Did lululemon make a mistake giving away free clothes?

How much leeway do you give your employees to be generous with your products or services?

Did lululemon make a mistake giving away free clothes?Brad Bonner was in a panic that June morning in Victoria. His luggage had been lost and he had an important meeting in a few hours. Getting up early, he walked the downtown streets looking to see which store would be open the earliest where he could buy some suitable clothing. He discovered that lululemon…

The sky is falling on small business – or is it?

Proposed tax changes actually bring more fairness to the system, helping to close loopholes and eliminate back-door strategies to hide income

The sky is falling on small business – or is it?Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau recently released a long-and-nervously-awaited discussion paper that was met with near apoplexy in some corners. That reaction is misguided. The paper is aimed at closing a number of loopholes where mainly rich taxpayers use private companies (Canadian-controlled private corporations or CCPCs) to reduce their taxes, compared to most Canadians whose…

Internetization is the new normal in the 21st century

It has enhanced the quality of our lives, and made our daily tasks easier and quicker. It has also unleashed a darker side to its opportunities and outreach

Internetization is the new normal in the 21st centuryA few years ago, I was preparing a lecture on globalization. I wanted to use the word globalization as one of the pillars of the global economy of the 21st century. The problem was that globalization wasn’t a new concept. World history reveals that global linkages between countries through trade, military conquest, colonization and cultural outreach have…

Management burnout: douse the flames before all is lost

A great manager looks at the processes of the business and tries to make them better and works to help their staff reach their potential

Management burnout: douse the flames before all is lostIf you’re a manager and you feel trapped, underappreciated, struggling in a company where you have no sense of ownership or purpose, you’re not alone. It’s quite common for managers focused on achieving the company’s vision and goals to get to this state of discouragement. I’ve been working with a couple managers of different organizations…

Seven things business owners fear

To be successful, you need to determine what causes your fear and figure out whether that fear is holding you back or pushing you forward

Seven things business owners fearThe day I got married was the scariest day of my life. I walked up to the altar shaking like a leaf. At 31, I would have thought I was too old to be afraid of getting married. But I was afraid. Each month, I talk to a business owner who expresses their fears to…

Why business owners need to get serious about sales

No one just buys stuff. You need a concrete sales model based on what the product does, what its advantages are and the values it brings to the marketplace

Why business owners need to get serious about salesMy first sales experience was in high school, selling chocolate bars door to door as a fundraiser for a school club. Not much interested in the club but interested in the prizes for top sellers, I hit the pavement. Each day after school, I knocked on doors and sold chocolates to starving mothers and their…

Tim Hortons: the coffee giant needs a fix

The iconic Canadian-owned business is now just part of a much larger portfolio. RBI needs to appreciate the intimate connection shops have with communities

Tim Hortons: the coffee giant needs a fixTim Hortons is slowly becoming a completely dysfunctional franchise system. Franchisees on both sides of the border are pressuring Restaurant Brands International Inc. (RBI), the new owners of coffee giant, to ease up on its increasingly strict rules around standards, pricing and inspections. Some franchisees have even called RBI’s approach abusive. And some are pursuing…

Why companies can’t be honest with their employees

HR pundits justify avoiding the truth, arguing that organizations are softening the blow and taking the sting out of terminations

Why companies can’t be honest with their employeesYou're summoned to your boss's office and told that you've been "selected out." Strange words. What do they mean? "Selected" sounds positive. But "out"? That's clearly a negative and confusing word. Together, both words are perplexing. An optimist may interpret it as sort of a promotion. A sceptic is worried. The term "selected out" is…

Nurture the differences that make your business valuable

In order to survive and thrive, you need to clearly understand the marketplace and come up with a strategy that will differentiate you from your competition

Nurture the differences that make your business valuableHow often to do you get mixed up with someone else? Sherry and Margaret are two good looking women of a similar age who get mistaken for each other frequently. They have similar builds, similar hair styles, and similar smiles. Although unrelated, they’re often taken for sisters when they’re together. It’s not that they’re trying to…

How cloud software can better the customer service experience

Using cloud-based customer service software can lead to faster response times and a decrease in internal effort when dealing with customer support

How cloud software can better the customer service experienceCustomers value their time and expect companies to do the same. In fact, 77 per cent of people agree that an effective indicator of good service is when a company values their time, according to a report by Forrester. Using cloud-based customer service software can lead to faster response times and a decrease in internal…