Quotes to Get You Inspired

Being a small business owner can be rewarding, but it can also be a challenge. Are you feeling a little overwhelmed or stressed? Read through these inspiring quotes that highlight what it means to be successful.

“If you’re going to run a small business, you need to know what everyone is doing, be the first one in and the last one out.” – Glen Mazzara

“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative efforts.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Ideas in secret die. They need light and air or they starve to death.” – Seth Godin

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” – Nolan Bushnell

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” – Vince Lombardi

“Strive not to be a success, but rather be of value.” – Albert Einstein

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.” – Dr. Seuss

“Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.” – Edward de Bono

“The only place success comes before work, is in the dictionary.” – unknown

“The Golden Rule for every business is this:  put yourself in your customers place.” – Orison Swett Marden

“The only way to do great work, is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”  – Milton Berle

“Handle your business without people knowing your business.” – unknown

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” – Henry Ford

Feeling more inspired? Good. Get back to building your bigger, stronger, more successful small business!

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Three Clichés Worth Following as an Entrepreneur

These days, businesses focus on “thinking outside the box” instead of embracing these fundamental truths. Not all clichés are helpful, some are just shortcuts; however these three clichés stand the test of time and should be reintroduced in the workplace.

The customer is always right.

The customer isn’t always right but they must be satisfied. It’s important to respect their point of view and try to please them no matter how difficult they may be. Keep in mind, customer service is often the “true test” of how much a company values their customers.

It’s a win-win situation.

The core concept of any great business is that everyone should feel like they are winning in a transaction. Don’t go above and beyond for customers if you aren’t getting any benefit from it. Focus on making all your customer relationships a “win-win” situation and you will see more positive changes.

It is what it is.

In business, some factors are out of the owner’s control, so you need to learn to let go and realize “it is what it is”. The sooner entrepreneurs can brush it off and move on to the next task, the sooner they can focus on making their customers happy.

Remember, these clichés are well-worn for a reason. They will help maintain the focus on happy customer relationships and prevent wasted energy on situations that aren’t worth-while.

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Everyday Money Management Tips for Small Business Owners

Starting and managing a business can be difficult and money concerns usually top the list of challenges. Here are some practical day-to-day tips you can use to manage your money more effectively.

  1. Don’t mix business and personal expenses.

Resist the urge to secure your business finances with personal funds when things get tight. It will only cause more confusion later on. The best way to maintain separation of your expenses is to set a personal budget and a business budget and stick to them strictly.

  1. Negotiate with vendors.

When making purchases from vendors or contracting with supplies, try to negotiate a better deal but always keep in mind of purchase terms like late payment fees and grace periods.

  1. Pay your bills on time.

It’s very important to pay your bills on time, every time. If you aren’t diligent with credit card and loan payments late fees can cost you. There are also serious penalties when paying your taxes if you are late.

  1. Spend some time on an accounting refresher.

Being a small business owner, you should know the basics of accounting, even if you hire a bookkeeper or accountant. It’s important to know how cash moves in and out of your business.

The better you understand your business finances and cash flow, the better prepared you will be to make smart money management decisions.

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Tips for Introvert Business Owners

Most introverts are more comfortable in small groups, very private about emotions, self-aware, thoughtful and analytical. But that doesn’t mean introverts can’t own and operate a successful business.

Here are a few tips for succeeding in business as an introvert.

Explore possibilities in your comfort zone – As an introvert; you know what comes easy and what you have to work harder for.  There are many opportunities for business development in your comfort zone. Make a list of activities with your comfort-level that are relevant to you business goals and tackle them on a regular basis, whether it meeting with clients one-on-one or networking online.

Break out of your comfort zone – Once you have a clear idea of what you are comfortable with, make a list of activities that push you out of your comfort zone. You can gain a great amount of value and learn more about yourself with these activities that make you uncomfortable. The more you stretch out of your comfort zone, the more confident you will become and get you closer to business success.

Use what you have – Take advantage of your introversion skills you already have like thinking through situations, listening closely, and acting in a strategic way to make any business situation easier. Use these skills to be better prepared for any situation.

Team up with an extrovert – Partnering up with an extrovert will not only provide support to manage day-to-day responsibilities but it will also help everyone on your team grow by giving them the opportunity to learn from each other.

Not everyone and every business is the same. Find out what works best for your personally and take things one step at a time.

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It’s all About Credibility

Credibility is a lot like respect; it has to be earned. Here are a few ways to build small business credibility and why you should.

Improve your communication skills

Communication is the basis of establishing credibility. You need to make sure you are effectively communicating your vision, what sets you apart from competition, and carrying your brand messaging through your marketing activities.

Practice what you preach

When it comes to credibility, “do as I say, not as I do,” doesn’t work. Don’t just say things to make people think you are trustworthy; make it common practice to run your business that way. As a business owner you need to be honest with customers and employees to establish your trustworthiness.

Engage your audience

You can’t build credibility for your business on your own. Ask your customers for feedback and use it to improve your business. You can also boost your credibility on social media sites; sharing content, answering questions, and keeping your audience involved.

Once you can establish your small business as credible and trustworthy, you are on your way.

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Understanding the 5 Types of Customers

Here is a breakdown that will help you increase your loyal customers to increase your sales.

Loyal Customers – Represent about 20 percent of your customer base and make up more than 50 percent of your sales. These customers should influence your buying and merchandising decisions. Show them that their opinion is valued, the more you do for them, the more they will recommend you to others.

Discount Customers – Shop frequently, but make their decisions based on your markdowns. These customers help ensure your inventory is turning over and are key contributors to your cash flow, however they can end up costing you money because they are more likely to return product.

Impulse Customers – Don’t have a list; they go into stores on a whim and will buy what seems good to them. You want to target these customers because they can provide significant customer insight and knowledge.

Need-Based Customers – Have a specific intention to buy a particular item. They will look quickly to see if you have the item they need and if not, they will leave. As difficult as it is to satisfy these people, they can become loyal customers if they are well taken care of. Making sure they receive a positive personal interaction will insure they pick your store over an online store.

Wandering Customers – Have no specific need or desire; they want a sense of experience and/or the community. For many stores this is the largest percent of traffic, which make up the smallest percent of sales. Many wanderers shop merely for the interaction and experience, make sure it is positive and memorable so they will recommend others.

Using this understanding will help you turn all your customers into loyal customers that will grow your business.

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Myths About Starting a Small Business

Here are some of the most common myths about starting a small business in Canada.

Myth 1 – Starting a small business will let me write off all my expenses.

You’ll never be able to “write off” all of your expenses. Some things don’t qualify as a business expense, and in some cases you can only claim a portion of the expense or claim if a particular circumstance applies.

Myth 2 – I don’t have to register my business if it’s small.

Registering your business is a requirement when you’re starting a small business in Canada; it has nothing to do with the size of your business.

Myth 3 – If I’m not selling much it doesn’t count as a ‘real’ business.

Like Myth 2, this idea is based on the belief that the size of your small business matters. Whether you sell a lot or not, the government expects you to declare the income and follow the regulations that a legitimate business must follow.

Myth 4 – I don’t have to charge and remit taxes if I’m selling online.

Just like a business with a storefront, you’re responsible for collecting and remitting GST/HST if you’re selling GST/HST taxable products or services over the internet.

Myth 5 – There are lots of tax breaks for people who start home-based businesses.

Home-based business owners can claim some of their expenses; however they can only claim a portion of these expenses based on business use.

Myth 6 – There are lots of government grants for people starting small businesses.

Government grants are rare, and the few that do exist are for specific groups or regions.

In reality, the independence and satisfaction of turning an idea into a successful business is very rewarding. 

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