Category Archives: Online business resources

Do You Have One Major Client? Be Careful

Employee or Self-EmployedIf you have only one or two big clients you may have to prove to Revenue Canada that you are self-employed rather than an employee of your client.

You may consider yourself to be self-employed but you may find yourself having to convince Revenue Canada that this is the case according to the criteria they use to determine this. If you have a few minutes, it might be a good idea to review the“Employee or Self-Employed” article from the Canadian Revenue Agency which explains the criteria in detail.

According to the Revenue Canada website, some of the questions they will ask to determine this relationship are:

  • the level of control the payer has over the worker’s activities;
  • whether the worker provides the tools and equipment;
  • whether the worker can subcontract the work or hire assistants;
  • the degree of financial risk the worker takes;
  • the degree of responsibility for investment and management the worker holds;
  • the worker’s opportunity for profit; and
  • any other relevant factors, such as written contracts.

If they rule that you are an employee instead of self-employed, you will not be able to deduct business expenses. And your client may end up owing the government money for Canada Pension Plan (CPP) contributions, EI premiums, and income tax from remuneration or other amounts they pay to their employees.

However, if you are several clients, you have a better chance of being able to prove to the government that you are in fact, self-employed and not an employee.

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Free Business Resources through BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada)

English: The BDC (Business Development Bank of...

English: The BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) building Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Business Development Bank of Canada at www.bdc.ca has some excellent free resources on their website.

Find out up to date information on the current economies in Canada and the U.S. by subscribing to their free monthly economic letter (or you can go to their site and read them online without subscribing if you prefer).

As well,  if you are a small business owner, take some time to read through their “In Business” newsletters. You are bound to find something useful that can help you be successful in your business. And it’s free.

Their December 2012 Economic Letter provides an overview of both the Canadian and U. S. economies and where they are believed to be heading based on statistics.

For example, did you know:

  • The share of Canadian GDP claimed by exports fell from 44%
    in 2000 to 34% in 2011.

If you are wondering what is GDP which stands for Gross Domestic Product, Investopedia has an excellent definition and explains why it is a primary indicator of a country’s economy.

Some of the recent articles in their “In Business” newsletter are:

Presenting Your Business in 60 Seconds

10 tips for Attracting Customers with Great Online Content

8 tips for Avoiding Customer Service Disasters (In my estimation, this is a key one today, where good customer service is often lacking in many businesses.) Maybe it’s just my own opinion, but it seems that many young people entering the workforce don’t seem to know how to provide good customer service. How many times have you had to deal with a young person behind the counter who seems to be completely disinterested in you as a customer, unhelpful and disengaged? If you ask them a question, they seem to feel that you are being a nuisance, completely forgetting that the reason for their job is to be of assistance to you. A couple of the tips in this article that stood out were:

    1. Be sure your employees are well-versed in the basics including how to speak politely to customers and maintain their composure when dealing with complaints. Don’t assume good manners are common sense. Take the time to review etiquette with your team, starting with the need to say please and thank you during customer interactions.
    2. Create a list of offending phrases that employees should avoid at all costs. For example, “There’s nothing I can do,” and “It’s not my fault.” Give them more positive alternatives such as “I will do my best to get to the bottom of this,” or “I understand your frustration. I’m not able to help you, but I will speak to somebody who can.”

I have signed up for the BDC monthly newsletter “In Business” and received a free e-book on “Social Media: A Guide for Entrepreneurs”.

So take some time and read through some of their articles and check out their website.