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Susan Ward

Small Business: Canada

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10 Customer Service Tips

Thursday April 24, 2014

The big money isn't as much in winning customers as in keeping customers, writes Liz Tahir -

Good customer service increases sales.

and the key to keeping customers is the level of customer service you provide.

In this article Liz presents ten customer service tips that will keep your customers coming back.

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Income Tax & GST/HST Are Both Due April 30th

Wednesday April 23, 2014

So if your income tax or your GST/HST returns aren't filed, it's time to make them the top priority.

(Yes, it's true that as a self-employed individual you have until June 15th to get your income tax filed but you still have to pay whatever income tax you owe by April 30th.)

income tax for Canadian businesses.
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is doing what it can to help late filers get their taxes in on time. Tax centres and tax services offices will offer drop-off service for income tax returns and payments until midnight on April 30th. And you can also NETFILE or TELEFILE both your income tax and GST/HST returns.

(Note that if you want to use NETFILE to file your Canadian income tax you must have prepared your income tax with one of the commercial tax preparation software packages or Web applications certified for NETFILE.)

Have last minute income tax questions? Use the Canadian Income Tax FAQs to find answers or visit this site's collection of articles and resources on Income Tax Canada.

Read More About Canadian Income Tax

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The 7 Best Green Business Ideas

Tuesday April 22, 2014

As someone thinking of starting a small business, starting a green business has two advantages over starting any other kind of business.

Closeup of hand picking apples.

First, interest in being green and patronizing green businesses is growing so you will be starting a business targeting a growing market.

Second, starting a green business can be particularly satisfying as you get to make your own contribution to making the world a better place.

Here are what I think are the best green business ideas.

Explore More Business Ideas

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About Small Business Canada: Weekly Roundup April 15 to April 21

Monday April 21, 2014

Think you may have missed something? Here's your round-up of the past week at About Small Business Canada so you can catch up with all the new articles and blog posts.

sign displaying business hours hanging in a door

Posts & New Articles

How Does Being in a Partnership and an Employee Affect my Canadian Income Tax?

Earth Day 2014: Easy Ways to Green Your Business

Income Tax & GST/HST Are Both Due April 30th

Are You Afraid to Start a Small Business?

7 Tips for Avoiding Computer Viruses

Help! Online Businesses Are Killing Mine!

7 Ways to Make Your Business Thrive in Tough Economic Times

About Small Business Canada: Weekly Roundup April 8 to April 14

Image (c) Susan Ward

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Earth Day 2014: Easy Ways to Green Your Business

Sunday April 20, 2014

It's Earth Day April 22nd!

Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson and Harvard University student Dennis Hayes celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970 and now more than 6 million Canadians join 500 million people in over 180 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues, according to Earth Day Canada.

Earth Day: Planting a tree.

This year, Earth Day Canada is running a Act For the Planet campaign that offers daily challenges to make the world a greener place.

And on Saturday, April 26th and Sunday, April 27st, the Toronto Zoo is hosting All Things Local for Earth Day , a great one to attend if you're in the area.

Your business can get in on the action too.

10 Easy Ways Your Business Can Go Green offers a list of simple but meaningful things you can do at your place of business all year long to make a difference.

One that my article doesn't mention but that's extremely popular is planting trees.

Besides being environmentally friendly, there's nothing like a beautiful tree for dressing up a property. Learn the right way to plant a tree with this article from About.com's Landscaping Guide David Beaulieu.

More Resources to Green Your Business and Your Life

Image (c) Tristan Ferne

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Gifts for Administrative Professionals Day

Saturday April 19, 2014

Administrative Professionals Day is April 23rd - although Administrative Professionals week runs from April 20st through the 26th.

Which means that time is getting short for finding a gift to show your appreciation to those staff who do so much for your business.

If you don't already have something picked out to show your appreciation to those staff who do so much for your business, you'll appreciate these Administrative Professionals Week: Ideas for Showing Your Appreciation.

Looking for other gift suggestions? Top Gift Baskets for Administrative Professionals Day.

Image courtesy of PriceGrabber.com

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Are You Afraid to Start a Small Business?

Friday April 18, 2014

Well of course you are!

Only a fool wouldn't feel at least a twinge of anxiety at the prospect of starting a new small business.

Young man diving into water of a pool from a diving board.

You're doing something new, something uncertain, something risky. Add the scare factor of shaky economic times and no one will blame you for doing a bit of quaking.

But don't let fear stop you from doing something you truly want to do. In the article just linked, you'll learn how to manage your fear by preparing to succeed and by changing your attitude to failure.

You can also manage your fear by mitigating the risk of starting a new business. Much of small business success is simply a matter of choosing the right business to start in the right place at the right time.

In uncertain economic times, it's more important than ever to Not Do What You Love and choose to start a small business that will meet people's needs, such as one of the small business ideas profiled in Best Small Business Ideas for Businesses That Will Prosper in Tough Times.

And the absolute best way to get over your fear of doing something? To plunge in and do it. Steps to Starting a Small Business in Canada will lead you through the process of getting your own small business up and running.

Image (c) Peter Dutton

Learn More About Starting a Small Business

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7 Tips for Avoiding Computer Viruses

Thursday April 17, 2014

The ongoing fallout from Heartbleed is a real wakeup call. Many of us pay very little attention to the security of our data until something goes wrong - a practice that can be disastrous for small businesses.

Binary code and virus warning on a computer screen

Heartbleed is not a virus but a "serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet" (heartbleed.com).

But such vulnerabilities are only one way that your business data can be endangered. One of the more common scenarios is having a virus or malware infect your computer or network, damaging or destroying your data.

Read How Not to Become a Computer Virus Victim to learn how you and your employees can keep your valuable data safe.

Learn More About Data Management:

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Help! Online Businesses Are Killing Mine!

Wednesday April 16, 2014

Is this the way you feel because there seem to be so many people selling products and/or services online similar to the ones your small business offers - without having even half the overhead you have as a bricks-and-mortar business?

closed

Then you'll want to read this article about 5 Ways Small Businesses Can Compete With Online Businesses so you can start fighting back.

More on Competing

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7 Ways to Make Your Business Thrive in Tough Economic Times

Tuesday April 15, 2014

What would you do if your most popular products were suddenly as popular as typewriters?

tornado column in a rural landscape

Or if most of your customers suddenly lost their jobs all at once?

Bad economic times aren't necessarily something that you see coming for a long time, like low grey clouds on the horizon. They can also be something that hits someplace like a tornado that no one saw coming.

And small businesses are much more vulnerable than bigger ones.

Read 7 Ways to Make Your Business Thrive in Tough Economic Times to learn how you can protect your small business.

Learn More About Good Business Management

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