CanadianSME Small Business Magazine November 2021

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CANADIANSME Empowering Canadian Small & Medium Businesses Banking partner

Why Embracing Change is Key to Success for Canadian Manufacturers? All Images, trademarks, service marks and logos referred to or appearing in this magazine are the property of their respective owners.

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Our November issue is officially here and we are very excited about all the great content we have included in this month’s issue! We strive to be Canada’s top magazine in providing exclusive insights, strategies, and advice to small business owners and entrepreneurs. Our mission is to include the best of the inclusive interviews and top business insights from reputable industry experts. Our team works very hard in delivering the most valuable content to our readers to ensure that you stay up to date on all the latest business trends. Empowering small and medium-sized businesses is our prime goal. This month, CanadianSME is focused on Manufacturing in Canada, new trends in the manufacturing industry, innovation in manufacturing, exploring technology in the manufacturing industry and government initiatives in place for manufacturing. Through our article learn “Marketing for Manufacturing Businesses: 7 Tips to Do it Better”. Learn how CM&E is supporting Manufacturing Businesses in Canada, learn “5 Ways to Improve Productivity in the Manufacturing Industry” and “Why Embracing Change is Key to Success for Canadian Manufacturing?” We also included exclusive interviews like “How Small Businesses Can Harness The Power of Digitization” with Brian Green from Fiserv, “Breaking away from traditional working models, offering employees significant incentives” with Greg Bambury from Medavie, “There is a vaccine against homelessness: It’s called affordable social housing” with Juha Kaakinen from Y-Foundation and “How to keep Canadians engaged in a cause during a pandemic” with Terri Drover from HPSA Take your business to the next level by connecting with Canadian Business Leaders through the Canada Business Talks series, in association with our partners RBC, UPS, Ricoh, Nerds On-Site. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn what it truly takes to be a resilient entrepreneur with Shahrzad Rafati on Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021 11:30 AM- 12:30 PM EDT. We, at CanadianSME Small Business Magazine, understand that during this reopening phase after pure chaos, small and medium-sized businesses need more support than ever before. These articles provide insights into the tools and resources available and manufacturing trends to keep top-of-mind this year. We hope that this month’s issue will help give you the knowledge and information you need to stay ahead in the market. Don't forget to subscribe to our magazine to get the latest trends and stay up to date on all of our events Until next month, happy reading! SK canadiansme canadian_sme canadiansme canadiansme

Editor Shaik Khaleeluddin (SK) Consulting Editor Shiraz Siddique Creative Designer Rakibul Islam Client Manager Maheen Bari Social Media Cmarketing Inc Sales Abdul Sultan Shaik Photography Deposit Photos Web Ashraf S

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Published by Cmarketing Inc 2800 Skymark Avenue, Suite 203 Mississauga, ON. Canada. L4W 5A6.

Copyright © 2021 CMarketing Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photography or illustrations without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.

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

16 Marketing for Manufacturing Businesses: 7 Tips to Do It Better

By CanadianSME



CM&E Manufacturing Business in Canada


How To Overcome Burnout Tips from a Psychology Performance PhD By Haley Perlus


How Canadian Small Businesses Can Identify The Differences Between CTV vs OTT vs Linear TV Advertising By: Geoff Crain


Iceberg Digital Marketing Agency

Your Perfect Small Business Partner in Canada


How Small Businesses Can Harness The Power Digitization

Brian Green

Country head of Canada, Fiserv


Business owners: Are you purchasing equipment that Ayming can finance for you?

49 How to keep Canadians engaged in a cause during

Business Woman of the Month

a pandemic Terri Drover

Director General at Health Product Stewardship Association (HPSA)

Mandy Rennehan CEO & Founder at

The Amazing Blue-Collar CEO Mandy Rennehan is redefining the BlueCollar jobs. She is called the Blue-Collar CEO for a reason. With her uncensored style of doing business, she has navigated between the white and blue-collar employment spheres.

35 37


10 Tips to Integrate Is Your Brand Getting Security Into SME Cultures Influencer Marketing Wrong? By Jon Druker

By Kim Salzer

13 44

Teara Fraser

An Indigenous Wonder Woman to Follow!

Vivian Kaye : An Inspiring Woman Entrepreneur to Follow Founder & CEO, KinkyCurlyYaki


CEO / Founder at Iskwew Air

Ayming Canada:


Partnering with Small Businesses for Supporting their Growth

How to Leverage Instagram for Your Small Business in Canada? By CanadianSME


Discussing Entrepreneurship with

Graham Sherman

Co-Owner of Tool Shed Brewing Company


5 Tips to Overcome Recruitment Challenges for Small Businesses


By CanadianSME


There is a vaccine against homelessness: It’s called affordable social housing

Juha Kaakinen

109 Legible -delivering sustainability to the publishing industry

Empathy a top leadership skill for Tomorrow’s SME leaders

By Janine Allen

News Visa Expands ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ Solution in Canada with Moneris PAYMENTS

Consumer demand is growing quickly for buy now, pay later (BNPL) solutions offered by financial institutions which are underpinned by global payment technology leaders like Visa. A recent Visa survey found that up to half of all consumers expressed interest in installment financing offered by their existing credit card issuer.

Ontario Chamber and Tourism Industry Association Announce Partnership to Support Ontario Tourism’s Economic Recovery TOURISM INDUSTRY

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario’s tourism industry was one of the hardest-hit – and it will be one of the last to fully recover. The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is pleased to announce its partnership with the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) to support the sector’s economic recovery.

Nearly one in five Canadians resigned during the pandemic due to increased stress at work MENTAL HEALTH

LifeWorks Mental Health Index™ indicates the older the employee, the more likely they are to consider resigning due to feeling a lack of appreciation LifeWorks, a leading provider of digital total wellbeing solutions, today released its monthly Mental Health Index™, revealing a negative mental-health score among Canadians for the 18th consecutive month.

Canadian SMBs weather COVID disruptions, but struggling to meet workers’ new demands. SMALLBUSINESSES

Two in five companies have shifted priorities in the last six months to drive growth and innovation, but find it challenging to hire and mitigate employee burnout.

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News Half of family business owners concerned the next generation isn’t ready or willing to take over: Family Enterprise Foundation report FAMILY

Introducing ‘Business Class: Build It Braver,’ a new podcast for savvy entrepreneurs from American Express

“Ready or not, transfers within Canada’s family businesses are coming soon. It’s imperative that family leaders prepare their family, as well as their business, for this imminent transition of wealth, ownership and leadership,” says Olivier de Richoufftz, General Secretary, Family Enterprise Foundation.

43% of Canadian Small Businesses Report Sales are Down – but are Optimistic About Outlook; 29% Plan to Increase Employees; 27% Plan to Reinvest; 18% Plan to Expand Into New Markets


Host Vivian Kaye will share her own story of business success as the founder and CEO of KinkyCurlyYaki, a seven-figure international hair-extension business. Kaye, who dropped out of college and battled depression in her early adulthood, exemplifies the resilient entrepreneurial passion that inspired Business Class: Build It Braver.


The new study, the Payments Behaviour Tracker – Business survey (Wave 2, 2021), explores the trends, sentiment and outlook for Canadian small businesses (total revenue of less than $10 Million) who make up 98% of all businesses in Canada. The study incorporates insights from interviews conducted in July and August 2021 through Leger’s online panel with 500 businesses.

Playing digital defence: Small businesses are stepping up their cyber security efforts – but gap in preparedness remains: RBC poll CYBER SECURITY

Faced with a fast-changing landscape, small businesses are adapting by adopting more technology and adopting it faster than ever before,” says Adam Evans, RBC Chief Information Security Officer, RBC.

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Vivian Kaye An Inspiring Woman Entrepreneur to Follow

Founder & CEO, KinkyCurlyYaki

What do you call a woman who never

She, however, got her

made her way through to success? We

mother, who used to sell wares

succumbed to societal pressures and

call her Vivian Kaye! She is the Founder of KinkyCurlyYaki, the first-ever hair

extension company made for the Black women, by a Black woman. She is a

Ghanaian immigrant and as one among four sisters, she never conformed to the societal norms of attending school and then getting into a stable job.

entrepreneurial stint from her

at a Ghanaian market, tucking

Vivian on her back. Vivian is an effervescent and empowered

Black woman, who never fit into the mould and strived hard to do something for the women

belonging to her community.

Small Business

How KinkyCurlyYaki Started? Vivian, after finishing high school, realized that she wasn’t

Vivian had already started her venture, Vivian’s

for herself. She knew that she was a confident, bold,

meetings, she always wanted her hair to look

meant for the traditional way of getting a college degree

young woman who can make her way through to being a successful woman entrepreneur in the future. She started working at call centers and this led her to a job in an

organization that supported entrepreneurs. She soon got a lot of encouragement from her boss who would push her to try new things at work.

Décor. So, whenever she would go out for

presentable. That’s when she thought of doing something on her own. While she would

frantically search for a hair extension that would suit her complexion and her curly and kinky hair

texture, she only found silkier, blonde options. She soon realized that the entire market of Black

women would be having the same issue with

their hair extension needs and it was then that her KinkyCurlyYaki came into existence.

She started with her own wedding business as a side hustle and within a few more months of being into it, she understood that she really had to do something for the Black women who are always on the lookout for hair extensions that would suit their appearances.

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Small Business

About KinkyCurlyYaki Vivian, being the owner of kinky and curly hair,

has always been proud of it. However, she soon

To know more about the company, visit

found out that there were several Black women out there, who damaged their hair in search of getting artificial hair textures. She also found

out that the hair extension companies mostly

dealt in silky, blonde hair textures which would

To know more about Vivian Kaye, an

inspiring woman entrepreneur in Canada, visit

look too artificial on a Black woman. So, the idea of KinkyCurlyYaki struck her mind.

This company is all about the kinky and curly

hair extensions and clip-on for Black women. These natural-looking hair extensions are

already a hit amongst Black women in Canada and the US. So much so, that when she had started with this brand, she soon hit the $1

million mark with just word of mouth! She didn’t place a single ad to sell her products and it all worked out through influencer marketing.

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For more such updates on strong

women entrepreneurs in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.

Marketing for Manufacturing Businesses:

7 Tips to Do It Better Making use of proper marketing techniques is essential for any business. However, most manufacturing businesses in Canada feel that they do not really require the help of the internet to stay ahead of their competition. They are wrong, though! The Internet can always help any business to reach more people than ever before. A few years back, manufacturers would create goods, train their staff, and send their sales professionals to connect directly with their potential customers at various trade shows, seminars, offices, etc. Even a decade ago, such sales-only relationships with partners worked just fine. But in today’s competitive business landscape, manufacturers need to take help from internet marketing to up their business game.

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Small Business How COVID-19 Impacted the Manufacturing Industry

Top Seven Tips of Marketing Your Manufacturing Business Better

The pandemic took a toll on the manufacturing businesses. As per the reports by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in Feb-March 2020, around 35.5% of manufacturers faced issues related to supply chain management. Also, 78% of them felt a kind of uncertainty towards the running of their business due to COVID-19. And this resulted in the manufacturing businesses dwelling more into the solutions of digital marketing.

In 2020, the manufacturing and distribution sales grew by 1.7%, which is $17.5 trillion.

1. Content Advertising This technique is a tried and tested one. And advertising is generally the easiest way to promote your services in front of your target audience. In order

However, the B2B digital sales grew at a whooping rate of 10.9% and generated nearly $9 trillion. For a long time, the manufacturers stayed away from the e-commerce segment. However, they are now realizing the worth of the internet and thinking about ways to promote their business better with the right kind of marketing strategies.

to make your product name heard and seen by others, you should have a robust content advertising technique. The internet makes it easy to advertise through different means. Whether it’s through a website, search engines, print, social media, or television, you can find several options to promote your advertising content for your brand.

2. Website Management and Digital Marketing Despite the fact that online marketing is the best way to promote a business today, several manufacturers are still lagging behind. However, you can take this leap and improve your brand’s sales better with a fresh website design, an improved business listing on Google, and a robust SEO strategy. This will help you gain better ROI in no time! After all, the postpandemic scenario is the best time to make a digital impact on your manufacturing business in Canada.

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Small Business 3. Press Release and Emailers Now, although you might feel that these two will come under the whole spectrum of digital marketing, the truth is, you need to give a lot of importance to press releases and email marketing as well. So, if you have any new product coming up, or you want to let your clients know about any particular upcoming event, press releases can help. You can also let them know through emailers. These two modes will make it easier for you to grab the attention of your target audiences and clients better.

4. Take Part in Events Business events are an amazing way to meet new people. Being a part of such events can also boost your brand recognition and build trust amongst your consumers. You can also sponsor such events and negotiate a deal that could be beneficial for both parties. Today, events are less likely to be held in person. However, virtual events and webinars are very common marketing tools these days that can help you generate a great number of leads while magnifying your potential client base.

5. Take Part in Award Shows If you own a small manufacturing business in Canada, you might already know that 97% of the nation’s economy is generated by small businesses. And we, at CanadianSME, ensure to be in full support of the small and medium enterprises in the nation. For this, we have yearly award shows which are dedicated to the small business owners and their professional accolades. These award shows are an amazing opportunity to network and grow within a community.

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Small Business

6. Striking Business Cards Even though digital marketing has its own perks, we shouldn’t forget the effects of the humble business cards! You should have a properly made business card as a physical token to be handed out to your potential clients while networking. If you can get in touch with the best printing company, you can avail of some great offers for your bulk orders related to business cards. Do not forget to do some research about the designs before making one for your manufacturing business.

7. Share Samples with Clients No matter whether you create a physical product or a service, you can always share a few samples with your customers or clients. This is a great way of marketing and is usually done by some biggest brands in business events and seminars. This is also an amazing way to increase trust amongst your client base, boost consumer satisfaction and show your confidence regarding your products.

Wrapping It Up Manufacturing businesses in Canada should now totally take the marketing leap for better ROI. Marketing for manufacturers was often looked down upon in the past. However, times have changed and it’s now necessary to ensure that your services and products are reaching the right people, even though we all are working from home. And what's a better way of doing that than digital marketing?

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For more such amazing updates on small businesses in Canada, subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business magazine.

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How to break down international barriers Insights to help make going global easier

Global logistics has a complex language all its own and businesses of all sizes undergo similar challenges. These include sourcing materials, warehousing, product distribution, cost, visibility, transportation and foreign regulations—just to name a few. It can be a daunting experience even for veteran exporters, but fluency means entering new markets flawlessly (and penalty-free). To ensure a smooth international expansion, business owners should be aware of the three most common errors:

1. 2. 3.

Assigning the incorrect value to goods Misclassifying goods Misstating the country of origin on a product shipment

Incorrect value

Assigning the incorrect value to goods is a common error among entrepreneurs since different countries have different definitions of value. Companies sometimes think that a different value can be used for shipping goods to a subsidiary as opposed to a customer, but the predominant rule is that the same value should be applied. To further complicate matters, different countries have different rules on whether the cost of packaging and transportation should be included in the valuation.

Misclassifying goods Remember that you’re not alone in your endeavor. Don’t wait until there is a problem before you ask for help. There are many resources and subject matter experts who are available to assist, either online, in-person or over the phone. Visit where a team of UPS Ambassadors are ready to help you grow around the globe.

Like assigning incorrect values, misclassification of goods is another common mistake that new and experienced exporters make. For example, suppose you classify an optical instrument that is something other than a binocular, as a binocular. The binocular is duty-free, whereas the other item has duties of six per cent. Misclassification could mean that you circumvented export control regulations (which cover strategically important technology, services or information). At the very least, you have to pay back duty plus interest.

Country of origin

Declaring a country of origin sounds simple, but in today’s global manufacturing environment, it can be tricky. For instance, a technology manufacturer may source components from multiple countries and assemble those components in yet another country. Is the point of assembly the country of origin? The short answer is: it depends—but in most cases, 50 per cent of what makes up the product typically determines the country of origin.

© 2021 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. UPS, the UPS brandmark and the color brown are registered trademarks of United Parcel Service of America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Government Procurement –

Modernizing For a More Accessible Marketplace The Government of Canada is one of the largest purchasers in the country, spending on average $22 billion annually on a wide variety of goods, services, and construction. Wondering if this marketplace is right for you? Interested in adding the federal government to your client list? Want to learn how to pursue these opportunities and grow your business?

Upcoming PAC Ontario Events Best Defence Conference Canadian Small Business Women

Nov 16-17 Nov 20

Government to Business Fair

Nov 25-26

Federal Procurement Virtual Drop–in Café

Nov 24

Innovation Information Forum

Dec 9

Procurement Assistance Canada (PAC) can help! PAC, as part of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), is here to help increase access for smaller and diverse businesses to federal contracting opportunities.

You May Have Noticed We Rebranded! Procurement Assistance Canada (PAC )was formerly

PAC will continue to support Small and Medium

the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises

Enterprises (SMEs), with an increased focus on

(OSME).The new name emphasizes the procurement-

businesses owned or operated by Black, Indigenous,

related services offered by PAC, with a stronger focus

sexually diverse, and gender diverse individuals;

on the participation of under-represented businesses

women; youth; and people with disabilities, as well as

in federal procurement.

businesses that focus on accessibility and green or clean technology.PAC will also continue to inform, assist, and guide businesses throughout their federal procurement journey with a number of education and support services, including self-serve reference tools, webinars, workshops, and personalized one-on-one assistance.

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Small Business An Action PAC-ked Small Business Month

How You Can Get Involved

Small Business Month is always an exciting period for

PAC can help you to better understand

PAC-OR, as the team participated in more than 20 events

how the government buys goods and

to celebrate the growth of small businesses in Canada.

services, and how you can access the

The Small Business Diversity Forum, Supply Chain Canada

process to bid on federal contracting

National Conference, Circular Procurement Summit, Doing

opportunities and grow your business.

Business with Government: Mississauga Edition, and supplied Knowledge Exchange are a few of the notable

In 2022, PAC Ontario and partners will

PAC-OR-led and partnered events in October.PAC-OR

host three unique Innovation Information

also partnered with the CanadianSME for the Small

Forums. The first will center on SMEs in the

Business Summit with a virtual booth and workshop to

green and clean technology sector, the

support small businesses bid on federal procurement

second will emphasize Black-led or


owned businesses and the third will focus on businesses owned or led by women.

G2B Information Fair & Workshops is Back

Join us for all of our special and regular

On November 25-26, 2021, PAC-Ontario will host its

Ontario office at 1-800-668-5378 or

annual Government to Business (G2B) Information Fair and Workshops in partnership with Invest Windsor-Essex. The two-day virtual conference will focus on supporting the growth of women-led businesses with presentations, panels, and virtual cafés from government and local partners. The conference will also include interactive sessions to support small businesses, along with government procurement opportunities and innovation programs and services. Interested in attending the PAC-OR G2B conference? Register now to secure your seat for the conference.

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event offerings or contact the PAC email us if you have any questions. For support outside Ontario or in the National Capital Area, we have PAC regional offices across Canada to help support you.

Marchés publics – Moderniser pour rendre le marché plus accessible Le gouvernement du Canada est l’un des plus grands acheteurs du pays, dépensant en moyenne 22 milliards de dollars par an pour une grande variété de biens, de

Événements SAC Ontario à venir

services et de travaux de construction.

Conférence Best Defence

Vous vous demandez si ce marché vous convient? Vous

Conférence pour les femmes jeunes entrepreneures

souhaitez ajouter le gouvernement fédéral à votre liste de clients? Vous voulez savoir comment saisir ces occasions et faire croître votre entreprise? Soutien en approvisionnement Canada (SAC) peut vous aider!

Foire Gouvernement à entreprise

novembre 16-17 20 novembre novembre 25-26

Café virtuel sur l’approvisionnement fédéral

novembre 24

Forum d’information sur l’innovation

décembre 9

SAC, qui fait partie de Services publics et Approvisionnement Canada (SPAC), est là pour aider à accroître l’accès des petites entreprises et des entreprises diverses aux possibilités de marchés fédéraux.

Vous avez peut-être remarqué que nous avons changé de marque! Soutien en approvisionnement Canada (SAC) était auparavant le Bureau des petites et moyennes entreprises (BPME). Le nouveau nom met l’accent sur les services d’approvisionnement offerts par SAC, en mettant davantage l’accent sur la participation des entreprises sous-représentées dans les marchés publics fédéraux.

SAC continuera à soutenir les petites et moyennes entreprises (PME), en mettant l’accent sur les entreprises détenues ou exploitées par des Noirs, des Autochtones, des personnes de genre mixte, des femmes, des jeunes et des personnes handicapées, ainsi que sur les entreprises qui favorisent l’accessibilité et les technologies vertes ou propres. PAC continuera également d’informer, d’aider et de guider les entreprises tout au long de leur parcours d’approvisionnement fédéral grâce à un certain nombre de services d’éducation et de soutien, notamment des outils de référence en libre-service, des webinaires, des ateliers et une assistance individuelle personnalisée.

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Small Business Mois des petites entreprises : plus d’un tour dans son SAC

Le mois des petites entreprises est toujours une période passionnante pour SAC dans la région de l’Ontario puisque l’équipe a participé à plus de 20 événements pour célébrer la croissance des petites entreprises au Canada. Le Small Business Diversity Forum, la Supply Chain Canada National Conference, le Circular Procurement Summit, Doing Business with Government: Mississauga Edition et Supplier Knowledge Exchange sont quelques-uns des événements notables dirigés par la région de l’Ontario de SAC ou auxquels elle a participé en octobre. La région de l’Ontario de SAC s’est également associée à CanadianSME pour le Sommet de la petite entreprise avec un stand virtuel et un atelier pour aider les petites entreprises à soumissionner sur les marchés publics fédéraux.

Retour de la foire d’information et des ateliers Gouvernement à entreprise (G à E) Les 25 et 26 novembre 2021, la région de l’Ontario de SAC organisera sa foire d’information et ses ateliers annuels Gouvernement à entreprise en partenariat avec Invest WindsorEssex. Cette conférence virtuelle de deux jours sera axée sur le soutien à la croissance des entreprises dirigées par des femmes, avec des présentations, des panels et des cafés virtuels du gouvernement et des partenaires locaux. La conférence comprendra également des sessions interactives pour soutenir les petites entreprises, ainsi que des opportunités de marchés publics et des programmes et services d’innovation. Vous souhaitez participer à la conférence G à E de la région de l’Ontario? Inscrivez-vous dès maintenant pour réserver votre place à la conférence.

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Comment vous pouvez vous impliquer SAC peut vous aider à mieux comprendre comment le gouvernement achète des biens et des services, et comment vous pouvez participer au processus pour soumissionner aux opportunités de contrats fédéraux et développer votre entreprise. En 2022, la région de l’Ontario de SAC et ses partenaires organiseront trois forums d’information uniques sur l’innovation. Le premier sera axé sur les PME du secteur des technologies vertes et propres, le deuxième mettra l’accent sur les entreprises dirigées ou détenues par des Noirs, et le troisième sur les entreprises détenues ou dirigées par des femmes. Joignez-vous à nous pour tous nos événements spéciaux et réguliers ou contactez le bureau de l’Ontario de SAC au 1-800-668-5378 ou envoyez-nous un courriel si vous avez des questions. Pour un soutien à l’extérieur de l’Ontario ou dans la région de la capitale nationale, il existe des bureaux régionaux de SAC partout au Canada pour vous aider.

CM&E Manufacturing Business in Canada

The manufacturing industry in Canada is a cornerstone for its modern economy. The industry accounts for around $174 billion of the nation’s GDP. And the manufacturing sector represents more than 10% of the total GDP in Canada. Manufacturers in this country exports more than $354 billion every year, which represents around 68% of all of the nation’s merchandise exports. All of this adds up to around 1.7 million full-time jobs all across Canada. The fact that the manufacturing sector is now modernizing with innovative and high-tech tools, the manufacturing businesses now have more skilled workforce including researchers, designers, programmers, technicians, engineers, traders and so on.

What is CM&E?

Their Vision and Values

Since the first industrial boom in Canada, the CM&E

CM&E has a few core values which it swears by:

(Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters) has been supporting the member interests. The company is nearly 150 years strong and has already earned several accolades for its extensive track record for working with more than 2000 leading manufacturers in the country and helping them grow. CM&E’s success comes from their integration with the best of industries, which are run by the topmost manufacturers. The company is led by a national board of directors who have been senior leaders in diversified Canadian manufacturing businesses of all sizes. CM&E deals with the challenges of manufacturing organizations. The company has member-driven services and programs which are meant for helping manufacturers work towards their businesses. CM&E partners with the businesses to strengthen their competitive advantages and to build their capacity in some of the key areas in business. CM&E can be the advocate of the manufacturing businesses to project them better in front of the government of Canada. They actively work for influencing and recommending effective policies which will allow the manufacturers to compete in the country as well as abroad.

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Innovation is important for success in every business. And CM&E believes that every organization should be innovative with their ideas to succeed. Hence, the company provides great value to investment in technological advancements, as they believe it to be the key to boosting competitiveness and success. The company believes in the fact that the manufacturing industry plays a huge role in the nation’s economy. Hence, it proposes different policies to enable growth, competitiveness, and innovation. The core value of CM&E is trust and integrity. The company is solely guided by data and represents only its members’ interests to fulfill their mission. CM&E is not here to influence but to advocate. The organization is already able to influence its regulatory policies on behalf of its members.

Small Business Their Mission for the Upcoming Years

CM&E’s mission is to enable its members to compete positively in Canada as well as with their international counterparts. The company also ensures that the manufacturing industry is recognized by the public as well as the policy-makers as a crucial part of the nation’s economy. The company aims to support its members through various programs and help them specifically address some of the top concerns in the manufacturing industry like labor shortage, productivity issues, capital access, and so on.

The company also aims at facilitating opportunities for manufacturers to meet and learn from each other, grow together, by being a part of events and several B2B networks. The company influences decision-makers at the federal & provincial levels as a strong voice of the manufacturing industry, whether on behalf of a company or an entire sector.

CM&E recognizes the manufacturing and exporting industry of Canada and aims at being a driving force behind its members to become a global leader and innovator in advanced manufacturing. If you are a manufacturing business in Canada, get in touch with CM&E to take your organization to the next level of success. To know more about the CME&E, click here

Denis Darby – President and CEO, CM&E

For more such updates on different organizations in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small

After being the CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists’ Association, and an exciting 24 years of career in senior management roles in Procter & Gamble, including leadership roles in Europe and the US, Denis joined CM&E in 2017. He earned a degree in Chemical Engineering and Management from McMaster University in 1984. He is also an accredited corporate director and got his ICD.D designation in 2011.

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Business magazine.



The manufacturing industry has been a significant contributor to the economy of Canada. In British Columbia itself, it is the third largest source of employment. More than 400,000 jobs in the country depend on manufacturing. Some industry experts might say that the manufacturing sector has become unpredictable since the market collapse in 2008. However, what is becoming more apparent is the fact that a huge transformation has already occurred in this sector, and with the advent of technology, the manufacturing industry in Canada is making way for all new process-oriented approaches.

Manufacturing Productivity Growth in Canada Industry 4.0 has transformed the manufacturing industry around the world. The advent of digital, biological and physical revolutions has lowered the operating costs, increased flexibility, reduced waste and improved the overall product quality. And technological advancements have opened new doors for innovation. Canada always had a poor investment record in terms of innovation in the manufacturing sector. The manufacturers have been underestimating the role of technology in the industry. As a result, the productivity growth has been slowest in the last 15 years or so.

Small Business

However, times are now changing. Canada is home to several dynamic manufacturing companies that are at the forefront of technology adoption. And these businesses are benefiting from greater effectiveness, lower costs, and an increased capacity in delivering innovative and customizable products. As a result of which, the manufacturing industry in Canada is seeing rapid growth.

State of Advanced Technology in the Canadian Manufacturing Industry As per CME’s Management Issues Survey 2018, 40.1% of respondents currently use advanced manufacturing technologies. Indeed, it is a huge growth in terms of Canadian manufacturing companies who are embracing Industry 4.0. In 2016, the percentage was 37.9. This means, there has been a steady growth in the numbers. Also, the report stated that more than half of the respondents in 2018 have plans on investing in newer

The report stated that only 3% of businesses have implemented the Industry 4.0 projects, while the rest 36% are halfway through the process. Meanwhile, 42% of the manufacturing companies in the nation have not done anything at all yet. As a result of this, the Canadian manufacturing businesses are lagging behind in terms of investments in new machinery, technologies, and equipment from their international counterparts.

technologies in manufacturing in the next three years. Today, the fact remains that more than half of the manufacturing businesses in Canada are not investing in advanced technologies. And close to

OECD data also suggests that the Canadian gross fixed capital

another half does not have any immediate plans of

formation (GFCF) has only risen by

doing so. The report also states that there have not

6% in the last five years. That is

been many investments done in terms of embracing

quite below the average of OECD

technology in the manufacturing sector since 2010 in Canada. The 2017 report by BDC, Industry 4.0: The

which is 24.6 %. The GFCF growth

New Industrial Revolution, suggested that even

rate in the US was 26%, EU was 30%

though digital technologies have gained traction in

and Ireland and Iceland have

Canada, the manufacturing sector is still at a very

recorded double growth in the last

early stage of embracing the rules of Industry 4.0.

30 - CanadianSME - November 2021

five years.

Small Business Technological Gaps in Small Manufacturing Businesses

Why Canada isn’t Taking the Leap Yet?

CME’s Management Issues Survey in 2018 pointed out that

As we can see, digitization in the

there has been a significant gap in the tech adoption rate

manufacturing industry has been proven

in small-scale manufacturing companies. The survey also

beneficial in almost every nation. Then why is

stated that only 26% of the small businesses have

Canada lagging behind? There isn’t any

incorporated advanced manufacturing technologies. For

particular answer to this. However, the local

the large businesses, the percentage went up to 61%.

business culture, the overarching economic

Naturally, small businesses are less likely to invest in

conditions, and corporate leadership might be

advanced technologies even in the future. When they

stated as a few reasons. Three major reasons

were asked about whether they are considering making

for this could be –

such investments in the future or not, 40% of them answered in affirmative. The small manufacturing businesses were also of the view that the Canadian government isn’t supportive enough towards them. Also, they felt that the government tax and regulatory policies were been less supportive towards them over the past three years. The survey findings also focused on the need for specific policies which are tailored just for the small manufacturers. Small businesses also wished for the government to provide them with investment incentives that would be better suited for their requirements so that it can promote their

A lack of data about the technologies that are available. This is preventing businesses from making confident, informed, and strategic decisions related to digitization. High purchase costs and uncertain ROI which is causing companies to hesitate on pulling the trigger while making new technological investments. Labour and skills shortages are preventing the manufacturers as well in optimizing the use of those newer technologies.

growth and reduce the overall cost of doing business in the country.

Wrapping It Up Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the manufacturing sector all around the world. Companies that have already embraced digitization will realize extraordinary improvements in terms of work efficiency, greater flexibility, adaptability, and lower operating costs. Although Canada is lagging behind other countries, we can still hope that it catches up real soon. If the nation wishes to maintain a competitive manufacturing sector, it is important to include manufacturing technologies and digitization in its work processes.

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5 Ways to Improve Productivity in the Manufacturing Industry By CanadianSME

The manufacturing industry in Canada represents more than 10% of the nation’s total GDP, which accounts for almost $174 billion of the same. In the manufacturing sector, productivity equals money. And in today’s fierce marketplace, the manufacturing industry needs to be on the competitive edge and accept digitization for better end results. But before that, the manufacturing companies need to ensure that they are productive enough to rise higher.

Why Productivity in Manufacturing is Vital? COVID-19 has resulted in a disruption in the global supply chain. Before that, however, the demand for goods was on an incline. As markets are slowly getting stabilized and companies adopting the new normal, there has been an increase in productivity as well as operational efficiency for competing on a global scale. And quite naturally, the manufacturing industry in Canada should follow suit. So, how to measure productivity in manufacturing? Of course, there are a few simple ways which the manufacturing businesses can follow to achieve higher rates of productivity.

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Small Business 1. Integrate Digital Communication Tools COVID-19 has resulted in a disruption in the global supply chain. Before that, however, the demand for goods was on an incline. As markets are slowly getting stabilized and companies adopting the new normal, there has been an increase in productivity as well as operational efficiency for competing on a global scale. And quite naturally, the

3. Follow Waste Management Practices Even if most manufacturing businesses might think that producing more waste is

manufacturing industry in Canada should follow suit.

equivalent to being more productive, the

So, how to measure productivity in manufacturing? Of

produce more waste if your productivity

course, there are a few simple ways which the manufacturing businesses can follow to achieve higher rates of productivity.

reality is slightly different. You can also isn’t of high quality and not good enough to be sold to the customers. Both your employees and your machines are capable of making mistakes and hence, it’s important to train people in your organization better in order to manage wastes better.

2. Prioritize on Employee Training For you, starting with your team would be an effective way to attain productivity in your manufacturing business. You should employ proper coordination between the teammates and should have a very transparent business process. Also, employee training should be an integral part of your productivity strategy. Not only the regular safety training programs should be a priority but you should also incorporate detailed training logs every now and then.

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4. Carry Out Workflow Inspections

5. Incorporate Digital Manufacturing

For you, starting with your team would be an

Industry 4.0, with advanced technological inventions,

effective way to attain productivity in your

has powered every single industry. The Industrial

manufacturing business. You should employ proper

Internet of Things (IoT) is helping manufacturers

coordination between the teammates and should

worldwide to overcome their productivity-related

have a very transparent business process. Also,

challenges more effectively. So, the implementation

employee training should be an integral part of your

of augmented reality will help you to reduce time

productivity strategy. Not only the regular safety

and cost of training your employees, and will help

training programs should be a priority but you

you generate production at a faster rate.

should also incorporate detailed training logs every now and then.

Wrapping it Up If you wish to improve your manufacturing productivity, you need to understand that embracing the new technological advancements will help you sort the issues better. Also, having clear communication with your team will help you understand their concerns better. And the abovelisted 5 points will help you to get a head start in improving the overall productivity in your manufacturing business in Canada.

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Business Woman of the Month

Mandy Rennehan CEO & Founder at

The Amazing Blue-Collar CEO What is she good at apart from being this huge change in the entrepreneurial industry? Well, she helps people move away from their fears, ignore their worrywarts, and unleash their superpowers. She is truly determined to help solve the global

Mandy Rennehan is

redefining the Blue-Collar

jobs. She is called the Blue-

Collar CEO for a reason. With

her uncensored style of doing business, she has navigated

between the white and bluecollar employment spheres.

35 - CanadianSME - November 2021

shortage of skilled trade and redefine the term ‘blue-collar’. Also, she believes that the world should encourage the youth to go for a blue-collar career with the same kind of zeal that they get while going for white-collar career options.

Small Business How Did it Start? Mandy was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. She was raised in a humble household, with her father being a lobster fisherman. Her family of six faced several challenges as they had to rely on seasonal fishing. And this struggle motivated her to look out for a different life with no financial hardships. So, when her fellow kids were busy playing, she was busy hunting for baits and selling them to the local fishermen to gain profits. She was soon named as the ‘local fish broker’, with an entrepreneurial vision at the age of 10! She left her home when she was 18 with a desire to make her parents’ lives easier and comfortable. She started working night shifts for local contractors for free, just to gain experience about the industry. Soon after, her ability to lead people and find cracks in the industry spread all across Halifax, Nova Scotia. And in 1995, Freshco came into existence.

A Little Bit More on Mandy the ‘Bear’ Rennehan… She is often termed as the humble ‘Bear’ in business, but she’s done things right for which she has been awarded several accolades including, Canada's Most Admired CEO, Atlantic Business Magazine's CEO of the Year, the Toronto Region Board of Trade Business Leader of the Year, Top 25 Women of Influence, the RBC Canadian Women

What is Freshco? No, it’s not the departmental grocery store you may think about. Rather, it’s the very first 24/7, fullservice, on-call retail maintenance provider with full coverage across Canada and the eastern USA. Today, the company is one of the most successful and financially responsible maintenance businesses in the country with three collective divisions – Projects, Maintenance, and Reconstruction. Freshco now serves some of the major retail giants like Apple, Anthopologie, Banana Republic, Home Depot, Bell Media, LuluLemon, Restoration Hardware, Nike, RBC, Sephora, Tiffany & Co., and a lot more.

Entrepreneur “Momentum” Award, Growth 500 Excellence in Innovation, (WXN’s) Top 100 Most Powerful Women – Hall of Fame, CGLCC LGBT Business of the Year and Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEOs.

To know more about here, visit To know more about Freshco, visit And to know more about such amazing women entrepreneurs in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.

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10 Tips to Integrate Security Into SME Cultures

Creating a strong culture is important for businesses of any size and there’s an increasing need for security protocols to be a central part of a company’s identity. Small businesses make up over 97 percent of enterprises in Canada and many have had to shift their operations to a more digital focus due to the pandemic. Information Technology (IT) teams were thrust into figuring out several challenges employees faced, including staying protected from cyberthreats.

By Jon Druker Product Marketing Manager, OVHCloud

37 - CanadianSME - November 2021

Conversations between team members through online platforms along with data and information being shared over networks have meant more reliance on IT systems to keep sensitive data secure. Some of the online scam attempts seen over the last 20 months include phishing, identity fraud, and impersonation that all propagated a large amount of malware, such as ransomware and Trojan horse viruses. As small business owners look to grow the companies and expand consumer bases, instilling the necessary security protocols to ensure sensitive information isn’t reached by bad actors is vital.

Here are 10 tips for SMEs owners to talk with their employees about to keep their company secure:

1. Keep 2. Use

the software on your device updated.

your device and/or secure remote desktop for

professional purposes only.


Use a VPN for connections with your internal systems.

4. Regularly

change your passwords, including your home

router password.


Do not install unauthorized software or applications.

6. Do

not share confidential information in non-encrypted


7. During

video conferencing, ensure your visual environment

is secure and that you won’t disclose confidential data by


8. While

on the phone, make sure to identify whom you are

speaking with. If in doubt, don’t disclose any information.


Be careful what you publish on social media. For example,

photos of your home office may reveal confidential



Follow your security team’s guidelines and stay alert.

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The digital transition period also saw, and continues to see, companies shift their infrastructure to the cloud. If you’re a small business owner and you’re looking for a cloud service provider, look for one that has worked to establish open and trusted cloud security protocols. These providers will have adapted their scope to ensure compliance and certify data isn’t intercepted or analyzed by authorities overseas while implementing security best practices across the board. Hybrid working models are looking increasingly likely of staying put, leaving SMEs at a greater risk of malicious threats. While these guidelines can’t provide immunity from threats, they do provide a useful starting point for companies looking to reduce risks and develop robust security operations. Company secrets and financial data need to stay secure, and this updated working model has put new responsibility on companies and IT teams. Collaboration between cloud service providers, businesses, IT professionals, and employees will need to be increased to maintain strong security practices.

Iceberg Digital Marketing Agency Your Perfect Small Business Partner in Canada

About the Company If you own a small business in Canada and if digital marketing is on your mind, get right into conversation with Iceberg Digital Marketing Agency. This digital marketing agency aims at providing small businesses with affordable marketing strategies for the digital space. Wish to know more? Keep reading!

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Iceberg Digital Marketing Agency is a full-service agency based out of Canada and also has an

Australian branch. It provides digital marketing in Canada, focused on helping small businesses

navigate through the space better with strategies that work for them! The team at Iceberg Digital

strives to be affordable as well as effective without skimping on quality service; their experts are

committed towards providing clients what they need: tricks up your sleeve when attracting

customers or ensuring retention rate doesn't slip away too quickly.

About the Founders

Lilly Liu

Fiona Carvalho

Lily Liu is the digital strategist and the co-

Fiona is the creative influencer and accounts

Agency. She has a Master's degree in

great at delivering solutions that are financially

Digital Strategist

founder of Iceberg Digital Marketing

Business and Marketing, along with more

than 12 years of experience in the field of digital marketing. She has worked in

countries like India, Australia and Canada, and she realised quite early in her career that providing companies with the right

kind of digital marketing strategies is the need of the hour. She has worked for

Accounts Director

director at Iceberg Digital Marketing Agency. She is viable and functional. Besides her passion for aesthetic designs, she also has a strong

commitment towards consistency, clarity, and

conversions in the sphere of digital marketing. She has exceptional project management skills which

she offers in this company to acquire clients, retain them and streamline projects accordingly.

companies like Renault and Whirlpool,

To know more about the company and to avail their

digital transformation projects, along with

business in Canada, visit

and also led quite a few enterprise-wide

customized digital marketing solutions for your small

the creation of high-conversion websites.

40 - CanadianSME - November 2021

Small Business

Ayming Canada: Partnering with Small Businesses for Supporting their Growth

Are you looking for ways to grow your small business in Canada? At Ayming, they see things differently. They believe that earlystage companies need and deserve proper support to ensure that they can grow and innovate in a non-dilutive manner. Ayming’s services are strategically focused on helping companies of any size, big or small, leverage lucrative government funding.

A global consulting firm specializing in government funding for over 35 years, Ayming helps companies secure millions of dollars annually through federal and provincial grants, SR&ED Tax Credits, and optimization of indirect expenditures.

41 - CanadianSME I October 2021

Ayming’s Services The Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit Program offers some of the most lucrative tax credits in the world. This program provides more than $3 billion to over 20,000 claimants annually, making it the single largest federal program to support innovation in Canada. In addition, every year, the federal and provincial governments allocate billions of dollars in the form of non-repayable grants and interestfree loans to support Canadian businesses. The main objective is to facilitate growth and prosperity in the economy by encouraging investments and continuous innovation. Ayming Canada is a consulting firm that specializes in securing these tax credits and government grants for its clients.

Setting themselves apart from any other firm in Canada, Ayming can increase your overall return by offering a combined funding approach. Their experts prepare you not only to apply for lucrative SR&ED Tax Credits but also prepare you for secure federal and provincial grants in the areas of hiring, training, R&D, capital purchases, clean technology, and export growth. This combined strategy of SR&ED and grants results in significantly increased funding for their clients. Several early-stage companies don’t realize that they pre-qualify to claim R&D grants and see value in working with Ayming because they can assist with a comprehensive offer on both SR&ED and grant funding. Having one firm handle your SR&ED and grant applications ensures that there is consistency on how the R&D projects are being presented and positioned and that there is no duplicating of expenditures. The end result of this strategy ensures that companies subsidize a much higher chunk of their R&D and technical costs versus just claiming SR&ED alone. Ayming’s team of experts will take the time to understand your current and future planned projects. They will then immediately align these initiatives to all available programs to provide you with the highest ROI and the highest chance of approval.

Ayming’s Expertise Ayming Canada has been helping businesses fuel their growth. For the last 35 years, the company has been providing government funding and cost reduction services in 15 countries around the globe. Ayming delivers practical solutions to small businesses by becoming an integral part of their decision-making process.

Their expertise lies in 4 key areas: SR&ED Tax Credits, Government Grants, Cost Optimization and Tax Recovery. Ayming is the only firm in Canada to launch a national grants practice and an Express service designed exclusively for earlystage businesses and start-ups. If you own a business in Canada and would like a free analysis of the immediate funding opportunities for your business, visit –

Why Choose Ayming Canada? Ayming is truly a global firm with operations in 15 countries internationally, securing over $1.5 billion for their 20,000+ satisfied clients. Ayming is the first-ever consulting firm to establish a national grant practice in Canada. Their proprietary AI-driven database of government grants provides real-time access to various programs, which includes custom snapshots of all federal and provincial grants currently available to your business. In case of a government review or SR&ED audit, Ayming will support your business with no extra charge.

Apart from the above-mentioned benefits, with Ayming, businesses will not have to wait for the government agencies to process their SR&ED or grant applications to receive money immediately. This is because Ayming has an exclusive fund of $150 million which can provide its clients with accelerated access through their attractive nondilutive financing offer. In addition to this, they also provide cost optimization services for which they have been ranked #1 worldwide by Capital Magazine. Ayming also boasts a 98.5% success rate on every government claim submitted and they work on a success-fee remuneration, at no risk to you.

43 - CanadianSME I October 2021

Wrapping it Up Whether you are a start-up, early-stage business, or established company there are highly lucrative funding options to support you. With offices in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, Ayming’s team of experts are spread across the country to better serve you. The company is committed to providing sustainable strategies to businesses for their overall funding and profitability. To know more about them, visit

Teara Fraser CEO / Founder at Iskwew Air

An Indigenous Wonder Woman to Follow!

Teara Fraser could be gladly called as a wonder woman entrepreneur in Canada. She is the

Founder of the first-ever female-founded airline

company, Iskwew airlines, which is now buzzing in and out from the Vancouver Island airport. Teara is now one amongst the top 25 Women of

Influence in Canada. Fraser wishes to do more for the indigenous community. She also believes that the indigenous youth is one of the fastest-

growing demographics in Canada. And with

Iskwew airlines, she just took her first step towards uplifting this community in her own way.

44 - CanadianSME - November 2021

How Did it Start?

About Teara Fraser

Teara, a Canada-based single mother of two,

Tara was born in the Northwest Territories of

soon realized that she was meant to be a

entrepreneur calls herself a ‘proud Métis woman.

got into a small aircraft in October 2001, and pilot. She made up her mind of flying

airplanes and within a year, she became a certified commercial pilot. She would fly

passengers in northern British Columbia and

as a young indigenous woman, she aimed at

making it big in the male-dominated aviation industry.

She founded Iskwew (pronounced as ISSKWAY-YO) airlines, an air charter company based out of Vancouver International Airport, it recently started its operation between Vancouver International Airport and Qualicum Beach Airport, four times a week.

Canada. This 49-year-old indigenous woman

She is a part of the indigenous group with very

distinctive customs, collective identity, and a way of life. In 2010, she started as an entrepreneur and founded an aerial survey business that allowed

Fraser to combine two things that she dearly loved; aviation and the land that belonged to her

ancestors. After six years, she sold that business

and a kind of rebirth happened with her dream of being an indigenous entrepreneur.

While launching her airline, she said, “We need

airplanes, but we also need to be really thinking

about reciprocity with the land and how we walk

more gently on our Mother Earth.” And while doing so, she wishes to be part of the solution that will

“honor, uplift and energizes [the] indigenous land story, sovereignty and stewardship”.

To know more about Iskwew airlines, visit here To know more about Teara Fraser, visit here To learn more about such dynamic women entrepreneurs in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our monthly CanadianSME Small Business Magazine.

45 - CanadianSME - November 2021

Business owners: Are

you purchasing equipment

that Ayming can finance for you? Every year, companies invest thousands of dollars in purchasing new or used equipment for their businesses. Many will choose to finance this expensive equipment to spread the expense over the asset’s lifespan or to free up capital that can be invested elsewhere in the business. Whether you are looking to purchase a single piece of equipment while maintaining cash flow, wanting to upgrade multiple pieces of equipment to keep up with evolving technology, or seeking financing solutions for your ongoing equipment needs, Ayming can help.

46 - CanadianSME - November 2021

Small Business

To understand equipment financing it is important to understand what is considered ‘equipment’. Any tangible asset, other than property or a building may be considered business equipment. For example, desks, chairs, copiers, phones, or printers for a new office, X-ray or ultrasound machines for a medical office, and construction or heavyduty material machinery all qualify as business equipment. Buying and maintaining equipment is expensive, and as soon as you invest in a piece of equipment, it’s only a matter of time before a new version comes out, making yours obsolete or inferior. Due to

Will you expand and modernize operations or replace outdated machinery shortly? Get financing to cover the cost of new or used equipment so you can increase production and fuel your growth.

the high costs involved in owning and operating equipment, many business owners opt to finance these purchases.

Financing solutions to help your business grow Getting the right equipment for your business is critical to successful operations. Ayming can finance your equipment purchases so you don’t have to tap into your cash, line of credit, or apply for a bank loan. Financing with Ayming means you can secure the equipment you require at any time. Secure non-dilutive financing from one trusted source: Ayming! Stay current with the latest technologies and upgrades.

In addition to securing government

Simplify your annual budgeting and maintain cash flow.

receivables like Grants or SR&ED Tax Credits,

Explore a streamlined partnership with no manufacturer

Ayming’s funding experts are focused on

financing restrictions.

delivering creatively structured financing solutions to meet the needs of your business. From small to large corporations, Ayming is here to support all your equipment financing needs for any size business.

47 - CanadianSME - November 2021

Highly competitive financing rates from our top Canadian banking partners.

Attractive financing offers to align with the unique needs of each individual business

Agriculture: Bailers, Grain Bins, Plows, Sprayers,Tractors, Harvest / Irrigation/ Livestock, equipment , Combines & more.

Full Pay-Out Funding: Lease to own at expiry Pay for Use Financing: Acquire new technology/

Office & I.T. : Laptops, Monitors, Printers, Cell Phones, Conferencing, Servers, Software,

equipment at Expiry

Desks,Chairs, Coffee Makers, Lighting, POS

Purchase Fund Back: Reimbursement for

Systems, Cameras, Modems & more.

Purchases Already Made

Medical: Scanners, X-ray, Ultrasound, Dental, Lab,Optometry, Laser, Chiropractic, Furniture&

Equipment Ayming Can Finance


If you are planning on investing in any of the below equipment, Ayming can offer financing options to

& more.

Are you considering investing in new or used equipment for your business? Reach out to an Ayming expert today to explore all the ways you can finance your purchase(s) in addition to potentially securing highly lucrative government grants and tax credits.

8Trucks, Scaffolding, Excavators, Mixers,Planers, Bull

Contact Ayming at

support you… Material Handling: Blowers, Compressors., Dryers,

Pumps,Lathes, Forklifts, Shelving, Injection, Moulding,

Milling, Woodworking, LaserCutting, Scales, Conveyers Construction: Aerial Lifts, Compactors, Cranes, Class Dozers, DemolitionEquipment Trailers, Generator Sets etc.

48 - CanadianSME - November 2021

How to keep Canadians engaged in a cause during a pandemic

Terri Drover Director General at Health Product Stewardship Association (HPSA)

Terri Drover leads the national non-profit that runs takeback programs for medications and sharps in Canada called the Health Products Stewardship Association (HPSA). Before joining the HPSA, Terri gained over 30 years of executive experience in the pharmaceutical industry, holding many decision-making roles in North

Terri believes that giving back to your community is as important as giving back to your environment. She has been a board member of the Canadian Association of Healthcare Reimbursement, Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy and GS1 (Pharmacy Sector), a not-for-


profit organization that develops and maintains

As Director-General at HPSA, Terri leads the team to

currently a volunteer Board member for CHATS

protect the health and safety of Canadians and the environment from improperly disposed of medications and sharps. She's passionate about translating visions and objectives into reality and ardent about health care and the environment.

global standards for business. She is also (Community and Home Assistance to Seniors).

How was the Health Products Stewardship

Many roadblocks have been placed in the way

Association (HPSA) affected by the pandemic?

for non-profits over the course of the

As the national not-for-profit that operates return programs for medications and sharps, various elements of our programming were affected by COVID-19. Like many other organizations, our office shifted to working remotely. But most importantly, we had to ensure that the Canadians who rely on our programs still had the access they needed to return their unused or expired medications and sharps to the right places. We were able to find new ways of working while ensuring that we have a robust IT system in place, making us come out more resilient than ever.

What would you say are the inherent risks of leading a non-profit during the pandemic? By no means has the non-profit sector been spared by the pandemic. A study completed by the Ontario Non-profit Network (ONN) showed one in five nonprofits may have shut down by the end of last December.

50 - CanadianSME - November 2021

pandemic; from employee retention, service offerings, and the ongoing threat of lockdowns.

Small Business Canadians have had a lot on their minds, too. Before the pandemic, the sector had to work hard to bring attention and awareness to causes but with the added stress and distraction of the pandemic, that task becomes even harder. However, despite the turbulence, opportunities have also presented themselves. With new ways of

Another challenge was of course ensuring that Canadians could continue to be educated and engaged when it comes to safely dispose of medications and sharps. At a time where Canadians’ attention is being pulled in every direction, it’s never been more important to ensure that our message as a not-for-profit is clear and meaningful to Canadians.

working, teams can engage remotely, bringing talent in from anywhere.

What did you predict will be the most challenging

How to engage Canadians at a time

aspects of working with your organization during

where their attention is being pulled in

this crisis?

every direction, from health concerns to

One of my first thoughts, when COVID hit, was how we were going to keep our team engaged. As a team, we learned quickly that with the right resources and communication, remote working couldn’t stand in our way. We found new processes that worked and now feel second nature to us, as much as we miss seeing each other in person. We also focused on our strategic plan, anchoring our activities and ensuring the team was aligned.

51 - CanadianSME - November 2021

economic upheaval to personal and family stress. So much has changed over the course of the pandemic. It makes sense for our attention to be focused elsewhere. However, I’ve found that the most important step to keep Canadians

Small Business engaged in these turbulent times is to ensure that your message is meaningful, simple, and relatable. While safely disposing of medications and sharps may not be at the top of everyone’s mind, it’s a message that drives an impact, especially when you consider that 97 percent of Canadians keep expired and unused medications in their homes just in case. When you factor in the concerning rise of accidental drug overdose and poisoning, disposing of your unused or expired medications and using sharps to a participating pharmacy for safe disposal not only simplify the message but make it clearer than ever.

About the HPSA The Health Products Stewardship Association is a national not-for-profit organization representing over 140 brand owners and manufacturers, responsible for the effective and safe collection and disposal of unused and expired medications and used medical sharps. On behalf of producers, HPSA administers 7 collections programs in 4 provinces with the support of more than 5,800 community pharmacies acting as

What should other small business owners consider when developing their own visions for the future of their company? When developing a vision for the future of your company, small business owners should expect the unexpected. The pivots that we had to undertake nearly two years ago are still in full swing, and while we are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, there is still quite a way to go. While it is important to have a clear vision, leave some room to be flexible and ready for anything.

52 - CanadianSME - November 2021

collection sites. HPSA’s mandate is also to educate consumers on the responsibility of safely disposing of unwanted medications and medical sharps before they end up in the garbage, poured down sinks, flushed, or misused by others. Since its inception, HPSA has collected more than 3,750,000 kg of pharmaceutical products and 2,250,000 kg of medical sharps.

Black Friday can be an opportunity for many businesses to boost their sales, rid themselves of unwanted or over-ordered stock, and attract new customers to their products and offerings.

These money-saving deals and incentives can appeal to potential customers seeking a pre-Christmas bargain, but how can smaller retailers get in on the action?

For small business owners, Black Friday can

often seem like an overwhelming event that their infrastructure is not adequately prepared to take on.

Sam O’Brien, Chief Marketing Officer at

performance marketing platform Affise, has

compiled a list of easy-to-implement expert tips aimed at helping small businesses maximise their profits, and execute a

streamlined promotional event on Black Friday:

Sam O’Brien

Chief Marketing Officer at performance marketing platform Affise

Small Business 1. Create some noise on social media In the lead-up to Black Friday, it’s important to make sure you’re posting plenty of content to your social channels, in order to create a buzz around the event. This content can be organic, paid or a combination of both, but with competition around this period being extremely high, you want to keep your brand and business at the forefront of customers’ minds and cut through the Black Friday noise.

2. Promote stock you’re struggling to sell

3. Keep an eye on competitors

Black Friday is a great way to push any out-of-

It’s important to stay informed on what kinds of

season or over-ordered stock that you might that

promotional activities your competitors are offering

you’re struggling to sell at its current RRP. Creating

in the lead up to Black Friday and align your strategy

price promotions for these products will make them

to coincide with theirs.

appear more attractive to customers in search of a bargain.

By ensuring you’re offering similar (but not the same) deals to customers as your competitors, your deals won’t pale in comparison to theirs, but also your business won’t be seen to be undercutting the competition with deals that could be deemed as ‘too good to be true’.

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Small Business 4. Bundle your products Grouping products together to create a bundle is a great way to sell your products and entice customers to your Black Friday offers. Many shoppers are looking to get more value for their money, so the chance to secure multiple bargains or Christmas gifts in one go will be very tempting to those with limited time, plus the promotion of bundles as gift sets ‘just in time for Christmas’ or with free products included will even more enticing to bargain hunters.

6. Give an additional promo code for a later date Enticing customers to buy from your business on Black Friday can be a great way to quickly boost sales, but how can you ensure customers will return? Creating a promotional voucher that can be used for a few weeks after Black Friday, will encourage customers to return to your shop again, perhaps to stock up on any last-minute Christmas bargains.

5. Special deals for mailing list subscribers A tactical way to make customers feel like they are ‘special’ and are being rewarded for subscribing to a mailing list is to offer exclusive discount deals to them as a ‘VIP customer’, and before they are advertised

Sam O'Brien, Chief Marketing Officer at performance marketing platform affise. Sam joined affise

anywhere else publicly.

earlier this year after working with

This can be through a promotional code to use at the

Growth EMEA Director. During his

checkout for extra discounts, through specific pre-Black

time at RingCentral, he supported

Friday deals, or on specific products just for them.

the company in their growth to

RingCentral as their Digital and

$1bn ARR, maintaining the expansion into Europe and APAC. With a passion for branding and design, Sam has proven himself to be a leading growth marketer.

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How Small Businesses

Can Harness The Power Digitization Brian Green works as a President, Merchant Services (Canada) at Fiserv, which is a Credit Cards & Transaction Processing company with an estimated 44 K employees; and founded in 1984. They are part of the Executive team within the C-Suite Department and their management level is C-Level. Brian is currently based in Ottawa, Canada

Brian Green

Country head of Canada, Fiserv

What are some challenges you feel small businesses now face? Do you think small businesses are successful because they stay in close proximity to their customers? Historically, small businesses have been able to differentiate themselves with personalization and service. Your local barber or barista has an advantage if they know your name, your preferences, and add personal touches to the services they provide. With the Covid-19 pandemic creating physical distance between the small business and their customer, small businesses had to find new ways to deliver on that commitment to personalization and service. One way businesses are creating a better experience is by activating commerce options that cater to the changing ways customers want to buy. This can include online ordering, curbside pickup or buy online pick up in-store (BOPIS) for the customer on the go, buy now pay

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later (BNPL) plans for customers wanting payment flexibility, or even expanding contactless payments to promote touchless commerce instore.

Do you think changes in media consumption habits will change how many customers visit storefronts or online shopping sites longterm? Consumers increasingly consume media in the same manner in which they shop – on their phones. Small businesses must account for this pattern and ensure they are doing everything in their power to market their business digitally and enable consumers to pay from the palm of their hand. This includes considering how to effectively use social media to engage with customers, manage an online presence, and being able to sell via a traditional eCommerce storefront or in apps. The key is meeting the customer wherever they want to transact.

What are some trends local restauranteurs are experiencing as the country reopens? If there was one tip that restaurants might do differently this year, what would it be? Hiring continues to be a challenge for restaurateurs as they balance reopening at full speed with operating with limited staff. One tip for any business trying to navigate staffing issues is to invest in technology that can streamline operations. It may sound simple, but many point-of-sale systems like Clover have built-in capabilities that automate administrative tasks like payroll administration and scheduling staff, or restaurant-specific tasks such as managing bar tabs and table mapping. Automating even one or two simple tasks will lessen the burden on staff and allow for more time serving customers.

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How do you ensure success considering the

What advice can you give to other small

possibility of a future pandemic? Can you share

business owners about thriving in such an

examples of some marketing strategies that might


work during and after a pandemic? What I admire about small business owners most is their resilience and ingenuity. Faced with adversity we’ve seen many business owners be very successful by adopting new ways of operating and interacting with customers. A few examples include: Integrating with third-party apps – Almost onethird (32%) of Canadians are already using third-

Consumers have gained the ability to buy on their own terms and don’t want to go back to the way things were. While in-person shopping will return, the pandemic has radically changed consumers’ expectations for businesses, especially when it comes to online ordering. According to a recent study by SOTI, expectations are high for businesses to create a more

party apps to order food.

seamless consumer shopping journey, including

Pay-at-the-table via the customer’s mobile device

returns. Over 60% of respondents felt businesses

– Many customers no longer want to present a card or touch a payments terminal; as such, some businesses are adopting technology that enables payment digitally through the customer’s mobile device QR Codes – Many restaurants now present QR codes in lieu of physical menus, QR codes to activate promotions or even a QR code to be scanned for payment

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inventory and fulfillment, shipping, and online should improve their return processes, with an additional 57% saying they find delivery times too slow, and 45% noting if they can’t receive an item within two days of ordering they'll go elsewhere. While speed and customer service will continue to be important, especially as we transition back to a “new normal,” my primary piece of advice would be that catering to consumers’ digital experiences online – from browsing to checkout and delivery – is vital for long-term success.

Small Business


Perhaps the greatest shift across all business segments postpandemic—if indeed that’s where we are—in the acceleration of the gig economy. A term that once referred mostly to on-demand consumer services such as ridesharing (like Uber) and one-off projects (like UpWork), the gig economy phenomenon is now in full bloom across the employment spectrum, including the C-Suite. A perfect storm of technological capabilities and desperate requirements has fed this beast and is changing the landscape of talent acquisition and sourcing forever. Already, some 35% of workers in the U.S. are part of the gig economy, and if the growth trend continues, most of the American workforce will be freelancing by 2027.

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By Pete Hayes Principal and CMO of Chief Outsiders.

Small Business

#1 Technology Was Ready for Remote Work

#2 Talent Shopping Made Easy

For white-collar employees who were forced to work from home over much of the past 18 months, the norm of high-speed internet, a computer with a camera and mic, plus reliable video conferencing applications allowed work to get done. At every level of the organization, including companies who had yet to condone or encourage remote work, the new normal kicked in. Executive team members who’d never been challenged to convene from remote locations learned how to do just that. Parents showed their children how to participate in remote learning, while children showed their parents how to share a screen. Has anyone reflected how difficult this would have been had the pandemic hit even a decade earlier? We were enabled by technology. Thank God it was ready!

Searching for talent through online resources isn’t all that new. LinkedIn has had decades to mature and capture almost everyone working or looking for work. Indeed and other players have made talent shopping even easier. But what has emerged is TaaS – or Talent-as-a-Service. Need a pre-vetted SEO expert? Visit and find what you need. Right off the shelf. Or instant C-suite talent? Check out Full time? Got ‘em. Just for some project work? Check. Fractional or part-time? Of course. TaaS is in full swing. Enabled by prevalent technology. Remote workers, even executives, are now acceptable, sometimes preferred. Instant-on. As much or little as you need. Seemingly coming from the cloud. It's changed talent sourcing forever.

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Small Business

#3 Beware Imposters Diligence is required. Especially for fractional hiring in smaller companies. For example, the rise in demand for fractional CMOs—Chief Marketing Officers—has resulted in all sorts of people who have not held executive positions in business, let alone served as a CMO, hang a shingle that declares the title. Even marketing and advertising agencies have gotten into the game. A principal in the firm will declare themselves a fractional CMO, and position their agency resources as a ready-to-roll outsourced marketing department. Not that there isn’t value in agency-provided marketing and creative services, but buyers must beware of the credentials of the talent they are acquiring. Imposters aren’t limited to the marketing role. Numerous fractional CFO providers serve up executives with this title that only served as a controller, not a CFO. If you need CFO talent, your diligence in background checking and interviewing expertise is going to pay off.

#4 Still Room for Recruiters All of this newness in talent acquisition platforms and offerings is not only good news for hiring organizations, but it also brings powerful tools to recruiters. And given the requirement to separate the wheat from the chaff, recruiters are as welcome as ever for some searches. What’s changed is the breadth of searching, the precision, and the speed of finding a fit.

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#5 Flexibility and Fit Win the Day Finally, one more thing to consider: given the option of remote working, which represents really the whole value of TaaS, hiring organizations can often try before they buy. Or, they may recognize their requirements will change over time, and the talent they need in a role today may quickly evolve. So, they can more flexibly deploy today’s talent, and swap it out with a better fit as tomorrow’s needs emerge.

The pandemic has accelerated the emergence of Talent-as-a-Service. New options. New ways of acquiring. New levels of flexibility include remote work, instant on and off, as well as a wider search window, resulting in a “best fit” for today and tomorrow. With diligent vetting, organizations can win big, as can the freelancers in the growing gig economy.

About Pete Hayes Pete joined Chief Outsiders after realizing that he wanted to take everything he’d learned in the large corporate world and help smaller companies who could move more quickly. The way the founders were using their big-company experience to quickly and efficiently make struggling small and midsize firms into star companies resonated with him. His background in technology, technology marketing, and digital marketing provides the perfect complement to CEO Art Saxby’s classic marketing and consumer package goods experience.

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Co-author of #1 Amazon Best Seller "The Growth Gears", Pete and the Chief Outsiders tribe apply a rich playbook and a demonstrated process to turn your midsize company or new marketing unit into a proven revenue generator. Through the Chief Outsiders practice, and as the firm’s CMO, Pete helps mid-market technology and professional services businesses implement business development and operations plans for healthy growth. Effectively applying his digital marketing, promotion strategy, brand development, and professional services expertise, he develops, markets he directs all of Chief Outsiders' growth programs and operations.

Discussing Entrepreneurship with Graham Sherman Co-Owner of Tool Shed Brewing Company

Graham Sherman (@shermandelux) is the co-founder of Tool Shed Brewing Company based in Calgary, Alberta. After meeting his business partner while working in government/military IT infrastructure and satellite communications in Afghanistan, the two launched a home-brew system in Graham’s backyard. Today, the business sells products in over 1,000

Background on his entrepreneurial journey: A homebrewer first, Graham took his hobby to the professional level in 2013 and launched the Tool Shed Brewing Company. Graham’s career hasn’t always been beer-centric, as he and his business partner previously worked on contracts


for the Canadian and US governments and

Notably, Graham has been nominated for Canadian

communication networks. When they weren’t

Entrepreneur of the Year, was named one of Calgary’s 2016 “Top 40 Under 40” by Avenue magazine, and won the 2018 Business in Calgary Leaders Award.

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military forces, installing encrypted, tactical busy in armored vehicles, they were perfecting their craft (brewing) and finding joy in roasting coffee.

Small Business After years with a stable paycheque, Graham decided that the call of craft brewing was too loud and decided to pursue it full time. As luck would have it, legislation in Alberta at the time did not allow for Graham to legally pursue his passion; so, he put a pause on being a beer master and instead decided to try the policy master hat. Graham successfully changed legislation under the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Corporation after much convincing. The rest is history.

Can you shed some light on the background of your entrepreneurial journey? I used to have a steady, well-paying job with the government military. But when I wasn’t working in Afghanistan on IT infrastructure and communication projects, I was home in my backyard tool shed trying to master roasting coffee, BBQing, and brewing craft beer. Ultimately, the dream of not having to go back to Afghanistan – along with the desire to bring people together and share stories over great beer – is what made me quit my job and start the entrepreneurial journey. The moment I knew I became an entrepreneur was at three in the morning. I was laying in my bed because I was out of money and thought I was about to ruin the lives of everyone who had invested in me. That night, I came up with a solution to fund our business, and the true entrepreneurial spirit of solving all problems at all costs began.

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Small Business What was the inspiration and motivation behind the launch of Tool Shed Brewing Company? And what did you hope to accomplish through your company? I started to see the looks on peoples’ faces when they

It saved the lives of our fellow breweries and created a new revenue stream that saved us as well. Coming together and building relationships during these hard times can be the difference between a business keeping its doors open or closed.

drank great beer. Everyone wanted to gather in the backyard tool shed and didn’t care about the occasion. I quickly realized that the secret to success was if you can spend your day making everyone around you happy, you’ll sleep like a baby at night. I want to spend my life creating that sense of joy in the community. Today, our tireless journey remains the same as it did from the beginning. We want to share with the world that the best beer on earth comes from the place where the best barley on earth is grown – and that’s right here in Canada. We continue working towards this goal by telling our story, one beer at a time.

What are the top lessons learned to better

Using QuickBooks was also a

understand how you as a small business owner

lifesaver with helping our

have pivoted, optimized, and overcome challenges over the past year and a half? We truly would have gone out of business if we had not learned early on to collaborate at every opportunity with

business adapt to all the curveballs over the last year. Not only did it save us time, but it also enabledour team to

other local businesses in our community. It’s how we’ve

make smart decisions for our

developed and will continue to build the industry in

business andfocus on cash flow

Ontario. We even found a way to support our competition during the last 18 months. We packaged beer in our facility for other local breweries that didn’t have access to the equipment to get products into retail stores during the pandemic.

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much easier.

Small Business

What are the top three things that

Have you tried anything new recently that's helped with

small businesses should consider

retaining customers or getting them back into the store

when transitioning to an online

for more purchases?

presence? I always think about the experience we created in our brick-and-mortar stores and ask myself, “Do our customers get an equally great experience online?” I’m also a huge nerd for metrics. If we don’t put the work into the backend of our online presence to tell us why people are or are not buying our products, then we’ll never be able to identify opportunities for growth. We need to support our online brand with authentic and meaningful content that reflects the fun, likable personality of Tool Shedour customers know and love. Without building meaningful relationships with our audience, we could make the best beer on earth, but no one would ever know.

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I’m always obsessed with creating new and fun products that don’t cannibalize our current ones. In this process, we seek new B2B and B2C customers, with our latest innovation being a new non-alcoholic brand, as well as a seltzer line of beverages. We’re aiming to reach a different pool of retail stores, as well as those who choose to not drink beer. We’re even selling directly to customers via mail, which has presented an incredible growth opportunity for us to get our beer into the hands of our customers.

Small Business







Burnout is on the rise. A recent report from Indeed found that 52% of all workers are feeling burned out.

By Haley Perlus

Sport & Performance Psychology: Public Speaker, Consultant, Author

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(Source: Burnout is very common and can result from overly demanding expectations, lack of control, lack of social support, taking on more than one can handle at work, school, or interpersonally with family and friends, or poor self-care, among other causes. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress.

Small Business Burnout can affect quality of life and well-being in various ways. The consequences of burnout include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, anger, irritability, fatigue, excessive stress, increased likelihood for high blood pressure, withdrawing from family and friends, inability to do a job well, loss of motivation, increasingly negative and cynical outlook, among others. The good news is that treatment for burnout will also work to prevent burnout in the first place.

Setting personal and professional boundaries is essential to bouncing back from burnout because if you feel taken advantage of or disempowered by your relationships, your self-esteem is impacted. Low-self esteem impacts stress levels, health, and personal relationships. Clear communication is key in setting boundaries that empower yourself, give you more control, reduce stress, and put you on the road to better well=being.

We turned to Haley Perlus, Sport and Performance Psychology Ph.D. to discuss ways to overcome burnout.

Here Are Tips On How To Overcome Burnout:

How to overcome/prevent burnout at your job To overcome/prevent burnout at your job, first, identify what you can change. For example, learning how to say no at work when you are working on multiple tasks simultaneously can help lessen stress and frustration. Evaluating your commitments, setting boundaries, and learning when to turn down requests will help you get the rest you need to give yourself and others your best.

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How to overcome/prevent burnout as a parent Recovery can take two forms. One form is practicing stillness. Stillness techniques include, but are not limited to, meditation, deep breathing, sleep (including naps), and simple quiet time. Even just one minute of quality deep breathing can renew emotional energy. Variety is the second form of recovery that can treat and prevent burnout. Variety is essentially offering yourself an opportunity to recover from one task while engaging in another task that requires a different type of energy. For example, physical activity provides positive stress for your body while creating wonderful recovery for your emotions and mind.

Small Business

Stepping away from your computer for 10 minutes and folding laundry while listening to calming, peaceful, and happy music can provide mental recovery. If you take advantage of it, your mind will escape from the computer and the music will help with emotional recovery (as long as you don’t focus on the pressure of getting chores down and, instead, enjoy crossing laundry off the list while enjoying your favorite music). No matter what recovery (i.e. stillness and variety) you choose for yourself today, take everything one step at a time, and make small changes along the way. Tiny changes can have a ripple effect that eventually lead to big results in your overall health.

Signs of burnout can include but are not limited to: depression, fatigue, anxiety about the future, sleeplessness, loss of appetite, hopelessness, and other symptoms. Although being a caregiver is never easy, there are some things you can do to make it more manageable. Ask for help whenever possible, whether that means paying a professional or calling upon a friend or family member. Don’t skip your own medical appointments. If you are not well, you are not in a position to care for someone else. Check policies for family leave benefits at work. Don’t feel like you have to keep a constant vigil by their bedside, especially if you know there at times of the day they tend to nap or sleep. Use those times for some self-care and pampering.

How to overcome/prevent burnout as a caregiver When a person is taking care of a family member, friend, or loved one, most of the sympathy tends to go to the person who is ill or infirmed. Many forget the emotional and physical toll that being a caregiver can present. More than 40 million adults in North America are taking care of elderly, chronically ill, or disabled loved ones, according to Pew Research Center.

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Speak to other caregivers you know to get tips on how to manage, or speak with the attending physician or hospital social worker.

Small Business How to overcome/prevent burnout as a student To overcome burnout as a student, set reasonable goals. Write a to-do list each day of assignments that need to get done and note their due dates. Use daily reminders and calendars to stay motivated to achieve deadlines. Set aside time and pencil in time to practice mindfulness. Time away from your obligations is just as important as time spent fulfilling your obligations.

How to overcome prevent/burnout from working out If you overtrain and don’t allow your body to fully recover, you are likely to experience workout burnout. Also, if you stay with the same routine over a long period of time, boredom will kick in. If you overtrain, you are more susceptible to injuries that can take you out of your routine and make it harder to “jump back in.” Setting fitness goals that are realistic for your age, level of condition and work/personal schedule is critical.

Many athletes or “weekend warriors” feel guilty if they take a break from training. It is wise to take off two days a week. There is a reason for the term “stress fracture.”

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Practice self-care to reduce stress and let your mind relax. Celebrate small wins along the way and keep the end goal in mind.

While weight training is great for improving bone density and high impact workouts are excellent for cardio, your bones get stressed, and in turn that can lead to fractures. Don’t obsess over numbers, reps, inches etc. Focus more on how you feel after the workout mentally and physically. Switch up your workouts so that you don’t reach an exercise plateau. If you need to, get a fitness buddy, change your workout environment, the music you listen to, or treat yourself to some new workout gear.

About Haley Perlus Dr. Haley Perlus knows what it takes to overcome barriers and achieve peak performance. As an elite alpine ski racer, she competed and trained with the best in the world, pushing herself to the limits time and time again. Now, with a Ph.D. in sport psychology, Haley continues to push boundaries and drive peak performance, helping athletes and Fortune 100 executives reach their goals. Haley works with individuals and teams to manage and expand their energy capacity while increasing resilience, focus and drive. Dr. Perlus is a highly sought-after keynote speaker, professor, author, and consultant to Division I athletes. She has spoken at many events some of which include VISTAGE, Tec Canada, Elite Fitness and Performance Summit, and Trilogy Athletes. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado lecturing on applied sport and exercise psychology at the graduate level. She has authored several books including The Ultimate Achievement Journal and The Inside Drive and her articles have been featured in publications such as Thrive Magazine, Fitness Magazine, IDEA Fitness Journal, EpicTimes, Telluride Inside, MyVega, and BeachBody®.

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Dr. Perlus earned her Ph.D. at the University of Northern Colorado with an emphasis on the social psychology of sport and physical activity, her MS at the University of Florida in sport pedagogy, and her bachelor’s degree at the University of Western Ontario in kinesiology. Haley loves both water and snow skiing, and hiking. Her favorite meal is anything that requires only chopping or blending.

HOW CANADIAN SMALL BUSINESSES Can Identify The Differences Between CTV vs OTT vs Linear TV Advertising What is Connected TV (CTV)? The way we consume television is changing with the

creation of connected TV (CTV). A connected TV is an internet-connected device that connects to or is

embedded in television to support free video content

streaming. Also, known as a smart TV, connected TV is a traditional television with integrated internet and web features that allow viewers to stream content. Some

examples of connected TV include Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV.

Called“cutting the cord,” the demand for connected TV in America has dramatically increased in recent years. A

study found that in July 2021 82% of American households owned at least one connected TV. In Canada, as more

media platforms become available, Canadians also are investing in CTV.

Geoff Crain Media Director for Toronto-based Kingstar Media

Small Business

What is Over-the-Top (OTT) Media Service? OTT is the delivery of TV or video

content directly from the internet.

OTT bypasses cable, broadcast, and satellite television platforms that

typically act as distributors of this content and allows viewers to

access entertainment content

directly from creators. Content is delivered via streaming or VOD

formats, such as Netflix, Hulu, or HBO Max. OTT can be viewed on

smartphones, iPods, video game consoles or CTV.

How is Connected TV (CTV) Different? CTV ads are 100% viewable and non-skippable, with an ad retention rate 3x higher, partly due to fewer ads per hour.

CTV has eight ads per hour compared to 16-18 per hour for linear TV. When watching linear TV, viewers will oftentimes

step away during commercial breaks to do activities, knowing there is a lengthy gap, with CTV viewers often staying put and viewing the ads since they know their program will continue shortly.

CTV ads also resonate more with viewers because they are often meticulously selected based on your viewing

preferences. In fact, 55% of CTV ad spend is bought

programmatically, increasing the likelihood of attracting core demographics.

Advertisers use your unique IP address to see what you view on any website you visit and then select ads that they believe will resonate with you based on your internet searches.

Small Business

How is Over-the-Top (OTT) Different? OTT is the future of television and is creating

chart-topping content you can’t find anywhere else. Miniseries, television shows, and movies are now being exclusively launched on these platforms, forcing viewers to subscribe to

these platforms to watch popular content.

Major media networks, such as NBC and the

Disney Channel, who traditionally were only on linear TV are also getting in on the action by

launching their own streaming channels that are subscription-based to earn additional revenue.

What is Linear TV?

How is Linear TV Different?

Linear TV is traditional television that has

Linear TV has the largest reach in television

channel at a set time, e.g., CTV 6 pm News or

share as OTT and CTV become more popular. Ads

weekly scheduled programming on a set

Sunday NFL Football on NBC. Linear TV can be recorded on DVR and watched later, with the ability to fast forward through ads or bad programming.

advertising but has gradually been losing market on linear TV are not as precisely selected as CTV ads and are not based on your previous viewing

history, but instead are based on the demographics they think will be watching a certain program. There also are more ads during programming, resulting in many viewers stepping away to complete a task while an ad is on.

However, with many people still not having access

to high-speed internet, linear TV is their only option to watch their favorite programming. As a result, you have a captive audience with few other entertainment options.

About the Author: Geoff Crain is Media Director for Toronto-based Kingstar Media, Canada’s top performance

marketing agency, committed to delivering modern multi-platform media solutions that are tailored to drive response in the Canadian market.

Small Business

How to Leverage Instagram for Your Small Business in Canada?

Did you know that 99.8% of all Canadian businesses are small- to medium-sized companies, with less than 500 employees? So, you are not alone in this race to

success. As a small business owner, you must have

already been aware of the power of Instagram. It is not just a photo-sharing app for individuals. Businesses

from all around the globe are using this social media platform to attract clients and earn unsurpassed

revenues. But how? Are there any definite tricks to use Instagram for business? Well, there are! In fact, it is

better if you are aware of the Instagram tricks for small businesses before you take the leap.

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Small Business

In this article, we will break down the use of Instagram for your small business, and how you can take advantage of the same to increase your digital footprint.

Geo Tag Your Posts Whenever you start posting on your

Instagram profile, add the location to your

Set Up Your Profile Properly This is the very basic thing you need to do but it’s also necessary to set up your business profile on

Instagram properly. The features of this app keep

posts. If you haven’t done it before, you can edit those posts and do the same. How will it help? Geotagging will be more visible to your customers and your brand will start gaining attention.

changing all the time. So, you need to keep checking for new settings and features to remain up-to-date. Set your business profile and fill in all the details

correctly. Update your business hours, location(s), contact details, product catalogs, etc. Also, make

sure that your bio is crisp and has every important element regarding your business. Do not forget to put up a professional profile picture; this should essentially be your company logo.

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Instagram will also compile all your posts tagged on a specific location and all of this will add up to brand awareness in front of your target audiences.

Small Business Make Use of Stories and Highlights

Create Contests and Promotions

Instagram Stories are a great way to grab the

Posting contests every now and then will

amount to boost your stories so that it can reach

have frequent ‘followers-only promotions, it

attention of your followers. You can even pay some your target audiences better. You must ensure that

your profile has stories almost every single day. The Stories could be related to your products, services,

about your employees, yourself, fun topics related to your industry, polls, AMAs (Ask Me Anything), and so on. Now, if you have any specific Story ideas which

you wish to keep for longer than 24 hours, post them as Highlights. The Highlights will prolong the life of your Story posts and feature them on your profile even after they disappear from your Story.

help you gain more followers. Also, if you

will keep your followers glued to your page for a long time and you can also gain new followers over a certain period of time.

Contests, giveaways, and promotions are an amazing way to stay active and gain new engagements on your Instagram

profile. And if you can target your contest posts to your right audience with some money, it will be better to gain more

viewers for your post as well as more followers for your profile.

Summing it Up If you are all set to beef up your Instagram game, then this simple list can get you started from scratch. Being a small

business, it’s important for you to form a deep connection with your audience

through social media, keeping the post-

Go Live Frequently Many business owners might not be aware of this

pandemic situation in mind. And Instagram for business could be the right step towards achieving the same.

but an Instagram Live has several benefits.

Wherever you go Live, your followers will get a

notification about the same. Also, this can be an

amazing source of instant communication with your audience. You can run a Q&A session, give your followers a glimpse of your office, conduct an

interview of another professional from the same

industry, and so on. The Live feature on Instagram will actually boost your credibility in front of your audiences.

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For more such information on small businesses in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to the CanadianSME Small Business Monthly magazine.

Small Business

5 Tips to Draft an Effective Executive Summary for Your Business Plan

Whether you are a pro entrepreneur in Canada

What is an Executive Summary?

by now or you’ve just started with your

entrepreneurial stint sometime back, you’ve

probably heard about an executive summary

supporting a strong business plan. Why is that necessary? Well, this particular business

document will give you the chance of digging deeper into the particulars of your firm,

certifying that you can look out for mistakes

before it’s too late to rectify the same. Hence, a business plan will help you maintain your funding, accounts, and other important

information related to your organization.

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An executive summary is the brief introduction or the summary of your business plan. This is

where you describe your business, your target

audience, the solutions which you can provide,

and your business’s financial highlights. Having a good executive summary will make it easy

for you to grab your readers’ attention and will let them know about your business goals

better. If it’s eye-catching, then it will also make them keep reading the rest of your business proposal.

Small Business Also, if you are on the lookout for luring

investors, having a good executive summary is important to attract them as well. So, how to

write a good executive summary? We have a few tips for you to get that right. Read one!

The 5 Part Formula of Writing a Good Executive Summary An effective executive summary need not be a lengthy one. You can, therefore, break it down into five key paragraphs.

Part 1: Overview In the first paragraph of your executive

summary, make sure to include a summarized overview of your business. It should have the name and the nature of your company, and every relevant insight that you can provide related to your industry.

Part 2: Target Market (Audience/Competition/Marketing Strategies) The second part of your executive summary

should have a clear and concise classification

of your target market, including your audience,

your competitors, your marketing strategies and so on. It will also mention the pain points in the

industry that your business will aim to provide a solution for. Your marketing strategy should

include the ways your business is planning to

reach your targeted audiences. This paragraph will make your readers excited about reading further to learn more about your firm.

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Part 3: Operational Highlights

Part 5: Investment Requirement Details

The third part should provide the readers all

your business’s operational highlights, such as your office location, about the

proprietor/partners, and whether it will have a brick-and-mortar office or a remote, online presence.

If your firm needs financing and investments,

you should mention the details of the same in the final part of your business’s executive

summary. You should provide a clear number of the amount that your company would require to grow. And these investment requirements

Part 4: Sales Forecasting

should perfectly align with the sales projections that you have mentioned in Part 4.

This might feel a little difficult for you to state but your executive summary should have a

sales forecast of your business for at least one of two after the implementation of your

business plan. You can do this by calculating

your break-even point and then informing your readers about a stipulated time when you can expect a profit for your project.

Wrapping it Up So, now you should have the required

knowledge to draft an effective executive

summary for your business. This will help you to back up your online survey verdicts. We hope

this article has helped you with everything that you needed to come up with just the right kind of executive summary for your business plan.

For more such updates and tips on doing

business in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our CanadianSME Small Business monthly magazine.

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Small Business

5 Tips to Overcome Recruitment Challenges for Small Businesses

COVID-19 changed the way we used to work before. So much so, that it even altered the process of recruitments for businesses all around the world. And this change in the work process is here to stay. A lot of factors, including the fear of contracting the virus, have significantly impacted the recruitment segment. More so, for small businesses, hiring real talents has become quite a task. But there’s no stopping when it comes to doing business, big or small.

1. Offer Flexibility: Remote work has become the new normal. Also,

this is going to stay. And being an employer, you should provide your workers with the flexibility of choosing their workplace. If your business

belongs to an industry where remote working is

possible, offer your employees that flexibility. This will ensure that they are safe while working from you and you will also not have to worry about

So, in this article, we have curated 5 very simple steps to overcome recruitment challenges for all those small businesses who are all set to take a leap post-pandemic.

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them contracting the virus while at work, which might become a huge responsibility for you as an employer.

Small Business 2. Offer Joining Incentives:

4. Build a Robust Employer Brand

If your business belongs to an industry

This will help you to attract and

visit the office, for example, shift workers

According to a report by Glassdoor,

where it’s mandatory for your workers to for manufacturing processes, you can

offer your employees a rejoining benefit in terms of financial incentives. This will lure them to join the office back and

some of the giants like Uber and Amazon have already done this.

engage better employees.

businesses which can invest in

proper employer branding are three times more likely to hire quality

employees. Promote your business culture on social media, reply to online reviews (good or bad),

encourage your employees to talk

about your brand through videos or

3. Be Proactive:

blogs, and so on. And above all, try to be a fair employer.

The talent acquisition teams have

become a little reactive when it comes

to hiring talents in an organization. They

only act when there is a requirement. So, in order to stay ahead of the

competition, it’s imperative for employers to maintain a hiring pipeline that can build and nurture talents who may

become a good fit for future roles. This proactive recruitment strategy can

prepare you to meet the hiring needs of

5. Be Fair in Recruitment: Do not follow any bias while recruiting your employees. Try to provide equal opportunities to all your future hires. Hiring

objectively will help your business to hire the best talent out

there. Also, this will result in an inclusive workplace where you will treat everyone equally and where the potentials of all your employees will be given equal importance to.

your company better.

Summing it Up Being a small business owner, it’s often difficult to realize the

hiring challenges. However, it’s equally important to attract the right candidates in order to ensure that the business growth is

maintained. So, by keeping the above-listed hiring tips for small businesses in mind, it will be easier for you to start your next recruitment process for your brand, isn’t it?

To know more about such amazing tips and tricks of maintaining your small business in Canada, do not forget to subscribe to our monthly Canadian SME Small Business Magazine.

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BREAKING AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL WORKING MODELS, offering employees significant incentives Greg Bambury Chief Human Resources Officer for Medavie Greg Bambury is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Medavie, a health company that oversees Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Health Services. In his role, Greg oversees employee engagement and supports the ongoing growth and transformation of the organization. In his more than 25 years of experience as a leader in human resources, Greg has driven major strategic initiatives within numerous large and complex organizations.

Small Business

What Canadians want from their employers

Do you think the introduction of remote

has changed significantly due to the

work has made it easier for employees to

pandemic. What is the cause of the

leave their jobs?

change? The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way Canadians live and work, and this ever-changing landscape is expected to continue for years to come. What business leaders have learned along the way is that the status quo just won’t do. Staying current, focusing on organizational transformation and modernization is essential to

We have all been hearing about the “great resignation” in Canada and COVID has been a catalyst for rethinking every aspect of life. The shift from bricks and mortar to remote work is changing the office culture dynamic and opening the job market in new ways. Having the option to work from anywhere (or in a hybrid model) creates more flexibility for those looking


to move outside of urban centers. And for those

The same principles that rang true prior to the

historically linked to cities.

pandemic will continue when it comes to talent retention and attraction. Employers need to design work-life with flexibility and choice at the forefront. Whether it’s a work from anywhere or hybrid model, greater access to mental health resources, or increased paid sick leave,

in rural areas, have the option to seek careers

So yes, the introduction of remote work is making an impact. Organizations that are adapting and offering new ways of working are attracting talent and taking mindshare from those who are not seizing this moment of change.

Canadian business owners must proactively adapt what they are offering – or face employee turnover which impacts productivity, innovation and revenue.

At Medavie Blue Cross, communicating with our team has been key with most working remotely throughout the pandemic. Ultimately as we work together to establish new boundaries, we all recognize we are at a moment of significant opportunity – one that will drive us into the future – and building on our foundations will remain essential in preparing for our workplace of the future.

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Small Business

What changes do you think need to happen

For instance, offering Benefits for Small businesses

within small businesses before reliance on

as a cost-effective way for small business owners to

remote workers can diminish?

protect the health and wellbeing of their employees.

Small and medium-sized businesses are vital to

lowering the impact of high claims activity and

Canada’s economy and have a huge impact on the job market. In many ways smaller employers have the advantage of developing a more personal relationship with their employees and their ability to maintain the relational employer/employee foundations will be key as they shift to more reliance on remote staff. Like health insurers, we are always looking at ways to reimagine benefit plans that best support the needs of Canada’s diverse workforce, including the vital small and medium-sized business sector. Many SMEs have faced significant challenges throughout the pandemic in terms of business continuity, personnel management, and financial stress. We have worked with our SME clients and their advisors to make modifications to their plans to adjust to the new realities and help meet the needs of their employees.

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The plan is designed to pool claims together, containing costs over time.

Small Business With up to half of Canadian employers planning on increasing staffing levels in the last quarter of this year, what should employers consider to attract and retain employees? At Medavie Blue Cross, we believe employees are increasingly looking to work for an organization with a strong purpose and values that align with their own. As a trusted health solutions partner, it is our aim to foster a culture that promotes openness, understanding, and flexibility. We want our team to feel valued and champion a healthy work environment that allows everyone to have a voice and bring their true selves to work. Employers need to take stock of their workforce and offer benefits, incentives, and wellness programs that reflect a diverse employee culture with varying interests and needs. Optional benefits, personal wellness, and health spending accounts should be considered as part of recruitment and retention plans too. And equally as important is providing employees with access to innovative, expanded virtual care options to ensure they can receive care when and where they need it.

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On a final note, what is the importance of investing in valuable incentives in a remote and hybrid environment that cater to the specific needs of the modern workforce? People-first organizations set the bar high. They build with purpose, grow and innovate, and are more productive and profitable. Investing in employees and their well-being is not only the right thing to do, it’s also a competitive advantage. From small local businesses to those with a national reach, it’s time for Canadian leaders to empower their employees with the tools, resources, and benefits they need to thrive and flourish.



Kim Salzer

Partner & CMO with Chief Outsiders Millions of people interact with influencers on social media every day. Social media influencers can be a powerful way to reach new customers or convert skeptics. With the spectacular rise of Tik Tok, image-based brands—like cosmetics, fashion, music, and gaming—have been able to target masses of Millennials and Gen Z. But how can you know if influencer marketing is for you? And if it is, how would you choose which influencers to work with? Between the nano, micro, mid-tier, and macro levels, there are probably thousands of influencers that might work for you. That’s why it’s important to write down a list of traits you’re looking for in an influencer before you start looking. Here are some key considerations as you decide whether to embark on an influencer campaign:

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Small Business

#1 Goals, Measurements, and Contracts Like all advertising, you have to know your goals before starting. From there, figure out things like platform, influencer target, messaging that fits specific influencers and what your call to action is, and how that's communicated through the content. Proper measurement is also key. You need to make sure you set the right KPIs for your team so that you’re clear about the ROI you seek from engaging influencers. Are you engaging influencers to: ·Drive sales?

In terms of negotiating, see what the sticking points are on price. Usually this centers around exclusivity requirements, licensing rights, number of draft reviews—keep in mind video reshoots can be particularly pricy—and ownership rights. You can negotiate lower rates by having some give on these areas. Also note that advertising needs to be disclosed by the influencer, per the Federal Trade Commission. By narrowing among dozens of reasons to engage influencers to a key singular goal will

Drive sales? Build awareness? Help with a specific consumer demographic for new customer acquisition? Change consumer perception of your brand? Answer your brand’s critique?

Finally, the contract negotiation should be very specific, and stay true to your goals and measurements, as discussed above. For example, you should set expectations on: Type and number of posts Which platforms will be used Messaging Usage rights Links to e-commerce Revenue-sharing vs. compensation on activity

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help with specifics around setting team expectations and specific measurements. And if you don't set proper expectations, things will not pan out as planned and the relationship could be ruined. That leads to wasted money and bad publicity.

Small Business

#2 In-House vs. Out-Source Your company hires experts in marketing, advertising, PR, digital, etc. You should also hire someone that knows influencers. This could be in-house or agency side. Managing influencer programs in-house helps maintain more control of the brand and the campaigns if influencers are a key pillar of your marketing strategy. On the other hand, working with digital influencers can take a large toll on internal teams—in terms of the heavy lifting of time—from forming deals for content creation to pushing paid ads across your brands’ social channels, and measurement. Stacy DeBroff, CEO of Influence Central, tells me “Many companies opt to engage seasoned specialists like my team to run their influencer engagements, as it ensures deep vetting of potential influencers, carefully framed and signed influencer agreements that include an extension of content rights to the brand, seamless campaign management, online draft reviews before content gets posted and detailed and guaranteed campaign metrics drawing directly from each influencer’s behind the scenes data.”

#3 Authentic Match

#4 Influencer Strategy

Companies must compare their Brand Value

Rather than defaulting to the bottom of the rung with

Proposition and Buyer Personas and find

micro-influencers or spending your way to the top

authentic matches. Otherwise, customers will

(unless you’re a large brand) with social media

discount content from an influencer who seems

celebrities, the best strategy is a mix of nano, micro, and

to be just “doing it for the money.” Additionally,

mid-tier influencers. Such a mix will usually give the best

marketers must gauge each influencer's passion

ROI, since these groups together have a decent mix of

for the brand and their desire to work with you.

followers and are perceived to be more authentic,

The key is not to just chase influencers that you

generally. And of course, marketers need to aim for a

think are up and coming, but to go after

mix of influencers that fit the brand/business life stage.

influencers that will help build an authentic brand.

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Small Business Below are the different levels of influencers:

project. They can also miss the message of authenticity, which is critical and should be a dealbreaker.

Nano influencers (1-10k followers): It costs dramatically less to engage this group since many of them will create content simply for product samples in return. As such, they can offer you the ability to engage certain groups at lower costs. But be sure they have some experience with such

While follower count is okay for gauging cost and reach, you can't make your decisions simply based on this number. KPIs like views and engagement will usually give you a much better idea, and a simple conversation with the influencer in mind can go a long way.

campaigns prior to engagement. Of course, some first-timers will do a great job, but consider their experience level before you go all-in.

Micro influencers (10-50k followers): Typically, micro-influencers do not have agents— which can often try to pull more money from your pockets—and they tend to be more personal. Though they have smaller followings, comparatively, they can be very effective.

Conclusion Influencers can be a powerful tool in a marketer’s toolbox, but they must remember that this is about relationship building. That’s why it’s key to involve influencers in your brand, get them passionate, and to not treat them as just an execution point. But at the same time, don't let them take advantage of you, which is why it is so important to gauge up front how passionate and authentic they are about your brand and have a very clear and specific contract.

Mid-tier influencers (50-500k followers): They have a substantial number of followers, but they typically use many brand partnerships to make money. So since social media can be their primary source of income, they can be dramatically more expensive than the previous tiers. Additionally, many mid-tier influencers have started to engage agents.

Premium/Macro influencers (500k-1m+ followers): They are best used for big, themed, and/or seasonal campaigns. But it is often best to avoid them. They often communicate through agents, and the relationship is much less personal. As a result, they frequently dedicate much less of their time to the

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All in all, remember to: Set specific goals, measurements, and contracts Decide if you want influencer management done in-house or out-sourced Find authentic matches and foster passionate relationships Create a strategy that will maximize ROI

Kim Salzer is a Partner & CMO with Chief Outsiders, the nation’s fastest-growing “executive-as-aservice” company. More information at

Collapsing Timelines: How Business Owners Can Get More Done, Faster! By Christan Hiscock

Partner & CMO with Chief Outsiders

Productivity. Scalability. Profitability. The ultimate trifecta for every business owner out there. To excel in all three, there’s one question we have to answer to make it all possible: how do we get more done, faster? The answer to collapsing timelines will seem completely backward and counterproductive, but in actuality, if you apply the practices, you’ll accelerate your business in a mind-blowing way.

Small Business

Break Your Systems You constantly hear that if you want to scale you have to get systems and automation in place. That’s absolutely true, but if you want to collapse timelines, you have to figure out how to do it better and faster. That means breaking the systems you set up, to find ways to make them even more effective. When you have a big vision, the only way

Stop Working It’s a physical fact that when you’re extremely focused on your thinking, your ability to be creative shrinks because all your energy is going in one direction. You need creativity if you want to boost your productivity and figure out ways to do things bigger, better, and faster. Creativity comes when your brain is relaxed, which is when it can make connections between ideas that you didn’t think of before. That’s why so many people get inspiration in the shower. You’re not thinking about anything specific, so brilliance has room to strike. That’s why you need to stop working and give yourself time to relax. Let your mind wander and you’ll be surprised at the insights and solutions that come to life. But the key to making that happen is to make sure that the “do nothing” appointment you make with yourself never gets bumped, otherwise, you’ll end up in a reactive doing mode, which feels like you’re getting stuff done, but is really just slowing down your growth.

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you’re going to be able to make that vision come to life is to enlist others to help you. If you can do it all on your own, your vision isn’t big enough and you’re not going to make the impact you were really meant to make. All you really have to do is be clear on your end goal, then allow other people to come in and contribute to it from all different angles. It’s only with those new perspectives that you’ll collapse your timelines in a massive way and figure out the new systems or tweaks to your current systems to help you do it. Be sure to get your team involved in this process too. They’ll see things that you don’t. They’ll know where they needlessly lose time or what’s causing bottlenecks in their workday. Then, get them to brainstorm solutions to fix the issues to become more productive. New perspectives open new possibilities, and as an added bonus, if your team is generating the solutions, they’re going to have a lot more buy-in when it comes to making the change, and that means you’ll be able to get it done much faster. That’s a lot more productive from the get-go.

Small Business

Retreat Complacency and doubt are two of your biggest challenges as a business owner. If you’re not constantly growing personally and professionally, you’re falling behind because, guaranteed, your competitors won’t be taking the back seat on expanding themselves and their market share. And, if you’re hesitating on decisions because you’re not quite sure of the next step or how to accomplish it, you’ll end up in the same boat, and

Dedicate time to build your network inside and outside your industry. Explore with those contacts new ways of getting better at business. Ask them what they do in challenging situations and consider how you can apply them to your own business to make it, and you, more productive. Work with mindset coaches, join masterminds, or at the very least educate yourself in a brand-new area. Even if that area is nowhere near what you do, the things you learn about a new topic might spark something new in your business, as your brain puts together a creative solution in your “do nothing” time.

that status quo will definitely create drag for your business, slowing down your growth and profitability.

Those are the things that will improve your impact and help

That’s exactly the time you need to

with it.

retreat and get a mindset reset, so you can regroup and make the decisions that will help you move forward faster. To be at the top of your game and have the ability to collapse timelines, you have to constantly look for ways to level up your thinking and that means learning from people who think differently than you and have a different set of experiences. That kind of learning can improve your decision-making process too, because you can see new angles you just couldn’t before.

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you scale faster, and your profitability will grow right along

Summing It Up Seemingly counterproductive practices can actually be the gas your business needs to rev up and keep going. Once you take a step back and start looking at your business, and the tasks you personally perform within it, through a different lens, you’ll start to find ways to improve efficiency. Enlist other people to help you and you’ll do it even faster. Before you know it, you’ll be making a massive impact on the world and because you are, the trifecta for productivity, scalability and profitability will be yours and your business will be running like a well-oiled machine… until you break it again to make it run even better.

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Christan Hiscock is on a personal mission to change

the conversation in the business world, moving away

from the pursuit of success, to focusing on fulfillment instead. Because if you’re fulfilled, success is a given, but not so much the other way around. He can often be heard saying, “You mean more than you know,” because he believes that as people learn to

understand their worth, their fears fade and amazing

feats become reality. He considers this the foundation for all his achievements as the Co-Founder and CEO of Kardia and leader of 14 thriving companies.

Through Kardia, which means heart in Greek, Christan is determined to bring more heart into the business

world. Heart in the form of kindness, compassion, and altruism. A heart that fuels, roots, and guides each

company to do the right things for its team members, clients, and for the greater communities they serve.

Post-COVID SMB Banking Needs: The New Normal Small business banking: is the new normal less “new” and more “normal”? Over the past year, there has been lots of talk about Covid’s impact on how small businesses bank and manage their finances. And while it’s certainly true that small businesses have been doing more of their banking in digital channels, has the pandemic changed what small businesses need and want from their financial institutions?

By Michael Dolenko Partner at Phase 5 and the co-lead of the Innovation and Product Development practice

Research (Phase 5) conducted over the past 24 months shows that the pandemic has impacted channel use and capital needs for small and medium businesses (SMBs). But what’s important to them - their experience as customers – has not shifted much at all. Moreover, many small businesses, especially the very small, think their banks could be doing better on this front.

Small Business Let's start with what has changed for small businesses in terms of banking.

Capital needs. A Spring 2021 survey of North American small businesses (defined as fewer than 100 employees) we conducted in partnership with Cargo shows that the pandemic has had an impact on many small businesses’ balance sheets. Just over half of small businesses (51%) indicated that their sales had been negatively impacted during the pandemic. For some, this has created a need to borrow more. Our research found that just over 1 in 5 small businesses (22%) had increased their borrowing during the pandemic and for most of these, the additional amounts were in excess of $20,000. While greater debt loads make survival a more precarious proposition for some small businesses, a large majority – two-thirds – reported no change in capital needs. And another 11% said they borrowed less. So it’s important to keep in mind that the impacts of Covid have been different for different small businesses.

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Digital banking. Like consumers, small businesses use of online and mobile banking accelerated during the pandemic. A small business survey we conducted in 2020 found that 24% were doing more online banking than before the pandemic while 29% were doing less in person and 18% had stopped in-person banking altogether. This increasing reliance on digital seems to have stuck. Follow-up research in 2021 showed that, while a segment of small businesses still prefers in-person interactions for many of their banking needs,

86% of them were now banking online and 55% were using mobile banking (with only 12% not using any digital channels).

Small Business

While COVID has impacted small businesses, their perceptions of banks have not changed dramatically, nor has what they want from their financial institutions:

Low NPS but low likelihood to switch. When we look at banking NPS scores, unfortunately there are more bank detractors (33%) than promoters among small businesses (25%). In aggregate, small businesses give their FIs a -8 NPS. But this isn’t new: low NPS scores have persisted for years. At the same time, less than 10% of small businesses indicate any imminent desire to switch banks. Our research has shown that switching costs and a perceived lack of differentiation among business banking providers underpins this “loyalty.”

Products meet their needs. For the most part, SMBs have straightforward banking needs that are met through standard deposit, credit and cash management solutions. While only 16% “strongly agree” that their business bank offers innovative solutions, this does not seem to matter to most small business owners – 61% feel that the quality of the banking products they have access to are good or very good.

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Fee averse. Small businesses have historically been price sensitive and the pandemic has done nothing to increase their perception of the value of banking services they receive. Only 14% rate the overall cost-to-benefit ratio of their banking services as “very good” and just 11% feel their bank’s pricing model does a very good job of meeting their needs. A similarly small minority 16% agree that their bank does a very good job in being transparent about their fees.

Small Business Feeling ignored and treated like a number. On a battery of customer experience (CX) metrics, banks were least likely to do well in terms of demonstrating that they care about small businesses (only 10% of businesses surveyed gave top marks to their bank on this measure). Another CX pain point for small businesses is the perceived lack of flexibility in how banks deal with them. Only 16% of small business decision-makers gave their banks top marks on this. While this is not a new sentiment, it may have been exacerbated for some small businesses in terms of how banks administered government support programs during the pandemic, and to what degree they were willing to offer relief on loan payments. Despite all this, small businesses continue to trust their FIs. More than 6 in 10 small businesses say they trust their business bank, a rating that has been consistent over time. This foundation of trust offers a platform for FIs to strengthen their relationship with small businesses.

Watch for my future posts regarding specific opportunities to deepen customer relationships with small businesses. For now, I’ll leave you to ponder the French saying “plus ça change…” Please contact us to learn more about any of the above studies, or to schedule a discussion about your specific business challenges.

Michael Dolenko, MA, is a partner at Phase 5 and the co-lead

of the Innovation and Product Development practice. Michael

is a sought-after moderator and survey researcher for clients in financial services, retail, technology, education and

publishing. He and his team focus on product and service

innovation and studies that support go-to-market initiatives.

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Cogeco has recently launched a new brand campaign:

featuring their own employees! This strategy of showcasing their local employees is something new for the

telecommunications company. The campaign materials

include billboard and bus shelter ads, website and social

media ads, as well as 30 and 90 second online videos and TV commercials.

These authentic advertisements feature three local Cogeco

employees and the communities in which they live and work. It demonstrates the campaign slogan perfectly, Your Local Connection. The campaign highlights what being local means to them, showcasing their own local stories.

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By Kristen Curry Communications and Public Relations Manager, Ontario at Cogeco Connexion

Small Business

The Strategy To launch a successful brand campaign, you must start with data. It’s essential to know the key drivers of customer perception. For Cogeco, these are trust, experience, reliability, and community investments. They then dug below the major metrics by using the quantitative data points available to them. Cogeco utilized its internal databases to understand what influences the perception of trust and reliability in both positive or negative ways. For example, to gauge their level of trust, they gathered data from their Contact Centre interactions and call resolutions.

Building the Brand To build the brand, Cogeco did an enormous amount of testing and validation. They organized virtual focus groups with customers and non-customers that lasted over 90 minutes each during each stage of the process.

Next, they conducted extensive customer research to gain a deeper understanding of their customers’ and the publics’ perception of Cogeco. This included an external panel (of customers and non-customers) and a survey that Cogeco sent to their customers. Finally, Cogeco initiated a very interactive process with their internal Marketing Team, their core Ontario resources, and different media agencies. Once the data was collected, they moved from the quantitative approach to deeper qualitative research with both customers and non-customers. Cogeco held three waves of focus groups with customers and noncustomers throughout this research process. They validated the brand positioning and messages for credibility (e.g. can we claim this) and impact (would it change the brand’s perception).

The general public knows that Cogeco provides Internet, TV, and telephone services - but not much else. They didn’t know their purpose or their culture.

“Our research respondents indicated that they wanted to get to know us better and who we are! It was a natural fit when we started leaning towards our differentiator: being local,” said Corban Secor, Director of Web Sales and Digital Marketing at Cogeco.

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MAR - APR 2019

Cogeco decided to focus their campaign on highlighting that they have a local presence in cities and towns throughout the province and 100 percent local employees. They determined that their employees should be featured in the campaign to show the faces and voices of the people who support their clients’ needs every day. And above all, because Cogeco is proud of its employees! Showcasing real employees, in their homes and in their communities, (instead of models and actors) was proven to be more authentic, honest and trustworthy during the focus groups. These folks are active members of their communities and represent all of us. Furthermore, when engaging with a brand, people prefer to engage with real people. Plus - no one knows your brand and culture better than your employees. It makes them the ultimate spokespeople for your brand. Using real employees not only improves the public perception of your brand, but it improves your company's culture. When the brand ambassadors were revealed internally, there was an overwhelming sense of pride and support for these employees throughout the company. Cogeco worked with their creative agency on a variety of concepts, which they tested with different focus groups. The tagline “your local connection” was the one that tested the best and resonated with customers and non-customers alike.

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Small Business

“It also unites our two main ideas: local as a

differentiator and our ability to connect people through our reliable technology,” added Corban.

MAR - APR 2019

Small Business

The Brand The campaign features real Cogeco employees sharing why they love working for Cogeco, what they enjoy in their communities, and what makes being local so important.

“They really are true representatives of what makes Cogeco great - caring about one another, supporting each other, and always doing what is right for the customer,” said Corban.

The Videos Cogeco builds human connections and vibrant communities and now uses its employees to demonstrate this to the public.

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Click to watch each video on Cogeco’s YouTube page

There is a vaccine against homelessness: It’s called affordable social housing Juha Kaakinen CEO, Y-Foundation

An experienced and passionate developer of

Before, he has worked in public administration of the

innovative housing solutions to homeless people

City of Helsinki and as a CEO of Social Development

and social housing.

Ltd, a company devoted to developing social and health services for cities and municipalities. He has

Juha Kaakinen is Chief Executive of Y-Foundation, the biggest Finnish NGO providing housing for homeless people and social housing with a housing stock of 18 000 flats.

also worked as a programme leader of a national program to end long-term homelessness, and as a researcher and a consultant. He is internationally known as an advocate of the Housing First policy.

Small Business You are running the largest Finnish NGO providing

How Housing First is one of the world’s

housing for homeless people. Can you please discuss

best approaches to ending

how housing is a basic human and social right?


Housing as a basic human and social right has a strong ethical

Housing First is this century’s solution to

justification and is expressed for ex. in the Human Rights Declaration of the UN. Housing as a basic human and social right is about treating people equally and with dignity. Decent housing, a home, is the foundation for living and participating in social life and work. It is not enough to have housing as a right expressed in legislation, it needs concrete action and in the case of homelessness, it means providing people unconditionally a safe affordable apartment to start with.

homelessness. There is very consistent scientific evidence that Housing First is the most sustainable and even cost-effective solution to homelessness, especially to long-term, chronic homelessness. Housing First is based on simple principles that respect the dignity of homeless people: providing unconditionally permanent housing and support in normal

What are your thoughts on the current homeless situation

surroundings, not shelters.

in Toronto? Based on what I have read and heard from local experts the situation is catastrophic and requires urgent action. In my understanding, the level of street homelessness shows that homeless people themselves don’t regard shelters and other temporary accommodations as a solution to their situation. The current homelessness situation seems to be also directly related to a serious lack of affordable housing.

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In Finland, Housing First has been implemented as a systemic model, as a national policy. As Housing First is based on permanent housing therefore there is now only a small amount of emergency accommodation needed.

Small Business On any given day, more than 8,700 people in Toronto are experiencing homelessness, many more are experiencing “hidden homelessness”, and thousands of others are on the waitlist for supportive housing. What are some of your thoughts about resolving homelessness in Toronto? Only a policy and an implementation based on a long-term plan based on Housing First can solve homelessness for good. Increasing shelters beds is not a solution as people in shelters are still homeless. But to change the system requires political will and decisions and a wide collaboration between the city, province, and NGOs. And it requires a very concrete plan on how to get the housing needed and how to provide the support people may need. It is not a question of money as managing homelessness with shelters and temporary solutions costs more than providing permanent housing.

How can we help people transition back into society after experiencing extended periods of isolation and previous trauma? The longer one is homeless the greater is the risk of serious health and social issues like mental health problems and substance abuse. For this reason, it is important to focus on prevention and rapid rehousing. Housing First doesn’t solve all issues at once, but it creates a foundation that makes it possible to succeed. In many cases simply providing a safe environment with permanent housing seems to stabilize things. Although it is mainly a question of basic needs also professional support and rehabilitation may be needed.

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In our experience offering even temporary job opportunities can be the best possible support for somebody who has moved into his/her own apartment.

Empathy a top leadership skill for Tomorrow’s SME leaders Women are more likely to lead with empathy

According to a recent CEMS study, empathy, communication and resilience top the list of the fastest-rising leadership traits, replacing traditionally-heralded technical skills and authority. This is a stark change from the leadership style of yesterday. The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed leadership, and with it, the expectations for how good leaders should communicate.

By Janine Allen

President of Kaiser & Partners

The communication skills that were traditionally valued by leaders were more focused on strategy, strength, and steadfastness. But this type of leadership based often came at the expense of the individual. When the pandemic blurred the lines between work and home, and business and personal, employees needed more from their leaders. They needed empathy.

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Small Business Women leaders were well-suited to lead through this transformational employer-employee relationship as

Empathy increase engagement

studies consistently show that women display more empathy and compassion, the effective skills for managing through times of crisis. But as we emerge from this crisis, and look ahead to tomorrow’s workforce, will empathy continue to as important to small and medium businesses?

The answer is yes. And here’s why:

According to a study by Catalyst, 76 percent of employees with more empathetic leaders reported higher levels of engagement.

Higher engagement among a workforce means that employees are more likely to be invested in

Empathy builds a strong organizational culture When workers feel supported, stable and safe, feelings of belonging increase. With threats of the “Great

the company and the work they are doing, resulting in higher quality and productivity. This engagement enhances an SME’s ability to

Resignation” still looming, small businesses may have an

compete in competitive

even harder time recruiting and retaining talent than


larger organizations as often the CEO is also the head of Human Resources. It’s imperative that culture, wellbeing and support are at the core of their approach to HR.

Small Business Empathy has financial benefits Resistance to this shift towards more empathetic leadership is typically because of concerns that financial results will be a secondary focus, forfeited to make way for new, effective leadership soft skills. But the reality is that empathy has tangible financial outcomes. With lower turnover, you save the costs of recruiting and training. With increased wellbeing, the costs of absenteeism and burnout are minimized. And the same Catalyst study also found that empathy encourages innovation, which is critical to business growth and expansion. The pandemic put a spotlight on great, and notso-great leaders. While women may be more naturally empathetic, both men and women rose to the top of that list. The “secret sauce” for this success is strong communications skills and an ability to both steer the ship and make sure the crew was ok simultaneously.

Leaders will need to continue to go beyond traditional management skills and embrace their EQ to motivate and nurture their teams.

About Author As president of Kaiser & Partners, Janine Allen,

Janine holds a post-graduate degree in

CM, develops and oversees strategic

public relations from Humber College and

communications programs that enhance

an honours Bachelor of Arts degree in

visibility and transform relationships. She

psychology from Queen’s University. She is

helps clients manage through challenge and

recognized as a designated Chartered

change, protecting and repairing corporate

Marketer by the Canadian Marketing

brand reputation.

Association and was named CPRS’s PR Practitioner of the Year in 2017. She is currently an executive board member of CPRS and a board member of the Pickering Baseball Association.

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Legible - delivering sustainability to the publishing industry Kaleeg Hainsworth Founder and CEO of Legible Inc.

Kaleen Hainsworth is an author, speaker, poet, naturalist, activist, podcaster, developer, as well as the founder and CEO of Legible Inc. His academic interests and areas of particular expertise and extensive training include spiritual ecology, theological traditions in the East, poetry, family systems, letterpress printing and bookbinding, mechanics.

Small Business He is also the author of An Altar in the Wilderness (Rocky Mountain Books, 2014), as well as numerous articles, manifestos, podcasts, and published studies. In addition to Legible, Kaleeg is CEO and co-owner of Bright Wing Media, an international digital publishing company that works with publishers, universities, non-profit organizations, and authors around the world, and he serves as the editor of St. Katherine Review. For further information, please visit Legible, About Us

And what are you hoping to accomplish through this platform? The more I thought of it, the more I realized that a reading system is one of the most powerful things humans have invented for ourselves -from the earliest written language, to the printing press, to today’s digital media, and I see this as the next big evolution of written language. Having a reading system rooted in a web browser gives

What was the motivation and inspiration behind the launch of Legible? Legible has a long history. Originally, we were inspired by my work building a community outreach center in Victoria, BC, around 2008. At the time, there were a lot of people coming into the center who needed opportunities to read. So I started getting ebooks and single-use reading devices and put them together, and for a lot of these people, it was the first time they really had access to so many books. And immediately, I saw the positive change is made. It made me realize just how much of an impact an easily accessible reading system could have on the world.

billions of people access to millions of books, and therefore is revolutionary in and of itself.

Please share your journey into the publishing industry? I was raised by a librarian and have been writing and publishing my work since I was a teenager. I have worked in bookstores and for a publisher. But I really committed back in 2010 when I formed Bright Wing Media, my own digital media house. That’s when I was fully committed to the industry, so to speak. And I knew one thing I wanted to do was help make books more accessible to a larger audience.

What were the most difficult moments in your journey to building up a publishing company? Just about every single moment of building Legible has been difficult, to be honest. It turns out that spinning up a global company with the purpose of decentralizing and democratizing the publishing industry is a really hard thing to do! It was challenging to raise capital, to find the right people for the team, to create the technology itself, to build a viable business model… every step it took

Every time Legible faced an almost insurmountable challenge, we kept going. We kept working, and we learned that we were able to face a challenge,

to build this platform was its own challenge, and I

be broken by it, and

couldn’t have done it without having such a hardworking

come out stronger.

and passionate team around me.

What are the most valuable lessons you have learned so far? I learned that Legible is an anti-fragile company. Now, anti-fragile doesn’t mean something that can’t be broken; it means it’s something that benefits from being broken. Anti-fragility is found in natural systems around the world - a forest fire, for example, helps the forest to grow back stronger.

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Small Business What does "browser-based" mean to

What are the benefits of using browser-based



Browser-based means accessibility.

Accessibility, sustainability, and beauty are all benefits of

Everybody accessing the internet uses a

using browser-based platforms. There just isn’t anything else

browser. If your books - and indeed the

right now that offers up all of these advantages, and I think

world’s information in book form - are

we’re going to see a move to more browser-based

available on that browser, they are as

technology catch on as more people realize the potential

accessible as they can possibly be.


There’s no other app, no other ecosystem required. Browser-based also means sustainable. A browser-based reading system means people can use the devices they already have as reading devices, allowing us to reduce the number of single-use reading devices in circulation. And browser-based also means beautiful. Books are meant to convey their information in beautiful and meaningful ways - their design is as important as their content. By using the capabilities of the browser, we’re able to present the books as the publishers intended, and we’re also experimenting with building out these rich, multimedia book experiences.

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Can you share one strategy with us that is particularly extraordinary or unique to your work style? I’m not sure I ever think about strategies other than being highly collaborative and deeply driven. I like to involve people who are experts in their fields, and I believe that nothing is worth doing alone. It all comes from how important I think the community is. But to be honest, I don’t think of anything I do as being extraordinary or unique to me - I just seek to bring in the best minds I can find and collaborate with them as closely and with as much equality as possible. I think listening is every bit as important - or even more important than speaking, and I just try to soak up as much knowledge as I can by hearing what others have to say. There’s a lot of love in the practice of listening, and the more we can do that the more connected, successful, and healthy we can be.

How to start your own sustainable food business Robert McKinlay I am the 5th generation of McKinlay's at Silver Springs Farms. My family moved to the property in 1888 from Scotland. Since then the farm has grown from 100 acres to 2500. We run a mixed farm growing both field crops and cattle. I attended the University of Guelph for their Bachelors of Agricultural Science and graduated in the spring of 2021. I have moved back home and begun investing in the family operation and started taking on more management roles in the operation.

Small Business The impact that farmers have on their local economy and community, and how the face of farming is becoming more reflective of younger generations? Silver Spring Farms has been an employer of youth for many generations. For those who come to work with us, this may be their first job. Knowing this, we help them learn responsibility, a strong work ethic, and the rewards of completing a job from start to finish. Our farm recognizes the importance of teaching a younger generation proper farming skills; we employ four part-time employees, as well as host high school co-op students. Our operation has a large impact on our local economy and community because we are a large purchaser and distributor of agricultural products. We recognize the importance of offering business to local services, so we purchase things like seeds and forages from neighbors. Our operation drives the local economy by providing a market for local producers and offering commodities to improve their operations.

Another way we practice sustainable farming is through using livestock to improve our soil health and manage crop residue. We use rotational grazing

How are you one of many Ontario Beef farmers practicing sustainable farming, including rotational grazing, caring for waterways, and improving soil biodiversity? Ontario beef farmers are advocates of sustainability. My family farm is situated on a diverse landscape, so we keep protecting the surrounding ecosystems in mind. Some ways we have done this is through preserving wetlands and watercourses by fencing wetlands from grazing cattle (so they do disturb them), as well as restricting the cattle’s access to certain streams to ensure they aren’t affecting the nearby riverbed.

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on all of our pasture farms to eliminate over-grazing and protect vulnerable grasslands. Our farm also places importance on surrounding ecosystems, including birds. We do this by managing hay land on our farm, which allows for bird nesting. Delaying our grazing to later in the year allows for local birds to nest and raise their young. All of this reduces our farm's environmental impact while also producing safe and high-quality products.

Small Business How young farmers like Robert are looking to get other young professionals engaged within the industry, spreading the understanding of modernized and sustainable farming methods within the province? My family prioritizes helping young farmers starting out in the agriculture industry. Most recently, we’ve helped five young farmers by providing them with guidance, financial assistance, and education opportunities to help them launch their careers as the next generation of farmers. It’s been a rewarding experience to see these young farmers progress in their careers and contribute to the agricultural industry, particularly through sustainable practices we have taught them, such as rotational grazing, watercourse management, and cover crop grazing. I’ve also created a young farmers group. These events have been extremely beneficial when it comes to networking, discussing operation management, and round table discussions on proposed ideas for the industry.

How are you of many young Ontario Beef farmers practicing entrepenurialship in owning your own small business and working a second job to support his family? Farming has been a lifestyle for my family for many generations. The farm is more than a business to us, as it has been our family’s identity for hundreds of years. Being able to work and care for the land is a responsibility to the generations before me and future generations to come. Being able to produce a safe, sustainable product is a source of pride that our family has enjoyed and that I hope to continue.

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The nature of agriculture is having one or two harvests a year, which is where income is generated. Due to this, I have been working off the farm to have a steady income stream to cover my cost of living in between harvests. Since our business is working with nature, it can be difficult to predict or control the outcomes. Having a second job off of the farm, but within the industry has allowed me to diversify my skill sets, improve time management skills, and help me set deadlines, which is something I continue to teach to the younger generation of farmers.

Look before you leap How to choose the right first financing for your startup

Securing the first round of financing for a startup can be both an exciting and overwhelming endeavor. Written by – Aly Somani and Ahmad Aslam If you’re a startup business ready to expand with a market-tested,

Ahmad Aslam

viable product or service and significant growth potential you’ll need funding to take your business to the next level – and determining the right source of capital can be overwhelming.

Aly Somani 116 - CanadianSME - November 2021

Potential Sources of Capital

Here’s what you should know before signing on any dotted line.

Bootstrapping Friends and family funding Governmental/institutional grants Incubators or accelerators Crowdfunding Non-dilutive financing Dilutive/equity financing

An Accounting Perspective When looking for first financing, it’s important to understand the tax and long-term financial implications of each option.

Debt As an entrepreneur, you typically have two debtfinancing options – interest-free options (like

It is important to seek professional advice, both from your accountant and business lawyer, before deciding on early-stage financing, as missteps could affect your company’s long-term success.

bootstrapping and friends and family funding) and interest-bearing loans. Imagine, in the above scenario, your company has funds saved and decides to bootstrap, that is, rely entirely on their own funds instead of seeking a third-party investor. This means you’d be taking an interest-free loan out from yourself. This seems ideal, but it comes with the risk that your business won’t have the flexibility to expand as quickly as needed to react to the market. If bootstrapping isn’t an option, you could turn to those closest to you. The Friends and Family round of pre-seed funding is usually used to onboard employees, secure office space, or purchase key resources. This funding is often in the form of gifts, interest-free loans, interestbearing loans, or equity loans.

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Small Business Let’s say your company chooses an interest-bearing option, either from friends and family or from an institution like Business Development Canada (BDC). Keep in mind that you likely won’t be earning taxable profits in the first few years, meaning the interest owed may result in tax inefficiencies. As the recipient of the loan, you’ll have to make enough to cover interest accrued, but you may not be able to benefit from interest deduction immediately if a business is not reporting profits for tax purposes.

Equity The Scientific Research and Equity is one of the most important considerations for a growing startup. You’ll want to speak to your lawyer and have a plan in

Experimental Development (SR&ED) grant may be worth exploring, for

place early on before issuing any equity. You can issue different

example. The SR&ED is a federal tax

classes of shares with different share characteristics to a variety

incentive that provides about $3 billion

of investor groups, which provides flexibility as you expand. This allows you to potentially issue dividends to certain active shareholders, for example, as opposed to dormant shareholders or provide special governance rights to certain classes of shares

worth of research and development funding annually to businesses of all sizes in a variety of sectors.

over others. Another consideration is whether your corporation has a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation Status (CCPC), which provides a number of tax benefits. Companies with CCPC status must be private companies incorporated in Canada. They cannot be controlled by any non-residents or public

As a CCPC, your company can earn a 35% tax credit on up to $3 million for qualified SR&ED expenditures. For businesses who don’t have CCPC status, the tax credit is limited to 15% of qualifying expenditures.

corporations. For this reason, caution is needed when issuing shares to non-residents or public corporations.

Crowdfunding Government Grants Grants are a great option and are available both federally and provincially. It’s important to note that grants are taxable when received.

This is a quick way to receive cash without giving up any equity or dealing with interest payments. Essentially, you ask the public to believe in your product or service enough to help with your financing. There is a caveat, though. Even if your crowdfunded contributions are seen as donations or gifts, the funds may still be taxable.

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Small Business A Legal Perspective The initial funding stage is a great time to seek professional legal advice. It’s tempting to jump at your first funding opportunity without considering any longterm legal pitfalls. It is important to understand the legal implications of each option.

Bootstrapping and Friends and Family Funding

Crowdfunding If you choose to go this route, it’s important to

While we’ve already discussed bootstrapping, the Friends and Family funding is worth examining. Often called the 3 Fs – the Friends, Family, and Fools – this option is the easiest and most dangerous form of funding.

note that, because of Canadian securities laws, crowdfunding donors can’t own an equity stake in your business. This type of funding also necessitates the need to pre-sell your product before it’s ready for the market.

Let’s say your close friend is interested in investing in your business. Before agreeing, make sure both parties understand what type of funding they’ve agreed upon and the risks associated with this venture. Otherwise, the friendship could be destroyed in the process.

Non-Dilutive Financing For a startup, this type of funding allows owners to fund the company without giving up equity.

Regardless of the funding type – gift, loan or equity – it’s a good idea to create a formal agreement, which Cassels can assist with.

Government grants are an example of nondilutive financing. You can also receive nondilutive loans through organizations like BDC, though depending on your valuation, certain terms and conditions may accompany the

Incubators and Accelerators This is an interesting choice for a startup, since both options increase your chances of attracting a venture capital firm later on. It’s important to note that this option may mean giving up some equity. While both incubators and accelerators offer a network of mentors to help grow your business, accelerators focus on growing a company while incubators focus more on innovation.

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Regardless, choosing this type of funding means you can source “free” money to stimulate growth, which could impress future investors.

Equity Financing Securing equity funding is a huge milestone in any startup. It shows a certain level of legitimacy and is often the first major capital a business receives. But jumping at the first equity financing opportunity could be a mistake. Equity funding means giving a portion of your business to your investor – a decision that could impact your long-term success. No matter how many shares a shareholder holds, the law provides shareholders with rights and protections that you need to be aware of. One pitfall of early equity funding involves premature valuation, which will affect the

The SAFE may include a valuation cap (a set maximum valuation at time of issue), which could determine the price per share on conversion Investors typically receive a pre-determined discount against the price per share in the qualified financing resulting in a conversion of the SAFE SAFEs often include a Most Favoured Nation clause SAFEs will also sometimes include pro-rata rights which allow the holder to purchase additional shares to maintain their level of ownership in later financing rounds

pricing of future equity rounds and acquisitions. If your business is still in its very early stages and pre-revenue, it may be best to delay setting a valuation and use other

Next Steps

financing alternatives.

Choosing a first financing option is one of the most

For example, Simple Agreements for Future

get excited about short-term cash infusions, keep in

Equity (SAFEs) have become a common financing method that does not require a current valuation. SAFEs allow your start-up to receive money from investors now and give equity at a later date. If you’re interested in a SAFE, it’s important to consider these factors:

important decisions a startup will make. While it’s easy to mind that this financing will have long-term consequences for your business. Ahmad Aslam is a Partner at Zeifmans, at Aly Somani is Partner and Co-Chair of the High Growth & Venture Capital Group at Cassels, at

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The concept of holiday shopping has changed over the past years.

Let's take a look at how loyalty programs play a role in holiday shopping.

The concept of holiday shopping has changed over the past years. These days, businesses use loyalty programs to engage with their customers. Companies have digitalized their loyalty programs as shopping is done more online now. Loyalty programs have become common these days. That's why they are trending the most on shopping websites. Loyalty programs have proved to be the most helpful tactic in increasing revenue and inspiring customer loyalty.

By Meghan Tetford Communications Assistant at AquaFire Marketing, Inc.

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Small Business

The concept of holiday shopping has changed over the past years. These days, businesses use loyalty programs to engage with their customers. Companies have digitalized their loyalty programs as shopping is done more online now. Loyalty programs have become common these days. That's why they are trending the most on shopping websites. Loyalty programs have proved to be the most helpful tactic in increasing revenue and inspiring customer loyalty.

This article will share 5 Things You Needed to Have to have the Best Loyalty Program.

Creating Customized Rewards If you are thinking of creating a loyalty program, you should develop a customized reward. This will help customers earn points and rewards. You should make special offers on your website, other than the usual ones, for which the customers can earn rewards. This will enable your customers to stay loyal to your business by reaping the rewards you offer on your website. Your loyal customers can only use the rewards from your website. Using this method, you can create the best loyalty program for your customers, and bring in more revenue!

Add VIP Membership for a Loyalty Program VIP memberships are a great way of encouraging your customers to sign up for the best loyalty rewards. As we know, everyone wants to feel special and unique. VIP memberships can help increase loyalty and make them buy more. With a VIP tier, you can add special perks that can motivate your customers to work their way up the loyalty program. Providing VIP perks will encourage customers to want to sign up and receive those extra special rewards that no typical customer could get.

Customers must enroll themselves in the loyalty program to help your business have a solid relationship with them.

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Small Business

Social Media Campaigns This is one of the best loyalty programs to make a bonus point campaign. You can get your customers to promote your product or campaign that will help them get points. You can also give rewards to your customers if they promote you or buy more products from your website as part of your loyalty program. This is the best loyalty program that can create excitement in your loyal customers. Through this loyalty program, your customer can make extra points. The best way is to promote your campaign over social media if you want to get maximum benefit. Also, show these rewards on your website and product pages. Through social media, make this offer available for your loyal customers. Moreover, thank them for being with you throughout your brand journey. These offers should only be available for your loyal customers, so they feel unique.

Email campaigns Email campaigns are also an essential part in loyalty programs. These days emailing offers, sales, and discounts have become really common for businesses. Your first priority should be sending emails to your loyal customers so they can have access to your special offers before anyone else. You can always create customized email campaigns for loyal customers as part of your loyalty program. These actions will help your customers gain trust and confidence in you, which can result in them becoming your loyal customer.

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Small Business Sometimes the audience is more interested in the achievement than the reward. So, sending emails related to the achievement they have unlocked can make them loyal. Unlocking a new achievement will trigger an email that is sent to the loyal customer. This email contains a reward, coupon, or congratulatory message with reward points. Email marketing is an excellent way of creating the best loyalty program!

Organize a prize draw Creating a prize draw where your loyal customers automatically enter gives the customers a chance-to-win something big by entering. When they enter the program, they feel special, which is a good way of thanking them for their loyalty.

This loyalty program is an excellent way of creating buzz and brand awareness among a massive audience by setting a prize. This program helps you make loyal customers, enables you to gather more customers, and converts them into loyal customers. Using the best loyalty program is a great way to engage with your customers. Following the five key points needed to have a loyalty program that we discussed can help you have an effective brand loyalty program. Knowing your customer’s needs is an excellent way to help you know which loyalty program works best for you.

Reward your customers, make them feel special, give them points for their achievement, and make them loyal to you!

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Shahrzad Rafati Chairperson and CEO, BBTV Holdings

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