Monday, April 26, 2010

PeerFX Power Tuesdays - May 4th!

We're starting a webinar series sharing knowledge for small and medium sized business owners and key management personnel.  Our range of topics run from recruiting the right people, managing your finances, online marketing and more - everything you need to know if you plan on getting your hands dirty and getting things done for your business.

Our first session is set for May 4th (Tuesday) and will be hosted by Raymond To, Founder and Managing Partner at Go Recruitment.  Raymond has specialized in IT recruitment for the past 18 years and was one of Business in Vancouver's Top 40 Under 40.  His company has sustained a high retention rate for all of their clients and Raymond is looking to share some key points on how you can attract, engage, manage and motivate your employees.  Join us at 11am on May 4th for this half hour session and register for it by emailing today!

2 Cent Ideas can Boost Business Performance

I've started reading the new book by Tom Peters called The Little Big Things.  In the first couple pages he mentions that little things that cost you 2 cents can be worth much more to your business.  Such as candy on the counter top of your receptionist's desk.

Yesterday I saw my own version of this.  I went for a quick lunch at a Chinese restaurant that served value lunch meals so the price point matched with the quality of the food they served.  I ordered and had to go to the restroom; I noticed one distinctive difference that was out of place for the restaurant in the restroom - they had three-ply tissue rolls in there.  THREE.  When other restaurants with the same package of benefits (price, promo, place and product) were offering their customers one-ply tissue, here they were giving us three-ply.  Seems like a very, very small thing that they could have gotten away with.  They chose to offer something slightly better and I'm sure it does not go unnoticed every time a customer goes to their restroom.

Interesting to actually see the concept at work.  Small ideas can make your business stand out and even retain or attract new customers.  Have you seen any 2 cent ideas in action? 
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Are you an Expense or an Income Stream?

When a business is in its early stages of growth, I say that we should spend our resources focusing on generating MORE money inflow for the business. 

What this means is we shouldn't be spending money on things that are an expense not directly related to generating more sales. Expenses related to generating more sales are salespeople, client lists, marketing efforts, etc.

Expenses that add no value right now include: redesigning your business cards just because, adding/fixing minor details on your system/software that you can do without and are nice to haves, hiring on more developers than you need, hiring more of anything that you don't need...the list goes on.

So when we have consultants or other service providers approaching us to sell us stuff, the first thing I ask is whether they are an expense or an income stream for my business.  Usually its the former, and I send them on their way. 

I'm also constantly surprised by the quality of work provided by tech developers and designers.  I say I'm surprised because sometimes a really good one goes for cheap (ie.$40 or $50 an hour) and then you find one that really sucks and they are charging $80 an hour.  Yet there's still a market for them.  Totally got sidetracked there.

Point is, in an early growth phase I am only interested in growing sales.  What things do you worry about as a start up owner?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Leader Who Had No Title Book Review

I did promise that I would summarize the book by Robin Sharma, but I also found myself literally 3/4 of the way through the book and despite my commitment to finishing the book, I didn't.  I wasn't about to put myself through another 1/4 of the same theme and message which Robin already made blindingly clear in the first 3/4 of the book. 

Here's my 2 cents on what I think the book wanted me to take away: Don't mind the title, just concentrate on being the best in the world for your position, and your life will change drastically with this minor change in your mindset.  Set a good example to show others that greatness can be achieved in every role in this world, no role is too small to make a difference. 

I know 2 sentences makes it seem like I'm downplaying a lot of the content in the book, and maybe some of you have already read and the book and can contribute to this post by adding your thoughts in the comments section. 
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Using FREE to Market Your Business

I think most people have heard of Seth Godin and maybe most of you have seen/heard/read the book Free Prize Inside!  written by Seth.  We are aware of these marketing tactics and Seth does a good job of bringing it to top of mind, so that we remember that "oh hey, this worked on ME before, so I should try out this tactic for my own business."
Soon enough there were a ton of different businesses trying this tactic.  Free trial, samples, sign-up, giveaways, etc.  You've probably been suckered into this yourself a couple times. 
Today I was on LinkedIn checking out one of the groups that I had joined for Treasury Management and noticed that a lot of people postings were for these free ebooks.  The thing is there was less than 5 views for most of these postings and even fewer downloads. 
What does this mean?  That everybody has caught on to this trend of handing out FREE stuff, and this has caused a huge backlog of FREE stuff that customers/consumers have to absorb/read/take their pick. 
So many things are FREE right now that after narrowing down from the original list of product/service offerings, a customer then has to filter out all the FREE stuff.  Decisions, decisions. 

I don't have an answer that solves this issue but it's something to think about; if you have any suggestions please leave a comment on this post!

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

"I Want to Pick Your Brain..."

and do what?  I'm sure other entrepreneurs who have been building their businesses for a while now and those who are already successful have been approached by an email that involves the words "I want to pick your brain..."

Most of the time I'm left wondering...where does this person think I can help him?  Usually these emails do not clarify what it is that the person is actually looking for.  A complete request would be: "I want to pick your brain because I am trying to build my own retail business." or something like that.  In this case, I would be able to say that "My apologies Sarah/Jack/Jim/Ben (whatever their name is), my background isn't in that area and I wouldn't be providing enough value add if we were to meet."

So, help us out by clearly stating what it is that you want, because maybe we can point you in the right direction even though we can't help you ourselves.  Saying "I just want to pick your brain." isn't even a complete sentence unless you tell me what it is you want to pick my brain about. 

That's my weekend rant :)
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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

PeerFX Financing Round

This will be our first round and we are looking at selling common shares for private investors. We do have committed individuals that have started the round and for anyone interested you can contact us at to get more information on the round - cost per share, number of shares available, etc.

So what are our stats?
  • To date we have built our monthly transaction volume from $5000 to $600,000 per month
  • We have saved our customers over $40,000 in transaction fees on currency exchange
  • On average, a customer transacting $30,000 with PeerFX saves $500 to $800 in exchange fees
  • We have signed partnerships with Tech associations, Manitoba Chambers of Commerce - more to come on this front in the upcoming months
  • We have relevant experience on the team, past CIO and Director of Sales from Custom House, a dominant player in the forex industry which sold to Western Union for $374 million
  • We have a low fixed cost, high margin business model that needs additional funds to scale our business.
These are the highlights and for those who are interested, or know someone who is interested, please contact us at

We aim to close our round end of April and look forward to hearing from you soon.

PeerFX Team

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