It was a packed house. Business owners, employers, employees, entrepreneurs and politicians all gathered to predict what the year would hold for business in Surrey.
Wandering around the well dressed, high heeled, suit and tie crowd with their wine in one hand and their business cards in the other, you could hear snippets of conversations among the hubbub. The hot topics were Kinder Morgan, real estate, the US election, the stock market, the giant opportunities in Canada and Surrey in this coming year.
By all accounts, 2017 is going to be a great year for Surrey. The instability in the US makes Canada a tasty choice for investors. One of the comments that caught my ear was someone talking about the world needing a new super power and perhaps Canada has grown up enough to fill those boots.
When discussing opportunity, Kinder Morgan was on everybody’s lips. Those against it were quick to point out that Surrey has a plan to be the leading hub of the green energy sector. With 1300 green energy companies employing 18,000 people pushing for space in Surrey thanks to the cities incentives and initiatives, it looks like we may hit our green energy ten-year target as outlined in the Community Energy and Emissions Plan.
It is exciting time to be a tree hugger in Surrey.
But then there are those who are in favour of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, also predicting great things for the province and for Surrey specifically.
Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade, is in favour of the pipeline as she see the regional benefits trickle down to benefit Surrey businesses as well.
Anita says “I feel that I have a very good relationship as the leader of Surrey Board of Trade, for business accountability with Kinder Morgan. I believe that the pipeline generates local economic activity but it isn’t just local. When we are talking about economic development it’s always from the lens of regional benefits. I sit on the Metro Vancouver regional prosperity initiative, and it’s about looking at the lens of economic benefits from a regional period so what is good for Burnaby is going to be good for Surrey. A lot of Surrey residents also work throughout Metro Vancouver. They get salaries and then they spent locally, so there really is that interrelated affect. Money moving in Burnaby is also money moving in Surrey.”
Of course all discussions these days must include some reference to the US election. One lone Trump supporter was attempting to talk down a number of business people, mostly women. I am not sure he got his point across but there were a few wagers thrown down.
I asked John Wallace, a financial security advisor with Freedom 55 Financial what he thought the economy would do in 2017.
“The Bank of Canada interest rates today look very stable and if there is a reaction from the US economy, they have said that they are willing to lower it (the interest rate) again so that is saying a lot. Anything can happen. The one prediction that the specialist have made is that 2017 is going to be a good year for the stock market. America seems to think it wants to be more protectionist and that can affect a lot of different economies but they also say that they want to reduce taxes for business and that will drive economics up on all sides of the border”
Amrik Virk was more excited about the opportunities in Surrey itself.
“2017 is a year of opportunity for British Columbians. There is going to be incredible continued growth as we see uncertainty in other parts of world. I think we’re going to see a super increase in the tech area and huge increases in the knowledge based economy in British Columbia. There are a lot of incredible tech companies coming to Surrey. It is now a fact that you can go to school here, you can graduate here and you could stay here for your career. You can actually change the world right from Surrey.”
Changing the world was on the minds of other business people present, the sponsors of the New Year’s Business Reception were all abuzz about innovative approaches to business and being on the cutting edge.
to fill key positions in emerging industries.
Each room and office in the Surrey Board of Trade offices was filled with businesses eager to meet, recruit, build, organize and strategize partnerships that would help everyone ride this new wave of opportunity.
You could take your company logo and get free advertising on a coffee mug with sponsor, Greystone Promotional Products. For the more adventurous, you could put your logo on a rocket or a cannon. Really. Che
While the forward thinking sponsors set the tone for the evening, the participants were also eager to get in on the action. Pathway’s Family Chiropractic had machines set up to do spinal scans to help identify potential problem areas along your spine.
Sarah Sharma from Westcoast Realty was quick to learn more about her spine and what was causing areas of tension. The chiropractor did the scan and then went over the results, showing her the areas she should be paying attention to.
Watch Video Here Video of Spinal Scan
McQuarrie Hunter LLP was there to explain the legalities of business innovation and how to protect our ingenious ideas and Schmidt and Funk was there to help you fund it. With Cascadia Systems Group there to make sure your IT all runs smoothly, and A Visual Advantage taking care of your website and social media presence, you have everything you need to make your business idea work, right here in Surrey.
The strangest prediction of the night came from a gentleman who preferred to remain nameless but he thinks “Kevin O’Leary is going to move to the US and join Trump’s cabinet.”
I asked Alvero Peralta, an executive business coach of Transitions Business Coaching what his prediction was for this New Year?
“I think we’re going to see in BC a problem similar to what Alberta saw three years ago. The labour shortage is going to put massive pressure on low-end labour force. We’re going to be really hard up to fill the jobs because we don’t have enough people
I asked him if he was in support of the immigration policies and the numbers of immigrants and refugees coming into Surrey.
In every single field whether it’s sales or manufacturing or home construction. Home health care is massively under serviced particularly English speaking. Caregivers are really important for an ageing population.
I don’t have a single client right now that’s not hiring.
One of my clients has a virtual nursing solution where you don’t have to have a human being inside your home but they’re monitoring your blood pressure etc. and all of your vitals and making sure that you’re taking your antibiotics. We’re moving away from the traditional model of having human beings come and doing care giving and nursing, the knowledge and technology is all there but finding people to work is difficult. The training course is only two months long and we are happy to train. The pay is good but we can’t find people to work.“
If you are interested in a job with Mr. Peralta’s client, message below and we will put you in touch. Sound to me like Surrey has lots of job opportunities in 2017.
Marques Dixon works for the Whitecaps and he had some personal reasons that 2017 was going to be better than last year.
“I just moved here last year from Ontario and what I would predict for 2017 for me is more success just because I decided to move. I took three days to drive here and I’ve been working with the whitecaps for year. I have learned a lot about moving to a new city, a lot about myself. I am meeting new friends and it has all been huge. I can only see better things in the future especially since I’m more comfortable here now. I am living and learning. It’s really tough when you move from somewhere new so I’m really proud of the chances I have taken and the things that I’ve done. When I got here in the start it was really tough. I had to move out of my first place after one month, my car wouldn’t work but once things got working it’s been really good.
I’m planning to work really hard this year. I’m love getting out there and meeting new people and I’m learning more about people and what they do and how that relates to our products and so we can promote the Whitecaps.”
He gave me my first real scoop of the New Year. Apparently, according to him, the Whitecaps are going to win the Voyageurs cup. You heard it first here at Surrey 604.
Katherine Grefner and Darrel Swanson of Red Velvet Music had some predictions for 2017.
Katherine predicted some earthquakes but also noted that 17 is 1+7 which is eight which is a lucky number so she also predicted more freedom and abundance.
Darrel says he has a very good vibe, a good feeling about this year. “The seeds that were planted into thousand 16 we are going to grow fruit.”
Katherine didn’t want to scare anybody. “I don’t think we’re going to have a big earthquake but I just mean that we’re going to have a shaking up so the message is to get ready. I agree with Darrel, it’s going to be bigger and more abundant.”
“I think we’re going to see more extreme weather. It’s going to be a gong show in the United States. I don’t know what it’s going to do to us here and so I am concerned about what it’s going to mean to trade but I think on the other hand it’s going to bring people into our community.”
And of course, everybody wants to talk about real estate.
Jatinder (Jay) Gulati of Coldwell Banker says
“I think it’s going to be stable here. I don’t think that what’s happening in the US will be a problem. From my experience, when things went bad in real estate we were still stable. Our demographics are really different from what they have in the States. We think very differently from how they think so I think it’s going to be business as usual before us. I don’t think it’s going to affect our economy because real estate, especially in BC is a desired around the world.
Lumber is another big part of our economy. We have lots of it and we’re ready to export. Even if they change NAFTA, we are looking at other revenues and other markets like China. It is time for us to expand.”
I will give the last words to Charan Sethi, a sponsor of this event. He and his company Tien Sher Homes are developing Whalley. He is looking at rebranding the neighbourhood and has a deep appreciation for the history and spirit of this neglected and misunderstood area. His project, in the heart of Whalley, called Venue is going to give homeowners a chance to build a cultural hub in the heart of the city.
“2017 is going to have its own challenges especially with the change of leadership in United States. It’s rather unpredictable and they are the big brothers. We always say that if they catch a cold, we are going to get the shiver. This could increase demand for our area here in BC from an international standpoint. That demand is going up every day. Not just within a specific ethnic cities but we are getting people from Germany, from England, from all over the world.
It’s amazing how many people are hearing about BC and they think it’s one of the nicest places to live.
I think it’s the nicest place to live. It’s the one of the few places where I can get up in the morning, go outside and take a deep breath of amazing beautiful, clean air.
I can go to Squamish and drink water from the waterfall and it’s not going to kill me.
I can be beside the ocean, I can go ski, and I can be in the forest all on the same day. And we can go for a long hike and have a number of Surrey parks to choose from. Everything is all within five minutes.”
I would have to agree with Mr. Sethi. This is a beautiful place to live. The uncertainty in the air has brought certainty in the hearts of Canadians. We have grown up and are getting directly involved in shaping the world around us.
Surrey has heart. The excitement you hear, the positive outlook for our future, rings from the friendly, happy business community. We are so glad to be here and we welcome you, from wherever you are, with whatever business idea you have, to come and party with us. Here’s to 2017.
Building An E-Commerce Business In Canada? Here’s What You Need To Know
The consumer market in Canada is changing at a rapid pace. On the west coast, start-ups are becoming increasingly common as entrepreneurs call cities like Vancouver, Victoria, and Surrey their home.
In this changing market, e-commerce is slowly taking the place of traditional brick-and-mortar storefronts in many respects.
As an aspiring e-commerce entrepreneur, there are several significant resources and insights to keep in mind ad you begin to build your business.
Track Your Income & Expenses
Before you can strategize and create lofty long-term goals, you’ll want to ensure you have the financial structure you need to grow your business.
Often, entrepreneurs in Canada struggle with the basics and must look to alternative lenders or online payday loans in Surrey or wherever their business has been established. To ensure you don’t make the same mistakes, you’ll want to set up a separate account for your professional expenses.
Whether you choose to create monthly spreadsheets or use a budget app, having a money management tool you can refer back to will help ensure you’re never overspending and you’re investing your profits where they’ll best serve you and your company.
Invest In a Web Developer
Many e-commerce brands are as popular as they are today because of the functionality and engagement their site brings to the market.
When you’re in the process of hiring a web developer, look at their resume and past clients — you’ll want to see what kind of sites they’ve created and how consumers have responded.
This hire can make or break your brand before you even launch, which is why it’s vital to do the necessary research.
There are certain areas of creating an e-commerce brand in Surrey or throughout Canada, and e-mail marketing is one of the most significant.
While social media is becoming increasingly popular as a marketing technique, e-mails remain a tried-and-true method for reaching customers and convincing them to make repeat purchases.
Creating lists for promotions and sales is a skillful way to keep customers engaged, rather than simply e-mailing only when they’ve made a purchase.
You’ll want to continuously test and optimize your emails using A/B testing to ensure you’re maximizing your growth potential.
Prioritize Customer Service
Without customers, your business will be unable to survive, let alone sustainably grow. The e-commerce market is competitive no matter the industry you’re in, which means customers are looking for brands that care about their shopping experience.
If your operation is small, you’ll likely be handling customer inquiries on your own. Remember to prioritize a portion of your day to comb through questions or concerns to keep your potential customers invested. When buyers have a seamless experience online, they’re more likely to recommend that product or service to their network.
If you have the capital to hire a single employee or a small team, you can delegate the customer care tasks and focus on the departments that need your immediate attention. You’ll want to ensure these candidates have strong writing skills and sales backgrounds — because they’ll know how to engage with your customers and ensure their satisfaction.
Surrey teenage entrepreneur’s food delivery app boasts of 10,000 users, unique dine-in feature
Surrey-based entrepreneur Ekam Panesar’s home delivery app DishPal is giving competition to the big delivery companies in the Lower mainland.
Two years after starting DishPal, the app now has 10,000 users and 100 active drivers. The app has partnered with 75 local restaurants already with many more to come.
The app was started by Ekam Panesar in Grade 12. The Seaquam Secondary School graduate is proud of its success so far. “This is only the beginning”.
“I was 16 at the time, when my father while eating lunch at one of the restaurants shared a concern of restaurants that they make very less profit on their orders from third-party food delivery platforms because of higher commission fees,” Panesar said.
“That’s when I decided to create DishPal, a smart app for ordering food and delivery online that helps local restaurants earn more by offering a lower commission of 10%.”
Panesar worked relentlessly to transform the idea into reality. After research, trials, and surveying the restaurant industry, DishPal was launched with a unique dine-in feature.
It is a mobile reservation, payment, and menu planning app that enables you to make reservations, order online, pay at the table, and tip. This contactless service helps you ditch your wallet.
DishPal also has a subscription plan called “DishPal Plus” which offers cashback/credit on every order, free delivery, and other benefits which helps you save while you shop.
Users may use the online credit or go to one of our partnered locations in person to pick up the order.
Panesar attributes his success and positive work ethic to his family. “My parents always taught me not to compare myself with anyone as everyone is unique in their own way.”
About the Founder-CEO:
Ekam Panesar is a solution-driven young entrepreneur who balanced his academic life with entrepreneurial dream and community work.
Ekam currently attends classes at Simon Fraser University. His drive to expand his business to the next level is fired by his vision. He wants DishPal to be a name brand in Canada and India that stands for trust, transparency, reliability, and quality.
How Businesses Are Prioritizing Appointments As They Open Their Doors Again
Restaurants and retail stores have finally reopened their doors after months of closure. As they reopened, shoppers have lined up and flocked to stores in record numbers, even amid recent Covid-19 surges.
The reopening has been a welcome occurrence for many, not least because of the 24,000 jobs recovered in Surrey. However, while consumers are eager to support their favourite clothing brands, small businesses, and other non-essential businesses, owners and management have had to strike a fine balance between maximizing customer footfall and prioritizing customer safety in-store.
Getting the balance right between generating income and deciding which clients get the first appointments can be a tricky decision. Thankfully, each business is adopting its own ways of prioritizing appointments and maintaining great customer service at the same time.
Dental And Medical Institutions Turn To AI And Scheduling Software
Based on safety guidelines from the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario, dentists are relying on a prioritization scheduling approach for patients. The organization recommends physical spacing between appointments to allow for appropriate sanitization measures between patient visits, along with pre-appointment screenings.
Dental practices are also encouraging patients to practice good dental care at home, and take note of the signs of gum inflammation early on to avoid more severe consequences, such as periodontal disease, which can occur if gingivitis develops and is left untreated.
Patients with urgent dental concerns like a severe dental infection are being referred to emergency dental clinics or earmarked for emergency clinic hours. Dental practice management software like ACE Dental and DentiCon are also being used to schedule and track appointments.
Scheduling software such as these also offers useful scheduling hacks like the ability to group patients as family members – and possibly group their appointments to minimize the spread of infections.
Other dental practices are using AI to prioritize urgent patient appointments, similar to the UK’s NHS approach to working through the patient backlog. Booking and patient interaction software like Dr. Doctor relies on predictive algorithms to help hospitals and dental care surgeries prioritize appointments by urgency instead of seeing patients on a first come first served basis.
Patients are given a patient questionnaire to complete, and graded using a colour-coded charting system. These and other dental booking software systems help to reduce the administrative burden on clinicians, which leaves them with more time to focus on patient care.
Pre-Booked Appointments And Outdoor Dining Feature Heavily For Restaurants
Due to a recent surge in cases across British Columbia, restaurants are closed to indoor dining until April 19, 2021. However, takeaways and outdoor dining are still permitted. Most restaurants have taken their appointment booking and takeaway services online, allowing customers to make reservations based on table availability, or pick up their meals to go.
The use of online appointment scheduling software such as Zoho Bookings and Yocale are popular amongst food establishments to keep track of bookings.
Currently, no more than six people are allowed to sit together when booking a restaurant reservation in order to maintain social distancing, according to reopening guidelines by Work Safe British Columbia. Therefore, larger parties are either being spilt into separate dining reservations (if outdoor space permits) or offered an alternative date.
Retailers Continue To Rely On Crowd Control, Navigation Signs, And Queues
Other retail stores have also implemented crowd control techniques instead of an appointment system. Retail stores in malls are now limiting the number of shoppers in-store at any one time, and have implemented navigation signs for customers to help with the flow of traffic in-store and outdoors.
Doormen and security staff are a common feature, as they maintain the number of shoppers in-store and regulate the flow of traffic in a bid to prioritize social distancing.
Stores are also incorporating an omni-channel approach as a way to stagger in-store traffic. Caposhie in South Granville has continued to keep a focus on online operations to balance demand.
Owner Adelle Reynaud said, “We sort of spent our time kind of building the back end up, and hopefully through this our online sales will grow and we’ll kind of figure out new and improved ways to figure that out.” Other retailers have embraced the use of the click and collect model, and are encouraging customers to use their virtual services where possible.
Jewellers like Tiffany’s in Vancouver now allow consumers to book their virtual appointments online, or book a time slot for in-store consultations. Golden Tree Jewellers in Surrey has done the same, providing a dedicated contact number for appointment bookings.
As business resumes, companies are having to find new and innovative ways to balance their profitability and customer safety. Deciding how to prioritize appointments is a crucial part of that.
The basis of prioritization and appointment models differ greatly according to businesses, but one thing that remains consistent is that businesses in BC are finding ways to rise to the challenge.
New Device Repair Service On Wheels Launches In Surrey, Bringing Residents Contactless, Convenient And Professional Repairs Right To Their Doorstep
Mobile Klinik goes mobile: Innovative smartphone and tablet repair service on wheels is now available in more than 100 cities and towns across Canada
Mobile Klinik waiving $29.99 convenience fee to support Canadians with safe contactless customer repair support amid Covid-19
Today Mobile Klinik, Canada’s leading chain of professional smartphone and tablet repair stores, launched Onsite Repair Units, the first van service of its kind to offer consumers and businesses nationwide the convenience of professional smartphone and tablet repair at the location of their choice.
With more Canadians working and learning from home and physical distancing protocols in place, it is more important than ever for their devices to be working without issue, and now residents and businesses in more than 100 communities nationwide can conveniently access Mobile Klinik’s Onsite Repair Unit service.
“The launch of Mobile Klinik’s Onsite Repair service is our latest initiative to make smartphone and tablet repair a more accessible, cost effective, and convenient option for Canadian consumers,” said Tim McGuire, CEO of Mobile Klinik.
“Because we are spending so much time learning, working, and seeking entertainment at home, having reliable smartphones and tablets is paramount. We are proud to bring our services right to our customers’ doorsteps – at no extra charge – so they can resume using their device, often in less than an hour.”
As a leader in professional smartphone and tablet repair, Mobile Klinik is committed to providing Canadians with flexible and affordable options to keep their devices for longer, servicing common issues like cracked screens, broken cameras, software updates, and battery replacements using high quality parts and state of the art diagnostics – right from inside the Mobile Klinik service van, outside their homes or place of work.
To further support Canadians throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, for a limited time, Mobile Klinik is waiving the $29.99 Onsite Repair Unit convenience fee.
Customers in the following communities can book today either online or by phone to have a Mobile Klinik technician arrive at the location of their choice and service their repair in 60 minutes or less.
- North Vancouver
- West Vancouver
- Pitt Meadows
- Maple Ridge
- White Rock
- New Westminster
- St. Albert
- Spruce Grove
- Quebec City
- Saint Jean Sur Richelieu
To find out if Mobile Klinik’s new Onsite Repair service is available in your community or for more information, visit us:
About Mobile Klinik
Mobile Klinik is Canada’s leader in professional smartphone and tablet repair, refurbishment and resale with more than 90 convenient locations from coast to coast, Onsite Repair Units in over 100 markets across Canada and an online store.
We are committed to providing Canadian consumers and businesses with flexible and affordable options to repair, buy, sell, protect and connect their wireless devices.
Attention Entrepreneurs: This Could Be The Ideal Time To Start That Business
Every business has been impacted in one way or another by the COVID-19 pandemic. In many cases, this has led to layoffs, reduced hours, and other major changes for workers. While the economy is struggling to bounce back, entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to push their business dreams forward.
There is more talent accessible on the market than ever before, and you’re not constrained by geographic location. It’s easier to be nimble and succeed with a small team (even just yourself) than it used to be. And if you need a small business loan to get your company up and running, interest rates are expected to remain low for several years.
Many of the world’s most successful companies were started in the midst of a financial crisis. It all comes down to whether or not you can provide consumers with something they need or want. If you decide to start your business in the near future, however, you’ll need to ensure that you manage your capital well so that you can stay in a strong position for long-term success.
Surrey604 is here with some ideas. From conducting a market evaluation to saving up a healthy financial cushion, here are a few key practices for stretching your startup capital in the early stages of your entrepreneurship:
Evaluating the Market
Assuming you already have an idea of what type of product or service you want to offer, you will need to do a thorough market evaluation to ensure there is demand for it.
How big is the market? What are potential competitors offering and how is your product different? What are the price points like?
Writing a Business Plan
Once you’ve assessed the market, you’ll need to create a business plan. Much can be said on this subject, but to keep it short: Your business plan should contain all the information pertinent to the launch and growth of your company over the next five to 10 years.
Some examples of what you need to include are your mission statement, a description of products or services, financial projections, the kind of staff needed, and your marketing strategies.
Outsourcing Time-Consuming Tasks
It might seem counter-intuitive, but hiring people can be a cost-effective method of growing your business. Think about it: If you try to do everything yourself all the time, everything will take longer to get done. And chances are they won’t be done properly and you’ll get burned out in no time.
Consider any tasks or roles that will distract you from your vision as the business owner, and start looking for qualified workers to fill them. For example, you can easily hire professional accounting, legal, and branding services through freelance job platforms.
Using Financial Management Tools
A lot goes into managing finances when you’re a business owner. It’s easy to get overwhelmed keeping track of your taxes, expenses, payments, invoicing, and other factors.
Fortunately, there is a slew of software tools on the market (e.g., Freshbooks, Xero, QuickBooks, etc.) that can simplify this process. Use them.
Just like with personal finances, saving up a contingency fund for your business can provide you with security and peace of mind. You never know what is going to happen tomorrow — or even today! — and having money saved up can help you avoid significant financial hardships or the loss of your business.
Start setting aside money each week, and try to put away at least six months of expenses. If you’ve been thinking about opening a business, why wait?
There are many reasons why now is a great time, and if you prepare beforehand, you can take advantage of the moment and establish a stable foundation for long-lasting success.
Along with considering the tips above, keep researching to see what others steps you can take to build a healthy, thriving business from the ground up!
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