PORT McNEILL—In celebration of Small Business Week, taking place across Canada this week, October 19-25, 2014, Community Futures is offering advice from experts across its 34 local offices throughout rural BC.
“Community Futures Mount Waddington has always understood the importance of small businesses to our local economy and appreciates the contributions they make,” said David Mitchell, general manager of Community Futures Mount Waddington. “In celebration of Small Business month, I encourage all small business owners in the Mount Waddington region to come in to our office and speak with our business team. We have knowledgeable staff than can help you write business plans, give advice on taxation, and may even be able to get you access to small business loans. We’re here to make sure local entrepreneurs are able to take advantage of a whole host of resources that can help grow their businesses.”
For the Oct. 19-25 Small Business Week, Community Futures offers these Top 5 Tips for success:
1. The best business plan remains flexible with measurable and realistic goals. Operating a business can lead to a lot of surprises, so along with a solid Plan A have a well thought-out Plan B. Many entrepreneurs know what success looks like for them; they’re just unsure of how to achieve it. We help our clients focus on realistic revenue projections, expense management, and where they want their business to be one, two and three years later. This is imperative so business owners are making the right decisions and investments early on to reach their goals.
2. Cash is king. Being profitable only on paper doesn’t mean all is OK. What really counts is what’s in the bank. Cash flow is the biggest issue for new businesses. Stay on top of your receivables (customers who owe you money); business owners need to keep a close eye on money owed to them as well as money they owe.
3. Keep your friends close and your competition closer. Studying your competition is one of the best ways to learn how you can make your business better. It’s an excellent way to learn from what they’re doing right, while avoiding what they might be doing wrong. Rest assured, your customers are keeping a close eye on them too!
4. Don’t stop believing and don’t stop learning. Remember that old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? It’s very true and it very much applies to you and your business. It takes time and patience to get your brand/business name out there. As a small-business owner you are the business. We tell our clients that an investment in themselves is an investment in the business. Turning to an organization like Community Futures allows you to get support and feedback as you grow your business.
5. Treat your employees like they’re your customers. Your employees are your internal customers; be open to hearing their feedback. Employees are stakeholders in your business, too! Employee engagement adds to workplace culture. Hire the right fit for your organization’s culture; you can teach skills but you can’t teach attitude. Communication is critical; having team meetings and a written policy manual can be helpful, you want to make sure your employees understand what is expected of them and what you want in return.
For more info, call Community Futures Mount Waddington at 250-956-2220