Canada Day

On July 1, 1867, the British North Americas Act created the Dominion of Canada as a federation of four provinces, an event known as the confederation of Canada. The four original provinces were created from the former British colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada, which was divided into the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

On June 20, 1868, a proclamation signed by the Governor General, Lord Monck, called upon all Her Majesty’s loving subjects throughout Canada to join in the celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada on July 1st.  The July 1 holiday was established by statute in 1879, under the name Dominion Day.

On October 27, 1982, July 1st which was known as “Dominion Day” became “Canada Day”.

Canada’s Prime Ministers

Stephen Joseph Harper
(Conservative)
February 6, 2006 – present

Paul Edgar Philippe Martin, Jr.
(Liberal)
December 12, 2003 – February 6, 2006

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien
(Liberal)
November 4, 1993 – December 11, 2003

A. Kim Campbell
(Progressive Conservative)
June 25, 1993 – November 3, 1993

Martin Brian Mulroney
(Progressive Conservative)
September 17, 1984 – June 24, 1993

John Napier Turner
(Liberal)
June 30, 1984 – September 17, 1984

Charles Joseph Clark
(Progressive Conservative)
June 4, 1979 – March 2, 1980

Pierre Elliott Trudeau
(Liberal)
April 20, 1968 – June 3, 1979
March 3, 1980 – June 29, 1984

Lester Bowles Pearson
(Liberal)
April 22, 1963 – April 19, 1968

John George Diefenbaker
(Progressive Conservative)
June 21, 1957 – April 21, 1963

Louis Stephen St. Laurent
(Liberal)
November 15, 1948 – June 20, 1957

William Lyon Mackenzie King
(Liberal)
December 29, 1921 – June 28, 1926
September 25, 1926 – August 6, 1930
October 23, 1935 – November 14, 1948

Richard Bedford Bennett
(Conservative)
August 7, 1930 – October 22, 1935

Arthur Meighen
(Conservative)
July 10, 1920 – December 28, 1921,
June 29, 1926 – September 24, 1926

Sir Robert Laird Borden
(Conservative/Unionist)
October 10, 1911 – July 9, 1920

Sir Wilfrid Laurier
(Liberal)
July 11, 1896 – October 6, 1911

Sir Charles Tupper
(Conservative)
May 1 1896 – July 8, 1896

Sir Mackenzie Bowell
(Conservative)
December 12, 1894 – April 27, 1896

Sir John Sparrow David Thompson
(Liberal-Conservative)
December 5, 1892 – December 12, 1894

Sir John Joseph Caldwell Abbott
(Liberal-Conservative)
June 16, 1891 – November 24, 1892

Alexander Mackenzie
(Liberal)
November 7, 1873 – October 8, 1878

Sir John Alexander Macdonald
(Liberal-Conservative)
July 1, 1867 –  November 5, 1873
October 17, 1878 – June 6, 1891

Business Marketing on the Web

Are you marketing your business on the interWeb?

Do you even know where to start?

Ok – here it is – simple as I can get it.

Option 1 – Basic – no website – Just get your business listed on the Internet.
Do this for sure – to at the bare minimum get your contact on the internet so that people (aka – your customers) can find you when they search online.

– Business directory listing. Go to Google and type in your town name and the word ‘directory’ or possibly ‘business directory’. Look at the first few listings and see if any are business directories. Click on them, check how to add a listing and submit your business. Many online business directories have free listings, or very low cost listings. And they come up very high in the search engines. So now at least your customers can find your business name, address and other contact data.
Add your business to as many business directories as you feel is relevant. There are often many local town directories, sometimes divided by types of business, or industry.
A couple that I am familiar with are:

www.canadianbusinessdirectory.ca
www.weblocal.ca
www.ibegin.com
www.hotfrog.ca
Yahoo Local Listings
Google Local Listings
www.vendorland.ca
www.freebizads.ca
www.canadaone.com

– Chamber of Commerce – if you belong to the local chamber of commerce they usually have a business listing or their own business directory. Be sure your information is on that listing and that all the information is correct.
– Town / City website. Some towns and cities also have their own business listings. Check if yours does, and if so be sure to add your business to that listing.

Option 2 – Free business website.
There are a number of places on the internet that allow you to create a free business website. This is really not a true website – rather it is just a page on their website that you get to put all your business information. You don’t own the website, they just let you put up your information, but they also get to put some of their info (logo, link, etc).
This is not a bad alternative, and in fact can be a good long term strategy to use for advanced online marketing. It is a great place to start.
First choose your online free service that you would like to place your business.
Here are a few to choose from:

http://hubpages.com
http://business.blinkweb.com
http://sites.google.com
www.squidoo.com
www.webs.com
www.homestead.com
www.moogo.com
www.yola.com

Most of these come with some type of built in way to create your page and add a number of creative functions, designs, themes and other ideas. Check them out to see which works for you.
Another alternative is to use Facebook. Yes you heard me – you can create a business page on Facebook. First you need a personal Facebook account. Once signed up (and add all your friend remember – them make good customers) you have to look hard to find the business pages. Down at the bottom there is a link that says ‘Advertise’. When you click on it you then get the option to create a ‘Page’. On the page you can add all your business information like contact data, services and products, etc.

Option 3 – by far the best – Get yourself a real website.
This is not really that hard to do.
First you have to register your domain – which is the name of your website – www.yourbusinessname.com. Go to www.zeddomains.com and type in your business name. If it is available then purchase that domain. Be sure you are getting the ‘.com’ extension on the end. For a regular business I do not see the point in getting any other extension. If you are in Canada – you could get the ‘.ca’ but I would also get the ‘com’ so that nobody else takes it and ‘cybersquats’ on your domain name.
Next you must get a place to host your website. Hosting is where the information is stored that is on your website (pictures, text, etc). You can’t keep it on your computer since your computer is not connected directly to the internet. Go to www.zedwebhosting.com to purchase a hosting package.
Finally you have to build your website. I would suggest you hire a professional to build your site. A very basic website that has 3-10 pages showing off your products and services as well as all the basic contact information should cost your under $1000. Well worth the money to get it done right.

So whether you choose option 1 – 2 or 3 – at least you will start to be found on the InterWeb . .. Just like Corner Gas!

Communication Problems in Business

The one problem area in communication that still gives me the heebie jeebies is email.
I use it every day – tons!!!

But . ..
it is so easy to make a mistake, say the wrong thing, convey the wrong meaning.

**  ** Catch this post in Video ** **

The problem is there is not tonality – you can’t hear inflection that defines so much meaning in what people say.  Sure we can add those little variations of smiley faces – but do they really do the job.

I see it in my coworkers as well – some jump in with both feet, let the water droplets land where they may – getting everyone wet!

And they often end up all wet themselves.

But sometimes they come through communicating crystal clean.

Others cautiously stick only a toe in – seeking the security of not getting wet – thinking that way they will be safe.

Either way – not sure which is best.

My bad habit is to be too straight forward – I speak my mind too much in a direct way.   Not nearly enough ‘may i’ and ‘please’ and too much ‘how about we try this’.

But hey – I am like that in real life.  Just gotta tone it down a bit – mind my pints and quarts (wouldn’t want to spill a drop of that stuff – lol) and be a little more considerate to those whose mind does not travel at warp speed.  Not that mine does – it just jumps from idea to idea – maybe ‘warped’ is a better analogy.

Leadership in Business

What is a Leader?

Many experts will tell you that Leadership is one of the most important things for business success.  So leadership and the traits and characteristics of a leader is something we should study and learn. Correct?

Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and sternness . . .    When one has all five virtues together then one can be a leader
Sun Tzu – The Art of War

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
Peter F. Drucker

Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
George S. Patton

Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.
Dwight Eisenhower

A leader is a dealer in hope.
Napoleon Bonaparte

I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?
Benjamin Disraeli

The leadership instinct you are born with is the backbone. You develop the funny bone and the wishbone that go with it.
Elaine Agather

Delegating work works, provided the one delegating works, too.
Robert Half

Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men — the other 999 follow women.
Groucho Marx

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.
Theodore M. Hesburgh

The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
Theodore Roosevelt

Many thoughts and ideas on leadership by some great people – possibly some great leaders.

My model of a leader is someone who has the ability to work with people.  They have emotional intelligence along with high moral standards, a good work ethic and knowledge of the practical side of the business.

A good leader is not the one that talks the loudest – sometimes true leadership is not talking at all.  A leader must show by example, be open to change, communicate with all the people at every level of the business.

A good leader looks ahead, has a vision and steers his business towards that vision like a captain of a ship.  A good leader does not have to make abrupt changes, for he knows this will only upset the order of things, and not bring about true change.

A good leader understands the culture of his organization, understands his customer, has a solid relationship with all of his publics (suppliers, intermediaires and interested stakeholders).  A good leader takes the pulse of his business at many times and in many ways.

A good leader listens!

A great leader responds to what he hears at the correct time, in the correct way, with the correct amount of force, using the correct tools.

A great leader has patience and perseverance.

A great leader loves what he does, day in and day out.

Marketing Beliefs and Principles

I want to let you know about my marketing beliefs. Share with you some of the basics, some principles that I know work, so that we can move forward together.

ABC – Always Be Closing – an old sales axiom – and one that I have heard often.  I agree to a certain extent – but I like to change it to ABS – Always Be Selling.  In every facet of your business you need to be aware that you are selling.  That is crucial.  And with that goes the idea that everyone in your organization is a salesperson for your company – at some level.

Relationships are key!  People buy from who they know and trust. You must work hard to be the person they know, and you have to give them reasons to trust you.

Timing is everything.  People will not buy from you all the time.  But at the right time, they will buy anything from you.  They have to be in the ‘buying time zone’.

It takes more than one offer to make a sale.  By that I mean you have to stay in touch, repeat the offer, whether that means multiple ads, mailings, flyers, emails, or plain old asking for the sale directly.

Hard work is the most important factor in any marketing campaign.  It is not usually the most creative, nor the most glitzy or spectacular  marketing, not even the best copywriting (althought copy is extremely important) that in the long run gives the best results.  What does give results is consistent long term action.  Get your message out there, again, and again, and again. — And then again.

Testing is vital.  This is the most under utilized tool that any marketer has, and one that can have the greatest impact in any marketing campaign.  And it is not hard, it just takes a little know-how and some diligence – but the pay-off is well worth it.

Many of these ideas you have heard before.  In the coming days I will give you strategies that will incorporate many of these principles.  We will also take time to delve deeper into these principles to learn why they work, and how you can make them work better for your business.