Business Owner's Digest

By Clemens Rettich | Stories, news, and tips to support the success of the North American small business owner.

Vancouver ramen restaurant goes cash-free as diners ditch paper

Cold, hard cash won’t get you delicious, hot noodles at this Vancouver restaurant. While cash-only restaurants are a common sight around town, one …

Canada faces angry Americans in pivotal Montreal NAFTA talks

Canada will be hosting an annoyed and angry United States as the sixth round of talks in the North American Free Trade Agreement renegotiation unfold …

Canada

Gloom over debts and NAFTA threats trounced by 'positive surprises': Don Pittis

It will likely be a hard sell for Canadians pinched by another increase in debt payments, but the Bank of Canada says yesterday's interest rate hike …

For Better Customer Service, Offer Options, Not Apologies

<b>Jagdip Singh,</b> a professor of marketing at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, explains his research team’s new findings about customer satisfaction. He says apologizing is often counterproductive and that offering customers different possible solutions is …

Customer Service

BlackRock’s Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support

On Tuesday, the chief executives of the world’s largest public companies will be receiving a letter from one of the most influential investors in the world. And what it says is likely to cause a firestorm in the corner offices of companies everywhere and a debate over social responsibility that …

Black Rock

There’s still an appalling problem with the Liberals’ tax changes for small businesses

In the months of controversy that followed after the federal government issued a number of proposed tax changes for private corporations last July, …

Retirement

10 Franchises Reveal What They Look for in a Franchisee

Want to be a franchisee? Well, it takes more than just finding the right franchise for your needs and lifestyle. The process of becoming a franchisee is one that requires both the franchisee and the franchisor to feel like they have found the perfect fit. There are, of course, financial …

Entrepreneurship

Labour shortage looming large as restaurants mark banner year

Cresting off a phenomenal year thanks to a strong economy, low Canadian dollar and robust cruise ship season, many Victoria restaurants are trying to …

Restaurants

'Right thing to do': JJ Bean gives Ontario minimum wage to Vancouver staff

Regular JJ bean customers may have noticed that the price of a full-bodied cup of Railtown has risen by a few cents. The company, which has stores in …

Facebook is making sweeping changes to its news feed, here’s what to expect

Facebook is set to make sweeping changes to how your news feed works, making posts from businesses, brands and media less prominent.<p>The social media …

Facebook

Stop Exceeding Customer Expectations: To Create Immediate Loyalty Do This Instead

Everyone wants to exceed customer expectations, maybe it is time to modernize your methods.<p>Churn kills business.<p>A few years back I was part a global account team and we were failing with a Fortune 100 client. We tried everything: we looked at all of their business requirements and then went above …

Customer Experience

Why these small business owners are embracing the minimum wage boost

On the face of it, business owners Gilleen Witkowski and Damin Starr have little in common: a millennial entrepreneur with a downtown Toronto dog …

Small Business

The premier should not be picking fights with small business owners

Who’s the real bully here? Could it be the government that has said businesses that can’t pay a $15 per hour wage don’t deserve to be in business? …

Kathleen Wynne

Here’s a province-by-province breakdown of Canada’s record-low unemployment rates

Canada’s unemployment rate reached its lowest point in over 40 years in December, according to a labour force survey released by Statistics Canada on …

Economy

Even before the latest minimum-wage meltdown, Tim Hortons was a brand in crisis

James Pickersgill would be the first to tell you he’s not a master of social media. And he wouldn’t exactly call himself an activist, even though he …

Tim Hortons

Canada adds 79,000 jobs in December, blowing past expectations

Canada added 79,000 jobs last month, blowing past expectations and pushing the jobless rate to its lowest level since 1976. The jobless rate was …

People thought millennials hated credit cards — then JPMorgan cracked the code with the Chase Sapphire Reserve (JPM)

Matt Cowan/Getty<p><b>JPMorgan Chase made a splash with its now-legendary Sapphire reserve credit card, thanks in part to figuring out what millennials</b> …

Personal Finance

Employees Say This 1 Thing Would Make Them Work Harder (And 6 Reasons Why Managers Won't Do It) ​

Letting employees know that you appreciate them is far more crucial than you think.<p>Contrary to popular belief, fear isn't the strongest motivator.<p>81 percent of respondents to Glassdoor's <i>Employee Appreciation Survey</i> said they're motivated to work harder when their boss shows appreciation for their …

Leadership

Google Identifies Seven Characteristics for Success: Here’s How Companies Can Foster Them

An article in The Washington Post describes a new and rigorous study by Google that identifies the seven top characteristics of success for their employees. The very skills that Google identifies at the top are nearly the same skills that business people develop by serving on nonprofit boards: …

Nonprofits

5 Strategies to Keep Your Retail Brand From Suffering the Same Fate as Those Big Box Stores

How is it that we have come to live in a world where esteemed companies like Sears and Macy’s, once synonymous with "retail," are closing countless …

Calgary Chamber of Commerce survey finds business beleaguered by rising costs

Calgary businesses are struggling to cope with the combined impacts of minimum wage hikes, soaring property taxes and the provincial carbon levy, …

Economy

5 Simple Website Fundamentals Many Small Businesses Overlook

Don't allow yourself to forget about the true purpose of your website by focusing only the flashy elements.<p>Gone are the days where it was expensive and time consuming for a small business to get a website up and running. In fact, 92 percent of small businesses project to launch a website by the end …

Are You Worrying About the Right Things in Your Business?

The pitfalls (and power) of irrationality<p>Worry. It has a bad reputation, to some extent deserved, if worry is taken to mean being nervous and concerned but not taking action, even if action is called for.<p>But worry is important when it is a catalyst for considered action. I say <i>considered</i> action …

CRA looking to crack down on Paypal business accounts

CALGARY – The records of Canadians who use PayPal business accounts to make and receive payments will soon be in the hands of the federal …

‘Reserve army’ of precariously employed keeps lid on wages

<i>Andrew Jackson is adjunct research professor in the Institute of Political Economy at Carleton University, and senior policy adviser to the Broadbent Institute.</i><p>Many economists and central bankers in both the United States and Canada say they are puzzled by the current co-existence of very low …

Economics

Redirect Notice

Missing pay rises: the ever deepening economics mystery

Economics is gripped by its own mystery drama: why are central banks setting interest rates on the basis of a seemingly broken economic model?<p>As mysteries go, it doesn’t rank with Murder on the Orient Express or the identity of Gerald the mole in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but the economics …

Economics

Guiding Principles for Closing the Gap Between Strategy Design and Delivery

Every CEO or leader knows that strategy design, coupled with excellence in the implementation of that strategy, is central to an organization’s sustainable growth and prosperity.<br>Yet most strategic initiatives fail to deliver, and they do so at great cost in time and resources. In a new global …

Sustainability

The 10 Commandments of Effective Communication

Effective communication is easier said than done. How can we do better?<p>Communication is the lifeblood of every relationship. A lack of healthy communication causes marriages to fail, creates distance between parents and children and can destroy the culture of any organization.<p>Effective …

Leadership