Tell us what keeps you up at night for your chance to win a $500 Visa Gift Card

Tell us what keeps you up at night for your chance to win a $500 Visa Gift Card

Starting September 13th, 2017

Draw Date: October 31st, 2017

Official Contest Page

Tell us to win!

 

Small Business Owner: For the purposes of this contest, small businesses are defined as being privately owned corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships with 0 to 50 employees including self employed and micro-enterprises, which are most often defined as having fewer than five employees.

Yellowhead East Region: This is an area that includes all towns, hamlets and summer villages in Lac Ste. Anne County, Barrhead County and Woodlands County, including the communities of Alberta Beach, Barrhead, Fort Assiniboine, Fox Creek, Mayerthorpe, Onoway, Swan Hills and Whitecourt.

 

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Eligibility: The What Keeps You Up at Night Contest (the “Contest”) is open to all residents of the Yellowhead East region of Alberta who have reached the age of majority, except employees of Community Futures Yellowhead East and members of the immediate family of these employees or any person with whom they are domiciled (“Participants”).

Contest Period: Starting at 8:30 a.m., Mountain Time, September 7, 2017 to 8:30 a.m, Mountain Time, November 30th, 2017, participants may participate in the Contest by either completing the “What keeps you up at night” survey by completing the survey brochure without any purchase, by mailing an entry to Community Futures Yellowhead East or by delivering the completed survey to the Community Futures Yellowhead East office in Whitecourt or by submitting a digital response on the official contest web page at cfye.ca/win500.

Upon completion and submission of the survey or by mailing in an entry, eligible participants will be entered into the Contest for one (1) chance to win (i.e. one entry) the Prize.

Referral Entries:

Participants who refer other eligible participants to the contest will be entered into the Contest for one (1) chance to win (i.e. one entry) the Prize.

Contest Entry Restrictions: Participants are restricted to one(1) entry per person, per business for survey entries. There is no restriction to the number of referral entries a participant may accrue. Entries indicating the same email address will be considered, for purposes of the Contest, to belong to the same participant and therefore are subject to the above restriction. Any excess entries will be invalid for purposes of the Contest draw.

Awarding of Prize: The Prize will be awarded to the participant whose contact information (name, telephone number or email address, address) has been given by the entrant at time of completion of the survey or indicated on the mail in entry and who has complied with these Rules.

PRIZE

There will be one (1) prize awarded for the contest period during the Contest. Prize consists of a Visa Pre-Paid Card of CDN $500 (“Prize”). There will be a random draw for Contest. Prize must be accepted as awarded. No cash alternatives, substitution or transfers of the Prize will be allowed. Each Prize will be forwarded to the winner within two (2) weeks from the date when the winner’s signed Declaration and Release Form is received by Community Futures Yellowhead East.

Odds: The odds of being randomly selected to win a Prize depend on the total number of eligible entries received during each applicable Contest Period

Prize Draw: The Prize will be awarded by random computer generated draw from the eligible Contest entries received during the applicable Contest Period, draw will be held at 4 pm at Unit 1, 5023 50th Avenue, Whitecourt, Alberta on November 30th, 2017 (“Draw”)

Notification of Selection: The selected participant will be contacted by phone or email (using the contact information provided by participant at time of entering the Contest) at least three (3) times within the seven (7) days after the Draw. If the selected participant cannot be contacted in that time, another participant will be randomly selected and the initial selected participant will be disqualified and will have no recourse towards Community Futures Yellowhead East or anyone involved in the Contest. In order to win, the selected participant must first correctly answer, unaided, a time-limited, mathematical, skill-testing question to be administered by telephone, and he or she will be required to sign a standard Declaration and Release Form confirming compliance with the Contest Rules, acceptance of the Prize as awarded and releasing Community Futures Yellowhead East from all liability relating to the Contest. No substitution for, or transfer of the Prize, will be allowed. The selected entrant will have seven (7) days from the date of receipt to return a signed copy of the Declaration and Release Form to Community Futures Yellowhead East or its representative. If the selected participant does not do so within this period of time, another participant will be randomly selected and the initial selected participant will be disqualified and will have no recourse towards Community Futures Yellowhead East or anyone involved in the Contest.

Each Prize claim is subject to verification by Community Futures Yellowhead East and/or its designated representatives. Entries made with multiple addresses, under multiple identities, or through the use of any device or artifice to enter multiple times or entries that are in excess of the permitted number of entries during the Contest period are automatically void. All Contest entries obtained through unauthorized sources or which are incomplete, illegible, mutilated, altered, reproduced, forged, irregular or fraudulent in any way or otherwise not in compliance with these Rules are automatically void. Community Futures Yellowhead East will be the sole and final reference source in validating a Prize claim.

By participating, each participant and selected winner agrees: (a) to be bound by these Rules and the decisions of Community Futures Yellowhead East (b) to release and hold harmless Community Futures Yellowhead East, its affiliates, subsidiaries, and independent contractors, and their respective directors, officers, employees, agents and representatives including advertising and promotion agencies, from any and all liability for claims/damages including, but not limited to, claims/damages for personal injury, for property damage with respect to acceptance, possession or use or misuse of the Prize or participation in the Contest; (c) to permit Community Futures Yellowhead East to use his/her name, address, city, province, of residence, photograph, video, or any likeness for advertising or publicity purposes without any additional compensation and (d) the winner agrees to sign a Declaration and Release Form to this effect.

Community Futures Yellowhead East shall not be responsible for incorrect or inaccurate transcription or registration of the Contest entry information, technical malfunctions, lost/delayed data transmission, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, faulty, incomplete, incomprehensible, or erased computer or network transmissions, line failures of any telephone network, failure of computer equipment, software, inability to access any online service or web site, inability to submit the online survey, or any other error or malfunction, or any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participation or downloading any materials in this Contest, or for late, lost, stolen, postage due, illegible or misdirected entries.

Community Futures Yellowhead East reserves the right to cancel, terminate, or suspend this Contest, at its sole discretion, in the event of a technical failure, computer virus or bug, unauthorized human intervention, fraud or any other occurrence or cause beyond its control that corrupts or adversely affects the administration, security, fairness or normal operation of the Contest.

If a selected entrant is awarded the Prize due to a system error, malfunction or defect the Prize will be returned to the Prize pool, to be re-awarded.

Under no circumstances will Community Futures Yellowhead East, its affiliates, subsidiaries, and independent contractors, and their respective directors, officers, employees, and agents, including advertising and promotion agencies be required to award more Prizes than what is indicated in these Rules or award the Prizes other than in accordance with these Rules.

The Contest is subject to all Federal, Provincial and local laws, as well as the rules adopted in view of said laws. The personal information provided to enter the Contest will be used only to administer the Contest, and for no other reason.

For a copy of the Contest Rules, please write to:
Community Futures Yellowhead East
Box 2185
Whitecourt, AB T7S 1P8

Here are a few promotional tools you can use to help promote the contest to gain more entries through the referral route. This collection will grow as the contest progresses.

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Branding

Branding

Hey there!

Patrysha here, business advisor and certified business coach here at Community Futures Yellowhead East. I’m just getting this page set up to host information on branding for small business, both to promote the upcoming day long workshop above and to provide ongoing resources in this area that can be such a super powerful foundation for your growth as a small business. So be sure to bookmark this page and sign up for the event coming up!

Morning Mindset Minute recorded live on Facebook August 24, 2018.

A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well. Jeff Bezos

Five Types of Facebook Ads and Tips for Using Them

Facebook has almost two BILLION monthly users, so if you are not already advertising there, chances are you are missing out on one of the best ways of connecting with your target audience. Unless your business sells to other businesses instead of to consumers, not being on Facebook could be limiting your local reach. Not only does it have a huge user base, the Facebook ad system is also very easy to use, and highly targeted.

If you have a small ad budget and not a lot of time, Facebook ad are far better to try for the average small town small business owner than Google AdWords, the main pay-per-click (PPC) network on the internet. It is much less complicated to set up and it is cheaper too. Your odds of achieving a better return on investment through more targeted traffic is higher for most small business owners, which means a better chance of getting more subscribers and sales. That’s not to say Google AdWords doesn’t have it’s place, but you’re likely going to be further ahead hiring an AdWords professional than tackling it on your own, which requires a much higher budget.

But before you rush over to Facebook to start creating ads, it is important to understand the different types of ads available. You might run only one type, or several at a time. Let’s explore each of your choices.

1. Page Promotion Ads

You can promote your Facebook page in order to try to get more page likes and follows. Once a person follows you, they will be able to see your posts. This means they can engage with them. The more likes, shares and comments you get, the more Facebook will reward you, with exposure to a larger and larger percentage of your target audience.

Your followers’ activities such as shares will also make your content more visible. It is really easy to promote your page. Just set your budget and target audience. These ads will appear in the main Facebook feed when a person logs on to their homepage, and on the right-hand side (called the rail).

2. Post Promotion Ads

Boosting a post is one of the easiest ways to create an ad. When you start posting content at Facebook, you will start to see a message that evaluates how popular your content is. It will usually say something like, “This post is 90% more popular than your other posts”. Click to boost the post. Set your budget and target audience. These ads will appear in the main Facebook feed when a person logs on to their homepage.

3. Ads You Create from Scratch

For these ads, you need to provide:

  • An image
  • A headline
  • A description
  • A URL to click through to

If you don’t have great images, not to worry. Facebook ads are linked to Shutterstock, a popular stock image site, so you can get some reasonable high-quality images for free. Set your budget and audience. Your ad will run on the right rail and on Instagram too if you choose.

4. Carousel Ads

Carousel ads, as the name suggestions, allow ad images or videos to rotate in the same space. You can rotate the headlines, links and descriptions, with calls to action as well. Users can scroll horizontally on a desktop (that is, from side to side), and vertically on a mobile (up and down). A carousel is great if you have a number of products you wish to sell, and serves as a small but busy shop window for your business.

5. Canvas Ads

A canvas ad allows you to put a variety of content together all on one page, such as text, images, and videos. Use the tools at Facebook to create an impressive brand showcase. Link – https://canvas.facebook.com/

Now that you know about the five main types of ads, take the time to create one of each and track your results.

 

 

 

 

 

Challenge Countdown

Challenge Countdown

Become a Friendly Dragon!

Cast your vote on July 14th

Business Enterprise Bootcamp Challenge

Day(s)

:

Hour(s)

:

Minute(s)

:

Second(s)

Here’s your chance to be a friendly dragon!

Register below to cast your vote!

If you’ve ever thought it would be fun to be a Dragon or a Shark, this is your chance.

Register below to cast your vote for the Business Enterprise Bootcamp Presentations on July 14th! Your vote will be combined with the scores delivered by our local judges and the winner will be declared once the scores are compiled that afternoon!

Watch this page starting July 10th for the Business Enterprise Bootcamp Challenge. Where 10 youth in grades 9 to 12 will have 18 hours to prepare a 5 minute business plan and presentation to sway a live audience of local judges that their idea deserves to get the $500 prize towards their start up!

Register below and then join us Friday July 14th at 9:30am to watch the presentations and vote for your favourite.

Watch the Fox Creek Competitors from April 2017

When we ran the bootcamp in April, we didn’t include the online judging component – but we still had a blast! Watch the presentations and join us for the next challenge on July 14th.

 

Register Here to Vote

Help us choose the winner by registering to vote.

Online and Live Audience votes will be combined with official judge scores to compile the winning score.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

This is the rubric the official judges will be using. Online judges will be submitting a score of one to five for overall presentation only.

Sign up to vote below!

Register Here to Vote

Help us choose the winner by registering to vote.

Online and Live Audience votes will be combined with official judge scores to compile the winning score.

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

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