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5 TIPS TO CREATE

BRAND AWARENESS PRE-LAUNCH

omnipresence be everywhere at once

referrals

with Grant Browning

Back to Basics

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EDITORIAL K A R E N M. LOWE Executive Editor F R A N C IN E GREY Creative Editor K I M BLEY LOWE-B EN N ETT Editor N I C O LE LOWE Editor

8 D e ve lo p ing Re la tio ns hip s To M o v e Yo u r B u sin e ss Fo rwa rd

By D a na Ben David

12 W H Y B RAND I NG IS I M P O RTANT D URI NG A C RI SIS

By M AK EDA WATERM A N


44

TABLE OF CONTENTS

RESO URC ES

Page 6

REFERRALS: BACK TO BASICS

By Ayobami O. Balogun

16

Page 36

FROM DISPOSABLE CAMERAS TO RAPTORS 905 PHOTOGRAPHY The Journey To Living My Passion

5 TIPS TO CREATE : BR AND AWAR ENESS P RE-L AU NC H

By Amanda Coffey

By Margaret Dron

Page 38

O P P O RTU NITI ES A R I S I N G D U R I N G TH E PA ND EM I C

30

By Crystal-Marie Sealy

T H REE K EYS TO

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C L O S IN G AN Y SALE

D I Y B O O K K EEP I NG

By

with Q u ic k bo o k s

Travis Edwards

By Sylvia Schultz

32 Ele vate Yo ur C us to m e r Ex p e r ie nc e Using a CRM P la tfo r m

By Lucy Gregory & Daphne Wong


editor’s note Just a reminder, I sometimes use this medium to ramble and this may very well be one of those occasions. Over time, you will see other editors ramble here as well. I was told recently by a friend that I am great at prospecting, while she cannot do it, she is too afraid of rejection. I have a secret to tell you? I am great at starting stuff, a great organizer, a great motivator, great at idea generation, but I have a massive fear of interviews, tests and being rejected. Yes, I am afraid, and yet I am in school long enough to get my doctorate (lots of tests), need to prospect many strangers/entrepreneurs for the magazine (interviews and rejections). At the start of the magazine, I could only get two persons to say yes. For each person who said yes, there was a hundred requests that went out. Eventually, I must ask twenty persons for each yes. The probability of receiving yeses are increasing and getting better, with the success of the magazine; however, I am still getting rejection all around. So why and how do I keep doing this? I know many persons who do not try because of fear, but here is the thing, the very dream you want the hardest has an obstacle called fear, I do not care who you are. This magazine allows me to combine and execute my many passions, which are learning, helping people, business consulting and entrepreneurship. Safe means building someone else’s dream and that is just silly. I may end up putting in the same amount of work but have fewer rewards. We all have strengths and passions, focus on those, focus on developing your zeal and your strengths and use someone else to help with the fear. At first, I felt crushed that very few believed in my vision, especially those who said they would help, but they did not. I eventually realized that they did not know how to help or just could not. Some did not even hear my call for help. Eventually, I did not care enough to feel fear when faced with no. If one person said no, I asked someone else, it is all part of the job. Fear of rejection was reframed into something else. In the meantime, negate your fear with your strengths and your passions. Stay Motivated!

KAR E N M . L O W E Executive Editor


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Copyright 2019 Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine. ISSN 2562-5330 (Print) ISSN 2562-5349 (Online) All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be copied, reprinted, displayed, edited or distributed without the written consent of Epigram Consulting Services Inc. Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine is a Canadian Magazine, published and distributed by Epigram Consulting Services, located in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.


referrals: back to basics Give people a reason to want to refer you. In my case, a lot of individuals I worked with feedback about how quickly my turnaround is. This is one of their selling-points when referring my services to people in their network. Being aware of this, I go the extra mile to ensure I do not disappoint, and the photos are delivered within the agreed timeframe. In instances when your delivery schedule is impacted for any reason, be sure to give the client a heads-up and agree upon a new achievable timeframe. Communication is key!

Tap into your network: When I first started taking photographs, I focused mainly on helping close friends with their photography projects and needs. I did this without a charge. However, after deciding to turn my passion into a business, I had to figure out a way to get paying clients. I did this by reaching out to friends I had worked with and asked that they refer me to people who were in need of photography services. One benefit of tapping into your network is that you can leverage your social ties to test out and introduce your services to the market.

Manage expectations Receiving a referral is an exciting feeling; however, you still have a service to deliver as a business owner. Your job is to understand your client’s needs and help them understand you are able to offer a service. It is totally fine if a referral does not result in a sale. However, it would have been worse if you got excited, heard the client’s needs, over-promised then under-delivered. If you are not sure about any item on their list of requirements, it is ok to ask if you can get back to them on that. Run your numbers, assess the feasibility and determine a path forward for execution before agreeing to deliver a service that is out of your usual scope or current capacity.

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Follow-up Following up with a phone call or email helps gain new referrals from existing clients. Do not start a followup conversation asking the client for referrals. Always keep the focus on making the client feel good about the service they received, which you delivered. Talk about how you enjoyed having them at your place of business, and how they were great to work with. Ask how they felt about the services they received and address any concerns that come up in their response to your question. After you are satisfied with making the client happy, proceed to let them know you would appreciate it if they referred you to anyone they know who would require your services. Remember, you are not entitled to a referral, but you may never get one if you do not ask.

Use social media Send direct messages to people. In order to do this, you should have a game-plan. Write a concise note that includes a personalized compliment about this individual, your reason(s) for offering your services to them and your business contact information for how they can reach you if they have further questions. Including these elements into your message would reduce the chances of your message coming across as spam. Get comfortable with not getting a response from people and be prepared to follow-through when they do respond.

by: Ayobami O. Balogun

Contact: www.instagram.com/aobyyc

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developing relationships Photo Credit: SABRINA DOMIZE

To Move Your Business Forward

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elationships are the core of our business’ success. Meaningful engagement and earned trust are the foundations of what we hope will be long-lasting relationships, as our core value at healthybud is community. Without it, we simply would not grow or survive! I will be sharing 3 sectors of healthybud that are crucial to our business and would not exist without having nurtured and developed strong relationships.

Internal company It all starts at home with the dynamic that exists at the founders’ level. Choosing your partners wisely and cautiously is the secret recipe to a productive, successful and healthy company. Having different but complementary skills and respecting each other’s differences is important to develop mutual respect and understanding as business partners. We practise open communication as much as possible and articulate

honestly. We give each other praise and hold each other accountable when due. Getting to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses first and foremost, and being transparent about them helps us not waste time, and act accordingly. We learn to acknowledge each other’s sensitivities while trying not to operate with emotion. We do our best to remove the ego from the equation and separate business from pleasure (we have each developed our relationships far before healthybud was founded). Hanging out as a team outside of work is always a great way to get to know each other better (and differently) while creating deeper relationships and new memories. This almost always positively translates to the day-today dynamic. Making sure to celebrate victories and milestones, creating new memories as a team, is a great relationship builder as well.

Partners We consider our partners to be extensions of our core team. We value them deeply and do our best to nurture those relationships in a variety of ways, so they know how important they are to us. The most important element is staying in touch - following up, checking in, and being thoughtful with our messages. Once COVID hit, we made sure to reach out by phone and email simply to check in on how our partners were doing and if there was any way we could help support them during such difficult, unconventional times. We have built a strong, loyal and engaged online community so we ensure to cross-promote as well to help support our partners and further develop those relationships through online medium.We love supporting small, local businesses, so we encourage our community to do the same. (Instagram has now developed new features that make cross-promoting easy and effective).

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From our experience, that kind of outreach and gesture has gone a long way with our partners. A more timeless approach is sending handwritten, personalized cards and sending small gifts during holidays. There are countless ways to be thoughtful and to show appreciation, but we always found that the most simple but genuine gestures are the most effective. Showing your partners you care goes a long way when building, developing and maintaining relationships.

Community The online community we have built and continue to grow (a.k.a. the #healthygang) is an essential and core part of our brand. Connecting with other like-minded, health-conscious pet parents striving to create the best life for their pet through nutrition, education, and community is exactly what we are about. Their feedback and engagement help drive our company’s direction and incorporate their input and insight into our company developments. But building an online community today

is no small task. After growing our following to 6000 in 1 year, here are some tips I can share about community building and maintenance:

Provide value: ‘followers’ will easily fall off the track if all you do as a company is talk about yourself (your product, your achievements, your launches, etcetera.) Finding a way to ensure that your community is part of your narrative is so important when building and maintaining that dynamic. One great way to do that is by providing them with value. In our case, that is educational content that they can incorporate into their day-to-day lives as pet parents. We show our community that we care about them and their wellbeing by providing them with tips and information through conversational posts, encouraging them to join the conversation. Whatever your business is, find out what you can offer your community (besides your product offering) at no charge.

Engage: This is key today - I like to think of modern online engagement like social currency (a ‘like’ being valued at the lowest end - let us say $1, a comment at $10, a repost at $20, and an actual personal private DM conversation is priceless - when done tactfully). The entire world is online today, which makes cutting through the noise and getting noticed all the more difficult. It is easy to forget that accounts have real people behind them, but remember that real people like to be engaged with, feel noticed, appreciated, etcetera. Take the time to communicate with your customers/following (it’s called social media for a reason!) If you have an email list, use it (again, mindfully and without spamming, of course). The time you take to do these small actions will go a long way and surely help move your business forward.

Get creative: We have built our own ambassadors program, where we have onboarded a handful of pet parents

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in North America to be part of our first ambassador community. In this private Facebook group, we make sure to communicate and show them how instrumental they are to our business, and that we consider them as part of the team. We provide them with support when needed, 1-on-1 calls, bi-monthly zoom meetings to talk about all things pet parenting and get their input and advice, share information that has not been released to the public yet, etcetera. All these gestures can get you well on your way to developing lasting relationships, but the rule of thumb is to engage with people the way you would want to be engaged with. Meaningful relationships are not born overnight - it takes time, but it is well worth the investment.

“DANA BEN DAVID IS A CO-FOUNDER OF HEALTHYBUD, A CANADIAN STARTUP IN THE PET SPACE. THEIR MISSION IS TO MAKE PET PARENTING SIMPLER THROUGH POWERFUL & PURPOSEFUL NUTRITION, EDUCATION AND A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY. DANA’S ROLE ENCOMPASSES SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, BRANDING AND COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT.” https://healthybud.co/

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WHY BRANDING IS IMPORTANT DURING A CRISIS We woke up one Morning,

Turned on the News, and the Reality of

Covid 19 Had Shut Down the

Entire World!

M

ost business owners were forced to close down or pivot in a new direction. At this time, people are finding new ways to stand out from competitors online.

A popular topic that entrepreneurs are talking about is branding. Branding uses distinctive wording and designs and puts your company front and centre in the minds of your consumers. Here are some reasons why branding can help your company thrive during this time.

Social Media Usage Has Increased According to Statista.com, social media usage is up by 64% on YouTube, 62% on Facebook, 42% on Instagram and 15 percent on LinkedIn. What does this mean for you? DRE A ME R 2 C R EA T O R B USI N ESS M A G A Z I N E

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It opens up an opportunity to share more videos, blogs, and posts to attract new customers. Here are ideas that can help you shine online: Go live every week Blog once a week Share videos of your employees Be transparent about your journey. In 2020 consumers are interested in learning more about a company. Most people want to know a company’s beliefs and interests before investing their money. If you engage with this strategy, you will slowly build trust with your audience.

The Downfall of Companies is Increasing COVID 19 and a lack of branding has caused companies such as Airbnb, Neiman Marcus, and Virgin Atlantic to suffer. These companies focused on business development and failed to put building an international reputation as a high priority. On the bright side, companies that invested in branding campaigns such as Zoom and Clorox are winning over the competition. Companies are repurposing their products and adding new services to survive during this unprecedented time. An effective branding strategy will help differentiate yourself from established companies in the market.

Your Reputation Will Help Your Business As we are in quarantine, it is good to focus on what you do best and share it every day on the internet. When we open up our apps, we receive a lot of information from different companies. It is essential to realize that being the best in your industry will help you stand out. If you or your team increase the number of social media posts, you will have a higher chance of succeeding. As you navigate your business online, you will learn new skills to market your business.

Final Thoughts The new state of branding is creating a visible presence on the internet for what you do best. You can accomplish this by using email marketing, social media, and online advertising. It is important to remember that the world spends more time on social media than television. YouTube is the new television. Blogs are the new emails, and online advertising is the new way of getting more eyes on your content. I hope you do not underestimate the value of being seen on the internet or building an online community. COVID 19 has impacted many businesses, but you have the control to change this reality. Good luck.

By: Makeda Waterman, Copywriter Branding Consultant Top Writing Services Inc. Contact: https://www.freelancewriteredmonton.com/

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“PEOPLE DON’T BUY WHAT YOU DO, THEY BUY WHY YOU DO IT.”

SIMON SINEK, AUTHOR


5 TIPS TO CREATE:

BRAND AWARENESS PRE-LAUNCH

you are not only creating a product or service, but there is an underlying value to what you have created. In creating this value for a customer, to carve out your niche, it is critical to look outside of what you alone individually value.

C

lose your eyes for a second, and think about some of the most popular, well-known brands out there. Which ones come to mind? It could be a clothing franchise; maybe it’s a food chain or even a particular social media app. You know who they are, what they stand for and what they offer. That is because they are established. As a result, creating brand awareness is not exactly a priority for them, like it used to be.

Now, not only do you have to launch your product/ service, but you also have to tell people who you are, Why they should buy from you and why they should trust you.

However, for your brand, it is. If you pre-launch, chances are no one knows who you are (except for the friends and family of your team, and maybe some investors if you have got them).

Here are 5 tips to effectively create brand awareness pre-launch, when no one really knows who you are (yet):

What if I told you that you could begin earning that trust before you have even gone live with your business? It is possible and it is in your company’s best interest to do so.

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different enough that they are not a competitor. Offer to guest write a blog post, or to go on a podcast episode. Not only are you creating awareness for your brand this way, but you will also be able to position yourself as an expert in your industry. TIP 3: Build a social media presence and start interacting with your audience When you first set up your social media channels, your audience is going to be reasonably small. That is natural! But it is also the perfect opportunity to really interact with your audience. Reply to their comments, host IG/FB lives, and answer DMs! Find ways to provide them with value, even if your company is not fully launched yet. The benefit you get in return is a lot of early feedback – which you can use to perfect your product/service. This is your chance to build direct trust and establish who you are as a company.

TIP 1: Leverage existing audiences of traditional publications You might not have an audience right now, so you need to leverage the existing trusted media audiences. Think newspapers and magazines. They, of course, need to be relevant to your geographical audience. Are you launching to a single province? Nationwide? Going after the North American market? Make sure to cover all your bases. Tell them who you are, but make it newsworthy because you are trying to offer them value too. Attach a sample article to help get the ball rolling, but be open to collaboration. Sometimes, they might want to commission a journalist to write about you instead. TIP 2: Target more non-traditional media Now it is time to think outside the box. There are so many different ways people get their information now, from podcasts to blogs, to social media. Take advantage of that, and get creative! Seek out similar brands to share common core values with you, but DRE A ME R 2 C R EA T O R B USI N ESS M A G A Z I N E

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TIP 4: Provide value and build hype with a free _____ Fill in the blank: guide, how-to, recipe, etcetera. Something relevant to your brand that you can provide to your audience for free. It is an act of good faith and will give your audience a taste of the value you will continue to provide. A quick win is a perfect way to earn trust while getting your audience excited for your launch. TIP 5: Set up an email newsletter This is something you can tie into point 4. If your website is not ready to go live just yet, set up a landing page that offers a free ___(newsletter, guide, recipe, etcetera.) in exchange for that person’s email. You are providing them with value, while simultaneously building that much-coveted email marketing list! You can now communicate directly with your audience to inform them of upcoming promotions and important information (i.e., your launch date!). --Listen, we know that launching your company can seem daunting. It might even feel like you are a brand new band playing your first gig to an empty audience (insert cricket noises here). That is precisely why it is so important to start creating brand awareness before you have gone live. Please make it so that you do not have to start earning trust the same day you finally launch your business. Build enough hype so that people cannot wait for you to launch, and are already lining up to buy before your doors are open. Start building relationships as early as possible using the tips listed above. That will ensure you are not putting on an amazing show for empty chairs. And do not forget all those popular brands you thought of at the beginning of this article? They all started unknown, too.

By: Margaret Dron

Contact: https://gardenmanager.com/

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Grant Browning

omnipresence be everywhere at once

Please introduce yourself to our readers. Grant: My name is Grant Browning. I am the founder, president and CEO of Carib 101, which includes Toronto Caribbean Newspaper, Carib 101 Radio and TCN TV Network. What is your first memory or life experience that led you to become an entrepreneur? Grant: As a kid, my uncle was my inspiration. He was always an entrepreneur, self-employed. When he came to visit he had the best things: the latest shoes, the latest vehicles. I looked at him like a hero. I gravitated towards entrepreneurship because of him. In terms of the newspaper, how was it first conceived? Grant: When Carib 101 started, I partnered with a club owner in the Caribbean industry. We decided to come up with this infotainment website. Due to a difference of opinion, we decided to part ways. I took the design elements and opened Carib 101. It morphed! My background has always been in business marketing and promotion. When we first started, social media options were MySpace, Hi5, and MSN. I focused on utilizing these tools because we did not have a budget. I used all my skills in graphics and marketing, and we broke several records that caused an upset for many people in the scene. We transformed the entertainment world. Originally an infotainment website, Carib 101 was covering the club scene and similar material. Eventually, we started

breaking into news. The market changed; Facebook came in with direct targeted marketing tools which knocked out all infotainment websites. It’s is the biggest joke now. I remember coming out of the shower one day with an idea. I said to my wife, Trish, “We are going to start a newspaper!” Our clients were always telling us they wanted print, but we couldn’t fathom going backwards,

I used all my skills in graphics and marketing, and we broke several records that caused an upset for many people in the scene.

until that day. My wife panicked. At the time, we had a Nissan Altima, and she was concerned about the details of delivery, cash flow, and the overall process of transition. I told her to just trust me; let’s try it. We had no money going into the first edition. We used our credibility with our advertisers to fund it, and thankfully, the first edition was well received. Within two years, it became the largest in Toronto and about a year and a half ago, we became the leading newspaper in Canada.

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Photo Credit: JONATHAN PRODUCTIONS - JONATHAN LEWIS

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How often is the newspaper published? Grant: Every two weeks and we publish and distribute 20,000 copies that we print physically. You still go out and deliver the papers because you want to be close to the action. How do you manage all of your roles and tasks? Grant: At first, it was both myself and Trish. Initially, we had an abundance of time, so we both worked together to do what we could before it would become overwhelming. Then we had to get help. Do it, delegate it, delete it! You have to know your strengths. Trish is good with people. She came from a customer service background and has patience. I, however, do not always exercise that skill. I am a part of a community and have learned that you have to show support if you want support. We have a driver that takes care of all the downtown Toronto area; I take care of about 80% of the other areas. I do it because it develops relationships. You cannot decide some tasks are below your standards. It is tedious, sometimes frustrating or exhausting, and sometimes things do not go well. You have to invest

in your business; people do business with you when they know you, like you and trust you. You have a creative background. Tell me what training is needed to manage the creative side of the business. Grant: Trial and error have been my process of education. I never went to a university, and I never finished high school, but have completed some online courses. I believe the skills I have come naturally to me. Since I was in my late teens, I was always involved with marketing. I worked a lot with my uncle, the entrepreneur. He gave me much guidance and taught me business principles. He also introduced me to different organizations; that is where I received my training, on the job training. He taught me to persevere until the job is done. In a world where everything is free, go on YouTube. You can find videos on any topic you want on YouTube and learn anything you want.

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You started small and now have a company with different divisions. Talk me through your process of scaling up. Grant: Carib 101 Media Group is the head of the company. It started in 2006. Under that heading, we have the Toronto Caribbean Newspaper that operates in Ontario and has an international readership, with reporters in Jamaica and UK, and soon to be Trinidad. The newspaper was started in 2012. The TCN TV Network was launched in 2017 and is viewed all over Canada. We did not really start small. For our first edition, we printed 5000 copies. Within two to three months, we went to 10,000 copies. The most common problem, especially as a business owner, is cutting corners with our finances. You cannot make money and save money. You must focus on one or the other. Every time we have extra money, even to this day, we always dump it back into marketing and upgrades to expand. We wanted to conquer the market. We did not just want to exist. As an entrepreneur and business owner, be careful whom you listen to. Choose people that exhibit the life you want. I searched for entrepreneurs that were building their business as a couple. There are often conflicts that arise within a marriage, compounded with working together in business, I anticipated additional frustrations. I needed mentors that built as a couple and had what I wanted to get, so I went and found a few of them.

We have plans for expansion into the Montreal and Vancouver markets. You have a few different divisions now. How do they coexist? Grant: They complement each other. It is all media base. Whatever we do, we stay focused on our main thing, which for us is the newspaper. Anything that we do outside of that has to complement what we are currently doing. This gives us the opportunity to market and bring new types of exposure to our brand, including anybody who comes through TCN. We have had Doug Ford visit, many different people coming through, and it gives exposure to TCN and all the newspapers as well. It is our strategy for managing everything.

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Was the idea for Carib 101 and the newspaper tested? Grant: Everybody waits for the perfect time. The best thing to do is just throwing the mud on the wall and see what sticks. Whatever sticks, you work. After some time, you can start to fine-tune your product or service by using the experience, data and all other information you have collected. You can have the perfect business plan, have all your ducks in a row spend months planning. But it will not dictate your success. Just start and see how the public receives it. How did you choose your market? Grant: I realized a need in the market. I have been around Caribbean people all my life. I was born in Canada, but I have family from Trinidad and partnered with a Caribbean bar. We spent a lot of time with the community and were observant of their needs.

Micro-entrepreneurs only have themselves or maybe one other employee. They do not have the financial resources required. How can they pivot or diversify, ensuring that they have a profitable business? You have had a lot of years of experience to expand and change. How can they do it with their limitations? Grant: They have time. Use the concept of omnipresent, being everywhere at once. That is all we did. Whatever the platform, present yourself on it. If there was a new platform, we get on it. This TikTok drives me nuts, but we have a presence there. There are so many tools that are out there that can distribute your content for you. You just upload your information there, and it distributes it to all, presenting our concept everywhere, extending our presence to far-reaching locations before we could physically get there.

How does a business owner not get caught up in doing everything? Grant: I think you have to. I say that based on my experience. We had a customer who did tinting, and he used to hire tinters. For a variety of reasons, they would quit, and he would have no business because he did not know how to tint. You have to know all the aspects of your business.

DRE A ME R 2 C R EA T O R B USI N ESS M A G A Z I N E

Everybody waits for the perfect time. The best thing to do is just throwing the mud on the wall and see what sticks.

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Otherwise, if you are in a situation where an employee is sick, God forbid something happens where they have to take a month off, or they quit. Your business is done, or that division is done. You have to be able to know how to do all the different roles of your business. As you grow, you are able to delegate and scale down how much you take on. When Trish and I were no longer able to manage the workload on our own, one of the first employees we took on to help was a journalist. She knew we needed someone

If they want to survive at what they are doing, they have to learn how to become entrepreneurs, do their own blogs and all the different tasks that need to be done.

to take care of some bookkeeping, and we were not looking for a journalist. Nevertheless, she started one day per week before she became full time. As the business grew, she

progressed to event coverage. This, in itself, was part of the scaling process. How did you acquire your advertisers? Grant: Our first couple of advertisers were carryovers from our previous business, ones with whom we had credibility already. Then slowly but surely, as the name started getting out there, our integrity brought in more. What are two business challenges or obstacles in starting up the operation, and how did you overcome them? Grant: Obviously, finances are a major obstacle. You have to have an understanding of your finances. When we started, we were living in a beat-up old apartment. We started with the car and were making three trips. We had new bundles and newspapers all around her backseat; the trunk was full. Eventually, I said, “we need to get something bigger.� I bought a used Ford Windstar, and then I spent $10,000 trying to get that fixed over the next four months. It was progress, but it was also one of the biggest challenges that I experienced. You cannot expect to make money for the first two years minimum. Any extra money you have, you need to put it back in your business. Mentality is number two. Many people want to be entrepreneurs, but they cannot do so with a corporate job mentality, of working 9 to 5. You have to train yourself


away from that mindset. As entrepreneurs, we were putting in 15/20 hours per day. You have to have the willpower to put in whatever is required. Why would you not do print nationally? Grant: It is expensive to do, and you have got to find the right people. We get many reporters that are fresh out of school and need that experience. Unfortunately, in school, they do not teach them how to be entrepreneurs. They do not teach them the part about making money. They just teach them how to be reporters; they come out with this automatic impression that they need to be paid big money because they have this skill. I had to show them, 1500 students per year graduate as journalism students, and they will not find 1500 jobs available. If they want to survive at what they are doing, they have to learn how to become entrepreneurs, do their own blogs and all the different tasks that need to be done. Create their value in their worth so they can contribute to my business and be paid well for it. Another example is, when it comes to our deliveries, I have seen how other people deliver. They do not care, and we take pride in it; we were the only paper that takes back returns. We do it so we can also monitor what is going on. We know if a place is getting too much. We can also monitor cover sales. If there is a predominantly Jamaican cover or something, we know that they will not always get picked up in the Trinidadian locations. You need a good balance. Entrepreneurship is heavy on time and mental capacity. You have to balance your family and your marriage? How did you persevere? Were you ever tempted to give up? Grant: We did not have a choice but to stay committed. It was do or die, and for us that that was the best position to be in. One of my mentors talks about that all the time. He says, “If you are in a situation where you live close to your family, you can always fall back at them; you will never know your true potential. But if you put yourself in a position where you cannot rely on family or a bailout, you will be amazed at what you can do. I was never tempted. In life, you have to do something or end up on welfare. You have to contribute to society in

some way, and I do not like ‘regular’ jobs. I knew that every low moment was temporary, so I pushed through. I consumed myself with personal development. I surrounded myself with people that were doing what they are set out to do. It is a mind game. Find something that lifts your spirits. Play music, change tasks or take a break. I think it was our second year; I would visit my uncle every second weekend to help him renovate his house. It was an escape from my reality; it gave me time to think and process what was happening in the business or an opportunity to not think at all. I would be gone for two or three days, come back home and have a refreshed mindset. With the break, I was able to reexamine the issue or problem and attack it differently. Do you look at other industries for inspiration? Grant: I watch everything because of marketing. I have always been big on observation. I watch several markets because I am interested in how people make money. I watch everything, including understanding how people make money on Instagram. I finally discovered how they did it. It has to do with a lot of networking and putting it out for marketing. You can advertise on their profiles. Even where they combine everybody’s together, you can

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advertise to 20 million followers. Now how can you apply that principle to your business? How can you apply those principles to TCM? You can learn from every industry, just have an open mind. What can other entrepreneurs learn from your industry? Grant: Omnipresence. Get your name everywhere, utilizing every platform available. That is all that it is. At the end of the day, money follows attention. It does not matter what industry you are in. How can you get attention? Put your name out there. Anything you’d like to share, that I did not ask you? Grant: Again, be careful who gets in your ear. If we had listened to everyone, we would still be in that apartment. Looking back now, it sounds like this amazing story, but when you are struggling through it, it’s not easy. We had family members who said, “Why don’t you get a job like everybody else?” If you listen to that stuff, you will never end up where you want to be. Entrepreneurship requires perseverance. You have to push through. Know that everything in life is temporary, whether it is good or bad. There is an old saying that states, ‘Success is rented.’ It really is. You have to push forward every day. ‘How you do anything is how you do everything.’ Persevere. Do not be afraid to do the dirty work. Utilize your time. It does not take money to make money; it takes time! Whenever you want to start to find out who is has got your money and go after it. Document everything. You never know when you will need pictures and videos.

Contact: https://torontocaribbean.com/ https://carib101.com/ Reuters

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advertise with us Call 647-955-3567 or Email: ads@dreamer2creatormag.ca

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three Keys to Closing Any Sale I use to really “suck” at all sales, I was horrible until I discovered three keys to closing any sale. In fact, it was the last piece I was missing in the puzzle that put a chokehold on my business.

At the heart of any sale, there is a transference of emotion from you to the prospect. The emotion you are transferring is certainty. There are two types of certainty, logical and emotional. I am sure you have heard this a million times, but if the prospect is not emotionally connected with your product or service, they will not buy from you. In other words, people buy for emotional reasons. They have to see themselves using your product or service before they buy it. However, prospects justify their decision with logic. Your product or service has to make logical sense to them; they need to know that it works. It is your responsibility as a salesperson to prove a logical case to them. You must lead with logical certainty to help the prospect get emotionally connected with your product or service.

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y name is Travis Edwards and the owner of one of the fastest-growing personal training brands, called House Of Sweat Inc. I became an entrepreneur at the age of 22 and lacked most of the skills to run a business successfully. The one skill that I desperately needed help with was sales, and it took a while to master this skill. Today, my goal is to shorten your learning curve so you can apply these keys in your business right away. There are three things you must do to close any sale. It does not matter if you are doing a phone sale, inperson consultation or selling from the stage. If any of these elements are missing, your closing percentage will decrease.

Well, how do you build the critical element called certainty in your prospect? I want you to understand that you already have a high level of confidence in yourself as well as your product or service, or you would not be in your line of business. I want to think about certainty being rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Because you have confidence in yourself and your service or product, your certainty rating will hopefully be a 10. However, the prospects’ initial rating might be anywhere from 2-4, and your goal is to get them to a 10, which is where you are. Do you see the problem? How do you do that? Here are the three keys to building a certainty level of 10 or as close as possible.

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THREE

the prospect must trust your product or service. How is this done? Simple, your product or service must deliver results. Without results, you have no business. Typically, I show prospective clients before and after pictures of current clients or have them listen to testimonials similar to their situation. I speak in their language and relate to their particular situation. This increases their certainty level. So, the key is to have the prospect trust you, your business and product or service. If any of these are missing, you will find that the closing ratio will be all over the place. If you need help with this, feel free to reach out to me at info@ houseofsweat.ca, and I will be glad to assist you.

ONE

the prospect must trust you. I am sure you have heard this, but prospects do not buy from people they do not like, know, or trust. How do you build trust? You do that by telling the prospect of your experience with the product or service. You can also do that through credibility (for example, if you are an author). If none of those are possible, tell why you got started in that industry. So, when I am talking to a potential client, I say why I got started in the fitness industry, and I am the author of the book, The Secrets to Success in Diet and Exercise: The Art of Keeping It Simple. My story is also very emotional, which connects them to me. The key is to form that emotional connection with the potential client.

TWO

the prospect must trust your company. If the prospect does not know about your company or has heard bad things about it, they will most likely not buy from you. The best way to get the prospect to trust the company is through credibility. For example, House Of Sweat Inc. has been in business for the last 6 years, serving more than 200 clients, or the leadership team’s combined experience is more than 20 years. When a prospect hears something like this, logically, their thinking is likely to shift to ‘the business could not be in operation that long without being good or have a track record.

by: TRAVIS EDWARDS Contact: https://www.houseofsweat.ca/

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ELEVATE YOUR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE USING A CRM PLATFORM

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t is time for some brutal honesty. Even if you are a total genius at what you do, if clients and customers do not have a good experience working with you, you will face real challenges growing your business. Of course, developing a client process and getting a firm handle on how you are going to communicate with customers is a difficult task when you are just starting a business. This can be particularly challenging, especially when you are already wearing multiple hats, working with limited resources, and constantly changing your mind about everything. That first year or two is hard work, and things constantly feel like they are in flux. So, it is often easier and feels like the smarter plan to leave the client management side of things loose and flexible until you find your groove and have enough customers that you, yourself, need a

better system for handling them all. However, we are here to say that it is never actually too soon to start thinking about this. Because, in the end, how you communicate with customers and how they experience working with you will be the thing that helps your business thrive. WHY DOES CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION & EXPERIENCE MATTER SO MUCH? Just think about your purchasing habits and the businesses you work with. When things are confusing or vague, or you end up with more work because something was not communicated well, do you feel like giving that business another shot? Maybe if it is someone you know, but if it is not, chances are you will be on the hunt for a new provider that is not such a pain to work with. You have to remember that consumers are busy people, and convenience holds a high stature in society. So, when you throw roadblocks in front of people, even tiny ones, it can ultimately affect your revenue stream. HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION & CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE? The best way to handle your communications and experience is to invest in a client relationship management (CRM) platform. It might feel unnecessary at first; you may not know what you actually need out of one yet or have enough customers to justify the cost after all. Thankfully, the world has changed somewhat, and investing in a CRM platform does not have to be a considerable commitment. With free options out there and most providers

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offering monthly rates and cancel ‘anytime’ contracts, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to bite the bullet, test things out for a while, and move on if it is not working for you. Obviously, there is a time investment transferring over data if you decide to switch services down the road but, when you are small, this is often negligible, so you do not need to put the whole thing off for that one reason. WHAT DO CRM PLATFORMS ACTUALLY DO? Every platform has its own distinctive features, but in a nutshell, a CRM is a database where you can keep all of your clients information and track their interactions with your business. It becomes the central depository for all of your quotes, invoices, intake forms, emails, and other customer documents and keeps things organized so you can access everything with

Because, in the end, how you communicate with customers and how they experience working with you will be the thing that helps your business thrive.

ease. It will tell you when a customer has opened a proposal or paid an invoice and let you create automated workflows, so you do not have to personally manage every single interaction (like sending an acknowledgment email whenever someone submits something). It can even allow you to track leads, forecast sales, alert you to opportunities for cross-promotion, and provide analytics to make data-driven decisions for your business. A CRM can do a lot and, if you had not already noticed, it is not just the customer who benefits from you having one. A CRM will reduce your workload too. CAN YOU RECOMMEND A CRM? If you are looking for a free option, look no further than HubSpot’s CRM. Its base features are incredibly robust, and as you grow, you can always add on some of their other services like their Marketing Hub or their Sales Hub for expanded functionality. When we first started our business, we used 17 Hats, which is an excellent entry-level CRM for small businesses or solopreneurs. After growing a bit, we use Dubsado, which, full disclosure, we love so much that we became an affiliate. If you like it too, you can use the code ‘designbuildgrow’ at the link provided to get 20% off your first month or year! If none of those seem right for you, start Googling because there are many great options out there. By: Lucy Gregory & Daphne Wong Business: Design Build Grow Website: www.designbuildandgrow.com Contact: hello@designbuildandgrow.com

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PAINT OR DRAW A PICTURE OF YOUR VISION THEN HANG IT WHERE YOU CAN SEE IT ON A REGULAR BASIS.

from Dreamer to creator: reframing deterrents in our paths

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from disposable cameras to raptors 905 photography The Journey To Living My Passion

as someone who could do those things having grown up in a fairly traditional generation where most of us graduated high school and became police officers or teachers; I chose the latter. I devoted my time to my education and playing sports, always considering photography and videography as something that I did not quite have the skills to achieve professionally.

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s a kid growing up, I still remember the thrill I felt when I had a new roll of film to take to the store and have developed. I would wait for what seems like an eternity, to carefully pull back the sealed envelope and take my first glimpse at the fruits of my labour. I took disposable cameras everywhere and kept meticulously organized photo albums from every vacation to documenting my daily life. I think I knew then, that photography would always be a part of me, no matter what road I chose to go down. I always considered myself someone who loved the arts, and I became obsessed with film, television and music videos from a cinematographer’s perspective. The funny part was, I never really considered myself

After graduating from University, I was beyond privileged to have my parents gift me my very first Canon DSLR as a graduation gift. It was there that I fell in love with creating, all over again. I travelled to South Korea to teach English and documented every minute of my life for years on that Rebel XTI until it had no shutter clicks left to give. I began shooting my travels, portraits of friends, weddings, sports, engagements, families, live music and concerts; basically, I shot anything I could get my hands on. I still shoot a variety of things and specifically have my own wedding photography business that is my secondary source of income at the moment. However, over the years, I have honed down my niche to focus solely on my interests and what is a financially viable way to do what I love. Finding the courage to do what you love is one thing, finding your niche AND a way to pay your bills is an entirely different story and takes time in my experience. Over the past two years, I have worked hard to build my name up in the sports industry, resulting in opportunities I am forever grateful for. I regularly shoot the Raptors 905 of the NBA G League for ATB News and I am a contributor to West End Phoenix. Most notably, last year I was hired by Maclean’s Magazine to cover Jurassic Park during the

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Raptors Championship Playoff run, where my photos were featured online as well as in the commemorative issue. The road to get here has been full of setbacks and successes. There is an even longer road ahead because I feel like I am not even close to where I would like to be; getting paid regularly to shoot professionally and letting go of my day job. So how did I get to where I currently am, and what am I doing to continue to propel myself forward? Education: I focused on learning the skills of my craft. I remember starting out and having all kinds of technical issues during shoots, coming home after a wedding to find out half the pictures I took were out of focus or underexposed. I never had formal training to learn photography, so the internet has easily become my best friend to access some of the best free training the world has to offer. Adobe Creative Suite and SkillShare are monthly paid memberships and have thousands of tutorials on how to upgrade your talents in a variety of areas. Invest in your Gear: There is absolutely nothing worse than trying to shoot sports photography without a camera and lenses that can handle the game’s fastpaced nature. When I began shooting basketball, it was on an 85mm prime lens that my sister would lend me and do not get me wrong, the bokeh looked pretty, but it was not realistic to continue shooting on something designed for portraiture when you need something for speed. Having a computer with the

correct specifications for speed and memory so that you can cull, sort, and edit your photos efficiently is paramount to proper workflow and turnaround times for your clients. There is no excuse in this industry for not meeting a deadline, and your gear needs to make the cut. Network and Do Not Take No for an Answer: I still remember the day I stood in line at Nike Crown League with a white spectator wristband watching all the approved media get their orange cards on black lanyards and bypassing me in the crowd. I had heard about Crown League through the grapevine and registered myself online, packed up my gear and headed downtown Toronto to see what it was about. The league ran for five consecutive weeks and I showed up week after week, with my white wristband and used the chance to connect with people at the event, fellow photographers and videographers, until eventually on the last week, I was given my own media pass to cover the event for a local basketball news outlet, On Point Basketball. Over those five weeks, I made connections that turned into continued work in the field; got the chance to be on the ATB Media team covering the Raptors 905; and built a portfolio that was noticed online by a freelance photo editor, Jalani Morgan, who gave me my initial opportunity with Maclean’s. In short, network with people as much as possible.

by: Amanda Coffey

Contact: http://www.amandaleecoffey.com/

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OPPORTUNITIES ARISING DURING THE PANDEMIC

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e have lost loved ones, jobs, businesses, income and community safety nets, but I hope to help us come out the other end healthy and wealthy, in honour of our losses. As we navigate this Pandemic, I hope this deepens our sense of possibility. SUCCESSES ALREADY EMERGING Eric Yuan’s Zoom video conferencing and Jeff Bezos’ Amazon are making a mint. Who is paying? People and companies whose industries remain untouched, and those who grabbed time-sensitive opportunities. As a remote business owner on extended maternity leave, I had just co-authored a very timely best-seller and was referred a consulting client as this began. WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES We are likely not going back to business as usual. The Pandemic will end, but you want to be in a sustainable position, by then. If you can work remotely, consider these options.

Stepping out on your own in any of the options mentioned above may be a part of your entrepreneurship journey, but what makes it entrepreneurship is your flexibility. As an entrepreneur, you are more comfortable shifting as market needs change.

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Training – If you have or recently had a job, you have a network that can introduce you to decisionmakers to offer corporate training in your area of expertise. Before this Pandemic began, Makeda N. McKenzie, founder of the Caribbean Mindfulness Institute (www.caribbeanmbsr.com), left a lucrative HR career to offer mindfulness training throughout the U.S. and Caribbean, which continues during the Pandemic. She has worked with British Petroleum, British Gas and a number of other high-profile clients. Other corporate trainers work for larger firms who hire trainers to deliver their programs, but stepping out on your own is an excellent option for these times.

Consulting – If your last role involved a service or production process that other industries can use, reach out to your network to find out who is struggling in those areas and are willing to pay for professional solutions. Recruiters may help you get hired by a firm that values your skillset. A renowned female technology CIO now works with Gartner Consulting, but the connection often comes when you get the right introductions even without being renowned. Still, more common, is going out on your own. If you are on LinkedIn, there are almost hundreds of stories about people taking exactly this step, almost daily.

Hobbies – Since this Pandemic has begun, everybody (except me) has excelled in baking, Etsy crafts and making masks. My neighbour now makes impressive bath bombs. Now that you have the time, what do you enjoy that might be a welcome distraction from the panic, this Pandemic keeps throwing your way? Is there a premium option that can make it financially viable, and simple so you will not burn out? If yes, you may be on to something.

Entrepreneurship – Similar to point number three(3) above, this one asks that you start a business doing what you were last paid to do, but in an industry thriving right now. Your network may know of organizations willing to pay professional rates – so your business is sustainable – for your

offering. Stepping out on your own in any of the options mentioned above may be a part of your entrepreneurship journey, but what makes it entrepreneurship is your flexibility. As an entrepreneur, you are more comfortable shifting as market needs change. Perhaps you shift from consulting to training if that is what your network suggests their organizations are willing to pay for. I recommend setting clear boundaries in your schedule to avoid scope creep and burnout. You learn quickly that less is more, as an entrepreneur. It is not 24/7 for everyone.

Collaboration – Not everyone agrees, but competition is non-existent for anyone who will thrive well beyond this Pandemic. Everyone will remember those who sat with them through this to keep them afloat. Who had you previously considered healthy competition and could benefit from your support, right now? A few collaboration options that have become popular include non-profits and entrepreneurs who hire a shared executive assistant (more virtual today) to cut costs when their needs are similar. You can

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collaborate with fellow consultants to complement their strengths with yours. There is the option to get in front of each-others’ potential clients through interviews, panels, podcasts and more. I tried to share engagements that will last beyond the Pandemic, but you can also offer tutoring and freelance support to those who are less tech-savvy. Hundreds of companies could go under as they do not know how to use Zoom and Slack to manage teams and support clients. Can you offer training or facilitate meetings while they connect? How else can you support here? NEED A HAND? If this helps, and you want professional support to get started sooner, let’s chat! Explore my blog and social media for ongoing support. -----------

ABOUT CRYSTAL-MARIE Crystal-Marie Sealy, MBA, is a dedicated mom, keynote speaker, author and strategy consultant. As a bestselling author and speaker, Crystal-Marie is focused on resilience through authenticity, self-acceptance and individual sovereignty. Her business talks are around mindful entrepreneurship through pricing, lean process, and feasible schedules for inspired creativity and focused productivity. She also delivers corporate training around client-centric social media strategy. As a strategy consultant, and president and founder of Crystal-Marie Sealy—previously Successiory (2011-2019)—CrystalMarie’s signature “Mindful Entrepreneurship for Mindful Affluence™” empowers premium service professionals to create businesses they can truly thrive in. Good-bye rat race. Hello, blue ocean. Earn more. Work less. Serve better clients, better. Connect with Crystal-Marie at www.CrystalMarieSealy.com

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C o l l a b o r a t e w i t h u s , B e c o m e a C o n t r i b u t o r .

C o n t a c t :

articles@dreamer2creatormag.ca DRE A ME R 2 C R EA T O R B USI N ESS M A G A Z I N E

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DIY Bookkeeping with quickbooks

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f you are a new business owner or someone who is looking at opening a new business, I have some great DIY accounting tips for you. As someone who has owned multiple companies and tested many programs for myself, I can confidently say that this one is fantastic.

Step 1 Visit the Quickbooks online website www.quickbooks.intuit.com. They offer amazing deals for the first 3 months; all you have to do is sign up online. They even have a mobile app which is very user friendly in comparison to others.

Read on for 4 quick and easy tips to get you started with Quickbooks Online.

Step 2 Once you have completed a job, you can set up an invoice right from the parking lot and forward a copy to your client’s email. It is that simple! Once you receive payment, you can mark the invoice as paid right from the app. You can also send reminders to customers that you are awaiting payment from, view your P&L right on your home page and see the last time they viewed their invoice. Step 3 It is a lot easier to keep up if you enter the information as soon as possible and balance monthly. I always struggled with this and would procrastinate prior to finding this easy to use program. Set aside time to enter it daily or weekly as this will alleviate the stress and anxiety of letting it pile up. The more you do it, the more comfortable and faster you will become. I always remembered to pay my bills but felt like I had no time to enter them into the system. The great thing about QB online is that you can actually link your bank account (yes, it is very secure), and it uploads all of your transactions so you can balance your books and not lose track of any payments. Another great feature is the ability to photograph a receipt from your smartphone the minute you get it and edit the information later on from your desktop.

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Step 4 Make sure to keep track of your vehicle mileage. I live in Red Deer and am either ordering products online or picking it up in Calgary or Edmonton. That is a minimum 300km drive and half a tank of gas and this is a write off you do not want to miss out on. QB allows you to enter your mileage right into the app, and if you are ever audited, it is essential to have this information to back up your claims. Do not forget to take a quick photo of your gas receipt, as I mentioned earlier.

Bookkeeping can seem rather overwhelming, and this is a program specifically designed for the “on the go� business owner, and these are my top 4 pieces of advice to make your life a bit easier when it comes to starting out. There is no need for expensive, frustrating, hard to understand accounting programs that cause you to procrastinate and become frazzled at the end of the year.

Happy bookkeeping!

Set aside time to enter it daily or weekly as this will alleviate the stress and anxiety of letting it pile up. The more you do it, the more comfortable and faster you will become.

Business name is Tomahawk Chopshop Inc. Mark Ratkovic 403-506-2422 Sylvia Schultz 587-577-1065 sales@tomahawkchopshop.ca https://tomahawkchopshop.ca/

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BUSINESS: THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE


resources DIY Website Builder/Design.

Cost levels: Free option, $14usd per month.

Hosting a website is essential in that it is the ‘virtual home’ where your business lives. A website gives more space to maneuver your business. Facebook, Instagram and the likes are important but are limited in their capacity by themselves. Your website brings all your marketing pieces together as a cohesive family home. An example of the importance of a website is, online sales have gone through the roof during the pandemic and are expected to stay that way after the pandemic. All this selling is happening through WEBSITES! Yes, the virtual home is now becoming more important than the brick and mortar home. However, it can be very frustrating to find a website designer who is affordable, trustworthy and effective. Companies like Squarespace, Wix and many others created a new way to build/design websites, DIY website designs. DIY websites are inexpensive and easy to use for the most part. Some are better than others, depending on the features they offer or your project. Below are a few of the many such sites, what they offer and how they compare.

Squarespace: Good for bloggers; Great with Search Engine Optimization (SEO); Discount off the cost of the domain for the yearly plan; Great e-commerce plan; Great for artists; Email account is extra. Cost levels: No free option, $16usd per month.

Wix: Great templates; Not good with SEO; Best for

Weebly: Limited flexibility in design; Ease of use; Free domain starts at $22; Great for e-commerce; Membership area; Access to online regardless of plan. Cost levels: Free option, $9cad per month.

Shopify: Best for e-commerce; Add per transaction cost to base cost; Ability to scale your business to more substantial sales; Great design; Ease of use; Not great for SEO. Cost levels: Free option, $29 per month.

DuDa: Great multilingual website; No free option; No third-party widget store; May import content from existing websites. Cost levels: No free option, $19 per month.

WordPress: Included in the list because of its popularity; Hard to install; Great for bloggers; You may move your site to other hosting sites; Free domain. Cost levels: Free option, $5 per month & up. Please note: **Prices go up depending on the features added. **E-commerce capability will be more than the starting cost. **Free option does not mean a free trial.

control; Ability to add animation; Free domain for a year with $10 plan and higher; $5 plan include Wix ads; Poor loading speed.

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“BUILD SOMETHING 100 PEOPLE LOVE, NOT SOMETHING 1 MILLION PEOPLE KIND OF LIKE.”

Brian Chesky, cofounder of Airbnb


BOOK AVAILABLE FOR SALE AT AMAZON.CA & CHAPTERS.CA

Profile for Dreamer 2 Creator Magazine

Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine Issue 7  

An interview with Grant Browning of Carib 101 Media group, which includes Toronto Caribbean Newspaper, gives an insight into his marketing p...

Dreamer 2 Creator Business Magazine Issue 7  

An interview with Grant Browning of Carib 101 Media group, which includes Toronto Caribbean Newspaper, gives an insight into his marketing p...