20 Jul 2012

Survey: Small business owners unprepared for disaster

A new survey indicates the majority of Canadian small businesses are not prepared in the event of a crisis, according to Sage North America.Many Canadian business owners are taking the responsible step of backing up their critical data. For example, 98 percent back up their important financial documents, with 78 percent updating their back-ups on a weekly basis.However, a whopping 72 percent of owners are backing up their data on-site. This leaves the data susceptible if the main office or storefront is damaged by a natural disaster, fire, or other event."The important part about off-site back-up is if you had some kind of disaster… if you only back up on-site and your back-up is there in your office location, it obviously can get damaged," said Nancy Harris, vice president of Sage.Investing in affordable Toronto document storage could be the solution for many small business owners. Keeping sensitive documents in a secure storage unit ensures the files will be protected in…

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17 Jul 2012

Canadian businesses that fail to use social media as one of their marketing and customer retention strategies may be at a disadvantage, according to recent research conducted by Leger Marketing.The survey found 78 percent of Canadian businesses with 500 employees or more use social media, while 55 percent of all businesses in the country use social platforms for market research, promotion and client relations. "Social media represents a powerful and cost-effective tool that, when used properly, can help any business grow," said Paul Gaspar, director of small business for UPS Canada. "Canadian businesses are operating in an increasingly competitive global market and by using social media, firms can broaden their existing brand equity while building real relationships with current and potential…

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20 Jun 2012

A recent survey indicates many Canadian small businesses are backing up their financial data, but many are leaving the critical files on-site, where they are not necessarily protected.The study, by Sage Simply Accounting, found that nearly all small businesses back up critical data. However, many are then storing their files within the building, which essentially defeats the purpose of having a back-up. A fire in the building, for example, would wipe out the original copies and the back-ups. With affordable Toronto self storage rates available for small business and document storage, owners should consider using off-site backup for their files instead."An overwhelming 98 percent of Canadian small businesses are backing up their financial data, but only 28 percent are doing…

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8 May 2012

Getting organized can be a challenge for many people, but there are a number of important documents that are always a good idea to have handy. Protecting these documents is of the utmost importance, so those who don't have a filing system in place should think about taking the time to figure one out.USA.gov recommends everyone has a filing system for important documents from the federal government and other sources. This includes bank statements, birth certificates, wills, tax records, insurance information and much more. Disorganized people are at a risk for losing these important files, and thus need to come up with a way to ensure they have them handy at all times, along with taking precautions for unexpected events.For…

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24 Apr 2012

The concept of spring cleaning isn't solely for physical spaces in this day and age. It's also a good idea to clean up your computer as well, writes Moneyville.ca.Whereas in the past people may have gone through filing cabinets, today most document storage is digital. That's why it pays to take some time and sort through it all. Organize everything into easy-to-find files and folders.This is also a good time to go through some added security. Use an external hard drive in order to back up important documents, photos and other data. Look into anti-virus and anti-malware software and ensure that all of your protection is up to date. It's also a good idea to use the built-in system tools…

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12 Apr 2012

As technology continues to progress, the internet has become useful for everything from document storage to financial transactions. Many people are now finding it more convenient to manage their bank account online, for example. But just how safe is this technology?Most sites use 128-bit encryption when it comes to financial data, which is just about the most secure internet protection around. However, that doesn't mean an attack isn't possible, according to Moneyville.ca. While putting sensitive financial records online through cloud storage can make them easy to access, it's always a good idea to have physical backups.However, nobody wants to take up space in a home or office with unsightly filing cabinets. This is why many are turning to self storage…

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30 Mar 2012

A leaked image has revealed that Google plans to offer customers 5GB of free cloud storage through its upcoming Google Drive service, which is expected to launch sometime in April.TalkAndroid obtained a screenshot that shows the details of the new system, which has been heavily rumored for awhile now. The tech blog says that Google Drive will likely launch the week of April 16th.Many technology companies are realizing the need for digital storage away from hard drives, and are launching services to compete with each other. Google's 5GB of free storage is on par with Amazon's Cloud Drive and better than Dropbox's 2GB. Microsoft currently offers a whopping 25GB of free storage through its SkyDrive.While businesses may be moving to…

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16 Mar 2012

Apple fans have begun lining up across Canada today in order to get their hands on the new iPad, which went on sale in The Great White North at 8 a.m.Lines queued around the block at Apple stores as people hoped to buy the latest gadget. The new iPad, which Apple has not yet officially called the "iPad 3," boast a faster processor, an improved camera, and a much sharper and clearer display than its predecessor.Like most new Apple products, sales are expected to be high, especially when the product is first released. Some people opted to camp outside the store in order to get one of the devices.As technology progresses at a rapid pace, it's easier than ever to…

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1 Nov 2011

As the holiday break approaches for students in Ontario, parents may be wondering what their students are getting out of their college education. A new report attempts to make that clearer.The report, "Ensuring the Value of University Degrees in Ontario," details how the province's universities define academic expectations, what students will gain after earning their degree and the type of curriculum students learn in their courses."Across all academic programs, our faculty and staff are actively engaged in defining what students acquire at every degree level," said Alastair Summerlee, chair of the Council of Ontario Universities and president of the University of Guelph. "Our students are the beneficiaries of this commitment to quality assurance, which ensures that Ontario university degrees are…

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30 Sep 2011

While there are exceptions to every rule, just about everyone at one point or another has misplaced a particularly important item. And as a survey indicates, having difficulty finding critical documents is an all-too-common occurrence.According to the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association, just 26 percent of Canadians say it's easy for them to access their personal and financial information. Meanwhile, the overwhelming majority struggle, as the poll found 56 percent said their documentation was "somewhat organized" with 11 percent saying it was "not very organized" at all."Whether it’s due to procrastination or its perception as an overwhelming task, people tend to avoid getting their personal and financial papers in order." said Frank Swedlove, president of the CLHIA. "Taking a…

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30 Sep 2011

Small business owners are always looking for ways to maximize success and efficiency to keep their company's bottom-line operating in the black. Yet despite a variety of tools aimed to help keep entrepreneurs organized, more than half say they find document management an impediment to their company's function.In a survey conducted by a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based software provider, 40 percent of small business owners spend between eight to 12 hours per month filing business documents. Thirty-three percent said it takes up to four weeks.Kevin Garton, chief marketing officer for the company that sponsored the study, said paper filing is a part of life entrepreneurs can't escape."Managing paper is a reality of doing business," said Garton. "It's not enough for owners to…

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11 Aug 2011

As Canadian parents and students prepare for back-to-school shopping, a new report from the accountancy firm Ernst and Young says retailers likely won't see profits rise in what is typically a busy time for them."Back to school is the second most important season on the retail calendar," said Daneil Baer, who heads Ernst and Young's retail and wholesale industry division. "Although lower than their peak levels, higher gas and grocery bills have reduced consumers' disposal income, as inflation continues to outpace salary increases."Another reason why sales will likely be lower this year, according to the source, has to do with higher commodity prices for materials like cotton.Despite the anticipated slowdown in back-to-school purchases, the firm says losses won't be significant,…

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10 Aug 2011

While most Canadians think obtaining a college education is crucial to future success, individuals living in the eastern portion of the country are particularly resolute in this belief. According to a new survey conducted by TD Canada Trust, Atlantic Canadians are the most convinced a post-secondary degree helps people land a job when they enter the employment hunting market. Despite this belief, many of these same people admit to worrying about the cost of student loans, as 71 percent report feeling either anxious or stressed about paying off what they owe in tuition bills. "We know that managing finances on your own can be stressful or even intimidating," said Michelle Snow, group manager for the banking organization. "Financial literacy is…

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10 Aug 2011

The Certified General Accounts Association of Canada says the country's tax system is too complex and needs to be simplified.CGA-Canada recently released its study, titled "The Need for Tax Simplification – A Challenge and an Opportunity." In it, the study's authors say little has been done to make the filing system more streamlined, which is ultimately affecting Canada's status in the world, as other countries have simpler systems."Canada's tax system is among the most complex in the world, which hurts our economy and adversely affects small and medium size enterprises and individual taxpayers," said Anthony Ariganello, president and CEO of CGA-Canada. "We believe tax simplification is good for taxpayers, businesses, governments and our economy."Ariganello added the only way Canadians will…

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8 Aug 2011

A new poll conducted by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce finds that Ontarians have a higher level of debt when compared to others living in the country.The CIBC survey indicates approximately 74 percent of Ontario residents have some type of significant payment they have yet to take care of, compared to 72 percent nationwide.Despite this high number, however, 63 percent report making "good progress" on lowering their debt, doing such things as making a lump sum payment, implementing a household budget or making a significant sacrifice in their typical spending behavior."Managing debt as part of their overall financial plan is top of mind for Ontario residents in 2011, and these latest poll results show that some progress is being…

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3 Aug 2011

A disorderly workstation may not only diminish someone's ability to work in a productive fashion, but it may also prevent them from advancing in their company, according to a new CareerBuilder.ca survey.The job search website polled 230 managers and 420 workers between May and June, and found that one-third of employers said they'd be less likely to promote their employees if they had a disorganized desk."While chaos on your desk space can indicate a busy workload, it can also imply a lack of organization," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "The good news is that workers can fix this problem quickly and reverse any negative perceptions of their performance."Haefner offered several solutions to paper-piling problems, including…

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3 Aug 2011

A disorderly workstation may not only diminish someone's ability to work in a productive fashion, but it may also prevent them from advancing in their company, according to a new CareerBuilder.ca survey.The job search website polled 230 managers and 420 workers between May and June, and found that one-third of employers said they'd be less likely to promote their employees if they had a disorganized desk."While chaos on your desk space can indicate a busy workload, it can also imply a lack of organization," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "The good news is that workers can fix this problem quickly and reverse any negative perceptions of their performance."Haefner offered several solutions to paper-piling problems, including…

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3 Aug 2011

With the start of the school season weeks away, some Toronto teachers may be walking into their classroom sporting a tan or driving there with a new set of wheels.Office product retailer Staples Canada recently announced its annual Teacher Appreciation Event, wherein educators can get as much as 25 percent off on their in-store purchases. But they may also win something while they're shopping for pens, pads and pencils, as the company will award a select number of instructors with a Caribbean vacation for four or a 2012 Toyota Prius."We hope teachers are as excited as we are at Staples Canada about the upcoming Teacher Appreciation campaign," said Rick Atkinson, vice president of marketing for Staples Canada. "This initiative is…

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3 Aug 2011

With the start of the school season weeks away, some Toronto teachers may be walking into their classroom sporting a tan or driving there with a new set of wheels.Office product retailer Staples Canada recently announced its annual Teacher Appreciation Event, wherein educators can get as much as 25 percent off on their in-store purchases. But they may also win something while they're shopping for pens, pads and pencils, as the company will award a select number of instructors with a Caribbean vacation for four or a 2012 Toyota Prius."We hope teachers are as excited as we are at Staples Canada about the upcoming Teacher Appreciation campaign," said Rick Atkinson, vice president of marketing for Staples Canada. "This initiative is…

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