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December 2008 Newsletter Phone: (905) 728-2899 Fax: (905) 426-2139

President’s Message Welcome back to our returning membership and welcome to the new business owners who have chosen to become members of the Durham Home and Small Business Association (DHSBA). You have made the right decision! When I was young—and still today—the start of the new year signified an opportunity to start afresh. At the DHSBA, that fresh start to the new business year is no different. By the time you receive this newsletter, we will have held our 4th Annual Buzz on Business Tradeshow and you may have made several contacts and successfully followed up with those potential clients. Thanks to this year’s show sponsors: Rogers, RMA-Spencer Group Mortgages, The UPS Store, and Bookkeeping Plus+. This year, your board is developing plans and programs to help you with the resources & opportunities to grow and promote your business. Attend DHSBA’s December meeting and enjoy our Holiday Networking Extravaganza, another great opportunity to network and make great contacts while promoting your business. At this event, the updated DHSBA website will be unveiled. We have been working diligently, with the help of Honey Turner of Inspired Imprints and the support of A Web That Works, to enhance its features & benefits. Registration is a MUST for this event, as this helps us to have packages for everyone. Our January event features Ken Dubrosky, The Window Cleaning Business Coach. He will discuss sales, marketing and customer service. And jumping ahead, just to let you know, we are working on a dynamic speaker for our AGM in June 2009. This year we launched our fundraising program, which includes the Think and Recycle program. For details, ask any one of your board members. I’d like to thank our annual sponsors—Durham Business Offices, Durham Region, A Web that Works and our Annual General Meeting & Tradeshow sponsors. Without you, none of this is possible. Special thanks to KMK Event catering & Marita Gorny for your delectable treats. To Ed, Gary, Lori, Dayle, Glenn, Eric and Pam—I look forward to working with you. On behalf of the 2008/09 board, thank you to all the past board members whose vision, ‘dog sledding,’ and structure we can grow on and from. We will be calling on you for help—of that I am sure!

Warm regards,

Sandra Cousins DHSBA President, 2008/2009

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2008/2009 Board of Directors President Sandra Cousins PPL Legal Care of Canada Tel: (905) 263-8152

Director of Membership Ed Turner Turner Clean & Services Tel: (905) 448-9203

Treasurer Dayle Lovely Bookkeeping Plus+ Tel: (905) 447-3652

Advisor Karen Hunt Senior Administrative Co-ordinator Region of Durham Economic Development & Tourism Department Tel: (905) 668-4113 ext. 2601 Toll free: 1-800-706-9857

Secretary Lori Prentice Durham Plus Paralegal Services Tel: (905) 419-1338 Director of Marketing Gary Round Gary's Home Improvements Tel: (905) 668-8898 Director of Fundraising Pam Mansfield Bookkeeping Plus Phone: (905) 986-1799 Director of Programming Glenn Middleton Middleton Controllership Services Ltd. Tel: (416) 431-6221

Past President Eric Novak Modern Media Perspectives Tel: (905) 231-0431 Founder & Life-Long Director Betty Penny Penny & Associates Inc. Tel: (905) 985-0712 Newsletter Co-ordinator Janet Boccone Second Glance Writing Services Tel: (416) 859-0162

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The Buzz On Business Trade Show Report DHSBA’s annual “Buzz on Business Trade Show” was a roaring success! On Wednesday, November 5th at the beautiful Jubilee Hall in Oshawa, over 45 exhibitors offered their products and services to the many who walked through the doors. People were coming in from 4:00 p.m. right up to when we were ready to close the doors at 9:00 p.m. The DHSBA would like to thank all our sponsors for attending and especially for speaking at the event. There was Dave Whitaker from Durham Business Offices, Pam Mansfield from Book Keeping Plus, Barbara Kennedy from The Health Store, Sue Sutcliffe from A Web That Works, Dennis Hebert from The UPS Store, Sandra Cousins from PPL Legal, Karen Ross from Rogers, and Marshall Spencer from RMA-Spencer Group Mortgages. There were great speeches and useful information throughout the evening. Thanks also go to those who offered up door prizes for the evening. I was on the floor all night long—hardly ever at my booth—talking with people and asking them about the show. I received nothing but positive feedback from everyone I spoke with. Special thanks to Dan Kallinteris from Jubilee Hall who put on a great spread that night, along with warm hospitality and professionalism. I would also like to thank Chris Chown from Pixy Graphix who supplied us with all the signs for the show! In conclusion, thanks to the DHSBA board members for all their help, especially Honey and Ed Turner. Thanks go to Honey for helping out with the layout of all the tables and everything else and especially to Ed for all his support and the assistance he provided throughout the night. Without these two people, there wouldn’t have been a trade show this year! DHSBA’s 2009 Buzz on Business Trade Show is sure to be another incredibly successful evening—so why wait? Call the DHSBA now and reserve a table for next year! Thank You,

Gary Round DHSBA Marketing Director

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Know Your Limitations Why Hiring a Copywriter Makes Good Sense Last June, when my husband and I made the decision to renovate our kitchen, we hired a well-known, trusted kitchen design firm in our area. We met with our designer various times over the summer and planned each step of the project. We chose to work with some of the contractors the designer had used before and we hired a few of our own. For weeks now, not a day has gone by when I haven’t had the company of a plumber, electrician, engineer, dry waller or cabinet maker. And although there have been moments amidst the hammering and drilling when I’ve wanted to kick them all out and reclaim my space, there have been more times when I’ve sat back in utter amazement at the incredible skill these gentlemen possess. While I know that many homeowners do a lot of their own renovations, the two of us had a pretty clear understanding of what we were capable of from the start. At no point during our planning process did we ever consider doing our own electrical work or installing the dry wall ourselves. If you want the job done properly, you hire a professional, right? Then why is it that when it comes to writing advertising material—such as brochures, newsletters and websites—so many small business owners think they can do it themselves? Sure, they may hire a professional web developer or have their brochures printed at a local print shop, but when it comes to the actual copy, many business owners do their own writing or trust an unqualified staff member with the task. And sometimes this works. But more often than not, the ad copy they put on their website or brochure is mediocre—at best—and rife with spelling and grammatical errors. So, in an effort to save money, small business owners often don’t hire a copywriter and end up doing their business—and their advertising plan—a huge disservice. Just like a jobseeker presenting his resume to a would-be employer, the way you present your company to the world not only determines how potential customers view your products and services, it lets them know that you mean business. The quality of your content does indeed matter. Hiring a professional copywriter can save you time, money—and often a great deal of aggravation—by providing compelling copy that generates results. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Make it count! Janet Boccone has been helping small businesses succeed for over five years. She has served on the Board of Directors of The Writers’ Circle of Durham Region, helped co-ordinate the first-ever Ontario Writer’s Conference in May 2008 and is currently a member of DHSBA’s marketing committee. Visit Second Glance Writing Services online at

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Durham Home & Small Business Association Where entrepreneurs meet, learn and grow

Members of the DHSBA: ‣ attend regular monthly meetings, workshops and seminars at special member prices ‣ have their spouse/partner included with their membership ‣ have their name and business listed on the DHSBA website (with links) ‣ learn useful, timely and practical skills

Membership Application Name:_______________________________________________________________ Business Name:_______________________________________________________ Address:_____________________________________________________________ City:___________________________________ Postal Code:______________________Home Phone:_________________________ Business Phone:__________________________Fax:__________________________ *Website: http://www.____________________________________________________ *E-mail:______________________________________________________________ Description of Product/Services :__________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ I want all my contact information on the DHSBA website. I do not want the indicated (*) information on the DHSBA website. Individual Member $55.00 Annual Fee Corporate Member $80.00 Annual Fee I do NOT wish to receive information from DHSBA by e-mail. Signature:____________________________________________________________ Date:________________________________________________________________ Cheque enclosed in the amount of $_______________________________________ Mail your application with payment to: DHSBA 700 Finley Avenue, Unit 5 Ajax, ON L1S 3Z2 or bring to the next DHSBA member meeting.

‣ display their promotional materials at meetings ‣ have the opportunity to interact with other likeminded individuals ‣ are kept informed of government activities affecting home and small business ‣ are involved with a reputable organization with a dynamic membership

Upcoming Meetings December Christmas Networking Extravaganza January Ken Dubrosky February Gerald Dongen Canada Revenue Agency Meetings are held on the first Wednesday of every month from September through June at Whitby’s Centennial Building 416 Centre St. South. Registration and networking begins at 6:30 p.m. followed by the meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

We encourage pre-registration. 905-728-2899

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We Proudly Acknowledge Our Sponsors

Please support the John Howard Society by bringing a non-perishable food item or personal care item (soap, tooth brushes, shampoo etc.) to each DHSBA meeting. A registered charity, The John Howard Society of Canada helps people who are struggling to turn their lives around. Most, but not all, of the people we help have either been in trouble with the law or are at risk of becoming involved in criminal activity. For more information, visit

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Dictate and Operate Your Computer by Voice By: Don Reist B.Sc.,B.Ed Director of Tutorwiz Education Centre The ability to operate a computer by voice offers many advantages to individuals, especially those with disabilities, including learning disabilities. By using voice recognition software, individuals can operate their computers and most applications without using a keyboard or a mouse. This enables individuals with disabilities who—for various reasons—have no, or limited keyboarding skills, including those with severe dysgraphia or dyspraxia, to operate computers effectively. With this technology, people can perform data entry verbally at up to 160 words per minute with a 99.5% accuracy level. This results in a phenomenal increase in productivity and accessibility. Computing by voice also prevents many stress-related injuries such as carpal tunnel and repetitive strain injuries as well as spine curvature, all of which can result from extended use of keyboards. This technology can be used by people of just about all ages. At my education centre, I have children as young as six years of age who suffer from various learning disabilities using this technology. Due to the recent improvement of voice recognition applications, users find that they can attain a high level of accuracy in a short period of time by receiving proper training and using a USB headset. The ability to perform computing by voice is an absolute necessity for individuals who otherwise would not be able to communicate in written form. It is also a necessity for those who fumble or struggle with a keyboard and cursive writing. Businesses and professionals can, and do, reap the benefits of this technology. In fact, the largest group of users are medical professionals, including doctors. Voice recognition software is also used extensively in the courtroom where transcripts are produced from evidence by court reporters using the technology. Simply by speaking, users can dictate memos, surf the Internet, enter data in Microsoft Excel and create e-mails. In addition, by using a quality digital recorder, users can record their notes and comments, which can then be converted into documents by connecting the recorder to their computer. Employers can attract and retain valuable employees, including those with disabilities. They can also greatly reduce sick time that results from ailments associated with keyboarding. Bottom line: Computing by voice is an invaluable tool for many people with disabilities and a great productivity tool for professionals.

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10 Great Reasons to Use a Mortgage Broker 1) Get independent advice on your financial options. As an independent mortgage broker or agent, we are not tied to any one lender or range of products. Our goal is to help you successfully finance your home or property. We'll start by getting to know you and your homeownership goals and then make a recommendation, drawing from available mortgage products that match your needs. Together, we will decide on what's right for you. 2) Save time with one-stop shopping. It could take weeks for you to organize appointments with competing mortgage lenders—and we know you'd probably rather spend your time house hunting! We work directly with dozens of lenders, and can narrow down a list of those that suit you best. It makes comparison-shopping fast, easy and convenient. 3) We negotiate on your behalf. Many people are uncertain or uncomfortable negotiating mortgages directly with their bank. Brokers negotiate mortgages each and every day on behalf of Canadian home buyers. You can count on our market knowledge to secure competitive rates and terms that benefit you. 4) More choice means more competitive rates. We have access to a network of major lenders in Canada, so your options are extensive. In addition to traditional lenders, we also know what's being offered by credit unions, trust companies and other sources. And we can help you take care of other requirements before your closing date, such as sourcing mortgage default insurance if your down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price. 5) Ensure that you're getting the best rates and terms. Even if you've already been pre-approved for a mortgage by your bank or another financial institution, you're not obliged to stop shopping! Let us investigate to see if there is an alternative to better suit your needs. 6) Get access to special deals and add-ons. Many financial institutions would love to have you as a client, which is why they often offer incentives to attract credit-worthy customers. These can include retail points programs, discounts on appliances, shopping clubs and more. We do the math on which offers might be worth your attention when it comes to financing or mortgage insurance—so you get the perks you deserve. 7) Things move quickly! Our job isn't done until your closing date goes smoothly. We'll help ensure your mortgage transaction takes place on time and to your satisfaction. 8) Get expert advice. When it comes to mortgages, rates and the housing market, we'll speak to you in plain language. We can explain the various mortgage terms and conditions so you can choose confidently. 9) No cost to you. There's absolutely no charge for our services on typical residential mortgage transactions. How can we afford to do that? Like many other professional services such as insurance, mortgage brokers are paid a finder's fee when we introduce trustworthy, dependable customers to a financial institution. These fees are quite standard and nearly industry-wide so that the focus remains on you, the customer. 10) Ongoing support and consultation. Even once your mortgage is signed and paperwork is complete, we are here if you need any advice on closing details or even future referral needs. We are happy to be of assistance when you need it.    Marshall Spencer is a licensed mortgage broker with over 25 years experience in the Ontario mortgage industry. He is the broker of record at RMASpencer Group Mortgages and can be reached by phone at 905-999-0036, by e-mail at or online at View his mortgage and homeowner blog at

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Identity Theft: Are You Ready? Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in North America. With the holiday season now upon us, you and your family need to be proactive about protecting your identity while out shopping or purchasing via the Internet. When attending parties, whether in the home or otherwise, try to take only your driver’s licence, one credit card and minimal cash and carry them in a small wallet that you can stick in your pocket or stash on your person. Many times identity theft is an inside job and could be perpetuated by someone you know. Don’t give them the opportunity by leaving your purse or evening bag lying around while you dance or refresh your drink etc. Take a daily inventory of your actions while out doing your normal routine; you might be surprised at how many times you have left yourself wide open for an identity theft attack. Many people are careful with their personal information: they don’t use bank machines; they don’t put their information on the Internet; and they shred all personal papers. Unfortunately, that’s not enough. We need to take identity theft seriously. You probably have a driver’s licence, a bank account, some form of insurance, a telephone, a video membership…just to name a few. Like the majority of people, you are in hundreds of databases and have no control over this information. Your personal information is valuable and it is being exploited. There are five targeted areas of identity theft. 1. Driver’s Licence Fraud Someone unable to get a driver’s licence obtains one in your name, ends up with speeding charges or a suspended licence. You end up with the problem. 2. Social Insurance Number Fraud A person gets a job or starts up a company with your SIN and does everything right except pay the taxes. Years later, Canada Revenue shows up looking to be paid the back taxes. 3. Medical Identification Fraud What is the value of an OHIP card to someone who has a family member suffering from a serious illness and no medical coverage? What do you do when you show up at the hospital for treatment and records show that you have cancer or AIDS? How will you be dealt with and how will this affect your ability to get life insurance? 4. Character Fraud Your information is taken and they become you, committing crimes in your name, leaving you responsible for the aftermath. How do you clear your good name after you have been arrested for crimes you didn’t commit? 5. Credit Card Fraud Credit card fraud counts for less than 28% of identity thefts. Awareness is key. When identity theft happens to you, you need credit report monitoring, access to legal counsel and real restoration of your good name. According to The Toronto Sun, identity theft will affect one in five Canadians this year alone. The Federal Trade Commission states that it takes an average of 600 hours and $1,500.00 in expenses to do a restoration of your good name. That’s not including the obvious legal expenses that would be incurred. One thing is certain: if you have your identity compromised, you will have yourself a legal problem. You can protect yourself and your family for less than a coffee a day. Educate yourself today so that you are less of a victim tomorrow. It’s not IF it’s WHEN…are you ready? Sandra Cousins – Ind. Associate PPL Legal Care of Canada Corporation 1-866-753-3922

Visit for advertising and sponsorship opportunities. Marshall Spencer AMP Mortgage Broker Lic. # M08000817

48 Vintage Dr., Whitby, ON L1R 2P4

Brokerage Lic.#10655

905-999-0036 ! 905-430-0552 fax

Did you know that a business card ad in this newsletter costs only $10? Submit your business card today and have it appear in our next issue to gain exposure to hundreds of potential clients in Durham Region!


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Dec08.dhsba.newsletter draft1  

This year we launched our fundraising program, which includes the Think and Recycle program. For details, ask any one of your board members....