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Trucker-tech company BigRoad acquired by Fleet Complete of Toronto

BigRoad, a Waterloo Region startup whose technology modernized the way truckers log their hours and other data, has been acquired by Fleet Complete, a Toronto-based provider of fleet-tracking services.
Details of the acquisition have not been disclosed, but “this partnership will enable Fleet Complete to offer the industry’s best electronic logging device (ELD) compliance platform in North America,” the Toronto company said in a news release.
BigRoad, founded in 2011 and initially housed in Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre, has helped move the massive trucking industry out of the paper era and into the digital realm with its software applications. Its smartphone app, downloaded more than 300,000 times, enables truckers to easily record data on their hours of service, fuel purchases, maintenance and other key activities, and share it with their fleet administrators.
“We are very excited about this acquisition,” Jake McGuire, BigRoad’s Vice-President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Success, said in the release. “BigRoad is an established leader in the HOS (hours of service) and ELD compliance space and now, supported by the Fleet Complete IoT (Internet of Things) platform, I am confident we will continue to exceed customer expectations by providing the best ELD and connected vehicle solution on the market.”
Fleet Complete, founded in

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Give Your Clients White Glove Service: How to Build Customer Loyalty After the First Sale

As a small business owner, finding clients is one of your strongest suits—you’re a natural at turning potential clients into sales. But, your job isn’t over after the first sale. Now, you need to enhance your relationship with each client and find a way to build customer loyalty. Use these tactics after each initial project […]
The post Give Your Clients White Glove Service: How to Build Customer Loyalty After the First Sale appeared first on FreshBooks Blog – Tips & Tricks for Small Business Owners.

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Budget 2017: Waterloo Region rises to Smart Cities Challenge

Less than 24 hours after Finance Minister Bill Morneau had unveiled his second federal budget, Kurtis McBride was already taking and making calls to help position Waterloo Region as a beneficiary of one of its key initiatives — the Smart Cities Challenge.
McBride is the CEO of Miovision, a traffic data and infrastructure company that helps cities improve their traffic management. He’s also one of the driving forces behind Catalyst137, a former tire and footwear warehouse in Kitchener that is being repurposed into a 475,000-square-foot facility to house the manufacturing of smart devices connected to the Internet of Things.
McBride believes the Smart Cities Challenge, a $300-million program — a contest, in effect — designed to spur municipalities to implement a smart-cities strategy, is tailor-made for a region like Waterloo, and has begun the process of contacting and assembling various local stakeholders to build an application designed to do one thing: Win.
“I would love to see the region, the municipalities, the [economic development] groups, incubators and a lot of the smart-city companies – Alert Labs, Miovision, FleetCarma and others – I’d love to see a proposal go in that basically says: ‘We’re going to turn [this] region into a world-class, world-leading example of a smart

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Infographic: A Look at the Self-Employed Workday: Has the New Economy Killed the 9–5?

Say hello to the new economy: A place where mobility and flexibility are openly embraced at work. It’s during this time that we see self-employment on the rise and the consequent changes reflected in work habits and style. In the US, more than a fourth of people identify as part of the gig economy, powered […]
The post Infographic: A Look at the Self-Employed Workday: Has the New Economy Killed the 9–5? appeared first on FreshBooks Blog – Tips & Tricks for Small Business Owners.

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Why Your Small Business Should Start a Podcast – and How to Do it Right

Do you have a favorite podcast? If you’re like the estimated 57 million Americans who regularly listened to podcasts in 2016 alone, you probably have a few. The medium has exploded in popularity in recent years—and is on track to continue to rise. It’s not surprising that some savvy business owners are using podcasts to […]
The post Why Your Small Business Should Start a Podcast – and How to Do it Right appeared first on FreshBooks Blog – Tips & Tricks for Small Business Owners.

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Facebook: Your startup is probably doing it wrong

If you didn’t already know, Facebook is pretty much considered a diamond in the rough of the world that is social media. In Q4 of 2016, Facebook reported an active user base of 1.6B accounts (that’s a lot of memes). So do you start when your company is only a couple of months old with a tiny budget and a ton of social media channels to invest in?
When it comes to social media, most businesses (especially the small ones) think of Facebook. And rightfully so. Yet, most startups struggle to use Facebook to its full advantage. In this post we’ll go over what and how to post on Facebook.

This will be a long one, so buckle in!

Which type of startups can Facebook help?

If you’re a B2C startup where your customers use Facebook as their preferred social network (e.g., e-commerce sites, lifestyle products, etc.), then Facebook is the place for you. If you’re a B2B startup, Facebook isn’t going to be the place you magically rake in those new leads. Simply put, Facebook is casual. The purchase intent would (in most cases) be a lot lower since it’s an important business decision. Does that mean you shouldn’t have a Facebook page? Although some B2B startups may disagree, I would still recommend having a Facebook presence because without it your startup will lose the edge in many instances (searchability on Google, advertising, check-ins… the list goes on).

The major challenges you’ll face on Facebook

First, let’s talk about theFacebook Edgerank Algorithm which drastically affects your posts’ visibility (super serious).

Ever wonder why your Facebook post reach is going down even though you publish top-notch content? Blame the Edgerank algorithm. Facebook only shows customized content to people even when they’ve liked your page.

Users that don’t engage will never see your new status updates

That’s thanks to the millions of Facebook pages also fighting for attention. Think of it like babysitting 1.6B 10 year olds (it’s okay, we’re just pretending.) Mark Zuckerberg knows this and introduced Edgerank to make sure that people only see content they care about ( they also need to make money by encouraging companies to invest in ads and increase reach, but that’s neither here nor there).

So the major challenges your startup might face may include:

  • Declining post reach because of the new algorithm (don’t get surprised if only 5% of followers see your post)
  • Confusion in understanding which type of content/posts work best for you and at what time.

Post reach

This problem can be solved if more people interact with your posts (duh). Here is how to do it.

Show what’s happening inside and hear people out
Promoting transparency and openness always sends a positive message and helps people connect with your company on a deeper level. This also gives people a chance to tell what they think of your company (yay, free user feedback.) Johnny Cupcakes is a great example.

Post at non-peak times
Since everyone is trying to publish at the same time (say 6 p.m.), try posting at a non-peak time. That way you’re competing with fewer accounts for attention. You can check the peak and nonpeak times in your Facebook Insights. I find that 11:43 a.m., 3:24 p.m., and 8:54 p.m. work great for DMZ accounts (this won’t be the same for you.)Overall industry stats show that the best time to post is between 1 and 3 pm and Thursday’s, Friday’s and Sunday’s see the most engagement.

Use more of pictures and videos
Various ‘studies’ have shown that pictures, video and live posts have higher weightage than status updates and links.

Content

Evidence shows that picture, video and live posts perform 43% better than any other posts. The optimum resolution for pictures is 940 px * 2048 px. Topical articles (good or bad) always perform better, so check what’s trending on Facebook (fake news… what fake news?) Also, posts that are optimized with Open Graph perform 64% better (more in the final tips section)

Final tips

Your content is great, your page is on fire and you’re getting leads like it’s Christmas morning. Before you celebrate, here are a few tips on adding that final touch to make sure you don’t look amateur.

Open graph

When you add a link to Facebook, it auto generates a preview at the bottom of your post. When this happens you’re free to delete the link from your post (neat, eh!) From here you can change the article title, description and even add in your own picture. You know your audience best, so take the time to customize each post to better engage and attract them.

Hashtags DON’T always work

I get it, you love hashtags. Your team just scored a large lump sum of funding and you want to let everyone in the world know. Considering what we discussed above (the Facebook Edgerank Algorithm), users aren’t actually going out there and looking for hashtags on Facebook. One hashtag is enough, but treat your business page in this case like your personal one. You’re having a one-on-one conversation with each user. Studies show that posts without hashtags (formatted properly) will do 7% better than ones with. Something is better than nothing.

Calm down, someone’s already beat you to the punch

Facebook isn’t like any other platform. You shouldn’t be posting six times a day (or everyday for that matter). Of course this all depends on your industry, audience and type of content, but Facebook is the most used platform out there. Users will usually have 20 minute sessions on the platform, 6-10 times a day. So if you’re posting too often, you’re spamming. Listen to your audience and track what posts do better on what day and time. Rinse and repeat from then on.

Key terms

Impression: How many times your post was seen.

Reach: How many individual accounts/people your post made it to.

Likes: ‘I agree with what you shared so I’m going to like this post’

Shares: ‘I super agree with what you shared! My friends need to see this’

Comments: ‘Great picture, Sheila!’

Conclusion

Knowing when, how and what to do with Facebook can be tough. But if done properly, the returns are well worth it. Some B2C companies out there understand this and sell more inventory through Facebook than on their website. Listen, learn and adapt. The right content strategy and approach can save you a lot of time, money and worry.

Next up, Snapchat!

The post Facebook: Your startup is probably doing it wrong appeared first on The DMZ.

Originally Published by Ryerson DMZ

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In Position: CETA has potential to be major opportunity for Canada

By Paul Moan and John Whitehead
Canada’s relationship with its single largest trading partner, the United States, has, in the course of a very few months, become the focus of significant attention at the most senior levels of government, both in Canada and in the U.S. Anyone who has glanced at a newspaper or caught the evening news lately knows that U.S. President Donald Trump is taking a hard look at the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Nobody is quite certain what the U.S. goals are for a revised trade relationship with Canada, or how they will be achieved, but it is clear that revisions seem destined to come and they could well reflect a more protectionist mood in the U.S.
Against the potentially risky NAFTA backdrop, a bold new Canadian trade agreement is just now coming into view. CETA, the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, has not captured a lot of time in the limelight but it holds the potential to be just as significant as NAFTA. Negotiations on this agreement began in 2009. It has been a long time coming but the legal steps necessary to give force and effect to the agreement

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In Position: CETA has potential to be major opportunity for Canada

By Paul Moan and John Whitehead
Canada’s relationship with its single largest trading partner, the United States, has, in the course of a very few months, become the focus of significant attention at the most senior levels of government, both in Canada and in the U.S. Anyone who has glanced at a newspaper or caught the evening news lately knows that U.S. President Donald Trump is taking a hard look at the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Nobody is quite certain what the U.S. goals are for a revised trade relationship with Canada, or how they will be achieved, but it is clear that revisions seem destined to come and they could well reflect a more protectionist mood in the U.S.
Against the potentially risky NAFTA backdrop, a bold new Canadian trade agreement is just now coming into view. CETA, the Comprehensive and Economic Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, has not captured a lot of time in the limelight but it holds the potential to be just as significant as NAFTA. Negotiations on this agreement began in 2009. It has been a long time coming but the legal steps necessary to give force and effect to the agreement

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Study: US Self-Employed Professionals and Small Business Owners Embrace Career Independence

Today, FreshBooks released a new study that highlights the opportunities needed to better understand and serve self-employed professionals and small business owners in the U.S. Several months ago, we set out to validate and inform our primary insight about the market: A majority of today’s products and services are not built for self-employed professionals and small business […]
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These two Bay Area NHLers remain Waterloo Region’s biggest boosters

SAN JOSE, Calif.
Pete DeBoer and Steve Spott aren’t the first Waterloo Region residents to have left home in order to chase the dream in Silicon Valley, and they certainly won’t be the last.
But professional obligations are professional obligations.
DeBoer is the head coach of the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and Spott is his assistant. Both, at one time, served as the head coach of the Ontario Hockey League’s Kitchener Rangers. Both say that while their professional lives are now intricately connected to the Bay Area, they’ve left a big part of their hearts in Waterloo Region — forever entwined with the tri-city area by the relationships they formed and the memories they retain.
And they strongly believe any Canadians involved in the tech industry in the Valley can’t go wrong by resettling in the ’Loo.
“I think anybody who takes a job wants to be in a place where their family is going to be happy,” said DeBoer. “I have no doubt that if you plant roots in Kitchener-Waterloo, you’re going to have a great family experience, from your kids’ school and sports, to family values, to the fact you can be in the country in five minutes and still have all the amenities

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