Friday, April 16, 2010


Habitat for Humanity Restores are great places.  If you have never been to one you need to drop by.  Here is their website with store locations:

You should talk to them if you are planning a renovation.  There will be many items that you may think have to go the the landfill (at your expense) that they will take to be re-sold.  You may even be able to get a tax receipts for some items.  Here is some information about them from their website:

"The ReStore is a retail outlet that sells recycled and new building materials, hardware, and appliances to the public at bargain prices. New material has been donated by our business partners. Profits from sales are used to build more homes for low income family partners."

The Home Shows

The Alliston Home Show was very well attended despite the outstanding weather.  We met lots of consumers and there was lots of interest in checkthetrades.  People are always particularly interested in the references and insurance sections of the members listings.  Often times people just aren't comfortable asking these questions or just don't have the time, so we do it for you.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Home Show

The team at is off to another Home Show this weekend.  This one is in Alliston and runs from April 9 - 12 at the recreation centre.  Last month we were at the Barrie Home Show and on April 24 the Barrie Restore is having a show in Barrie.  We actually enjoy working at these shows (no we really do!!).  It is a great chance to talk to lots of consumers about check the trades, once they understand what we do they always love it.  Any of our listed members are always welcome to join us at these shows for no charge. Just contact us at

Know your Numbers

Here's a tip for anyone who has a website of any kind or size, whether for a business, organization or any other reason.  Always have access to a good statistics reporting package.  Google Analytics works very well and is provided free by Google.  You just need to add a bit of code to each page on your website.  You will be amazed by the useful information this provides.  Not just how many visitors your site had, but were they came from, how long they stayed and what they did while they were there.  Just like any other business tool, your website needs to be monitored, assessed and optimized with your business.  Knowing your stats and how they are trending is essential.

If you want more information on Google Analytics or give me a call:

Peter at 705-321-2029  or

Monday, March 22, 2010

Reducing Risk

The checkthetrades team had our weekly meeting today, and as always, once we got through the agenda we had some discussion about the "big picture".  The discussion led to one of our key objectives: helping consumers reduce risk when selecting businesses to deal with. 
We are all consumers and when we have a project to get done we want it done right, with no hassles and feel like we got value for our money.  The best way ensure this is to do the homework.  Ask questions, investigate qualifications, look for insured businesses, read reviews etc.  We spend a lot of time doing this with our potential members on behalf of the cosumers who use our site.  We visit with them, get to know their business, gather their information and have them sign off that it is accurate and then they sign a Code of Conduct.  Sometimes people look oddly at us  as if to say "you don't really do all that do you?".  Yes we do! We really do!  Out intergrity is important to us and a service like has to have intergrity to survive.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

View your website (and your business) through the eyes of your visitors

Last week a group of us had a chance to attend an excellent seminar by the Wizard of Ads  Some of the discussions focussed on websites and how to make them more effective.  The number one point is to always look at your site through the eyes of your visitors.  People are visiting your site for a reason and you want to be able to address that reason in a way that is most effective for the visitor.  You also need to keep in mind that people are still people when they are on the web and they have different personalities and want to access information in different ways.  At we also develop websites for our members and are always happy to discuss website effectiveness and optimization and techniques to make your website work well for all your visitors.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Your Businesses Presence on the Internet

These days virtually every business wants and needs a presence on the Internet.  If you don't already have a website you should get one published soon.  Not having a website these days is like not having a business card 10 years ago. Our advice; start small and let your site grow as the business grows.  If you don't have a website can develop one for you.  This means you will then have traffic coming to your listing with checkthetrades and to your own website; increasing your presence on the internet!