Selling or closing your business can save your life

Deciding to close up shop comes with a lot of stress, shame and disappointment. But you can disappear with some grace

Selling or closing your business can save your lifeI have a great disappearing act, though my wife Margaret doesn’t appreciate it much. I usually do this act when company comes over and stays late. If they don’t get the hint when I blow out all of the candles, I’ll say that I’m going up to do laundry. Or when they’re a little unfamiliar…

The keys to customer service you may have forgotten

Serve customers with people who like people. Keep your employees accountable. And exceed your clients’ expectations

The keys to customer service you may have forgottenUnfortunately, really great customer service is hard to find. North American consumers say we want a wonderful customer service experience. But in fact, we’ve come to expect something much less. Sometimes we get exceedingly bad customer service and we rant and rage. We believe that when we’re doing business with a company, that company should…

Being a good leader means being a good listener

Here’s what you're missing if you don't listen well – and how you can improve your listening skills

Being a good leader means being a good listenerLast week, my friend was lamenting the fact she was away for her 16-year-old son’s first day of school and wouldn’t be there to pick him up. Obviously, her son doesn’t need his mom there. But driving him home lets her listen to him vent. It gives her insight into what he’s thinking, how he’s…

Family-owned businesses under threat

A new study says demographics, tax policy and a lack of trained advisers threaten the continuity of family enterprise

Family-owned businesses under threatFamily-owned businesses have a significant impact on Canada's economy, accounting for for 63.1 per cent of all private sector firms in the country, according to research released on Tuesday. The Family Enterprise Xchange Foundation (FEX-F) partnered with the Conference Board of Canada to study the economic weight, regional impact, industry presence and business performance of…

All talk, no action will leave your business in neutral

Many business owners know exactly what they would like to accomplish in their business. But they lack the necessary plan

All talk, no action will leave your business in neutralWendell is a swell guy with a big heart and a large mouth – and can Wendell ever talk! I once worked with Wendell at a volunteer project. We were planting a garden and while I was breaking my back, loading dirt in and out of pickup trucks, Wendell would lean on his shovel and…

Building relationships between guest and host

Robert Vidra talks about how Simply Elegant strives to be an exceptional hospitality firm

Building relationships between guest and hostRobert Vidra is CEO of Simply Elegant. What’s Simply Elegant and what does it do? Vidra: Simply Elegant is a hospitality firm. Our philosophy is “enlightened hospitality.” We work towards providing the best possible experience for our clients, guests, staff and vendors. We must be more than a service or product. It must encompass our…

You can – and must – get over the shame of business failure

Sharing our struggles with staff and family, and explaining the financial situation to suppliers may be humbling, but it relieves the weight of our shame

You can – and must – get over the shame of business failureWe all feel shame some time. Usually we feel this powerful emotion when we do something that doesn’t quite match up with our personal values. As a child, we might have felt shameful if we told a lie to our parents or were mean to a friend. As a teenager, we might have felt the…

How sports card collectors can protect their investments

Jason Masherah of Upper Deck talks about avoiding scams, particularly in the online marketplace

How sports card collectors can protect their investmentsJason Masherah is president of the trading card company Upper Deck. Can you explain the number of scams related to your industry that have been going on lately and why this is happening? Masherah: Trading cards and memorabilia have been a longtime target for these types of scams. Quite frankly, it was the reason Upper…

Implementing online safety training that works

Robert Day talks about the technology that Integrity Advocate has developed to verify that online students complete the training required of them

Implementing online safety training that worksIntegrity Advocate co-founder Robert Day is a licensed investigator and paralegal. Can you tell me what you do? Day: I’m a co-founder of a company called Integrity Advocate, as well as a licensed paralegal and investigator. I co-developed the patented technology that Integrity Advocate is known for, which addresses legality and effectiveness concerns associated with…
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