Help make your business more memorable

Why is being memorable important for your business? Being memorable means that youWhat's your story are worthy of being easily remembered and impossible to forget! In the business world this is essential for success and can be used as a marketing tool to help establish a good name for both yourself and your business.

When starting a business it is critical to get out there early and often, to network with other businesses and stakeholders and to form connections with potential clients. To truly form these potential relationships you must separate yourself from the competition and ensure that you are the first person/business that people think of when they need your kind of service or product.

How can you make yourself more memorable? Consider the following tips:

Forming common bonds – Types of common bonds can be as simple as where you were born or presently live, a hobby, children or owning a pet.  When common bonds are established it can be easier for people to relate to you.

Peaking interest – Peaking and capturing the interest of other businesses and potential clients can help you grab their attention.  You can do this by adding valuable insight into a conversation or providing helpful advice and information about a particular topic.

Offer something for free – When you are talking to another person they are mentally thinking to themselves “What’s in it for me (WIIFM).” Offering something for free will allow you to connect again with that person which could lead to future sales.

Consistency not confusion – Your message should always be clear.  Make sure you have several key words and that there is clarity in your messaging.

Less is more – You have a short period of time to capture someone’s attention.  You can only make a first impression once so be precise and clear.  

Ask questions – Do you ask a lot of questions?  It may sound strange but by asking questions you are showing interest and this can help you to make a good impression.

Follow up – When all else fails and you know that they are a good connection, even if they do not remember you – remember them and follow up!

The Halton Region Small Business Centre is here to help you. One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success.  For more information about resources, services, business events and seminars, contact us by dialing 311, 1-866-442-5866, online at www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, by email at smallbusiness@halton.ca or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville. You can also follow us on Twitter and find us on Facebook.

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The 5 C’s of Credit

Often when starting or expanding a business we look to borrow funds to accomplish ourBusiness Consultations business goals. When approaching a lender it is beneficial to understand the criteria that a lender uses to determine the “risk” and “suitability” of lending to a particular individual or business entity.

One thing to consider when looking for funding is that you are essentially entering a sales process, just like any other negotiation. The lender is the seller and the person seeking financing is the customer. This is often overlooked or reversed as individuals/businesses seeking financing see themselves in the subordinate position which is not always the case.

Before seeking financing it is important that you understand the 5 C’s of credit and how they can impact the decision-making process as well as the outcome. Continue reading

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Business Partnerships/Strategic Alliances

Partnerships come in many different forms.  You need to consider which one best suits your business structure as you grow and keep the integrity of your business.

Internal Partnerships

If the foundation of your business is based on a partnership, it is important that you takePartnerships the time to plan the structure of your organization carefully in order to distinguish the roles and responsibilities of each partner. The legality and risks of the partnership should be discussed up front and a partnership agreement needs to be drawn up. This type of partnership is like a marriage and nothing should be left unsaid. Two great minds think alike but two creative minds think differently. Within an internal partnership, personality traits and skills need to be distinguished and discussed so that they can be utilized to strengthen the business. There should be regular discussions about the goals and the future of the business – communication is the key. Continue reading

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Salute to Small Business Month

As a small business owner, there are typically no performance reviews, no annual awards Open for businessor bonuses for a job well done – it is just you. You are the driving force behind your business and the sales team out in front of customers.  However, once a year there is a month where events and festivities celebrate the contributions that small business owners make to their community.  October is Salute to Small Business month.  Halton Region uses this opportunity to let local businesses know how much we value their contribution to our local economy, and to provide them with opportunities to achieve success.

According to the 2013 Halton Employment Survey Results, the vast majority of Halton’s businesses were micro- and small-businesses: 82.3% having fewer than 20 employees. Small business is truly at the heart of the economy in Halton Region. Continue reading

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G.R.O.W. Your Business – Getting Results Online Workshop

With the use of smartphones and tablets to access social media sites as well as specificBridgesToBetterBusiness October 2014
company websites, small business owners need to understand how to find and engage their clients online. Website strategies need to include SEO and mobile integration to better serve customers now and in the future.  Along with the top social media channels, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, what other social media channels are being used by consumers? Continue reading

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Changing Seasons spell changes for Business

September is here and the children have returned to school.  This serves as a reminder Cloudthat the season is changing and fall will soon be here.  It also reminds us that seasonality is something that can impact our business as well.

Changes in weather and season both pay a significant part in our daily work lives. Seasonality impacts everything in our lives from when our target customers may want our products and services and more importantly, when they may not want to engage with our business.  These seasonal fluctuations must be identified so that we can adjust our operations accordingly. If sales are declining, what actions are required to reduce expenses during this period? This continuous cash flow management is even more important to the business when looking at significant external changes. Continue reading

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Managing Your Time

For a busy entrepreneur, your time is your most valuable resource. There are only soTime Management - August 13 many hours in a day, and chances are you will not be able to accomplish everything that you want to. This makes time management one of the most important skills an entrepreneur can have. This can be especially important when running a smaller business with little or no support staff, forcing the owner to juggle multiple roles within the company. Here are some tips to help ensure that you and your business are as productive as possible. Continue reading

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