Author Archives: Craig Segal

The refurb advantage
Why you should consider a Brother refurbished printer

Buying refurbished is often confused with buying used. That might feel like an unnecessary risk to some buyers, even with the savings. So we visited Brother’s Testing Lab in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec, to meet with our crack team of mechanical engineers and product specialists. One of their top jobs? To evaluate and test returned printers to ensure they meet our high standards for recertification.

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Passing the test

Bing Wang, a mechanical engineer, is Supervisor, Quality Assurance & Production. For 10 years, he has headed up Brother’s refurbishment and exchanges program, overseeing a team of six who are collectively responsible for evaluating and preparing every single refurbished printer that is sold or returned to Brother customers.

brother_refurb-3“We treat every product that comes through our doors equally,” Wang says. “First, the products are triaged, and then only those with no defects or damage, or evidence of having been heavily used, are then passed on to our Testing Lab where they undergo a series of stringent quality control tests.”

Wang says Brother’s refurbished products must meet the same stringent standards as new ones. “Every listed feature and functionality of the product is tested,” says Wang. “A product must perform as expected in 100% of these tests with no exceptions.” Once certified, refurbished products are eligible for exchange or resale, at consumer-friendly prices.

 

Top 6 reasons to go for a Brother refurb

1. Best value on the market

With Brother refurbs, you save up to 40% off the sticker price without compromising quality or reliability.

 2. Same warranty as new

Whether new or refurbished, all Brother products come with the same quality and warranty protection. What could be better?

3. Reduce waste

Electronic waste is a huge global problem. According to a recent study published by the United Nations University (an autonomous organ of the UN General Assembly), the global quantity of e-waste generation in 2014 was nearly 42 million tonnes. With Brother refurbs, you’re not part of the problem—you’re part of the solution.

4. Brand new toner

Brother delivers all refurbished products with brand new supplies, including a full toner or ink cartridge, to guarantee the best user experience possible.

5. Brother support

You get the same top-level technical support you would expect to receive from Brother for any of its products. We treat refurbished like new, and you should too. Visit our support centre for FAQs, online chat and more. It’s free!

6. A Canadian team

Brother Canada’s very proud of its refurb team. When you buy a Brother refurb, you can be sure it hasn’t been shipped off somewhere far away for its treatment. Our well-trained team has ensured that your machine meets the highest possible standards—right here in Canada.

brother_refurb-teamSo, no matter what size business you’re in, a refurbished printer offers great value, but it can be an especially appealing option to the small business owner looking to optimize the budget for office products. If you’re in the market for a printer, and looking to save a few bucks without compromising quality, check out Brother’s refurbished printer line. You won’t be disappointed. Guaranteed!

Refurbished products

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5 surprisingly simple sales skills to grow your small business

15_BROTHER_ICONS_MSelling is among the hardest, most satisfying, most depressing, most lucrative, and most grinding jobs on the planet. Everyone knows it takes persistence, sweat, drive and ambition. But not every small business owner or entrepreneur believes they can do sales. Many avoid it as much as possible, treating it as a painful task, like getting a cavity filled.

That attitude is potentially killing your business. The good news is, you can change it and realize that you—yes, even you—can sell anything to anyone by cultivating these five simple skills.

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_11. Listen 

“A lot of people think sales is about talking, but it’s really about listening,” says Dawn Williams, President and Sales Recruiter at Sirius Personnel. “The most successful sales people I’ve ever recruited are also the best listeners.” Nabil Sfeir, a corporate account manager at Insight, concurs. “You have to pay attention, especially if you’re on the phone with a potential client,” says Sfeir. “People can tell if you’re multitasking—and that’s a deal breaker. Everybody wants to feel like they’re number one.”

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_22. Empathy

Mollie Garza, Business Development Director at LiveIntent Inc., is as popular with her clients as she is with her colleagues and friends, because she takes the time to get to know everyone equally. So when it’s time to make a deal, she’s learned enough about her clients to be able to offer them custom-made solutions to their problems. “You have to truly understand who your clients are and what problems you’re solving for them on a continual basis,” says Garza. “If you do your job right, you’ll keep your clients safe from the competition, help them grow their revenues and be someone they turn to for knowledge and advice.”

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_33. Finding real solutions

“Offer solutions to your clients, not products or features,” Nabil says. “And if you discover that your company isn’t the best fit, say so.” Chris Carlin, Senior Marketing & Social Media Manager at The Upper Deck Company, is always impressed with vendors who don’t try to be a one-size-fits-all solution. “If your services aren’t compatible with a brand, recommend someone whose are,” says Carlin. “Not only does this make you a trusted partner, but it can also open the door to future business.”

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_44. Passion

Oscar Gardner, Sales Director for iMedia Communications, Inc., believes passion drives a sales person to greatness above all else. “Most sales people have the basic skillset for sales,” says Gardner. “But you need a genuine passion for your business to truly succeed. How can you get someone excited about your business if you’re not excited yourself?”

 

15_BROTHER_ICONS_55. Follow up

“Having organized sales habits has always been a core part of my approach,” says Will Richards, President and Founder of Financial Research Solutions. “And the number one most important habit you can develop is to mark down in your calendar the exact date and time of your next call with a prospective client,” adds Richards. Scheduling follow-ups helps you keep track of where you are in the sales process and proves to your customers that you have the reliability to be there when they’re ready—and not expect them to be ready when you are.

Every entrepreneur has faced the chilling prospect of having expended an enormous amount of time, energy and money on building a business only to discover that, without a coherent sales strategy, prospects don’t start magically appearing at your door. If you run a business, or hope to, you need to get comfortable with sales—but you don’t need to change who you are. Just develop these five simple skills to win you your clients’ trust. Do that, and success will follow.

 

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Five great ways to get in shape for even the busiest entrepreneur

Five great ways to get in shapeWorking at a desk is bad enough, but when you’re building your career, it’s easy to put your clients ahead of your health. From heart disease to weight gain, if you’re sitting long hours and fueling yourself with takeout, you’re setting yourself up for a losing deal.

But change is hard. So try out these five tips to squeeze healthy habits into your harried routine—starting today!

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Back-to-school survival guide—for the home-office worker

How to surviveThe start of the school year’s an exciting time, full of the promise that comes with new beginnings. It can also be a looming deadline filling parents and kids with anxiety and dread: The kids brace themselves for a heavy school year, while you brace yourself for an influx of projects from clients who have suddenly woken up from their summer slumber. But getting your back-to-school groove on doesn’t have to be painful. Here are our top five tips for ensuring return-to-school doesn’t feel like The Return of the Living Dead. Continue reading

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Top 10 tips on mastering work/life balance – from Brother Canada employees

Work Life BalanceSo, modern life can be pretty wild.

Between work and raising kids, not to mention commuting, errands, exercise, dates with your spouse, sleeping—and all the rest—balance is a tough, well… balancing act. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, 58 percent of Canadians report “overload” as a result of work and personal pressures.

So, to help you get your Zen on, we asked five of our employees for two of their top balancing tips.

 

1. Get to bed
“I go to bed early, so I can wake up early, work out and get to work early.”

2. Keep it loose
“I also create downtime in my schedule to enjoy my life outside of work. As much as possible, I see friends, go shopping and go out for dinners. And I’m working on the ability to say no. I’m not there yet, but it’s on my to-do list for this year!”

– Amélie, Communications & Community Specialist

3. Make the time
“I believe making time is the key to balancing everything in life. I set aside a specific amount of time to help my kids with their homework and reserve some “me time” to play guitar and relax every evening.”

4. Hang with the family
“Each weekend includes a family movie night where we can all sit together and laugh without thinking about whatever else is going on in our lives.”

– Robert, Team Manager, Consumer Sales & Satisfaction

5. Know your values
“I love working out, enjoying nature, connecting with friends and living in the moment. When I spend time with my kids, it’s all about them; everything else is on hold.”

6. Accept reality
“I also accept that I can’t do it all, and I’m not afraid to make mistakes and ask for help.”

– Anne, B2C and E-Commerce Specialist

7. Split your work up
“Because I have to leave at 5 p.m. to pick up my kids, sometimes working at night is a necessity. It lets me unplug from the job and be present for them when they need me. But I try to make that more the exception than the rule.”

8. Take your vacations!
“Regular time off is also important for me. Sometimes I take vacations with my family, and sometimes without!”

– Kathryn, Product Marketing Manager

9. Unplug
“I do my best to unplug. I spend time with my family and avoid looking at email as much as I can. This helps me fully dedicate myself to my home life.”

10. Work on your passions
“I strongly believe in having passions outside of work. Whether it’s reading a book, going to the gym or taking a yoga class on the weekend, I’m always doing something to enrich my body, mind and soul. And I always try to plan some “me time” every week to just do whatever I feel like.”

– Christa, HR Generalist

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