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A quality first impression can make the difference between being a successful business person and being business person who isn’t in business for too long. It isn’t fair that people form an instant impression of us before taking the time to get to know us – but it is what humans do. People do it to us and we do it to others.

If you have a potential new client and need to make a grand first impression, here are steps you can take:

Look professional

In continuation of my earlier blog on “How to protect your business from fake trademark infringement and “domain slamming” scams,” below are some key suggestions:

How to protect yourself

If you don’t recognize the sender, then most likely the notice you have received is a scam to entice you into buying domain names through them. Run a search on the company and determine if it even exists, but don’t click on the links in their email.

At least once a week, I get an email from a friend, associate or fellow business owner asking me whether the email they just received is legitimate. Mainly originating from China, this scam involves sending domain owners an email claiming that another company has attempted to register domains containing the targeted company’s trademarks.

You’ve likely seen this email:

“Dear Manager, (If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward this to your CEO, Thanks)

Exporting is smart marketing. As a small business owner, you might think that exporting is only for big businesses. Difference in language and culture might also deter you from exploring new areas. Here is an interesting fact - 84 per cent of British Columbia exporters are companies which have less than 50 employees. Though United States receives the bulk of Canadian exports, emerging markets in Asia offer immense business growth opportunities.

Diversifying your market will boost your business strength. Here are four reasons to get into the overseas market:

Going beyond Canadian borders is a smart strategy. There are many opportunities for certified Canadian Woman Business Owners, or, WBE (pronounced Wee-Bee) within the US – our largest trading partner.

However, there are also opportunities elsewhere in the world that are supported by WeConnect International, a global nonprofit that facilitates opportunities for women owned businesses globally.

People with a great idea for a business often turn to a business plan as a logical next step for getting from 'idea' to 'open'. But a business plan isn't a solution on its own; in fact, there are many questions you will want to answer before you embark on the sometimes onerous task of business plan writing. So how do you know when it's time to get to work on that plan? Here are a few indicators:

1.You have a clear vision of where you see your company in five years.