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  • 4 misconceptions about female clients, and what to do about them | Small Biz Advisor
    women Here are 4 misconceptions that lead to missed opportunities for both advisors and female clients 1 Women are a niche Advisors are treating women as a niche market and they fail to recognize that their firms future success depends not only on attracting women but also on developing a strong female friendly brand In fact 87 of women looking for an advisor say they can t find one they can connect with Men are twice as likely to be prospected by an advisor the report says Further 50 of women with 250 000 or more to invest say men get more attention better service and better terms from their advisors What not to do Don t focus on rates of return while ignoring your client s other needs Build a well rounded relationship 2 Men have more money to invest Women control nearly a third of all wealth in North America including 1 1 trillion in Canada And nearly half of those with 500 000 to invest are women Women in heterosexual relationships are also more likely to outlive their husbands meaning many will inherit substantial assets when their partners die as much as 67 of all assets by 2020 But the male partner is more likely to be an advisor s main contact When the husband dies 80 of women switch advisors within a year What not to do Don t automatically prioritize husbands or expect he has the final say on financial matters Don t overlook single women as prospective clients 3 Women are risk averse Women aren t more risk averse than men but they may appear so because they tend to ask their advisors more questions than men do says the report What not to do Don t use brochures or marketing materials that admonish

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/your-business/4-misconceptions-about-female-clients-and-what-to-do-about-them-4197 (2016-04-26)
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  • The advisor as counsellor | Small Biz Advisor
    challenging circumstances David Perkins a small business advisor based in Vancouver B C says in his area the construction retail and film industries are booming while professional services are also cruising along But the resource sector is weaker and what Perkins has noticed is that even his booming clients are feeling cautious due to relentless headlines about rocky economic times They may not be thinking about laying people off but they re wondering about postponing growth plans because they re expecting bad news he says Be a calming influence Perkins says when dealing with anxious clients it s important to talk to them about building through downturns This helps shift their thinking from a focus on what s gone wrong to how to turn the business around for the future If you get them to work on their business during both good and bad times then bad times don t seem like such emergencies he says The clients who will need you the most he points out are those who are newer in business The more seasoned owners can more easily shrug off bad economic news and look to capitalize because chances are they ve survived a downturn or two before says Perkins Ask probing questions A key way to build empathy and work towards a positive outcome adds Perkins is to ask open ended questions Start with smaller issues Sometimes once they start talking they will admit to the bigger ones If that doesn t work you may need to be more direct To open a difficult conversation you may need to summon your nerve and start asking probing questions Ask straight out What s preventing you from dealing with X or Y says Perkins The real issues then start to come out and you can tackle them This

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/your-business/the-advisor-as-counsellor-4195 (2016-04-26)
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  • BDC CEO Michael Denham on helping Canadian firms go global | Small Biz Advisor
    of our successful clients And what we can do for them is simplify the task of connecting to export markets Are there particular countries or regions that companies should be considering right now It seems like there are trends China was popular and then South America Right My personal view is the U S does still represent the best place for most entrepreneurs to start given the choppier growth rates in places like China Brazil and South Africa right now It s always better to be diversified but for a client that s just now contemplating whether to start exporting I would recommend the U S The BDC has been vocal about the importance of high impact firms companies that are growing quickly and have shown a real ambition to succeed Canada has far fewer of those companies than the U S Is it possible to convince entrepreneurs that they need to become more ambitious Our client base has a number of segments One comprises folks who are growing who are successful who have a high ambition and a real mindset of wanting to conquer the world The second segment includes entrepreneurs who are successful but are frankly quite content where they are In the middle are clients who are doing well but aren t focused on conquering the world because they just see that challenge as too risky Our role is to help that middle group to see through the impediments and define a plan of attack Once that plan is clear they gain confidence and an underlying attitude of wanting to succeed and conquer the world kicks in You ve stepped into fairly high profile roles on a number of occasions Do you have an approach to getting acclimatized to a new job Every job at every company has a specific challenge When I joined the BDC in August we were performing very well So there was no turnaround challenge no burning problem that had to get fixed I knew my challenge would be to walk in understand the clients and the momentum and find a way to build on the strengths while identifying two or three new challenges I did that through lots of meetings I m a listener and I learn through listening so I talked to many clients And then I spent some time thinking about our aspiration to help Canadian entrepreneurs become the most competitive in the world I had to think about the various ways we can do that I used what I came up with to set an agenda The BDC is a large organization with offices across the country How do you ensure your vision is actually embraced and implemented by the people who deal with your clients on a day to day basis I ve learned over the years that when you re leading larger companies you need to have a focus There are only so many things an organization can do at once My role as CEO is to

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/your-business/bdc-ceo-michael-denham-on-helping-canadian-firms-go-global-4177 (2016-04-26)
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  • Companies aren’t investing enough in personalization | Small Biz Advisor
    to buy products and services they have purchased before 78 percent as well as relevant products and services they have never purchased 74 percent Only 28 percent of the decision makers from companies surveyed globally say their organizations are investing significantly in personalization to improve the online purchasing experience even though it has improved their online sales over the past 12 months for the majority 58 percent Consumers expect their use of mobile apps for shopping to more than double in the next three years While 6 percent of consumers said their preferred channel for making retail purchases as of 2015 was mobile apps 15 percent said they expected mobile apps to be their preferred channel by 2018 The study surveyed 6 000 consumers across three primary regions U S Europe and Asia Pacific as well as 900 decision makers from companies spanning the retail and consumer goods travel and hospitality banking and insurance and media and entertainment industries The survey also highlights some notable disconnects between what online features consumers desire and what features companies are investing in As an example consumers crave improved search and compare aggregate functions but companies are investing more in features like shopping lists

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/your-business/companies-arent-investing-enough-in-personalization-4183 (2016-04-26)
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  • The 5 common mistakes companies make about performance management | Small Biz Advisor
    hard to measure and act upon Perhaps that s why so many small businesses get it wrong or avoid it altogether Here are five of the most common mistakes small businesses make when it comes to managing employee performance 1 It s treated as an event not a process It s a common misconception that performance management and performance reviews are one and the same But an annual review is simply one activity among many in this field And its one that should ideally be the culmination of a yearlong process of regular feedback and two way communication about how your employees are feeling and how well they re doing No employee should walk into a review wondering if their performance was at above or below expectations for that year They should already have a clear idea based on the conversations you ve had with them over the previous 364 days 2 It isn t clearly defined You can t manage what you can t measure goes the old saying and performance is no exception Without articulating what performance actually means for each and every job in your company how can you determine if people are actually succeeding or failing or if the existence of the position itself is even justified Your gut is not an accurate measure At the very least establish an objective baseline by crafting a well written and up to date job description try Googling performance oriented job descriptions rather than relying on one that s inaccurate outdated or worse just a checklist of duties 3 The wrong things are emphasized Do you still rate people on their attendance and punctuality or how clean they keep their desks If so you ve probably downloaded a report card from the first grade by mistake The only thing worse than having no metrics is measuring the wrong ones Focus on measurements that contribute to driving business results instead of the minutiae Don t forget to measure a person s ongoing fit in the company including whether they live your values every day and help you achieve your vision More employees are fired because of poor fit than anything else so it s crucial that your company not ignore it 4 Follow up is poor or non existent Too often when employees are in need of help to better manage their time or improve their skills for example management s answer is to simply say Work on it or Do better next time Those responses aren t helpful and they do little to set the employee up for success Instead create a customized plan that includes support and learning opportunities both internal and external and has clear timelines and expectations around who is responsible for what It takes a bit more work but investing in your employees in this way can have a huge ROI 5 It s still considered an after thought Employee performance often doesn t appear on the radar until something or someone goes very wrong

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/your-business/the-5-common-mistakes-companies-make-about-performance-management-4176 (2016-04-26)
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  • 5 practical ways you should invest in yourself | Small Biz Advisor
    however briefly you gain perspective Coming at a situation with a fresh set of eyes means that you re more valuable to yourself your people and your organization Establish boundaries In today s world it s not uncommon for work and personal time to blur into one another And I get that when you re running an important department or organization you can t just turn it off But that s exactly the problem with being at work 24 7 You never completely wind down which is critical if you want to refuel your own energy So establish days and times when you re not available every evening from 6 pm or every Saturday and Sunday afternoon or something else that works for you and switch off all your electronic devices Even better program them to turn off automatically And stick to the plan Only a life or death emergency should cause you to deviate Remember you teach people how to treat you if you repeatedly stray from your boundaries then why should anyone else take them seriously Don t stop learning Learning should be a lifelong process something you ve no doubt told your people on occasion Be a positive role model Maintain a healthy curiosity about how things work and processes operate No matter how experienced you are in your particular area of expertise deliberately and consciously seek to add to your knowledge Set a goal to attend at least one training course a year in your field you ll be surprised at what new tip or approach you ll learn Become an active participant in conferences in your industry or specialty Or try leading a workshop sometimes you learn more from teaching others than you d expect Step outside your area of expertise Speaking of lifelong learning

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/your-business/5-practical-ways-you-should-invest-in-yourself-4175 (2016-04-26)
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  • Why the low loonie could be good news for Canadian startups | Small Biz Advisor
    strong tax incentives and immigration policies that allow talented people globally to come to Canada Last year Teten s firm invested in the Better Software Company an enterprise resource platform based in Ottawa Meanwhile Kayne Partners from Los Angeles invested 15 million to You i TV an Ottawa based software company One advantage for Canadian tech firms is they can generate revenue in the United States while incurring expenses here at home It makes our dollar go further and makes these companies healthier than their American counterparts says Jim Orlando managing director of OMERS Ventures Indeed companies that produce apps or wireless solutions or do other quick turnaround projects for other firms are now at a significant advantage when bidding on contracts They ll be the first one to see a pretty big upswing in their business says Steven McCartney vice president of startup services at Waterloo based Communitech Investors will likely be drawn to Canadian companies with proven track records and products according to McCartney Those firms could include Plasticity which makes a tool to monitor workplace happiness drone maker Aeryon Labs and Clark Robotic Systems McCartney has no position in any of these companies Fluctuations in currency can happen in a matter of moments but going through rounds of venture capital investment can take months The low dollar might simply prove an added incentive to close a deal that s already underway says McCartney While established tech companies are better primed to take advantage of the opportunities Partridge says more money will flow from seed funds to young startups Not everything is venture capital investing he says Angel investors and family funds tend to be nimbler than VC firms and more eager to take advantage of the current economic climate Those are the ones looking to make faster

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/your-business/why-the-low-loonie-could-be-good-news-for-canadian-startups-4174 (2016-04-26)
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  • How to make the most of the U.S. recovery | Small Biz Advisor
    Board of Canada identifies several manufacturing industries that can expect growing U S demand and that are competitive in U S markets but that do not yet have sufficient people and physical capacity to ramp up production These are Wood product manufacturing Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing Aerospace product and parts manufacturing Rail and shipbuilding manufacturing Clothing manufacturing Motor vehicle parts manufacturing These manufacturing industries have already begun to experience a boost in U S demand see chart above This has pushed most of these industries to operate close to full capacity making full use of the resources they have They will need additional space machinery and technology and or people if they hope to further ramp up production in response to U S demand Many of these industries lost production capacity the last decade or two due to weaker demand the higher valued Canadian dollar and increased competition from China Mexico and a host of other emerging nations Companies were forced to shut down cut production or change their target markets and products These struggles have left them with 22 fewer workers than they employed a decade ago on average and net capital assets such as factor floor space and machinery and equipment that have shrunk 2 2 per year on average It will be challenging to invest in machinery in the face of a low loonie and relatively lacklustre profit margins Hiring qualified people may also be a challenge given that many of these industries have been in decline for the last decade Companies may need to be open to hiring people with different skills and commit to training them internally If they can overcome the challenges and increase their capacity these companies will inject new life capital and skills into the Canadian economy This is welcome after several

    Original URL path: http://www.smallbizadvisor.ca/your-business/how-to-make-the-most-of-the-u-s-recovery-4165 (2016-04-26)
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