Keys to a Successful Small Business

In fifteen+ years of operating my own business, I have learned SO MUCH in areas that I would never have anticipated having to know anything about. It would have been so helpful to have gone into this line of work with some insight, so that I could avoid making some [...]

Keys to a Successful Small Business 2019-08-21T11:58:43+00:00

Google Ads: A primer part two

In last month’s column, we discussed the best practices in composing a Google Ads (formerly Adwords). Now what? There are a few more steps in the process. If you don’t already have a Google Ads account you’ll need to set that up now. When you go to the first page [...]

Google Ads: A primer part two 2019-08-21T11:58:14+00:00

Google Adwords: A primer part one

You wouldn’t be alone in admitting you haven’t played the Google Adwords game yet. Although you are familiar with those sponsored ads that appear everywhere, from the right side of your search feed to the top of your Gmail inbox, it can be intimidating for a small business owner to [...]

Google Adwords: A primer part one 2019-08-21T11:57:35+00:00

Online Marketing is like planting a seed

You probably keep hearing about the “overnight” successes that some companies have found online. Like any story where’s there a free lunch, it turns out the truth is often much different than what you hear. In reality, gaining a strong online presence takes a fair amount of patience and only [...]

Online Marketing is like planting a seed 2019-08-21T11:56:22+00:00

Industry disruption

There are some sales processes which you can assume might just last forever. But now thanks to the internet, many of these “given” ways of doing business are being up-ended, possibly forever. One great example of this is mattress shopping. It’s an awful experience. You walk into a store, and [...]

Industry disruption 2019-08-21T11:55:52+00:00

What keeps you up at night?

When I started writing this column, my original idea was to present small, actionable ideas for the small business owner in St. Thomas and the surrounding community. The world is moving so quickly it can be hard to keep pace with technology and the apps and online conveniences that are [...]

What keeps you up at night? 2019-08-21T11:55:19+00:00

Features versus Benefits: a big difference

A typical small business venture starts like this: Julie is a talented artist. She discovers she has a real love of working with metal and semi-precious stones and fashioning original ideas into jewellery. Her friends and family are so impressed with this talent that they ask her to make custom [...]

Features versus Benefits: a big difference 2019-08-21T11:54:53+00:00

Ringing in the new

Have you made your new year business resolutions yet? If not, and you aren’t sure what that means for you, here’s a potential checklist that you can tackle during time you set aside for marketing efforts: Revisit your website SEO (search engine optimization). Does your website copy contain words that [...]

Ringing in the new 2019-08-21T11:54:25+00:00

The new Oprah

A few month’s back, a client of mine brought my attention to the online celebrity that is Maria Forleo: Her mission is to help entrepreneurs on their online journey to success. She offers plenty of free content, as well as paid online training to help guide things like the [...]

The new Oprah 2019-08-21T11:53:56+00:00

Disappearing content? Why bother?

Back in August 2016, Instagram was a very strong platform for businesses, but there was one trend that its owners noticed: given that the platform is so dependent on visuals, the pressure on users to only post perfect content was very high. This need for the absolutely perfect composition, lighting, [...]

Disappearing content? Why bother? 2019-08-21T11:53:16+00:00

Instagram for business

Perhaps you are already using Facebook for your business and happily find you get a good deal of exposure and are able to increase brand awareness for your company fairly easily through posts, videos, and maybe even Facebook stories or live video. People walk into your store or visit your [...]

Instagram for business 2019-08-21T11:52:42+00:00

Women in Business

The Numbers Are In: Economies Grow When We Bet on Women  Canadians are most active women entrepreneurs in the world  Female Entrepreneurship Is on the Rise As Entrepreneurship Thrives, Women Are Starting More Innovative Businesses Than Men These are the headlines from the last year that came up when I [...]

Women in Business 2019-08-21T11:51:56+00:00

The Psychology of Colour and Your Brand

These are serious considerations when choosing your brand colour palette. Your professional duty is to your brand and company growth, and so your company colours should be chosen not by your favourite niece, or your artistic grandson, but rather by careful study of colour psychology and how it relates to [...]

The Psychology of Colour and Your Brand 2019-08-21T11:49:28+00:00

What’s a CTA? And why bother?

When sitting down with a potential website designer you may find your head spinning a little as they throw out terms like “SEO”, “CMS” and “CTA”. Today I’ll touch on “CTA” (although you can always contact me for further info on those other troublesome terms). CTA stands for “Call To [...]

What’s a CTA? And why bother? 2018-06-18T22:17:28+00:00

The mass market is no longer important

Do you still cater to the mass market? i.e. the hundreds if not thousands of people out there who are all constantly bombarded by mass media on their TVs, their daily drive, and even their phones? It’s time to stop worrying about them and spending your precious marketing dollars in [...]

The mass market is no longer important 2018-06-18T22:15:34+00:00

Companies who rock Twitter

In last month’s column, I gave you a gentle nudge toward trying your hand at Twitter if you haven’t done so yet. On the flip side, there are companies out there who have got very comfortable with the medium and add a nice dose of humour to our day. One [...]

Companies who rock Twitter 2018-06-18T22:14:35+00:00

The M-Word

Money is the source of everything in a business, and ultimately determines many of the decisions we make, from pricing to expenses to marketing decisions. And since this issue is focussing on investing and RRSPs, I thought I would look at finances from an online perspective. The internet has revolutionized [...]

The M-Word 2018-06-18T22:11:50+00:00

Demystifying hashtags

For those of you knowing that you should have jumped on the social media bandwagon long ago, but felt too intimidated to do so,  I suspect one of the main reasons for your trepidation was that strangely ubiquitous symbol “#”. What’s it for, anyway? Why use it at all? To [...]

Demystifying hashtags 2018-03-14T17:00:40+00:00

People to follow

As a creative professional who also self-markets, I need to keep up on the latest and greatest in a variety of sectors in order to stay on top of the game. Continual learning and development is important to keep my skills honed as the market is ever-changing. One of the [...]

People to follow 2018-06-09T17:01:35+00:00

All media is now optional

In the past, if you wanted to engage in some marketing, you’d take out a full page ad in the paper, or perhaps produce a television commercial, or maybe get a radio spot. Maybe you’d even do all 3, spending thousands of dollars along the way. The great thing about [...]

All media is now optional 2018-06-09T17:01:35+00:00

5 things you can do to get you started on Twitter

Following on the heels of my first article in this column, I want to go straight into some practical tips that you can use in your business, like starting today. Most people unfamiliar with Twitter shudder when I mention it. It’s a scary thing; the little tweet button that, once [...]

5 things you can do to get you started on Twitter 2018-06-09T17:01:36+00:00


Running your own business means learning as you go. To that end, I’ve read many books, on varied topics, from self-marketing to design inspiration to colour theory. Some of the most memorable books I’ve read have been written by women. I’ve selected three favourites below and I hope this might [...]

#girlboss 2018-06-09T17:01:36+00:00

The Connection Economy is changing how we do business

You may have looked around you and thought: how has so-and-so managed to get their business up and running so quickly? Why do they have customers lining up outside their doors? They don’t have a radio spot, they don’t have a two-page spread in the yellow pages, and I have [...]

The Connection Economy is changing how we do business 2018-06-09T17:01:36+00:00

Online resources are yours for the using

Back in 2005 in Ottawa when I launched my graphic design career, I started the usual way: building a portfolio piece by piece by getting work from friends or close colleagues. This makes perfect sense for a novice starting out: you don’t yet have a strong portfolio or network, and [...]

Online resources are yours for the using 2018-06-09T17:01:36+00:00

Owning your own business can be an eye-opener

I get to choose my hours! I don’t have to listen to anyone barking orders at me! I can do what I love, every single day! I can finally be appreciated for my talents and hard work! When you daydream about owning your business, I’ll bet these thoughts swim through [...]

Owning your own business can be an eye-opener 2018-06-09T17:01:36+00:00