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.
10 Things You Have to Do Before Launching a Business App
In recent years, mobile apps have grown in popularity. No matter how big or small your company is, developing a business app can increase recognition, build customer loyalty, create awareness of your brand, and serve as a fantastic tool for customer engagement.
Mobile apps are now a fundamental component of any business. So, once you’ve developed your app, here are ten things you must do before launching it to the masses.
Establish Your Audience
Before launching your business app, it’s vital that you establish who your audience are. You need to make sure that there’s a market for your app, otherwise your hard work will go to waste. As a business owner, you should already have an idea of who your target demographic are and what they like and dislike. If you launch a business app that doesn’t cater to their needs, you can’t expect a surge in downloads. Once you have a thorough understanding of your target market, you need to establish how your business app will benefit them and whether it will act as a solution for your users.
Define Your Goals
Once you’ve figured out who your target audience are, you need to define your objectives and goals. It’s important that you’re realistic with your goals, otherwise you will find it hard to stay focused.
There are various questions you need to ask yourself, such as why you are creating a business app in the first place, what its primary purpose will be, and what its main functionalities are. Once you’ve got your goals in place, you will have something to work towards which will keep you motivated and focused on delivering a successful app.
Study Your Competitors
Regardless of what kind of business you operate, the chances are you will be fighting with thousands of other apps already on the market. Conducting research into your competitors and seeing what they do to stand out from the crowd can give you inspiration and ideas that you can put into your own app.
Take some time to browse through app stores and look for apps that are similar to your own. Once you identify their strengths and flaws, you will have the advantage of being able to change features and functionalities before going live. You should also look at competitor apps ratings and reviews so you can see what their audience think about their product.
Create a Marketing Plan
For your business app to be successful, it’s critical that you create a great marketing plan. Letting consumers know about your app and how it stands out from competitors will make users more likely to download your product over rivals.
There are lots of marketing strategies that you can adopt which will spread awareness of your business app, such as by using email marketing. Sending emails to your existing customer base and letting them know about your app will make people take notice. If you’re in a competitive market, you need to showcase why your app differs from the rest.
Have a Developed Pricing Strategy
Before your business app goes live, you need to develop a pricing strategy that correlates with your audience. There is the option to make your app free to download, or you may want to provide subscription pricing, in-app purchases, or an initial download price.
There are various advantages and disadvantages linked with these pricing models, which is why you need to do your research first to pick one that’s suitable for your brand. If your goal is to build your audience, it may be best to offer a free download approach at first. On the other hand, if you want to connect with a specific niche audience, offering a subscription or paid-based model may be the best strategy to go for.
Optimise Your App
When it comes to ranking highly on the Google Play Store or iOS App Store, you will need to make sure your business app is optimised. There are four crucial elements that you must take note of before optimising your app, including app branding and visuals, use of keywords, the amount of positive reviews received, as well as the number of downloads generated. Keywords in the app name tend to have the largest impact on an app store search ranking
Create a Landing Page
It’s vital that you create a landing page (website) for your business app which can be used to direct your target traffic. You can use your landing page to outline all your brand’s values and features, while promoting your app simultaneously.
You can create your landing page with a variety of website builders, such as Wix or WordPress. Make sure that your website has an easy to use interface so users can navigate through your page and find out more about your brand.
Use Social Media Channels
Social media is one of the best ways to spread awareness of your business app. Before launching your app, it’s advised to share your app’s functionalities and features on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Doing so will keep your audience engaged and excited for the launch date. It’s advised to focus on social media platforms that your target demographic use the most, instead of creating multiple accounts with little to no traffic.
Test Your App
So that you can be confident with your business app, it’s vital that you set plenty of time aside for manual testing. Global App Testing have an in-depth guide on manual testing, and they can help you find any bugs that are lurking within your mobile app that could affect real-life users, as well as issues that you may not have anticipated.
Schedule Your Launch Date
For your business app to be a success, you need to pick a suitable launch date. Make sure that you factor in plenty of time to promote your app and ensure your launch date doesn’t fall on the same day as a competitor in the industry.
Once you are at the point where your business app is fully developed and ready to go, make sure you follow the advice above which will help you plan out exactly what to do before, during, and after your app goes live.
How Automation Has Changed the Job Market in Canada
According to research by the RBC in 2018, half of all Canadian jobs will be affected by automation by 2018. The researchers concluded that Canada is moving from a job-based toward a skills-based economy. In this article, we’ll look at what this means for the Canadian workforce and those about to enter it.
The Term Automation Has Taken on New Meaning
Ten years ago, automation meant humans being replaced by robots. We’ve already dealt with the impact of these machines in manufacturing plants. We can expect 20 million jobs to be lost to robots by 2030.
The next incarnation of automation involves artificial intelligence, rather than rows of machines. We’re now facing smart algorithms that can speed through swathes of data in seconds.
We’ve developed smart risk engines to replace the drudgery of many back-office functions. Not only will machines take away repetitive manufacturing jobs, but they’ll also take away some office work.
How Will We Cope?
With millions of fresh-faced graduates facing the prospect of losing entry-level jobs to artificial intelligence, the situation seems grim.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Machines aren’t quite able to replace humans entirely yet. According to Statista , 80% of people surveyed in 2017 preferred to speak to a human over a chatbot.
Human skills like analytical thinking, perceptiveness, complex problem solving, and listening are all still in high demand. Then there are also practical considerations to think about. Say, for example, that you order a pizza. The robotic team at the pizza place makes it and places it into the car. The car drives to your door.
Here’s where the dilemma comes in. Does the consumer come and fetch their pizza? How can the car be sure that it’s the right person? Who’s to say that the person won’t try to steal other pizzas while the hatch is open? We’ve stuck with this ridiculous example to highlight that there are many facets to consider. Now, taking things a little further using the same pizza reference.
The robotic pizza maker, oven, or car breaks down. We’ll need a team of humans to maintain and fix them. A human will have to oversee food quality and make critical decisions about using food before it goes off. The machine might not be able to say, “I’ve got too many mushrooms, I better use them quickly.” A human manager would, however, work out discounts on mushroom pizzas to get them moving.
Another consideration is that the new fleet of robotics and software requires people to develop, understand, and maintain it. The new world brings greater connectivity with many AI engines operating from cloud-based servers. These SaaS products are useful to consumers and allow them to save much money.
They do bring unique cybersecurity challenges, however. According to the New York Times , we’ll have an additional 3.5 million jobs in the cybersecurity field to fill. The upshot is that automation may create more jobs than it takes away. The problem for us is that we may be ill-equipped for the change
Skills to Develop
Fortunately, it’s never too late to start. Learn as much as you can today in the following areas:
● Critical problem solving
● Good judgment
● Coding and technology
● Computer literacy
It’s essential to understand that we’re always developing new technology. Artificial intelligence is growing more capable by the day. But much like with the Industrial Revolution, machines won’t leave humans obsolete.
Until a machine can replicate a human being exactly, we’re still useful. The human brain is complex and challenging to replicate. Will we see a device able to think and reason as we do? Probably not in our lifetimes. Will we see the job landscape change significantly? Most certainly. We’ll see a drop in entry-level jobs like data capturing because machines can easily do these.
The upside is that with increasing automation, consumers will miss the human touch. A self-checkout cashpoint is convenient, but there’s no interaction with a cashier to build brand loyalty. So, while we’ll undoubtedly see more automated functions coming to the fore, we’ll also see companies trying to maintain the human touch. Those of us who can adapt and learn new skills will be ready for the changeover when it happens.
There’s no question that the job market is changing at a fast pace. It’s not the first time in history that it has done so, and it won’t be the last. To survive the change and come out on top, people will need to audit their skillset objectively.
If they need to learn new skills, now’s the time to start. Those that adapt early on will feel less of the impact of change. They may even benefit from it because they’re the only ones ready for it. So, Canada, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start brushing up on the skills that no computer can ever replace.
Helping Businesses Get Online Exposure in a Less Stressful Yet Highly Profitable Way.
How customers shop and interact with businesses has shifted to the virtual world. Local businesses are at risk of not continuing to provide products or services in their communities. Without local businesses, our economy will not survive, our communities will not be the same, and our culture will be different. Local businesses increase the level of taxation, fund local charities, fund Fire Department causes, among others. These are places customers used to visit freely and connect with each other.
However, due to COVID19, customer shopping behavior has shifted to the virtual world. Based on several surveys, it appears most customers prefer the new way of shopping. In the comfort of their homes, or anywhere they wish, since they are always glued to their mobile devices. Due to the high online shopping demand, local businesses are forced to figure out ways to move their products or services online to survive, meet their customer needs, and grow their businesses.
For most local businesses, to stay competitive in the new virtual world and navigating the online world takes a lot of work and can be confusing at times. Additionally, to create online awareness of their products or services is also proving to be difficult. The competition is stiff because so many businesses are moving to the online marketplace. Having an online presence that connects the right customer to the right business is crucial at this time.
It may make or break the business Our service was born out of the needs we heard from many business owners. We use our connections, special deals, and strategies with major media sites to help businesses get seen and get new clients in a less stressful yet potentially highly profitable way.
We help you to reach your best clients by crafting meaningful hyper-local ads and media coverage. If there’s a service you offer in a specific location neighborhood, or region, we will help you get seen. In support of our local businesses, in addition to the media coverage service, businesses will receive a FREE Snapshot report .
This report identifies services or products you should be visible for, provides your current visibility and level of competition, compares your visibility across your location or region you serve, identifies quick wins for new customers, among other items. This offer is good through September 30th, 2020. Additionally, businesses will also get a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For more information on our services, visit our website.
You can also book a call and speak to us personally, we would love to hear from you – Book A Call
Sher Vancouver launches its one of a kind Pink Directory!
Surrey, British Columbia – Sher Vancouver has released the inaugural edition of Sher’s Pink Directory. This directory lists organizations that directly fund and support the 2SLGBTQ+ community of Metro Vancouver.
The directory was compiled by UBC law student Janice Lu who was hired by Sher Vancouver as an intern to complete this valuable community project. This directory is being made available free of charge to the general public and local 2SLGBTQ+ organizations. You can download a copy from the official Sher Vancouver website at:
The directory has approximately 60 listings and is divided into the following sections:
- Charities and Foundations
- Scholarships and Awards
- Other Funders
- Non-Financial Support
Sher’s Pink Directory will enhance the ability of local 2SLGBTQ + organizations to access the support and financial assistance they need to better support the 2SLGBTQ + community.
The 2SLGBTQ + community continuously experiences hardship and adversity. Sher Vancouver Founder, Alex Sangha, points out that a major issue 2SLGBTQ + organizations face is difficulty obtaining financial support to sustain programs and services. This leads to limited support and resources for fellow members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community – many of whom are very vulnerable, marginalized, and alienated and in critical need.
Sher’s Pink Directory is one small step towards filling this funding gap. If you would like your organization to be included in the next edition of Sher’s Pink Directory please email email@example.com.
Sher’s Pink Directory is designed by local Vancouver graphic designer, Jaskamal Singh. Her website is: www.designsbyjaskamal.com
Sher’s Pink Directory is part of a three-part series designed to provide information to the 2SLGBTQ + community. This three-part series project consists of:
1. Legal Resources Kit
Legal Resource Kit consists of three documents:
- LGBTQ + Friendly Lawyer Referrals
- Information Regarding Human Rights
- Safe Countries for LGBTQ + Travellers
2. Queersome Desi
Resources (South Asian Queer Resources from around the world)
3. Sher’s Pink
Directory (Organizations that fund and support the 2SLGBTQ + community in Metro Vancouver)
The resources are available for free download for everyone on the Sher Vancouver website under RESOURCES at the following link: www.designsbyjaskamal.com
Directory is also attached for your convenience , View pdf file.
SellOffVacations Announces the Reopening of its Retail Stores Across Canada
Following months of closures due to the effects of COVID-19, SellOffVacations has announced that its retail stores will be reopening their doors on Monday, September 14. With 30 locations from coast to coast, the travel experts at SellOffVacations are looking forward to welcoming back customers and helping them plan their highly-anticipated future getaways.
“We’re excited to be reopening our doors in communities all across Canada,” said Stuart Morris, General Manager, Retail, for SellOffVacations. “For over three decades, we have been providing expert travel advice in local communities from coast to coast. Over the last month, our agents have called and spoken to thousands of clients and we know that people are eager to talk about travel. With our stores reopening, our travel experts are looking forward to continuing these conversations, helping customers plan future getaways, and answering any questions they may have in these uncertain times.”
Numerous health and safety protocols have been put in place at each retail store to ensure the safety of both customers and employees. New measures include enhanced sanitation protocols, frequent disinfection of high-touch surfaces, plastic barriers between desks, use of masks according to local bylaws and regulations, physical distancing reminders throughout the store, and a maximum store capacity of six customers to help promote physical distancing.
Contactless methods of communication are also available so that customers have the option to meet with their travel agent over the phone, email, or video conferencing.
To help Canadians plan their return to travel, SellOffVacations is offering customers incredible offers with a variety of vacation options – including hundreds of free upgrades. Whether travellers want to plan an adventure in Canada, a sunny escape to the Caribbean, or a European river cruise, SellOffVacations’ travel experts can help them plan a safe and unforgettable vacation.
SellOffVacations has been providing affordable travel services to Canadians for over 30 years. Established in 1979, SellOffVacations helps tens of thousands of Canadians book their dream getaway every year. SellOffVacations has stores from St John’s to Victoria, with dedicated travel experts available to help customers book getaways in person, online, or over the phone. Preferred partnerships with major travel providers allow SellOffVacations to offer Canadians discount flights, vacation packages, cruises, coach tours, hotels, car rentals, and more in destinations all around the world.
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