More articles in category: Small Business

The Second Type of Bad Fit Employee

In a previous article, I discussed Bad Fit Employees (BFEs) who do not fit the culture of a company (see link) Productive or not, the situation has to be remedied or it will have a negative effect on the organization. A second type of people …

A Lucky Break

When you’re trying to change your life, it’s easy to become focused on the end result to the exclusion of all else.  This makes perfect sense. Upheaving your life like that is all sorts of scary. And if we don’t see the changes happening in the timeframe we want (read: need), we can become discouraged. Thoughts of failure and self-doubt begin to creep in. At those times, yo...

5 Reasons to Support Small Businesses This Season

The holidays are upon us and for many that means a lot of holiday shopping! Do you typically shop from large retailers or smaller businesses? Have you given some thought to the rationale for shopping small this holiday season? In today’s post, we’ll talk about that in more depth. Here are five good reasons to support small businesses this season….

Freedom – A Farce For The Self-Employed

Freedom. What IS that anyway? For most, it’s elusive, evasive and somewhere else other than in the present moment. The freedom you planned to inherit when you quit your job is now remotely in your thoughts. Bogged down by the various laundry lists of things to do and deliverables to get done, there is no time for “doing what you want, when you want”.

The passage of...

Changes to Small Business Tax Law

Small businesses are often considered to be at the core of the Canadian economy- at least, this is what we hear every election cycle from our politicians. Recently, however, we have begun to see what amounts to an attack on Canadian small businesses, especially those which are family owned.


Bill Morneau, Canada’s Finance Minister, announced in March that we…


Reflections don’t always show the whole truth. Do you agree? Let me explain. Sometimes we are so focused on what we want to see that we don’t actually see the thing for what it is.

The other day I went for a walk in a park which I had never visited before. I snapped this picture and then something caught my eye – a sudden splash in the water. I looked again and all...

What Would I Do if I WON The Bookstore?

As more people hear about our essay contest to become the new owner of From My Shelf Books & Gifts(see for more information), they tell us it’s an “interesting idea”, but many believe it’s n…

Write An Essay, Win a Bookstore!

After many years of running a successful bookstore in Wellsboro, a local couple is ready to move on to new pursuits. But they’re not selling their bookstore using a traditional method. They’re offering one person the chance to win a bookstore for $75.

Kevin and Kasey Coolidge started From My Shelf Books & Gifts in their hometown in 2006. It was their dream to…

Thanks For Giving

By Ken Ingram,  

Each year I am reminded of many things, and probably the most important would be to count your blessings and to say thank you. Thanksgiving Day in Canada has been a holiday on the second Monday of October since 1957. I was born in October in 1957 so I guess in some respects I need to thank my late parents who gave me life in 1957….

Selling a Book to Independent Booksellers

I own an independent bookstore, and I hear a lot of pitches from a lot of writers, and most of them aren’t very good. In addition to working in my bookstore, I’m also an indie author. This gives me a unique insight from both sides of the pitch.

Know Your Audience

When I ask you who your demographic is, and you reply, “My book is for everyone,” you’re wrong. …

Are Your Values Really Core?

Over the past 20 years, there are many consulting terms that have become the subject of ridicule and derision, not to mention the office meeting game of buzzword bingo. “Synergy”, “Empower”, “Disruptive Technology”, “Bleeding Edge”, “Bandwidth”, “Value Proposition” are among the often-meaningless words and phrases that have become a caricature of themselves. 

Along wi…

Product line extension!

My previous article discussed a recent consideration to diversify my brand and extend my product line: either in diversification and product extensions or extending the sales channels both to additional online marketplaces as well as consideration of brick and mortar opportunities.

With ambitions for expansion, I decided to first begin by taking the leap to ex…

IMAGINATION A Blessing or a Curse?

Are you the type of person who imagines the worst outcome every time? If this not you, you likely know someone who does this at the best of times.  Imagination – the one unlimited resource every small business owner have at their disposal. It can be the biggest blessing or the worst curse. 

At times of uncertainty or instability business owners often find themselves i…

3 Ways to Take Control Of Overwhelm

Overwhelm Monster Under Desk.jpg

3 Ways to Take Back Control from a Monster Called Overwhelm.

Overwhelm…I’ve used it myself on several occasions, this term, overwhelm… or more specifically “I am feeling so overwhelmed”.  …

  • Papa Business started off with a creative idea, a passion, and very little cash. Armed with this dream and what appeared to be a solid foundation he was on the road to success and another  family business was launched. Mama Business as the self-proclaimed CFO, with clothes iron in one hand and velvet glove on the other did her best to help keep the fou...

    Raising Pigs

    Life in Cuba has been really hard since Fidel took control. One of the easiest/common ways to make money is to raise pigs so obviously I did it, anything that I could do to raise money on the side. I remember my mom gave me a really nice cell phone as a gift, it was worth a lot of money in Cuba. A sa teenager, awe all loved to have a really nice cellphone as a kid in Cuba b…

    Business Transition Risk Management

    Many business owners are outstanding when it comes to working in their business yet put aside very little time to work on their business. This includes time for one of the most important milestones that every businesses will eventually face. How to effectively sell, transition or even close the business. Putting aside time to work on something so far out into the fut…

    Paretos Law and Trust

    Reading Time:70 Seconds

    The Pareto Principle, or ’80-20 Rule,’ one of the simplest, and most powerful management tools on the planet. On the face of it this is an easy way to think about and understand situations both personal and business.

    It is named after Italian economist and Sociologist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923), who first discovere…

    You think you sell a product, but you don’t

    You think you sell a product, but you don’t.

    When people buy from you, they don’t buy a product or a service, they buy a solution to a problem or a new opportunity.

    What do people get by working with you?

    Remember that above all, we’re selling solutions.

    Focus on getting crystal clear on what solution you’re selling.

    I see so many people ...

    So You Want To Be A Restaurateur – Part 4

    Part 4: Happy Staff, Happy Customers

    In the hospitality industry, customer happiness is Priority #1 with expectations of the serving staff to sacrifice for this goal. Often times, said serving staff will be scrutinized to appease the customers for one reason or another: a staff member will apologize when they did nothing wrong, a manager will bla…

    One Word A Speaker Should Never Say

    She said it. Before she said anything else, she uttered this one word and it absolutely sabotaged her speech. Of course, she was nervous. We saw that by the way she uncomfortably wrung her hands as she walked up to the lectern. That’s expected. But, then she opened up her mouth and the first word that came out was…


    Then she went on to giv…

    Why successful SMEs need to go beyond technical tr

    Smaller companies tend to focus exclusively on technical training

    Technical skills (AKA “hard skills”) are job-specific competencies that every employee in a given role needs to possess. They include skills like how to use a specific machine, software system, or process. They also include higher skilled competencies like knowledge of law for a …

    Are you 20/80 or 80/20?

    By Ken Ingram

    To run a successful and competitive business, it is essential to follow a set of rules, principles and laws. More often than not failure to adhere to rules, principles and laws will culminate in a short yet regrettable business venture. That being said, it is interesting to learn that one of the principles that can have the largest …

    From Passion to Profits

    My recent articles have shared the journey of my successful online shop. I have been getting a lot of feedback and questions about how I turned my personal project into a successful, profitable endeavor, which is why I chose to share this anecdote.

    The success of my shop is a unique story, with an equally unique niche target audience, that definitely cannot rela…

    So You Want To Be A Restaurateur? – Part 3

    So far I have talked about the importance of market research and having a passion for the food industry prior to establishing your restaurant. Now let’s move onto our next topic:

    Part 3: Simplification

    Have you ever been to a restaurant and couldn’t decide what to order because there were so many options to choose from? As you may have hinte…

    So You Want To Be A Restaurateur? – Part 2

    Last week I started my first of several articles on advice for aspiring restaurateurs. I talked about the importance of market research prior to establishing your restaurant, and hit on two key points to keep an eye out for: market saturation and a potential customer populace. Now let’s move onto our next topic:

    Part 2: Passion for the I…

    New business: How to avoid the perfect storm.

     Over 10 years ago I had the wild and crazy idea of opening a business. What was crazy is I thought I was just opening a photo studio with a partner – not a business! After all, I was following my heart and a pipe dream.


    One could say ignorance is bliss. “Go with all you got, you will succeed because you are passionate, good and love what…

    So You Want To Be A Restaurateur? – Part 1

    Restaurants have been around for decades upon decades. Despite this, many restaurants struggle to stay alive because they do not understand the best practices of the industry. I, myself, am an aspiring restaurateur, so to prepare for this dream of mine, I have created a list of what I think are best practices for running a successful restaurant. In this series of articl…

    Thinking of selling your products online?

    My recent articles discussed how I came across an opportunity to sell my designs online. I had created a unique, niche design, with an equally unique, niche target audience. Based on customer requests, I knew that I already had customer demand and there was definitely opportunity for success with online sales.

    When considering selling products on…

    Using competition to create opportunities

    In my previous post, I discussed how sharing a viral photo from a personal project catapulted a new business venture, resulting in a successful online shop selling customized labels for party favours. Although this created hundreds of client opportunities for me, it also created a new niche market, and with that, many new competitors.

    At first, bothered by the …

    How a viral photo influenced my business decisions

    With social media taking over the way we socialize, interact, shop, and make decisions, it was only a matter of time before it influenced my business decisions… here is a personal anecdote on how my viral photo set the groundwork for a successful start-up venture. I hope that by sharing this story, it will inspire other entrepreneurs to gain the momentu…

    Taking the Leap & Starting a Side Venture

    Some of the most successful businesses start in the most unexpected ways… my latest side venture is certainly a testament to that! A purely personal project opened up doors in ways I would never have imagined, and turned into a profitable business venture!

    Here is a bit about my story… I’m hoping that by sharing it, it can inspire other aspiring…

    Stay Motivated in 2017 + Free Printables!

    One of my favourite ways to stay motivated and keep myself on-track with long term goals is to set visual inspiration for myself – whether this is a large calendar highlighting goals and milestones met, a photo or visual of a goal, or a print-out of an inspiration quote that reminds me what I’m working for, and how far I’ve come. Keeping this posted a…

    10 Reasons To Expand Your Business

    To expand or not to expand your business – that is the question!

    So you have a business your working and your thinking, “Is it time I expand?” Well I have comprised a list of things to consider before making your decision to expand your business. Personally, I am in the process of making this decision for myself with my cleaning business. 

    1. You are at f…

    Is the customer always right?

    In the business of graphic design… is the customer always right?

    In many areas of business, I agree with the motto “the customer is always right”. Even when they’re in the wrong, it is important for a business to make their customers feel respected, welcomed, and encouraged to share their opinion in order to forge strong customer relations, maintain customer sat…


    Hello! Thanks for taking the time to read my very first article! I wanted to take a moment and introduce myself and my business.

    I am a 30-something creative-enthusiast, formally trained as a professional graphic designer, I have a passion for creative problem solving, and an eye for design, colour, and detail that has translated into a vibrant career as a graphic des…