Archive by Author

The Folly of eBay: Forgetting What Made You Great

I am struck by how often a good product or service will be the victim of its own success. Scaling a business is challenging, no doubt, but I am amazed at how often companies abandon the principles of their early days in order to scale. I recently tried to build a eBay store for a […]

How To Answer Your Business Phone (Please!)

I love working with small businesses. I really do. The people I’ve met over the years have been amazing – inventive, creative, thoughtful, and above all, hard working. Which is why I shed a tear inside every time I call a small business and someone answers ‘Hello.’ Just ‘Hello’. Nothing else. Nada. I find this […]

The Dark Shadow of Groupon

I’ll give a mea culpa up front- I love being a Groupon consumer. It is an amazing way to ‘shop’ for deals on a vast array of services and products here in Toronto. At last count, the city had over 36 deal-of-the-day type sites, in all shapes and flavours. I can’t recall the last time […]

Social Media’s New Clothes

The Adam Ad Group out in British Columbia writes a Monday Morning Motivator column that is definitely worth your time. This week’s article (entitled The Emperor’s New Clothes) discusses the myths behind social media as the next great marketing tool for business. Social media has its place, but one should always approach it in the […]

Don’t Let Social Media Be Your (Only) Strategy

Keep Focused on What Matters Most to Your Business If you’ve been lying awake wondering if you are tweeting enough, or if your Facebook page is getting ‘Liked’ enough, or if you should be ‘checking-in’ with Foursquare, organizing industry Meetups, or getting your blog posts ‘dug’ on Digg, Peter Shankman has this advice: get back […]

Harnessing the Power of the Human Cloud

[Tiny Briefcase was invited to speak at the Business Innovation in Changing Times Conference, hosted by the York Small Business Enterprise Centre at the Glenway Golf Course in Newmarket, on Friday, May 6, 2011. This post is based on that presentation. You can download a text version of the presentation here.] ‘The Cloud’, and its […]

Is Your Process Helping or Hurting You?

I recently tried a dry cleaning service that picked up and delivered right to my office. It sounded ideal, and a great solution to my problem of timing pickups. With a hectic after-work schedule, I have always struggled with getting to the local dry cleaner before 6pm. A delivery service would at least put the […]

How Outsourcing Puts Money In Your Pocket

As a small business owner / manager, you know the value of a dollar. With so many competing demands on your resources, being careful with your time and money is critical. When it comes to discretionary spending on areas such as marketing, technology, or financial advice, you can easily tempted to go it alone, or […]

Forget Strategy. Be Strategic Instead

A paperback version of organizational-development consultant Erika Anderson’s book entitled, “Being Strategic” has just been released. In it, she puts forth an excellent definition for her take on ‘strategy’, which she articulates as ‘consistently (making) choices that move you towards your goal’. The book is a welcome departure from the typical business book that talks […]

Competing on Kindness: The SME Advantage

Bill Taylor, co-founder of Fast Company magazine, recently posed the question “Why Is It So Hard To Be Kind?” on his Harvard Business Review blog. In the post, he tells of the experience his father had purchasing a new Buick, and how one dealer went over and above to secure his father’s business. He closes […]