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We've written some insightful, entertaining articles that span topics from support to design to content management and beyond!

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Since 2010, Kitchener Clean has been preferred by businesses in KW and Cambridge for our exemplary Office Cleaning. We have now expanded our services with our Ultimate Office Germ Protection Program and Ultimate Office Compost Program, which together we're calling Ultimate Office Care. Everyone deserves to love how their work environment looks and feels. Care For Your People. Care For Your Planet.


Kitchener Clean's Main Contact Person: Derrick Carroll, Founder and CEO


No. of Employees:

  • Full time - 2
  • Part time Support Team - 2
  • Office Care Team Members - 14

Established: 2010

Location: 237 Arnold Street, Unit 3, Kitchener N2H 6E8


Visit Kitchener Clean's website





Why did you choose REM?



REM is one of our Ultimate Office Cleaning Clients, and we have always had a great relationship. When it was time to look to revise our web site, as well as get back to SEO and Google AdWords, a chat with Rob let us know what a depth of expertise REM has developed over the last few years, and I realized that I could use one marketing partner for both the web site development as well as the SEO and Google Adwords.



What was it like working with REM?



It was very professional working with REM, through all of the stages of the development of our new web site, and now that we are live with our web site, the continuing support, when needed, has been excellent. They were able to "dumb it down" numerous times for me, to understand what was needed, and how we could work together to achieve my goals. Absolutely top-notch work! I would highly recommend them for any of the services that I've engaged them in, and am sure that, for the other services that they offer as well, they would be a great resource for any company.



Absolutely top-notch work! I would highly recommend them for any of the services that I've engaged them in...


-- Derrick Carroll



Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!


Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

Phone: 519.884.4111

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Support: [email protected]


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Having a website for a small-town business is crucial for promoting tourism, attracting new businesses, and providing valuable information to local customers.


However, designing a website for a small town can be challenging, as it requires a different approach than designing a website for a business in a large city.


In this blog post, we will discuss small-town business website design best practices that can help you create an effective and engaging website for your company. Let’s start by answering this important question we get asked all the time:


Do I even need a website if my customers are local?

Yes, a small-town business should have a website. A website serves as a digital storefront for businesses, and in today's digital age, it is essential for any business, regardless of its size or location. Here are some reasons why a website is important for small town businesses:


  • Online Presence: Having a website allows a small-town business to establish an online presence and reach potential customers beyond their local area. With a website, they can showcase their products or services, provide contact information, and make it easier for customers to find and learn about their business.

  • Credibility: A website can lend credibility to a small-town business. In today's digital age, many customers expect businesses to have a website. Without one, potential customers may perceive the business as less legitimate or less professional.

  • Marketing and Promotion: A website can be used as a marketing tool for small town businesses. They can use their website to promote their products or services, offer discounts or promotions, and showcase customer testimonials.

  • Customer Convenience: A website makes it more convenient for customers to interact with a small-town business. Customers can place orders or book appointments online, access business information from anywhere, and get in touch with the business through contact forms or email.

In summary, a website is important for small town businesses as it establishes an online presence, lends credibility, serves as a marketing tool, and makes it more convenient for customers to interact with the business.


A quick note on Local SEO

Having a professional website for your small-town business adds one other advantage: it helps with your Local SEO. Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is crucial for small town businesses because it allows them to be visible to potential customers who are searching for businesses in their local area.


With local SEO strategies in place, small town businesses can improve their online visibility, drive more traffic to their website, and ultimately increase their sales and revenue.


Search engines favour local companies in their search results. But you can’t take advantage of that favouritism if you don’t have a website. How does a search engine like Google know what town you’re in or what local areas you service if you don’t have a website?


Now you might be asking why Local SEO is important at all. Here are some specific reasons why local SEO is important for small town businesses:


  • Targeted Traffic: Local SEO helps small town businesses target their audience by optimizing their website and online presence for local keywords, phrases, and search terms. This ensures that when people search for products or services related to their business, their website will appear in the search results, resulting in more targeted traffic to their website.

  • Competitive Advantage: Local SEO can help small town businesses compete with larger businesses in nearby cities or towns. By optimizing their website for local search, they can attract customers who are specifically looking for businesses in their area, rather than competing with larger businesses for generic search terms.

  • Increased Visibility: Local SEO can increase a small-town business's visibility in search results, maps, and local directories. This can help them stand out from competitors and make it easier for potential customers to find them.

  • Improved Reputation: Local SEO can also improve a small-town business's reputation by increasing their online reviews and ratings. Positive reviews and ratings can help build trust with potential customers and encourage them to choose their business over competitors.

In short, local SEO is important for small town businesses because it helps them target their audience, compete with larger businesses, increase visibility, and improve their reputation.

Now that you understand why you need a website, and some of the marketing advantages it offers your company, let’s dive into the best practices for small-town business website design:


Website Design Best Practices for Small Towns

Most great website designs have certain key features. It’s become best practice for great web design companies, like REM, to include these features by default in all its small-town designs:


  1. Start with a Plan: Before we even begin the design process, it is essential to have a plan in place. Identify the purpose of your website, define your target audience, and establish your goals. Your website should be designed to meet the needs of your audience and align with your goals.

    Setup a time to talk with our Marketing Director if you need help defining your target audiences and setting up your marketing and sales goals.
  2. Keep it Simple: When designing a small-town website, it is important to keep it simple. Avoid clutter and prioritize the most important information on your homepage. Use a simple color scheme, clear typography, and consistent branding throughout your website.

    REM websites are expertly designed by our in-house designers. You’re not getting a cookie-cutter template. With REM you get a custom website that is specifically designed to help convert visitors into customers. We don’t let design clutter get in the way of communicating with potential sales leads.
  3. Be Mobile-Friendly: With the rise of mobile usage, it is essential to design your small-town website to be mobile-friendly. Use responsive design techniques to ensure your website adapts to different screen sizes and devices.

    All REM sites are mobile-friendly and will work well on almost any mainstream browser or device. This gives you access to the largest potential group of clients.
  4. Optimize for SEO: To make your website discoverable, it is important to optimize it for search engines. Use relevant keywords in your content and meta descriptions, ensure your website has a clear hierarchy, and use descriptive URLs.

    If SEO, or digital marketing in general, is a priority for your company, let your REM representative know right away. We can bring our marketing team in to consult on the design from the very beginning.

    By the time your site is done, it will not only be beautiful and easy-to-use, but it will also be setup perfectly to launch your online marketing campaigns.
  5. Provide Valuable Content: Your small-town website should provide valuable content to your audience. Showcase local attractions, events, and businesses to promote tourism and engage visitors.

    REM also offers content creation services as well as content marketing. If your staff are afraid to write online, or they consider writing to be a tedious task right up there with going to the dentist, then our team can help!
  6. Prioritize Accessibility: Your small-town website should be accessible to all users, regardless of their abilities. Use alt tags for images, ensure your website is navigable with a keyboard, and use high contrast colors for readability.

    REM websites come with accessibility basics included, but we can also upgrade your small business website design to be fully AODA compliant. If you are interested in a fully accessible site, just let your REM sales rep know.
  7. Incorporate social media: social media is an excellent tool for promoting your small town and engaging with visitors. Incorporate social media links and feeds on your website to encourage social sharing and interaction.
  8. Use Calls to Action (CTAs): Calls to action are an effective way to encourage visitors to act on your website. Use clear and concise language to guide visitors towards your desired actions, such as booking a hotel or visiting a local attraction.

    While we are on this topic, it’s also important that you work with other businesses in your area so that you can link to their websites for relevant services.

    For example, if you run a small-town yoga studio that is doing retreats, you should have links to local healthy-eating restaurants. Maybe a local store that sells yoga equipment. How about a link to local hotels or a bed & breakfast in case guests want to stay somewhere before or after your retreat.
  9. Test: Once your small-town website is live, its important to continuously test your site and make sure all these key features are easy to find and use. Monitor your website analytics, gather feedback from users, and make improvements as necessary.


In Conclusion

Designing a website for a business in a small-town requires a different approach than designing a website for a business in a large city. By following these small-town website design best practices, you can create an effective and engaging website.

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REM will be closed on Monday, May 22nd and will reopen on Tuesday, May 23rd. Have a safe and happy Victoria Day weekend!


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The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way we work, with many companies now adopting hybrid work models after several years of employees working from home. Hybrid work models are a blend of traditional office work and remote work, where employees can work from the office or from home.


This new way of working has its benefits and challenges, but with the right practices, businesses can reap the benefits of this model while minimizing the issues that arise. In this blog post, we'll discuss the best practices for a hybrid work model that can help businesses succeed in this new era of work.


Define and communicate the hybrid work model

The first step in implementing a successful hybrid work model is to clearly define and communicate it to your employees. This includes outlining what a hybrid work model is, how it works, and what employees can expect. You can do this by creating a hybrid work policy that outlines the guidelines, expectations, and responsibilities of both employers and employees.


Communication is key

Communicating with remote working staff requires a different approach than communicating with employees who work on-site. Communication is key to successful remote work. Make sure you communicate regularly with your remote staff, even if it's just to touch base and see how they're doing.


Remote workers rely heavily on technology to communicate with their colleagues and superiors. Make sure you use the right tools such as video conferencing software, messaging apps, and project management tools. We recently did a great post on different communication tools for remote work.


Remote workers may have different schedules and working hours than on-site staff. Be flexible in your communication and accommodate their schedules as much as possible. Schedule meetings at times that are convenient for your work-from-home team as well as your in-office team.


Establish clear expectations

It's important to establish clear expectations for both office and remote work. This includes setting clear work hours, work expectations, and deadlines. Employees should understand what is expected of them, whether they're working in the office or remotely. By establishing clear expectations, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and that work is being completed efficiently and effectively.


It is very important that your leadership team has full buy-in on these concepts and can relay these expectations to their respective team members. Working remotely can make managing staff members even more difficult, especially when it comes to caring for their mental health or monitoring their stress.


While we’re clarifying expectations, make sure your remote workers know what is expected of them in terms of communication. Establish communication guidelines such as response time and frequency of check-ins. Make sure these expectations are clear and reasonable and that teams are held accountable.


Provide the right tools and technology

To ensure that employees can work effectively from home, it's important to provide them with the right tools and technology. Here is an example of some tools that your workers might need:

  1. Laptop or desktop computer: A reliable computer is essential for remote work. Most remote workers prefer a laptop as it is portable and allows them to work from anywhere.
  2. High-speed internet: A stable internet connection is crucial for remote work. High-speed internet ensures that remote workers can access online tools and communicate with colleagues without any disruptions.
  3. Headset or headphones: Headsets or headphones with a built-in microphone are essential for remote workers who participate in video or phone calls. They help reduce background noise and improve audio quality.
  4. External monitor: An external monitor can provide remote workers with more screen space, which is especially helpful when working on complex tasks.
  5. Ergonomic desk and chair: Sitting for long periods can cause back pain and other health issues. An ergonomic desk and chair can help remote workers maintain good posture and avoid discomfort.
  6. Web camera: A web camera is necessary for remote workers who participate in video calls. It allows colleagues to see and interact with each other, which helps build stronger relationships.
  7. Project management tools: Remote workers often use project management tools to track their progress and collaborate with colleagues.

Additionally, employers should provide IT support to ensure that employees have the necessary support to work remotely.


Build a strong culture of trust and collaboration

In a hybrid work model, it's important to build a strong culture of trust and collaboration. This includes encouraging open communication, sharing ideas, and fostering a sense of belonging among employees.


Employers should ensure that employees feel connected to the company and to their colleagues, regardless of whether they're working from home or the office. Here are some tips for how you can do this:

  1. Provide opportunities for virtual collaboration: Encourage remote workers to collaborate with their colleagues using online tools such as project management software, video conferencing, and chat apps. This helps remote workers feel like they are part of a team and that their contributions are valued.
  2. Virtual team-building activities: Organize virtual team-building activities such as online games, virtual coffee breaks, or a virtual happy hour. This helps remote workers get to know their colleagues and builds a sense of community within the company.
  3. Recognize remote worker achievements: Make sure to recognize and reward remote workers for their achievements. Celebrate their successes and acknowledge their contributions to the company. This helps remote workers feel valued and appreciated.
  4. Provide access to company resources: Ensure that remote workers have access to company resources such as training materials, company policies, and employee benefits. This helps remote workers feel like they are part of the company and have access to the same opportunities as their on-site colleagues.

Keeping remote workers engaged requires a strong foundation of trust and collaboration. Achieving this is more difficult when employees are working remotely, but not impossible.


Invest in employee training and development

To ensure that employees have the necessary skills to work in a hybrid work environment, it's important to invest in employee training and development. This may include providing training on virtual communication, time management, and project management. Employers should also encourage employees to continue learning and growing in their roles.


Focus on health and wellness

Working remotely can be isolating, and employees may struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance. To combat this, employers should focus on promoting employee health and wellness. This may include offering virtual fitness classes, providing mental health resources, and encouraging breaks throughout the day:

  1. Encourage regular exercise: Encourage remote workers to take regular breaks and engage in physical activities such as stretching, walking, or yoga. Suggest that they set up a home gym or participate in virtual fitness classes.
  2. Promote a healthy diet: Encourage remote workers to maintain a healthy diet by providing resources and tips on healthy eating. Consider offering healthy snacks or meal plans as a perk.
  3. Offer mental health resources: Offer mental health resources such as access to counseling services, support groups, or online resources. Provide training to managers on how to recognize and support employees who may be struggling with mental health issues.


Encourage work-life balance

One of the benefits of a hybrid work model is the flexibility it provides employees. However, this flexibility can also make it difficult for employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance. To ensure that employees are taking breaks and disconnecting from work, employers should encourage work-life balance by setting boundaries and promoting a healthy work-life balance:

  1. Set clear boundaries: Set clear boundaries between work and personal time. Create a designated workspace and set specific work hours to help you maintain a sense of routine and structure.
  2. Prioritize tasks: Prioritize tasks based on their importance and deadline. Use a to-do list or project management tool to help you stay organized and focused.
  3. Take breaks: Take regular breaks throughout the day to help you recharge and avoid burnout. Step away from your desk, go for a walk, or engage in a hobby.
  4. Disconnect from work: Disconnect from work outside of work hours. Avoid checking emails or taking work calls outside of your designated work hours. Use technology tools that help you turn off notifications when you are not working.
  5. Communicate with colleagues: Communicate with colleagues about your work schedule and availability. This helps set expectations and avoid unnecessary interruptions.
  6. Practice self-care: Engage in activities that promote self-care, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with friends and family.
  7. Set realistic goals: Set realistic goals and expectations for yourself. Be kind to yourself and recognize that it's okay to not get everything done all the time.

By following these tips, you can help your remote workers maintain their well-being and productivity while working from home.


Evaluate and adjust regularly

Finally, it's important to evaluate and adjust the hybrid work model regularly. This includes regularly gathering feedback from employees, assessing the effectiveness of the model, and adjusting as necessary. By regularly evaluating and adjusting the hybrid work model, employers can ensure that it remains effective and meets the needs of their employees.



In Conclusion

The hybrid work model is here to stay, and businesses must adapt to ensure their success. By following these best practices, businesses can successfully implement a hybrid work model that maximizes the benefits of this new way of working.


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In 2023 it has become more and more challenging to stay on task while at work. Whether it be because you work from home or simply get easily distracted by everything going on in your office, it can be hard to stay on track. Keeping your mind sharp and your eye on the goal can be a difficult task.


However, by simply implementing a few productivity tips you can see a big improvement in your day-to-day work. So, this year give it a chance and try out implementing a few new productivity tips to hopefully improve your work and mental health. Here are our top 10 productivity tips for working in 2023.


1. To-Do List

Now making a to-do list may seem like a given; a tip everyone already knows. However, it can be a big help to write out everything you need to get done. Taking the time to go over everything you have on your plate can help you not only remember what needs to get done but set up a priority list.


First, put all major tasks and events in your calendar. Whether it is on your phone, laptop, work-computer, or a paper calendar simply write them down to ensure you know your major due dates or events. This way any time you check your calendar you are aware of what still needs to be done and by when.


Next, make a monthly to-do list. This can include regular tasks you do every month or new tasks for just this month. By making a monthly list you are aware of what needs to be completed before the end of the month.


Next, make a weekly to-do list. This may seem redundant, but having a separate list for each week allows you to break everything down into smaller more manageable bits. Rather than looking at one big list for a whole month you are looking at the smaller list for just this week. It also allows you to keep in mind urgent or upcoming events, projects, or tasks.


Finally, make a daily to-do list. This is not always necessary but can be helpful for those that like to know what they need to get done that day. It can also allow you to make a priority list instead. Lay out everything that needs to get done that day and in what order. That way you have a clear-cut plan for your day and don’t have to spend time worrying about what you need to do next.


If you really want to up your productivity game, split your daily to-do list into a MUST DO and TO DO list. Put down the items on your list which you absolutely must complete that day. Anything that can be completed later should go to the normal to-do list. Now hammer your MUST DO list and when you are done, you know, no matter how bad your productivity is after that, you’ve already completed all the items you had to.


2. Daily Goal

Going hand in hand with making a to-do list, setting yourself a daily goal can be very beneficial. Knowing your top priority or goal for that day is important and can help you plan the rest of your day around it. Your daily goal should not be an item on your to-do list. Going to the store to buy staples should not be your goal for the day.


Your daily goal also doesn’t always have to be big either. It can be something as simple as “take a break today” or “book a call with my financial adviser”. The main point of setting a goal is to ground your day and set yourself up for success. If you don’t complete everything you wanted to do that day it’s fine, don’t worry about it. At least at the end of the day you can say you completed your daily goal and be happy.


3. Set Times

If you are like a large majority of people and have a hard time going from one task to the next or knowing when to stop, set yourself timers or timed goals. Giving yourself a time limit can be very helpful. It allows you to know when to start and stop certain tasks, like checking your email. But it also allows you to plan your day.


Setting yourself specific times is very useful. You can say “I’m going to start this project at 10 am”, this will then hold yourself accountable if you don’t. You can also set yourself a timer, like only working on that one project for two hours. That way you aren’t overworking or forgetting about other tasks that need to get done.


4. Group Together Tasks

Start grouping together similar tasks. If you know you have some tasks that are similar in nature, like filling out different charts, writing, or getting back to clients then begin grouping them together. This allows you to complete more than one task while in the same mind set. If you are jumping all over the place from writing emails to drafting graphs then back to emails, you are having to change how you are thinking about your tasks constantly. But by grouping together similar tasks you can stay in the same mindset and get more work done.


5. Say “No”

Now this has been said time and time again, but some people still have a hard time remembering it, say “no”. It is okay to say “no” to people, whether it be your co-worker, boss, or even your spouse. You can say “no” and not feel bad about it. If you know that you already have too much on your plate do not take on more, it will only set you back and cause you to take a hit to your productivity.


There are of course instances in which you cannot say “no”, however, do not get those confused with the instances in which you can. If your boss tells you to do a new project, then you most likely can’t say no. However, if your boss asks you to email back a client because “you are better at handling them”, then you can say no. Saying “no” is not mean or rude, saying “no” is simply a part of making sure you don’t get overwhelmed.


6. Take Breaks

Remember to take breaks. Taking breaks is very important to staying productive because it allows your brain to just take a minute to relax. Think of it as exercise, if you want to exercise for one hour don’t spend the whole hour exercising. All this is going to do is exhaust you in 20 minutes or less and then the rest of your workout is going to be worse because you don’t have the energy to keep going at full speed. However, if you take the time to take a break every so often, then you can continue to exercise at full strength.


The same goes for working, if you work too much all at once you are going to get tired, but taking a break allows you to do more and better work overall. Also take a break from screens. Now that screens are everywhere it can be hard to take a break from them. But remember the blue light of the screen can be harmful for your eyes, so taking small breaks from it can help you feel better overall.


7. Dedicated Workspace

With more people working from home these days it can be hard to stay on task. However, by setting yourself up a dedicated workspace you can make it a little easier to stay on track. Not everyone is going to have access to a home office, and it can be hard to find space in smaller homes. But by simply setting up a clean workspace with a desk and your laptop or computer it can sometimes be enough. Perhaps adding in a partition of sorts can also be beneficial as it can block out the rest of the space.


8. Remove Distractions

Along with having a dedicated workspace, removing distractions can also be very helpful for staying on task. If you work from home, try working away from things like your T.V. or other people in the house. If you can’t get away from people in the house such as children, set ground rules, like “only bug me if you need help or it’s an emergency” or set timers for your kids, or even try and work around their schedules if possible.


If you work in an office space trying a remove as much distraction as you can. Because it is a public space distraction can sometimes be unavoidable, but mitigating as much as you can is always helpful. Put your phone on do not disturb, wear headphones, or put up a sign on your door saying do not disturb. Anything you can do to eliminate distractions can be very beneficial.


9. Don’t Wait for Motivation

Very simply, don’t wait for motivation to hit you to start working. Chances are you are going to be waiting all day. Just start. It can be hard sometimes, but by just starting and not waiting or thinking about it, you will often find that motivation will come along as well.


There is a relatively new trend, called the Ugly Hour, and it says that you should take the first hour of your day to attack the worst item on your to-do list. The trend is new, but the concept is not. Also referred to as ‘Eating the Frog’, the idea that you attack the most tedious task first has been around for a long time.


This way, when your energy wanes, and the mid-afternoon slump hits you, you won’t be staring down the barrel of your nightmare task. Tackle it when you’re fresh and alert and it will be easier to get through.


10. Hydrate

Finally, stay hydrated. Working is hard, so remember to stay hydrated as it keeps you sharp and aware and is beneficial for your mental and physical health. Also, if you are hydrated you are more likely to get more work done because you will feel better overall and less lethargic.



Hopefully you can learn from or implement some of these productivity tips into your daily lives. If not, hopefully they at least spark some inspiration or motivation within you to be more productive in your work. For more helpful tips, or other content relating to small businesses check out REM’s blog page and other website content.

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It can be common to feel as though we don’t deserve the success we have. However, when you are the owner of a small business that doubt can often be overwhelming. It can creep into your everyday life and sometimes overwhelm you completely.


That doubt you are feeling is called imposter syndrome and a large percentage of the population experiences it at least once in their lifetime. It, however, affects people like small business owners a lot more often and for a lot longer than the average person. But overcoming it is possible. Here are a few tips to help you recognize and overcome your feelings of imposter syndrome.


What is Imposter Syndrome

So first off, what is imposter syndrome? It is “a psychological occurrence in which people doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments and have a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud”. It essentially means that you feel as though you don’t deserve the success you have or don’t trust that you have any skills or talents.


For example, a football player may experience imposter syndrome because they don’t believe they should be on a Super Bowl team. Either because they feel as though they are a fraud and have somehow tricked people into believing they are a good football player. Or because they genuinely believe they are not good enough. This, however, can be entirely false. The football player may in fact be the best player to have ever existed, but to their mind, they are not good enough. That is what needs to be overcome, the mental idea of fraud.


Symptoms and How to Tell

Some common symptoms to help you identify if you have imposter syndrome or not are:

  • Blaming your success on external factors such as luck
  • Fear of being seen by others as a failure
  • Over working yourself
  • Feeling unworthy of attention or affection
  • Downplaying your accomplishments
  • Holding back from reaching your goals
  • Picking apart your performance or accomplishments
  • Focusing on your failures
  • Self-doubt


Identify Why

Before you can begin to overcome or deal with your feelings of imposter syndrome, you need to identify why you are having those feelings in the first place. Start by asking yourself questions such as, is it because I think I’m a failure? Has someone in the past said something to trigger these feelings? Do I have unrealistic expectations for success? Have unrealistic expectations been placed on me in the past?


Asking yourself these questions can help you get to the root of why you are having these feelings. Every little thing matters. Anything big or small matters, so take the time to think about it.


If you are unable to figure out why, then don’t stress about it either. Yes, figuring out why can be helpful to overcoming it. But placing undue stress upon yourself to get to the root of the problem can in fact make it worse. Keep your expectations reasonable and don’t over stress yourself about this either.


Talk to Someone

Going along with figuring out why you are feeling this way, you should try talking to someone about it. Whether it is to help figure out why or simply to get the feelings off your chest, it is always good to speak to someone you trust. It can also be very beneficial to hear from someone other than yourself that it is okay to have these feelings but that they are also unwarranted.


You can speak to a loved one such as a spouse or parent, or a friend, or even a therapist if you already have one or feel it is necessary for you. Whichever option you go with is a good option if you trust the person you are speaking to and know they will not make the situation worse.


Separate Fact from Fiction

Next you need to begin to separate fact from fiction. What are you not good at versus what is just in your head. This can often be tricky, since you believe it is true therefore it must be true, but that isn’t always the case.


Talking to someone from an outside perspective can help. It allows you to look at it from their point of view and separate your own feelings of doubt from the situation.


Looking back on past successes and failures can also be helpful. This allows you to look at what you truly are good at, which you know for a fact, because it was a success. And what you know you need to work on for the future, because it was a failure. Now you can’t do this by simply thinking about what you believe to be a success and a failure because your opinion will be biased. Instead, you need to look at provable successes and failures. Like achieving your university degree versus that time you lost a client.


By being able to identify what is fact and what is fiction, you will be able to slowly tell your brain that you are not a fraud. You will be able to begin to break down the walls of your imposter syndrome and move on to achieving your goals and running a successful business.


Let Go

Learn to let go. It seems easy and it may sound simple, but it can turn out to be one of the hardest parts of dealing with imposter syndrome. Learning to let go of the little things, the small imperfections in your presentation that don’t really matter, your opening date being a week late, or anything else that in the long run won’t truly matter. Letting go of these minor issues will help you move on.


It can be hard, especially as a small business owner, to not let the little things get to you. To not let them take over your mind when you are trying to sleep at night or ruin your entire day and contribute to your feelings of inadequacy. But letting them go and moving on will free up your mind for better things. For your next great success or your big new client. It can also help you feel better about the successes you do have whether they be big or small. By not focusing on the small failures, you can better celebrate the successes.


Celebrate Success

Going along with that, remember to celebrate your success. It can be hard sometimes, especially when you feel as though you don’t deserve it. But take the time to celebrate your success. If you have a hard time reminding yourself too, have someone else do it. Listen to them when they tell you that you can celebrate and don’t question it.


Remember that you also don’t always have to make it a big deal if you don’t want to. If you just want to celebrate by yourself with a nice meal or a well-deserved drink, then go for it. But if you want to throw a massive party to celebrate something big, then it is okay to do that too. Whatever feels right for you is the best option, if you are still celebrating.


Slowly overtime it will get easier to celebrate and acknowledge your success on your own. And sooner then you know it, you’ll be throwing parties and nice dinners, or even buying yourself gifts because you believe that you deserve it.


Acknowledge Failure

However, you can’t always celebrate. Part of getting over your own internalized fear of failure is to acknowledge when you have genuinely failed. It can be hard to do this, as you’ll feel as though you are taking steps backwards. But by acknowledging when you fail, you are making room for future success.


Everyone fails, it doesn’t matter who they are, where they are in life, or how successful they may seem. They fail and so do you, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, it can be hard to admit at times, but you need to learn to do it to move on.


However, when you are acknowledging your failures, don’t throw yourself a pity party. Don’t let yourself get pulled down by this one mistake. Instead take it as a learning opportunity, not just for yourself but for others as well. Part of being a small business owner is setting an example for your employees. If you only ever paint yourself as a success, then you’re setting unrealistic expectations. But by sharing your failures you are not only painting a more realistic picture of yourself, but you are also making sure your employees know it is okay to fail because you fail too.


Accept It

Finally, you need to learn to accept it. That’s it. It is a part of you, whether for the long-term or just for now, but it is there and will continue to be for at least a little longer. By accepting it you are removing the power it has over you and opening yourself up for growth and change for the future.


Hopefully this was helpful for you, whether by helping you identify your feelings of imposter syndrome, getting over your feelings of imposter syndrome, or just to help someone else. For more blogs and other content check out REM’s blog page and other website content.

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We are a local HVAC business based in Kitchener and serving the surrounding area. We specialize in providing top-quality heating and air conditioning services to residential and commercial customers. Our services include furnace installation, furnace repair, Air conditioning installation, air conditioning repair heat pump installation, heat pump repair, tankless water heaters and more. We pride ourselves on offering reliable service at competitive prices. We also offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our work, so you can trust that you're getting the best value for your money. If you're in need of heating and cooling services in the Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph area, don't hesitate to contact us.


Advance Cooling & Heating's Main Contact Person: Vincent Afrouzi


No. of Employees: 6

Established: 2021

Location: 44 Otonabee Dr Kitchener


Visit Advance Cooling & Heating website





Why did you choose REM?



I was searching for a new website and had several meetings with individuals and companies to find the right fit. However, after coming across REM Web Solutions, I decided to schedule a meeting. During my initial meeting with Rob and Sanj, I was impressed with how organized Rem was and their teamwork approach, rather than just an individual working on web design on the side. We quickly established a plan and got started right away.



What was it like working with REM?



Working with REM was an effortless and efficient experience from start to finish. Throughout the process, I was assigned a dedicated person or team to handle each aspect of my website, from the initial meeting to design, SEO, and final launch. Rob, Sanj, Sean, Todd, and the rest of the team did an incredible job, even fast-tracking the site to meet my time constraints.


Working with REM was an effortless and efficient experience from start to finish.


-- Vincent Afrouzi



Learn first-hand how we can help you with your website needs.
Contact us today!


Toll Free: 1.866.754.4111

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Diverse business people standing proudly together


Entrepreneurs come in all different shapes and sizes, colours and genders. But really, in the business world, none of this should matter. What a person looks like should not affect their ability to start a business. Unfortunately, it does. Every day in North America people lose funding or get turned down to start a business of their very own all because of the way they look. This group of underrepresented entrepreneurs have been missing out on opportunities that are out of their control for centuries.


After the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, these businesses took an even bigger hit and many of them were forced to close their doors. Now that the pandemic is mostly over, we can take this time to appreciate and celebrate these hard-working individuals who fought against discrimination, underrepresentation, and adversity to get to where they are today. Here we are going to be talking about underrepresented entrepreneurs, why they are underrepresented, and how to look past our personal biases to give them the recognition they deserve. Because it should not matter what you look like, only the work you put in.


Underrepresented Groups

The main underrepresented groups are women, people of colour, and women of colour. These groups have been constantly underrepresented within the business world for decades and continue to remain forgotten. Whether it be excluding them from sitting on boards or networking events, or simply not allowing them to start their businesses to begin with, these groups have been constantly looked over.


You then must ask yourself, why? Why are these groups being turned over and forgotten about? Do they not put in the work? Are they not trying hard enough? The answer is no. It is because of the way they look or where they come from. People have an inherent bias to want people that look like them to succeed. So, when a black woman or a Latino man walk into an office of white men and ask to start a business, they are often declined. Because of our inherent biases, our built-in prejudices, we assume that these people are incapable of being good business owners, even if they are. It does not matter how hard they work or how much effort they put in if they are simply going to be stopped at every turn.


Women, people of colour, and women of colour all deserve to have a place in our communities as entrepreneurs. They all deserve to be represented within the business community and within their industries. This is why we need to talk about them, bring attention to them, and recognize the work that they have put in to be here.


Access to Funding

One of the main reasons so many people from underrepresented groups have a hard time starting their own businesses is because of a lack of access to funding. Every entrepreneur needs to get a jump start in their funds in order for their business to begin to take off. The issue is then that these groups have a hard time finding or gaining access to funds to help them launch.


The first option for many people is do what is called the “friends and family round”. Where they go around to friends and family asking for small loans or donations to help them start their companies. However, the main issues for many of these groups is that their friends and family are unable to help them. Because many of these groups come from areas of poverty, their families have no money to spare in order to help. This then leaves them in a position of either giving up their dream or coming up with the money in other ways.


After they strike out with their friends and family, they then begin to turn to other forms of getting loans like banks or investors. However, the issue is that they are often get turned down by banks and investors because of their race, gender, or socio-economic background. These people assume that because of the colour of their skin or their gender that their business will not do well. This is a major setback for many people trying to start a business.


Bankers and investors want to give money to businesses they know will succeed otherwise it would be a waste. Because of their natural biases, whether consciously or unconsciously, they want to invest in people that look like them, which is often white men. They can see themselves in these people and therefore want them to succeed and believe they will. On the other hand, they see a woman or a black man and assume they will fail. This then in turns causes many people from underrepresented groups to lose out on funding opportunities.


Access to funding has prevented a lot of people from being able to start their own business. As such they have been chronically underrepresented and will continue to be if this continues to happen.


Networking Opportunities

If these groups can attain funding or make it past the initial jump-starting phase, they then encounter another problem. Trying to network. After you start a company, you need to begin to build connections with others in your industry. This will help you get word out about your brand, potentially start partnerships, and allow you to get acquainted with the industry.


However, many underrepresented entrepreneurs have a hard time building these connections. Because they have been and continue to be underrepresented, they are not typically invited or represented at most networking events. Even if they do manage to be invited to one, they have a harder time building relationships with others in their industry because of who they are. Once again people have personal biases and want to work with people like themselves. When you do not look like them it can be hard to get them to trust you.


Thankfully after the pandemic, more and more people are looking into working with underrepresented entrepreneurs. This has opened many doors for people and have allowed them to kick start their business.



Due to their underrepresentation, these groups have had to find new and creative ways to market themselves and their businesses. To stand out from white owned and man owned businesses, they have begun to take a new approach to marketing.


Avoiding simply using traditional marketing tactics, such as newspapers, flyers, and ads. They have begun to appeal to the younger generation who are more likely to buy from them. Using social media, blogs, websites, and virtual ads on google and other webpages, they have branched out further than ever before. Taking advantage of the “Buy Black” movement during the pandemic and the boom to support local and small business. These underrepresented groups have started new marketing campaigns to gain access to the groups they know will buy from them.


The Pandemic

The pandemic caused a lot of small business to go under and take a big hit in their industries as people were no longer buying from smaller companies. However, this opened the doors for many underrepresented entrepreneurs, as it allowed them to use things such as the workers benefit or government relief to their advantage. Many people waited for it and then put it back into their businesses, or used to kick start their business because they could not get any other funding.


The pandemic also brought with it many movements for equality. Asking questions, like why are we not buying local? Why are we supporting large brands like Amazon? Why are we not buying from black, Asian, Latino, or female-owned businesses? It allowed many underrepresented entrepreneurs and businesses to finally take the spotlight and shine. It has also created more employment opportunities and investment opportunities for people in all kinds of different industries.


Removing Bias

Despite the increasing representation for many previously underrepresented groups, we still have a long way to go before we see everyone as equal. From here we must begin to remove our personal biases. It does not matter what the colour of your skin is, what gender you are, or what your sexual orientation is everyone has biases. Removing those biases is the only way everyone is going to be truly equal.


Removing bias can be a very challenging thing and can require a lot of hard work, however, it can be done. Before you chose to go somewhere else to shop, or invest in a different company, think about why. Why am I shopping at a [insert race] owned business instead of [insert race] owned one? Why am I buying from a [insert race] man but not a [insert race] woman? Why am I not shopping at small businesses? All these questions can help us break down our personal biases and move past them and into a better future.


Underrepresented entrepreneurs deserve to be recognized and appreciated for all the hard work they have put in to get to where they are today. They have challenges at every turn and yet they are still fighting to get what they want. Even when they have been declined funding, refused networking opportunities, or faced marketing challenges, they have still gotten back up and tried again.

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Illustration of a man drawing steps going up towards a goal


Failure is often seen as bad or looked down upon by people. However, failure is not always bad, in fact failure can be great and help you improve. Failure opens the door for improvement and change and can usher in new opportunities. The main reason why so many people feel bad after failing is because they beat themselves up for it. They re-play it repeatedly in their head and feel as if they should have done better.


However, the problem is not that you should have done better, but rather that you need to pull yourself back up and try again. Look for where you can improve next time and keep trying. Every success story starts with a failure, think about any person that you have looked up to, they have failed. No person is exempt from failure. Failure is part of human nature, the monkeys failed at making tools at first, but then they tried again and now we are here. Pulling yourself back up again after a mistake or a failure can seem hard and challenging. But if you push past those feelings and get up, then you will succeed in the future. Here is how to move on and get over a business failure to better succeed in the future.


Goals V.S. Strategy

First thing you need to do is remember the difference between a goal and a strategy. Often when we run into failure it is because we are getting our goals and our strategies mixed up. Making sure that you know which is which and following that path, then you can succeed.


First, a goal is what you are trying to achieve. Where you want your company to go or milestones you wish to reach. Wanting to hit 1,000 sales by the end of the month is a goal. It is like a finish line you want to cross. Goals are what drive us, what makes us want to work hard and put in the effort. Without goals there would be no point in creating our businesses. Setting goals is how we motivate ourselves to move forward.


Next, a strategy is what you need to do to reach your goal. The journey you need to go on to get to the end. If your goal is the finish line, then your strategy is the race. Making sure you know the difference between the two is crucial for success. You need to properly plan out your strategy in order to get to your goal. You can not simply say that you wish to make 1,000 sales by then end of the month. You must plan how you are going to do that. A common mistake people often make is forgetting to make a strategy to achieve their goals. They simply think that making goals is enough and never put in the effort to get there. That is why so many people fail when they first start out. By creating good strategies, you will achieve your goals.


Take Responsibility

Next you need to take responsibility for your failure. Simply saying “I failed” is not enough. You need to go through what went wrong and acknowledge and genuinely take responsibility for what you did. If people got hurt or you placed your trust in someone you should not have, then you need to acknowledge that and recognize where you went wrong. By taking responsibility for what you did you are opening yourself up to growth and change for the future. When you take responsibility for hurting someone, you do not just say “I’m sorry” and not mean and then leave. You think about what you did, what went wrong, and feel remorse for it. You genuinely recognize that you messed up and put in the effort to right the wrong.


Along with taking responsibility, you also need to think about how this affected others around you. Did you affect your customers, partner, employees, spouse, or another company? If so, you need to go back and apologize to all of them. It is part of taking responsibility as it allows you to recognize what you did wrong and atone for it. This will not only make you feel better about yourself and your failure, but it will also allow others to feel better as well and be more motivated to help you in the future.


Learn A Lesson

What can you do better next time? Where did you fail? What can you fix? What can not be fixed? Asking yourself all of these question can help lead you to learning a lesson from your mistakes. What is the point in failing if you do not learn anything? How can you expect to get better next time if you do not learn anything? Learning is what allows us to improve and become a better person. By looking back on everything you did right and wrong, you can learn and get better. This can help you in the future as it teaches you to critically think about what you are doing and what you have done.


You can also get someone else you trust to look over you work and failures. This allows you to get a different perspective and learn further. If we only allow ourselves to analyze our work and look for places of improvement, then we are less likely to catch everything. However, by getting someone else to look at it, then they open us up to a different perspective on how our work is perceived. Learning from your mistakes can help you improve in the future.


Reevaluate Your Plans

Now that you have acknowledged your failures, and hopefully learned from them, you can now reevaluate your plans and figure out what to do next. Where can you go from here? What are the next steps? What can you improve to make it work?


By building a new plan you can allow yourself to re-try ideas in new ways and potentially succeed this time around. Creating new plans is always the best way to come at a failed idea and improve it for the future. If something did not work the last time, then it is not going to work again. So, reevaluating your plans and creating a new one can be a great to get up and try again. This can lead you to further success in the future and with other ideas as well.


Set New Goals and Make a New Strategy

Reevaluating or trying to improve upon a failed idea may not always be an option and may not work. Sometimes instead, you need to set new goals and come up with a new strategy to get there.


The goals that you set may not always be achievable, by setting new ones you can succeed more in the future. If you want to sell 2,000 products in your first month of business, that goal may not be the most reasonable or achievable. You then set yourself up for failure if you start thinking that this is going to be an absolute. Rather than that, set yourself smaller goals or different goals that are more achievable, this than allows you to be more likely to succeed and feel better about yourself. Instead of saying you want to make 2,000 sales in the first month, say you want to have a successful opening. This will set your expectations and make you feel like more of a success and less likely to fail overall.


Along with that, create a new strategy to achieve your new goals. Setting yourself smaller goals is always good but also making a new strategy can help you be more successful with those smaller goals. These new strategies need to be centered and focused on the best way to achieve your goals.


Tell Your Story

Finally, above everything else, tell your story. Talk about how you failed, how it helped you, and what you learned from it. By talking about how you failed, you can promote your success story and how you got over it and learned from your mistakes. It can also help others learn from you.


Anyone who has ever failed has promoted the fact that they have. Think about any celebrity or superhero or even the villains, they all talk about how they failed in the past and how they overcame challenges so that now they are successful. It inspires people to do better themselves and can actually make you feel better about your mistakes and potentially avoid them in the future.


Everyone fails from time to time, and it is nothing to be ashamed of or hide. Instead, you should be embracing your failures and taking them in your stride. Failing simply helps you succeed in the future as it allows you to learn from your past mistakes. It can seem hard to move on after a failure especially if you are a small business. However, reevaluating what went wrong and creating new goals and new strategies you can create something great in the future.

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A person's hands using a smartphone while looking at statistics on paper


Guest post by Aaron Mears of Asterisk Marketing


If you have started to consider a new way to advertise your business through digital marketing, then you might be interested in using a pay-per-click method. This option is often called PPC, and it's one of the best ways to make sure you’re using your advertising budget to its fullest. If you want to explore this idea a bit more, have a look at this informative article where we'll talk about the 6 benefits of PPC for small businesses.


1) The Cost

When it comes to spending money on advertising, small businesses don't have a large amount put aside as major companies typically do. Their sales numbers are often unpredictable, so it's difficult to gauge what percentage should be spent on advertising each month. Pay-per-click advertising is the best way to ensure that you are only paying for those interested in your product or business instead of paying a large amount for potential customers.


Pay-per-click is exactly what it sounds like, and it means that you are only charged for every click that your website link receives. For small businesses with limited budgets, this is the perfect option! You don't have to worry about your budget being wasted on advertising to the wrong people, and you can adjust it monthly to suit your sales.


2) The Reach

Physical advertising only reaches those that are in the area, and you never know who will see it, so you need to strategically plan to make it as appealing and eye-catching as possible to ensure a good ROI. With digital advertising, you can adjust the ad to cater to the type of people you are choosing to reach, which means you are more likely to get customers that want your product.


Image of PPC statistics from WebFX

General pay-per-click statistics.

Image source:


Real estate has become one of the top industries that have moved to use PPC and other digital marketing based on the broad reach that it allows them. Many small businesses must rely on getting new customers all the time instead of helping their current customer base, and this means you need to advertise in many different places at once. A billboard will reach the people in that area, but for agents that want to advertise out of town to attract new clients, digital marketing is the best idea to consider.


3) It's User Friendly

When it comes to using PPC for your business, it couldn't be easier for a newbie to use. A good campaign will tell the customers about your business while giving them a "call to action" that requires additional interaction. This could include such lines as:


  • “Click this link for more info.”
  • “Sign up here to get to the front of the line.”
  • “Let us know what you think in the comment section below!”


This strategic combination leads to high traffic on your website or social media page. By combining a great advertisement with highly searched terms, you can draw in tons of new people from all over the world.


Making your ad is simple, and there are tons of different resources online that can help you out. If you are having some trouble, consider hiring a marketing company to help you figure out what the best ad will look like for your company. A marketing team uses years of expertise in things like search engine optimization and social media trends to make an ad that will get the most traction and views possible.


4) Customize On the Fly

Physical advertising is something that needs to have multiple reviews before it's finalized, and this requires quite a few different processes that determine what will look the best. You need to ensure that the product or business is at the forefront of the ad, and you need to make sure all the information being given (website address, date, product name, etc.) is accurate before you publish the ad to the masses.


If you decide to change the URL of your website or even your business's name after your ads have been published, then you are basically throwing money away. PPC ads allow you to change things as they become relevant, so you can update the URL for your ad or company name in minutes instead of allowing your current ad campaign to run out after a few months.


Small businesses need to advertise smaller things (like flash sales or expiring discount codes) at a quicker rate than larger corporations. Choosing an ad campaign that can be adjusted immediately is much better for smaller businesses because they can easily adjust what they want to promote.


Laptop with statistics on the screen


5) It's Quick

We mentioned a few times how instantaneous PPC campaigns can be when compared to something like a physical advertisement, and that's important for businesses that are ever-changing. Small businesses like real estate firms or artisanal makers rely on word of mouth within the local community along with worldwide campaigns that are in online business. Physical ads only appeal to those in the general area, so using your advertising for online marketing is a much better choice for anyone that wants to see a high increase in interest quickly.


A PPC campaign could take a few hours to a few days to create, but once it has launched, you will see results almost immediately. A good campaign will give you some higher traffic within a few days, but you will see major results after a few months. After 3-6 months, you will see incredible results that will last a long time if the campaign is properly maintained and updated.


6) Easy Tracking

Advertising to the right crowd is important, and you want to ensure your advertising medium can be easily tracked and adjusted to suit your customer base. If your business is geared towards a younger crowd, then a social media campaign is the best way to go, but that might not work if you are trying to advertise a retirement home. Tracking who sees your ads and how they respond is a great way to see which ones are worth the extra funding and which ones can be altered.


There are plenty of different statistics that come along with your PPC ad campaign, and it can sometimes become tricky to understand what each one means for your business. Hiring a professional marketing expert is a great way to help you figure out what all your data means, and it's the easiest way to get a clear explanation of where you should go next. If you choose to do your ad campaign by yourself, make sure you are doing as much research as you can to understand the various abbreviations and percentages that are often included in the data report.



Choosing a company, like REM, to help you with your PPC digital marketing campaign will help you in so many different ways, and it's the best way to get expert help on improving your digital footprint. If you want to improve web traffic to your website, get new customers, or tell people about your new business in the area, then digital marketing will likely give you the best return on your investment. Talk to a professional today about what kind of PPC ad campaigns will work the best for your industry.


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