Singer, speaker, author and co-founder (with her husband David), of London, Ont.-based Voices.com – which connects voice talent with Fortune 500 companies such as Shopify, Hulu, Microsoft and the History Channel – Stephanie Ciccarelli is also an enthusiastic educator. She is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies, The Podcasting Ebook, and The Definitive Guide to Voice-over Success, as well as the host of Sound Stories, a podcast for creative professionals. An award-winning vocal artist herself, Ciccarelli shares the must-have tech tools instrumental to her business. Click here or on the icon above to read all about it in my latest piece for Rogers Business Forum.
Now that seven provinces (B.C., Sask., Man., Ont., Que., N.S. and N.B.) have legalized crowdfunding – collecting small contributions from a large group of people, or, the crowd – Canadian entrepreneurs have amassed between $250 million and $300 million in the last year alone to start up and scale up their businesses. But it’s not just about posting a pitch on Facebook and expecting the dough to roll in. For my latest piece for Rogers’ Business Forum, I spoke with Craig Asano, founder and CEO of the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, for some tips and tools for drawing a crowd. Read all about it by clicking here or on the icon above.
Congratulations – your hard work has paid off, your business is growing, you’re ready to hire your first employee, or add to your lean team. Since your company is small, you want to be sure whoever you share your work space with is a good fit. Beyond a clear job description, Cissy Pau, principal consultant at Vancouver–based Clear HR Consulting Inc., offers some key queries to ask the candidate in question in my latest piece for Rogers’ Business Forum. Click here or on the icon above to read all about it.
Can you dictate how your staff dresses? How many days to allot for time off? What about device use? Who knows? Unless you have a well–defined, well–communicated company policy, you can cause confusion, chaos, even a lawsuit. I spoke with an employment lawyer and an HR expert for some tips on drafting provisions and protocols for some of the more common issues affecting small businesses. To read more about it in my latest piece for Rogers’ Business Forum, click here or on the icon above.
They’re the most wired generation — they’ve never known a world without the internet — and they’re the most ethnically diverse generation — 15% of them are from a visible minority background, according to Ipsos Canada. They’re Generation Z, those born after 1996, and they’re affecting everything from commerce (they’re not that into money) to education (fewer are interested in pursuing college) to the workforce (they’re more likely to start their own business) to the environment (they’re big on recycling) to food (ethically sourced, exotic flavours). It’s this last category that’s giving restaurants plenty to chew on. To find out why, click here or on the icon above to read my first piece for The Canadian Press.
You work hard to build a business that gives you satisfaction. But what if that satisfaction doesn’t extend to your customers? And what if those dissatisfied customers air their beefs to the entire world, via Yelp or Facebook? Negative comments and reviews can hurt your business, so you must address them. But there’s a right way and a wrong way, says Deirdre Campbell, managing director of Victoria–based communications firm Beattie Tartan. To find out which is which, click here or on the icon above to read my latest piece for Rogers’ Business Forum.
How would my customers grade their experience with my company? Glad you asked. According to William Schatten, vice–president of Research & Analytics for Toronto’s Forum Research Inc., whether you’re launching a new product or service, or just want to check in, customer surveys help you take the pulse of your patrons and gain valuable insight about their likes and dislikes. For more on his do’s and don’ts for getting the most out of your Q’s and A’s, click here or on the icon above to read my latest piece for Rogers’ Business Forum.