Category Archives: Uncategorized

Social Distancing and Small Business Coaching? No Problem!

Business coaches like to use face-to-face contact in especially their relationships with their small business clients, to help them fully realize their potential and set and work toward goals. Reliance on in-person contact in a time of social distancing and physical isolation creates a significant challenge!

But not one you can’t overcome, business coaches.

Use Small Business Solver to Coach While Following Social Distancing Protocols

Social Distancing theme with surgical medical face masks

Small Business Solver is built for business coaching in the age of social distancing. Watch our “Small Business Coaching During Physical Distancing” webinar to learn how to use Small Business Solver’s ecoaching platform and your favourite web conferencing tool (Zoom, Skype, or whatever you use) to meet with clients and coach them without either of you having to leave your home or office.

Together you can:

  1. Evaluate the client’s training needs based on the stage in which their small business currently operates.
  2. Assign them Small Business Solver training modules to complete for your next meeting. You can even email them the links to the modules and instructions on how to create an account (or our emails so that they can email us for instructions) so that they have no excuse for not doing their homework!
  3. As they complete each module, have them download the Put in Practice worksheet, complete it, and email it to you. Not only will you keep tabs on whether they’re doing their homework, but you can also review their sheets and see if they’re grasping the material! These modules and Put in Practice worksheets are available for hundreds of topics, so your clients can learn a lot this way – check out the video for an overview of what’s available!
  4. With the Small Business Solver plan for business coaches, you have access to a Coaches’ Corner in over 100 of the modules that helps you with your 1-on-1 coaching sessions. Your clients get more out of the platform and out of their coaching relationship with you, and they’re happier with the service you provide…win-win! Check out the video for more details and contact Carla at [email protected] to talk about accessing Coaches’ Corner.

Face-to-face interaction during coaching is nice, and getting back to it will be great. While social distancing is necessary, it’s not a possibility.at the moment. But you have options for providing support to small businesses that need desperately support to stay on their feet, and we’re happy to help.

Please stay safe and healthy!

Enjoy this webinar? Check out the others on our YouTube Channel!

Eco-Business is for Everyone!

Eco-business graphic

Small Business Solver brings you an unexpected treat with our Live Webinar for March 2020! Not only is our topic, All About Eco-Business, which is both awesome and super-cool, but we have Peter Miller of the Community Innovation Hub hosting with Carla!

Peter and Carla wrote The Giveback Economy together. They teamed up on Friday, March 13 (yikes!) for a discussion about what business owners need to know about eco-business.

In All About Eco-Business, Carla and Peter discuss:

  1. A definition of eco-business and ways in which it’s changing the way the world does business.
  2. Ways that small business owners can make their business operations more environmentally friendly
  3. Opportunities for entrepreneurs waiting to get into eco-business – both umbrella opportunities and specific examples

Eco-business is good for everyone! Let’s talk about it.

What is Eco-Business?

Eco-businesses are companies that make a positive impact on the natural environment. The owners of these companies realize that corporate social responsibility that includes attempts to address environmental concerns benefits the consumer, the business and the supply chain.

However, attempts to address environmental concerns must go deeper than the consumer-facing business in order for a company to truly do eco-business. The commitment to addressing environmental issues must flow through the business, from the start of the supply chain to the moment the customer receives the product. People can tell when they’re being “green-washed” – social media and technology let them catch quickly when businesses aren’t authentic about a desire to help the environment.

How Is Eco-Business Changing the Way We Do Business?

People are concerned for the future of humanity if we don’t start treading more lightly on the Earth. Many of them will switch businesses over a company’s low degree of eco-friendliness. Millennials in particular are less likely to work for or buy from a business that’s having a negative impact on the environment.

Do consider that if your business isn’t taking steps to be eco-friendly that your brand image, customer relationships, and eventually your sales may suffer.

Corporate social responsibility in the eco area affects whether particularly millennials will want to work at or buy from a business

Eco-business requires companies to look beyond their bottom line, because the well-being of the Earth requires decisions that take more than finances into account. For example:

  1. A decision to build a coal mine becomes more than one about profit than loss, but a total impact calculation that includes factors like the usability of the land after processing finishes.
  2. Carbon tax now needs to be considered

Making Your Business Eco-Friendly

All businesses impact the environment. What can you say about the impact that your business is having?

  1. Is your business having a positive impact or a negative impact?
  2. If you are having a positive impact (or would like to), are you being reactive or proactive about it?

Our webinar talks about these reactive strategies for making your business more eco-friendly.

  1. Following Regulations
  2. Reducing Waste
  3. Carbon Offsetting

Being reactive with your eco-business strategy isn’t necessarily bad. However, a reactive strategy to address an issue that’s already occurred isn’t as effective as a proactive strategy that ideally keeps the issue from becoming a problem at all, so the webinar also discusses these additional proactive strategies:

  1. Make Your Eco-Friendly Strategy a Priority
  2. Social Procurement
  3. Reverse Logistics
  4. Giving Back

Integrated Model

Once you’ve put a plan together that includes reducing waste and following regulations, as well as some more proactive strategies, consider a professional evaluation of the social and environmental impact of your business. The webinar discusses the advantages of being evaluated by:

  1. BCorp
  2. Green Sacred Spaces.
  3. Your Hydro Provider

To do the most good you can as an eco-business (and benefit the most you can!), assess where you can employ green business management in all aspects of your business.

What Are the Opportunities?

Small Business Solver sponsors the Social Innovation Challenge, a pitch competition for social enterprises and social innovation. Watch the webinar for information on these umbrella opportunities in eco-business and past Social Innovation challenge winners who have won within them!

  1. Sustainable Water – Building Up. Hires marginalized youth to retrofit bathrooms in apartment buildings to decrease water waste.
  2. Sustainable Food – Growing North. Builds greenhouses in Nunavut to grow affordable vegetables.
  3. Waste Management – Binners’ Project. Support staff help Vancouver’s homeless population to improve their economic opportunities as they divert garbage from the landfills.
  4. Transform Waste – Genecis. Converts food waste from restaurants into energy and biofuel.
  5. Replace Single-Use Plastic – Candy Cutlery. Hard candy utensils designed to let you enjoy your dessert or drink and then be enjoyed as a second treat.
  6. Reverse Logistics – London Drugs. Not a Social Innovation Challenge winner, but one of the first Canadian companies to put in a program where people could return used batteries and old cell phones. Ahead of their time!
  7. End-of-Product Life Cycle – Datawind. When computer companies upgrade their product, Datawind takes the components of the outdated models and makes them into computers to be distributed in developing countries.
  8. Extend the Life – Repair Cafes let people get their broken items fixed while they learn the skills to do their own repairs. Textbooks for Change takes donated textbooks, recycles the damaged ones, donates some to developing countries, and resells others to students at reduced rates.

Make the most of your opportunities and use your imagination! Eco-business is about being creative.

Bottom Line

Eco-business benefits you, your customers, and the Earth – why not consider how you can incorporate it into your business plan? Contact us for more information!

Small Business Marketing Tools to Boost your Likeability

People buy from people they like, so remember to congratulate yourself once you’ve made the sale! You connected with the customer and appealed to them on the emotional level at which people ultimately decide to buy. You now need to make this transactional customer who’s made one purchase a lifetime customer. Using small business marketing tools that boost your likeability can help with that. In this webinar you’ll learn about:

  1. The Value of a Customer
  2. Likeability as one of the 3 Tenets of a Sale
  3. How Brand affects Likeability
  4. Marketing Tools that Boost Likeability

The Value of a Customer

Getting existing customers to spend more money on your products is less expensive than spending money on the marketing and onboarding required to continually bring on new customers. You’ll also generate more revenue over a customer’s lifetime. Build personal relationships with your customers, increasing your likeability, and revenue from a given customer will increase as:

  1. Average size and frequency of a sale increases
  2. Purchases become more routine
  3. You become the business that the customer always shops with
  4. The customer not only does business exclusively with you, but refers you to other people.

The sales cycle for a referral is much shorter than for a customer you bring in fresh off the street!

Likeability as One of the 3 Tenets of a Sale

Need a reminder about the 3 Tenets of a Sale? Here they are:

  1. People Must Know You (Visibility)
  2. People Must Trust You (Credibility)
  3. People Must Like You (Likeability)

We are (obviously) examining Likeability’s role in the 3 Tenets of Sale today, and how boosting it through small business marketing and building personal relationships wih customers increases your sales. We’ve examined previously how boosting credibility boosts your sales and also how boosting visibility boosts your sales, so be sure to check out those webinars as well! Small business marketing works!

How Brand Affects Likeability

Your Brand Promise lets customers know who you are and what they can expect from you. Branding choices give your customers information about your business that they use to evaluate your Brand Promise, and all ties into likeability.

Consider how these aspects of your branding will be perceived by your target market:

  1. Your business’ name
  2. Your business’ voice
  3. Visuals
  4. Values
  5. Personality
  6. Characteristics that make it unique from other companies will be perceived by your target market.

Remember that in small business your personal brand as the business owner is part of the business brand. Be both authentic in both!

Small Business Marketing Tools That Boost Likeability

You can use Small Business Solver’s Marketing Solver Tool to learn about a whole bunch of marketing tools that help with the “Like You” part of the 3 Tenets of a Sale. Here are a few the webinar talks about:

  1. Volunteering –> You and/or a staff team
  2. Sponsorships –> Community events or local sports teams
  3. Rebates and Coupons —> For existing customers, not just new ones
  4. Lunch & Learns –> For potential and existing customers
  5. Online Service Tie-In –> Use an online platform to provide value to your offering (such as access to an information website or web community)
  6. Pick Up the Phone –> Call customers instead of emailing them
  7. Employees –> Stay engaged, let them express their personality
  8. Mentors —> Leverage the power of your champions!
  9. Food –> Face-to-face over food can build powerful relationships
  10. Be Helpful –> Share articles, news, events
  11. Birthday Cards –> Note customer details that are potential touchpoints in your CRM
  12. Online Portfolio –> Showcase your business and your brand promise
  13. Networking –> Really listen to peoples’ stories and offer help without expectation of return
  14. Smile! —> People can tell, even if they can’t see you.

The numbers show that you really only need one hundred loyal customers to flourish, bottom line. They will keep coming back to you, over and over. They will refer new customers to you. One hundred loyal customers changes the nature of your business.

Something to think about, right?

Was this useful? Watch our other webinars on our YouTube Channel!