Passion – A Key Ingredient to Successful Entrepreneurship

When entrepreneurs come to me and ask, “What is more important – drive or passion?” I answer and explain that the latter is more important. After all, passion is in many ways what makes an entrepreneur tick. Successful start-ups are not “driven” by a desire to make money — they are driven by a need to change the world and that, in turn, is driven by passion.

The same can be said of venture capitalists, they support and fund the companies about which they are truly passionate. Building strong business relationships doesn’t happen overnight, but a shared desire to create something important will only work to intensify the entrepreneur’s and VC’s passion toward a common goal.

When it comes to my own decision-making process with respect to potential investment opportunities, there are a number of factors that go into the process, one of those being how much passion does the particular entrepreneur or company have. When introduced to a particular company for the first time, among the things I’m looking to see is a sense of excitement about the company and the team as well as what problem it is they are aiming to solve.

That first meeting with a potential investor isn’t about convincing us to invest, rather, it’s about getting the investor excited about what you are trying to achieve. It’s demonstrating exactly how you plan to fill a void in the market and how that idea could potentially become a game-changer.

If I’m passionate enough about your idea, it is more likely that I’ll be advocating an investment in your company. This is the reason why I consider myself extremely lucky to work in this industry — because it allows me to feed off the energy and drive of extremely motivated entrepreneurs.

The dictionary defines passion as “an intense, driving or overmastering feeling of conviction” or “a strong desire for or devotion to some activity or concept”. I couldn’t agree more. Passion is one of the must-haves for any startup or entrepreneur.

Top 5 Reasons to Invest in the Right Booking App

Keeping track of member activity at any type of fitness centre is key. You need to know how people are using the facility and what seems to be working. Choosing to invest in software that provides the ideal appointment booking solution for your member is great. Just remember the data collected from those bookings will help you and your staff too. Here are a few reasons to choose your booking app with care.

Clients Can Sign Up For New Classes Easily

You do want clients to have an easy time signing up for classes. The right app will take care of that for you. Clients can easily identify the class they want, choose a session, and you’ll have the information in real time. Along with making the signup easy, that same app for yoga class can provide some advance information for the member to go over before the first session. That will save your instructor a great deal of time.

They Receive Instant Confirmations Too

The right appointment booking solution does more than receive registrations for upcoming classes. the ideal app for yoga class or any other class you offer will also send a confirmation to your client in real time. The confirmation may be received by text or by email. The point is the client knows the registration was successful and there is a spot locked in for that class.

Determine If There’s Enough Demand For More Classes

On your end, that appointment booking solution makes it a lot easier to track the demand for any given class. That’s important, since it could indicate you need to schedule more classes. This is especially true if you schedule a new yoga class and it take no time for members to register. That may indicate that you should schedule a second yoga class for that morning under the care of a different instructor. Assuming you have enough space in the fitness centre, that app for yoga class could help you make better use of the square footage and serve your members more efficiently.

Monitor the Frequency of Private Sessions With Trainers

Your appointment booking solution should also allow members to schedule private sessions with members of the staff. Perhaps someone is having a little trouble with one or more of the routines taught in the class. Some one-on-one time with an instructor may be all it takes to resolve the issue and help the client feel more comfortable in the class.

You get to see how often clients are requesting private sessions. That’s helpful in terms of knowing if you have enough staff to handle the demand or if you need to think about hiring another trainer or instructor. In this sense, the app for yoga class is helping you know what it will take to keep your clients happy and position you to accommodate more clients if necessary.

See Which Types of Classes are Popular

You tried a new fitness class and wonder how it’s going over with your clients. The data from the appointment booking solution will help you get an idea. Perhaps the class is proving to be quite popular. That means you will likely want to schedule more introductory classes as well as think about adding an advanced class.

There are many different ways to make the most of the information collected by an app for yoga class and scheduling software in general. By putting it to good use, you make things easier for yourself, the staff, and your clients. Choose wisely and you will be able to use the same software for a number of years.

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The major differences between iOS and Android – guide for developers

One of the most common questions app developers ask themselves is what platform should they choose for their mobile application, whether iOS, Android, or perhaps both. Because you need to make a choice that meets your future demands in regards to app utility and popularity, being aware of the differences between these two operating systems is a must. The first version of iOS was released by Apple in 2007, and Android’s official first version was introduced by Google the same year. Both platforms have benefited from numerous updates along the year, and today’s available versions are more advanced than ever, and it seems like things won’t stop reaching new heights in the near future, new additions being developed as we speak. If you are relatively new to the entire scene of app development, comprehending the primary differences between iOS and Android is essential, and the following details will help you on the matter, so keep reading:

Programming languages

Let’s start with one of the details that might be most relevant for you and that is the programming languages used in the entire process of app development, this being what will enable you to reach the end product results you desire. The most common language used for Android is Java, despite the fact that Java for this particular operating system is a bit different than you might know it. C++ is also one of the alternatives often adopted by programmers, and most recently, Kotlin was introduced as one of Android’s official programming languages. So you have quite a few options to choose from, depending on your expertise and preferences. As for iOS, Objective – C was the option used in the past, but since 2014, Swift has been presented as the official programming language, being appealing due to how easy it is to learn and use.

Current popularity and target audience

Because users will be the ones to download and use your application, you depend on them for future product success, and this is why you should also have a general idea on which operating system is preferred on a global scale. According to statistics, it seems like the mobile market share is mostly dominated by Android, which takes up somewhere between 80 and 90 percent, while iOS is dominating the other 10 to 20 percent. Even in the US, Android seems to have a leaping advantage, with a usage percentage that surpasses 50%. However, despite the fact that Android seems to hold such a wider market share, the income level seems to be higher among iOS users, aspect that may be relevant for your future app development profitability.

Design

While for some developers purpose and practicality might be the aspects that matter most, you might be interested in benefiting from a specific design. While there are a lot of things that need to be considered in this department, so if design interests you in particular, you should continue your research further and read in the blog more specific details, there are a few basic details that could help you get familiarized with the two concepts better. Apple’s approach towards general style is minimalist, with plain buttons, icons and so on, while Android’s new design direction named Material design focuses on naturalness and delicacy. App titles are centered with iOS and found at the top left side of an Android screen. The navigation pattern for iOS is a tab bar and for the other operating system, a drawer menu.

Fragmentation

Considering the fact that Google’s operating system can be used on such a wide range of devices, as an Android app developer, you will need to consider this aspect when creating your mobile application, which can be quite a challenging factor. Mobile apps for iOS are precise, and obviously suitable of the in-house iPad and iPhone, which might mean a bit less hassle for you. So in terms of fragmentation concerns, you might find the iOS operating system a better choice.

Having your product accepted in the app store

One of the main concerns of first-time app developers is whether their product will actually be accepted for presentation among users, or declined. So, regardless of what type of concept you are thinking about bringing to the table, you should think about app store acceptance. It has already become common knowledge that having your product validated and published on Apple store implies a lengthier process than getting on an Android Play Store. Apple experts are in charge of analyzing the app themselves, verifying the concept and accepting or declining it, while with Android, the validation process is carried out through automated tests. So if you want to get your app on the market as quickly as possible, Android will be the faster option available, having appealing development policies.

Revenue and costs

Because money is always a factor that needs to be addressed when it comes to application development, you should be aware of the costs both operating systems demands, as well as the revenue generated over time. Upon research, you will quickly discover that App store and Play Store seem to provide the same advantages in terms of revenue generations, but it seems like iOS users are more willing to spend money on app purchases, giving this operating system a slight leaping advantage. Also, considering it’s a bit less complicated to create an app on iOS platform, the costs involved might also end up being more affordable.

Considering the popularity revolving around both operating systems, it’s understandable why, as a mobile application developer, you should be aware of the primary differences, in order to access the option most suitable for your needs and requirements, or go for a combination of the two if the situation demands it. Now that you know a bit more information on the topic, you will be able to pursue the right choice and proceed with your app concept on the operating system that provides you with the most suitable advantages.

Management Suggestions for Young Entrepreneurs

I used to think that success as an entrepreneur took an idea, seed money and of course, a “wing and a prayer”.

Until I came across a quote that read, “there is no finish line; there are only mile markers”. I can honestly say that leading and managing a business (your own or someone else’s), is an evolving process, and not one that has a specific manual to help young leaders pave the way to success.

In 1995, I launched MBM Investments Corp. out of Toronto to join the design aspect of construction with the understanding of commercial and residential trends throughout the industry.

When starting your own (or managing someone’s) business, it’s crucial to know your market and where you fit within the scope of your industry. That number one person? Be better than them. Find what they are doing and find a way to do it better. A way to do it cheaper. And a way to do it first. Staying “hungry,” as they say, will move – and keep you – at number one.

Something I still work on is understanding the labor market. For example, in the construction industry, unionized environments are not only something that need to be understood, but they also need to be effectively managed. Labor markets are something that aren’t taught, but learned, and they are so incredibly important – labor costs and markets being mismanaged often lead to companies spiraling out of control.

Speaking of control, cost management is vital to a thriving business. Always gather three quotes for any work that needs to be done. It keeps everyone honest and keeps you in check and responsible for what you’re doing. If young entrepreneurs can’t control costs, they can’t control other aspects of their business.

Another obstacle for any manager to overcome is micromanagement. It’s something every good leader is guilty of at some point in time, but a line that can be easily crossed when sharing your vision and goals for the business. Communication is key in effective management, and a trait that transpires through the test of time when referring to successful leadership. Provide your employees the training, resources and education they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

Finally, find a way to incorporate your passion and interests into your business. Whether its problem solving or communicating (or both) keeping everyone on the same page eliminates friction and keeps things transparent. Which, in turn, increases productivity. Love what you do, become good and it – and you’ll never “work” a day in your life.

4 Money-Saving Tips for Digital Nomads

Traveling is a major expense, and when you look at the United States, people often forgo saving for retirement and save for traveling instead. Over 50% of Americans don’t have a retirement plan – scary.

Vacation doesn’t have to be expensive.

A lot of people are living the dream: traveling, working and living a nomad lifestyle. It’s an attractive way to live, and these individuals have tips on how anyone can start socking more money away for retirement and traveling more often.

1. Plan to Cook Your Own Food

Food is a major expense, and the average person will spend $378 on food along during an international trip. Add in kids and a spouse, and that bill swells much higher. Save the money and plan to cook on your own.

Preparing your own food over a 12-day trip costs just $42 versus $378 spent on eating out. That equates to more than 75% savings on food. Of course, you may want to indulge in pizza while in Rome or drink wine in France, and you should. But, be cautious about eating out for every meal if you want to save money.

You could even extend your trip by a day or two if you chose to cook for yourself.

EatWith is another great option that allows you to eat with others and save money. It’s a neat way to see how others live and experience some great food along the way. Some of the site’s users are professional chefs, so you’ll be able to enjoy delicious food, too.

2. Share Your Experience with Others

There are people all over the world who are willing to help make your travels more fun, less expensive and authentic. Hotels, especially in high tourist areas, are overpriced. Airbnb and Couchsurfing are two great options that allow you to stay in inner cities and not in a traditional hotel or bed and breakfast.

If you choose this route, you’ll want to find verified profiles and hosts that have good reviews.

3. Be Cautious with Excursions

Cruises always find a way to pull passengers into excursions. Travelers often want to fill every minute of their travels doing something. The problem is that a $90 excursion doesn’t allow you to view some of the best activities a city has to offer.

Be cautious when booking excursions.

It’s fine to go on a safari or do another fun activity, but don’t book excursions back-to-back. They’re often overpriced and will take up too much of your valuable time.

4. Seek Out a Travel Advisor

Travel advisors are often disregarded. A lot of times, people take the DIY route, choosing to use Expedia or a similar site to book their vacation. But travel advisors are very helpful, and these professionals can help travelers:

  • Receive free upgrades
  • Save money on accommodations
  • Receive special promotions and credits

Booking online doesn’t provide you with all of the benefits that a travel agent has to offer. American Express claims that the average vacation costs over $1,100 per person or $4,400+ for a family of four, or C$1,425+ – C$5,700+.

Cutting these expenses down and paying off debt or putting away money for retirement is a smart financial decision.

4 Alternative Financing Options for Small Businesses

Traditional financing is hard to come by when you run a small business. Banks often require an excellent credit history and at least two years in business. According to a report from Biz2Credit, less than 25% of small business loan requests were approved by big banks in March 2016.

Alternative forms of financing can help small businesses obtain the funds they need to grow and thrive. Here are four alternative financing options for small businesses.

1. P2P Loans

Peer-to-peer lending allows businesses to borrow money from their peers rather than a single lender. A banking platform may approve the loan to go live for bidding, but the funds will come from ordinary people who want to make an investment in your business.

To start the process, businesses must fill out an application. The platform then assesses the business’ credit risk and applies an interest rate to the profile. Investors can then view the profile of the borrower and determine whether they want to invest. Businesses with good credit generally have better luck with P2P loans.

P2P lending rules vary from state to state. The practice is legal in all U.S. states aside from Ohio.

2. Crowdfunding

Similar to P2P lending, crowdfunding allows businesses to raise money from their peers. There are four types of crowdfunding: rewards, debt, charity and equity. Platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo generally use rewards crowdfunding, while GoFundMe is more focused on charity.

With rewards crowdfunding, the business doesn’t have to pay the money back. Backers are sent something in return for their donation. With equity crowdfunding, those who invest in the business receive a share of the business or product.

Crowdfunding is often used by startups looking to launch a new product or service, small businesses looking to expand and creative professionals looking for funding for a project.

There may be fees associated with the crowdfunding platform.

3. Lines of Credit

A business line of credit can be obtained from a bank or an online lender. Unlike a conventional loan, a line of credit gives you access to a sum of money that you can draw from at any time. Businesses are only charged interest on the amount of money that is withdrawn.

Lines of credit work similarly to a credit card.

If your business is in need of working capital or extra funding to cover expenses during a slow season, a line of credit may be a good option.

4. Invoice Factoring

Invoice factoring is different from other forms of lending. Invoice factoring companies purchase your business’ unpaid invoices at a discount and you receive the majority of the money upfront. The client pays the invoice, and the factoring company sends you a second installment (less the factoring fee).

The factoring fee is a percentage of the total amount of invoices that are being factored. Typically, the factoring fee for 30 days ranges from 1.5% to 4.5%.

Invoice factoring is appropriate for businesses that have unpaid invoices. Bad credit isn’t normally an issue with this form of lending, as the factoring company is more concerned with the client’s ability to pay – not yours.

 

 

 

 

Search Engine Optimization

Parxavenue Top Calgary Search Engine Optimization Company – SEO and SEM

What’s the point of building a website if it’s going to rank on Google’s last page?

Building a website in 2018 is a lot different than it was 10 or 15 years ago. Back in the day; companies could create a website and use all kinds of flashy and spammy methods to rank their site in search engines, and it was quite easy to do. Search engines’ algorithms have become a lot smarter in the past decade and can now detect these old-school methods in a matter of seconds. Can you imagine a time when you can rank on Google’s first page 24 hours after building a website stuffed with 20 exact match keywords? Ranking your site used to be, that easy!

Many penalties have been given out lately as algorithms get smarter with the growth of technology. If your website has been penalized in any way whatsoever, many experts in the SEO industry will tell you that it might be easier to purchase a new domain and start fresh. Recovering from a penalty is time-consuming. Building back the trust you once had, won’t be easy – possible, yes, but not easy.

Parxavenue Ltd. an excellent SEO company based in Calgary, Alberta; has experimented with multiple domains, using all major search engines to see how hard they can “push.” The answers didn’t come right away, but after a few short months, they did find out how easy it is to receive a penalty and even have your website de-indexed!

Search Engine Optimization
Calgary SEO – Calgary SEM – Parxavenue Top Search Engine Optimization

If your SEO staff, team, or agency is using “Old-School” methods today in 2018, be aware that these techniques will catch up to you faster than you might be thinking. The best-ranking websites from any niche market have a very natural flow to them, using exact match keywords only when completely necessary. When working with the best SEO tools on the market today, it is quite clear that you have to follow Google’s best practices and again, that’s how simple it is. “Don’t be Evil” For helpful information regarding the best ways to go about working on your own website’s SEO, please click here.

5 Reasons Why Trucking Company Owners Choose Freight Factoring

With a number of regulations easing in the trucking industry, owners of freight and transportation companies are more concerned than ever with keeping positive cash flow and staying in the black in order to capitalize on growth opportunities. On top of overhead costs including wages, benefits, as well as fleet maintenance and fuel needs, trucking owners need sound funding options to facilitate expansion and growth initiatives. If you’re wondering why so many freight and transportation company owners are turning to factoring for their cash flow needs, here are some of the main reasons this type of financing is so popular.

  1. Factoring eliminates waiting periods

One of the most challenging hurdles of running a trucking company is waiting to collect on invoices for deliveries you’ve already made. Sometimes clients will wait to pay for 30, 60, or even 90 days, but you have bills to pay now. Factoring your freight invoices with a factoring company such as Accutrac Capital allows you to effectively sell your invoices at a discount and receive the money you need right away — often in the same day you factor the invoice.

  1. Factoring helps improve cash flow

If funds are low, or you simply don’t have the cash on hand necessary to seize a growth opportunity, you’ll be happy to know that factoring allows you to streamline your cash flow. An unpaid invoice is no good to anybody, but factoring allows you to turn that unpaid invoice into cash on hand for a small one-time factoring fee.

Moving freight is the lifeblood of your company and the more you move, the more money you can earn. With cash on hand from transportation factoring, you can seize opportunities to expand your existing fleet or upgrade one or more of your trucks.

  1. Factoring lets you avoid collections

Another major advantage of freight factoring is that you no longer have to worry about collections. The factoring company you partner with will handle collections on your behalf, giving you the peace of mind — and the necessary free time — to focus on the more important aspects of your company like driver training and fleet safety.

  1. Factoring is not a loan

Because factoring is not aloan, there is no interest accruing on the amount that you are funded. You are not borrowing money, but rather you are selling your invoices at a discount. When you sell an invoice to the factoring company, they will often give you a significant percentage of the value upfront (Accutrac offers 97% of the value of the invoice minus a nominal factoring fee). Once the factoring company collects the invoice on your behalf they return the other 3% that was held in reserve. It’s that simple.

  1. No hidden fees

When you deal with a reliable factoring company, you know that they will not charge you any hidden fees or additional costs. And when you deal with a factoring company that deals exclusively with trucking company owners, they understand the business and can offer a transparent set of factoring plans tailored to the needs of your business.

5 Things To Look For In a Retail Space

Opening up your first business is something which takes a lot of steps.  In the beginning, it may seem overwhelming if you take it all on at once.  However, it’s important to see each step individually so that you can check it off as you go.

One of the most important steps to get your business off the ground is to get a storefront to be able to receive your customers and present your merchandise.  Since there are so many factors to consider when choosing the perfect storefront which represents you and your brand, it’s essential to prioritize the most critical first.  Here are some of the most crucial elements to look for when choosing your retail space.

Quality Construction

Make sure that you look at spaces which are constructed with quality materials and will hold up the test of time.  Trying to build up your store on flimsy materials which won’t hold up will only lead to frustration.

Look for spaces which are sturdy and well made.  Since you may want to make some construction changes, you want to know that the foundation stands strong.

Location

As they say, “Location, Location, Location!”  Placing your retail store in the middle of nowhere is going to be a flop despite how great what you’re selling is.  

Make sure that you open your store in a place that has plenty of foot traffic and visibility.  Having a quality product in a thriving location is the key to making your biggest business dreams come true.

Neighboring Stores

Look for a rental space that has nearby stores which won’t be an issue for your business.  Ensure that you’re not placed next to locations which may negatively impact your sales.

You also want to make sure that you surround yourself with stores who share your same work style.  The last thing you want is to be quarreling with your neighbors. Therefore choosing to be near like-minded businesses is a plus in the long run.

Parking Spots

There’s nothing that customers hate more than to get to your store and find that there aren’t any parking spots.  A lot of businesses make the mistake of forgetting this crucial factor when looking for a retail space.

Make sure that if you don’t have parking spots to be able to provide yourself that you’re near public parking spots.  However, it’s ideal to be able to offer your customers free parking, particularly in the city.

Affordable Price

Even if you fall in love with a space that you’re sure will make all your dreams come true, don’t break the bank trying to make it happen.  It’s not worth sending yourself into bankruptcy.

Choose something that fits your budget but also provides what you need for your business.

6 Methods for a More Secure Payroll Processing

While businesses use electronic payments such as direct deposit and credit card transactions more often, check fraud is still a problem in Canada. Recently an employee helped friends steal $5,483,249 from a construction company. The employer sued the bank, and the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the bank liable for the lost funds. 

The employer had to go through the expense of filing a lawsuit, plus take the time to present a legal case, all while being out over five million dollars. Does your staff use checks for payroll and vendor payments? Secure voucher checks help protect your business from fraud. Here are some modern security features your check paper should include for more secure payroll processing.

Toner Adhesion Chemicals

If you print a lot of checks, you may send the voucher check paper through a laser printer. Fraudsters can scrape off the toner to change information such as the payee. Advanced secure check paper is treated with a chemical to help the toner adhere to the paper and stop forgery. Heat activates the compound when the check runs through the printer, making the toner adhere better to the paper.

Specialty Ink

Criminals who commit check fraud use check washing to change the words on live documents too. Specialty ink prevents check washing. The ink disappears or turns a bright color if someone tries to remove the text with bleach or other compounds. The document is effectively destroyed during the washing process.

Fluorescent Fibers and Holographic Seals

The bank is your second line of defense when a person tries to pass a fake document. Modern secure payroll check features also help bank staff know if a payment is authentic. Some paper includes fluorescent fibers to prevent fraud. The paper has threads randomly woven into the material that reacts to ultraviolet light.

Additionally, the latest secure paper often has a holographic seal or watermark that criminals can’t easily duplicate on a laser printer. These may by shiny and have a dual image when held in a certain light.

Heat Sensitive Image

Another tactic that prevents people from copying real checks is the use of heat sensitive images. A bank teller can put a finger on the image to confirm if the payment is valid. The heat from the teller’s finger makes the picture disappear.

Microprinting

It’s hard to copy security features that you can’t see. Suppliers use microprinting to defeat fraudsters too. Microprinting is printed text that the naked eye can’t read. Criminals will find it difficult to make fake duplicates from checks that include this security measure.

Warning Box

It’s easier for bank staff to confirm the authenticity of a check when the teller knows about security features. Tellers can read the information listed in the warning box printed on the back of the document to understand how to determine if a check is fake.

Find a check supplier that uses a combination of these security features. You can protect yourself from losing money and wasting time combating fraud.