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Loreleigh Kovacik: Tips to ensure your small business survives

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

There are so many things to manage when running a small business. The day-to-day operations are overwhelming, but then factor in the state of the economy with the prediction of recession looming, not to mention the state of employment and trying to attract and retain the right people to propel your business forward it can be downright scary.

Even with the best of intentions, many small businesses don't make it. It is important to heed the advice of entrepreneurs who have failed in order to ensure that your small business succeeds.

AlbertaFirst cites the top five tips that will ensure that your business stays ahead of the curve and survives in the long run:

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Loraleigh Kovacik: The rise of the business coach

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

Do you feel stuck? Are you doing the same things day after day with the same result? Or are you challenged in dealing with certain aspects of your business, and in turn having trouble reaching the next level?

Today, business leaders are faced with so many challenges and tasks. Keeping the business profitable, keeping current with market-trends and ensuring that their product or and service hits the mark, keeping staff happy, and overall operational efficiency. It's overwhelming. Often times, a small business owner carries this burden on their shoulders solely and completely.

It is for these reasons that the rise of business coaching is growing exponentially every year.

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Loraleigh Kovacik: The new art of strategic selling

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

It’s time to examine the sales engine at your small business. Is your sales force maximizing all opportunities? Or do potential sales fall through the cracks due to lack of attention or patience?

Recently I attended a seminar on increasing the efficiency of sales forces and it made me stop and really think about all of the business that we were winning but it also made me think about all of the chances that were passing us by.

Some traditional methods of cultivating opportunities are telephone cold-calling, door knocking, trade shows, up selling existing clients and referral gathering from current accounts or contacts that already exist for your business.

These methods are tried, tested and work, but what is happening with the people who say “no” to your sales people when they call?

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Loraleigh Kovacik: How to be a good 'Love Leader'

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

In celebration of Valentine's Day I thought I would try to blend the theme of love into Small Business Operations. On the outside, these topics don't go together as well as chocolate and peanut butter or Abbott and Costello however after some research, I find that there are more similarities and harmonies than one might expect.

In an organization it is said that the speed of the team is the speed of the leader. This is very true and demonstrates the importance of having or being an effective leader.

But have you ever heard of "Love Leadership"?

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Loraleigh Kovacik: Is telecommuting good for your bottom line?

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

Does your small business promote workplace flexibility? Chances are you have done it yourself or have been asked by your employees — today allowing your staff the opportunity to work from a home office is more and more common. Not only is it common, it is in many cases an expectation that an employee has from a prospective employer when choosing a new career.

Immediately visions of sweat-pant-wearing, daytim- TV-watching, afternoon-napping employees come to the mind of the more traditional employer. However, statistics continually prove that allowing your employees to have the chance to work from home will actually increase overall employee retention and productivity.

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Loraleigh Kovacik: 10 Commandments of effective business goal setting

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

With the new year upon us it brings a renewed sense of energy and an enthusiastic focus on the year ahead. It is an important time to look back at the successes and challenges that the past year held and a time to look forward and set goals for your small business for 2008.

Goal setting is a critical exercise that is often overlooked but one that it necessary in order to move forward.
Live by the philosophy that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Without goals or a clear roadmap for the future, you won’t be able to gauge successes or learn from setbacks and the year ahead will look exactly like the year that has passed.

From Business Know-How, Jamie L. Muntin suggests that there are 10 commandments of effective Business Goal setting:

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Loraleigh Kovacik: Treat the staff to a memorable holiday party

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

Tis the season for the company holiday party. As a small business owner you put so much time, energy and emotion into serving your customers that sometimes planning the office holiday party falls to the bottom of the to-do list.

Even though you may be small in terms of number of staff, it is very important to plan a gathering where you can show your employees how much you have appreciated their efforts over the past year.

If you haven’t already done so, it is not too late to organize a party that your employees will enjoy and remember long into next year.

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Loraleigh Kovacik: The rise of 'binge working'

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

The typical work day is dramatically changing. 9 to 5 is no longer the norm. With advances in technology over the past 10 years, time of day is no longer a factor in determining when business is conducted. Online shopping can happen at any time and so can business deals.

The October issue of Telecommunications Industry News tracks that trend. It says business people
are 42 per cent more dependent upon wireless technology and 51 per cent more reliant on mobile phones, PDAs, and PC data cards than they were just 2 years ago. This 24/7 approach puts extra demands on our time and with this added pressure comes the rise of a trend called "binge working".

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Loraleigh Kovacik: Starting a small business

Money Talks is a collection of daily columns from The Business Network, which airs weekday mornings on CBC Radio One at 5:45 a.m. ET (6:15 a.m. ET in N.L.).

It is a scary move to make to head out on your own to start your own small business. The comfort and security that working for someone else can offer goes away. You become 100 per cent responsible for 100 per cent of everything involved in running a business.

The liberating feeling that comes with starting something new of your very own can soon begin to consume your life. Is the tradeoff worth it?

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