Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Accord Québec-Ontario sur le commerce et l'économie

Améliorer l’ensemble de l’activité économique dans les deux provinces, en éliminant les obstacles qui subsistent à leurs échanges commerciaux et à la mobilité de la main-d’œuvre tout en renforçant leur coopération économique.

Le Québec et l’Ontario s’inscrivent comme des acteurs économiques de premier plan.

Plus des trois quarts des achats de services à l’extérieur du Québec sont faits en Ontario. Et près de 50 % des achats de services de l’Ontario sont faits au Québec.

Le Québec et l’Ontario constituent le centre de l’activité manufacturière au pays avec les trois quarts de la production. Ce secteur représente une importante part de leurs économies, soit 19 % du PIB.

La forte intégration économique du Québec et de l’Ontario constitue l’un des éléments de la stratégie d’affaires de plusieurs entreprises.

Même si l’intégration est déjà une réalité pour certains secteurs et entreprises, des obstacles subsistent.

Le Québec et l’Ontario doivent travailler à réduire ces obstacles dans l’intérêt de leurs économies respectives.

Le 26 novembre 2007, les premiers ministres du Québec et de l’Ontario ont convenu de conclure un accord économique et commercial d’envergure entre les deux provinces, avant la fin de l’année 2008.

À cette occasion, ils ont signé une « Déclaration conjointe du gouvernement de l’Ontario et du gouvernement du Québec relative à la négociation d’un Accord visant à renforcer l’Espace économique Québec-Ontario ».

Il existe déjà trois ententes entre le Québec et l’Ontario : la première concerne la mobilité de la main-d’oeuvre (secteur de la construction), la deuxième porte sur les marchés publics et la troisième est une entente de coopération touchant une dizaine de secteurs.

Le projet
La portée projetée de l’accord sera importante. Ainsi, il conciliera le plus possible les pratiques et la réglementation et éliminera des barrières interprovinciales :

en matière de mobilité de la main-d’œuvre;
pour les achats des marchés publics;
dans les domaines du transport, de l’énergie et des services financiers;
et dans plusieurs autres secteurs.
L’accord comportera aussi un volet important sur la coopération économique et la réalisation de projets conjoints porteurs de retombées importantes pour les deux économies.

L’accord se fonde sur les ententes existantes en matière de commerce, de marchés publics et de mobilité de la main-d’œuvre, en leur donnant un cadre d’ensemble. Ainsi, nous avons déjà conclu, en juin 2006, une entente sur la mobilité des travailleurs de la construction.

L’accord permettra le maintien et le renforcement des politiques gouvernementales spécifiques du Québec dans des domaines comme:

la culture;
les normes du travail;
la santé;
le développement économique et régional;
la protection du consommateur.

Pour plus d'informations

Asia-Pacific Gateway

Canada's Asia Pacific Gateway is a burgeoning national strategy that is responding to the rise of Asian economies and the challenges and opportunities Asia now poses for Canada. The strategy provides a framework for policies, investments, and initiatives that seeks to make Canada the most competitive exit and entry point in North America for Asian and Canadian goods, services, and investment.

By maximizing Canada's strategic geographic location, as well as other natural advantages such as human and cultural linkages, the Asia Pacific Gateway will make Canada the gateway between North America and Asia for business, trade and investment, and even cultural exchange.

More information.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


If you had a free session with a business coach what questions would you be asking ? Your answers will help me to better serve my clients by better meeting their needs.

If you are on Facebook please join my Starting out in Business group.

Hypnotise your reader !

Joe Vitale suggests starting a post or sales letter using the pronoun "you" and making a statement that your readers already know to be true. This creates trust and a sense of comfort. Examples might be:

You probably already know...
You're smart enough to realize...
Of course you've heard that...
You might be one of those people intelligent to spot this...

In doing this you are creating rapport through your use of words. And rapport is essential for building trust and confidence. And that's essential for having any influence and impact over a reader's actions.

Generating Traffic

Here are three free ways to get traffic:

1) Post in forums, with a link to your site in your forum signature. That “sig” is likely to get you some click-through traffic, if what you say is compelling enough. (HINT: You could tell them about your free offer!)

2) Write short articles and publish them for free at sites like EzineArticles.com. You’ll put a link to your site in your author box at the end of the article, which most article sites encourage. You might say something like this:

3) Create what’s called a lens at Squidoo.com. That site lets you create your own page (they call it a lens), much like a blog. Then you can link to any other site you want. You could create a lens, describe your free offer, give people a link to your site and see your traffic soar.

All of those techniques will give you high-quality inbound links to your site, which will help you Google PageRank.

A side benefit of all of those strategies is that search engines like Google love sites with frequently changing content. Forums, article sites and especially Squidoo all fit the bill. Google loves them. So you’ll probably get an extra SEO boost for any keyword you put in your link text in your forum sig, your article author boxes, or your Squidoo links.

“Michael Rasmussen wrote this article. If you liked it, there’s more where that came from! Visit http://www.SomeSite.com to read more, and get a free list-building kit just for stopping by.”

Why listening to Twitter is good..

Here's the scoop - Facebook and Twitter are the best social networking sites for small businesses. As far as Facebook is concerned I am currently writing a paper on this which will soon be available to download from my website. But meanwhile, here's the deal on Twitter. Twitter enables you to observe your potential clients and associates - almost a legitimised eavesdropping - and we all know from our marketing courses that the more we can learn about our target clients then the easier it is to reach them and communicate with them in an appropriate way. Twitter enables trust to be built up - not overnight but over a period of time. And don't forget, Twitter is opt-in marketing.

Procrastination - is it an evil ?

There can be a whole bunch of reasons why you are procrastinating but before you force yourself to do something try to figure out why you are procrastinating.

Maybe you don't enjoy the task you have to do (tax returns, chasing a client for paymnet for example) perhaps you should find someone else to do it for you, then you can spend time growing your business or networking rather than stressing over something you hate doing. (I'm an accountant but I get someone else to do my tax returns - and then drive them nuts with all my questions !!)

Maybe the thing have to do is something you don't know how to do - so see if there is a suitable course or workshop running in your town or do some research on the internet - its amazing what you can learn via the internet. If you can afford to - outsource it !

Maybe you're procrastinating because you can't find the time, so draw up a list of things you have to do - assign priorities to them and then work your way down through the list. A little Excel spreadsheet is great for this - then whenever priorities change you can reassign, sort the list by priority and start working your way through the new list !

Start to watch yourself and see what tasks you are always deferring and then spend some time (maybe over a glass of wine) and figure out how you are going to either motivate yourself to get them done or delegate them. Sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and pay someone to do them.

I read somewhere once that if you don't like to do something "delete it, delegate it, or automate it." So play to your strengths, stick to the things you enjoy doing and are good at.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Biz Information at the British Library

With impartial information experts on hand to guide you, here is just a taste of some of the information available.

Online business information databases
Some 30 high-value subscription databases (which we make available for free) giving up-to-the minute company, business and industry information and financial news, such as Amadeus, Economist Intelligence Unit Viewswire, Euromonitor, Factiva, Fame, Financial Times, OneSource and the Complete Business Reference Adviser (COBRA).

Online intellectual property databases
Searchable databases listing patents, trade marks and registered designs, such as Derwent Innovations Index, Esp@cenet and Optics.

Market research reports
Hundreds of market research reports in hard copy and/or electronic format, such as Mintel, Datamonitor and Frost & Sullivan.

For company news, competitor information and industry trends.

UK and overseas directories giving company information on suppliers.

Industry Guides
Consult over 30 guides, compiled by the library's information specialists, detailing printed and internet sources. Use them to find sources of market and company information on your chosen industry sector.

If you cannot get to the Library, consider using their Research Service where you can pay one of their experts to search for you or you can use British Library Direct to search and order from a database of over 9 million articles.

Biz Courses at the British Library

The British Library, located between Euston and Kings Cross stations in London, runs a regular programme of workshops on business and intellectual property topics.

The workshops are generally aimed at a small business audience, last a few hours, and are either free or cost a few pounds. Since they can get crowded - advance booking is essential.

Topics have included Business Planning Toolbox workshop; Walk-in business surgery; Knowing your market; Researching a company; Access to finance; Search engine optimisation to name but a few of the varied subjects on offer.

Many past talks by inspirational entrepreneurs are available in the podcast area of the library's site.

The library holds a large collection of market research reports, fact sheets on starting different sorts of business, and a searchable database of patents. To use these you will need to get a reader pass, but this is free.

Researching for business - London

For those of you living in or near London (England) the City Business Library, located in the City of London near Moorgate, is the largest specialised public reference library in the country dedicated to practical business information. You can use it for free and there are no membership requirements.

The library runs regular 40-minute tours and longer two-hour workshops on how to find information - all of thse are free.

To book a place on any of these courses, telephone the City Business Library on 020 7332 1812 or email cbl@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Free (yes, free) books on business

Webooks has some fairly good books on starting a business and starting specific types of business.

The Courage to take the first step

Feeling nervous about starting a business ? I thought this list entitled: "The Key to Changing Course is to Start" was very apt. Aimed at people wanting to start their own business, it's just as applicable to anyone who wants to follow their dream, find their bliss.

1. Start where you are

2. Start hanging out with the right crowd

3. Start tuning into your gifts

4. Start listening more to yourself and less to others

5. Start letting go of the idea that everything has to be perfect

6. Start taking action

If we can help you get your business started visit our website and read more about our services.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Having a Bad Day ?

Here are a few suggestions for those of you who work from home on what to do when you are having a bad day:

Know when to stop. One bad thing seems to attract another and when you are feeling this way, it is far better to move away from what you are doing. Stop forcing yourself to follow up those phone calls, for example, when you are beginning to believe that you are only going to get "no's". Because that is exactly what you will get at that time.

Take a break. Go out for a walk, do some household chores, go out and buy a newspaper - it doesn't really matter what it is a long as you are able to distance yourself from the stuff that doesn't seem to be going your way.

Have a business buddy. A friend may not understand what you are going through if you phone up for a moan (and can quite often encourage you to moan even more if they are being sympathetic to your needs!) Having one or two business buddies - people you feel you can be honest with and yet can encourage each other to move forward with projects and ideas - can be a lifesaver on a bad day. Having someone who understands but keeps you on track with a little kick up the butt!

Play your favourite tune - playing your favourite upbeat music can lift your mood and make you feel motivated.

Make a daily list of achievements. Write down the 3 things you have been most proud of each day in a journal, diary or on your PC (or maybe even your blog). It could be as amazing as winning a huge contract or as small as making a call to someone you have been putting off for weeks. Whenever you feel like the business is against you, read through your lists and realise how much you have achieved already.

Remember that some days will always be bad days
. Not every day is going to be a great day. There will be days that clients cancel, work goes wrong. You can't control other people's (and technology!) actions. The one thing you can control is the way you deal with those actions when they happen.

These suggestions came from the Karen Skidmore Kick-Ass blog (I edited them a bit but I don't think she'll mind !).

I would also add - connect to someone else who works from home using Skype. You don't have to talk to each other, but its kind of like being in an office environment in that you hear papers being moved, the phone rings and so on. You can always hit mute when you don't want the other person to hear your phone conversation. My friend Florence and I passed many a compainable hour working on the lectures we were going to be giving to our students with Skype open and every now and then exchanging a few words - we reckoned we were a lot more productive.

Google Alert yourself !!

Ever wondered how some people find out where they have popped up and been mentioned on various blogs or websites?

Get yourself set up on Google Alerts so that anytime your name or the name of your company is mentioned on a site indexed by Google, you get an email straight to your inbox. Its free!

By the way, I found out about this via the Karen Skidmore Kick Ass Blog

Friday, April 18, 2008


I was at a soirée at the Château Versailles Hotel in Montreal this evening and got talking to someone about Hiroshima. We talked about the A building and how this contrasts with the bustle of the street; the Peace Garden and the museum. I will never forget seeing the model of Hiroshima before the bomb dropped and the model of Hiroshima afterwards. If only world leaders could be obliged to go to that museum they would perhaps conclude that war in general and nuclear weapons in particular need to become things of the past.

Facebook Group

I've started a new group on Facebook - Starting out in business. My plan is to put useful information there for people thinking about or starting up a business. Membership is open so feel free to join !

Using Ecademy to drive business to your website

Here are some ideas for driving visiters from your Ecademy profile to your website.

Update your status whenever you have the opportunity and include your web address. Click this link to see what I mean. Why is this a good idea ? Because Google spiders the status page and follows the link to your site.

In your profile, use your keyphrases to link to your website. Click this link to see the links I have set up at the beginning of my profile.Google spiders profiles so if your keyphrases point to relevant pages on your site this helps in your Google rankings.

If you post an ad in Marketplace use a keyword in your ad title and then repeat it in the test with a link to your website. Not only will this be picked up by Google but non-Ecademy members can find you.

These suggestions came from Nikki Pilkingtons Blog - 299 Steps to Website Heaven.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Broken Web Links

Broken links are a big problem where search engines are concerned.If you rename a page on your website or move it without updating the link or an external link no longer works this is not good.

You can check broken links by using the W3C link validation tool at http://validator.w3.org/checklink to check your site for broken links.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Check this link for great tips from Travis Greenlee on making Facebook work for your business.

Friday, April 4, 2008

My mum's book of poetry

... also proving its never too late for a lady to be published.

My mum's first collection of poetry was published in January. Its called A Drift of Petals and published by Redlader Publishing in Montreal.

Check it out !

If you are located in Canada it's available online at Indigo/Chapters or by special order from any Chapters or Indigo store and for those of you in Montreal the bookstore Nicholas Hoare (Greene Avenue in Westmount) is carrying copies of it.

Rules of engagement

Doing something for free (other than for a not for profit) has to bring a consultant/coach into contact with potential clients and provide great visibility for their business..... Just thought I'd mention this ......!

Twittering for bloggers

I just have to share this with you. Out there in the ether is a guy named Darren Rowse who generously shares on his blog (ProBlogger) how to make good use of Twitter to drive traffic to your blog.Click on link to go read this for yourself.

Happy twittering !