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

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Brand slogans gone horribly wrong

What’s in a name? Or, for that matter, a brand? Well, a lot of headaches (and money) if you get it wrong, especially if you’re not paying attention to its translation into other languages or its “popular-culture meaning” in English.

Branding a product or service is fundamental. Your brand should be protected through the registration of a trademark in all of the countries to which you will be exporting the goods or in which you will be performing services so that no other company or person can use that name for the same goods or services. read more

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In Pictures: Art studio owner finds it hard to take a vacation

How can Jennifer Morley step away without losing the momentum she’s worked so hard to build?

  • Jennifer Morley started Kaleidoscope Art Studio five years ago. Today her business, situated in an Edwardian heritage home overlooking the Credit River in Mississauga, Ont., also serves as a sanctuary for many of her students. “When they come here it’s a safe and social environment,” she says.

    (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)
  • Ms. Morely works with students at her studio.

    (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)
  • During its early years, Kaleidoscope catered solely to children and teens, and Ms. Morley was the only teacher. Today, the studio attracts a primarily adult crowd and Ms. Morley has formed partnerships with three professional artists who come in regularly to teach their craft.

    (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)
  • Ms. Morley attributes the growth of her business to her constant networking efforts and to the bond she’s built with her students. “This business has been built a hundred per cent by me talking to people,” she says. “Outside of my website I’ve done no advertising, just one-on-one marketing.”

    (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)
  • Her personal approach does have a downside, however: It’s hard for Ms. Morley to take time off for professional development training or to spend leisure time with her daughters. “What happens is when I come back and call people about upcoming art classes, they’ll often tell me that they’re going to take this month off and come back next month,” Ms. Morley says. “The last time I went away it took me a month to get classes full again.”

    (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)
  • Ms. Morley says her business insurance requires her to be onsite during classes. But even if she gets this policy stipulation taken out – a move that would increase her premiums – it would still be hard to take time off for professional development and vacations. “For some people it almost seems like broken trust when I go away,” she says.

    (J.P. MOCZULSKI For The Globe and Mail)

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Every entrepreneur’s fear: How can my business survive if I’m not there?

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

Students who come to in Mississauga get a lot more than lessons in applying oil paint to canvas or making a batik print.

Jennifer Morley, who started Kaleidoscope five years ago in the dining room of her previous home, says her studio – an Edwardian home overlooking a river – also serves as a sanctuary for many of her students. read more

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Entry form link, and contest tips from judges, previous winner

Ready to throw your hat into the ring? Following these tips from Challenge Contest judges and a former grand-prize winner could boost your chances of winning.

Talk hard results: Diana Goodwin, founder of AquaMobile Inc., which won last year’s Challenge Contest, says it’s important to be clear about how you intend to use the $100,000 prize money and what results this investment will yield. read more

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What could $100,000 cash do for your small business?

Business is going swimmingly well for AquaMobile Inc.

After finishing 2014 with about $500,000 in revenue, the Toronto-based learn-at-home swim school – which serves Toronto and parts of Florida, California, Arizona and Texas – brought in more than seven figures last year and is on track to “at least double or possibly triple” its revenue this year, says founder Diana Goodwin. read more

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Swim-school founder makes a splash on Dragons’ Den

Diana Goodwin knew she had a winning business even before she beat out more than 3,000 competitors in last year’s $100,000 Small Business Challenge contest, a national competition sponsored by The Globe and Mail and Telus Corp.

Three Dragons told her so.

Ms. Goodwin, founder of Toronto-based Aquamobile Inc., appeared in a Dragons’ Den episode that aired March 9 on CBC but was taped last spring, just a few months after the Challenge contest launched. She had asked the show’s business moguls for $200,000 – “for marketing and advertising, to add some more horsepower to the business” – in exchange for a 10-per-cent equity stake in Aquamobile, a learn-at-home swimming school. read more

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Pay-per-use gym offers contract-free workouts

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

The founders of Striation 6 want their clientele to succeed so much they are betting their business on it.

, in midtown Toronto, is pay-per-use. Group classes cost $12, to a maximum of $120 a month. Customers pay $6 to use the equipment on their own, capped at $60. Gyms with locked-in contracts profit from members’ failure to show up; Striation 6 wants to profit from keeping clients coming.

“Rather than making people commit to a monthly fee, what we’re committing to is their health,” says co-founder Sam Trotta. read more

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Home builder adds MBA to her tool kit

This story is the seventh in a series that features students and graduates who are using their MBAs and EMBAs in unique fields other than the traditional ones of finance or consulting.

Natasha Penzo-McIntosh left a promising career in public relations to hammer out a new path as the co-owner of a home construction business.

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