What makes a great first impression? They say that we have just 7 – 10 seconds to make that first impression. Over the last few decades, working in the corporate world, we learned a great deal about business etiquette, business writing and communication. Today, we work with businesses and organizations, and know how much our experience has supported us in effective communication with our customers, so we thought we would share a few tips on business etiquette or practical “rules of engagement” for businesses and professionals.


Let’s start with networking. It is very customary to extend your hand to shake hands with another individual, introduce yourself and share your business name or the organization you work for, then allow the other person to do the same. After the introductions are finished, it’s also a good idea to finish off with, “It’s so nice to meet you Joan!”  This accomplishes a couple of things; it helps you to remember their name, it shows that you care, you are professional and it helps to build rapport and potentially a relationship with them.

Being in business or working for an organization, it’s likely that you attend regular networking events, conferences or workshops. You are usually given a name tag at these events, so something to note is that name tags should be worn on your right side. Why? Because when you shake hands with someone, they are facing your right side, as it is also customary to shake hands with your right hand. So, not only will you both introduce yourselves and hear the other person say their name, you will see each other’s name tags as well. This is all part of the rapport building and anchoring that occurs in our neuro linguistic programming (a little bit of brain science for you), where our emotional connection to others is created. We do this through visual –seeing their name, auditory –hearing their name, and kinesthetic –physical connection through your hand-shake. All of these elements coincidentally create the beginning of a bond. We can also get a sense of whether or not we will continue to grow that business relationship based on this initial connection.

Give a Little Space

You would think that its common sense to give people space, but it blows my mind how often I see people walk right up and interrupt two people who are talking at a networking event. Here are a couple of quick tips to note when you are navigating a room, and wondering when it’s a good time to go up to talk with someone. If you wish to go up and talk to someone, take a look at the two people’s body position. For instance, if they are standing face to face, toes and shoulders aligned, that is considered a closed conversation –and therefore, it is not appropriate to approach. However, if the pair are facing outwards, shoulder to shoulder and their toes are outwards (so more in a “V” stance), then that is considered open conversation and it is appropriate to approach the pair and strike up conversation.

Either way, always approach professionally, say “hi”, introduce yourself, extend your hand to shake hands and ask them their name. Most people are welcoming and may be feeling a bit uneasy as well, so they are likely going to be warm and inviting to you. Joining conversations can be a bit intimidating at first, but as you move through the room, smile, say “hi” to those you pass by, and when you see someone standing alone, strike up a conversation with them. It does get easier with time and practice!

Be Responsive

One of the most common complaints we hear, is “I emailed or called them, and nobody got back to me!” This means checking your voice mail, emails, Facebook messages, LinkedIn regularly. It’s human nature to want a response when we ask a question. We also speak to this in social media, knowing that the social media feeds are always buzzing with posts, comments and questions. It’s imperative that we answer our phones, check messages and emails and respond to social media as soon as possible. One of the ways to manage this, is by setting an auto-responder on your social media and having an automatic response to acknowledge emails and messages as they come in. You want to be managing expectations, particularly if you’re an entrepreneur who spends very little time in the office or at a desk. I’m thinking of contractors, electricians, massage therapists or hair stylists, who are away from their desks, attending to clients or working offsite and may not have access to your email throughout the day. Regardless, your clients are expecting you to be responsive and there are a variety of tools and resources that can help you stay on top of your emails, phone calls, texts, Facebook messages, Instagram messages, LinkedIn messages… you get the point –lots coming at you daily! The key is to find a system and a process that works best for you.

Here are a few suggestions to ensure that you are responding to your client’s requests, questions or concerns in a timing fashion. Again, one of the most common complaints from customers, is that nobody got back to them. A great solution is to hire a receptionist or a virtual assistant, and they can often take care of many of your administrative needs as well; booking appointments, invoicing and more. Another suggestion, depending on the nature of your business, is to have an online booking system so that people can book with you, without you having to answer the phone or an email. A great tip to leverage this online service, is to make sure that your voice mail message states your website address and that clients can book online. Can you imagine the amount of business that is lost, when a business does not respond? Customers will simply phone the next company, if they don’t get a response. So, remember that when weighing the cost of hiring someone or paying for any of the services we mentioned. The costs will be covered ten times over with the amount of business you retain!

Email is the New Letter

We all know that our customers are most important. In fact, they are the backbone of our businesses. Without customers, we wouldn’t have a business. We need to be on the ball with our customers and clients, serving them the best we can at all times. A big part of good customer service and business etiquette, is to use your customers’ name when you’re interacting with them.

It’s true, everyone loves to hear their own name. So, why is it that we still see people emailing informally and not addressing the person they’re emailing appropriately? Has this happened to you? How does it make you feel when you receive an email that is not addressed to you personally? If someone cannot take the time to write Hi or Good afternoon (along with my name), I am not likely going to do business with that person. Be sure to address your customer with a Hi, Hello, Good Morning or Good Afternoon, followed by their name –it’s courteous and it doesn’t take more than a second or two.

As for the email itself, if you’re in business, treat email like it’s a letter to your customer. This means, in addition to addressing your customer, make sure that you write in a professional way, similar to a letter, outline the purpose of your email, state what you are going to do, and have a call to action so that your reader has some direction as to why you wrote the email and what to do next, or what you will do next. That last point I will make here is, make sure that you clearly display all the ways that a customer can contact you -name, title, email address, telephone number, website address, and your business location. For one, it’s the law and two, if you don’t respond to their email, they will try and call you. Be accessible. 

In summary, we only covered a few business etiquette best practices here, although there is so much we could share. That said, we often share tips and best practices here to support businesses and their teams. In a previous blog post, we shared more tips on just networking specifically, if you’re interested.

Thank you for taking the time to check out our blog! Follow us on social media as well, as we love connecting with other like-minded business people. Remember, good business etiquette -it’s the little things, that leave a big impression… and help you stand out from the crowd!


Cheetah Fusion Creative Agency
meow@cheetahfusion.com | www.cheetahfusion.com
@CheetahFusion | Instagram – Cheetah Fusion | LinkedIn


How does it work? What are the best practices to engage others over social mediums, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram?

What if we were to tell you that it’s all about sharing information, education, and making an emotional connection with your audience?  It’s truly that simple. Gone are the days of hard-selling, pushing out as many advertisements as you can each day in order to get more sales. Yes, we need to get in front of our audience. Yes, there are times when we need to promote our events, products and services. That said it’s how this is done that really has an impact.

Here are five best practices for boosting your social media engagement:

  • Be authentic and show who you are. There are so many of people pumping out posts that everyone can begin to sound the same. That said, if you are real and demonstrate to others that you are someone who believes in what you’re doing, you are more likely to gain a strong following. Be comfortable being yourself, particularly those of you in the self-help or wellness realm. The more you can share of your own story, how you overcame challenges using certain modalities, what effects those challenges had on your life and how you have come back from them, the more likely others will watch, learn and connect with you.  We are emotional beings, and we want to know that you have been through something, overcame it and now want to help. Your stories build trust with your audience and demonstrate to them that you can actually help them.
  • Strike up conversation and be responsive. This is a great way to connect with others. It may feel like you put yourself out there with a question and get ‘crickets’ at first but people are watching and paying attention. Be patient and responsive when the comments come. If your post gets a like, that’s a good thing but it isn’t the only thing to measure. Our social media feeds are fast and furious so sometimes people see your posts but don’t react or engage. Keep putting it out there and the engagement will come for you to respond to. If you’re comfortable, or let’s face it, even if you’re not comfortable doing a Facebook Live, do it anyway!  Start with something short and sweet. You may get little to no engagement at first, but keep doing it. Little by little, and with consistency, you will gather your flock and that is key –and when you do, be responsive and keep that conversation going!
  • Share information, educate and add value. We just mentioned Facebook Live. This is a great venue for sharing information, educating others about various elements of your industry that may need clarifying. Invite people to ask questions in your Facebook Live, as this is a great way to give back, offer basic consultation for free and reach a larger audience.  For example, we just started with Wonder Wednesdays where we go LIVE on Facebook every Wednesday at 3:00pm for 10-15 minutes and talk about some of the questions people often ask us. It also provides great video content for your Facebook page as well, that people can watch at a later date.  The key is to add value, share good information and answer some of those ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ for people, who may or may not reach out to you otherwise.
  • Use your creativity to draw in your audience. We only have so much time to read each day, so if you’re like most people, you are pretty selective in whose content you choose to consume. While there is a formula for this, the gather, draw in and retain, everyone is quite different in what they are seeking. For me, as a writer, I enjoy reading other people blog posts. However, not everyone loves to read –unless it’s a juicy novel that you cannot put down. Some people prefer to watch a video, or listen to podcasts. So to that, we suggest that you mix it up!
    • Give your audience a variety of options; write blog posts, do some videos or Facebook Lives or IG-TV. You may want to create a series, and have your audience waiting for your next video.
    • Turn some of your old blog posts into educational videos or mini courses. This can create some energy around your business and gather an audience, who want to learn from you.
    • Offer a freebie in there as well, as incentive for watching –this can create good traction and help build a stronger online presence.
    • Check in with your audience to find out what is working well, so that you’re not throwing time and energy at something that isn’t being well received.
    • The key here is to be creative and keep trying new ideas to see what works best –then stick with it!
  • Develop a marketing strategy. The very definition of a marketing strategy is: “An organization’s strategy that combines all of its marketing goals into one comprehensive plan. A good marketing strategy should be drawn from market research and focus on the right product mix in order to achieve the maximum profit potential and sustain the business.” (*Source: Business Dictionary).  If you haven’t done so, identify your ideal client, as this is a crucial step to success in your business. Once you have identified your ideal client, you will want to review your marketing message –does it speak to your client specifically? Does it solve a common problem that they have, and this is key, that they are willing to pay to have solved?  Your marketing strategy is simply figuring out the best, most impactful way to engage your audience, convert them to clients, keep them satisfied, and then ask them to share their experience with their friends.

There you have it!  This isn’t rocket science and it works. There is no limit to what you can do –it’s there for you, right on social media within your Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter following –an audience just waiting for your incredible value. All you have to do is open your mind to the possibilities. Start mapping out your plan, then set the intention to do those action steps each day.  Follow the five best practices, develop your own individual marketing strategy and watch your business grow and your dreams unfold!  Honestly, it is really that simple.  Cheers and see you on social media!

Need help or want to ask some questions?  Follow us on Facebook and join us each Wednesday at 3:00pm EST, for Wonder Wednesday –and get answers!

Cheetah Fusion Creative Agency –Catapult your brand… fast!

705.302.3386 | www.cheetahfusion.com | meow@cheetahfusion.com



So much of what we do or want to do is about mindset. Think about waking up early. How much of that is about mindset?  I need to exercise or I want to exercise because I know how it benefits me.  Mindset.  I need to start eating healthier or I know eating healthier will boost my energy and help me feel great.  Mindset. I want my business to be successful, but I’m not sure what is holding me back? Or, I want to be successful, so I will start exploring new avenues to see if I can get better traction in my industry. Mindset. The key to changing your mindset is to look at what’s possible, versus staying in the problem. Being in discovery versus feeling discouraged or stuck.

What does it take to accomplish your goals?  Let’s take for instance, a professional athlete. They are focused. They know what they need to do to win a race and it’s more than just running.  In order to become a professional, top athlete, there are many components to staying focused that their coach will help them understand about what their body needs to maintain their strength, endurance, healthy and equally important -a positive mindset. In business, it’s not that different.  Yes, you do need to have goals to work towards, otherwise what’s the point? That said, in order to meet or exceed your goals, it’s more than just setting goals. It’s about positive self-talk, self-management and believing in yourself, that you CAN accomplish the goals you have set and stay focused.

So, what gets in our way?  Well, we have been working with people for years and we would like to share three factors that we feel can affect one’s mind-set and hold them back from achieving their goals:

  1. Distractions – Something that we have been reflecting on a lot over the last few years, is how is it that one individual can remain laser-focused and make BIG things happen, while another individual seems to be pulled in multiple directions and never seems to get as far in business or their career? We believe that it comes down to allowing distractions to take over. Distractions come in many forms in business; taking on additional projects, even when you have lots to keep you busy. This is usually due to boredom or trying to be all things to everyone. However it usually results in spreading oneself too thin and exhaustion. Same goes for trying to “do it all” and wearing too many hats –something has got to give. So, look for ways to stay focused, such as outsourcing the things that you may not necessarily enjoy or be good at like; bookkeeping, marketing, responding to emails and phone calls. These things can either be accomplished by a Virtual Assistant or a professional who can do it in half the time and will get you results!
  2. No clear vision – have you ever built a house? Or renovated your home? Building a business is kind of like that. It’s important to understand and develop your business with products, services and revenue streams that people want and will buy, to ensure your business is viable and sustainable. You’re essentially building a “Blueprint” for your business, with everything from your foundation, to the rooftop explored and nailed. You want to ensure that your foundation consists of your company values, what you believe in (i.e.: trust, integrity, commitment, service, honesty, etc.). You want to build the cornerstones of your business, which is essentially your business model, what you offer, your expertise, how you deliver and how you make money. Your vision must be clear. It must have a purpose and a plan attached, otherwise, you will continue to spin and get caught in the weeds again and again. Find a support system, a mastermind or think tank group, or if possible a business coach or strategist to help outline your vision and develop a plan to get your business either off the ground or take it to the next level. Most businesses fail because they do not have a clear vision and a plan. There are plenty of customers out there for everyone –you just need to understand how to find them, bring them in, serve them and keep them satisfied. Business is meant to be a collaboration, no going it alone –it’s difficult to do anything alone. Find your tribe and get rockin’ your biz! Additionally, we usually recommend a mind-mapping session to help bring out your brilliant ideas and move all of that idea-clutter to paper, so that you can begin sorting and prioritizing your ideas into what makes sense for your business and what you can leave for a later date.  Again, allowing you to focus and develop a clear vision.
  3. Lack of passion – quite honestly, if you’re not passionate about your business, it’s important to step back and rethink starting or continuing with your business. People read you and your energy and if your passion has gone or isn’t there, customers and/or people in your network will know it. If your passion has simply dimmed due to circumstances, do some soul-searching and figure out where it went, what you really want and either reignite that passion and fire, or step away. The last thing you want is to spend time, money and energy on something you don’t love. If you find you are still passionate, but you’ve simply been bogged down by challenges, or going off into the weeds, join a group or mastermind, or hire a business coach to help figure out how to get back to doing more of what you love –it’s worth it, if you still love what you do. Sometimes we just get lost and think there’s no way out or we get stuck. There’s help out there… go get it and get fired up again –either about this or another business idea!!

What is the common denominator in all of the above? Mind-set. How we feel is what generates the energy or diminishes the energy for doing things. Our mind is like a machine, if it’s well maintained and the operator uses it properly, it will work very well. We need to nurture our mind-set particularly as entrepreneurs, so we don’t get stuck, by practicing positive self-talk, brainstorming with people you trust to give you objective, helpful feedback and by setting clear goals around what you want. It’s important to develop a clear vision and follow your passion in order to have a mind-set that works for you, not against you.

So, on that note, in terms of moving forward in your business, we decided we need to introduce the idea of mind-setting, rather than the old-school goal-setting method when it comes to business. This is a concept you, as an entrepreneur will definitely understand. Think about those days when you are not sure how you will pay the bills at the end of the month? Then you have a ‘brainwave’ and suddenly everything changes and you’re off and running with a brilliant idea!  Keeping a positive mind-set is so important, as it is the gateway to innovation, motivation, creativity and inspiration!  What if we applied these principals to our short-term and long-term goals? Imagine the possibilities!

Are you ready to shift from ‘goal-setting’ to ‘mind-setting’?  The difference is our experiences, our beliefs and values exist in our mind. When we believe we can achieve something, we go ahead and we do it!  Whereas, it doesn’t matter what goals you write down on paper, if you don’t believe them, it’s highly unlikely they will take off. The beauty of the mind is, we can change. We can start to map-out our goals in our mind, then using a wonderful tool called the mind-map, you can start to brainstorm, drill down on those ideas and put an action plan behind them. Curious about what a mind-map is? Give us a call or email us and we’ll show you!  It’ll blow your mind how fast mind-mapping can take you to the next level in your business. Mind-maps are your radiant thinking –coming to you in colour.  Ready to see what is possible?  Reach out to us today and we’ll take you there!


Cheetah Fusion Creative Agency

meow@cheetahfusion.com | 705.302.3386

Other Resources: Mind-Mapping, 1:1 Mind-Mapping, Founder’s Forum In-Person and Virtual monthly sessions. 



We all have a story as to how we began our journey as an entrepreneur.  You may have been laid off, or your company downsized and your job became obsolete, or you decided that working for someone else just wasn’t working for you any longer!  Whatever your story, that was just the beginning for you, wasn’t it? 

Yes, both of us, Founders here at Cheetah Fusion have a different story as to how we became entrepreneurs.  That said, there’s a direct correlation between becoming an entrepreneur and being forced to figure out what you’re going to do with your life –it’s all about mindset!  If you look at any of the highly successful entrepreneurs, they all have something in common –they didn’t necessarily fit the mold.  That’s definitely a theme for many entrepreneurs.  Many of us are searching for a way to showcase our talents, create something incredible and make a difference. 

We believe there is more, a greater purpose and often, it’s about creating our “own mold” that feels right and allows us to have the flexibility and freedom we crave –lots of hard work too, but the ability to start something from the ground up.  Now, is entrepreneurship for everyone?  No.  There is a certain personality, a certain tolerance for risk and a definite desire for a less structured and regimented lifestyle.  We work best when we can think outside the box, create, and drive innovation.  We have a different work ethic and motivation, which sets us apart. 

Entrepreneurs think differently, experience life and work differently. We are driven by the very idea that it is up to us to make things work -failure is not an option.  That is a force that pulls us out of the pain of remaining the same.  That is what causes us to have a strong vision, unique ideas and an unstoppable spirit that keeps us pivoting, adjusting and evolving.  When something doesn’t go the way we thought it would, we keep our ear to the ground, we source new ideas and innovation.  Our nature and the very crux of our being is about making ideas come to life –we are the heart of change.  Have you ever seen a successful entrepreneur want to retire?  Not a chance.  Our business is in our blood and our desire to make things happen pumps through us, our heart beats stronger because of it.  So, if any of this rings true for you, you are indeed an Entrepreneur!




Do you find that people take a long time to respond to your emails or telephone messages?  Or the most devastating situation, is when they completely forget to call or email you back?  Now I can understand that sometimes, emails or messages get lost in cyberspace or they find their way to your spam or junk folder every now and then.  This happens to the best of us.  That said, what do you do if it’s someone you work with regularly, a supplier, a vendor or how many of you have a client who just does not respond to you?  What do you do?

Here are a few thoughts and ideas to help you deal with this challenge.  Let’s take for instance, a supplier you have always used, has recently changed management and you notice that they are not a responsive as they used to be. 

Step 1: You call or email them with an order for a customer and do not receive a response or confirmation of the order.  A good practice is to wait two business days, then follow up with them by telephone.  We all know that emails sometimes make their way into your recipient’s junk mail or spam folder.  By calling them, you can hopefully connect with someone who can check on your order to ensure it’s been received.  Be sure to provide them with a phone number and an email address where you can be reached, and request a timeline of when you can expect delivery. 

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