Halton hosts women’s small business event: The Strategy of Problem Solving

Womens event 2018On June 26th, 2018, the Halton Small Business Centre hosted a business event for local female entrepreneurs. The event provided attendees with an opportunity to hear from a panel of industry experts and peers share their own experiences, participate in group problem solving exercises, and take part in networking with fellow female entrepreneurs and small business owners.

The topic of the morning was The Strategy of Problem Solving, and the focus was on how to develop and create different strategies that can be used to find the right solutions.

Halton Small Business Centre staff presented tips and advice on ways to help tackle business problems large or small:

  1. Problem Identification – Understanding & Defining the Problem
    1. Start with defining the problem itself, both logically and realistically
    2. Define the key words or phrases – and don’t take anything for granted!
    3. Visualize the problem/draw a representation
    4. Focus on key units of measurement affected
    5. Engage all key stakeholders for details/context
  1. Problem Analysis – Qualify & Quantify the Problem
    1. Business impact, severity and scope
    2. Consequences (i.e.: economic, brand, morale)
    3. Is it internal or external?
    4. Is this a problem that can be turned into an opportunity?
    5. Prioritize the problem – what problems can be solved in the short-term, medium-term, or long-term?
  1. Plan Development – Brainstorm & Rank Solutions:
    1. Are they feasible?
    2. Test the viability of these solutions?
    3. Talk to customers/see what competitors are doing different
    4. Market research
    5. Test Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  1. Plan Implementation – Choose Optimal Solution:
    1. The solution that most satisfies your decision criteria
    2. Develop action plan (step-by-step) with tasks time lines, resources and evaluation criteria
  1. Plan Evaluation – Evaluating the Solution:
    1. Does the problem still persist?
    2. Have the key performance indicators been impacted?
    3. Do you have a feedback mechanism
    4. If problem still persists, try another solution or improve process.
    5. Tweak or refine initial solution to optimize problem/solution fit, continuous improvement

Womens event 2018 - Panel pic

We would like to thank our panelists who spoke about their inspirational start-up journeys and provided advice on how to overcome challenges and obstacles.  Panelists: Michele Ballagh, Lawyer & Trademark Agent, Ballagh & Edward LLP; Andrea Dubravsky, President & Web Strategist, ADWebcom; Judy Lindenbach, Director Corporate Partnerships, Haltech Regional Innovation Centre; Sue Daharry, Owner, Workplace Law Compliance, Consulting and Training; Patricia Hopkins, Owner, The Clothespin Inc.; and Carole and Lynne Flory, Co-Founders, Two Gals and a Toolbox Inc.

One of our goals is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give them the tools to achieve success.  For more information on our services and up-coming events, please visit us in person or online at the Halton Small Business Centre.

To keep up-to-date with everything the Halton Small Business Centre is offering, sign-up to get our e-updates on events and receive our monthly Small Business e-newsletter.  For news and event information, follow us on Twitter at @HaltonBusiness.

Posted in events, Halton Small Business Centre, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

5 Tips to Network like a Pro

networking 2A good network is invaluable. It can help amplify your company’s message, connect you to the right services, and offer a support system during what may be trying times as an entrepreneur. With that being said, it can also be a challenge to network effectively and bring the right people into your circle. Check out the 5 tips below to get started!

  1. Set a goal: Before you do anything, decide what it is you would like to get out of the networking session. Are you looking for a service provider? Possible partnerships? A mentor? Having a goal can help focus your efforts and identify who to follow-up with.
  2. Embrace your company story: Use your value proposition to stand out from the crowd. A founding story that includes a clear value proposition and a little emotion can go a long way in helping other remember you long after the event.
  3. Give more than you take: Listen to your fellow entrepreneur/professionals needs and offer a suggestion, possible connection or some future reading on the subject matter. This will not only give you a reason to follow-up and stay connected, but also create a foundation for a supportive working relationship.
  4. Follow through: Everything you do is a reflection on your company’s brand. If you promised to follow-up with a contact make sure you do. This establishes your credibility and creates a stronger foundation for any bigger ask you might have down the road.
  5. Be professional: As with any interaction, remember to have your manners on full display.

Ready to try out some of these suggestions?  Visit the Halton Small Business Centre for upcoming events or our toolbox’s Networking Forms to find some local groups!

Posted in Halton Small Business Centre, Small Business Advice, Tips and Advice, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Start & Expand Your Export Journey!

June 11 Start and Expand your Export Journey

In today’s economy, the “Made In Canada” brand abroad often paves the way for many Canadian exporters to have significant opportunities in international markets.

Exporting products and services can help companies expand sales, increase client base, and boost their bottom line.

Where to start? 

The Halton Global Business Centre (GBC) is your first stop and a local one-window hub of resources and support for Halton’s small to medium sized businesses that are looking to scale up, export and go global. It is the easiest place to start your export journey.

Whether your company is interested in exporting, just beginning to export, an experienced exporter, or “born global”, the GBC can help guide you through the many programs and resources available to Canadian exporters.

What kind of exporter are you?

  1. Interested

Are you ready to export? Interested in exporting, but unsure where to start?

  1. New

Is your business new to exporting? Do you currently export to just one or two markets, but want to explore other global markets?

  1. Born Global

Are you a new business or start-up that was “born global”? Are you looking for some referrals and networking opportunities to help you succeed?

  1. Experienced

Are you currently exporting, but looking to expand your existing activities?

How can we help?

The team at the Halton Global Business Centre (GBC) and our network of industry partners can provide free assistance to help your business assess its export-readiness, understand the global marketplace, develop an export strategy, and equip you with the extra guidance, research, tools and training to successfully compete in the global marketplace.

The Halton Global Business Centre and its partners can also help you leverage international in-market contacts, create a plan to enter into new markets, assist with accessing financing, and provide referrals and services to take your business to the next level.

Next steps?

Our Halton Global Business Centre team is available to help you navigate the world of exporting!

Visit us online at www.halton.ca/goglobal or visit us in-person at the Halton Regional Centre at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.  We’re located at the Small Business Centre.  Call 905-825-6000 ext. 7900 to learn more or book a free one-on-one consultation with our Business Consultants.

Sign-up to receive the latest information on export-related events and programs in Halton.

Join us! U.S. Tax Reform Seminar presented by KPMG – June 20th, 2018 at TechPlace, Burlington. Click here for more information and to register.


Posted in exporting, Global Business Centre, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Promoting Halton Region to Toronto’s Real Estate Community

Halton Region Economic Development along with staff from the local municipal economic development offices of Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville were once again invited to exhibit at REALTOR® QUEST Canada’s largest REALTOR® Trade Show and Conference May 29th and 30th, presented by the Toronto Real Estate Board.  We enjoyed the opportunity to speak to the real estate community about the exciting things happening in Halton.

If you are in the real estate industry, Halton Region offers many exciting residential and non-residential opportunities, services and resources.  Visit our webpages for information about our growing, dynamic communities and information about current and upcoming plans for commercial and residential real estate development in the Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville or contact us directly at ecdev@halton.ca.  We’re here to help!

Save the Date!

Commercial and industrial real estate brokers and developers are invited to attend the Halton Real Estate Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 30 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Rattlesnake Point Golf club in Milton.  Guests will learn about Halton’s economic activity and performance, regional infrastructure projects and office and industrial development trends and opportunities.  Sign up here  to receive further information about the Real Estate Forum and to receive regular economic updates delivered to your inbox.


Posted in Announcement, Economic Development, Halton commercial real estate, Halton industrial real estate, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Halton Celebrates National Economic Development Week!

EcDevWeek2018_logo (10)On May 7th, Halton Economic Development celebrated National Economic Development Week (May 7-12) with an Open House to engage, inform, and educate our colleagues about the programs and services we offer to help new and existing businesses flourish in Halton region. The event also provided an opportunity to showcase our successful clients and community partners who work with us to make Halton a place of opportunity and economic growth.

National Economic Development Week was created by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) in 2016 in order to increase awareness of local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities and increase the quality of life.  Over the last two years, more than 450 campaigns have been created throughout the United States and Canada, creating excitement and interest through social media, videos, events, and more.

To learn more about the importance of economic development, and those who are on the front lines building sustainable, prosperous communities, check out this video or follow #EDW2018.

Halton Economic Development supports businesses of all sizes and stages by providing a range of entrepreneurship and investment services through our Economic Development team and our Small Business and Global Business Centres.  We’re honoured to celebrate the profession and professionals in communities across North America.

For more information about how we can support your business, please contact us.

Posted in Announcement, Economic Development, Global Business Centre, Halton Small Business Centre, Programs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

DataInsights – Q1 2018 Labour Force Rates

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey findings indicate that the Halton labour force is in high demand and continues to outperform its neighbouring municipalities.

Halton Region’s unemployment during Q1 2018 was 4.2%, remaining lower than those witnessed in Q1 2017 (4.4%) and lower than the ten-year 2009-2018 average (5.2%).

Unemployment Rate Trend

Halton Region’s unemployment rate (4.2%) in Q1 2018 was substantially lower than Hamilton’s average (5.1%), the Provincial average (5.4%), the Greater Toronto Area (5.5%) and the National average (5.9%).

Unemployment Rate Comparisons

Halton’s labour participation rate in Q1 2018 was 66.3%.  In comparison, the Greater Toronto Area’s participation rate during Q1 2018 was 65.7% and the Provincial average was 63.9%.

Q1 Participation Rate Comparisons

We’re here to help.  Contact us for assistance in expanding your business in Halton Region, or for additional information on the Halton economy.  For more detailed statistics and historical trends, visit halton.ca/datacentre.

Posted in Data Insights, Economic Development, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

DataInsights – 2017 Halton Region Economic Review

LPS-1810161_Halton Economic Review_2018_Page_01Just released!  The 2017 Halton Region Economic Review provides a comprehensive overview of Halton’s economy and real estate development during the past year, along with highlighting Halton-related business news, employment lands servicing progress and Halton’s competitiveness within the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area.  Here are some highlights of the Review:

  • The total value of building construction reached nearly $3.1 billion – breaking last year’s record high of $2.1 billion in building permits and representing a 42 per cent increase year over year.
  • Commercial building construction across Halton reached its second highest recorded levels in 2017. The total value of new commercial construction in 2017 reached $467.8 million.
  • Halton reached full employment with a 4 per cent unemployment rate – well below the provincial average of 6 per cent. Halton’s labour force is in-demand by top employers with 75 per cent of residents having attained a post-secondary education – these are among the highest levels in Canada.
  • Business confidence within the region remained strong in 2017. Four out of five businesses are optimistic about the future and expect economic conditions to remain stable or improve and one third of businesses intend to hire additional staff in the next 12 months.

Continue reading

Posted in Data Insights, Economic Development, Halton building permits, Halton commercial real estate, Halton economic performance, Halton industrial real estate, Halton labour market, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment