I never imagined I would leave the company I co-founded

It can be extremely difficult to acknowledge that you don’t fit into a company’s culture, especially when it’s a company that you co-founded.

In August 2014, I co-founded with four of my nanotechnology engineering classmates at the University of Waterloo. We had a vision of eliminating sunburns by knowing when your sunscreen wore off. At the height of it, we were covered on Fortune, Gizmodo, and Canadian Living, and we almost had a prototype ready. read more

9 Comments Categories: Small Business

‘Bare minimum’ $1,000-a-month Internet services hobble Nunavut businesses

When designers at a small media company in Iqaluit have a digital file to send to a local client for proofing, they save it on a USB stick, get in the car, and drive over.

Sending files to clients outside of Iqaluit becomes “a real issue,” explains Tony Romito, co-owner of a company that specializes in print and Web design. Rather than using a file transfer protocol (FTP) site, Atiigo will send the project using snail mail, which can add weeks to the project’s timeline. Still, it’s often the best option in a territory with prohibitively expensive Internet services. read more

10 Comments Categories: Small Business

Ten rules for beating stress

Stress has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it, but how you respond is only half the battle. The secret to winning the war against stress lies in what you do when you aren’t working (and presumably aren’t stressed).

While I have a hobby that I engage in regularly (surfing), it isn’t the antidote to stress you might think. Think about it: even if you have a hobby that you’re deeply passionate about, you aren’t going to spend more than 10 percent of your time outside of work doing it. It’s what you do with the other 90 percent that really matters. read more

10 Comments Categories: Small Business

Writing a journal can make you more productive

We all have goals that we want to achieve. You may want to lose a few extra pounds and get in shape. Maybe you want to start a business or you would like to find a new job. Whatever your specific goal is, journalling is a powerful tool to help you achieve success. It is easy to get off track; you’re busy and you’re doing so much. Journaling is a great roadmap to help guide you to where you want to be. read more

No Comments Categories: Small Business

‘Too dumb to quit,’ long-time vinyl purveyor is glad he didn’t

Each week, we seek expert advice to help a small or medium-sized business overcome a key issue.

Mark Furukawa was meant to be in music retailing. The diehard music lover got his start in the business in the 1980s when, as a university English major, he took a part-time job at Dr. Disc in London, Ont.

Soon after he graduated in 1990, fate reinforced his conviction that he had found his calling. The owners of Dr. Disc were looking for equity partners with $40,000 to open a store in Hamilton. Coincidentally, Mr. Furukawa’s parents had received just a bit more than that from the Canadian government as redress for internment during the Second World War. read more

10 Comments Categories: Small Business

Shopify acquires messaging app Kit CRM to help businesses with online marketing

E-commerce company Shopify Inc. has acquired Kit CRM Inc., a messaging app that helps businesses with online marketing.

Kit, which operates via text message, runs targeted ads and posts updates on Facebook and Instagram to help businesses make recommendations to customers based on store activities.

The app also sends updates via text message to businesses regarding their social media activity. read more

No Comments Categories: Small Business

Cochrane, Alberta becomes an unlikely tech hotbed

When Kip Fyfe and Victoria Brilz co-founded their first company, building their business in the town of Cochrane, located 35 kilometres northwest of downtown Calgary, was a matter of pure practicality.

The couple, both engineers, quit their office jobs in Calgary to start a wearable technologies company in 1998. Dynastream Innovations Inc.’s products for athletes included heart-rate monitors and foot pods, which are small devices for runners that monitor data such as distance and pace; the first customer was Nike. read more

6 Comments Categories: Small Business

Technical employees undergo training to groom their social skills

Choosing an appropriate bottle of wine for a business lunch is surprisingly complicated, as Jamie Hamelin discovered.

Then there’s the matter of how to eat table bread – that is, by tearing it into small pieces and buttering each individually, rather than making a butter sandwich. But how do you even sit down at the table, he pondered. And how do you eat soup? read more

4 Comments Categories: Small Business

How to tell everyone what kind of music to play at your funeral

Each week, we seek expert advice to help a small or medium-sized business overcome a key issue.

For Andrew Smith, a six-day stay in hospital got him thinking about life and death.

Granted, he was only having a toe removed. But what would happen if he passed away? Did his family know what kind of music he would want played at his funeral, or whom he would want in attendance? read more

7 Comments Categories: Small Business

Caplansky’s deli goes national with restaurants ‘built for Instagram’

Zane Caplansky lays claim to a string of firsts in Toronto. First pop-up restaurant. First gourmet food truck. The guy is credited with reviving the classic deli and bringing authentic Jewish food back downtown.

Now Mr. Caplansky hopes to add to his fame (and fortune) by taking his deli national, selling a brand-new franchise concept across the country. The price of entry: $350,000 to $500,000 per franchise, depending on whether the restaurant is a new build.

Mr. Caplansky’s journey began in 2007. In a fit of pique over the failure of a friend to bring a promised Schwartz’s smoked-meat sandwich back from Montreal to Toronto, Mr. Caplansky vowed to make his own. “I learned how to smoke meat the old-fashioned way,” he says. “I Googled it.” read more

7 Comments Categories: Small Business