Easy and Inexpensive Ways to be Spam Legislation Compliant in Canada

Easy and Inexpensive Ways to be Spam Legislation Compliant in Canada

If you followed the link on our Facebook page to the BDC article on Anti-spam legislation coming into effect in two weeks, you may be wondering what that means for your business and whether you have to change anything to be compliant with the legislation. (Well it turns out the changes have been suspended but good email etiquette still applies!)

The good news is – most small business owners have nothing to worry about because they are not sending unsolicited mail to customers who have not been in touch in over two years. That’s what spam really is, unsolicited commercial mail. The difference between spam mail and business email is simply consent and the ability of the consumer to stop the communications.

I can say that with confidence because I wrote my first article on spam compliance back in 2005! The article was inspired by a popular online marketer who was shut down for emails his affiliates sent (not even ones he sent himself but ones that other people sent promoting his product!) that were not spam compliant with the US legislation of 2004. For those who check out the archived link, you’ll not that the Canadian legislation is called CASL and the US legislation is called CAN-SPAM.

So if a prospect sends you an email asking about a product, it’s perfectly legal to continue the conversation about that product – it is not legal or acceptable to add them to a bulk mailing list without further permission being granted.The proposed (now suspended) changes are simply a new limit on the implied consent that comes through purchases and inquiries.

The number one thing you need to do is set up your email signature in your business email with your full contact information, if you have not already done so.  That way anyone who doesn’t want you emailing anymore simply has to contact you to stop the emails. This works for those who conduct all their email transactions through an email account with no automation. This provides the opt-out that has been part of the anti-spam initiatives in Canada for the 20 years I’ve been dabbling online.

For those who have an email list (and those who follow modern marketing best practices really, really should!) you’ll want to make sure it is double-opt in and that you’re very clear in any opt-in invitations that they will be added to your commercial contact list. This is easy to do with most mailing list service providers, including the two I recommend most (Mailchimp and ConvertKit). 

Don’t let the new legislation keep you from jumping in to start building a list for your small business. It really is one of the most amazing, powerful and inexpensive tools you can use to promote your business and share your passion. And anti-spam legislations is just common sense that had to be legislated because spammers are scammers and rules make it easier to identify the creeps. Just be respectful of your readers time and interests and you won’t go wrong with your email marketing.

Want to learn more about marketing your small business? Sign up below for the occasional email newsletter known as Futurescape below.

 

Beta Testers Wanted

Beta Testers Wanted

Your feedback could help revolutionize the business plan

  • Fact: Businesses with a formal business plan last longer and make more than businesses without
  • Fact: Only 35% of small business owners complete a business plan

Conclusion: There has to be a better way!

To support business success in our region, our goal is to have more business owners in the region complete a business plan. Even if a business doesn’t need outside funding, it still needs an internal roadmap to guide operations. A business plan doesn’t have to be fancy or comprehensive to be effective, but it does have to exist.

We’re experimenting with a new business plan writing and presentation system that we’ve been calling “The five page business plan” and we need testers to make sure that the process and the plans work in the real world. So, if you’ve been putting off writing a business plan because it seems too complicated and time consuming and you meet our requirements below, sign up to become a beta tester for the Five Page Business Plan.

Beta Testers must:

  • Live or work in the Yellowhead East region
  • Score 50 or more on the Entrepreneurial Aptitude Survey
  • Own a business or have a desire to start or expand your business in the next 6-12 months
  • Be willing to provide timely feedback on lessons and process
What's a beta tester?

A beta test is an external pilot test of a product or service. In a beta test, the product is released to selected customers for testing under normal, everyday conditions. This process helps spot the remaining flaws and identify areas needing improvement. The participants or selected customers are called beta testers.

In this case, you’ll be testing a new system for developing business plans that we’re hoping will simplify and streamline the process. It’s in the form of an online self study training course that walks participants through all the elements of developing a five page business plan.

 

How much does it cost?

Nothing. There is zero cost to you other than your time and your feedback.

Business planning is one of our core services and we never charge for help with business planning for any of the business owners or prospective business owners in the Yellowhead East.

 

How long will it take?

That depends on how much time you are able to devote to the plan. The program is currently formatted as an online self study workshop that can take one to five weeks to complete. Though it may take longer depending on your circumstances, part of the testing is to see how long it takes with real schedules and real business ideas. Both of the source training programs that these were derived from took five full (6-7 hour) days to cover the content, but this is unrealistic for most people. Which is one reason why we’re testing this style of delivery.

Other questions we’ll be asking include:

  • Can we maintain the quality and the flow of content without the live interaction?
  • Will the resulting business plans be sufficient for assessing a business for loan consideration?
  • Is the process easy to understand and navigate?
  • Do participants enjoy the process?
What kind of feedback will I need to give?

Each lesson will be followed by a brief survey – generally looking at whether it was easy to understand and easy to apply to your own five page business plan. At the end of the series, you’ll be asked to submit your business plan so we can score it for completeness and you’ll be invited to participate in an interview for your thoughts on the plan and the overall process.

More Questions?

If you have any more questions before signing up, please email me at pkorchinski@cfyellowheadeast.ca

Fox Creek Spring

Fox Creek Spring

Small Business 101: Condensed

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

 

 

 

Register Now

Customer Service 101: Condensed

Tuesday April 4th 2017

 

Register Now

Price Yourself Right Workshop

Wednesday, April 5th 2017

 

Register Now

Registration is now open – Register to reserve your spot by clicking one or more of the Workshop Choices Below.

All the workshops:

  • Are free but require a $10 deposit to hold the space due to limited seating.
  • Located at Timber Ridge Inn and Suites in Fox Creek
  • From 7pm – 9pm

Small Business 101 Condensed

Monday April 3rd

By the end of this condensed version of the Small Business 101 workshop, participants will understand how to:
· start a business
· develop a business plan
· get financing for your business

Customer Service 101 Condensed

In this 2 hour condensed workshop, we’ll cover the customer service basics that will bring your customers back for more.

By the end of this session, participants will know how to:

  • Recognize how attitude affects customer service
  • Identify your customers’ needs
  • Use outstanding customer service to generate return business
  • Build good will through in-person customer service
  • Deal with difficult customers

Price Yourself Right Workshop

In this workshop, participants will learn how to juggle multiple variables to determine pricing that works for their product and service and the market they serve. Great for start-ups and expansions to determine the right pricing for satisfaction and growth.

The most wonderful time of the year

The most wonderful time of the year

Most people look forward to December due to the holiday season and festivities. Don’t get me wrong, I do too! But what has really got me excited in December over the past three years has been planning. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t sound exciting, but it is!

Planning, for me, has been the true difference between letting life happen and being my own boss. It’s been a hard fought battle. Partly because I’m stubborn and partly because I was misinformed about what planning and setting goals was all about.

When I started my first home based business nearly 20 years ago, I didn’t have a clue what a business plan entailed. I thought because I didn’t need money to start my venture (I had no credit and I had no idea that places like Community Futures existed back then!) that a plan was a waste of time and effort. I was wrong, but I wouldn’t learn that for another five years.

And even then, I was resistant to a formal business plan.

I’m a creative. I don’t like rigidity. No one is going to see it but me, why do I need to write it down.

I had a lot of excuses. And all they did was blind me from opportunity, limit my growth and left a boatload of money on the table.

I can see that now. The 20/20 vision of hindsight is both a gift and curse.

So now, I’m on the other side. And a huge proponent of business plans. Whether you need outside money to get your dream rolling or not. And so I’m thrilled that Lynette Chandler’s Blog Energizer let me know that December is officially “Write a business plan month”

I don’t know how long this month has been celebrated or who invented it, but this month…I’ll be rolling with it. And sharing tons of tools and resources for you to get rolling on your business plan if you don’t have one already.

The fact is that businesses that have a plan in place last longer and make more than those who don’t.

So what’s your excuse? Let’s break through the barriers this month and make it happen.

 

Facebook Live: Inspiration with Trisha Miltimore

Facebook Live: Inspiration with Trisha Miltimore

Do you often wonder if there’s something more to life and business than you’re living?
Do you yearn for a rock star lifestyle and wonder how a regular person like you can get there?
Do you feel stuck living life without passion or purpose?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above, you’ll want to tune in to our Facebook Timeline at 10:30am on November 1st, 2016

Join us Live Online! November 10th, 2016

Register now for a reminder to attend & to be registered for in-session prizes!

Save my spot!

Want to Know How to Rock Your Life & Business?

Then join Patrysha with special guest Trisha Miltimore Live Online –November 10th, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t see your question answered below, email your question by clicking here.

Absolutely. This is a Facebook Live Broadcast, so it’s available wherever you are in the world. You’ll still want to register, but when it asks where you’re from just click OTHER as your choice.

Trisha Miltimore is an International Speaker, Broadcaster and PASSION IGNITER inspiring people to SHINE by connecting with their authentic selves and stepping “outside of the box” towards self-awareness. As a momma of three and business leader, Trish knows first hand the hardships and privileges of PURSUING YOUR PASSION including what it takes to ignite and maintain an attitude of success. A curator of ROCK YOUR LIFE WISDOM Trisha teaches proven strategies to reach your goals and FLOURISH at the same time. Her down-to-earth style is refreshing. Her messages are clear, practical and transformational. A profound storyteller, Trisha empowers others to MANIFEST MOMENTUM via a BEAUTIFUL BOLD BLEND of inspiration & personal insights.

This momma of three delivers high-energy enthusiasm that is so very, very CONTAGIOUS.

Learn about balance

How does a mom of three balance kids, multiple business and practice self love without losing her mind?

Explore Life Coaching

Get your questions answered through this interactive Facebook Live session.

Motivational Speakers – Should You Use Them at Work?

Motivational Speakers – Should You Use Them at Work?

Motivational Speakers - Should You Use Them at Work-Are you having a lag in productivity? Does your workforce seem stressed out and in need of a mental boost? You may be considering hiring a motivational speaker to come put some of that zip and drive back into your employees.

Motivational speakers are people who are paid to come speak at your work. You may use them just on their own, or as the key note speaker for a conference or team-building workshop. They can be someone who has succeeded in business athletics or some other field, someone famous, or someone who is just really good at getting the best out of people.

If you find the right speaker, you will see a marked improvement not only in performance but also in general morale. Instead of sitting around the water cooler gossiping or complaining about work and family, they’ll be talking about they’ve learned, coming up with new ideas, and lighting a fire under each other to get more accomplished.

In order to get the most out of a motivational speech, you need to find a speaker that meets the needs of your company or workforce. While there are some problems that show up in almost every work environment, each workplace is unique. If your workers are having problems because they aren’t working together, a speaker talking about finding motivation isn’t going to help much. You have to tailor your solution to your problems.

In addition to increasing the productivity and morale of your workforce, if used properly, motivational speakers can also help promote your company and encourage new hires to want to come aboard. Often you can take speakers and use their speeches for recruiting videos, and even as training videos for new hires. They can also be used in materials for potential investors to show how you motivate your workers and emphasize your company philosophy. Of course, use of the speech is something you need to check on with your potential speakers before you hire them.

The biggest con of hiring a motivational speaker at work is probably the money. Depending on who you hire to come in, speakers’ fees can go from reasonable to astronomical. Not only will you have to pay their fees and sometimes expenses, you will also lose profit from lack of working during their speech. And no speaker is going to guarantee a rise in productivity or profits after they’ve made their speech.

Even if a speaker does motivate your workforce and raise productivity, it’s probably not going to last forever. The luster of a speech fades with time. If you want to keep the boost going, you’re going to have to make a plan to continually remind people of the speaker (and this is hit and miss on whether it will work).

If you put thought and effort behind it, choose an appropriate speaker, and back up their presentation with further learning and support, you’re probably going to notice a big difference in your workers, and in your company as a whole.

If you are thinking about hiring a speaker for your business or service organization, consider our in-house speaker, Patrysha from Community Futures Yellowhead East. She’d be happy to create and deliver a presentation for your workspace on topics including customer service, personal growth, increasing tips and other relevant topics.