Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Video Series - Belvada Cosmetics

Belvada Cosmetics - Trademark Registration and Document Filing


Belvada Cosmetics is known for its innovative and creative product development in the cosmetics industry, and prides itself on using advancements in technology to improve consumer experience with cosmetic purchase and use. For instance, Belvada has designed a revolutionary one-handed mascara wand making it easier for women on-the-go to apply to their lashes anytime and anywhere.
Belvada has grown considerably since it was founded in Canada, expanding into the US and UK markets but the company still uses to register trademarks for all their product designs. With the paperwork in’s hands,  Belvada can continue to focus on coming up with new ideas and designs to improve make up use for women, knowing that their trademark registrations are being taken care of quickly and efficiently.
Watch the video above to find out more about Belvada and services!
For more information on Belvada Cosmetics, please visit

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tips on How to Generate a Great Business Idea

There are some that say that business ideas are a dime a dozen. The real challenge is finding a business idea which can translate into success and profit. Even a professional think tank whose sole mission is to create great ideas don't always hit them out of the park every time. Coming up with a great business idea is really a matter of trial and error. The most powerful lesson you can learn could be from your failures. The following are some helpful hints that can allow you to develop a proactive approach towards generating great business ideas.

·         Listen hard: A lot of the great business ideas come from a source that is available to everyone and that is listening to what other people have to say. This doesn't necessarily mean conducting surveys asking the question, "What's the one thing you need that would make your life better?" Instead it could mean just being aware of the people around you are saying. Take the occasional ride on the subway or bus and listen in on conversations between workers. Take lunch outdoors by yourself surrounded by an other workers to hear what they have to say. Is this eavesdropping? Of course it is but as long as you're in a public place you’re not breaking any laws by listening in on a conversation that someone is having right next to you.

·         Write it Down: There’s no telling where or when that next great idea might come from. You could be woken up in the middle the night with inspiration or find it sitting in a traffic jam. The important thing is not to let that idea escape. If you don't have access to a notepad and pen there are plenty of cell phone apps which allow you to dictate a random thought. At the end of the day or week go over your notes or record of memos and see if there's anything worth developing.

·         Walk Away: During the brainstorming process you could be put yourself under some self imposed pressure. If you say, "I have to come up with a great idea by five o'clock today", there's a very good chance you won't come up with any idea! If thinking about a project has you hitting the proverbial brick wall then get up from your chair and go for a walk. Take a shower. Go shopping. Do anything that will give your brain a rest and allow other sensory inputs to flow in. Once you clear out the stress you could discover that you're now free to create.

·         Don't Hesitate to "Borrow": The famous writer Tolstoy once said that every story idea is either a stranger that comes to town or a man embarking on a journey. If that is true, then every storyteller has essentially borrowed from every other storyteller; it's just a matter of putting your own spin on a variation of a theme. That same principle can be applied to generating a great business idea. Check out what the competition is up to. Maybe you could be doing the same thing only better. This kind of research could also inspire you to go off into an entirely different direction. Great business ideas don't happen in a vacuum.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Register Your Non-Profit and Donate to the Canadian Cancer Society!

Many of us have known someone who has been diagnosed with cancer and have an understanding of the strength and perseverance needed to battle this disease. Statistics show that 40% of Canadian women and 45% of men will develop cancer during their lifetimes. However, 62% of Canadians will survive at least five years after a cancer diagnosis compared to 56% a decade ago. Much of the reason for this increase can be attributed to the hard work that organizations like the Canadian Cancer Society have provided not only to help with preventative measures, but to also give encouragement and support to those who are living with cancer.

Between April 23rd and May 4th you can start your own non-profit or charity and help fight cancer.

April is the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Month and wants to give back by donating $25 for every non-profit incorporation or charitable status application ordered through our services. Donating to the Canadian Cancer Society provides much needed funding towards research, advocacy, prevention and support for cancer patients and their treatment.

Simply click here to find out more information on non-profit incorporation and applying for charitable status and to proceed with placing your order. A donation of $25 from each order placed between April 23rd and May 4th will then be given to the Canadian Cancer Society in support of Daffodil Month.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Customer Service at 1-866-906-2677.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Twitter’s New Small Business Guide - A Summary

Can you sell your business in a 140 characters or less? That is the question many business owners are asking themselves as they consider jumping into the Twitter universe. As with the social networking giant Facebook, Twitter is a way for users to follow friends, celebrities and businesses to keep connected, find out news and information, and take advantage of deals and promotions. The hook is that a “Tweet” can only be 140 characters.

The good news is that Tweet can also contain a link back to a website, product photos or other types of information that can be a huge benefit to a business who is looking to build up its customer base. Sensing the need to help small businesses with the tool, Twitter released a Small Business Guide available as a free download.

 Here are some of the highlights from the guide:

1)      Back to Basics

This guide is a great resource for companies who are just starting out on Twitter and a reminder to all current users. The first chapter is a Twitter tutorial which includes explanations about:

·         Hashtags

·         Mentions

·         Retweets

·         Replies

·         Direct Messaging

·         Followers

·         Pasting Links

2)      Building a Business Personality

It also delves into the issue of a business developing their own personality through their tweets. As they explain: “Business styles vary. As you keep using Twitter, you’ll find your voice.” To that end, they encourage businesses to respond to customer reviews and or complaints. The caution is that you don’t want to start a “Twitter war.” Sometimes it might help to take certain discussions offline and find a way to speak to a customer directly about their particular complaints.

3)      Learn to Listen

Not only should you be following your customers but your business Twitter account should also follow businesses that are similar to yours. And even your competitors! This is a great way to stay on top of the competition. Due to the speed of the Twittersphere, you can respond immediately to any of your competitor missteps and capitalize on them. You could be inspired by a competitor’s tweets as to which direction to take for your own tweets.

Listening on Twitter also means tracking what your followers are interested in. Your tweets don’t always have to be about the hard sale but about building up a brand by creating a positive experience for your Twitter followers.

4)      Answer FAQs

Another positive benefit for small businesses Twitter accounts is the ability to answer frequently asked questions. These are the perfect type of tweets to link back to your company website. Keep in mind that you don’t have to wait for actual customers to ask those questions. You can create a dialog all your own.

5)      Build Up Your Followers

The Twitter guide recommends that follow news organizations and professional bloggers/reviewers who might be interested in your business. Retweeting their posts could help spread out your own tweets across the Twitter universe. It’s all about building up that online network.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Is Pinterest a Must Have for Your Small Business?

Have you pinned your business yet? Many small businesses are turning to Pinterest as brand new way of effectively marketing their goods and services. Yes, it’s yet another social media network to manage but the difference is that Pinterest is simplified and direct. Basically, you’ll have the chance to tell the story of your company in pictures. In some cases, it might even prove to be a stronger resource than Facebook or Twitter because of its visual appeal. By some estimates, there are around 12 million visitors to Pinterest each month. That is certainly a great potential customer base that you can tap into.

How Does Pinterest Work?

The best way of thinking of Pinterest is to consider it like a huge visual bulletin board. Just as you would use a bulletin board in your office to post inspiring photos or images, you can use your Pinterest page to post product pictures, photos of your business or staff and even customer submissions. Pinterest is a true image generated site - if a picture is worth a thousand words then Pinterest is speaking in volumes!

Like Facebook, Pinterest users have the option to “follow” your page or re-pin that page. By doing that, they’ll be notified of every new post you “pin” up. It’s a way of instantly announcing new products, special sales or other important company news. The great thing is that the service is free. The only investment you make is in the images you create for that page and it’s a great way to build a community revolving around the visual topics.  

The Benefits of Pinterest

For a small business, Pinterest can provide a much needed boost. However, to get the most benefits you’ll have to keep the content fresh. As like any social media page, you must put up relevant and unique content that attracts the attention of your readers. You can’t just put up a page and hope people will find it. Attract more followers by following other Pinterest pages. Also make sure that you promote your Pinterest account on your website, emails and even other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.  What you’re looking for is to be “re-pinned” by other users. This will help spread your message.

You can categorize your Pinterest page into specific groupings that might appeal to different types of customers. Because of the visual appeal of Pinterest, businesses that can show the results of their services or have appealing catalog shots of their products will benefit the most. It’s like ordering taste tempting treats based on a picture alone.

You can also educate your customers about your company through a visual presentation. The pages you set up can be as informative as you like. And you can drive all traffic back to your website through your postings.  As there is no expense with Pinterest, it makes sense to set up a page and keep it going just as you would with Facebook and/or Twitter. It’s another great way to reach out to your prospects online.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Small Business Focus – Shift Space Inc. was established to help entrepreneurs and small business owners get their government and administrative filing done quickly and efficiently so that they have the time and energy to focus on growing their business. Over the years we've incorporated thousands of new businesses and have had a chance to watch them flourish and grow. Here is just one example of two entrepreneurs that incorporated their business with and have found great success with their company.

Shift Space Inc. is a Montreal- based communications company that gives people from various backgrounds the tools to communicate differently and effectively by providing workshops and services for individual and corporate development. Shift Space wants to focus on bridging the gap between the artistic and corporate worlds by teaching their clients new and creative forms of communication.

Shift Space was started 15 years ago by Lisa Kagan and Liz Valdez. They had been working at the local universities in Montreal, using their theatre-based training tools to help students develop their own communication skills.  Lisa recalls that their decision to go into business together was an easy one to make: “One day I just woke up and said ‘Liz – it’s time.’” After over 20 years of friendship the two women take a leap of faith, leave their jobs, and go off on their own path. And they haven’t stopped since.

Over time, Shift Space has grown from not only providing workshops and training sessions, but also by sharing a networking centre, bringing together groups from various communities, businesses, and fields. From this, Lisa and Liz are seeing new relationships growing in unexpected ways - musicians, artists, entrepreneurs, professionals and students are coming together to better human interaction and communication.

Much of what makes Shift Space so successful is the actual space it inhabits. An open and fluid area conveniently located in downtown Montreal, the “blank slate” space is designed to satisfy the needs of anyone using it, whether it be artists or professionals – or both!  Shift Space is continuously offering exciting programs and workshops targeted to anyone who wants to improve their communication skills in a new way. With their Montreal presence established, Lisa and Liz say that they are happy to travel to provide their services to those that can’t come to them.  They are striving towards setting the standard internationally for communication-based training – and they are well on their way.

For more information on Shift Space and their services, please visit

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How To Write A Press Release

A press release is an effective public relations tool that can be activated at any time to promote your business. Whether you want to announce a special sale or an expansion, a press release can be launched across several internet outlets at once, covering a wide portion of cyberspace. These press releases can also be picked up by the major search engines and any opportunity to improve your company’s search engine rankings is worth exploring. To put out a press release you’ll need to follow the industry standard. Here are the steps needed to write a press release:

1)      The Headline: This is the proverbial “attention grabber” where you need to tell the reader what this press release will be all about. The goal is not only to engage the average internet user but also any prospective journalist who might want to write a story using your press release as their foundation. That’s why your headline needs to stand out and be truly unique. A press release headline is formatted in title case which means the first letter of each word is capitalized.

2)      The Summary: Directly underneath the headline will be the summary. This is a paragraph consisting of a few sentences (5 at the most) that sums up the intent of your PR. The summary should highlight the unique features you’re trying to promote by utilizing the “who, what, where, when and how” of the situation.

3)      The Body: This is the bulk of your press release. The key is to craft a piece that hovers around 500 words with the most important facts presented in the opening paragraphs. Begin with a dateline which will include the city where the press release originates from. This is followed by the introduction paragraph. The introduction could be a reworking of your summary paragraph. Following up the intro paragraph you’ll expand on the details of your press release issue. Here you can include quotes from the relevant people. All of these details should support the key points stated in your introductory paragraph.

4)      The About: This is the final paragraph which is a brief company bio and tells the reader who is issuing the press release. This is the once section of a press release that can become standard and used for all subsequent PR.

5)      Contact Information: Finally, you need to provide contact information for anyone seeking out further details. If your press release is issued by a public relations firm then this will be their contact info. If you are generating your own press release, you can put up your own company’s website or phone number.

Keep in mind that a press release is always written in the third person. In other words, leave out the pronouns of “we, us, you and ours.” If you’re writing about your own company it will be referred to as “they, them or their.” Before writing your first press release, search out examples of other companies press releases to get a feel for how they are meant to be presented.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How to Create a USP - Your Unique Selling Proposition

How does your business stand out in a competitive marketplace? Whether you’re selling cupcakes or carpet cleaning services the answer to that question becomes your company’s unique selling proposition or USP. A solid USP goes hand in hand with elevating your company’s brand. Do you know what is “the greatest show on earth?” Do you know which take-out pizza will “deliver to you in 30 minutes or less?” Do you know what soft drink is “the real thing?” Those are all the USP for Ringling Brothers Circus, Dominos Pizza and Coca-Cola respectively. They’re also perfect examples of the type of effective marketing strategy you should be striving to develop in terms of creating your own USP. Here are some ideas about how you can create a powerful USP:

·         Define Your Target Audience

The more specific you can be with your marketing campaign the stronger your return on investment will be. Simply put, there are some products or services that are going to appeal to just a specific segment of the population. Research who your audience is and find out what their needs are. That’s where you need to target your USP development.

·         See What Works

It’s hard to find a truly unique business or product. Consider how many dry cleaners, nail salons, garages etc. there are in your own community. No matter where you start your business you’re entering into a crowded arena. The first step you should take towards developing your USP is to check out the competition. Have they got an effective marketing campaign in operation? Perhaps you can become inspired by their efforts to develop your own plan. Better yet, you might find a way to improve on their USP by making it your own. Fast delivery and special discounts are two ways to accomplish that task.

·         Solve A Problem

The best USP is one that solves a problem even when a problem doesn’t necessarily exist. You might not need to send an overnight package out every day but when you do chances are you’ll think about FedEx because they promise to deliver when your package “absolutely has to be there overnight.” If you can translate your goods or services in a way that solves a problem, you’ll be creating a USP that can gain traction among your potential customer base.

·         Make a Promise

In practical terms your business USP is a promise to your customers. This goes hand in hand with solving a problem. To accomplish this, you need to make sure you can live up to keeping those promises. Domino’s Pizza was only successful when it first developed a way to cook pizzas very fast in order to deliver them within 30 minutes or less. In other words, don’t make a USP promise you can’t keep.

·         Less is More

When it comes to an effective USP, less is more in terms of words in a slogan. You might have to finesse, massage, cut and rewrite your USP to hone it down to the basics. It’s all part of the process and can yield positive results.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Video Series - BOSHnewmedia Communications

BOSHnewmedia Communications - Trademark and Business Referral

Dawn Boshcoff had good foresight to change her career path 10 years ago by studying New Media Journalism and subsequently founding BOSHnewmedia Communications, which provides creative and innovative messages for brands to better position themselves online. Now, with the rise of social media, search engine optimization and other growing online marketing outlets, BOSHnewmedia has positioned itself to be a strong contender in the competitive marketing communications industry.

When Dawn was looking to register a trademark she quickly came across online and, after careful research, she applied for her trademark through the filing services. After finding the process to be easy and worry-free, with great customer service, Dawn continues to refer her clients to for all their business needs. As the saying goes, the best marketing is always word of mouth. Thanks Dawn!

To find out more about BOSHnewmedia Communications, visit her website at www.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Helpful Hints to Avoid Procrastination

If you're reading this article then it's probably because of two reasons: you want to find ways to avoid procrastination or you’re actually procrastinating at this moment. Procrastination is that habit many people often fall into that prevents them from getting something done, whether it's a business proposal, a trip to the gym or spring cleaning.

If left unchecked, a bad procrastination habit can actually be a deterrent to advancement in a career or getting good grades in school. In the realm of independent consultants, procrastination can lead to a loss of business. No employer wants to wait for a project that has passed the deadline. There are some very helpful hints when it comes to avoiding procrastination. How quickly can you make these a part of your daily routine?

·         Make a Commitment: This is a lot like accepting a deadline, but it's also more about your own personal responsibility. When you commit to finishing a project by a certain date then you are pretty much putting your reputation on the line. Even if it's a small matter of returning an e-mail or phone call within 24 hours, it's still a commitment that you can make to yourself. Staying true to that commitment can go a long way towards improving your business relationships which equates to success.

·         Prioritize: If you have a list of several small assignments and one big task, don't let the little jobs get in the way. You need to prioritize your tasks by level of importance and deadline. This can be done at the beginning of every morning as you set out plans for your work day.

·         Utilize the Morning: Speaking of the morning, that is a perfect time to accomplish tasks that are due by the end of the business day. It's simply a matter of figuring out how long a particular task will take and then setting aside those hours in the morning to do the actual work. In many cases this goal could be reached by lunchtime!

·         Get Prepared: A common theme for procrastinators is that they're never ready. This goes back to that issue of staying organized. As a freelance consultant, if you're working on a project that involves a certain amount of research then you should conduct that research all at once and assemble it in a single file or group. That way you'll have easy access to that information when it's time for you to disseminate it. There's no excuse for poor prep work.

·         Remove the Distractions: Ironically, the very thing you are reading this article on is probably the biggest contributor to procrastination. That would be the Internet. Today, we use the Internet to communicate with friends, read news and conduct business. While it's easy to get lost in the world of YouTube or Facebook, those activities should be regulated for off work hours. Perhaps you should look at spending time on those personal sites as a reward for a job well done. Don't let the Internet drag you down!

Now that you've read some helpful tips about avoiding procrastination, it’s time to get back to work!