Empty offices, crowded airports and (at least in some parts of the country) snow on the ground—the new year is clearly almost here. So now seems as good a time as any to reflect on the year that was.
At PROFITguide and Canadian Business, we did a little reflection of our own, pulling together 18 of the biggest (and best) business ideas of 2015, with sharp insights from the business world’s hottest startups, boldest thinkers and top bosses.
But we also want to acknowledge the wisdom of an inspiring and dedicated crowd—you. Excluding our rankings (PROFIT 500, W100, Best Places for Business, and Best Employers), here are the 10 stories that were most popular with PROFITguide’s audience of entrepreneurs and business owners.
What to Pay a New Sales Hire
Money matters, whether you’re hiring a young graduate or a star performer. Sales Talent Agency co-founders Sonya Meloff and Jamie Scarborough break down what different types of sales recruits expect in a compensation package, and how much you really need to offer to add them to your team
The First Cost You Should Cut
Finding efficiencies is a good way to goose your profits and stay prepared in case of hard times. The PROFITguide Advisory Board—a panel of entrepreneurs and experts with experience in a variety of industries and ventures—share some basic ways to stay lean, and identify the best and worst places to look for savings
The Definitive Ranking of Dragons’ Den Stars
What makes a good Dragon? Manjit Minhas says it comes down to honesty: “I’m fast at cutting through the BS—it’s my personality.” We agree, but we also think it takes Bay Street cred, a willingness to deal and more than a little screen charisma. Our (entirely subjective) ranking of all 14 Dragons past and present.
5 Things to Watch Out for in a Vendor Agreement
Securing a purchasing order from a huge retailer is a big win. But the terms of the arrangement may actually prevent you from financing and factoring it. FundThrough and Zillidy founder Steven Uster identifies five key issues you need to understand before signing on with a big-box client
How the Tough New Dragon on Dragons’ Den Built Her Booming Business
Former PROFIT W100 winner Manjit Minhas may run a huge brewery and distillery headquartered in Alberta, but she and her company aren’t widely known—yet. Thanks to a starring role in Season 10 of the hit CBC show for entrepreneurs, she’s about to get a big dose of visibility
Why You Can’t Find Young People to Fill Sales Positions
The cultural baggage associated with sales puts off many millennials. Two successful entrepreneurs offer their suggestions for how to correct the negative reputation of the profession, and outline ways to encourage the best and brightest to work in this vital business function
What Your Employees Aren’t Telling You
Listening is supposed to be a vital management skill. But a study from corporate training and organizational firm VitalSmarts suggests that most staff have at least one workplace grievance they haven’t voiced. Why they’re keeping their problems to themselves, and how to get them to talk
The Best Way to Manage an Underperforming Employee
Some bosses seem to believe that being hard to please produces better results, but your worst workers are often the ones most in need of a little praise. Sarah Treleavan makes the case that overrating members of your team who aren’t meeting your expectations may actually help them improve
The Most Valuable Habit of Successful Entrepreneurs
Delegation isn’t something that comes naturally to most business owners and founders. Deborah Aarts examines the reasons for their reluctance, and explains why entrepreneurs must learn to rely on the people around them instead of attempting to do everything by themselves
Why Milton, Ont. is Canada’s Best Place for Business in 2015
For our first annual ranking of Canada’s Best Places for Business, we surveyed 50 of the country’s largest municipalities to find the ones with burgeoning markets, the lowest costs and the most amenable tax and regulatory regimes. Here’s what put this GTA town in the top spot