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Creative Financing Ideas

Category: Business planning Financing

By far the most common question we find entrepreneurs asking is: “What financing options are out there to start or grow a small business?”. Although there are many traditional ways to finance a business, like through personal savings, family and friends, loans from financial institutions, and speciality financing programs, sometimes these may not be enough (or available at all) to get a new venture off the ground. That’s when you need to harness your creative energy and start thinking outside the box!

5 Tips for Starting a Successful Social Enterprise

Category: Business planning Operations Startup

My ten years of experience helping people start and grow businesses, nonprofits, and social enterprises in Alberta allows me to witness one of the most common mistakes made by would-be social entrepreneurs. Most of them tend to confuse social enterprise with nonprofit or corporate social responsibility and therefore focus more on their social mission than a sustainable, profitable business model during the planning process.
Here are my top 5 tips for starting a successful social enterprise.

5 Tips to Simplify Your Business' Bookkeeping

Category: Accounting Operations

For small businesses without dedicated accounting resources, the labour involved in recording transactions, reconciling debits and credits, handling monthly or quarterly close, and running financial statements can seem like a weighty drain on daily operations. Even a few hours a week can be hard to balance, potentially putting the accuracy of your reporting in hot water.
If your team is struggling under the weight of accounting obligations, it's time to ease the burden. These five tips can help you simplify your business' bookkeeping for good.

Operating Costs: The Lease Secret that Can Cost You Money

Category: Accounting Operations

As a ­­­­commercial tenant, the monthly base rent you pay your landlord for leasing commercial space may not be the only rent you pay! Many commercial tenants will also pay a secondary amount for property operating costs. The good news is that both these rents are often negotiable. 

The Sweet Taste of Success: Confetti Sweets

Category: Entrepreneurship Success stories

The Story
Kathy Leskow was a stay-at-home mom who started off baking cookies in her kitchen and selling them at her local farmers’ market. But that wasn’t enough, so she expanded to a few more markets. Soon her oven couldn’t keep up with the new demand, so she bought a commercial oven, and before she knew it, Kathy was running a fully-functional, health board-certified bakery out of her basement with a dozen staff and stalls at farmers’ markets across the province.
Kathy secured a permanent home for Confetti Sweets in 2014 with her first storefront.

Intellectual Property—Save Your Ass(ets)

Category: Intellectual property Legal issues

If you are starting a business, there are TONS of things you need to think about—everything from getting your business license to setting up a bank account to creating a website. But one area people often neglect relates to Intellectual Property (or IP for short). IP is broadly defined as being any “creations of the mind,” or the set of legal rights individuals or entities attain through intellect in the development of concepts, inventions, and creations. These may be ingenious new inventions, a unique logo, or a creative design.

Relationships: Building Your Business

Category: Business planning

Have you ever wondered if there is a secret to succeeding in any business venture? There are a number of tried-and-true methods that lead to success. Among these are having the right skills, personality, and drive. You may have heard that it is important to build rapport and strong relationships. This may be common knowledge but it is often overlooked, especially at the beginning stages of a business.

Indigenous Tree Care: Service with Meaning

Category: Indigenous business Success stories

Family Tree Services is a family owned and operated arborist service company out of Calgary, Alberta. Brothers James Brittain and Andrew Laird have been in business for five years working in an industry that they are truly passionate about. Family Tree Services offers all aspects of caring for, maintaining, and removing trees in and around the Calgary area.

Leasing the Right Size and Shape of Commercial Space

Category: Business planning Operations

What is one of the most important factors contributing towards business success? This often hinges on effective site selection. When searching for commercial space to lease, entrepreneurs need to carefully consider site location, location within the location, visibility, access, parking, signage, further expansion plans, neighbouring tenants, anchor tenants, and so on. In addition, entrepreneurs must also evaluate the unit’s size and understand that the total amount of square footage will determine the monthly rent. With a larger area, tenants will pay an increased rent. 

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