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People Skills

people skills
Let’s talk people skills. When owning and running your own business it’s common knowledge to know that your going to encounter people. How we represent ourselves, how we carry ourselves is going to set a certain tone to potential clients, employees and people we meet. We want to be inviting and personable. But what about the business you run from home or the business where you may not have any employees? These instances our ability to socialize even when its work related can diminish and quickly. From a personal standpoint running a dayhome I quickly became almost awkward around adults. Reason being a majority of my communication is with kids and from my own home. Having adult conversations became harder and I could feel my communication skills slowly slipping away. Once that happens, imagine how hard it is interviewing potential new families (insert face palm).
 
So what do we do when we feel a decline in our ability to connect with others? What are some of your go to’s to keep you involved? Are you part of specific groups work related or not? Here are a few ideas to get you out with others and to keep those communication skills.
 
Join your Chamber. Many are active in getting businesses together to network and learn.
 
Involve yourself with other business owners and like minded businesses. This allows for you to bounce ideas, learn from others and create relationships
 
Toastmasters International. This is something new I have come across which offers some great content. They focus on public speaking, communication and leadership skills. All which are so vital in a business. There are clubs all over where you meet and have the opportunity to learn and practice these skills.
 
(photo credit to career cafe)

Opinions

changes ahead

 

Opinions

Recently there has been some changes introduced to legislature that will affect all business as a whole. We are looking at changes to:

Youth minimum wage: being moved to $13.00/hour on June 26th. The idea behind this to to encourage hiring of younger people to help them gain experience in the workforce.

Banked overtime: being brought back to an hour for an hour and if unused in 6 months then employer is paid out at time and a half.

Holiday Pay: an employee must work 30 days prior to being eligible to holiday pay. Also you are only entitled to holiday pay on the days you are normally scheduled to work.

These changed of course affect both businesses as well as employees and we want to know your thoughts on the changes. Do you agree or disagree? Do you think these changes will have a long lasting positive or negative impact? What changes would you like to see happen?

Treat Staff Well

treating people well

 

While I agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly, it made me think.

What does it mean to treat them well enough, so they don’t want to leave?  Does that prevent having high expectations for staff?  Does that mean that we as business owners cannot expect an honest day’s work for a day’s pay?  I do not think so.

I believe that treating people well starts with creating a culture where people are valued and heard.  People are more than just assets to be managed.   I believe if staff know that you value them that is the first part of treating them well.

Second is setting clear end realistic expectations.  I believe staff thrive when they know what is being expected.  Constant fear of layoff does not lead to people wanting to stay.  Expecting people to be available 24 hours a day 7 days a week does not make people want to stay.  While one may say I never do that, with the proliferation of smart phones, we are never truly be away from work unless the leader models that behavior.

Oh, and never say to a member of your team that is struggling to get everything done “If you organized your time better…” or “if you cannot do this, I will find someone who can.”  Invest a little time to understand why.  It may be that the expectations are more than any one person can manage.  It may be that the person needs training.  Or it may mean that the person is not a good fit.

 

Finally, staff see inconsistencies.  If the company has to cut back, do not, as an owner show up with a brand-new sports car.  It sends mixed messages, that the cutbacks are being placed on the backs of employees.  People want you to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

This does not mean that you cannot have lofty goals, and high expectations for your staff.  You should have them.  Just make sure that the lofty goals and expectations are realistic.  Nothing makes someone check out faster than being in a position that they know they cannot succeed in no matter how much they work, or how smart they are.

Maybe everyone else knew this, but it made me think about what it means to treat people well.

Author: Russ Bell

 

VI

Here we are at our second last segment on banks and what they can offer for small businesses. We are going to take a look at Scotiabank and some of the areas they can take care of. As a whole they have so much pertinent information just looking online. Information anywhere from how to start your business, registering your business name, growing and increasing your business and its profits all the way to selling your business. The information seems endless which is so true when it comes to businesses. We are always learning.

 

They have a handful of different accounts related to business depending on what exactly you are looking for including paying per transaction if you have a lower amount of movement.

 

Plan A Monthly fee of $18.00

Fee rebate at $15,000

25 Transactions 50 Deposit items

Cash deposit of $6000

Plan B Monthly fee of $35.00

Fee rebate at $30,000

70 Transactions 60 Deposit items

Cash deposit of $8000

Plan C Monthly fee of $70.00

Fee rebate at $40,000

125 Transactions 85 Deposit items

Cash deposit of $10,000

Unlimited Monthly fee of $120.00

Fee rebate at $65,000

Unlimited Transactions Unlimited deposit items

Cash deposit of $30,000

 

They also have some pretty great business savings account depending on your needs and the amount of money being put away. With these savings accounts your balance can fall into different tiers of interest rates anywhere from 0.8% to 1.7%. Another large area they can assist with is credit cards and business loans/lines of credit. With the options to find what is going to fit your business in the now but the ability to change as your business changes.

business-banking

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Business Card $199 annual fee. $0 for second card, $50 for additional cards 19.99% Interest rate on purchases

22.99% on cash advances

1.5 Scotia Rewards Points for every $1 spent
Scotia Momentum for Business Visa Credit Card $49 annual fee

$29 for additional cards

19.99% interest rate on purchases

22.99% cash advances, balance transfers, and credit card cheques

Up to 3% cash back on everyday business purchases
Scotialine for Business Visa Credit No annual fee or cost for additional cards Interest rate fluctuates
Visa Business Credit Card Gold card annual fee of $105

Silver card annual fee of $75

19.99% Interest rate on purchases

22.99% on cash advances

1% cashback on certain purchases
Scotiabank GM Visa Business Card $79 annual fee $29 for each additional card 19.99% interest rate on purchases

22.99% cash advances, balance transfers, and credit card cheques

$1 in GM earnings equals $1 towards purchase price or lease.

 

Scotiabank also has numerous types of loans including the line of credit and overdraft protection. Depending on what your business needs will depend on the types of loans you could be approved for. Going in and speaking with the branch will give you a better idea on what exactly suits your individual needs. You also have the option of applying online for a loan if you meet certain criteria set out in their guidelines. It is always important to consider speaking to someone face to face such as a financial business advisor at the branch to ensure everything is in place and fully understood.

 

Lastly they have a number of payments and merchant services. What really stands out is their Bulk Interac e Transfer. You are able to set up groups of e transfers that can be sent out at one time instead of individual payments. Scotia also has the portable machines to take payments wherever you need. They are partnered with Chase with competitive rates. Overall Scotiabank has so much to offer in terms of small business banking. The information they provide is very insightful along with the different accounts they hold.

Policies Overview

Policies
 
Yesterday we had the opportunity to speak at the Stony Chamber of Commerce to discuss and present important information on policies in the workplace. Policies are the backbone of a business. They can help you sink or swim. They give you consistency, control, structure, fairness and reasonableness.
 
There are in two categories that polices fall into; Legislated policies and general HR policies.
 
Legislated policies are a make up of Workplace Privacy, Respectful Workplace (violence and harassment), Workplace Health and Safety, Hours of work and overtime, Vacations and General Holidays.
 
General HR Policies consist of your Code of Conduct, Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace, Use of Information Technology, and Performance Management.
 
Of course this is a general overview and a basic guideline and start to creating your policies. There is a lot of thought and detail that goes into your policy book which shouldn’t be created and just put on a shelf. You as business owner along with your employees should review your policies yearly to ensure complete understanding of what is required and if your policies are in line with not only current legislation but also your values as a company.
 
Special thanks to Sherry Shephard for her information and insight into policies.
 
We at BitLedger can work with you to ensure you have your policies up to date and moving in the direction your business is headed.

Part V

banking

Returning back to our segment on overviews of what banks have to offer for small businesses, we are going to take a look at CIBC. At first glance CIBC already catches the attention of a business with their website alone keeping up with the changing of current events. For example as you look through the options they have informative videos on the changes in corporate taxes. They also not only have information on business accounts but they have pieces on business stages from the starting point to growth, managing and securing.

 

CIBC has a number of different accounts catered to small business. There are four main operating accounts along with a savings account. With these accounts they also offer customized access. This is where you can allow other persons access to different areas. For example an employee can deposit cheques into a certain account. They also offer merchant services through a partnership with Global Payments. CIBC has external vendors they recommend and use so you can accept payments on the go.

 

Unlimited operating business account $50.00 per month Unlimited transactions Deposit package of $15,000 cash $1000 coin

100 cheques

Advanced business operating account $35.00 per month. Waived fee if balance of $35,000. 100 transactions including Interac e transfer Deposit package of $5000 cash

$500 coin

50 cheques

Everyday business operating account $20.00 per month self service access.

$25.00 per month full service access

30 transactions included.

$1.00 each additional self service.

$1.25 each additional full service

Deposit package of $3000 cash

$300 coin

25 cheques.

Basic business operating account $6.00 per month Transactions $1.00 each self service.

$1.25 each full service

Pay per month for deposit use.
Business Investment growth account No monthly fee Interest from 0.70% to 1.20% depending on balance Access to funds at any time

 

CIBC has a number of credit card choices depending on where you are at with your business. They have 3 geared towards businesses that are quite established. They run your credit based on your business finances.

  • CIBC Aventura Visa Card for business plus. $120.00 annual fee first card. Additional cards at $50.00 with a max of 15 cards per account. Interest rate of 19.99% purchases and 22.99% cash. Earn points for travel with any airline and points that don’t expire.
  • CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for business plus. $120.00 annual fee first card. Additional cards at $50.00 with a max of 15 cards per account. Interest rate of 19.99% purchases and 22.99% cash. Earn Aeroplan points.
  • CIBC Corporate Classic Plus Visa card. $20.00 annual fee for each card with up to 15 cards per account. Interest rate of 19.99% purchases and 22.99% cash.

 

CIBC also has credit cards geared for businesses that have a limited financial history. Credit is based on personal financial information.

  • CIBC Aventura Visa Card for business. There is a $120.00 annual fee with each additional card at $50.00 and up to 9 cards. Interest rate of 19.99% on purchases and 21.99% cash. If you add $60.00 more to your annual fee though you can drastically reduce your interest rate to as low as 12.99% on purchases and 14.50% cash. In order to be approved you need a minimum annual income of $35,000.
  • CIBC Aerogold Visa Card for business. There is an annual fee of $180.00 with each additional card at $50.00 and up to 9 cards. Interest rates are as low as 12.99% on purchases and 14.50% cash. You must have a minimum annual household income of $35,000.

Another area that CIBC can assist you in is there borrowing options. Of course it is dependent on your credit history and the amount being requested. But they offer different loans where it can be based on your business finances, personal finances and even loans using your residential home as collateral for those larger money amounts. They also have options for fixed or variable interest rates.

 

It is important to note that with each bank there are many variables for approval. In order to get the best information talk to the business adviser

at their bank to find out what is best for you and your business.