in growing up? What made you decide to go into this line of work? I’ve always been interested in tech. I was a 7th grader when I wrote my first code. Technology and programming always fascinated me. I always wanted to the be the first person on day one to have the new gadget. If you are passionate about a specific area, you’re automatically pulled into that. I believe in technology and it’s the market that is now dominating in every industry. When something changes the entire dynamics of every industry, it’s great to be a part of it. A fast paced industry always keeps you excited and interested on a weekly basis.

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INTERVIEW

One-on-One with the founder of Zoho Sridhar Vembu CEO & Co-Founder - Zoho

Sridhar Vembu is the Co-Founder and CEO of Zoho Corporation. Sridhar initially founded AdventNet in 1996 and became its CEO in 2000. AdventNet transformed itself from its modest beginning as a software company serving network equipment vendors, to a global, innovative online applications provider in Zoho. It has maintained growth and profitability, without needing outside capital. Prior to AdventNet, Sridhar worked as a wireless systems engineer at Qualcomm, Inc. where he was fortunate to work with some of the leading minds in wireless communications. He obtained his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University.

Do you travel between the US and India offices often to actually be on the ground with the main engineering team? I do travel to India every couple of months to meet with the team. Vijay, our Chief Strategy Officer, probably mentioned that we are a very “flat” organization, and as CEO, I really like to get to know our team in India. We currently have over 7000 employees in our India office. What do you think are the few areas of Zoho that could be improved? We are now rolling out more services through the partner network. Our customers love the product suite and we receive tremendous feedback, but we still feel that they need more services. When someone needs to adopt, we are continuously working on improving the processes currently in place. We are now working on the Zoho concierge product. The concierge will act as your business consultant and will be there to learn more about your business in order to optimize how Zoho One can be part of your workday. As the CEO of Zoho, what do you think is the number one difference between the way you think about your business today compared to when you founded Zoho? We founded the company 23 years ago and it was called Advent Net. Years later, we changed it to Zoho. At the very beginning, we were like every other small business trying to survive. In the early days, we tried to create a product that would be useful and beneficial for SMES but it was quite difficult to imagine growing at the pace we are at right now.

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23 years later, the mindset has changed: we now think about how to bring our products to millions of people around the globe with different cultures and business practices.

I believe that the key is to keep humanity as part of a system, throughout management, the legal department and all other aspects of Zoho. It’s a lot of little things that we are driven to accomplish today in order to keep that same culture while growing. I certainly would not say that it’s one main thing. We believe that in order to teach the Zoho newcomers who have just joined the team, they must learn from the people that have been here for a much longer period of time. If a newcomer watches another person do something, they will learn from that example. We follow the philosophy of leading by example and that has really helped us maintain our identity from the early days.


INTERVIEW

At the Zoholics conference, you spoke about the potential for partnerships with banks, because of the large amount of real time data that you have which can be transferred to the bank. This will provide more information on their clients and therefore they will be equipped to offer a better product to their clients. As you explained, the banks win, the customers win, and Zoho wins. What is the timeline for establishing a partnership like this? Have you already begun approaching banks to create such a partnership? Yes, we have already started working on this strategic partnership. We first started with ICICI, the largest Indian multinational banking and financial services company. It is a private sector bank and we have launched deep integration with them. With this new plan, it’s definitely easier to start out in developing markets. Banks in developed markets typically have a much more bureaucratic process which naturally would take substantially longer to get to the decision maker. Does Zoho intend on opening any more additional global offices in 2019? If so, what parts of the world are you looking to expand into? Yes, we are always looking at expanding and opening additional offices around the globe. We are opening in Australia this year and we are very excited about it! We have also announced that we have started working on plans to build and create a 345-acre Zoho campus in Austin, Texas. This will be the new official headquarters of Zoho and it will be located about 10 minutes from the Austin airport. Is the next step creating other verticals in addition to e-commerce? What have you been looking into?: We are always working on new projects to offer a better and more complete product to our customers. At Zoholics 2019, we have announced a new HR suite of applications that we will be releasing. We are very excited to roll that out. And yes, in the future we will be working on implementing other verticals in addition to e-commence. Most of our current work is around more customization for platforms, systems etc.

Vijay Sundaram

and Zoho's Marketing Strategy Vijay Sundaram leads the partner and channel programs at Zoho and in engaged in all aspects of Zoho's market strategy.

Is your focus on growth in a specific geographic region? Or general global growth? We refer to our general strategy as the Hub and spoke model. From a higher level, our team in California and Austin sets out general strategies that we’re looking to employ. We have local capabilities and teams to execute towards that specific market. For example, in Canada, we have a team that is focused on that market and work on bringing Zoho to as many SMEs as possible. What is the goal in terms of growth for 2019? And the next five years? As you have seen throughout the Zoholics event, we’re growing at around 35%-40% every year. Of course, every year, that goal of 40% growth becomes more difficult as we have to reach substantially more businesses. We are extremely proud of the growth we continue to experience. However, we worry about growing and expanding too fast. We worry about our teams not being stretched too fast, and potentially destroying our culture. We want to stay true to who we are as a company, and if we grow too quickly, we face the risk of losing our identity. To answer your original question, we expect to globally grow at the same pace moving forward. We’re seeing quicker growth in developing markets such as Latin America and the Middle East. Interestingly enough, the mature

European markets are all very different. We’re seeing substantial differences in growth across many of these countries. We see one developed mature market experiencing growth at a much faster speed than another developed mature market. Canada has always been one of our top 5 markets and it will likely continue to be within the top 5 moving forward. What is the number one day-to-day challenge of your role? One of my daily challenges is understanding the breadth of what we do. We are growing very quickly and my job is to evaluate the entire picture and strategy from a higher level. My biggest challenge is to tell stories and being able to connect things we do and things that matter to the customer. We deal largely with SMEs. Most of the Zoho development team is in India. How often do you travel to India and what do you focus on during your trips there? When I travel to India, I am truly engaged in everything we do: product teams, partner programs, communications, content and so much more. I like to engage across the board and get to know as many team members as I can. We are a very “flat organization” and it’s extremely important to travel to India and meet with the majority of the team on the ground. I go there about 3 to 4 times a year. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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2019

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LATEST ANNOUNCEMENT

Visa and Wave Join Forces to Improve Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses Wave’s New Instant Payouts feature offers small businesses an expedited way to manage cash flow and merchant payments Visa (NYSE:V), and Wave, the financial platform for millions of small business owners, today announced a new, limited release payments solution that aims to transform the way small businesses manage their cash flow and provide merchants quicker access to funds. Utilizing Worldpay’s acquiring platform, Wave’s new Instant Payouts feature integrates Visa Direct, Visa’s real-time push payments solution, into Wave’s comprehensive small business accounting offering, enabling faster access to money earned. The ability to manage cash flow is critical to small businesses today, with 79% of surveyed respondents citing wanting faster settlement and 81% saying they would pay to have this benefit . In addition, 85% of small business respondents say they would switch to a new merchant acquirer who offered real-time payments . Through their work together, Visa is helping Wave solve for these needs using Visa Direct, so Wave can reduce settlement wait time by offering real-time deposits to their customers.

“Small businesses depend on cash flow to survive, and often have to wait two or more banking days for their payments to be processed through traditional banking methods,” said Les Whiting, Chief Financial Services Officer, Wave. “Our new Instant Payouts feature uses the scale that Visa provides and the nimbleness of Wave. As a growing fintech, we are making a meaningful impact on the way small businesses manage their money.” “Visa and Wave share a common goal of providing small businesses more convenient ways to manage their back office, as we both understand that cash flow management and access to funds are crucial to small business growth and success,” said Bill Sheley, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Visa Direct, Visa. Wave’s Instant Payouts feature is backed by the power and ubiquity of Visa’s network, which helps enable secure, convenient, real-time funds

delivery directly to eligible Visa card holder account credentials. This new feature is part of a suite of complementary accounting solutions that Wave offers to small business owners, and is fully integrated with the Payments by Wave experience. By combining Wave’s streamlined invoicing and payment solutions for small businesses, Visa’s push payment technology and the power of Worldpay’s acquiring platform, Wave customers are able to receive money in real-time, even on evenings, weekends, and holidays. This is the first of many efficiencies that Visa and Wave will look to create for small business management in the future. Instant Payouts is currently available to an early access group of Wave customers, with plans to be released to customers across North America in the coming months. For more information about Visa Direct, visit: https://usa.visa.com/run-your-business/visa-direct.html. About Wave Wave is an award-winning financial management software company that is changing how entrepreneurs make money, move money and track money. They provide solutions that empower small business owners to simplify their finances while giving them more confidence to run their businesses. The company has more than 3.7 million registered customers in over 200 countries around the world. Wave tracks more than $330 billion through its accounting, invoicing, payroll, recurring billing, and payments products. Visit waveapps.com to learn more about their products and services. About Visa Inc. Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of a cashless future for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, https://usa.visa.com/visa-everywhere/ blog.html and @VisaNews.

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INTERVIEW

Shaun Adams is the Director, Small Business at Meridian. Shaun has had a 17 year career with Meridian with leadership roles in Retail and Commercial Banking and now oversees the Small Business Channel across Ontario.

Small business banking with

Shaun Adams Director, Business Banking Sales & Support, Meridian

Why is the SME market so important to Meridian? When small businesses succeed, it creates healthier communities – and that aligns with our own goals. Meridian started as a small business ourselves, when a group of fruit farmers in the 1940s were having trouble getting loans. So there’s a small business entrepreneurial spirit in our DNA. What does that look like to the SME clients you serve? Remember, they’re not clients; they’re Members. We’re 100%-owned by them. They know we have their backs. We have a strong small business advisor network, and work hard to understand our SMEs. We go to their place of business, and learning what they need from us to help get to the next stage. We have a program called Quick Start, which helps start-ups get financing in their first two years of operating. During this critical phase, they can use the money to buy equipment, grow inventory or add to their working capital. 46

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In addition, Shaun is an active community volunteer with past associations with Habitat for Humanity Niagara, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce and is currently Vice President of the Board of Directors for Family and Children Services of Niagara. Shaun is a passionate advocate for entrepreneurs and helping them grow their businesses and his territory covers Stoney Creek.

Being entrepreneurial ourselves, we’re always looking to make life easier for SMEs. For instance, we are building a digital lending tool for small business that offers fast and simple online loan applications. We’re also working with a national accounting firm to launch a tool giving SMEs more visibility on their cash flow. It’s a business insight and decision-making tool.

Our desire to help businesses includes helping their employees. So we’re partnering with a national benefits firm to roll out an employee assistance program. That supports a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.

Another project on the horizon is a business health check. We can leverage what we see with deposits and payables to give deeper advice about financial opportunities.

For SMEs, everything is moving faster. Our role is to take a slice of their world – the banking and financing side – and give order to it. When we provide the best possible advice and solutions, SME owners can focus on the other key parts of their business.

What other resources does Meridian offers SME owners? We’re here to help beyond just a product or rate. Under our Good Sense platform we provide a wide range of practical advice for SMEs, covering everything from risk management to business planning. Plus, we curate business literacy events to connect people. These are chances for entrepreneurs to learn from each other.

SME owners face many challenges. What’s the biggest way Meridian can help?

At what stage should entrepreneurs start inquiring about financing options? Entrepreneurs have a vision. Our goal is to help them realize it. Before discussing a loan, I’d ask about their objectives and strategy. Start with the need before the solution.


What’s the best financial advice you can give to SME owners? Know what you don’t know. Success is about focusing on your strengths and outsourcing your weaknesses. That means hiring the people to fill the necessary skills and expertise, and also having the right advisory team. Tap into your financial institution, accountant and lawyer for advice on all sorts of business issues. If we can’t give you the answer, we may be able to connect you with the right resource. What sets Meridian apart from other financial institutions? We give consumers a viable choice beyond the traditional banks. Our reason for being is different. As a credit union, we don’t have shareholders. We are 100 per cent accountable to our members, and that business model shapes our approach to service. People are responding to what we call the Meridian difference. We’re growing fast. We’ve doubled our revenue in the last five years. Meridian is now Ontario’s largest credit union and the third largest in Canada. Our assets under management are $20.6 billion. We have 91 branches across Ontario. We also have a national footprint with the launch of motusbank this spring. That’s a way to take the Meridian banking experience beyond Ontario’s borders. We’re seeing fundamental changes in what people expect from their financial institutions, and how services are being delivered. Meridian has responded by developing a simple and intuitive digital platform. No matter the channel or interaction, it’s about making banking feel good. That’s where we invest. Meridian has a strong commitment towards communities. Why is that important? Our core mission is to help lives grow. That can happen through supporting local businesses, as well as the communities we serve. It’s a multi-pronged approach. We donate 4% of pre-tax earnings to community projects. A huge percentage of Meridian staff also participate in our employee giving program, well above the industry average. Our people see an opportunity to make a difference, not only for our Members but also for the community. Throughout your career at Meridian, you’ve held several roles. How have they prepared you for your current role? I’ll be with Meridian 18 years this summer, and have spent most of that time serving business owners. I’ve gained exposure to the mindset of an entrepreneur, and seen how businesses work best across industries. Now I can share those insights to help our people, and those they serve, to succeed. At what point did you know that you wanted to go into banking? It wasn’t by design. I was studying economics at Brock University, and working at The Bay. A co-worker had a daughter who worked at Meridian. That’s how I got in. I realized that I love playing a role in the success of other businesses, and love the community impact of banking. I’ve been fortunate to find my passion.

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RESOURCES

10Quebec Best Small Business Resources in

SME’s in Quebec are increasing at a fast rate. They take up almost 100% of the businesses in the province: 99.8% to be exact, out of which 98.1% are small businesses and 1.7% are medium sized. That means that only 0.2% of businesses in Quebec are big companies. “In comparison, the size distribution of locations across Canada is almost similar (98.0%, 1.7% and 0.2%, respectively, for small, medium and large sizes) to that observed in Quebec.” Source: Institute of Statistics of Quebec

On top of its businesses being mostly small businesses, recent statistics have also shown that several business owners in Quebec have had the tendency to require funding outside of the province since 2014. “Statistic findings report that active SMEs have had a high demand for external financing in Quebec since 2014. The report gives an overview of SME financing needs and factors that may favor or inhibit their decision to seek external funding. These factors include the characteristics of SMEs and their owners, their business practices as well as the conditions for access to financing imposed by funding providers.” Source: Institute of Statistics of Quebec

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RESOURCES

With the following statistics that demonstrate just how much small businesses are within the province of Quebec and the recent tendency they’ve had over the last few years of pursuing external funding, the Government realizes the importance of giving entrepreneurs resources and programs that are beneficial for them and can help them grow their business. It’s no secret that when businesses succeed, it’s good for the economy. That being said, here’s a list of the top ten best resources that are available for small business owners in Quebec.

1

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF QUEBEC

Business community group that its main purpose is to provide business owners with resources to grow their network, provide training to help them make strategic decisions to make their business successful and have them belong to the influential ecosystem. Website: www.cciquebec.ca E-mail: info@cciquebec.ca Address: 900, Boulevard René-Lévesque East, office 600, Quebec, Qc. G1R 2B5 Telephone Number: 418-692-3852

2

GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC

The website of the Government of Quebec provides several resources and information about different programs that are available for business owners. Website: www.quebec.ca/entreprises-ettravailleurs-autonomes Telephone Number: 1-877-644-0075

3

EMPLOI QUEBEC

Although the main purpose of Emploi Quebec is to help Quebec residents find jobs, they also offer programs to help business owners. The Support for Self-Employment helps future entrepreneurs prepare a business plan and create their own jobs. They also offer the Young Volunteers Program which is designed to help business owners acquire new skills while working on their project. Website: www.emploiquebec.gouv.qc.ca Telephone Number: 1-877-767-8773

4

CANADIAN GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR QUÉBEC BUSINESSES

The Canadian Government Funding for Québec Businesses offers government grants and loans to help business owners in

several areas such as expansion, research and development, hire and training, and capital investments. Their purpose is to help entrepreneurs boost their business and investments, as well as improving the outcomes of their projects. Website: www.mentorworks.ca/what-weoffer/government-funding/funding-regions/ quebec Telephone Number: 1-888-599-3111

5

CANADA BUSINESS NETWORK

Canada Business Network is a group of experts that answer all questions that business owners might have in regards to starting their business or expanding their already existing company. They can either answer questions by phone, e-mail or in person by booking an appointment. Website: canadabusiness.ca Telephone Number: 1-888-576-4444

6

ENTREPRISES QUÉBEC

The website Entreprises Québec provides access to all the information concerning the Québec government programs and services for businesses. Whether business owners want to start their business, grow it, manage or transform it, the website contains all the information that they need. Website: www.gouv.qc.ca Telephone: 418-644-0075

7

RÉSEAU DES SADC +CAE

A network of Community Future Development Corporations (SADCs) and Community Business Development Corporations (CAEs) that work in economic development. Their team of professionals and volunteers support projects and innovative businesses for prosperous communities. With their assets and investments, they help finance several projects and investments across Quebec. Website: www.sadc-cae.ca

Address: 3229 chemin des Quatre-Bourgeois, Office 505, Quebec, Qc., G1W 0C1 Telephone Number: 418 658-1530

8

QUEBEC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

The program helps support entrepreneurship, business performance, regional mobilization and investment in the regions while providing support for economic activity in Quebec. The program helps support and strengthen businesses. They provide tools and resources to help entrepreneurs innovate and grow their businesses. Website: www.dec-ced.gc.ca/eng/agency/ programs/qedp

9

COMMUNITY FUTURES PROGRAM

The Community Futures Program supports local economic progress and reinforces the capacity of communities to achieve their full potential in a sustainable way. Their primary goal is to promote stability, economic growth and job creation within the region. By partnering up with different organizations they ensure to inform the local community and businesses about federal programs services that can be beneficial for them. Website: www.dec-ced.gc.ca/eng/agency/ programs/cfp

10 CEDEC CEDEC helps business owners learn about consumer trends within Quebec, get mentored by other successful business owners and build a strong network. They have several programs and experts that are there to help entrepreneurs grow their business and manage it successfully by giving them all the information they need about laws and regulations within the province. Website: www.cedec.ca/sbs/doing-businessin-quebec Telephone Number: (888) 641-9912 CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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DATA PROTECTION

Behind the scenes of

Dell's Global Data Protection RUYA ATAC-BARRETT

Vice President, Data Protection Product Marketing

Ruya has more than twenty-five years of high technology product experience in the areas of cloud solutions, converged infrastructure, data management, virtualization, servers, storage and data protection. An experienced and innovative leader, she has had demonstrated success in driving start-up and large technology company product management, product development and marketing functions and managing teams across a range of activities, channels, industries, and geographic regions. Currently, she is the Vice President of Product Marketing for the Dell EMC Data Protection Division responsible for messaging and positioning Dell EMC’s market leading portfolio of products. Previously, she has held various roles at Dell EMC, VCE (a joint venture of VMware, Cisco and EMC), Hewlett Packard, Storage Networks and Hittite Microwave.

What are some of the key takeaways from the study, both globally and for Canada? To address our global study participants, we see that organizations are managing more data than ever. We also see that they are still facing a lot of disruption at increasing costs. This risk of disruption is even greater. It’s essential to note that the more you value data, the more harm disruption has. Organizations are looking to improve data protection and they sometimes inadvertently look at multiple vendors. The reality is that many vendors actually lead to less secure data protection systems and businesses have been slow to pick up on that. The more prolific use of cloud for data protection, is really portraying what the future needs are going to be based around. Businesses need to invest and partner with folks that are making investments for future needs. For Canada, one of the areas we

found interesting is that Canadian businesses manage more data than their global peers. The 2018 study showed that Canadian businesses are managing 11.45 TB of data which is significantly higher than the global averages. In fact, there has been a 941% growth since 2016. Another data point that we found very interesting was that 97% of Canadian businesses see the value in data and 33% of companies are investing in monetizing with data. They are understanding that technology is ultimately what more and more users are going to interface with. 44% of Canadian businesses that were surveyed are struggling to find suitable data protection for things like AI. This certainly shows Canadian businesses’ maturity with respect to leveraging technology, and being at the forefront of advancements in technology. What does this mean for Canadian SMEs? As all of your readers probably know, SMEs make up the vast majority of businesses in Canada.

We can tell that SMEs are looking to propel their businesses forward from an IT perspective. One of the key takeaways is the digitization of processes. They are embracing the collection and storage of data. SMEs continue to discover how to monetize new data and they have new sources of data that they feel that they are unable to protect. They understand that without the right technology, they face the risk of data breaches that will of course have a serious impact on their business. What is Dell EMC’s strategy moving forward to address the takeaways from the study? We have done this study 3 times over the course of 6 years (every other year). We invest in the study to understand where we see customers’ needs and requirements in the future, which will ultimately drive our technology investments. The loss of data itself is more costly than downtime, which was a very interesting finding. As I mentioned earlier, this year’s survey confirmed that customers seeking multiple vendors has led to greater issues and a less secure data protection system. Our strategy is to deliver the entire spectrum of data protection technology to our clients. Our portfolio includes bullet proof solution for addressing cyberattacks. Data protection solutions needs to support employment models, among many others. We create purpose built architecture that delivers that flexibility to deal with our customers’ needs. Our solutions are future proof and future ready. We offer a future proof warranty option so that we’re positioned as the vendor for tomorrow. We have a comprehensive efficiency guarantee, a 3 year

warranty, and much more that we offer to our clients to show them that we will be with them every step of the way. Are Canadian SMEs confident in their data protection infrastructure given the constant news cycle of data breaches occurring? Canadian SMEs are actually globally less confident than their global peers. The challenges that were presented were around emerging technology and being able to keep up with that rapid growth. Only 11% of Canadian businesses believe that their currently protection technology will meet future challenges. Moving forward, how often will you continue to conduct this study? Every 2 years like you have previously don’t? After the 2018 study, we sat down with our team and decided to do it more often. We see that trends are rapidly changing and we are getting so much value from the study, which will ultimately direct the strategy of our future investments and the products that we’ll be building for our clients. We are moving towards doing the study once a year. What were you most surprised about in the 2018 study? The shocking thing for me is that we see very few customers that have simplified and consolidated their data protection vendors. The exponential increase in risk that this brings to the table is unbelievable. For me personally, that was really eye opening. The other thing that was interesting was the opportunity of loss of business and impacting customer loyalty due to a lack of strong data protection. I think we are making great progress - the leaders in this space increased from 1% in 2016 to 10% in 2018. Businesses have more data, and they understand the importance of protection.

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MANUFACTURING

In your opinion, why do you believe manufacturing plays such a crucial role in the Canadian economy? It’s more than my opinion. Manufacturing contributes 650 billion dollars a year of GDP that is 10% of GDP. It’s 2/3 of our exports. It’s the way that Canada benefits from its natural resources. Manufacturing is the sector that supports the service industry. Canada gains when it processes its raw material, rather than just selling raw materials to other countries. We’re not a country like Japan with very little resources and we have historically taken advantage of our resources. Why is manufacturing important? Because that’s where technology is commercialized. Manufacturing has everything from it systems, to robotics, to automations. It will always have the role of commercializing our technology and basically taking advantage of our resources. What are some of the resources that CME is providing to small business owners when it comes to helping them grow their business? It really relates to what do they need to become efficient and effective, and dealing with government regulations, taxes, etc. They need somebody to be their voice for all levels of government. We think that we do a good job of being the singular voice for manufacturers. We therefore help them on the practical and policy level. For entrepreneurs who are looking to start their small business, what advice can you give them in terms of manufacturing and exporting? Join CME! Because it’s the largest network of

businesses, suppliers. Talk to CME and we can point you to all the programs that exist. This is a message to SMEs in manufacturing – you are a trade exposed industry. You’re not just competing with manufacturers across the road but with manufacturers in all the countries that we trade with. The resources are available here for you. What are the top challenges that SME owners face when it comes to manufacturing and how can they overcome them? It’s a universal challenge to find skilled labour. 69% of companies said they’re facing immediate labour and skilled workers shortages. It’s most acute in production. Not enough students are choosing manufacturing. Not enough women are going into the industry. We hear companies say: “We would expand but we can’t support the equipment that we want to buy”. The big challenge is access to skilled labour. To give you some background: In terms of participation – our country has done a good job of having post-secondary trained individuals. The workforce is aging and there aren’t enough young people joining the manufacturing industry. It has been a male dominated industry for most of history. When we’ve surveyed women, they previously would say that it wasn’t an inclusive culture but that is certainly changing. Everyone wants to work in high tech now. We’re at a point where we have something to say – the tech space you wanted to work in is now in manufacturing and we need to get skilled labour. And we need to get women leaders and mentors to spread the message for more women to join the manufacturing

sector. These are good, high paying jobs. When people think of manufacturing, they often think of the dirty, tough work being done in the Hamilton steel mills. The manufacturing jobs have changed but the public image hasn’t changed a lot with it. What does the future of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters look like? What are some of the projects that you are planning that can benefit Canadian business owners? Our management survey was completed in October. We’re really working on the idea of how to develop skills. We’re investigating what other countries have done to develop that workforce. The second area is how do we help them access the new markets and increase export development. Canada is very dependent on the US. 75% of trade is done with the US. How do we help identify the opportunities with our big partners in Europe and Asia. On a final note, how would you say your past experience has prepared you for your current role as head of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters? I spent 25 years with one of the biggest manufacturers in the world, Proctor and Gamble, in various different roles. I understand the complexity and the degree of change manufacturing has to go through. Before this role I ran a trade a association for 9 years. The combination of working in both sectors has prepared me to understand what it takes to make a member origination run smoothly.

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PRINT SOLUTIONS

Innovative print solutions for SME's Brandon McGovern Director of Customer Experience, Home Printing Solutions

Brandon splits his time between customer interaction and product team liaising. He works closely with clients to gather feedback about company products and services, then reports back to the appropriate department with information that can be used to improve. His ultimate goal is to maximize interaction through excellent experiences.

As Director of Customer Experience at HP, what is the main thing that consumers are looking for when it comes to choosing their printer? I’d like to approach this question from a very high level first. We see three core trends that are shaping what consumers are looking for when it comes to choosing their printer. With rapid urbanization, people are living and working in smaller places as urban areas become more populated. This macro-economic reality and evolution is impacting customer’s preferences, and as space is becoming a luxury, consumers are looking for products that will fit seamlessly into their workspaces and homes. We are seeing the rise of the “gigeconomy,” where people are balancing more responsibilities than ever, with taking on different businesses and non-traditional jobs, for example being an Uber driver. From a printing standpoint this means that the SME owner likely won’t just be tied to an office, instead will be on the go, and are looking for 52

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printers that fit with this busy lifestyle. With the HP Smart app, people can send print jobs on the go. There is a rising demand for “smarter everything” across all industries. How do we make the product smarter so that it’s working for you and not against you. These three megatrends influence what customers want to buy. It’s not just about smaller and faster, but customers wanted better design, smarter printers that work. HP has released a new series of printers that are designed for small business owners. What was the inspiration behind this new series? These printers were inspired by understanding our customers’ needs and how we can help them become more productive. If you are a small business owner, you’re switching between working ON the business and working IN the business. Working ON the business means that you are working on

the growth strategy. If you’re working IN the business, your responsibility is the day-today tasks. The Alternative Board reports that small business owners spend 68% of their time working on these day-to-day tasks, and they look to technology to re-focus their time to working ON the business. In our newest series of printers, we focused on delivering experiences that increase productivity of these small business owners so they could spend more time growing their business. Can you tell us how HP products are helping SME owners? It comes back to productivity. When we think about our innovation strategies, they revolve our three major pillars: •

Designing a product to fit within their life and work cycle. The new HP OfficeJet Pro series is up to 39% smaller than previous generation and completely redesigned, making it fit better in their environment.

Deliver experiences that engage with


PRINT SOLUTIONS

""When I think about HP, there are two things that make me proud to work for the company; our commitment to sustainability and diversity and inclusion. Diversity and inclusion are a business imperative for HP, and we operate on the principle that diversity creates meaningful innovation and improves our company, products, and services. This is reflected in us having the most diverse board across technology companies and is incorporated into everything we do and every decision we make." them. The HP Smart app is designed to meet them wherever they are – print, scan, or copy on the go. And with the newly announced Smart Tasks feature, you can set up customized shortcuts to eliminate repetitive tasks and save time. •

Simplifying how the product works for them. We focused on simplifying major points of friction. First, smarter, self-healing WiFi that keeps you connected. Second, an optional Instant Ink subscription that delivers ink when you need it while saving you money. In your opinion, what do you believe is the biggest challenge that entrepreneurs face when it comes to managing their business while travelling on the road and how can HP help them?

At the end of the day, it all comes down to how to stay productive and manage a business while growing that business. I was talking to a small business owner and he was so involved in all aspects of his employees’ lives, that he did not have the time the properly run his business. At HP, we want to design products that improve our customers productivity, so that they have the time to stay involved in their employees’ lives, while keeping their businesses growing. What sets HP apart from other companies? Why should SME owners choose HP as their tech provider? Within printing, we have a rich history

in the industry. We are the leading players on the innovation front and are constantly improving design and user experience to simplify tasks for our customers. I truly believe that we are leaps ahead of where other providers are. We are also proud to be Canada’s most sustainable tech company, and for every page printed, there’s zero impact on a carbon footprint. In addition, we focus on what our customers care about. For example, security and privacy are key priorities in our customer’s personal and business lives. Small businesses don’t have access to the same security departments and resources as big corporations, so they often rely on their technology to ensure they are protected. At HP we are constantly releasing new products that have increased security features, to help protect our customer’s data. We know a breach for some businesses can be more impactful than to other businesses. In our newest OfficeJet Pro lineup, we’ve incorporated enhanced security features originally restricted to our Enterprise products to keep our customers more secure. HP has built itself a solid reputation both on the retail and commercial side. What do you believe has been the biggest accomplishment of HP Printing in the last decade? What are you most proud of? When I think about HP, there are two things that make me proud to work for the company; our commitment to sustainability and diversity and inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion are a business imperative for HP, and we operate on the principle that diversity creates meaningful innovation and improves our company, products, and services. This is reflected in us having the most diverse board across technology companies and is incorporated into everything we do and every decision we make. As for sustainability, HP has made commitments to support a forest positive future, carbon neutrality, and materials designed to reduce the impact on the planet. We are constantly looking at the impact our company has on the planet, as well as the impact of our customers. In fact, through our Managed Print Services (MPS) offerings, customers have reported a 33% annual reduction in carbon emissions and energy consumptions and costs. When I think about HP, those are the two things that make me most proud to work for the company. On a final note, where do you see HP Printing going in the future? What do the next 10 years look like for HP Printing? Printing is here to stay, despite many people’s doubts and there’s a bright future for HP and print. When I evaluate what we offer to our customers, I believe we will continue to grow by providing a better experience through our innovation. The cycle of innovation is essential at HP and we’re very proud to continue improving on that mandate each and every single day. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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LEADERSHIP

David Ciccarelli: The man behind Voices.com

As Chief Executive Officer, David is responsible for setting the vision, executing the growth strategy, creating a vibrant culture, and managing the company on a day-to-day basis. David is wholeheartedly dedicated to growing the company to become a world-class organization and leading the industry in the digital age. He successfully raised $2M in funding from the Business Development Bank of Canada, followed by a USD $18M Series A funding from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital located in San Francisco. David has been happily married to his wife, Stephanie, for more than 10 years. They have a son and three daughters and live in London, Ontario, Canada. In his free time, he enjoys listening to audiobooks, running, and biking.

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What are some of the strategies you’ve used to help grow Voices. com into the success it is today? We had the opportunity to participate in the Canadian Technology Accelerator. The event focused on the following two points: How do we tap into the ecosystem, and learning more about “what’s going on in Silicon Valley.”

that world and the mindset of successful technology businesses. The first day was filled with pretty intense workshops and seeing how businesses run.

The event helped us understand how Canadian companies can expand abroad and create jobs. The event, called “48 Hours in the Valley,” was a real crash course on the inner workings of life in

From that experience, I learned Canadian businesses needed to “think bigger” and be more aggressive. The way we materialized that was this mantra of what we call 10X. Thinking 10X is

One of our takeaways for attacking the marketplace was the following slogan: Taste the market, test the market and take the market.

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one of our mental models for how we go about making decisions. We don’t purse a revenue opportunity because it will add $10,000$100,000 to our top line. Rather, we’re pursuing the Silicon Valley growth strategy to conceptualize a million dollar incremental idea. If your readers haven’t spent any time in Silicon Valley, it’s well worth spending the week there and understanding how business is done elsewhere in the world. MIT runs a conference called the Platform Summit. Voices.com is a two-sided marketplace, which is commonly referred to as service providers and buyers. People are interacting with one another rather than with Voices.com and we’re just the intermediary, similar to PayPal, Amazon, and Uber. There are some common traits of what makes a platform successful. A big takeaway was that too often we slip into a mode of work that replicates the traditional business pipeline, which is organized in a linear fashion. You gain no efficiencies as a business grows through this linear oldschool train of thought. Mark Porter defined strategies as the choices a business makes. And a solid business makes sound, logical decisions. These experiences have helped us make logical decisions based on our goals. As CEO of Voices.com, you’re responsible for creating the vision of the company. How did you come up with the vision of the company? What was the inspiration behind the vision? Our vision is to be the place where the world finds its voice. Organizations or brands can communicate their message to their audience in order to inform and educate their audiences and tell their brand stories. We want to have a positive impact on the world through the power of the human voice. If the vision is the “Why” of the business, your mission is specifically “What” you do. We’re the connector with these

voices all around the world. It’s important to continue evaluating and/or refining the vision to make sure what we are doing is still relevant and in line with our goals. That is my responsibility as the CEO. As CEO of the company, you also lead a whole team of employees. What do you believe makes a good leader?

What makes a good leader is being quick to listen and slow to speak. Listening first is very important. When you are invited into a meeting or asked for your opinion, in order to understand the background and respect the work, one must be patient and listen. Somebody once shared with me the following: “As CEO, your words weigh 800 pounds.” This really hit home to me. A leader of an organization has the power to build up and the power to tear down. Founders and CEOs have amazing opportunities when you’re invited to conferences or to speak at events. A leader must synthesize all this information from outside sources and the main role of the CEO is to make sense of it all, in order to improve their company. You’ve created a vibrant culture at Voices.com. What approach did you use to create the company’s culture? We definitely think a lot about culture. There is plenty of research that tackles the subject matter of what makes some companies outperform others. Through such research, one can extrapolate how to develop these competitive advantages that are long lasting. A business is just a group of people working towards a common goal. The culture is just a reflection of the type of the people that you have in an organization.


LEADERSHIP

Sometimes people think about hiring the smartest people – the MBAs, engineers, and technologists (which of course are all very important). But if your focus is only on hiring for “book smarts,” you will miss out on something truly additive and meaningful. Emotional intelligence. Balancing book smarts and heart smarts helps create an emotionally healthy workplace and culture. This is the ability to have difficult conversations, and communicate effectively with one another. You can sense one’s emotional intelligence based on their communication, or their ability to deal with rejection, for example. Culture is made of up artifacts, which are tangible elements that make up that group of people. Some assume that if you have a “cool” office, you therefore have a great organization and an excellent culture. But that is an extremely surface level approach. Culture is hard to develop and difficult to maintain overtime. You’ve managed to successfully raise over $20 million in funding ($2 million from BDC and $18 million USD from Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital). What strategies did you use to help raise this much capital? Investors are investing in 2 things: the story, and you as an entrepreneur carrying that out. An early stage company will often not have enough traction, so investors will be looking at other cues to understand the potential of the business. When you tell the story, whether it’s verbally or in a brief document, it’s about answering these 3 questions: (a) How big is your market? The first question is the headline and will gather the initial interest. Investors are interested in TAM (Total Addressable Market). Avoid the approach of “if we can capture x% of the market…” (b) Why you? Why are you going to be the person that breaks through

in this industry/market. (c) Why now? You need to create a sense of urgency of why you need the capital right now. And it’s important to describe that plan in less than 1 page. This should be used to keep you on the radar for that investor or distribute that information to their investment committee. If you follow those guidelines, the goal is to receive term sheets from different investors and then decide which opportunity is best. Forbes and The Wall Street Journal are just some of the prestigious companies for which you have contributed your writing to in regards to entrepreneurship. What inspired you to contribute your writing to these media outlets? A simple phrase for how to enter the market in the US, or the 10X mindset… these types of frameworks are about simplifying the approach. I’ve been the beneficiary of that from learning about the successes and mistakes of many entrepreneurs. The by-product of contributing also increases exposure for Voices.com. Voice-over is not the first thing that comes to mind when people think of digital media. Voice is intangible and invisible. By resorting to explaining what the business is, and more about our customers, I have to create these “aha” moments. Communicating through mediums with large audiences certainly helps and it’s drawing attention to our industry.

Another major mistake is being fearful that someone else is going to steal your idea. Investors are not entrepreneurs and they get hundreds of pitches per year. At the end of the day, you know more about your business than anyone else, but what you don’t know are the real unknowns. You may be unfamiliar with hiring your first VP of Sales or expanding into the US, or tax implications, etc. Investors are really good at pattern recognition. Because they look at perhaps 1,000 companies in a year, they can spot a success. And if they don’t, they will ask you something different that makes you think. Those questions are incredibly beneficial and will help you in the long run. You founded Voices.com with your wife. How would you say this has impacted your relationship? We do everything together. We understand each other’s strengths, weaknesses, and how we both get our energy. Introverts, like myself, recharge their batteries by being alone. Whereas an extrovert gets their energy through other people and bouncing their ideas off of others. My wife and I are opposites and learning about each other’s personalities has helped our marriage and our business. We know that our marriage always comes first, and will continue to always come first.

important not to allow the dining room table to act as the board table. We refer to it as “permission to proceed” which informs the other person when to put the business hat on. The business has been complementary to our marriage. On a final note, did you always know that you wanted to become an entrepreneur? I would say yes. I didn’t necessarily know what my long-term game plan was. Most kids traded hockey cards, and I was the kid that bought entire boxes of hockey cards and would sell them. I would sell pop out of my locker at school. At a young age, I was able to figure out what I liked doing and I found it very natural. After graduating from the audio engineering school, the options were being a sound engineer on a cruise ship and travel, or other cool options. I was toying with the idea of going to business school. My dad made the recommendation that you can always go to business school at any time but being an entrepreneur could essentially be your business school experience. The business skills were learned the hard way. I learned that no circumstances are going to get any better tomorrow compared to right now. Never wait until tomorrow to start realizing your goals and dreams.

It’s been important to learn to understand how to establish boundaries, to allow for each of us to thrive in our own right. It’s

I also wanted to mention that Toronto has become an incredible tech hub. Toronto created more tech jobs in 2018 than any other geographic metro area including the Bay area and Silicon Valley. In your expert opinion, what is the most common mistake that entrepreneurs make? Refusing to receive advice from others is a huge mistake that entrepreneurs often make. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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INTERVIEW

One on one with

Keanin Loomis

President and CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

Keanin is the President & CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer of Innovation Factory, located at McMaster Innovation Park, and a lawyer at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and the College of William & Mary School of Law. He lives with his wife and three children in Downtown Hamilton. How is the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce helping SME owners grow their business? SMEs comprise nearly 85% of our membership, therefore assisting in their growth is a key priority of our organization. We support our SME members by providing meaningful connections and leads, advocating at all levels of government on their behalf, promoting Hamilton businesses through a variety of local, regional and national media outlets, and offering solutions to everyday challenges. We always encourage our members, particularly the small ones, to see us as their lifeline in business.

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What would you say are some of the accomplishments that you have had since you’ve been President and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce? When I took on this role in the summer of 2013, I was tasked with making a 170year old institution a relevant, 21st century organization. I am very proud of what we have accomplished in the past five years. We have grown from a staff of four to a staff of eleven, which gives us greater capacity to meet and exceed the needs and expectations of our members. We also most recently had the best financial year in the history of the organization, which is a great testament to our capability and impact. In 2016, we launched our CEOs of Hamilton initiative, which convenes the top leadership in the city with an aim to drive tangible progress for Hamilton. Additionally, we have launched numerous new and exciting initiatives, including Canada’s Innovation Corridor Summit in partnership with the Toronto Region Board of Trade and the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber, which strengthens bonds across our region so that we can compete globally.

SME’s are crucial to Canada’s economy and combine 99% of the country’s business industry. Would you say that they also have a huge impact on Hamilton’s economy? Small businesses are definitely the backbone of our economy too. Our local stats show that businesses with less than 100 employees account for 98% of the businesses in Hamilton Due to Hamilton’s ability to foster a startup and scale-up environment, the data also demonstrates that many of these SMEs go on to become large businesses, resulting in increased economic impact and job creation for the City overall. What are some of the challenges you face on a daily basis and how do you overcome them? Well, if you’re asking personally, there are the practical challenges of balancing work and home life. My wife has a big job herself, so getting three kids out the door in the morning and to their various activities at night, is always a scheduling challenge. But I’ve overcome that by being well-organized, efficient and by hiring great people that help with the heavy lifting. If you’re talking about the challenges in running


INTERVIEW

he Hamilton Chamber of Commerce offers numerous programs and resources to assist SME’s. In 2018, we launched Magnet, which as I said, is a job-matching technology that quickly and accurately connects job seekers to the right opportunities. The program assists SMEs to overcome the two greatest barriers to hiring quality talent – time and money. Magnet is free to use and provides employers with quality applicants who match their exact criteria. In the spring of 2019, the Chamber will also launch our partnership with Digital Main Street, a free digital transformation support program for small businesses. The program will launch this year with our local BIAs, however, we hope to expand the scope of the project in the coming year. The Chamber also offers numerous affinity programs, helping SMEs keep the cost of doing business low, including an excellent group insurance plan, as well as discounts on gas, merchant services, and office supplies.

the organization, I’d say it’s our relative lack of resources. Hamilton is a historic Canadian city, but not a city with a lot of wealth or large private sector employers. That means change is incremental and requires a lot of hustle, bootstrapping and collaboration. The pace of change can be frustrating, but that makes moments of progress more rewarding as well. The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce helps business owners overcome some of the challenges that they face. What are some of the most common challenges that SME owners come across in Hamilton? So many SME owners are expert at what they do, but not so in building or sustaining a business. I always say that to be successful, you need to have friends in business – customers, suppliers, partners, even just someone to commiserate with. That’s where our facilitation of connections is important. Our organization also hears a lot about difficulties navigating city regulations, which is why we sit on the Open For Business Sub-Committee at City Hall, where we work to ensure existing and prospective businesses have an easier time operating in Hamilton. We also hear of difficulty in finding the right talent. Not that we have a dearth of talent – we have great post-secondary institutions in Hamilton – but it’s just hard to figure out where to look. That’s why we’ve launched our Magnet jobs platform, which is like Match.com but for employment.

Can you talk about some of the programs and resources that the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce provides to business owners? The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce offers numerous programs and resources to assist SME’s. In 2018, we launched Magnet, which as I said, is a job-matching technology that quickly and accurately connects job seekers to the right opportunities. The program assists SMEs to overcome the two greatest barriers to hiring quality talent – time and money. Magnet is free to use and provides employers with quality applicants who match their exact criteria. In the spring of 2019, the Chamber will also launch our partnership with Digital Main Street, a free digital transformation support program for small businesses. The program will launch this year with our local BIAs, however, we hope to expand the scope of the project in the coming year. The Chamber also offers numerous affinity programs, helping SMEs keep the cost of doing business low, including an excellent group insurance plan, as well as discounts on gas, merchant services, and office supplies. What are some of the business development opportunities that the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce provides to SME owners? The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce offers SMEs numerous opportunities to expand and grow their network, not only through our popular monthly Business After Business networking events, but also through Connections, the Chamber’s category-exclusive networking

group. Many of our SMEs also benefit from our active Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals division (YEP), which offers professional and businesses development resources for those under the age of 40. Additionally, the Chamber provides SME members with regular updates on government policy changes and its potential impact on business, as well as any grant or funding opportunities they may be eligible for. Outside of that, all of our staff are tasked with making connections across the membership – some of our most rewarding work is when we introduce two entrepreneurs we think should know each other and then we find out later that the relationship has yielded benefits for both. What advice can you give to SME owners who are looking to grow their business? Again, you need friends in business to survive. Surround yourself with good people and keep growing your network. I would obviously strongly suggest business owners become a member of their local chamber and let the good folks there know what it is you need. After that, I would suggest you keep in touch with your chamber representative because your circumstances and pain points are always changing. That ensures that you are top of mind and it helps them respond to your evolving needs. I would also recommend business owners investigate what services and resources are available through your municipality's economic development department and small business enterprise centre. CANADIANSME MAGAZINE I MAY 2019 I

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LUXURY

various driving programs, and AMG TRACK PACE. With the optionally available MBUX interior assistant, specific infotainment functions can be operated without the need to physically touch them. The interior assistant has the ability to differentiate between driver and passenger, and can recognize certain hand positions and movements. When the interior assistant recognizes movement towards an operating element of MBUX, the media display changes and individual elements are highlighted. In the Radio and Media menu, the MBUX interior assistant will reduce the number of operating steps. In the Navigation menu, the interior assistant will fade in the navigation as soon as it detects a hand moving to operate the touchscreen or touchpad. When displaying the vehicle's camera images, as soon as a hand moves towards the touchscreen, the MBUX interior assistant will automatically display the four camera operating symbols from the 360 degree camera. MBUX interior assistant can even control the reading lamp via a simple movement of the hand towards the button. passengers. Numerous functions can be activated via intelligent voice-operated control, prompted by the phrase: "Hey Mercedes". In the CLA 35, MBUX features AMG-specific content. The instrument cluster contains specific details such as the AMG start-up menu with three selectable AMG display styles. The "Supersport" mode is particularly striking, with a central, round rev counter and additional information presented in the form of bars to the left and right of the rev counter. Via the AMG menu, there are various special displays such as Warm-up, Setup, G-Force and Engine Data. The touchscreen multimedia display can also present drivers with telemetry data, visualizations of

NEW GENERATION AMG STEERING WHEEL WITH TOUCH CONTROL BUTTONS The new generation of AMG steering wheels provide the perfect link between the driver and the vehicle. The steering wheel rim with a flattened lower section, perforated leather in the grip area and red contrast topstitching is both attractive and pleasant to the touch. Galvanized steering wheel gearshift paddles allow for an even sportier driving style with manual gear shifting. The new built-in Touch Control buttons can be used to intuitively select the displays of the

instrument cluster and the multimedia system by means of horizontal and vertical swiping. The Active Distance Assist DISTRONIC cruise control can be adjusted on the control panels on the left. The control panels on the right are used to activate the voice control and telephone, and to regulate the sound volume, music selection and other functions of the multimedia system. As an option, the steering wheel can be equipped with extra innovative features such as: a round controller with an integrated display beneath the right-hand steering-wheel spoke and two vertically positioned colour display buttons with switches beneath the left-hand steering-wheel spoke. The AMG drive programs can be activated instantly via this controller and the selected drive program is shown on the colour LCD display, directly integrated in the controller. With these optional features, the two freely configurable display buttons and the additional switches allow for further AMG

functions to be controlled directly on the steering wheel. This means that drivers can fully concentrate on driving without taking their hands off the wheel. Each function required can be depicted on the other LCD display, and its switch is tapped by the driver to set the respective function. The driver's two preferred AMG functions can be defined in this way and the settings can be changed with just one touch of the finger. Reinforced body-in-white with increased torsional stiffness Mercedes-AMG has taken specific measures to strengthen the front section of the body shell, forming the basis for the vehicle's precise turn-in ability and the toe and camber stability of the chassis components, even when driving at speed. A bolted aluminum plate under the engine called a "shear panel" increases the torsional stiffness of the front section. Two additional diagonal braces at the front of the underbody also reduce torsion and increase stiffness.

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Profile for CanadianSME

CanadianSME May Edition  

Our May issue is officially here and we are very excited about all the great content we have to share with you this month! We strive to be C...

CanadianSME May Edition  

Our May issue is officially here and we are very excited about all the great content we have to share with you this month! We strive to be C...