Category Archives: Business

How much is your time worth?

We never have enough time. But think about it, Donald Trump has the same amount of time as a janitor, yet he uses it differently. Also, there is a difference. Trump is an entrepreneur, a janitor is an hourly paid employee. People have different working styles, different outlooks, and this is what lands them in completely opposite places

The value of my time

I asked myself one morning, “what is my time worth?”, and I found that question extremely hard to answer.

Time is a finite resource, we should treat it as a precious commodity, the same way we treat money. But determining the precise value it holds in our lives is not easy.

Just where would I start to put a number on it? Shall I think about how much I pay the baby sitter and double it? Or should I remember my last hourly paid job and go for whatever amount I made per hour after taxes? Is the value of my time based on my income?

Values are the core source of making decisions in your life. 

Starbucks at Safeway takes a nose dive – dirty, unsanitary, and indifferent.

Starbucks in Calgary… wouldn’t it be just like any other Starbucks in the world? That would make sense to me, since it’s a regulated chain with a high end image. No wonder they can afford to charge $5 for a drink.

Perhaps either today I am a bitter bitch, or perhaps for real my expectations for Starbucks have fallen lower than the side curb. I figured to spend some time working in a Starbucks at a Calgary Safeway grocery store, but to my surprise the staff totally disregarded my request to clean up a little. Overflowing garbage can, litter on the floor, so on. Well, she did wipe the counter before I filmed this video, but that’s about it.

I always looked up to Starbucks as a great example of a business model. In my university they even taught it as a case study for our entrepreneurship course. But now I am looking at this beat up, run down place and wondering if the brand grew too big to care.

Maybe Starbucks will say that this facility is maintained by Safeway, and not by them. But in this case I feel that if Safeway cannot live up to their level of cleanliness, then they should not be at that particular store.

I am packing up my stuff and going home to my Nespresso machine! Starbucks, goodbye. Nespresso, what else?

 

Tax Tips for Canadian Entrepreneurs – How to get maximum refund from Revenue Canada

So, do you ever wonder how to keep more money in your pocket? Keep all receipts and save lots of money by knowing what can be written off for entrepreneurs.

Make sure you take a photo of your working area in case you are ever in dispute.

Keep a log book of your trips by car and write down the day, purpose, and destination.

Here are some examples of what home-based businesses can write off:

– cleaning

– gas

– hydro

– repairs

– coffee makers

– furniture

– strata fee for a town house

– cutting grass

– entertainment

– car insurance, parking, and car wash

– web hosting

– internet services

– bank interest

– bank fees

– membership dues

– conference expenses

– car rentals

– office supplies

– business cards

– advertising

 

Don’t miss out on getting your maximum return. Statistics show that most business people don’t take enough notes and don’t keep enough records.

When you throw out your receipts, you throw away your money.

Do people open beauty salons for the right reasons?

beauty salonI got this e-mail from my friend. She is hesitant about opening a salon. Any advice for her? I am weighing her pluses and minuses.
As you know, I am already 37 years old, so you can see my hesitance for opening a nail salon.  Should I be involved with it on deeper level I would be doing nail art that involving dealing with literally very minute details e.g. sticking on crystals or drawing on nails.  I honestly don’t know what my eyes would go leaving me with bifocals.
The nail business is very competitive because the education requirements is low that is you can get certification within 3 months of full time schooling. A lot of the nail techs aren’t fluent in English which is an advantage I have.
My thoughts are exactly the same to do it as a mobile service to test out the waters.  My intention is to do simple manicures & see how it goes & advance onto something more complex should things pick up.  But, of course schools will not allow me to do that because they teach you to be a nail tech from the basics up.  I have considered getting students from beauty schools to teach me by piece meal.
My main target are Caucasian office ladies.  They have the ability to pay and the nail designs they require are less complex.  Most regular folks would just do the nails themselves at home either with nail stickers or nail stamps.  The only things they can’t do are gel, acrylic and extension nails.  Most would rather spend that kind of $ on their face where they would get more bang for their bucks because people can see it.
She is correct, this market is dominated mostly by Vietnamese people. But can she compete with their prices? Maybe if she has a smart marketing plan like efficient social media campaigns, she would set herself apart from others. I think she is totally wrong about Caucasians willing to pay because I’ve never seen anyone put so much effort into their looks like Asian ladies. Her main problem in my opinion is that she doesn’t have a clear vision.

E-Myth Book Review

So like many others you want to start your own business.  Sometimes that can become a trap too… there is a very small book that you should read called the E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber.  It’s about how a business can quickly become a job that is very unsatisfying and how to avoid that situation.  It takes more than just this one book to build a good business but it is a start and a warning of what should be avoided.

This book is written in an easy to understand language and gives a real example of a woman going through struggles of an entrepreneur. She got stuck in that business but then with some mentorship managed to get it moving forward again. For sure one of the best books so far! I got my hands on the E-Myth Revisited.

“The vast majority of people [who go into business] set out to become their own boss… If they’re like everybody else that I’ve met, they’re working for a lunatic. ” –Michael E. Gerber, top-selling author and small business guru 

 

Harvard Study on Planning, Life, and Success

Are you asking if planning  your whole life is normal?

I heard of a study that was done of Harvard graduates. Of all the graduates, something like 20% had a plan as to what they wanted to do with their life when they had graduated from school. Only  10% had the plan written down.

Twenty or thirty years later the 10 % that had the plan put on paper or written somewhere had 90 % of the wealth of all of the graduates…. Planning and especially writing it down  is a very good practice.

Some sources say that this study is a myth, but I believe it’s actually true. Writing something has a magical effect on the consequences. People accomplish more.

Nobody told me that when I graduated. But hey, it’s never too late to start!

Brian Tracy, for example, is a big supporter of writing down goals. He suggests to even do it every single day.

freedom, work for yourself,

Time Management at Work Tip

If you are spending a lot of time working, are you spending it proportionally on important things and not important things? Perhaps sometimes we all feel like as if we spent the whole day doing things, but nothing important got done and no money was made.

What are the best proportions for your time distribution? There is a difference between you being just another employee in your business or an actual entrepreneur.

 

I’ve been reading in a business book on how to split your time at work.

60% Selling

30% Providing

10% Admin, manage

 

From that 60% of time that we are supposed to spend selling, the same proportions apply:

60% – taking care of current customers

30% – potential short term clients

10% – potential long term clients

Didn’t sign up for 411.ca program with EVO? Getting unauthorized charges?

I used to be a customer with Global Payment Solutions and they gave away my information to a telemarketer who called me on behalf of EVO Canada, another merchant provider. My account with Global Payments (also known as Federated Payments) has been officially closed since 2012.

I had no idea that listening to the offer meant that this is a binding contract, they used the negative option acceptance tactic that is illegal in Canada. During the call I asked why I am contacted and it was explained that it is because I am a former customer with Global Payment solutions.

I only found out later when I saw the charges in my account since I’ve never even been sent a statement or a receipt. I tried to talk to EVO about this and they are completely unhelpful. Even worse, without my permission they put up my personal information on 411.ca search engine.

There is absolutely nothing in writing from my behalf accepting the offer or authorizing the charge.

At the moment I am looking into this. 411.ca is not helpful at all, they just direct me to EVO. Luckily my bank reversed the charges.  Global Payments refuse that they have anything to do with it. They all refuse to give their last names or e-mail, including the manager.

Please leave a comment if you are in the same boat. Let’s stop this business directory scam.

payfirma review customer service vancouver

Payfirma in Vancouver – Review

My first encounter with Payfirma was at a tech event. Their CEO, Michael Gokturk, talked about how their company helps people to build dreams, being authentic, thinking big at Payfirma. He finished his talk with ” if we inspired you, come and inspire us”.

I actually used their services for some time. The statements come in from First Data actually, that’s a company located in Mississauga, Ontario.

They are pretty good and they have nice customer service. They even had a $100 promotion VISA card to join and there is a referral program too. Their ethics are much better than of some previous horror stories I’ve got from previous providers. They really care to keep their customers.

One thing though that sort of didn’t make sense was that they charged interchange fees on some premium cards and I had no way of knowing that upfront. I even asked if they could tell me at least which specific transactions had those fees (which they should be able to, otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to calculate them), but I was told that they can’t.

Rates that are charged are reasonable, but there is a small monthly fee. So if you are doing a lot of transactions, that’s good. However, since business to business transactions often involve premium credit cards, account for the possibility of those interchange fees.

The software itself needs some tweaks. It is not acceptable in my industry to ask for tips, but my clients every time would get a receipt on it stating “TIP – $0.00”, thus maybe hinting to them that they should have tipped me. I mean, tips in certain industries are not at all normal, so I’d rather have that taken out, but even though I addressed it, it still remained like that.

The best thing about this company is that there is no contract! Yes, that’s amazing. Contracts are terrible because their cancellation fees are usually very high.

My business is sort of seasonal, I may come back to Payfirma if I don’t find anything else to accommodate the seasonality of my transactions. In general I recommend their services, especially if you’d like to have a live person on the phone.

Their main competition in my opinion would be Square and Northpay.

Two Boys and a Girl (8-12) Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake

Tom Horton Agency in Vancouver – Kids Parties

Kids Entertainment in Vancouver:

Birthday Clowns, Princess, Spiderman, Batman

 

http://www.vancouver-birthday-clowns.com/

Lots of fun for boys and girls and parents too!

Magic shows, games, balloon animals, face painting, and other fun entertainment is awaiting.

Vancouver and Area

1-877-777-4544 Toll Free

http://www.vancouver-birthday-clowns.com/

Two Boys and a Girl (8-12) Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake

Have you ever thought what it would be like if a superhero would come to your birthday party? Or, what about a princess? A birthday full of magic and memories is something to be cherished for.

Tom Horton’s Agency specializes in entertainment for children and it all started from having a vision of making children laugh and have fun.  They expanded all over Canada.  Vancouver and greater Vancouver area offers the following:

  • Cinderella
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Snow White
  • Ariel the Mermaid
  • Clown
  • Spiderman
  • Batman
  • Pirate
  • Barbie

Birthday parties, corporate events, public events, and so on are welcome.