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Top 5 Jewellery Stores in Montreal to Visit before St. Valentine’s Day

jewelry stores in Montreal

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most romantic of them all? Well, it could be you! St. Valentine’s Day is around the corner and you have the chance to surprise your loved one with the most romantic of experiences and a gift they won’t be able to resist. We associate this loving time of year with a nice bottle of wine, a fancy restaurant dinner, and a diamond or two (or at least that’s what the rom-com movies have set us to hope for).

For all who can’t help but follow this romantic rule, who might pop the special question or who just want to appreciate their loved one, a piece of jewellery is the ideal gift for St. Valentine’s! Check out five of the top jewellery stores in Montreal, where you’re guaranteed to find an amazing, sparkling gift:

1. GrisGris Factory

jewelry stores in MontrealThe man behind GrisGris Factory jewellery stores in Montreal is designer Barry Richards, made famous by his handmade precious metal “charms.” He takes his creations to the next level by bringing his inspirations — nature and architecture — to life in the form of golden, silver and platinum jewellery for both men and women. These unique valuables are the perfect gift for St. Valentine’s Day because of the meaning naturally instilled in each piece, which brings a modern twist to good-luck charms made from a variety of organic materials and beautiful precious stones.

2. Kaufmann de Suisse

jewelry stores in MontrealThe designers at Kaufmann de Suisse promise that they will make the love of your life feel “the way only an individually handcrafted piece can…and that’s special.” Designing pieces of jewellery influenced by the art nouveau tradition, the company is one of the most reputable firms in Montreal. Furthermore, since 1954, founder Emil Kaufmann has won five of the most prestigious jewellery awards, the Diamonds International Awards for excellence in craftsmanship and artistry! His tradition is now followed by a second generation of Kaufmanns who set new standards while following their predecessor’s excellent example. The company’s services include not only creating original masterpieces, but also remodeling existing ones. That makes them the perfect jeweller for those who might want to upgrade their family antiques before giving them to their special someone.

3. Château D’Ivoire

jewelry stores in MontrealLocated in the heart of Montreal on De La Montagne Street, Château D’Ivoire started producing its famous jewellery and timepieces back in 1978. The store, which was expanded and renovated 10 years ago, offers its own jewellery collection in addition to pieces from internationally popular brands and watches from some of the most reputable watchmakers. The latter is one of the reasons behind Château D’Ivoire’s popularity, drawing watch aficionados from all over the province of Quebec. Ready to pop the big question on St. Valentine’s Day? The experts at this store will help you select the perfect ring as the ultimate symbol of your unconditional love.

4. Lou Goldberg Jeweller

jewelry stores in MontrealThis family-owned jewellery store offers anything you might be looking for — rings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. Lou Goldberg Jeweller’s key to success is the assiduity with which they design their pieces; always providing jewellery at the highest quality for the best price possible. What’s more, this strategy seems to be working brilliantly, since the business has been operating successfully for over 60 years. If you’d like to get your Valentine’s Day gift from a jeweller you know you can trust, follow in the footsteps of generations of Montrealers and head out to Lou Goldberg.

5. Argent Tonic

jewelry stores in MontrealThe bright and blinding flair of Argent Tonic’s design pieces is what draws many fans and dedicated shoppers into Aaron Maya’s store. This designer’s praised for finding the perfect metal for the perfect stone; he brings his creations to life with his unique spin on traditional processes and technologies of jellewery creation! Not only will the designs captivate the man or woman of your dreams, but the store’s atmosphere and sophistication will put a spell over your own senses. Maya is continuously trying to surpass industry standards and develop new processes, so you’re sure to find a unique jewellery piece that will surprise your loved onе and help you win their heart.

A piece of jewellery is not only a promise and a symbol of appreciation, but also a long-term investment with special value. Companies such as Zillidy use jewellery as collateral for asset-based lending. You can use those valuables to qualify for a loan to expand your company and afford more breathtaking and bigger jewellery for your loved ones as your capital grows!

Have you ever bought jewellery in Montreal? Recommend it or share your experience in the comment section below!

5 Top Accountants for Small Businesses in Calgary

accountants in Calgary

An entrepreneur is almighty, or so most entrepreneurs think about themselves. It’s mostly true due to the fact that starting a company and growing it from nothing takes talent, determination and a wide set of skills. However, you can’t do it alone. Operating startups and small businesses not only requires amazing teamwork from your close-knit crew, but also working with freelancers and external companies. It’s vital to manage your money wisely, so hiring a knowledgeable accountant or accounting company and working closely with them is an important action to consider. Managing your money in the best way possible at the onset of your venture, will help you save money in the long run!

You might be thinking, “But how will I save money if I don’t have enough capital right now to hire an accountant?” If you’re looking for extra funds, you’d like to invest in an accountant, Zillidy offers the perfect solution. The Canadian business loans company offers loans against personal possessions and can help you out in affording the best financial support.

Once you’ve figured out the financing, it’s time to choose your future accountant. Check out 5 of the top accountants in Calgary who will assure you get the most out of your money and business:

1. Swift Accounting and Business Solutions Ltd.

accountants in Calgary

Swift Accounting and Business Solutions Ltd has a dedicated team of accountants ready to support your business and help you make the right financial decisions. The company specializes in offering accounting services to small businesses in industries ranging from automotive dealerships to real-estate and many others. The friendly and timely approach to business at Swift Accounting and Business Solutions Ltd. is evident from their customers’ feedback, making this firm one of the top performers in Calgary.

2.Small Business Tax Solutions Canada Inc.

accountants in Calgary

Just like their name suggests, Small Business Tax Solutions Canada Inc consists of a qualified team of experts who provide fast and accurate accounting solutions for small businesses in Calgary. Their motto — “Never Pay Tax Unnecessarily” — is a suggestion to the in-depth consulting the company is well known for. Small Business Tax Solutions Canada Inc.’s specialty lies in the tax accounting and reporting field. Their approach to small businesses finances pays off and their customers are happy to brag about the money they managed to save.

3.John Gillani, Certified Management Accountant & Tax Consultant

accountants in Calgary

Following the three rules John Gillani and his team have set for themselves — professionalism, responsiveness, and quality — has helped the firm become one of the top accounting companies in Calgary. The services this qualified team offers range from Small Business Accounting and Cash Flow Management to Strategic Business Planning and Tax Services, among others. The company’s aim to “advise clients on the best course of action and not just provide options,” is one of the main reasons behind their success.

4. Elliott & Company, CMAs (Shajani LLP Professional Accountants)

accountants in Calgary

Elliott & Company,CMAs part of Shajani LLP Professional Accountants is well known for the holistic approach to accounting they take. The company serves a large number of businesses around Canada, but has made a lasting reputation in Calgary. The firm caters to the interests of both individuals and business clients of any size and provides financial guidance for starting a business, utilizing it and getting as much out of taxes as possible, among other great services. This self-motivated team’s professionalism, confidence, and personal humility have guaranteed them a place within the top accountancy firms in Calgary.

5. A1 Accounting and Business Solutions Inc.

accountants in Calgary

The accountants at A1 Accounting and Business Solutions Inc. realize that “your financial stability is your future, so it is best to secure it the best way you can.” That’s why they seek to offer a wide range of services including small business accounting, Canadian tax preparation, business accounting, and others. The company is among the top Calgary accounting agencies, and their commitment to great service is clearly seen from the positive testimonials their clients continuously leave.

Have you ever used an accounting company in Calgary before? Share your experience in the comment section below.

Zillidy’s Interview with Sal Virani: Canadian Born Startup Mentor

 

Sal Virani is a Vancouver born serial entrepreneur. We sat down to talk with him about growing up in Canada, his history with startups, and his business philosophy. In this first part of the interview, he discusses why you should always focus on giving value in your work, why it’s easier to teach a local entrepreneurship rather than teaching an entrepreneur about the specific needs of a small local community, and much, much more…

Zillidy: Describe yourself, your background, and your education.

Sal: I’ve founded five startups: a few in Canada and a few in the UK. I’ve got an odd startup story. Most people start off with failure and learn to succeed later, I had the opposite. Some small early successes made it hard for me to fail later – which cost me a lot of time and money. I took myself too seriously. Realizing my mistakes, I ended up creating two organizations to help the European startup scene, Leancamp and Founder Centric. I went to Simon Fraser University for computer science and dropped out. I ended up teaching MSc (Science Masters degree programs) at University College London, ironically. I’m also technical: I’m a programmer, a developer, but was also the director of digital media for a major marketing agency in North America.

Zillidy: So you’ve done a lot over the years. What inspired you to create your biggest current project, Founder Centric?

Sal: At some point I started to get invitations to teach myself. But I was doing Leancamp and at the time saw myself as an event organizer and not an expert. We were bringing experts together. What I didn’t realize was that I was the only person in Europe, or maybe the world, who was actively in front of all the experts in the Lean Startup, business model, and user experience design.

People like Jon Bradford, who now runs Tech Stars London but was well respected even back then, and John Spindler, who’s highly-trusted by European universities, asked me to teach some workshops. It was an opportunity to help even though I didn’t see how I was really going to be helpful. This is another example of misinterpreting what the market is telling you. Because, in retrospect, I know I can deliver an incredible amount of value because I actively care about learning what works and doesn’t for entrepreneurs, by learning from a wide range of entrepreneurs themselves. I have a really high standard for what makes startup education valuable, which has allowed me to create a training business, and ultimately an education design business. Back then, I didn’t see that in myself, they did.  Luckily for me, I was willing to give it a go and try to help them.

Most people in the startup education space are keen to define themselves around a process. But we know processes don’t work in a lot of contexts, so it’s important to be able to really dig in with founders who have a diverse range of experiences.  Then, we can design responsive educational projects, which adapt to rapidly changing goals of startups. It’s not a cookie cutter model.

Naturally, at the beginning, I was just willing to help. I thought Leancamp was just the right thing to do – I never tried to get paid there. One of the biggest tricks I’ve learned is that customers see value you often don’t see. It’s not just about trying to see through your customers’ eyes, but recognising when your own self-perception interferes with that.

“One of the biggest tricks I’ve learned is that customers see value you often don’t see.” Tweet this!

 

Zillidy: What has been your favorite collaboration and why?

Sal: There’ve been so many.

My partnerships in Founder Centric all started through smaller collaborations. Rob and I used to trade notes on teaching.  Devin and I did a weekend project together, called custdevcards.com.  It was all good times. We still love digging in together.

Another collaboration I really liked was Mentor Impact. That was actually an idea, which came from an accelerator client called Emerge Education. They wanted me to interview all of the exceptional startup mentors around world, and then turn that into a workshop for their mentors. It was a lot of fun, because I got to talk to founders about their best mentoring experiences. I then talked to those mentors to see how they approached mentoring, and how they tried to be valuable for startups. I shared that with other startup mentors in a bunch of workshops in London, which were designed to flush out their best techniques, too. The whole thing improved iteratively. It became a fun loop, because the more I ran the workshops for mentors, the better the material became.  Then, I worked with Rob to write it up as an ebook.

Currently, I’m deeply enjoying working with the Royal Academy of Engineering on their Africa Prize Project. My role there is to design a program that helps the 10 finalists, the best engineers they’ve found across Africa, to launch a business from the technology they’ve created. There are some amazing technological opportunities there: security, clean water, education, etc. Stuff the world needs. The engineers are so much fun, they’re all unique characters. Each one of my interactions leaves me smiling. But also, Africa is a very different place to do business. Founders get stuck in really different places. I have to figure out , which African entrepreneurs have the experience they need, and what educational techniques work best in different African cultures – then, design education around all that. It’s super challenging, but rewarding.

Zillidy: What else are you working on now?

Sal: I’m running Village Accelerator, which is an attempt to build open, freely distributable entrepreneur education to founders who come from some of the poorest communities in the world. The idea being that it’s actually easier to teach somebody tech entrepreneurship than it is for a foreign tech entrepreneur to learn the needs of these communities. I’m working in Roma communities in Bulgaria now, with a view to opening the material to overlooked parts of the world, not just Africa, but the Carribean and South-East Asia. We forget that these are truly investable markets — growing and with a thirst for technology and improvement.

Also, the Immersion program within Founder Centric gives university students a way to truly get a sense of what it’s like to be in a startup, of the good and the bad, and the skills to become a founder, if that’s what they want. It gives alternatives to university students when big companies are trying to recruit them. We’ve been running this program for a year with Oxford, and we’re looking at career services with other universities as well.

I’m also consulting a bit on startup ecosystem design. Now that governments have seen the value of startups, there’s a gap to be addressed in terms of what they fund and how, and how it truly translates to long term economic growth. That’s taken me to The European Commission, the UK, Estonia, the Balkans, and Africa.

“It’s easier to learn tech entrepreneurship than it is to learn the needs of small poor communities.” Tweet this!

 

Zillidy: Why do you call yourself an entreprenerd?

Sal: I think it was once hurled at me as a cheeky insult — but I liked it so decided to keep it.  When I started Leancamp, I would really nerd out on all of these ways to be an entrepreneur. I was super interested in all the different perspectives on what it means to be an entrepreneur and how to do it. Now it’s less about the process and more about the war stories — going directly to founders who are there on the front lines. I nerd out on it — I really just love exploring, learning and synthesizing it all. For some people, it’s comics or cars. For me, it’s tech businesses. I’m like any other kind of nerd, I’m just really into it.

Check back for Part 2 of our interview with Sal, which will be coming out in the next few weeks. There, Sal will go into more detail on what he thinks about “recipes” for startup success and he’ll share his own histories of successes and failures. In the meantime, leave us your thoughts in the comments.

17 Inspirational Quotes from Top Entrepreneurs

What better way is there to begin a new year or a new business venture than with a strong dose of inspiration? Motivational speeches and quotes from successful entrepreneurs can inspire us to achieve our goals and never give up in the face of overwhelming odds. Even if you feel like you’re lacking the motivation to keep fighting for your business, you’re sure to find a quote that you can put on a sticky note, attach to your monitor, and look at during hard times.

Of course there are problems no amount of inspiration can solve. This can be particularly true for those experiencing the difficulties of financing small business in Canada. There’s a thin line between startup success and startup failure and having a great idea is only the beginning. Canadian business loans provided by companies like Zillidy can solidify your success status. You can use the loans on offer to figure out how to escape a financial nightmare and achieve your dreams, all that against personal possessions, which you eventually get back. After securing your financial status, find the motivation to keep growing with these 17 inspirational entrepreneur quotes and soon enough your quote will be in there, too:

1. Define Your Company, Your Actions, and What You Want to Achieve:

If you don’t define yourself and proactively maintain your identity, someone else will do it for you. The idea that you can be invisible is a myth.

- Patrick Ambron, BrandYourself.com

 

An entrepreneur is someone who jumps off a cliff and builds a plane on the way down.

- Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn

 

Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right

- Henry Ford, founder of Ford

 

Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.

- Mary Kay Ash, Mary Kay Cosmetics founder

 

2. Failure Is Not the End of the World, Keep Striving:

One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.”

- Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon.com

 

You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.

 – Walt Disney, founder of Disney

 

The very first company I started failed with a great bang. The second one failed a little bit less, but still failed. The third one, you know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly. Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it did okay. Number five was PayPal.

- Max Levchin, former CTO of PayPal

 

Running a start-up is like eating glass. You just start to like the taste of your own blood.

-Sean Parker, creater of Napster

 

Markets come and go. Good businesses don’t.

- Fred Wilson, co-founder of Union Square Venture

 

3. Do What You’re Doing, but Better:

If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100% from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.

- Kevin Systrom, creater of Instagram

 

Watch, listen, and learn. You can’t know it all yourself. Anyone who thinks they do is destined for mediocrity.

- Donald Trump, chairman of The Trump Organization, the Trump Plaza Associates, LLC, and the Trump Atlantic City Associates

 

Don’t take too much advice. It’s just that most people who have a lot of advice to give—there are a few people who are exceptions, and they have a lot of data in front of them—most people generalize whatever they did and say that’s the strategy that made it work.

- Ben Silbermann, creater of Pinterest

 

Embrace what you don’t know, especially in the beginning, because what you don’t know can become your greatest asset. It ensures that you will absolutely be doing things different from everybody else.

- Sara Blakely,  SPANX founder

 

Everyone should pull their finger out and start a business and to believe in themselves. There is nothing else to it. Anyone can make a £100m. But most people don’t go out and try. They just stand in the pub and complain.

- Duncan Bannatyne, entrepreneur, author and TV personality

 

So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.

- Caterina Fake, Flickr co-founder

 

I don’t have big ideas. I sometimes have small ideas, which seem to work out

- Matt Mullenweg, WordPress founder

 

Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.

- Oprah Winfrey, TV host and author

 

Which of these quotes are going on your office wall? Let us know in the comment section below!

The 10 Ultimate Entrepreneur Resolutions

2015 is at your doorstep and you’ve got to welcome it knowing where you’re headed! There’s a reason people like to start the year with a nice list. To-do lists are one of the top ways to focus, set goals, and inspire productivity and creativity. This is why, aside from the Christmas lists, you need to focus on your resolutions, both personal and professional. This is particularly true for entrepreneurs, for whom focus and goals can be the difference between success and failure. So here are the top 10 ultimate entrepreneur resolutions for getting your year started knowing exactly what you’re aiming for and where you’d like to be in 12 months!

1. Promote Your Business Regularly and Consistently

Creative ideas and good promotion are what captures the interest of your target audience. Make sure you explore the variety of ways to promote your business and don’t give up once you’ve managed to make an impact or even if you’ve failed. Embrace all channels and use cross-promotion regularly to build customer interest and keep it. Most importantly keep in mind some promotional opportunities are extremely cost-effective in case money is a big hurdle here.

2. Finance Your Expansion

Apart from sustaining your business, it’s highly important to consider whether you’re looking to hire more staff to take some pressure off yourself, acquire new technology, or offer new products and services in the coming year. One way to check off this New Year resolution quickly and effortlessly is with the business loans offered by Zillidy. Using personal assets as collateral is the perfect way to secure a loan which will cover the cost of your expansion.

3. Learn Something New

Self-development is something no one should ever neglect. Learning how to code or how to advertise your business better are just a few of the important skills you can master to take your startup to the next level. Depending on how you choose to learn — online tutorials, books, attending classes, or conferences — there are ways to combine learning with meeting new clients, getting customer insight, and networking.

4. Join or Organize a Networking Group

Building a strong portfolio of clients and businesses which can help you cross-promote should be one of your top priorities for 2015. Networking will not only give you a good market comparison but will provide enough feedback to help you refine your ideas and modify them until they’re bulletproof. Take the initiative and organize a networking group involving other local businesses and discuss how you can work together to make a positive impact on the area where you operate.

5. Drop the Dead Weight

It’s time to let go of anything that is not working. Just don’t make the mistake of confusing this with giving up! Letting go is about replacing the dead weight, whether it’s an idea that’s not working at the moment or an ineffective team member. You need to move forward by figuring out what’s working and what’s not going right within your startup. Whatever changes need to be made, make sure you learn from both the good and the bad!

6. Embrace the Digital — Use Apps Which Will Make Your Life Easier

Being a successful entrepreneur, you need to know how to be efficient. A lot of applications developed in the past years help save time and enhance productivity. Your smartphone can and should become your startup’s best friend! It will provide the needed support through all the operational procedures, connect you to social media and your clients, as well as save time, so you can prioritize better. Make sure you select the right apps for this. Even better, a lot of them are free.

7. Start Using Social Media More

Being the perfect medium to get feedback, advertise, promote, and network, Social Media is embraced by both large-scale companies and startups. For the past years social media has changed how we live in such a way that now more than ever you need to make sure you and your business are represented appropriately and actively. Harvest the benefits of social media. Because if your grandparents’re using it, you’ve got no excuses!

8. Manage Time Better — Try to Fit More “Me and My Loved Ones” In

A regret many entrepreneurs have is getting completely immersed in the business side of life without leaving much time to rest, recharge, and enjoy life. Make sure this is the year you find how to balance the work load and leave enough time to share special moments with the people you love the most. Remind yourself to never take good people and things for granted.

9. Change the Way You See the World and Seek Inspiration

This will probably be one of the most abstract things on your list. Why would you want to change your mindset or seek inspiration? You’ve got more important things to do, right? Put simply, doing whatever makes you happy and inspires you is the perfect way to charge yourself with positive energy. Your newly found attitude will help you see your business with new eyes and find solutions to problems you might never have thought possible, plus being inspired is contagious; sooner or later you will sense the difference within your team, too!

10.  Don’t Stray From Your Promises!

Whether you said you are going to spend some quality time with your closest friends or you told your kids you will attend their game or just play with them, make sure you keep your promises. A successful person performs well both in their personal and professional life.

Last but not least, once you make your personal resolution list, stick to it, consider it a promise to yourself to be successful in the coming year!

Which of these 10 entrepreneur resolutions will make your 2015 list? Let us know in the comment section below!

You’re Never Too Old to Start Your Own Business

Entrepreneurship is the new black. And it’s not just the youngsters that are into it. Even if you are older, you can still make it as an entrepreneur.

In fact, senior entrepreneurs are doing so well, they more than doubled in numbers over the past two decades. In Canada alone, 136,000 people aged 55 and above claimed to be self employed in 2013, while in the 90’s that number was only about about 55,000. Entrepreneurship among seniors is so hip, a new term has recently emerged — seniorpreneur.

So whether you’re an actual senior, or you fall into the category of “Over 30,” you certainly have a few trump cards over young entrepreneurs — trump cards which will help your new business venture succeed.

What Are Seniorpreneurs’ Secret Weapons?

Young people often make the news with their entrepreneurial endeavors, but it’s older people starting new businesses that actually have the edge here. Even Forbes says it — the passion and commitment that we tend to associate with the entrepreneurial spirit of 20-somethings, are alive and kicking among seniors, too. And if you’re an older entrepreneur, you surely know — you might be even more passionate about business than your children.

Plus, as an older entrepreneur, you have the advantage of bringing a lifetime of learning, leadership, and expertise to the table, meaning you’re more likely to build a successful business. The skills acquired through decades of work are not to be underestimated. In fact, “Twice as many [successful business founders were] older than 50 as were younger than 25. And twice as many were older than 60 as were younger than 20,” as we learn from Venture Beat. Pair a remarkable enthusiasm and competitive spirit with a huge bank of knowledge gained over the years, and you have a sure recipe for success.

All these assets allow seniorpreneurs like you to make the right decisions when young entrepreneurs would normally rely on gut feeling alone.

Experience & Networking: Huge Investor Magnets

Working in a certain industry unavoidably leads to knowing the right people, who you can turn for support when growing your business. These connections will save you incredible amounts of time when starting your business, and might improve its chances of success.

Whether you’re looking for industry insights to find a great niche idea for your business, or you already have a great idea and just need an investor or two, networking is king. But while seniors have particularly good face-to-face connection skills, you’re naturally more likely to overlook the importance of having a social media presence. Don’t make that mistake — these social networks, typically saturated with young people, provide great opportunities to reach not only investors, but your future customers, too.

So even if you feel like a fish out of water, know that getting online is easy. There are many tools and people who can help you, and most importantly, you’re already one step ahead since your offline connections will help you grow quickly online.

Alternative Financing Options

While investors are a great way to fund your business, there are drawbacks to this approach. Even with well-built personal networks, it can take a lot of time to find the right people who’ll want to invest in your business. Also, convincing these people sometimes proves tougher than expected, especially for older entrepreneurs.

Alternative ways to bring extra funds to your business include loans and credit cards, but these options are far from perfect. They’re both heavily dependent on your credit score, which as a starting business is zero. Being refused a loan can be a very de-motivational experience to encounter, but it’s not the end of the world.

There are ways to finance your business without having to go through credit checks. If you have valuable personal assets such as watches or jewelry, you can put them to work by exchanging them for a loan here at Zillidy. We’re committed to helping entrepreneurs like you succeed by helping you get capital when you need it. There’s no lengthy loan application process and no need for personal guarantees, either. These loans are fully supported by the valuable asset that you have accumulated over the years. Once your business takes off and you repay the loan, you get your valuables back in pristine condition.

Senior Entrepreneurs That Have Made It

Although young entrepreneurs are those that often make the news, especially the ones that shake up the tech market, seniorpreneurs are seeing increasing media coverage. That’s only natural, since they’re building a growing base of success stories. They’re inspiration to us all and we’ve handpicked a few (mostly Canadian) entrepreneurs to share with you:

Karen Khan | Toronto, ON

Starting a medical thesis at the age of 66? Finishing it, graduating and starting your own practice a year later? Karen Khan has done it and now she enjoys a rewarding job that is nothing like her corporate position.

John Laing | Mission, B.C.

After a long career in marketing and sales, John Laing joined a small team to provide digital media services to small business and corporate clients across British Columbia. Although his motivation behind the business venture was financial, it’s not hard to see it runs deeper than that:

“It’s not a very lucrative business, but it doesn’t have to be […] It keeps us busy. It keeps us engaged in our community. It keeps us young.”

- John Laing

Carolyn Palliardi | Victoria, Australia

You know you’re doing something special when you start a natural skin care business at the age of 51. After a career as a beauty editor, Carolyn Palliardi started forging her own path. Not knowing about manufacturing and distribution, or marketing to hormonal teenage boys, didn’t stop her from successfully launching 808 Dude in 2011 and proving her skeptical financial adviser wrong.

A Lifetime of Opportunities

Just like many of the great people in history, for all of us, success may come later in life. Alfred Hitchcock directed his films after the age of 54 and Grandma Moses didn’t even begin to paint until she was 76. It’s never too late for success, so never be afraid to start something new.

Do you know of any other seniorpreneurs with inspirational stories? Let us know in the comments below.

4 Unbelievable Uses of Gold Bars

With the slow but steady stabilization of the global economy featured in many outlooks for the future year, it’s finally time to loosen up and start taking more risks. Considered a safe haven during economic hard times, gold bars are the precious metals many investors rely on and store in their safety deposit boxes or safes. For many, these improving economic times mean cashing in those gold bars, stored through bad days.

An awesome example of an unexpected use of gold bars is a recent story about nine of Canada’s leading gold miners donating over $ 3.3 million worth of gold bars to fund the battle against cancer at Princess Margaret. With the huge number of people impacted by the disease, this cause and many others are certainly worth donating to. But whether you’re interested in investing that stored capital or donating it to a good cause, let us introduce 4 unbelievable uses of gold bars sure to get your wheels turning:

1. Donate to Cancer Research or a Charity of Your Choice

Not many investors would consider cashing in a gold bar without a good reason or а reasonable amount of financial security. Unless, of course, you need the money to sustain your endeavors. Otherwise, those pretty gold bars will stay hidden for another day. So if you’re in that first situation, why not consider giving some of that money to the charity of your choice? Not only will you benefit from feeling better about yourself for helping, but you can donate the money through your organization or business and enjoy the benefits of the positive PR.  Being able to afford to help change lives is something that should not only bring a sense of accomplishment, but also a positive impact on one’s community.

2. Fund Your Startup or Expansion

Of course nobody ever said you have to give up on your gold bars for a good cause. Have you ever considered putting some funds behind that side project or great idea and turning it into a reality? Is it high time you take the risk and invest in expanding your startup? All those questions have one answer: asset-based lending. Companies like Zillidy offer the perfect solution to all those who search to fund an endeavor without having to cash their gold bars in.

An asset-based loan is a type of collateral loan in which a specific personal possession such as jewelry, luxury watches, or precious metals (such as gold bars) are used as a collateral for a loan. Why is it a great idea? You don’t have to waste time with documentation, your gold bars will be taken care of by professionals, and you’ll get them back once you’ve repaid the loan! If you’re eager to get your startup going, you won’t regret the decision.

3. Become a Gold Member

With Christmas approaching, you might consider giving yourself a present! Keep the “gold” in gold bar and use that cash to buy a gold membership. Whether you’re a frequent flyer or your business has you checking into hotels often, obtaining a gold membership for specific companies will not only guarantee greater convenience, but will also make sure you get the service you deserve, and all while saving money! Make sure you choose to invest into a membership that will add value to your life and your business.

4. Re-Invest

Obtaining gold bars is a popular investment, but if you are considering cashing the bars in, you may be ready for another smart investment. Start by researching which markets are in demand or on the rise. Furthermore, you can invest in some of the most promising startups in Canada. Make sure you re-invest wisely and balance your risk levels. That way you can ensure your capital will increase over time, so eventually you’ll be able to invest in more of those gold bars!

Would you use gold bars to fund your startup? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below!

Is An Open-Office Plan Good For Your Business?

Open-office plans seem to be all the rage these days, but they’ve actually been around for more than half a century. But lately, whether you’re a tech startup or a well established company, this seems to be where the business world is heading. Of course following a trend for its own sake is an all-too-common mistake many businesses make. So it’s important to understand the trend, it’s pros and cons, before making the decision to change up your office environment.

There are a ton of things to consider here, data gathered from a wide variety of studies indicates open offices influence people’s work in them in an enormous variety of ways. Everything from how often employees get sick to reducing ethics violations can come into play. You should also look at who will be working in this environment, are they easily distracted? Do they suffer from fatigue because of the stressfulness of their jobs? These are also important things to consider. So overall, the best thing to do is look at the entire list of pros and cons and decide whether an open-office would work best for your office and your type of business.

 

 

3 Easy Ways to Finance A Great Office Christmas Party on a Tight Budget

With the holidays right around the corner, if you’re a small business owner, you might be pondering over the option of whether you should be throwing a Christmas party at your office or not. After all, although they can be great fun, events like this are not exactly cheap.

But giving an office party has many benefits to offer. As Charles Cotton, reward adviser of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, says, “A Christmas party can be used as a way of reinforcing that you’ve come through a tough year and survived.” You can use this time to bond, share, and make your team feel strong, as the new year rolls around. You’ll get an incredible teamwork ROI from just one party, and that’s certainly worth the investment.

Holiday Office Bash: A Great Investment in Your Team

Parties at the office are great team building events, which can boost employee morale, strengthen the company culture and even help you increase your brand’s presence locally. They allow people who work together to socialize in an informal atmosphere, which will increase staff engagement, help them identify with the company’s core values, and start the next year with even greater commitment.

When you’re just starting out or if your company’s net income isn’t really all that far out from its gross, then such a luxury may seem like something you can definitely live without. But while you may feel you’re saving money, the decision to skip the bash might later seem like a huge missed opportunity. Investing in your team now will show you great returns in the new year and the next.

But how much should you invest? Trying to decide how much you should spend on your office festivities can seem tricky. But the Canada Revenue Agency makes it easy — it considers any office party expenditure over $100 per person as taxable, so aim to keep your target budget below that, to save on costs.

But once the planning’s done, where can you get the money from? Fear not! You don’t have to reach into your pockets to make it happen. There are many hassle-free financing options available for business owners in Canada. Here are 3 great methods you can use to finance an awesome Christmas party at your office:

#1 Business Credit Cards

Provided you have a good credit score, this is one of the easiest ways you can finance your Christmas party this time around.

Business credit cards are easily available and the minimum payment on them is usually low. These cards are especially useful if your company is still young and doesn’t have a lot of money coming in just yet.

However there are a few drawbacks — you really don’t want to be defaulting on your payments. While the required payments are small, they can quickly add up and put a nasty debt on your company and ruin your credit score. Bottom line is, don’t spend more money than you have to and can afford to pay back!

#2 Friends and Family

It is indeed surprising how many entrepreneurs overlook asking their near and dear for help when they need it. So if you have a friend or a family member with whom you have strong relations and who has some cash to spare, then by all means, ask them. The biggest advantage here is, of course, the low-to-no-interest rate as family members usually have no issues giving money on faith.

However, this is a double edged sword, so do be careful. Since we’re talking about people who mean a lot to you, it is best not to take more money from them than you can pay back. You should always try to find a good balance between financing an event yourself and having a creditor help you out. This will help to ensure that you don’t damage your relationships with those closest to you.

#3 Small Business Loans

You can also opt for newer kind of loan — a small business loan, given against assets, such as those that are provided by Zillidy. Business Asset Loans are faster than other financing options, as they don’t require any credit checks or lengthy loan applications. Plus, these loans are fully supported by the valuable asset that you leave in our possession, so we do not require any personal guarantees from you, either. We’ll work with you to help you plan out your loan so you can pay it back in full, and get your valuables back.

Finally, our small business loans don’t affect your credit score, so а loan can help you fund your Christmas Party without any fear of damaging your credit standing. When it comes to finding financial support for your business, whether now or throughout the year, you can rely on us to back all your efforts and help you reach success.

Give Your Employees the Party They Deserve

Few events brings people together better than Christmas and regardless of whether you’re just starting out or are an established business, gathering everyone to foster a powerful team spirit is an opportunity not be missed.

Do you feel that holiday celebrations at the office are a great way to build a stronger working culture? Leave us a comment and let us know your thoughts!

Cash in on Your Ideas: Organize Your Creative Entrepreneur Space

Organize your entrepreneur's creative space.

Tip #1 to boost creativity: elevate your legs.

As an entrepreneur you know that your small business grew from one little gap in the market where you planted a strong idea. Your seed of inspiration grew into something marketable, which goes to show that the entrepreneurs’ creative space is a fundamental currency for success. This is why it’s so important to keep your creative channels open and primed for new ideas.

In the same way that you take out business loans to keep your business’ bank balance healthy, it’s important that you find ways to replenish your bank of creative ideas, so you can keep on thriving.

How to Organize Entrepreneurs’ Creative Space

Thinking about your company’s finances, how closely do you monitor your incomings and outgoings? Where do you invest your time and money to keep your bank balance healthy? We’re pretty sure you’ll be keeping a close eye on your financial health to make sure funds for your small business don’t dry up. Equally, you need fresh ideas to grow and these thoughts need the right conditions to flourish. If you fear your proposals are overdrawn or your inspiration is at zero, we’ve got four top tips for Canadian entrepreneurs to boost creativity throughout the day, month and year. It’s as easy as learning 1, 2, 3.

# 1 Invest in Your Physical Wellbeing

Happy marathon runners in Toronto.

Exercise can boost your creativity.

Think about how much you might spend in one year on products that help you to work in the most efficient way you can. Life is much easier when you have a well-oiled machine that doesn’t struggle to compute daily tasks. Now use this same calculation to work out how much time you should invest in your own brain power to build the foundations of your creativity. Scientific studies are underway to prove once and for all that exercise has a positive impact on your grey cells, so get yourself to the local gym, and swim, run, or play team sports to boost your brain matter. The investment will pay off if your creative muscle is tensed and toned, ready to fire off some ideas.

#2 Trade Creative Ideas with Others

As your company grows, you’ll need to surround yourself with the right people to keep it moving in the right direction. Think about how much money you might spend on staffing, consultancy fees or advice. This trade-off in business skills is important in your creative space, too. Bounce ideas off other people who work as entrepreneurs or mingle with professional people who do something completely different.

Meeting new people draws you outside of your own business bubble to study how other people make successful negotiations. There are professional networking groups all over Canada that you can sign up to right away. Find your local group and get talking — you never know who you’re going to meet or how their story might inspire your own creative thought process.

#3 Keep Your Work-Life Balance in Check

To pull off a successful business strategy most entrepreneurs are putting in extra hours on a daily basis, but this can quickly lead to burn-out. As relationships can suffer and friendships can dwindle away, creativity can also dry up if you don’t learn to prioritize.

Everything flows a lot easier when your most urgent needs are satisfied — don’t think your creativity is any different. In the same way that your body needs fluids and your business needs money to survive, your creative space needs room to breathe if you’re to come up with anything new. Slot in time for whatever makes you happy as often as you can. Whether that’s watching a film with your family, walking the dog, meeting an old friend for lunch or browsing an art gallery, it’s important to keep something back for a rainy day.

#4 Surround Yourself with Positivity

Office cubicle covered by post-it notes.

Make your work space enjoyable.

All work and no play stifles creativity. If your office is grey and tired, you’ll be feeling the same way in no time at all. Add some color to your surroundings. Buy a desk calendar with funny quotes. Put up some pictures of vintage humour or cartoons that make you smile. Laughter is a great way of reducing the stress that is often associated with running your own business. The effects of finding something funny are said to boost circulation and release healing biochemicals. If this isn’t worth a small corner of the entrepreneurs’ creative space, then we don’t know what is.

Your Creative Space Needs Credit, Too

Futurpreneur Canada reports that the number of entrepreneurs in Canada is higher than ever before, but do they have the creative edge? In the same way that you top up your bank balance with asset-based loans, personal loans, grants or sponsorship, the entrepreneurs’ creative space needs this same attention. Invest some of your time and energy into the areas we’ve highlighted to build creative foundations. These will support your business growth and who knows what you could come up with next.

Step outside of your office for a moment. What place could you go to right this second and how might it inspire your creativity?