Hiring For Small Business — Overcoming Challenges And Tips For Success

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By Jason Whitman (Huffington Post)

According to the most recent ADP employment report, small businesses added 82,000 jobs to the U.S. economy in April. Also, according to the Small Business Administration, small businesses provide more than half of all jobs in the U.S. But, as every small business owner knows, each and every one of these individuals within your business makes a difference and has the opportunity to move the needle depending on whether that individual is the right fit for the business.

We interact with small business owners every day to help make that right hire that is so essential to the bottom line. It’s clear that not having the right person in an open role can make or break the future success of your small business. But hiring that perfect talent for an opening is not always something that small businesses feel well-equipped to tackle.

Often, small business owners feel a lot of similar pain points, which typically fall within three major areas:

Time is of the essence for a small business owner looking to hire talent. In contrast with a larger company, where hiring managers do workforce planning, have some flexibility and often can afford to be patient when hiring, small business owners can’t. Typically, if they don’t fill an “empty seat” quickly, the work to be done accelerates in a ripple effect, seriously increasing the workload of the rest of the employees.

Read more of this ‘Huffington Post’ article here…

Working on the Go? 5 Ways to Protect Your Mobile Device

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Published Tuesday, May 13th, 2014, by Jo Disney – News and Features Editor, U.K. (Officing Today)

With mobile working and BYOD becoming the norm, the question of security is nudging its way ever higher up the priority list.

We live in a world where there are more mobile devices than people. Research suggests that soon, the average person will carry 1.5 mobile devices (although, you’re probably already on 2 or 3 yourself).

The question is, in a world obsessed by mobile technology, how do you keep your devices safe and secure?

We’re not just talking viruses. Shoulder-to-shoulder working in coffee shops, walking to the station or leaving your laptop in the car can leave you open to the risk of theft. How do you protect against theft? And if your device is stolen, how do you keep sensitive data locked away?

Read more of this ‘Officing Today’ article here…

Essential Tips for Small Business Data Security

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FIVE ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR SMALL BUSINESS DATA SECURITY – BY GUY CHIARELLO (Huffington Post)

Given the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks in today’s world, it is more important than ever for small businesses to understand the costly effects of a data breach and develop an approach to mitigate the risks. The cost of a data breach for a small merchant can be catastrophic. The lost business and resulting liability from such an event can create significant financial losses, but the damaged reputation could be even more difficult, if not impossible, to recover from at all.

A recent study from Ponemon Institute shows that 90 percent of data breaches impact small merchants. Given that payment data is the target for 65 percent of breaches, small business owners should be concerned by the potential vulnerability of sensitive payment data used to process transactions every day, in multiple ways — in person, online and even via mobile device.

Small businesses can protect their customers and themselves, even though there is no guarantee of complete immunity to the threat. By staying educated and understanding solutions and best practices that are available, small businesses can reduce the risk of a data breach with cost-effective options.

Read more of this ‘Huffington Post’ article here…

Book your meeting online with one click! The Rostie Group is Toronto’s premier mid-sized meetings and conference centre and boutique provider of fully furnished personal and shared workspaces including virtual offices, team rooms, workstations, coworking spaces and event spaces. Situated at Bay and Queen’s Quay in the city’s thriving south core, our experienced and professional staff are always on hand and dedicated to your business success.

Business Tips To Build Lasting Relationships With Your Client

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By Deborah Asseraf | Social Pulse | May 12, 2014

It’s not about me – it’s all about YOU!

May 12-16 is National Small Business Week. This annual spotlight on small businesses began in 1963. It recognizes the essential contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, drive innovation, increase America’s global competitiveness, and jobs. More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

A small business owner must have hundreds maybe even thousands of sales conversations over the course of a year in order grow their business. So there are plenty of opportunities for authentic connections, shared insights and the occasional foot-in-mouth moment.  Here are a few ways to ensure you’re connecting and putting your best foot forward – instead of in your mouth.

Make the conversation about the other person

The need to be heard is one of the most powerful motivating forces in human nature. The first instinct is to share what we know, think or care about instead of putting the focus on the person we’re talking to.

Read the rest of this ‘The Epoch Times’ article, click here …

 

Book your meeting online with one click! The Rostie Group is Toronto’s premier mid-sized meetings and conference centre and boutique provider of fully furnished personal and shared workspaces including virtual offices, team rooms, workstations, coworking spaces and event spaces. Situated at Bay and Queen’s Quay in the city’s thriving south core, our experienced and professional staff are always on hand and dedicated to your business success.

Six tips to create a more customer-focused business

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By Amanda Jesnoewski

If you want to create a real competitive edge in your business start focusing on your customers. It sounds obviously simple, but the fact is most businesses continue to focus on what value they can get as opposed to what value they can give.

 

But when you start to focus on your customers and what they want and need, you create better products and services, generate more business opportunities and sales, develop more loyal customers and increase your referrals.

 

So to ensure you are reaping the benefits and profits of giving value, here are six tips to help you create a more customer-focused business.

 

1. Stay connected to the needs of your customers

 

Your business success is directly determined by how connected you are with your customer and their needs. As a business owner it can be easy to fall into the trap of offering, stocking or doing what you want instead of considering what your customers want, but it’s one of the fastest ways to limit your growth.

 

To refocus yourself and remain connected to your customer you need to be constantly asking questions, both of your customers and of yourself. Questions like what do my customers want from my product, service, business or industry? What are their current frustrations or complaints and how can they be improved or solved?

Read more…

 

 

Book your meeting online with one click! The Rostie Group is Toronto’s premier mid-sized meetings and conference centre and boutique provider of fully furnished personal and shared workspaces including virtual offices, team rooms, workstations, coworking spaces and event spaces. Situated at Bay and Queen’s Quay in the city’s thriving south core, our experienced and professional staff are always on hand and dedicated to your business success.

National Day of Honour – Red Friday

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The Rostie Group in Rainy Lake Meeting Room on National Day of Honour - Red Friday Staff Picture - Toronto

The ninth of May has been officially declared ‘National Day of Honour’. It is an opportunity for Canadians to honour the valour, strength and sacrifices of all those who served in Afghanistan over the last 12 years, including more than 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces members who helped to combat terrorism, stabilize Afghanistan and rebuild the country’s capacity to provide its own security.

A service on Parliament Hill was held today to pay respect to the sacrifices of the wounded and fallen soldiers, as well as the extraordinary burden borne by families. All Canadians paid tribute to the legacy of these heroes by observing a national moment of silence.

At Rostie Group, we went out of our way to dress in red and commemorate this special occasion. All staff members were encouraged to participate and pay tribute on this important day. The Rostie Group has been in business for over 20 years and has worked with a large number of individuals that have connections to the service men and women who honour our country.

 “Canada played a central role in Afghanistan for more than a decade. Project by project, kilometre by kilometre, Canadians helped give Afghanistan back to Afghans. With Canada’s help, thousands of members of the Afghan National Security Forces have been trained, hundreds of kilometres of roads have been built or repaired, dozens of schools have been restored, thousands of teachers trained, and millions of children have been vaccinated against diseases like polio. Their valour, sacrifices and remarkable accomplishments in the face of incredible odds will continue to inspire and guide us as Canada continues its development, aid and good governance work in Afghanistan.”

 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper

 National Day of Honour Afghanistan

For more information, the official programme for National Day of Honour can be viewed at: http://www.app.forces.gc.ca/ndoh-jndc/assets/documents/ndoh_programme_guide_en.pdf

Dutch perspective on Toronto’s Future, Urban planning, and Design

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Toronto Meeting about Urban Planning and Design

With the new RBC WaterPark Place  office tower being built, waterfront redevelopment, and all the construction in Toronto’s South Core,  our CEO, Cynthia Rostie, sent us on a mission to learn more about urban planning in Toronto. Housing several start-ups and taking pride in our innovative clients, Cynthia felt it would a great opportunity for us to also see a full blown innovation centre in action.  Abigail Bristow and Samantha Flores would like to thank MARs Discovery District Centre for hosting a meeting on the “Dutch perspective on Toronto’s future, Urban planning Design”, which they attended on May 7, 2014.

The event provided excellent insight into what Toronto could be in about 30 years time. The evening consisted of an engaging dialog between Maarten Hajer, the head of the Dutch National Institute for Strategic Policy Analysis, Jennifer Keesmaat, the chief planner of Toronto and Daan Roosegaarde, a social designer.

Key objectives that came from the meeting:

– Digital Urbanism – Pilot projects vs Long term infrastructure (build to last? OR build to send a message?)

– A city’s transition plan to succeed; make sure we consider what makes the city work with high numbers (ie: more parks and community housing)

– Technology is at the forefront of Urban planning

– Use construction to advertise your city’s environments and sustainability of walking.

The event was hosted by MaRS Discovery District, feel free to visit http://www.marsdd.com to learn more about them.

Check out our new office tower that is opening in a few months!

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RBC WaterPark Place: http://t.co/rIyFNxUaqT

RBC WaterPark Place, at 933,000 SF and 30 storeys, is where the modern Toronto workplace is headed. The property offers an inspiring work experience, with the city’s only PATH connection to the waterfront, 360-degree lake and skyline views, intelligent amenities, and a vital and refreshing waterfront location. It is the third, and final, tower in the WaterPark Place complex. And as the city’s first LEED Platinum office tower, it is the evolution of efficient, sustainable building design. The project has been designed by WZMH and developed by Oxford Properties.

Why You Should Love Video Conferencing in Toronto

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Many small and mid-sized businesses owners share the challenge of operating companies with an understaffed and overworked IT department on tight operating budgets.

In the face of these challenges, how will you grow your small to mid-sized business enough to reach new markets while competing with much larger companies? Video-conferencing is one way to reduce the costs of expansion and the challenges in communication that come with. Here are some other benefits of video-conferencing.

1. Save Money

Prohibitive travel costs no longer need be so prohibitive with video-conferencing solutions. Save money on travel while conveniently maintaining quality relationships with clients and staying in touch with colleagues on a regular basis.Whittle down your travel budget to include one or two high profile,critical face-to-face meetings a year.

2. Retain Talent

Studies bear it out and you may be inclined to agree that the majority of employees like to telecommute. In this mobile work culture increase your ability to keep your top talent by giving employees who relocate or need to work from home a few days a week and in turn save on office space, expensive restaffing and retraining. This will be especially critical If your firm is small and relies on the expertise of a small trusted unit that has built up goodwill with your customer base and represents hard-to-replace institutional knowledge.

Don’t wait months to meet. Make quick timely decisions via web conference where you and your team can discuss and share immediate feedback…

3. Add a Personal Touch

4. Archive sessions for retraining purposes or review

5. Reduce commute time and “downtime”. Increase productivity

6. Video Conferencing Saves Time

7. Get in on the Act

Size no longer has to limit smaller businesses from going global. The 90s belonged to the multinationals who were infrastructure and capital-rich and could therefore take advantage of globalization. Videoconferencing tools have shrunken the globe and now smaller companies can be cross shores and be fast, nimble worthy competitors internationally.

Take advantage of web and video conferencing. It’s easy now that the latest services are much less expensive and more flexible than before.

 

Could Your Business Use 131 million YouTube views?

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Tom Dickson, Founder and CEO of BlendTec tests his blender on everyday items to see if they will… well, blend. The Will It Blend series was a huge success with total video views exceeding 131 million. Could your business use 131 million YouTube views?

Creating video for web is very low cost, cost effective and the potential ROI greatly exceeds that of traditional media. Here are a few tips to creating effect videos for the web.

Catchy titles – make your title catchy. With the right keywords (don’t forget Google owns Youtube) you will make your video easier to find with the right searches by the right people.  “How To…” videos are great because the title communicates what should be in the video and it implicitly positions you, the uploader as an expert in the topic.

Short & Sweet – Provide great compact, content and get to the point. Studies show that the average attention span of internet users has decreased from a few minutes to a few seconds over the past five years. Some video bloggers use special editing techniques to keep their audience engaged by having regular, abrupt transitions. Your video doesn’t have to go to this extreme but bearing this in mind will be critical to the success of your video.

FAQ & A – A good place to start if it’s your first video is answering FAQs’ (Frequently Asked Questions) about your service category or something related to the problem you solve for customers. Answering questions sets you up as an expert in the eyes of your prospects and gives you a competitive edge by taking a step towards the trust necessary to have your product or service chosen.

Myth Busting – Listing commonly held misconceptions about your industry can be effective because this content not only demonstrates knowledge but potential clients will most likely find this information educational and memorable. For added effect explain away these myths by using a story about how you solved a related problem for a client.

If you want to learn more about creating effective video for the web that will dramatically increase the visibility of your business, watch this FREE webinar on Monday, April 9, 12-1 pm EDT with Sofia Stefou of Sofina Media.

Register here.

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