September 2019
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The Business Voice - Supporting the Moose Jaw & District business community
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September 2019

Welcome to New Members:

CKE Restaurants - seeking MJ Franchisee - 416.818.1611

Coral Ethnic Market - 306.313.8727

Hillcrest Health - 306.690.8777

Moose Jaw & District Senior Association Inc. - 306.694.4223

Moose Jaw Truck Shop - 306.694.4644

 

Chamber Members and Future Members, 

With the fall season just around the corner, we hope you all had a great summer and now that September has arrived, we are starting off with our:

  • 31st annual golf tournament (Thurs. Sept 5th, Lynbrook Golf) “Sold Out”  Presented by Golden Opportunities Fund Inc.
  • Our President Event and AGM, (Thurs.  Sept 12th, 11:45am – 1:00pm Heritage Inn) for the induction of the new President, Jasmine Cameron and the new Board of Directors for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. 

The Chamber also offers your business many opportunities to meet with other Chamber members that you may want to do business with. Join us at one of our monthly networking functions and annual events. Your participation goes a long way in maximizing your Chamber investment and establishing your business as an active organization in Moose Jaw’s business community.

Also, as part of your membership, your business receives advertising in our website, members e-mail blast, and social media pages at no extra cost. So please, take advantage of these opportunities! Send us your advertisements, promotions and new happenings with your business and we will proudly promote it!

If you have not been in contact with us recently, I encourage you to stop by or give us a call and find out how we can help promote or grow your business. I can also stop by your place of business and bring the resources to you. If we have not had the opportunity to meet in person, let’s make that happen!

Please do not hesitate to contact the Chamber office at (306) 692-6414.  Thank you again, and we look forward to seeing you at one of our events in the very near future.

Rob Clark, CEO

Chamberplan.ca
Getting Started with LinkedIn

 

Getting Started with LinkedIn

If you aren't on LinkedIn, or haven't investigated it yet you really should check it out. In basic terms it's the business version of Facebook. It has over 450 million members in over 200 countries and territories worldwide. What LinkedIn does, and does well, is to connect businesspeople to each other and in turn, each other's connections. For instance, a person that has 595 connections is 'linked' to over 6 million professionals. What this means is they can quite easily get introduced to anyone they are linked to through one of their connections.

LinkedIn gives you access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights into the world of business. So, if you are new to this medium, how do you get started and make yourself known? Here are 12 quick tips to get you going.

  1. Sign up for LinkedIn, create a profile, and then search for businesspeople you know and ask them to be a connection.
  2. Once you have some connections take a look at their connections and see who you know and ask them to be a connection. Every connection you get leads you to further connections. With a little effort you can have hundreds of connections in no time. One word of warning – don't accept every invitation that comes your way, check the person out to see if you know them, know of them, or whether they'll make a useful connection. Some people are just looking to sell you something, or gain access to your connections.
  3. Now what you really want to happen is for people you don't know, but want to know (potential clients perhaps) to start noticing you, so you need to widen your horizons in terms of connections.
  4. Post regular updates to let your connections know what's happening in your life and business.
  5. Join groups that relate to your industry and join the conversation. The more comments you post, and the more you contribute, the more people (and businesses) will take an interest in you.
  6. Write articles about your industry and post them for your network to read.
  7. Create a business LinkedIn profile, or company page, to complement your personal business profile.
  8. Add pages to your business profile that profile your management staff and encourage them to add posts, or put someone in charge of managing the business page.
  9. Use the LinkedIn help center to see how you can make the most out of your membership - there are webinars, videos and a place to simply ask questions. You can even request a LinkedIn mentor.
  10. Go back to your original profile and add to it to make it as comprehensive as possible. And, keep it up to date.
  11. Endorse people and request that they endorse you.
  12. Ask for recommendations and recommend some of your connections.

LinkedIn is an amazing vehicle for you to promote your business; the tips above will get you started but read more about LinkedIn and grow your knowledge as you grow your connections and your influence.

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Getting Started with LinkedIn

 

7 Fees Your Small Business Can Avoid

Fees - they're everywhere; if you count up all the fees your small business pays in a year, it can add up to a hefty sum. While fees may be a fact of life it doesn't mean you can't avoid at least some of them with a little planning and creativity. While these ways to avoid fees could apply to anyone, read them with your small business in mind.

  1. Cellphone roaming fees - if you're travelling overseas, talk to your mobile carrier before you go regarding a pre-paid long-distance/roaming package. Making a small upfront investment could save you hundreds of dollars. You don't want any surprises on your post trip bill so ensure you ask your carrier exactly what kind of coverage you are paying for and what, if anything, you will be charged extra for. Also, ask your provider whether they will allow you to cancel the package when you return from your trip and only pay for what you used while you were away.
  2. Annual credit card fees - platinum and gold reward cards can charge high annual fees for features that you never use for your business. Make sure you are clear about what you're getting for those fees, and if they're things you don't use look at another card that has no annual fees. Bear in mind that some of these cards cover your collision damage waiver if you rent a car, and also provide travel insurance so can actually save you money, if these features are useful to you. If earning rewards points tempts you to pay the fees, take into consideration how long it will take you to collect sufficient points to get a flight. Then do the math - work out how much the card cost you over that period, less what the flights would have cost you if you'd have bought them. Remember, in most cases you will have to pay the taxes on the cost of the flights. You may also want to consider a no points, cash back card as an option.
  3. Cancellation fees - cancelling a cellphone contract before the end of the contract (or service agreement) can result in fees of several hundred dollars. Be aware of the fine print in your service agreement and time your contract changes wisely, or don't sign a long-term contract in the first place. The same is true for replacing your smartphone – if you wait out the term you can often get a new phone for either no cost, or a much-reduced fee.
  4. Airline fees – airlines have got into the habit of nickel and diming us to death in recent years. No longer is food, audio headsets, or in some cases inflight entertainment provided free of charge. An economy seat with better legroom now attracts a premium cost, even reserving a seat will cost you. The big new money-maker for airlines of course is charging for checked baggage and heaven help you if you go a few pounds over the proscribed weight limit. Be aware of all the charges your airline makes and avoid as many of them as you can; take your own snacks, headphones, tablet, pillow. Ensure you know the weight limit for checked bags on your flight and keep within it – better still, learn how to pack more efficiently and only take a carry-on bag. Also, be aware that booking a flight by phone can incur a fee so book online if possible.
  5. ATM fees – it's always tempting to use the first ATM you see, but at what cost? It's easy to think that it's just a few bucks if you don't use your own bank's machine, but those few bucks add up and if you only need a small amount of cash, the percentage can be high. Not only that, did you know that the third-party ATM fee you pay isn't the only fee? Your bank will also charge you a handling fee which could almost double those 'few bucks' you thought you were paying for convenience! Paying four to five dollars to get money out of your account doesn't make good business sense; think about how much sales revenue you need to bring in to make that amount in net profit.
  6. Banking fees – don't accept bank fees as a necessary evil. If you are a small business, check around local banks and credit unions and see what type of accounts they have for small businesses like yours. There are often options that offer low, or even zero fees as long as you maintain a minimum monthly balance. At the very least meet with your account manager and see whether you can reduce your fees; in almost all cases the answer surprisingly is yes!
  7. Pay your business bills on time - late fees on missed bill payments are completely unnecessary and are usually the result of poor planning or time management. These fees can really add up if you don't stay on top of them. Setting up automated withdrawals for your regular bills will ensure you don't miss a payment and pay unnecessary fees. If you're paying online, set the payment date a few days ahead of the due date. If you prefer to pay bills personally, make sure you set reminders in your computer calendar or smartphone to alert you when they are due.

You've heard it said, 'there's nothing certain in life except death and taxes'. We could probably add 'fees' to that maxim. As mentioned earlier, it's good to remind yourself how much you have to gross, to net the amount of money you spend on 'hidden' fees. There's an old Scottish saying which states, "many a mickle makes a muckle" which basically means if you save a lot of small amounts, it will add up to a whole lot.

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Getting Started with LinkedIn

 

Executive Leadership: Overcome the Overwhelm!

Often, we get a feeling of being overwhelmed; of having too much to do and not enough time to accomplish everything we need to do. Here are five ideas that may help you overcome the overwhelm.

Are we really busy or does it just feel that way? Have you ever felt overwhelmed and then when you stepped back and made a list of what needed to be done, realized that you weren't as busy as you thought? Sometimes, simply making a list of what you feel needs to be done and what deadlines are involved allows you to find it less daunting. This is not always the case of course, but at least the process of making a list allows you some perspective and the ability to focus on what's important.

This leads us to my second point: Do what you can do. What's the most important thing you need to focus on? What's the priority? When confronted with the feeling of being overwhelmed, it's good to figure out what needs to get done first, to prioritize the activities you need to do and start to work on them. Sometimes it's too easy to freeze and do nothing when what you need to do is to start chipping away at the list and focus on the most important things.

Being mindful of what you are doing. Does this have to get done? What would happen if you don't do it? It's important to look at your activities and realize what's getting in the way. Being mindful of distractions, or activities that do not really matter, helps us move forward.

How can you make the most of meetings? Too often meetings are part of the overwhelm, either there's too many or they're too time consuming. It's important for us to look at each meeting and ask some questions. What is important about this meeting? Do I need to attend to it or can someone else attend in my place? What will I accomplish from being at it? How long does it need to be?

Who can help you with this? When feeling overwhelmed, you need to get support. Sometimes just verbalizing the sense of overwhelm to colleagues or others will shift the feeling from feeling you are alone to having others help in some way. That help may include others sharing the burden and taking some things off your plate, or it may be a case of delegating certain tasks to others.

Being overwhelmed happens to all of us, it's how you handle that overwhelm that gets you through.

"Sometimes when you're overwhelmed by a situation - when you're in the darkest of darkness - that's when your priorities are reordered." - Phoebe Snow, musician

Paul Abra, Certified Executive Coach
Motivated Coaching

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Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce
88 Saskatchewan St. E, Moose Jaw, SK, S6H 0V4
T: 306.692.6414 F: 306.694.6463
chamber@mjchamber.com
www.mjchamber.com

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