Businesses have gotten a bad rap because of a generalized understanding of how the business community works and stereotypes about evil corporations being applied to all modern business practices. In this article, we will explore the top nine misconceptions about business and how companies today are doing everything they can to break down these poorly conceived notions of how they work and do their work.


  1. You have to be heartless. The mythological ruthless CEO who will stop at nothing to expand her business, including alienating her family, her employees, her clients and her competitions is a thing of the past. These days, people are interested in the morals on which a business is built. Is your business involved in community work? Do they contribute to a vibrant, non-profit culture in their neighbourhood? Do the goods and services they provide benefit society for the better in some way? These are all things the modern, tech-savvy consumer takes into account when making purchasing and service decisions about where to put their support and dollars. The heartless corporations that remain are the ones that have gotten too big to take down, but for start-ups, attention to community and moral integrity are the way of the future. As they should
  2. Money and profits are always the bottom line. The best businesses are those that are interested in providing people with goods and services that better society as a whole –whether it be terms of information, health, fitness, quality food, environmentally-friendly and ethic products, artisan products or other noble efforts. Business owners that are passionate about what they do for the sake of doing it are much more likely to experience the success that allows them to continue and flourish in their business practices.
  3. Output is more important than your staff’s needs. The companies that cut corners on the health benefits, livable wages and ideal working environments of their staff are increasingly falling out of favour with consumer audiences. More and more people are dissatisfied with their work and unhappy in their lifestyles. Career changes are a commonplace occurrence these days, even after years of investment in employees in the form of training. A healthy, happy, exercised, celebrated staff member is much more likely to take ownership of their work and their position in your company, benefitting the company and its clients in the end anyway. Better to invest in the health and happiness of your staff and reap the benefits of being satisfied that you are not only doing what is right for them, but also what is right for your business and society at large as well.photodune-1313567-businessman-pressing-modern-social-buttons-on-a-virtual-background-xs-507x300
  4. Bigger is better. Companies that are obsessed with their growth into large-scale corporations aren’t always aware of the sacrifices that come from giving up small and medium-sized business practices. More of a corporate feel makes their company less friendly and approachable, but more importantly, it makes your company less flexible to adapt to the changing markets on a whim. Filtering everything through large-scale boards or committees and/or having to do the legwork required to alter simple company procedures can be a pain. In the mix, the personal nature of a company is lost. Bigger companies are less likely to support local artists, entrepreneurs and innovators in their communities and they tend to overlook the small stuff of value to smaller businesses: getting to know their clients intimately, being cornerstones of their community and serving the neighbourhoods they come from.
  5. Business and environmentalism are opposing ideas. This is definitely becoming a thing of the past. Any business worth their weight is going green these days, whether that means in-house recycling programs, going paperless, using Green-certified materials, investing in tree-planting program or any of the innumerable ways that companies can reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact. One of the first things that prospective clients ask, regardless of the industry, is what measures businesses are taking to help with the environment to protect their legacy for generations to come.
  6. Business-owners are workaholics. While it is true that business owners sometimes don’t know when to slow down or might be particularly passionate, it is not always true that they don’t have downtime or sacrifice time with their family to run their business. These days, business owners recognize that the best leaders are those who help their team and delegate according to the strengths and weaknesses of their team members. A boss who does it all might seem ideal but in reality, it means that the business sinks or swims depending on them alone, which is never a good business model.
  7. Marketing is a waste of money and time. How many times have I heard that marketing managers sit around doing nothing, wasting company money and time? While that may be true for marketing managers you know, that technically shouldn’t be the case and it usually isn’t. While marketing departments might seem like a lot of investment for an immeasurable or undetectable return, don’t underestimate the power of social media, traditional advertising and other techniques for brand recognition. Even though you might not respond to or access those marketing mechanisms, it doesn’t mean that others don’t. Many studies (internal or otherwise) show that clients do respond to techniques that were purposefully applied by marketing departments, resulting in business for that particular company.
  8. Working longer and harder is more efficient. Those who work the hardest and the longest might be wasting a lot of time. In fact, recent scientific studies are throwing the entire 8 hour work day into question because it seems to undermine productivity, thus wasting company time. People with specific tasks to complete will often stretch out the time it takes to complete those tasks in order to “fill their day”, rather than taking the appropriate amount of time to finish their work. As well, longer work days require more breaks – usually one hour total for an eight hour day, divided or not – and the time surrounding these breaks tends to be highly unproductive as people wait for the break, take the break and then take a long time to get back to actual work when they return. Recently light has been shed on how crucial stay-at-home moms are for the job market because they are often engaging in a creative, entrepreneurial spirit in order to work from home and their time is highly limited, meaning that they have to work more efficiently than the average office worker to get their jobs completed while still taking care of their homes and families.monkeytype1_2
  9. Outsourcing is an ideal business practice. Gone are the days of prioritizing cheap work in foreign countries as a way to save a buck. Real business owners are realizing that employing people in their communities injects money back into the local economy which keeps them in business longer. Additionally, supporting local artisans and innovators is the latest fashionable business practice and with good reason, some of the best talent is found close to home.

At The Drawing Board, it has almost been an entire year of business and we just can’t get enough of helping out our clients by filling their writing and content management needs. Not only does it enable us to write for a living (how amazing is that?!) but we also get to uplift them and what they are accomplishing through their goods and services. We are picky: we don’t work for just anyone. There are a few types of businesses and groups that we support that share similar characteristics and, at the Drawing Board, we have realized that this is a continuing theme in how we choose our clients. This is not to say that future clients need to fit this criteria, but it is really eye-opening to figure out who gels best with us and which types of businesses are best aided by our services.


So who are we helping out?

They are small to medium-sized businesses and start-ups. All of the businesses we assist fit into these categories. We love to help people get on their feet in the cyber world – a task that can seem daunting at first but is made easy by our level of experience and expertise. We love helping family-run businesses and places that operate with real people running them. These types of businesses tend to be well-connected in their communities and involved in the growth of their neighbourhoods. We take pride in helping these groups grow and every part of the networks they touch.

They are all good people. At The Drawing Board, we come to work closely with every single business owner and marketing manager at each of our clients’ offices. These are quality, brilliant people who tend to be wildly talented and real visionaries. Whether they are one person with a mission to change the world, or a full-fledged company shaping the landscapes we all encounter daily, we have never found a bad apple and we don’t count on that happening anytime soon.

They are all environmentally-friendly businesses. We have clients whose work encourages people to be mindful and reconnect with nature and others who use organic skincare products in their spa. Whether they are a window fashion company that sells only GreenGuard certified products, or a signage business that uses the latest environmentally-friendly techniques, our commitment to the environment is felt in the clients we support.

We get to learn a lot. When you trust The Drawing Board to “learn” your business and manage your content, you are in good hands. We love research and that is not limited by the subject matter. We learn something new and amazing from every single client, and we relish in the enrichment it brings to our knowledge and our lives. We get to network a lot more too and get to know others through the incredible businesses and people we learn from as well. What a blessing!

We get to support all the good they do. Not only are our clients good people who strive to do well by the environment, but they also have high moral integrity and don’t engage in questionable business practices. We are happy to help those who not only do well but also hold others accountable to do well too. Our clients are active in their charity work and supporting integral community services. They know that good business means going beyond the bottom line: it means taking care of everyone who helped you get to where you are and helping others for the future too.

Here’s to another year of building brilliant business success!


cousins  Inspired by a recent post we wrote for Behrends Group of Companies, we figured it would be a good idea to talk about why we named The Drawing Board as such! First of all, this business has not always been known by this name. Though Nakita has been doing online content management for various businesses and organizations since 2009, she didn’t officially name and launch it until August of 2014. This was done with the intention to expand our services and clientele base. Nakita had worked for the incredible Edmonton-based business, Optimum Health Vitamins and Kolya Naturals Spa and Apothecary for 8 years and it felt like it was time for a change. With the goal of setting out on her own within 6 to 8 months, The Drawing Board was born.

375078_10150782137025568_1715195333_nIn coming up with the name, Nakita and Michele brainstormed together regularly. We wanted it to be something catchy, meaningful and something you always come back to. We wanted it to represent modernity and freshness – exactly what our content would breathe into the life of your business. So what do you always come back to when you need new ideas? You come back to the drawing board!

cousins2We also wanted to emphasize the creative relationships we want to build with clients. The Drawing Board is a dynamic team and we strive to empower your writing ideas by working together to fish them out, solidify your vision and then translate this into impeccable writing. Most of our clients offer us snippets of information, bullet-point notes that they cobble together from various conversations among their staff. Our job is to take these schematic ideas and create writing masterpieces. The Drawing Board is a place where the sketched beginnings of your ideas become a business reality.

dubaiNot a lot of people realize that we write and design catalogues, eBooks and informative handbooks at The Drawing Board. This past month, we had the incredible experience of developing an employee handbook guide about doing business in Dubai for one of our favourite clients! The experience of researching, writing and designing the handbook was great and we learned so much about Dubai that now we are thinking of booking a trip there! This is just one of the many perks of writing for a living and getting to work with ultra-cool businesses. Below are some of the fun facts we learned about Dubai in the process of our writing…

1. The Emir of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed is worth more than $4 billion and has been a visionary in expanding and developing the city. He is responsible for its massive growth and has spent much money on entrepeneurial, arts and charity endeavours to raise the status and prestige of Dubai.

2.Dubai is part of a federation of 7 emirates called the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which are ruled by hereditary Islamic rulers.

  1. Stuffed camel is a popular dish in Dubai, particularly for special occasions. Al Harees is also popular and is a dish made of meat mixed with wheat paste and baked.
  2. The official religion of the UAE is Islam but they are also tolerant of religious diversity and host a large population of Hindus and Christians. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and is part of the Abrahamic tradition which includes Christians and Jewish people. Muslims typically pray 5 times per day so don’t be surprised if you see people pulled over on the side of the road, prostrating on little prayer rugs. It is a normal part of everyday life and is as natural as anything there!
  3. Developing strong personal relationships with potential business partners is very important. It is customary to have longer conversations with business contacts and to ask about their family and personal life (within the boundaries of decency), health and wellbeing.The work week is from Sunday to Thursday. Try and schedule meetings during this time and do not plan meetings on Friday, which is the Muslim holy day and a day of prayer and rest.

6. Some of the top sites to visit in Dubai are the following:

Burj Khalifa: The tallest man-made structure in the world at 2,722 ft. high. Outside the building is The Dubai Fountain which cost $217 million, is illuminated by 6600 lights, runs 275m long and shoots water490 ft in the air.

Dubai Creek: The original saltwater creek that formed the main sector of the city’s economy. Has been artificially extended and there are plans for further extension into The Lagoons in the future. Worth a cross to see great views of the city and crossings.

Dubai Museum: The main musuem in Dubai and located in the 1787 Al-Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum aims to present the traditional way of life in the Emirate of Dubai. It also shows life before the advent of oil.

DUBAI MALL : The largest mall in the world and is part of the $20 billion Downtown Dubai complex. Home to 1200 shops, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, as well as the Ice Rink. Top of the line shopping experience.

PALM ISLANDS : Another amazing artificial archipelago in Dubai. Its aim is to extend the Dubai coastline into the Persian Gulf by 520km and is home to a number of hotels and resorts.

THE WORLD: An artificial archipelago constructed in the shape of the world map, located in the Persian Gulf, four kilometers off the coast of Dubai. They are supposed to be developed commercially with time.

SKI DUBAI : Inside the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of indoor skiing area. In case you think it is child’s play, it boasts a 400m long run and the world’s first indoor black diamond run.

JUMEIRAH MOSQUE : The most photographed house of worship in Dubai, this mosque is worth a visit for its beautiful architecture and a real cultural experience. Tours for non-muslims are available.

JUMEIRAH BEACH: This white sand beach is in the heart of Dubai and features numerous resorts, the Wali Wadi Waterpark and luxury hotels that are (literally) the best in the world.

BURJ AL ARAB HOTEL: This is the only SEVEN star hotel in the world and is one of the world’s tallest. Its central atrium alone is 590ft tall. One of its restaurants, Al Mahara (The Oyster) is accessed via a submarine voyage in a seawater aquarium. A tour is well worth the visit but staying there is highly unlikely. The Royal Suite goes for $18,000+ per night!

DUBAI DOLPHINARIUM: The world’s first fully airconditioned indoor dolphinarium has its home in Dubai. The dolphinarium has a number of shows to choose from and is incredibly popular with the public.

FALCONCITY: An unprecedented project, this is the creation of a mini-city in Dubai that houses life-size models of all the wonders of the world including the Pyramids of Giza, the hanging gardens of Babylon and much more. Under construction.

SAFA PARK:This beautiful park is in the center of the city and measures around 64 hectares. It contains 3 lakes, over 200 species of bird, and nearly 17,000 species of plants. There are waterfalls, touring boats and beautiful fountains.