Welcome to
Black Tulip's family

We like to celebrate life's special moments, cheer on our clients, spread a little good news and inspire with a bit of imagination, because we believe these are what brings life true value.

Why Black Tulip?

We love when people ask about our name – “Why Black Tulip?”
This spring, we came across some fun facts about our namesake flower!

  •  Meaning: Black tulips symbolize power and strength. Their mysterious and elegant shade depicts royalty.
  •  Origin: Black tulips are a rare hybrid of tulips. Absolute black tulips are very hard to achieve, but there are many mixtures of purple, dark wine red or velvet maroon that are closest to pure black.
  •  Species: Some of the most cultivated black tulips are the Queen of the Night Black Tulip, Paul Scherer Black Tulip, Ebony Queen Black Tulip, Nearly Black Tulip, Black Hero Tulip and Black Parrot Tulip.
  •  Advice: Black tulips are elusive. They are craved by hybridizers and admired by gardeners. They inspire supreme elegance and impose power. Black tulips are beyond belief!

For more information about black tulips, check out this online flowers guide.

For more information about what we do, view our services.

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Small Business Week

This week, twitter is abuzz about Small Business Week which shines a light on small businesses from around the world.  This is a time to celebrate these innovators and job creators who strengthen the world-wide economy.

Small business is actually quite the big business!  In Canada, the term describes a business with up to 100 employees (not so small after all!). Small businesses are the key drivers of our economy, accounting for 98 per cent of all businesses, employing nearly 70 per cent of our private sector labour force and contributing approximately 40 per cent of our gross domestic product. Impressive numbers to ponder!

Black Tulip itself is a small business, and our knowledge of what that means on all fronts makes us the ideal choice for small businesses like yours, that require the support and advancement that we can offer them.

We’re here to help you!  From financial administration to payroll services to getting ready for tax time, we do it all so you don’t have to.  And because we have your back, you can focus on doing what you love to do.

Small business owners can sometimes feel isolated or overwhelmed. You may be a company of one, or a company that employs ten or more people. By putting us to task, you can extend your workforce exponentially.  You will have an invaluable team of support at your beck and call and join a network of clients and vendors all of whom specialize in the small business owner and their needs.

So how will you celebrate Small Business Week? We’d like to start by applauding some of our favorite local small businesses, who just happen to be fantastic clients as well!


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How was your Tax Season?

How did your tax season go? Did you make the deadline? Were you able to locate all those receipts you had been saving during 2013? Did you remember to print off all of your charitable tax receipts from your online donations? How many times did you need to ask your investment advisor for one more document? How about your medical receipts, did you remember to include them?

For many people, April is a stressful month gathering together all the pieces of paper that form your financial picture for the previous year. No matter how well organized, somehow many are left scrambling to meet the April 30 deadline. So why not outsource these tasks to Black Tulip?

Throughout the year, many of our clients will send, drop off or forward to us everything that relates to their taxes. Some will even use our office as their mailing address. We gather, categorize and file it all throughout the year and when the T3s, T4s and T5s start arriving, we spring into action. We will get it all to your accountant early enough to allow these overworked professionals adequate time to ask all the necessary questions.

It’s really that simple, just outsource it to us! And your accountant will be grateful to have one less file to deal with at the last minute!


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How effective are word-of-mouth referrals?

Word-of-mouth has been the driving force in Black Tulip’s success over the past two decades.  Many of our current clients came to us on the endorsement of another client and we too have returned the favour by promoting our clients and vendors to one another.

According to research by Nielsen, this is what makes the world go round!  92 percent of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than all other forms of marketing.

In this day and age, with social media at our fingertips, we can steer the course of that word-of-mouth dynamic.  And it can be a very powerful tool. Neilsen also reports that 43 percent of consumers are more likely to enlist a new service or buy a new product when learning about it on social media.

So how do you approach your social media?  It’s so easy to promote a business or service using Twitter or Facebook but don’t forget to engage your followers.  Asking questions of them, searching out what is important to them, enlisting their assistance, providing them with pertinent information; these are all ways to make sure you’re really making the most of your virtual connections.

Making in-person connections can also be beneficial!  Consider joining a local business association or checking out BNI Canada (Black Tulip joined the BNI, Golden Horseshoe Region) or Meetup.com for other businesses wishing to make alliances.

Ultimately, how can you use word of mouth referrals to your advantage?  Certainly, use your current clients to make connections. Offer incentives to them for great referrals but don’t forget about your suppliers and vendors.  Remind them that by referring sales leads or business to you, you’re helping to build their business, too.

And remember, online or off, sincerity is the key to great word-of-mouth campaigns.  If you are passionate about something it truly resonates with people.

word of mouth1 word of mouth3

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Happy Earth Day!

This year marks the 34th year of Earth Day celebrations.  Of course, today’s celebrations are meant to highlight and promote earth-conscious behavior year round, but at Black Tulip, we use today as a reminder to look at our business operations, and see where sustainable actions can be taken to improve our foot print on the world in which we live and work.

To mark the day itself, individuals and businesses participate in everything from litter pick-ups to battery recycling to electronics recycling.  To practice environmental responsibility year round, you can dig deeper.  By practicing the 3 P’s; People, Planet and Profit, companies can begin to connect their business with corporate and social responsibility goals.

We here at Black Tulip align ourselves with businesses that are corporate responsibility leaders and take initiatives in our day to day operations that better the planet.  And we make every effort to use recycled materials to facilitate our business needs.  We enlist the support of companies like our vendor, Shred-it, who take our confidential documents and recycle them.  We also support companies like our client, Impakt, that amongst many of their societal achievements, can boast running their business on 100% green energy.  They also work with CVTP (Clean Vibes Trading Post) a not-for-profit organization aiming to educate the public about environmental responsibility and stewardship, particularly in regards to solid waste management.

If you are struggling to come up with ways your business can contribute to a better earth, you can enlist the support of organizations like CVTP or Earth Day Canada who have programs like the Earth Month campaign to keep environmental improvement initiatives at the forefront of our minds all year long.

Happy Earth Day!  And remember that even the simplest of actions can have a big impact!

Earth Day

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Tax Season’s Moral Dilemma

We are in the middle of tax season and we are all facing the annual moral dilemma: “Will I cheat on my taxes or not?” Not those “big” cheats that lead to media scandals and CEOs, CFOs and accountants ending up in jail, but the “little” ones such as the “business” trip to the Caribbean during the worst of the Canadian winter, or… including tips when you calculate the GST/HST portion of your business meals or… adding the cost of health supplements or cosmetic surgery to your medical expenses or… “forgetting” to declare your tips as income.

Will the CRA catch it? Unlikely. Will your accountant “wrap you on your knuckles”? Sometimes. Do random audits happen? Yes. Is it right? No. Can you live with your self knowing you cheated?

So, if your answer to the last question is “yes”, will you also complain about the long wait times for elective surgery or the number of potholes after the brutal winter we have just experienced or the lack of public transportation in some areas? Think about it! That’s what our taxes are for.

At Black Tulip we will err on the side of caution. We will apply the tax rules as best as we understand them. Our Controller is so “straight laced”, we use him as a ruler. But in the end, we work for you, our client. You have the final say and we will do what you tell us to do. But, we will get it in writing, just to cover our behind!

Happy Tax Season!

Tax Season Moral Dilemna

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What Type of Client Are You?

It was 19 years ago last month that Black Tulip in its current format was started. Through a referral we met Youssef Hasbani, owner of L’Atelier, and this “wild ride” started of building a business from scratch. We did not have any pre-conceived ideas about what type of client we would like to find to build our business, but we definitely felt comfortable with Youssef. We “clicked” from the beginning and a bond formed that built into a friendship with mutual trust between Youssef and our Executive Director Joost Pelt.

Why has it worked and lasted so long? It definitely had to do with the mutual trust that was developed, but also because of the type of client he was. L’Atelier sells antiques and decorative objects and at each of Joost’s weekly visits to the store, he continued to be amazed at the creativity of being surrounded by beautiful and high quality items.

Our business has grown nearly exclusively through referrals and it all started after meeting Youssef. Referrals often are linked through individuals that move in the same circles, with similar interests or outlooks on life. Most of our clients are connected through a common thread of high-end quality, creativity and a desire and need to provide the best possible service to their clients or customers.

This common thread has resulted in a great variety of types of clients: Fashion Designers, Interior Designers, Artists Management, Photographers, Jewelry Design and Sales, Software and Game Developers, a Pilates Studio and a Kinesiology Practitioner, Limousine Companies, Engineering Firm, IT and Business Consultants, and a series of high-net worth individuals, who like nothing better than to receive personalized quality service.

Joost has often remarked, while commenting on the types of clients we have, that it would be unlikely that we would ever work for a business selling “widgets” or a gas station. But now upon reflection, we actually would work for them as long as they sell high-end “widgets” and high quality gas!

So…what type of client are you? If you fit with the types of clients we have been providing our services to, we bet we would be able to build a bond of mutual trust and work well together. So….just call us!

what kind of client 1

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Spring has Sprung-Joe Fresh Sample Sale!

Joe Fresh Sample Sale Image

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Take Flight with Black Tulip and TTI Travel!

We are pleased to announce that Black Tulip has now partnered with TTI Travel, one of Canada’s pre-eminent, family-owned travel agencies with a “high-touch”, personalized service, which closely matches and compliments our own approach to client satisfaction.  This means we can now also offer you a fresh alternative to arranging your travel plans. Business travel, leisure travel or just a quick flight to wherever, just let us know what you are looking for and we will assist you in making the arrangements.

TTI Travel is amongst a select few Canadian agencies with Virtuoso, an invitation-only association of the world’s top luxury leisure travel agencies. They are also a member of the Air Canada Circle of Excellence and are Canada’s only affiliate with BCD Travel. They are Preferred Suppliers to Four Seasons, Fairmont, Belmond and Ritz Carlton Hotels to name a few, affording us rare access to special rates, complimentary upgrades, VIP recognition and other privileges.

For Curtain Rising, our performing arts travel business, we needed to find a partner in the travel industry that has the same high standards that we aspire to. We now have direct access to a worldwide network of the best hotels and resorts and access to a wealth of experience through the travel experts working for TTI. They will help us design fascinating packages that will make our performing arts excursions even more enjoyable.

Have a look at the TTI website TTI Travel , visit Curtain Rising, or contact us for more information!

travel image

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We employ bureaucracy slayers!

In today’s complicated technology-based world one the biggest headaches is dealing with large bureaucracies. Setting up new services or changing existing services has become an exercise in frustration or futility for small business owners and individuals alike. Navigating the phone trees, reaching the right person or the right department, filling out on-line forms, setting up passwords and security questions, all this for the privilege of allowing the bureaucracies to provide you with services that you of course have to pay for. And if finally you reach an actual “live” person, you just have to hope that they speak and understand the same language you do. And how about those automated systems that answer all your questions, as long as you ask the questions in the way they are stored in their database!

Black Tulip employs a couple of individuals who are experts in navigating these systems, have the patience of Job and have enough other projects on their desk to keep them busy while they listen to “elevator music” or “we appreciate your business” or “the estimated waiting time is……”.

So the next time you need to change or set up a service or need to have a question answered, call us first and our friendly receptionist, an actual live person, will immediately connect you with one of our “bureaucracy slayers”. And we even deal with government departments!

We employ bureaucracy slayers!

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