‘Bah humbug!‘ to business owners who act like Scrooge

We don’t appreciate enough what our business creates in the community through wages, jobs and donations

‘Bah humbug!‘ to business owners who act like ScroogeHave you ever felt like Scrooge? I have. I went to the local production of The Christmas Carol and was thoroughly impressed. Often with great acting, the characters remind me of people who I’ve come into contact with. This was no different. The script is set in the 1800s but could have easily taken place…

This Christmas, resolve to go device-free one day a week

Starting this Christmas, have the guts to turn off the phone for a few days – okay, start with one day – and contemplate what you have to celebrate

This Christmas, resolve to go device-free one day a weekSomeone once asked me if I missed the mayhem of owning a business at Christmas time. The truth is, I do. While I don’t miss taking inventory, all the extra hours, the squeeze of trying to find enough time for family and customers, figuring out if there should be a Christmas bonus or another program,…

Can you work less and earn more?

Thinking differently, delegating more, and strategically planning are key to earning more and worrying less

Can you work less and earn more?“You just learned in a year what most MBA students never learn in a lifetime,” I told a client this week. He had just responded to my question: “What did you learn in the past year?” “I learned that I can earn more by working less!” he answered. Not only had my client doubled his…

Five reasons why you may be losing sales

We need to care about our customers and why they came to us, train our staff, find strategies that work and then measure it all

Last week, Natalie walked into a sports store to buy a swim cap. She found the caps in the store and a young man, the ‘salesperson’ on duty, walked over and asked, “Can I help you?” She told me she said, “Yes, I need a swim cap,” as she stood looking at the rack of…

Retail thrives when it embraces its customers

In an age when the transactional has overtaken the transformational, businesses need to get personal

Retail thrives when it embraces its customersNorman was a world-famous choreographer and dancer. Ian, originally from Scotland, played in bands around the world. Inga moved to Canada from Germany when she met a man and stayed to practise law. Rina was originally from Moldova and had to move during an economic crisis, studied nutrition and knows how to make a difference…

Why raising kids and running a business are almost the same

Both take passion, discipline and determination, and both will cost you sleep

Why raising kids and running a business are almost the sameHarold is a wise old carpenter who was working on the stairs in my house this week. To be honest, in his mid-70s he doesn’t seem that old anymore, but Harold is wise. Over the past 20 years, Harold has supported me in fixing and building things for my businesses and homes. When I asked…

Picking the right team is essential to your business success

Have clarity on what the position is, go with your gut, have criteria to measure new staff, use the probation period correctly

Picking the right team is essential to your business successThis week, I’m picking my basketball team for the year. This isn’t a sports fantasy team, it’s a high school basketball team with 12 real people. The stakes are high for me. While I’ll be playing to win, I may or may not pick what seem to be the most talented players, because team dynamics…

Gazing into the crystal ball to prepare your business for the future

Businesses must always look to trends and trouble spots on the horizon. Here are some things to watch for in 2019 and beyond

Gazing into the crystal ball to prepare your business for the futureThis is the time of year when many business owners turn their thoughts to the future. We wonder if our sales will hold in the coming year and whether our expenses are going to rise. We try to predict whether we have the right team, right strategies and the ability to face the future. Larger…

When customer service isn’t enough

Lack of clarity, training, measurement, accountability and rewards all impact sales

When customer service isn’t enoughI’m sure that you’ve suffered through an experience of poor customer service. You don’t have to look far these days to realize that many businesses put low value on treating customers well. Recently, however, I was working with a company on improving their customer service. It quickly became apparent that their customer service was great…

What businesses can learn from an election loss

Running a campaign is similar to running a business. We’re in business to win. Here's how I lost and what you can learn from that

What businesses can learn from an election lossI write this article eating my humble pie and managing my political hangover. I just lost a local city council election, coming ninth in a bid for one of the eight council seats. I was told by several politicians going into the municipal race that I might lose the first time. However, I thought differently because…
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