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?

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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.

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.

The Rostie Group is the premier boutique provider of executive office spaces, virtual offices and meeting rooms in Toronto. 

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Could Dickens’ 200-year-old desk improve your Office Space’s productivity?

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A 200-year-old desk may have, in part, inspired the works of great novelist Charles Dickens according to its current owner, 80-year-old Desmond Zwar. The sloping desk which was with the famous novelist from early youth to adulthood appears to have been a definite favourite of Dickens’ for writing. Today marks the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth and many events are taking place to celebrate his life and his great literary contributions which include A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist.

What can you do about your desk or office space to be as productive as the greatest English novelist of the Victorian Period?

There’s a semi-popular acronym, T.R.A.F. that stands for “Toss, Refer, Act and File”, a simple but powerful tool to use when you come across papers on your desk that sets up action items for every piece of paper you find. There are only four things you can do with documents: You can Toss them, Refer them to someone else, Act on them immediately or File them away for later.

Here are 6 tips to make your office space in Toronto more organised and productive.

1. Keep stationery to a minimum.
2. Designate one place for items you empty out of your pocket.
3. The more frequently you use things the nearer they should be to you.
4. Keep wires, routers, cords etc out of sight.
5. Use a system like TRAF to make files easily accessible
6. Scan documents to maximise space. Check out apps like Evernote for this purpose

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Garner some Superbowl ‘Star Power’ with a Prime Office Space or Virtual Office in Toronto

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Indianapolis, the host of Superbowl XLVI won’t have the club or luxury hotel clout of former host cities but will celebs and the media clamour to the city this weekend?

Yes.

Whether you’re the ‘Indianapolis’ or the New York Giants of your industry, the way to get clients making a bee-line to your home office or office space is to unify clients around what they’re passionate about, i.e. quality service and products. How do you communicate quality to prospective and current clients? Firstly, a professional business image is critical to what your prospect feels compelled to do once they’ve come into contact with your business and have heard your call to action.

A central business address in downtown Toronto, professional reception service and an impressive business environment, meeting rooms space and office space speak volumes before you even meet face to face with clients. A professional image increases prospects’ expectations about how you conduct business.

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What does Indianapolis teach us about image and impressions? Impressions are, simply put, implied promises. Superbowl implies delivery of great sporting entertainment, great half-time commercials and live performances. Regardless of the name of the city, the Superbowl’s promise trumps the lack lustre celeb roll call of Indianapolis. Even if a business is a young start-up or a small local operation there is no reason why smaller operations like these can’t make a great professional promise to clients and a promise that rivals that of more established players in your industry.

How is Your Office Space Etiquette?

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We recently invited image consultant, Nicole Schwartz to be keynote speaker at one of our weekly Lunch and Learn seminars at the Rostie Group. Her presentation was entitled “How to Make Friends Quickly and Influence People”. While many rules of etiquette appear to be ‘common sense’ there are many things that aren’t as obvious or that we just haven’t thought of because of the level of comfort some of us are accustomed to, even in a professional environment.

Here is Nicole’s presentation on Slideshare.

Office Space Etiquette in Toronto

Nicole Schwartz in the Pacific Meeting Room of the Rostie Group in Toronto

Below are THREE additional rules specifically for your daily manoeuvres through your team room, in Toronto, or wherever you hang your bowler.
1. Walk around the partition  – don’t pop your head over your neighbour’s cubicle or peek into their workstation.

2. Stagger Lunch breaks – unless there’s a specific reason not to in order to provide everyone a few minutes alone at their desks.

3. Don’t invite yourself to conversations you hear over the wall. (self-explanatory)

Shared Office Space: Best of Both Worlds?

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You can enjoy the benefits of the Downtown Toronto, full-service office location with even more flexibility and none of the huge overheads that usually come with all the above. There is also that added incentive of a friendly, collaborative work environment, ripe for networking as you mix with other local business personalities.

Hot Desking is the highly efficient shared office space solution practised the world over. At the Rostie Group, our very affordable hotdesking package offers everything you need even if you only need it for say… an hour!

Pricing: $14.99 per hour, or $39.99 per month

Contact us today!

Email: info@rostiegroup.com
Tel:(416) 214-1840
Toll Free:1-800-648-1840
Fax:(416) 214-2043

When it comes to your Office Space needs we get the #Why

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WHY-300x225At the Rostie Group we get that there’s a “why” behind every business so we take pride in continuously creating innovative ways to provide added value with our own initiatives designed to bring our customers closer to their purpose and vision, or what we like to call the “why”. Read more