Ted Topping, Creative Insights Inc.

Vancouver, BC Canada


As an author, Ted Topping has contributed to numerous how-to guides and resource publications. He is author of two industry guides for an international association based in the U.S., and co-author of the best-selling Start and Run a Retail Business, which is available in several languages.

In his writing, as in his consulting work, Ted offers strategic advice and practical tools that will improve a business by helping it deliver on-brand service and a compelling customer experience.

Hiring and Retaining Exceptional Employees

In response to staffing challenges facing their industry throughout North America, the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Education Foundation commissioned this seven-chapter industry guide, which they published online and in print, and continue to sell. The book contrasts the results of a “real life” international industry survey (which we conducted and interpreted) with our professional insights presented as “best practices.” Properly implemented, the guide provides a solid, practical HR foundation on which to build a successful, profitable business.

Professional Service is Profitable (2nd Edition)

Based on the success of our first industry guide, the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Education Foundation commissioned this 12-chapter companion volume, which they also published online and in print, and continue to sell. It incorporates comments and tips from industry veterans that we interviewed, the results of an international industry survey that we conducted and interpreted, and our own “best practice” insights from retail and the other service industries.

Start and Run a Retail Business (published and revised through 3 editions)

Our basics of retail book has remained in print for many years (40,000 copies sold in North America) because it is a different kind of “how to” book. Instead of instructing, it guides readers by painting a picture of “Where you want to go.” Each of the book’s eight chapters represents one element in the total “job description” of an independent retailer. Start and Run a Retail Business has been translated into Spanish, Russian and Chinese, and a special English-language version created for India.

Benchmarking the Disney Guest Experience

Based on first-hand experience, Ted Topping has written numerous articles benchmarking the real-life customer experience offered at the Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, CA. These articles reflect an understanding that a service business of any size can benchmark and learn from the international brand that has delivered the world’s most enduring and successful theme park experience for six decades. 

Sample articles:

Now… let’s discuss the ways that you can make use of this practical, action-oriented experience to enhance the success of your business.