July 2011

Unlike full-time employment, many small business owners do not have the luxury of calling in sick as their business operations depend on their presence. Some emergency planning ahead of time will ease the anxiety when life happens and you need time off work.

1. Have someone (or several people) who you can rely on to step up and take over when you are away from work.

2. Create a manual of tasks that need to be done daily, weekly, even monthly, so someone else is able to attend to your business and keep it afloat for the period of time you are away. The list could look like this:

Getting involved in the community can be a win-win situation in business. You showcase your business as being “socially aware” and you feel good about it. The most important thing for a business to remember is that most customers buy from people they know, like and trust. Creating a “community” and interacting with that community goes a long way in building that trust.

Community involvement puts a personal face on your business in several ways that can’t be duplicated.

Few businesses are lucky to be so unique that media naturally gravitate to them on a regular basis. For the rest of us, it requires a bit more knowledge and skill to practice good media relations.

The CNW Group recently hosted a panel in Toronto with three online experts. They provided some valuable tips on the new digital realm.

1. There are no more deadlines. Online news reporters are constantly working on stories. When your information is ready, be prepared to provide supplementary items (photos, videos, fact sheets, bios) and then just hit send!

Human resources is part of the larger business strategy in a small business. Recruitment and employee training has to fit in with the business culture. There are several points to consider while deciding on the HR strategy for your business.

1. Recruitment
Know what you are hiring for. Use lots of behavioural interviewing questions – otherwise the business may be systemically hiring people who can answer rehearsed interview questions. Check references.