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Issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Entrepreneur Elias taps triggers to sales success

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Tofino 2017: Adventure and Luxury abound at Long Beach Lodge

Tofino 2017: Adventure and Luxury abound at Long Beach Lodge

It was hard to imagine more beautiful scenery than what I see in my frequent visits to Kananaskis Country and Banff National Park and just looking out the window on my drive to university in Calgary every morning. Then I visited Tofino on Vancouver Island.

Even the drive with my dad from the ferry terminal in Nanaimo to Tofino was breathtaking. Each time there was a break in the forest of towering trees on the side of the highway, I could see the open water lined by majestic mountains. I had... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Business travel technology smarts

Business travelers have gotten pretty complacent about travelling with their electronics. Need to finish that important presentation? No problem, there is power and probably even Wi-Fi on the plane. Want a friend or an Uber to pick you up at the airport? No drama, just take your phone off airplane mode as soon as you land and your ride will be awaiting. Those golden days may be ending.

While it’s unlikely that we will be forced to fly naked anytime soon, and that is indeed a horrible image... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Look in the mirror first – four ways you might be creating the problems you hate

If you are the main contributor to the input, make sure you start with YOU when attempting to change the output.

One of the unspoken oaths that is taken when placed in the position of “coach” at any level is the pledge to say what is on your mind no matter what. I call it the truth-serum oath.

Sometimes it really challenges perception around “customer service” because what the customer will often request is not always what the coach sees as the TRUE issue. How to balance the... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

What’s a Canadian manufacturer to do?

Wesure has done what most businesses in Alberta have done; cut the fat and control expenses. But then what? What does a 47-year-old Alberta manufacturer with a reputation for high-quality manufacturing do? Wesure’s choice was to reinvigorate itself by upping its game and taking the opportunity to do business in a different way.

Wesure started this process by looking outward at the changing Alberta business landscape to try to understand how to best serve our current customers and,... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Reorganize. Or die.

How do you run a successful Canadian small business? Buy a large one and wait.

It is a classic joke that is not too far from reality looking at the current horizon of business health in Canada. Looking closely at the Globe and Mail’s “Top 1,000” Businesses in Canada shows that only 407 of them were profitable last year!

As our local and global economies shift, creating a tremendous array of opportunity, a lot of business leaders are still waiting for things to come back or turn again... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Hire Intelligence

Uniserve Communications names Jeffery CEO

Uniserve Communications Corporation has hired Nicholas Jeffery as its CEO. A former Director of the Data Centre Solutions group at CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm, Jeffery makes the move from London, England, to Vancouver. His wife and young family will join him in the spring.

At CBRE, Jeffery was responsible for client strategy, advising data centre owners and multinational corporations on data centre... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

On your mark, get set, grow

In these volatile economic times, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are confronted with difficult decisions. First and foremost is the challenge of balancing operating costs while intelligently growing their business. This becomes even more pronounced when examining innovative, fast-growth companies with evolving business

needs. Beyond payroll, the most significant recurring expenses for SMEs is typically rent, equipment and inventory, so making affordable real estate decisions can... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Technique Adjustment Consulting: Helping businesses grow from the inside out

Technique Adjustment Consulting: Helping businesses grow from the inside out

Marcy Krafft and Tony McGrath readily admit that their consulting business runs counter culture to the current predominant thinking in the world of business and organizations.

But the married couple and founders of Technique Adjustment Consulting have established a humanity-driven approach to helping others succeed – an approach that is fueled by passion for what they do.

“It starts in a belief. And our belief is that by creating healthy organizational environments, businesses and... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

BC Real estate: Beyond common knowledge

There has been a lot of media splash and excitement recently about the real estate market in the Metro Vancouver area.

Stories abound over the market being severely affected by the recent 15% tax on foreign buyers. This tax did indeed have a temporary effect on prices for homes in the greater Vancouver area, and had a much more significant impact on areas such as Surrey, where in some examples we saw a 15% drop in sale prices (not that significant in the big picture).

Sellers and... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Phoenixx rises to your mobile software challenges

Phoenixx rises to your mobile software challenges

If you are a business wondering whether you should jump into the mobile world, here is a stunning statistic that will make your decision an easy one to make.

More than 81 per cent of the three billion worldwide web users today access the Internet from their smartphones.

“This is more than a trend. Today if a business – even a very small one – is not present in the mobile world, if people can’t find your product or services, if you are not there, you are out of the game,” says... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

When a business ceases to be small- it loses something

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a normal aspiration to want to grow larger. It’s instilled in us from the day we start to crawl, but mass (not size) isn’t everything. Rather, it’s the quality of the product, service and delivery that counts.

I have been fortunate enough to have created numerous startups. Not all have been successful, and the failures take a toll. I’ve also run an incubator business, working to mentor and steward entrepreneurs.

Trust me, the problems are the same in... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

We are in a digital time. Full stop.

Having an outdated website, or not having one at all, reflects negatively on a company’s brand. Poorly managed social media platforms mean the company is missing out on vital two-way communication and related sales and customer service opportunities. Without blogs, a company will struggle with website traffic and other SEO necessities, such as organic Google rankings. It can be exhausting to keep up with it all, and if not done right it can be damaging to your business.

That is why... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 2

Entrepreneur Elias Taps Triggers to Sales Success

Entrepreneur Elias Taps Triggers to Sales Success

Craig Elias has discovered a unique approach to building business over the years.

He does this by turning more prospects into loyal customers through the harnessing of trigger events to repeatedly get to the right people at exactly the right time.

Elias, the creator of Trigger Event Selling™, and the Chief Catalyst of SHiFT Selling, Inc., is a highly sought- after speaker and trainer, delivering unique, compelling and relevant content.

Elias helps people identify the specific Trigger... Keep Reading

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Issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Featuring 20 Questions with Ed Torrance

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Is the Green Economy here yet?

Is the Green Economy here yet?

The commercialization of technological innovation is a tremendous wealth creator.

Just look at IBM, Apple, Microsoft and Google: the list of companies which have created remarkable businesses riding technological waves is endless and expanding.

Apple started with computers, went big on software, pivoted to personal music devices and then Steve Jobs focused on the smart phone. In 1998, Google was founded as a search company. One among many. It evolved into a data company which... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

GOeVisit brings online convenience to your personal health care

GOeVisit brings online convenience to your personal health care

Imagine getting a medical consultation anytime and from anywhere without having to visit a doctor’s office or a hospital emergency room.

Now, that is possible as Calgary based MyCare MedTech Medical Clinic, a telehealth company, has launched the innovative GOeVisit initiative which connects a patient to a licenced medical provider on a virtual platform.

“GOeVisit is about providing convenience. If you look at how we live today, how we work today, technology plays a huge role,’’... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Green Earth’s effective, non-toxic chemicals are solution for the times

Green Earth’s effective, non-toxic chemicals are solution for the times

Green Earth Energy Solutions, an oil and gas chemical supplier, is ready to expand its business by helping customers reduce costs in a safe way through green technology.

Steve Matthews, the company’s president, says its proprietary chemicals are environmentally safe - non-toxic, non-caustic, no VOC’s, non- cancer causing and non-flammable and its target market includes the environmental remediation and natural resource sector.

‘‘Chemicals degrade to their natural state when... Keep Reading

By now, most of us have heard of factoring, also known as accounts-receivable financing.

It has become a highly effective way for business owners and executives to inject cash and emerge from cash-flow crises without negatively affecting the core business.

Alberta-based capitalNOW has become a leader in helping Western Canadian companies through factoring. In so doing, they have also created an exceptional investment opportunity.

Art Smith of capitalNOW explains the business model:... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Paying Tribute to a Wonderful Writer and Magnificent Man

Paying Tribute to a Wonderful Writer and Magnificent Man

This page is usually reserved for my humour column, but for this issue I instead pay tribute to Tom Keyser, who suffered a fatal heart attack on Oct. 2.

Tom was a great friend to many and was a faithful, loving husband, father and grandfather. He was my main writer for Business Edge News Magazine, penning nearly all front-page 20 Questions profiles and features on specific companies for the last several years.

One of the most creative storytellers in the country, he was also a remarkably... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Eagle appointment a feather in cap for talon-ted chief executive officer

Lyons now pride of Guardian Risk Managers

Jamie Lyons has been hired as president of Guardian Risk Managers Ltd. After spending the last 13 years with Guy Carpenter & Company in Toronto, Lyons was most recently managing director and part of the Canadian senior management team. GRM is a leading MGA provider of commercial lines and niche personal line products to more than 500 brokerages across Canada. Lyons will oversee all aspects of the organization and will be in charge of development and... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Classic Canadian Tours presents incomparable bear viewing

Seasoned travelers can be forgiven if they feel like groaning, “been there, done that” after glancing at the latest traditional travel brochure. After a while, all the beaches, castles and casinos start to look alike.

Entrepreneurs such as Bill Lamberton, who operates Classic Canadian Tours out of Calgary, know the feeling. A veteran of Canada’s aviation industry, Lamberton has visited some of the most exotic destinations on earth – many of them within Canada’s own borders.

... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Missing ingredients for small business owners

Missing ingredients for small business owners

In a robust, thriving economic environment, sales teams can get lazy. They may become more like order takers than hunters.

On the other hand, when there is hardship or the economy becomes unhealthy, customers change their buying habits. They become cautious, prudent and make the sales person work for their business. Companies demand more. Sales reps have to re-learn how to sell again.

Companies know great sales teams require ongoing training and resources. However, most hire a sales rep... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Evolving regulations add to appeal of exempt market investments

Evolving regulations add to appeal of exempt market investments

Have you ever considered investing in real estate or friend’s company as a way to diversify your portfolio? As a way to lower the volatility of the public markets or to achieve potentially higher returns? Have you ever been afraid of investing because you felt it was too risky? Investments such as real estate and funding private companies are considered private placements and can be found in the Exempt Market. The “too risky” sentiment is one commonly heard in the Exempt Market. I’m... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

ROI Corporation, Brokerage maximizes value for baby-boomer business owners

ROI Corporation, Brokerage maximizes value for baby-boomer business owners

Business Edge News Magazine

Timothy A. Brown was an impressionable teenager when he started working with his father Roy in appraising the value of dental practices.

His immediate impression was that the dentists were selling themselves and their businesses short. Really short.

“I could see right away that these dentists were sitting on extremely valuable assets, and they seemed to have no idea,” says Brown, president, CEO and broker of record at ROI Corp. “Dentists used to just... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Traditional diversification doesn’t work well ... anymore!

The five- to 10-year time period just before and just after you retire is called the retirement risk zone. Any significant declines during that period can have a major impact on the future sustainability of your retirement income.

Everybody talks diversification to lower portfolio risk by spreading investments over multiple, unrelated assets to reduce the likelihood of a sudden fatal outcome. Unfortunately, diversification into only traditional stock and bond investments is failing because... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Mining Association of Canada standards being followed internationally

For most people, a mine is the last thing you would think of as being environmentally friendly. Ask environmentalists and they will happily tell you that mines are second only to pipelines as potential environmental disasters.

Enter the Mining Association of Canada – and Argentina.

The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) has developed a set of mining standards that other countries are noticing – and are adopting. Towards Sustainable Management (TSM), launched in 2004, is a program that... Keep Reading

Start-up Shoptoit drives foot traffic to your business

76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day

28% of those searches for something nearby result in a purchase.

Google/Purchased Digital Diary: How Consumers Solve Their Needs in the Moment, May 2016. Smartphone users = 1000, local searchers = 634, purchases = 1,140

If you own a small or medium business and have given up on the idea of having a digital marketing campaign that consistently drives foot traffic to your place of... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Mining companies crunch data along with ore in hopes of striking it rich

Just as driverless cars will soon alter the look of our roads forever, and Amazon will almost certainly help you pick your book to read, technology is about to change the world of mining. From automated vehicles to crowdsourced data analysis to precision sensors, mining companies are rushing to take advantage of tech advances to make their projects safer, cheaper and more productive.

Montreal-based Falco Resources Ltd., (TSX-V: FPC), one of the largest claim holders in the Abitibi region of... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Gold has definitely not lost its lustre

Gold has definitely not lost its lustre

Here is an interesting question: what is the best-performing commodity of the last 20 years?

You might think energy – oil or natural gas. Maybe you think food – soybeans or pork or fertilizer. Perhaps you think something more unusual – lithium or diamonds.

All of those ideas are incorrect. The best-performing commodity of the last 20 years is gold. And that performance is despite gold’s reliable downturns – the yellow metal regularly gives up half its gains before advancing... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

Transplanted Scot has a brave heart

Transplanted Scot has a brave heart

As a child role-playing with his nine siblings in the hills of northern Scotland, Ed Torrance favoured freedom-fighting icon Sir William Wallace.Decades later, after losing his cherished oldest brother to a battle with a work-related illness, Torrance turned his heavy, brave heart to crusading for improvements in Canada’s health, safety and environment (HSE) field. The sword Torrance brandishes each day is his fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which ultimately saves lives by... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

20 Questions with Ed Torrance, Owner of Torrance Safety & Risk Management Limited

20 Questions with Ed Torrance, Owner of Torrance Safety & Risk Management Limited

As a child role-playing with his nine siblings in the hills of northern Scotland, Ed Torrance favoured freedom- fighting icon Sir William Wallace.

Decades later, after losing his cherished oldest brother to a battle with a work-related illness, Torrance turned his heavy, brave heart to crusading for improvements in Canada’s health, safety and environment (HSE) field.

The sword Torrance brandishes each day is his fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which ultimately saves lives by... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 16, Issue 1

5 Ways That Men’s Style Does All The Talking For You

5 Ways That Men’s Style Does All The Talking For You

There’s no question that we only have one shot at making a first impression.

But did you know that people judge our trustworthiness and competence within 1/4 of a second? In the blink of an eye! Being seen as a confident, intelligent, powerful, respectable and attractive man is achievable with a few simple style tips.

Here’s how you can achieve that

Attractive – relentlessly maintain your footwear.

The first thing someone notices about a man is his shoes, simply... Keep Reading

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Issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

Featuring 20 Questions with Brad Krizan

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

Your definitive glossary for the economic downturn

Your  definitive  glossary for the economic downturn

Tough times, they are upon us. Job losses abound, wages are being frozen or cut, and in many sectors it is virtually impossible to get hired.

Fret not, friends. I am here to help.

I have been through the toughest of times. There was the time in Grade 9 when I told my parents that I was no longer interested in attending weekly Catholic mass. Their synchronized response “Well, then I guess you are no longer living in this house” did not deter me whatsoever . . . until I ended my holdout... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

Proper use of technology critical in making of snow and money

Proper use of technology critical in making of snow and money

The next time you go racing down the hill on your skis or snowboard, give a thought to the folks who were out in the middle of the night grooming those runs. Or the folks who pay the electric bills to power that high tech snowmaking gear. And don’t forget the mechanical and electronic technology folks who make all this possible.

Andrew Cradduck is the guy who keeps the snow just right at Panorama Mountain Resort in British Columbia. As Director of Mountain Operations he commands the... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

Alberta’s policy shifts and impact on real estate – where are we?

Alberta’s real estate sector is resilient. It is full of smart, well-capitalized companies familiar with Alberta’s economic cycles.

The players have changed substantially over the past 10 years with more national and international players backed by institutional money. Developers today play Calgary and Edmonton as part of Canadian and/or international portfolios. However, new political dimensions are testing the industry’s mettle. Is industry prepared for new factors for... Keep Reading

Widespread commodity price declines will depress the national economy through this year and probably

The ongoing decline in commodity prices has hit Canada’s economy hard, depressing incomes, and triggering layoffs and capital spending cuts.

The U.S.-dollar prices of most internationally traded commodity products have slipped, hammering hundreds of resource companies and their suppliers, and hurting business and consumer confidence across swaths of the country.

It is important to realize that the commodity carnage is not restricted to oil. It is also affecting natural gas, coal, base... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

Nureva’s Span system provides 30-foot surround experience

Nureva’s Span system provides 30-foot surround experience

Nureva Inc., an award-winning collaboration/solutions company, announced the creation of a 30-foot (9.1m) immersive collaboration environment that surrounds teams with their digital content.

The surround experience is created via three panoramic projectors installed on adjoining walls and enabled by a multi-display setup tool in Span software. This tool links the computers and merges the cloud-based canvas across the three systems. The resulting immersive environment gives teams a truly... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

Do you see it? That’s the real estate elephant and he’s in the room

Do you see it? That’s the real estate elephant and he’s in the room

I don’t think a single Canadian would deny that, in the last 12 to 18 months, there have been drastic changes to our economy. Job security or even just HAVING a job can no longer be taken for granted.

Chances are someone you know has had wages cut or lost their job altogether. Current and foreseeable economic conditions make finding a new job difficult. Payments become increasingly hard, if not impossible, to make. With this in mind, serious questions need to be asked even though it’s... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

Guaranteed sick time good policy and smart business

A food handler going to work with a cough, a parent sending their sick child to school or an emergency room nurse making snap decisions through the fog of a flu. It doesn’t take a medical degree to appreciate the counterproductive consequences of these decisions, yet far too often these are the stories of our patients and countless others like them. For far too many, struggling to make ends meet, afraid to lose even a day’s pay – going to work sick is the only choice they have.

... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

RBC steps up to help small businesses boost online efficiencies

Almost by definition, Canadian small business owners are expert multi-taskers. They need to be proficient in so many areas: operations, sales, finance, employee relations,

technicals … the list goes on.

Yet, for all their skills and savvy, many of the country’s small business operators are not optimizing the available online efficiencies. To enhance the productivity of small business, RBC is providing user friendly online banking tools to help busy entrepreneurs grow their companies.

... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

The trouble with being the boss and the board

The best thing about going into business for yourself is that you can do whatever you want. The worst thing about going into business for yourself is … you can do whatever you want.

The point is the freedom of becoming an entrepreneur also often brings the freedom to neglect responsibilities that no CEO or general manager who reported to a board of directors or shareholders would be able to get away with.

Many of the companies in the $3-20-millon range of annual revenue are just a few... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

UTILITYnet.ca serves up savings for Business Edge audience

UTILITYnet.ca and Business Edge News Magazine have teamed up on an exclusive offer to dramatically reduce your monthly energy costs.

To take advantage of the Five Point Business Edge Rate, go to the sign-up form on www.UTILITYnet.ca Click on the “Sign-Up” tab and you will see the options on the application form:

The limited offer is open only to clients and readers of Business Edge News Magazine. It is not a published rate. Sign- ups will be limited to just 500 residential customers.... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

BC Hydro tops Forbes list of top employers

BC Hydro tops Forbes list of top employers

A pair of B.C. organizations topped Forbes Media’s inaugural list of Canada’s Best Employers.

BC Hydro was No. 1 in the ranking of the top 250 employers across 25 industries, followed by Van city and Quebec-based ABB Canada.

The list was assembled by research firm Statista from an independent survey of 8,000 Canadian employees working for large firms or institutions.

The ranking indicates Canadians’ trust and passion for their domestic companies. Seventy per cent of the Top 50... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

While Alberta reverses, B.C. and Ontario continue real estate surge

While Alberta reverses, B.C. and Ontario continue real estate surge

The Canadian housing market is off to a very strong start to 2016, having registered the highest sales levels since 2007.

Fully 75% of local Canadian real estate markets are experiencing year over year sales growth.

While the Alberta and Saskatchewan real estate markets (for example, Calgary price drops almost 3.5 percent in February over February 2015 and Saskatoon dips nearly 3 percent) suffer the brunt of the oil price collapse, most of the rest of Canada is doing just fine.

The... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 3

20 Questions with Brad Krizan, President of Premiere Suites Western Ltd.

20 Questions with Brad Krizan, President of Premiere Suites Western Ltd.

Just an unassuming guy from small-town southern Alberta, Brad Krizan has put together an astonishing educational and corporate C.V. within a relatively brief time frame. His university education in urban and regional studies originally piqued an interest in real estate. That growing fascination, in turn, led him to build a base of knowledge and experience in a variety of asset classes throughout Canada and the U.S.

At this particular stage of his career, he is acknowledged to be an expert in... Keep Reading

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Issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Featuring 20 Questions with Randy Frost, President/CEO of Solara Fund Inc and Solara Club Inc

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Box Springs Business Park Booming

Box Springs Business Park Booming

Start with that big, beautiful, red Costco sign. It’s just one among dozens of compelling reasons to set up shop in Medicine Hat’s Box Springs Business Park, ideally situated just off Highway 1, on the city’s rapidly growing north side.

Since opening its doors in 2007, Costco has served as the ideal anchor tenant for the thriving park, which sits adjacent to the town of Redcliff, although remaining within the Medicine Hat city limits.

“We think Costco is the ultimate anchor tenant... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Randy Frost, President/CEO of Solara Fund Inc and Solara Club Inc

Randy Frost, President/CEO of Solara Fund Inc and Solara Club Inc

Randy Frost has always admired the achievements of Canada’s technology industry leaders. Now, through his latest entrepreneurial venture, he is working with some of the country’s most promising tech companies, presenting compelling investment opportunities to his network of investors.

With a view of one of the country’s high-tech hubs in Edmonton, Frost founded Solara Club Inc. with the goal of providing young, innovative technology companies with a platform for raising capital, while... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Presenting the Top 11 cheesiest characters in the business world

Presenting the Top 11 cheesiest characters in the business world

Working in the marketing/advertising realm, I run into a lot of cheesy folks.

You know, the kind of guys (gender stereotyping is warranted here as women tend to be far less cheesy) who have all the slick lines but rarely the substance to back them up.

Cheesy business people come in all shapes and sizes and are everywhere you go. In board rooms, coffee shops, restaurants, stores…some of you might even have caught a glimpse of one in the mirror this morning.

To help you better... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Vancouver has sold its soul to real estate

A common complaint of new arrivals to British Columbia is the cost of Vancouver housing. Buying a rudimentary single-family home is approaching $1.5 million.

The sky-high pricing is becoming normalized in a funny way, with young couples approaching both sets of parents for down-payment cash, and eagerly signing up basement-suite renters before offers have been accepted.

Well here’s a wake-up call:

Vancouver isn’t an alpha city like London, Paris or New York. In fact, many long-term... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Professor Madison gives us lesson on data journalism

The unprecedented and titillating leak of data from Ashley Madison’s corporate servers produced the expected first reaction. Everybody who could get access to the file (it was not difficult) looked up their spouse, their ex, their boss, probably even their kids’ schoolteachers.

Most people agree that, nasty as their cheating business was, it was legal. So Ashley Madison (AM) was the victim of a crime when their data was exfiltrated (a fancy word for stolen) from their computers. This is... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Quality of job candidates slipping among small businesses

New Statistics Canada data confirm job vacancies remain stubbornly high despite persistent unemployment levels. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released a report that indicates what is on the minds of small business owners when they look to hire.

The results show that overall small businesses love their current workforce but struggle to find new candidates of the same quality and work ethic.

Sixty-five per cent of small business owners surveyed said employees are... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Conference Board outlook predicts 0.5% contraction for Calgary in 2015

Following growth of 5.1 per cent last year, Calgary’s economy is expected to contract by 0.5 per cent in 2015 due to the dramatic drop in energy prices, according to The Conference Board of Canada’s Metropolitan Outlook: Autumn 2015.

“Oil-sector woes are rippling across all sectors of Calgary’s economy,” said Alan Arcand, associate director, Centre for Municipal Studies, at the Conference Board. “Construction and oil and gas extraction output will fall, while manufacturing and... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

National job vacancy rate drops in Q2

National job vacancy rate drops in Q2

Approximately 325,200 job openings remain unfilled across the country, according to the latest report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

Nationwide openings in full-time, part-time and temporary positions sit at 2.6 per cent, down a 10th of a percentage point from the previous quarter.

“Vacancy rates have held fairly steady since the end of 2014,” said Ted Mallet, CFIB. “Weaker labour markets in Saskatchewan and Alberta have seen their vacancy rates drop back... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Drive your business or it will drive you – three ways to be more proactive than reactive

It’s heartbreaking to watch the once action-oriented, built-from-scratch business owners who have grown their companies to the point of getting so busy that they have forgotten how to be assertive and proactive. Their marketing success and sales volume have paid off in the form of massive stress, brought on by constantly reacting to issues, fixing problems and simply just ‘keeping up.’

Not all adopt this identity of servant to the business. However, many continue with the builder... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Wendy Ellen Inc: 10 years of first-rate HR services

She describes her organization as a “grassroots” HR firm because Wendy Giuffre sincerely believes that the success of any enterprise begins and ends with its people. During 28 years as a human resources professional, she has seen it demonstrated time and again. And she walks the talk on a daily basis as the senior decision maker for Wendy Ellen Inc., currently celebrating 10 years of successful operations in Calgary.

“There is no question that your talented and loyal staff members are... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Pipelines safest way to ship oil

Pipelines safest way to ship oil

The recent rupture of a Nexen oilsands pipeline southeast of Fort McMurray has stoked concerns about the safety of oil and gas pipelines.

Pipelines are a critical piece of Canada’s energy infrastructure, moving more than 2.4 billion barrels of oil and gas in 2013 alone.

A recent study from the Fraser Institute focused on the number of occurrences or accidents per million barrels of oil and gas transported. Results showed that pipelines are the safest way to transport oil and gas.

Fewer... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 2

Failure to prepare for worst is recipe to achieve just that

Failure to prepare for worst is recipe to achieve just  that

It was perfect. You recognized an opportunity, formulated a plan, built a team, remained focused on the objectives, and executed with a level of precision that would make even the most storied military leaders blush with envy. So where did it all go wrong?

In 2015, this question has become a daily topic in offices and boardrooms across this country as companies hang on during the roller-coaster ride that our national economy has become. Regardless of which sector your company is in, the... Keep Reading

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Issue: Volume 15, Issue 1

Featuring 20 Questions with Mark Maier, President/CEO of The Aurum Group of Companies

issue: Volume 15, Issue 1

Where has all the money gone?

If the Canadian economy were described in terms of a physical structure, the ongoing circulation of capital would be a key element in the foundation on which the balance of the structure rests. While this statement is obviously an over simplified comment on an extremely complex financial concept, it does highlight a significant obstacle that is currently impeding economic growth within Canada. Often referred to as “dead money”, Canadian companies are accumulating cash balances at a record... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 1

Anything You Tweet May be Held Against You

Wikileaks has been busy lately. They have been lovingly posting, cataloguing and indexing 30,287 documents and 173,132 emails stolen from Sony Pictures.

If you ever needed proof that Hollywood bigwigs are petty, nasty, venal and downright stupid, you will find it here. Just pop in the name of your favourite star and see all the catty comments made about him or her. Or read the racially insensitive remarks that moguls Amy Pohler and Scott Rudin made about Barack Obama.

While entertaining,... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 1

Wishes make a difference

The slogan is “Joy is a wonder drug”. That’s because every wish granted to a child with a life-threatening illness creates hope, not only for the child but for the entire family. In fact, the lives of as many as 100 people in the community can be transformed just by the fervent dream of a wish child.

Blake is just four years old and even riding a carousel is scary due to a catastrophic, progressive form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome. It has left him with delayed motor skills and... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 1

Reaping the real rewards: Turning vacation property into income property

My real estate clients often ask my opinion about purchasing rental properties. I am definitely a fan of owning rental properties that make sense, ideally ones that are fairly low maintenance, very easy to rent and allow you to pay down your mortgage with
 someone else’s money.

Even if you are just breaking even every 
month, you are still
 building your equity in
 what is historically a great long-term investment.

Most buyers considering a rental property look at purchasing in... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 15, Issue 1

Mark Maier, President/CEO of the Aurum Group of Companies

Mark Maier, President/CEO of the Aurum Group of Companies

When a teenaged dental lab apprentice named Hans Maier first landed in Calgary from Germany during the early 1960s, his ambitions were modest: to make his way professionally in his adopted country and, hopefully, to thrive.

How did he manage? Pretty darned well, as it happens. A born go-getter, Hans wound up in charge of his employer’s dental laboratory by 1962. Within 10 more years, he had bought out his boss and partners, renaming the company Aurum (Latin for gold) Ceramic, after the... Keep Reading

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Issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

Featuring 20 Questions with Lori Schmidt, CEO of GO Productivity

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

Lori Schmidt, CEO of GO Productivity

Lori Schmidt, CEO of GO Productivity

During the 10 years she spent as a consultant in the private sector, Lori Schmidt learned what she believes to be the two most important lessons of her professional life: Attach yourself to top-notch mentors and pay close attention to the advice they dish out.

“I’ve been blessed in my career to find people who encouraged me in whatever I was doing. They helped me to develop a focus on strong planning processes. And not just one plan. You need a plan B, C and D, in case things go awry.”... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

Shuttering at Linkedin photo mis-takes

Rarely does a day go by in which I do not receive two or three invitations to connect with people on Linkedin, the pre-eminent online business networking platform.

I enjoy making these connections as they often present great opportunities to connect in person and initiate meaningful business relationships.

Without an ounce of exaggeration, I can say that such connections through Linkedin have translated to hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for my business.

There is a special... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

Hack panic not the exclusive domain of Sony executives

We know that cyberbullying has led to many suicides, often of vulnerable teenagers who were lured into sending explicit photos of their bodies. What we see in the Sony exposé are revealing glimpses into the minds of Hollywood bigwigs. These snapshots are not very attractive.

There’s no need to repeat the juicier leaked emails here because they’ve been widely circulated online and even in the mainstream media. There’s also good legal reason not to rehash them since Sony Pictures, in a... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

Job hopping – is it losing its negative reputation?

Job hopping may be losing it’s bad reputation, at least among the youngest generation of Canadian professionals, an Accountemps survey suggests.

Fifty-three per cent of employees between the ages of 18 and 34 said changing jobs every few years can actually help their career, compared to 40 per cent of professionals between the ages of 35 and 54 and 25 per cent of those age 55 or older.

There were also differences by gender, with 54 per cent of men and 31 per cent of women reporting that... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

National job vacancy rate climbs as unemployment drops

An estimated 322,000 private sector jobs were awaiting qualified employees in Q3, according to the latest Help Wanted report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB). The nationwide openings in full, part-time and temporary positions were up by 7,000 jobs compared to Q2 2014, the largest quarterly increase measured by CFIB in the past two years.

“As the unemployment rate goes down, the job vacancy rate goes up,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

Canadian firms unprepared for security threats – survey

Canadian businesses are not equipped to respond to security threats within their networks, according to a recent survey conducted by Cisco.

The study, which includes the views of Canadian business representatives and consumers about security at work, also found that there are discrepancies between the preparedness of large and small businesses.

Respondents were asked questions about security policies, practices and recent cyber-attacks at their business, including their security... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

Spectator sports have high scoring potential for economy

Ask any sports fan, Buffalo and Toronto have two things in common, excessive snow and a love of the Bills, Buffalo’s National Football League (NFL) franchise. Fundamentally, sports are what tie these two cities together. It’s a reason for Torontonians, and more broadly Ontarians, to travel to west New York. On a grander scale, it’s about much more than two nationalities of fans supporting a common team; it’s about international economics. Cross-border interaction among sports fans,... Keep Reading

Pump Interactive: making your company’s digital dreams a reality

Thousands of traditional businesses have embraced non traditional methods of digital marketing, customer relations management (CRM), online booking, payment and scheduling systems that actually beef up their bottom line.

Without these 21st century tools, it’s getting harder and harder to compete in ANY field.

So where does a traditional business operator turn to gain entry to this not-so-mysterious digital world? The obvious place to start is Calgary-based Pump Interactive, A Digital... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

It’s time to be smart with your phone

Let’s face it; we’ve all checked our smartphones during a meeting. According to many, this behaviour is not appropriate during business meetings. Sixty-one per cent of managers recently surveyed by Robert Half Management Resources said it’s at least somewhat common for professionals to read and respond to messages on mobile devices during business meetings. Four per cent of respondents said this is perfectly acceptable.

The survey is based on interviews with more than 300 managers... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

Help still wanted: immigration quota filled but Alberta still needs workers

Alberta’s Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP) is now full for 2014, as all 5,500 certificates for the year have been issued.

The certificates allow workers, along with spouse and dependent children, to be nominated by the Government of Alberta for permanent residence in Canada. Provincial nominees may then apply for permanent residence to the federal government.

“Alberta’s challenge remains finding permanent workers for permanent jobs,” said Ric McIver, Minister of Jobs, Skills,... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

Canadian businesses cashing in on lower loonie: EDC report

Canadian companies that sell abroad received an early Christmas present in the form of a lower Canadian dollar, according to a semi-annual report by Export Development Canada (EDC).

EDC’s Trade Confidence Index measures how Canadian exporters and investors feel about their business opportunities in the next six months.

The report noted that the lower Canadian dollar has had a positive impact on Canadian exports, with 61 per cent of Canadian business leaders confirming that it would... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 7

It’s time to put energy behind alternative movement

Discussions of alternative energy sources are frequently focused on the need to curtail the damages that hydrocarbons inflict on the environment.

It is interesting that the same discussions often neglect to incorporate an equally compelling issue with our reliance on fossil fuels. Existing global reserves of oil, natural gas and coal will not last forever. The clock is ticking and the most recent generations will likely live to see a world where these resources no longer exist.

Each... Keep Reading

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Issue: Volume 14, Issue 6

Special report on small business, featuring 20 questions with Curtis Dyck, founder and owner of The Surveillance Shop

issue: Volume 14, Issue 6

Presenting lessons from Data Breach Hell

Everyone from Home Depot to Hollywood starlets seems to be having trouble with data breaches. Whether it’s customer credit cards or nude selfies, the hackers seem to be helping themselves to our electronic information, almost at will.

Sometimes, the problem really is beyond our control. If you made a purchase at Home Depot while they were vulnerable, you put your trust in their security measures. The only effective defense against having your credit card info stolen was to pay cash.... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 6

Research offers insight into creating shareholder value

A research paper issued by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (CVCA) explores how to successfully create shareholder value in today’s unsettled marketplace.

Strategies for creating shareholder value in a low growth environment, looks at companies that have outperformed the market. The paper offers valuable insight and strategies from four diverse and accomplished Canadian companies – Birch Hill Equity... Keep Reading

According to a UPS Canada survey, 62 per cent of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) find that e-commerce plays a critical role in their business. Findings from the Small Business Challenges survey indicate that a company’s website (64 per cent) and Facebook (40 per cent) are the most frequently used e-commerce channels.

“What we’re hearing from our customer’s corresponds with the data . . . ,” says Jim Bena, UPS Canada. “E-commerce is a prominent component of business and... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 6

Small businesses earn high marks from employees for engagement and recognition

The annual Ceridian Pulse of Talent survey reports that small businesses, those with less than 100 employees, are faring better than larger organizations when it comes to overall employee engagement.

However, the survey indicates that more can be done to improve employee tenure, address salary concerns and refine communication. Survey respondents were interviewed regarding their perceptions of employee engagement and loyalty, recruiting, training, job security, compensation, productivity,... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 6

Think twice before shooting down oil-patch ‘villains’

If the story of the Alberta’s oil sands were to be told as a vintage western movie, it is likely that the oil industry, and the companies that make it up, would be portrayed as the villains who ride in wearing black hats and take over the town.

Despite the unprecedented economic activity arising from development of this region, it seems that you don’t have to look very far to find someone complaining about uncontrolled spending, environmental damage or inequitable distribution of... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 6

Lean times may be over for federal government

The news that Ottawa will post a dramatically smaller deficit – $5.2 billion versus the $16.6 billion forecast – indicates Ottawa is moving into surplus territory quicker than anticipated. Although Stephen Harper stated Ottawa is still expected to post a small deficit for the 2014-15 fiscal year, analysis from TD Economics forecasts a $5-billion surplus and more surpluses thereafter.

In fact, Ottawa may be on track for $71 billion in surpluses over the next six years. It would appear... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 6

Being small does not mean acting small

It’s time. Whether through personal choice or circumstance you have made the decision to start a small business.

Next comes the reality check, where you realize that along with the new-found control and freedom, the responsibility to oversee everything from sales, production and client relations, to making sure there is ample supply of coffee and paper clips, is squarely on your shoulders. For the most part, the mdays of assistants, support staff and department heads are going to be a... Keep Reading

issue: Volume 14, Issue 6

Alberta dominates list of top entrepreneurial cities

Alberta continues to dominate the annual rankings of Canada’s best places to start and grow a business, holding eight of the top 10 spots among municipalities in the recent 2014 Entrepreneurial Communities report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB),

“It’s great to see so many of Alberta’s cities land in the top 10,” says Richard Truscott, Alberta director for CFIB. “As a relative measure, these cities continue to be good places to own and operate a... Keep Reading